Public meeting on crime & safety in Crouch End

Working with Martin we’ve decided to call a public meeting to update residents on crime and safety in Crouch End, providing local people a chance to raise concerns and for the police to tell us how we can help fight crime.

So please come along on 26th October 2016 at 7pm. The meeting will be held in the old council chamber in Hornsey Town Hall.
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Park Road Leisure Centre: Investment and Improvements

Park Road Leisure Centre is one of four local leisure centres in Haringey. It is well used and valued by a large number of residents in Crouch End, which is why in 2014 we made improving it one of our five key election pledges. Two years later, over £8million has been invested in the centre. Users can now benefit from:

  • a modern fitness suite with state of the art equipmentPark Road
  • 4 new studios, including a dedicated indoor cycle studio
  • 3 pools
  • a brand new soft play area
  • a refurbished lido
  • a new cafe – Bickels Yard Food & Drink Company
  • and improved facilities and access for disabled users
  • Over-65s can use the gym facilities for free on weekdays between 9am-5pm.

However, despite the investment, many residents have told us that improvements still need to be made to the Centre, particularly in three key areas:

  1. Cleanliness and Hygiene: too often users find the changing rooms, toilets and swimming pools unacceptably dirty.
  2. Accessing the swimming pool and lido: due to the high number of lesson bookings, some users find it difficult to access the pools easily. The lido has also been closed on a number of occasions this summer, prompting concern about lifeguard provision at the centre. Some users have enquired about whether a ‘swimming only’ membership can be reinstated.
  3. Poor communication: users often struggle to get a response when they call the reception desk; the website’s booking system is ineffective; and the standard of professionalism from reception staff needs to improve, as they can sometimes appear as dismissive of users’ concerns.

Last week we met with council officers and managers from Fusion -a registered charity that works in partnership with Haringey Council to run the borough’s leisure centres. We shared your feedback, both on areas of strength and areas that require urgent improvement. Officers and managers have now provided responses on each of the three key areas of concern, outlining what currently happens and what will change:

1) Cleanliness and Hygiene

Cleanliness and hygiene levels are a key priority for the Park Road management team and more will be done to improve standards. Pool vacuuming has been introduced twice a week to deliver a higher standard of cleanliness, along with daily cleaning and maintenance regimes with regular backwashing.

The centre has 2 lifeguard teams – one for the inside pools one  and for outside. Lifeguards for the outside pools rotate every 20/ 30 minutes. Once they have done a full rotation, they then commence site checks, checking the toilets and cubicles. This gets done every half an hour. When the lido closes at 1pm for an hour, centre staff will use that time to litter pick and scrub down the cubicles and showers.

The inside team rotate every 15 minutes and they will now walk through the inside changing rooms litter picking and cleaning where necessary. This will enable staff to check every 30 minutes the wet changing village and female and male changing areas. However if there are any issues, users are encouraged to raise this with the manager on duty in the first instance.

2) Accessing the swimming pool and lido

The Swimming Schools and Haringey Aquatics are protected bookings as they are fundamental to supporting the Council’s drive to increase participation and reach children whose families would not be able to afford private lessons. In terms of the current availability of the pools:

Diving Pool:

  • General diving is available every day apart from Tuesday’s and Thursday’s and aqua is held 5 times a week.

Main Pool:

  • Causal swimming is available every day between 3pm-6pm. However, to compensate on week days the training pool is open in the day until just after 3pm to allow children to swim (apart from Fridays)
  • Casual Swimming is available Weekends between 10am – 5.00p.m.
  • School holidays – school swimming lessons are replaced with casual swimming throughout the day, with the addition of sea scooters and water walker sessions in the diving pools

However, council officers and Fusion recognise there is a shortage of water space in the borough and this adds to the pressure on Park Road Leisure Centre. It was therefore agreed that a separate meeting with local councillors would be held in September to have further discussion on pool timetabling and water space availability.

The Lido

Managers and council officers are aware of the issue of the lido paint at Park Road, which results in the pool water becoming cloudy during periods of high use. It is a defect from the refurbishment that Fusion are managing at an operational level. This issue is likely to be fully resolved once they are able to drain the lido and re-paint it at the end of the summer season.  In the meantime, Fusion are managing the visibility of the Lido water on a regular basis and the duty management team and lifeguards are trained to close the pool if they are unable to see peoples feet or the bottom of the pool.

Swimming-Only Memberships

Fusion are constantly reviewing our membership offering but by nature of the facility, it would be operationally challenging to facilitate a swim only membership due to accessibility of other facilities once in the centre.

Lifeguard provision

When we review our requirements for our lifeguard provision for the lido this is risk assessed in accordance to HSG 179 guidance for swimming pool safety. With this in mind we are confident that we meet the requirements set out and have the correct volume of lifeguards to effectively manage the session type on the day.

3) Poor Communication

Management action

To assist with improving communication to customers, we now operate a communication board for customer that is present on reception. Managers were disappointed hear negative feedback in relation to the staff as it is their aim is to always give great customer service and are constantly training staff through our customer engagement programmes. More focus will be put in this area and the Management team are always keen to hear feedback, good or bad, so that this can be acted on.

The manager holds a “Meet the Manager” session every month. The timing of these varies to allow people that work to attend. Customers can discuss any issues that they have or give suggestions on improvements to the centre or things they would like to see change/implemented.

The Website

A new website for the leisure centre is due to go live this month. The new website will also link to Fusion’s internal booking system for increased functionality. It will automatically tell users if a class is full or if there is a space to book, and is more simple and easy to use. It will also be easier to search for a class and if users attend a class regularly, it will be saved on the homepage. The website will also allow the Centre to increase communication to customers with a live commentary on upcoming activities and any facilities that maybe affected on the day.

Phoning reception

Fusion recognises that their telephone system needs significant improvement. Therefore they are currently reviewing the system to ensure that customers receive the correct information. This includes improving the automated system. Fusion are also revising the back office phone system to ensure all calls are answered, especially during peak times when reception may not be able to cope with the volume of calls coming through.

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We will continue to work with council officers and Fusion managers to improve users’ experience at the centre. It’s important that Fusion and the Council build on the excellent facilities that exist following significant investment over the last two years. We will also work with officers to publish the Council’s targets for Fusion, so that there is greater transparency on the performance of the partnership.

If you have any further feedback, either positive or negative, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us (you can get our contact details by clicking on our names below).

Jason, Natan & Sarah.

Brexit: A Labour response

I imagine that many of us Labour members, voters and supporters are absolutely devastated. Crouch End voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union and now we face up to the reality that 17 million people voted to leave. And they won the election.

We have to find hope. And I believe we have to see the vote to leave as a wake up call to all of us who believe in equality, social justice, openness, tolerance, respect, cooperation within and between nations and protecting the most vulnerable.

75% of 18-24 years olds who voted did so to remain. We owe it to them to show some leadership and use this day as a trigger to get more, not less involved. We can’t sit on our hands while Boris Trump and Donald Farage peddle myths about immigration or tear up our rights at work and environmental protections.

I believe that if all the people in the country who were moved by what Jo Cox stood for joined together and provided leadership for this country we can start to rebuild hope.

I also believe that the Labour Party has to be that vehicle now. The country needs us more than ever. In the darkest hour of modern politics the country needs a party that was formed to give voice the many, not the few.

So if you live in Crouch End and you haven’t already, join the Labour Party now and come to our AGM this Sunday, 26th June at 2.30pm @ 28 Middle Lane.*

The job we have is hard but we need to rise to meet the challenge. We need to listen to the rest of the country and to learn lessons. We can’t lecture our way back into the EU. We can’t just bombard people with facts.

The sad reality is that many people have felt ignored, left behind, scared and alienated by our country and our economy. Some of the strongest leave votes were in the most economically deprived areas.

The answers to the problems are the same as always: cooperation, tolerance, respect and a commitment to social justice & equality. The problems just got much harder and it breaks my heart that we’ve made our country and Europe weaker. But the good fight is there to be fought.

So let’s pick ourselves up, get organised and make this sad day the one on which we resolved to build a better future.

Natan Doron, Crouch End Labour Cllr, 24th June 2016
*to be clear, this is the AGM of Crouch End Labour Ward which is part of Hornsey and Wood Green Constituency Labour Party (CLP). Each CLP is made up of many wards. You can find your ward in Haringey here: http://www.haringey.gov.uk/local-democracy/councillors-and-mps/find-my-ward

 

ATTENTION – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

Can you spare an hour next Saturday, 12 March, some time between 10am and 4pm?

Haringey Food Bank are having their quarterly collection from Waitrose, and we need people to stand outside, asking customers on their way in if they’d like to contribute.

It really is that simple. Waitrose will have provided a chart of all the goods being asked for, and they’re also organising the collection of all the foods.

If you can help please contact Dave by email crouchendlabour@gmail.com

Keeping Crouch End Safe – Public Meeting 20 Jan

For several months now there have been a string of mobile phone thefts by moped gangs, mainly around the centre of Crouch End but also further afield. Moped riders drive around, looking for people using their phones, then mount the pavement next and snatch them.

In the last few weeks the attackers have become bolder and the number of thefts have increased. Haringey’s local councillors have arranged a meeting to take place this Wednesday, 20 January, at 8pm at Hornsey Town Hall.

They’ll be joined by police, London Assembly Member Joanne McCartney, shopkeepers and hopefully as many of you as can make it, to discuss how best to deal with the increase in crime.

Hornsey Town Hall – Wednesday 20 January 8pm. Come and have your say

 

‘PRO BUSINESS, BUT NOT BUSINESS-AS-USUAL’

The Labour Party is determined to present a clearer picture to the electorate than 2015 about where it stands with regard to business.

Speaking at the Crouch End Labour Party, Shadow Minister for Small Business Bill Esterson MP outlined a number of important ways in which Labour is seeking to persuade the business community that they are the party most likely to act in the interests of small business.

“Working people do well when the government has a good relationship with business, around the world the best economies understand that managers and workers belong in a partnership.”

He cited several ways in which the current government, and the previous coalition, had made life more difficult for small businesses, which actually make up the vast majority of firms in the country.

Less grants, fewer apprenticeships, the abolition of a career service, the largest ever trade deficit and a refusal to come up with an industrial strategy are among the issues that are making life increasingly difficult for small businesses.

He said Labour would reinstate the apprenticeships cut since 2010, and would develop a long-term strategy to build a relationship between education and work, and between government and manufacturing, which at the moment appears to be non-existent. The recent refusal to help the steel industry is only the most well-known example.

However, he made it clear that businesses have to play their part, stating Labour was “pro-business, but not business-as-usual.” He said the majority of businesses are socially responsible, and they know that this makes sense, but “we think it’s right to pick a fight with businesses who offer zero hour contracts or avoid paying their taxes.”

He also said the City of London “is more concerned with wealth extraction than wealth creation”, and he hoped Labour would be able to force through the previous coalition’s plans to separate ‘casino’ banking from the high street sector.

 

SAVE OUR SHOPS!

Crouch End is renowned for its thriving independent shops but many have closed since the recession and more are under threat for many reasons.

The government is continuing to make life hard for small businesses, forcing them to compete with subsidised and tax-avoiding corporations and recently increasing their workload by ordering small businesses to submit quarterly tax bills.

We can all help by shopping locally and spending less online, but what else can we do to help them survive?

Next Tuesday,  12 January at 8pm, Shadow Minister for small businesses Bill Esterson MP will be joining us at 28 Middle Lane for the launch of Save Our Shops.

Come along and find out what you can do to help.

Tuesday 12 January 8pm Crouch End Labour Party 28 Middle Lane N8