With Parliament not sitting this month, I’ve been able to enjoy spending even more time out and about locally. The beautiful weather has been an added bonus.
High on my agenda was a meeting with local councillors, residents and stakeholders about safety in Finsbury Park. The tragic murder of Iuliana Tudos last year and the appalling gang rape in the park earlier this month have added to local residents’ safety fears and there is strong support locally for a full-time visible presence in the park for safety and any other concerns. Together with local MPs Jeremy Corbyn, David Lammy and Diane Abbott I have written to the Leader of Haringey Council to propose that the council explores the idea of appointing a full time Park Ranger. Given the scale and size of events in Finsbury Park this summer and the fact that the revenue from the concerts is meant to be spent in the park, I feel this would be a sensible, welcome way of using some of this money.
I’m delighted that Haringey’s new Labour Council have committed to setting up a Fairness Commission, to explore ways of reducing inequality and creating a fairer borough at a time of swingeing government cuts. It’s something I did as Council Leader and its findings were instrumental in setting the agenda, strategy and budget of our Council. I’m honoured to have been asked to be a Commissioner and I held my first meeting with the lead Councillor Zena Brabazon to discuss next steps and what I can do to support the Commission’s important work.
Together with Cllr Adam Jogee, I met with local traders in Muswell Hill to hear some of their concerns about proposals to introduce a Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ). In particular, they were worried about the impact on their businesses if customers weren’t able to park, what it would mean for staff and wanted to see more communication from the council. Cllr Jogee has highlighted these issues to Haringey Council and asked that a meeting take place with officers and traders before any final decision is made.
To mark the anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, I took part in an event organised by London CND, Quaker Peace and Social Witness where I spoke about the importance of embracing the values of solidarity, of internationalism and of peace in a world that is becoming increasingly characterised by uncertainty, insecurity and volatility. Of notable concern is the damage Brexit is doing to our strategic relationships in Europe at the same time as the US is failing to show leadership on key issues internationally.
I sent my solidarity to cleaners at the Ministry of Justice striking for a living wage. There’s huge inconsistency between Government departments and I’ve been asking Parliamentary Questions for months now to try and name and shame the worst offenders. Everyone deserves a decent pay for a hard day’s work so why are cleaners in the Department for Education worth more than cleaners in the MoJ? Read my letter in support of their campaign in The Guardian and my longer article on the research I’ve been doing. .
I held an extremely busy advice surgery on Friday 10 August at Hornsey Library, with housing issues high on the agenda. I also had a number of constituents come along to talk to me about the mess that is Brexit and to find out more about the work I’m doing in Parliament to oppose it. You can read my latest column in the Ham & High on the issue here. Full details of all my up-coming pop-ups are on my website