Councillor report – November 2021

In this report, I have provided a summary of all the work I have been doing over the past few weeks. As well as my role as a ward councillor, I chair the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Turnpike Lane Strategy Group.

Meeting with Parkside Malvern Residents Association

On 19 October 2021, my ward colleagues and I met representatives of Parkside Malvern Residents Association (PMRA). They have longstanding concerns about Hornsey Park Road spanning over a couple of decades. These include the use of the road as a ‘rat run’, vehicles driving down it really fast causing vibrations in properties and the way cars are parked partly on the kerb. They also presented ideas for a new zebra crossing which is due to be installed on the road beside the new children’s park on the St. Williams development on Clarendon Road.

PMRA has been particularly active over the years and raised these concerns through a petition and Catherine West MP. They have also developed a strategy for the road. I hope that we, as a council will be able to adopt their strategy and address most of the concerns. It is a shame that these concerns have now existed for such a long period of time.

Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) Scrutiny Review

At the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC Committee) Meeting which I chaired on 7 October 2021, the OSC Committee formally adopted VAWG as the main focus of the scrutiny review over the coming months. This will involve gathering evidence from various stakeholders and those involved in the work around VAWG.

On 14 October 2021, I chaired the first evidence gathering session on the VAWG scrutiny review. Both Manju Lukhman, Strategic Lead and Commissioner and Dr Will Maimaris, Director for Public Health gave evidence to the OSC Committee. They talked about the work that the council is doing and highlighted the council’s 10-year VAWG strategy which is available at:

https://www.haringey.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/health/public-health/domestic-violence-and-abuse-and-violence-against-women-and-girls/violence-against-women-and-girls/haringeys-approach-violence-against-women-and-girls

Although OSC Committee originally set out to do a review into knife and gun crime, we decided to shift our focus on VAWG because there is a real possibility of effecting a policy change in this area especially because the Met Police are also reviewing their policy.

I appeal to Labour Party members to send in their evidence on VAWG to the OSC Committee (via me) or contact me if you want to give evidence or suggest individual(s) or group(s) to give evidence. We have a team of officers who are providing dedicated support to the OSC Committee. We want to take this opportunity to carry out a thorough review so that we can put forward recommendations in the new year.

Ducketts Common and Turnpike Lane Area

Residents and businesses continue to have concerns around crime and the fear of crime in the Ducketts Common and Turnpike Lane area. I did a walkabout with Met Police in September. I have since kept in touch with the police to monitor the effectiveness of ‘Project Taipan’ which has a focus on the area. Sergeant Clarke leads the unit with nine constables.

I understand that the unit issued Community Protection Notices to known gang members for possession of drugs and drug paraphrenia. They have also made a series of arrets and applied for a Criminal Behaviour Order.

If members would find it useful, I can invite the unit to a future branch meeting to give further information on the work they are doing in the Ducketts Common and Turnpike Lane area.

Easte Demolition Ballot – High Road West

This is relevant to Noel Park as we have high profile council estates in our ward some of which were previously slated for demolition. The first ever estate demolition ballot in Haringey took place on the Love Lane Estate as part of the High Road West regeneration scheme. In my capacity as the chair of the OSC Committee, I have received various emails and representations about alleged voter intimidation and interference with the estate demolition ballot that took place. As I reported to you previously, the OSC Committee has just completed the review into High Road West scheme. The recommendations will be published at the 29 November 2021 OSC Committee meeting. We are currently looking into what we can recommend in terms of the allegations into how the Love Lane estate demolition ballot was conducted.

Campaigning

There was a very successful canvassing session in Noel Park and a street stall outside Wood Green library on Saturday 9 October 2021. We need to organise more regular canvassing sessions in Noel Park in the coming weeks. The borough organiser, Harry Owen will need our December dates by 24 November so that they can be advertised to members.

Face to face surgery

My experience is that the level of casework I have handled during the pandemic has not dwindled even though we did not have face to face surgeries. I have been available on my council phone and email to receive residents’ enquiries. However, I sense that some residents have a strong preference to meet their Councillors face to face. My next surgery is on Saturday 6 November from 10.30am to 11.30am in Wood Green library.

Councillor report – October 2021

In this report, I have provided a summary of all the work I have been doing over the past few weeks. As well as my role as a ward councillor, I chair the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee and the Turnpike Lane Strategy Group.

Walkabout on Turnpike Lane with Met Police

On 16 September 2021, I joined police officers and Harringay councillor colleagues for a walkabout on Turnpike Lane. The area around Ducketts Common has unfortunately become a crime hotspot with four murders taking place this year. This has led to an increase in the fear of crime in the area.

I also raised concerns about drug dealing taking place from addresses on Alexandra Palace and antisocial behaviour around the area. Police officers assured that additional resources are being put into Turnpike Lane.

Sandbunker Community Centre’s 21st anniversary

On 25 September 2021, I joined the community at the Sandlings to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Sandbunker Community Centre. This was one of the first community events that I attended since the pandemic began. I spoke about the commitment that this Labour administration has in building council homes. We are on target to deliver 1000 council homes by 2022. This is the first time in over 40 years that the council is building council homes.

Turnpike Lane Joint Strategy Group

I chaired the meeting of the Turnpike Lane Strategy Working Group on 6 October 2021 from 4pm to 5.45pm. A series of short, medium and long term improvement plans for Turnpike Lane have been drawn up. Met Police also provided an update on the work that they are doing to address crime and grime in the area.

Overview and Scrutiny Committee

Haringey is the worst borough in London for knife crime. It is the sixth highest in London for gun crime. There is renewed focus on VAWG in the aftermath of the brutal murder of Sabina Nessa.

We are appealing to residents to take part in the scrutiny review. Please contact me if you want to provide evidence to the scrutiny committee.

High Road West

In my role as chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee, I have overseen a major scrutiny review into the High Road West scheme. Although this is not in Noel Park, the recommendations from the review will be relevant to any regeneration scheme that takes place in Haringey. We are currently finalising the recommendations with a view to publishing them towards the end of this month.

Café Roj

Projected image of Café Roj

There is good news about Café Roj in Ducketts Common. Works are due to start on 11 October 2021 and complete by the end of March 2022.

As well as providing a nicely designed café for the park, the facility will have:

•           A fully accessible toilet available to the public and managed by the café leaseholder.

•           The café will have capacity for seating 20 people.

•           A community, bookable event space managed by the café leaseholder that can be used for community groups.

The police have been involved throughout the design process and the cafe will provide a 360-degree view of the park (see indicative image attached).

Face to face surgery

On Saturday 9 October 2021, I resume my face-to-face surgery at the Wood Green Library at 10.30am. I will continue this every second Saturday of the month. I am also available for a roving surgery to meet residents or residents’ groups at their place.

Resuming face to face surgery

*Post covid Cllr surgery set-up*

Today, I resumed my face to face surgery for the first time since the pandemic began. My surgery is every second Saturday of the month at Wood Green Library at 10.30am. Hopefully, you can see the transparent partition in the picture which should give residents added comfort. Plenty of hand sanitisers are available and all the surfaces have been sanitised.

It is a worrying time for Noel Park residents and the population at large. We are supposed to resume business as usual, but infection rates are still high and a third wave is on the way this winter. Many people (especially schoolchildren) are unwell and self isolating.

Residents do not need to come to my surgery for my assistance if they are self isolating or are not comfortable going out just yet. I can be contacted on khaled.moyeed@haringey.gov.uk or on 07976973851.

Re-election as Vice Chair of Tottenham Labour Party

On Wednesday 28 July, Tottenham Constituency Labour Party held its annual general meeting in which members re-elected me as Vice Chair (Campaigns) for the second time. I am honoured that comrades put their trust in me again for such an important role. There is a lot of work ahead in the next 12 months.

Boundary changes across the Tottenham constituency mean that the existing nine wards will change quite fundamentally. Currently, all nine wards have three Councillors each meaning that there are 27 Councillors across the constituency. This number will go up to 30 Councillors with 11 wards. Three wards will have two Councillors each. They are: St Ann’s, Seven Sisters and Hermitage and the Gardens (which is a completely new ward). The remaining eight wards will have three Councillors each.

As the Vice Chair responsible for campaigns, I will have to play an important role in ensuring that members are familiar with the new wards where they will have to campaign for the local elections in 2022. At the last local election, Labour won all 27 seats across Tottenham. If Labour wins all 30 seats across Tottenham in 2022, it will already have a majority on the Council which has 57 Councillors in total.

Canvassing in Noel Park after a long time!

On Friday 23 July 2021, I was really pleased to canvass residents in Noel Park after a very long time with other colleagues from the Labour Party. We could not go door to door during the pandemic because of health and safety concerns. Although the pandemic is not over yet, people are now a lot more confident to go out and about given the vaccine rollout has been fairly successful.

This is the part of my job as a Councillor that I like the most: speaking to local residents, listening to their concerns and coming up with solutions to address them. I have missed this the most during the pandemic which seemed to go on for a very long time. Well, 18 months is a long time. That’s nearly half the time of my tenure as a Councillor.

Quite a number of residents spoke to me through their living room window. Perhaps they became accustomed to not opening their doors for other people during the past 18 months. It could also be because we were canvassing around 7pm, which is probably most people’s dinner time. People were generally very pleased to see me and talk about local issues or even politics generally. I did meet one resident who believed that the 2020 US presidential election was stolen from Donald Trump!

Happy birthday NHS

Nye Bevin, the Labour health Secretary who founded the NHS said, “No society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means.”

On the 73rd birthday of the NHS, I take my hats off to all NHS workers. I remember all those doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals who died in the pandemic trying to care for the nation. The NHS is a diverse organisation with professionals from all over the world. The first four doctors who died of Covid during the pandemic were Muslim immigrant doctors.

As a Labour politician, I am proud that my party founded the NHS. However, we all have a duty to protect and preserve the NHS from Tory privatisation plans. A future Labour government should re-nationalise the NHS fully.

Regime change in Downing Street?

There appears to be two factions in the Conservative Party right now.

Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings are on one side. They want to bring Boris Johnson down and effect a regime change. Cummings tweeted yesterday disappointed with the news of Sajid Javid’s appointment as the new Health Secretary ending his tweet with “#RegimeChange”:

“So Carrie appoints Saj! NB If I hadn’t tricked PM into firing Saj, we’d have had a HMT with useless SoS/spads, no furlough scheme, total chaos instead of JOINT 10/11 team which was a big success. Saj = bog standard = chasing headlines + failing = awful for NHS. Need #RegimeChange”.

Given Cummings’ recent successes in winning the Brexit referendum and an 80-seat majority for Boris Johnson, I would not put anything past him. He is capable of effecting that regime change.

As for the wider media, they do not want to get involved in the internal Tory party shenanigans. Hence, there is not much reporting of the scandals and corruption in the Boris Johnson government that Cummings is exposing. BBC is afraid that the government will want to privatise it like it is doing to Channel 4. For the moment, BBC does not want to fall out with the government either.

Battle of Plassey: 23 June 1757

Battle of Plassey happened on this day in 1757 marking the start of the British colonialisation of India (representing modern day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh).

Before the British rule began, India’s GDP accounted for approproximately a quarter of the world’s total GDP. Its economy was richer than all of Western Europe. Over the next 190 years, the British colonialists stole a total of US$45 trillion from India. This is 17 times more than the UK’s annual GDP.

In total, 35 million lost their lives in various famines because of the scale of pillaging, looting and wealth extraction by the British. The Bengal famine killed around three million people in 1943 because of the direct policies of Winston Churchill who had blamed the famine on the people of India. He said that the famine was their fault for “breeding like rabbits”.