Saturday, 17 April 2010

Avenue Gardens Resident’s Association Local Election Hustings

Avenue Gardens runs from Woodside ward to Bounds Green ward in the northern part of the borough, and the resident’s association organised a local elections hustings on Thursday 15th April.

The Green Party was represented by Andrea Phillips (pictured) one of our Bounds Green candidates. The format was centered around five questions below which the residents wanted candidates to answer This is an edited version of the answers that Andrea gave to these questions at the meeting.

How would you solve traffic problems in our local streets?

“I would support a weight limit for vehicles using Park Avenue and surrounding residential streets. And in the longer term weight limits for HGV trucks across London. To do this I would encourage the establishment of depots round on the North Circular and M25 making use of disused warehouses, to trans-ship to smaller vehicles.

“Green Party thinking is to move away from speed bumps, but I think they can be very effective in certain situations. There are other solutions: chicanes, pinch points, smiley frowny faces and tree avenues. I suggest: clear signing that vehicles are entering a residential area, along with 20mph speed limits and pinch points at entrances, supported by staggered speed bumps. Locally, Green Party policy is to limit speed to 20 miles an hour on all residential roads, which will make streets more pleasant to be in, to walk or cycle along. Green Party policy is to reduce car use, invest much more money in public transport, encourage walking and cycling and to support car clubs.”

How would you protect our green spaces?

“Will a Green Party candidate fight for the protection of green spaces. Of course. Protection of open spaces is a Green Party priority.

“My voice will be the voice in defence of wildlife, supporting biodiversity, open spaces and nature reserves - a voice speaking to mitigate against the damage caused to wildlife from buildings, pathways, roads, and traffic; to reverse loss of habitat ; and to ameliorate against possible adverse effects of future developments.

Are council resources being wasted and poorly used, and if so, what should be done about it?

“We need a full energy audit of all council services. And, alongside it, an environmental audit. Now, more than ever before, is the time to focus on where there is waste. Particularly, during this recession with more focus on waste in spending, we need to seriously consider whether or not Private Finance Initiatives are such a good thing. My opinion is that in future, they need to be avoided, as they are a lot more expensive. . Green Party policy is for public ownership of public services.

“Haringey has spent a lot on PR recently. Do we really need ‘Haringey People’ magazine? It’s all rather nauseating self propaganda for the Labour Party rather than real news.”

What are your thoughts on high rise and dense building developments in the area?

“I am basically opposed to the government policy of allowing the free market to create more jobs and increase the population in the South East. London Boroughs are slated to have vast increases in population. This is not something we necessarily want. And developers have been using this as reason for increasing the height of building developments in Haringey. Many areas of the U K are depopulating, so why not create jobs there, with affordable housing?

“My stance is in opposition to anymore high rise buildings in this area, because they would inevitably alter the nature of our community. High rise buildings make it more difficult for community spirit to thrive.”

How would raise standards in the borough’s schools?

“The Green Party wants to raise standards by decreasing class size to 20 (about average in the EU), increase nursery education, abolish SATS, and have a good local school in every area. Many studies have proved that class size affects children’s learning.

“SATS regime of targets and testing, justified as a means of ensuring accountability of schools to parents and government, undermines the teachers’ professional status. Haringey Green Party supports educationalists and teaching unions who have been campaigning against this testing regime.

“Education in Academy schools, run by private money, takes accountability and control away from the local community. In the worst cases, they are run by large corporations for profit. I welcome a more decentralised, democratic and co-operative form of education trusts, involving parents, teachers, colleges, universities and trades unions.”

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