This year has been another busy one for Crouch End Labour Cllrs with much of our focus having been on Hornsey Town Hall. We have seen good progress on affordable and social housing, details on £30m+ being spent on the restoration of the Town Hall, and on the arts centre. However, we know there’s still more work to be done to ensure the development is as sensitive as it can be to residents living near the Town Hall, and that there is appropriate mitigation for the impact of new housing on local services and infrastructure.
As we come nearer to the end of our four-year term as councillors, we wanted to share with you some details of the progress we’ve seen on other issues in Crouch End and Haringey since May 2014. Despite staggering cuts to Haringey’s budget as a result of seven years of Tory Government austerity (with the help of the Liberal Democrats for the majority of that time) we’ve been able to invest millions of pounds into the community groups that make Crouch End great, the services we rely on and the roads and streets in N8 and N6. Over the last four years we have:
- Invested over £20,000 in local community groups and charities including the Crouch End Festival
- Invested over £1.5 million in improvement to roads, pavement and street lighting in Crouch End
- Invested over £200,000 in installing cycle storage in Crouch End
- Invested over £8 million in improving Park Road Leisure Centre
- Prepared plans to invest £2 million refurbishing Hornsey Library and upgrading IT and providing new books
In addition we’ve taken action in Haringey that we’re proud of as Labour councillors: improving our schools, building affordable housing, protecting and investing in all our libraries, exempting care leavers (children in care turned 18, who are some of the most vulnerable in the borough) from council tax, improving the wages and working conditions of care workers and leading the way on reducing carbon emissions.
Here’s a bit more information on what we’ve been up to.
Progress in Crouch End
Supporting community groups and charities in Crouch End
What makes Crouch End special is the local people and the amazing community groups in the area. One of the best things we’ve been able to do as Ward Cllrs is use community ward budgets to invest over £20,000 to support local community groups to fund a range of projects including:
- Over £10,000 for Crouch End Festival – The festival is a fantastic celebration of all things Crouch End and Haringey, bringing together community, creativity and local businesses to enrich the area.
- A £4200 grant for Crouch End Open Spaces to improve the Crouch End playing fields, so that the area is safe and in good order for residents to enjoy.
- OVer £2000 for Accumul8 – a brilliant local project that brings together the creative skills, knowledge and energy of the local community to work with young homeless people living at the North London YMCA Hostel as participants and partners. The project focuses harnessing their creativity with a focus on employability skills and producing creative products for selling at exhibitions and craft fairs.
- A £1500 grant for the Friends of Zen Hornsey Library – a fantastic local scheme dedicated to the restoration and maintenance of the courtyard garden in Hornsey Library.
- Over £2000 grant for Crouch End Carers Coffee Morning – a local charity initiative that provides vital support for carers who have a family member who is very disabled.
- A £1000 grant for the Crouch End Open Door Young People’s Consultation Service which offers a range of support for young people including: Counselling, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness Based Therapy, Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy (DIT), Family Therapy, Group Therapy, Key support
- A £1000 grant for SEEDs Saturday Club for Learning Disabled Adults & their Families
There’s still funding available – if you’re part of a brilliant community organisation that needs support, you can find out more information on how to apply here.
Safer, improved roads and pavements in Crouch End
We know that people in Crouch End want good quality roads and pavements and well-lit streets. We’ve heard this on the doorstep and we’ve delivered for the community. From Crouch Hill to Shepherd’s Hill, since we were elected in May 2014, well over £1.5million has been spent resurfacing roads and pavements (including Crouch Hill, Haringey Park, Shepherd’s Hill and Landrock Rd) and installing almost 200 new street lights across the ward (including Berkeley Rd, Priory Gardens and Gladwell Rd).
Our commitment to supporting more cycling in the borough means that we’ve spent over £200,000 on installing bike hangers and Sheffield cycle stands.
Well over 50 roads have been designated 20mph and local police have been increasing monitoring of compliance with the help of volunteers in the local area – the community and public servants working together to make our streets safer. There are further plans to improve road safety in future including new traffic calming measures being installed at the juncture between Tottenham Lane and Ferme Park Road.
Like many people in the area, we have been extremely concerned about the upturn in thefts and burglaries in Crouch End in recent years, including a spate of moped-assisted mobile phone snatches. We have collaborated with the police – including organising three community safety meetings with them – in order to ensure that they are aware of residents concerns and put in place appropriate plans to counter the problem.
Investing in leisure centres and libraries
Over £8million has been spent improving Park Road Leisure Centre since we were elected and we have collated and shared feedback from centre users to ensure that there are continued improvements to services. Haringey has also made leisure centres free to the over-65s to improve health and well-being among older residents in our borough.
At a time when hundreds of libraries are closing all over the country due to austerity,
Haringey has kept every library in the borough open and invested £5m to enhance Marcus Garvey and Wood Green libraries. In 2018, we will spend £2million to improve Hornsey Library, including new book stock, IT equipment and a refurbishment.
Progress in the wider borough
In Haringey we’re proud to be part of a Labour group that has taken action to deliver social justice and progress in Haringey despite very difficult budget constraints imposed on us by Tory and Lib Dem Governments.
Haringey’s schools have gone from strength-to-strength over the last few years – with all secondary and special schools, and almost 98 percent of primary schools, rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. Haringey Labour has pledged to do everything to support our schools to keep improving – and we’re doing that by setting up, with our schools, a schools trust that will support them and help them support each other even against the background of a £2.7million cut in government funding for school improvement.
On housing Haringey has a strong record with over 72% affordable housing on major developments in the last few years. We have plans to build even more housing at greater speed and scale in the coming years while also regenerating parts of Tottenham and Wood Green to boost jobs and growth in the borough. The Haringey Development Vehicle has obviously proved controversial. With three thousand families currently on the Council’s housing waiting list, Tory cuts and restrictions mean that Haringey does not have the funds to build much needed homes. The purpose of the joint-venture is to create more homes and jobs in Wood Green and North Tottenham. Firm commitments have been made to ensure that at least 40% of all new homes will be affordable, and that every Council tenant in an estate being renewed will have a guaranteed Right to Return to a brand new homes on equivalent terms. However, as councillors, we believe that any regeneration has to primarily benefit our most disadvantaged residents, and all three of us would only support the proposals going ahead if we can demonstrate the clear support of residents on estates that are affected.
Reducing our carbon footprint
Building more houses can’t come at the expense of our environment. This year we launched a new report “Haringey Zero by 2050” builds on the work of the pioneering Haringey Carbon Commission in 2009, which recommended a raft of measures to reduce Haringey’s carbon footprint. But the Zero by 2050 Commission goes further, with ambitions such as for new developments to be carbon neutral and the borough to be a leader in innovative renewable energy and climate change “future proofing”.
Standing up for social care workers
In September, Haringey signed up to UNISON’s ethical care charter, which sets out a series of commitments to protect the rights of home care workers’ and give them greater freedom to focus on the needs of the people they care for. Under the charter, Haringey is committed to replacing zero hours contracts with guaranteed hours, and to make full payment for travel time between home care visits. We are one of only a handful of London local authorities to sign-up to the charter.
Supporting young care leavers
We have also taken action to ensure that young people leaving the care system are not shackled with the burden of council tax bills. Care leavers will now no-longer be liable to pay council tax. This will apply to all care leavers aged 18-25, and comes after research from The Children’s Society which revealed that care leavers are at significant risk of falling into debt.
In addition to the above areas over the last few years Haringey has frozen council tax to ease the cost of living crisis on residents, invested £1 million into police services to keep more police men and women out on the street in the borough and we’ve been working with the Labour Mayor of London to bring more investment to the area in future years.
All in all, although it has been a tough three and a half years dealing with the effects of austerity, we’re proud of what has been achieved. We’re glad that we have been able to work with, and for, such an enthusiastic, committed and vibrant community. If there any local issues you want help with, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – firstname.lastname@example.org.