Thursday, 29 October 2009

Poo Patrol

This morning I went on a poo patrol in Stroud Green with Haringey council's Tony Chapman and Martin Lester. Lots of residents and shopkeepers had complained about dog fouling in the ward and so I called on the enforcement team to take a look.

We visited various hot spots (ew...) looking for dog poo. I learned a lot about poo today. As the mother of a two year old I thought I was an expert on the matter, but no. Lots of the poop we see on the pavements is in fact not dog poo, but fox poo apparently. Sometimes cats will poo on the pavement - we saw a delightful example today on Lancaster Road.

Not many people bother to report dog dirt - there were only 9 complaints on the matter in Stroud Green in the last 18 months. It does obviously matter to people through - as well as being disgusting it poses a public health risk, of course.

Anyway, the council are aware of the worst spots in Stroud Green and leaflets are going out from next week on the subject. Wardens will patrol the areas I have highlighted - although more staff are needed as there are only 18 wardens for the whole borough at present.

As we walked through the ward we also made a note of dumping problems. It as great to have the staff there to see it for themselves - it's an approach I very much want to take if elected next year.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Good news for sheltered housing residents

49 elderly tenants at Campbell Court, are celebrating this week, after Haringey Council dropped plans to move out all existing residents to reallocate the block to general needs housing. The block has also been restored to the borough’s programme of decent homes works.

"We are delighted", said Gwen Owens of the Campbell Court Tenants Association. "Thanks are due to everybody who has supported us. Now we are ready to support the other Haringey sheltered housing tenants still under threat of losing their homes".

Haringey has also had three other sheltered housing schemes under review. Decisions on Larkspur Close, Tottenham, with 36 homes, and Stokley Court, Hornsey, with 47 homes, have been deferred for one year, although neither scheme has been restored to the decent homes programme.

The council wants to demolish Protheroe House, Tottenham, moving out its 47 tenants to make way for an extra care facility, probably to be provided through the sale of the site to a housing association.

The 179 affected tenants have suffered stress and anxiety during this period of uncertainty. Their campaign to stay in their homes has been helped and supported by Haringey Defend Council Housing, Haringey Trades Union Council and the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Gearing up for winter

At the weekend I met a Homes for Haringey resident in Stroud Green who was suffering due to broken radiators. Workmen had been sent but she complained that the radiators hadn't been fixed properly, despite assurances.

I was knocking on doors with Katie, my Green Party colleague, and the resident invited us in and handed us instructions on how to assemble an oil-filled radiator. Well, I am no DIY expert, but Argos's clear as mud instructions meant we had the thing assembled in...well, it took a while, but we got there in the end.

This is a sad story. Here is a woman paying her council tax and rent, but who cannot rely on the council to do a proper repair job. As winter draws in, these issues become more and more serious. She shouldn't have had to shell out for a heater, nor lug it back from the shops.

I have reported the problem to the housing manager...and received an out of office reply. As a Homes for Haringey resident myself, I know only too well the difficulties residents face in trying to get even the simplest repair job done. It shouldn't be that way, clearly.


Saturday, 17 October 2009


Apple Day at Hornsey Vale Community Centre was brilliant! Kind of like a secular Harvest Festival, as my husband Chris pointed out. I have never eaten so many different varieties of apples, nor imbibed such delicious apple juice.

Then of course there was the apple peeling competition which Chris took VERY seriously...peeling a strip of apple measuring 1 metre 73 cm. He won, of course, and his prize was - a tree! An apple tree, naturally. He's calling it after our daughter, Clementine (I see a fruit theme emerging), and we are on the outlook for somewhere in Stroud Green to plant it. With all those empty tree pits, it shouldn't be a problem...

It's quite ironic we should be planting a tree when I spend such a lot of time defending street trees in the area! The petition we launched regarding the street trees in Denton Road is going from strength to strength and Monday sees me taking on the councillors at the full council meeting...