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Parks to be Locked

After what was described by a Friends of Parks representative as a “painful eight months” there was relief at Overview and Scrutiny Committee yesterday when it was announced that fourteen parks in Enfield would continue to be locked.

A decision to cease locking parks was taken by Cllr Chris Bond, Cabinet Member for Environment on 3rd October 2014 and called in to Overview and Scrutiny Committee by the Conservative Group. The decision whether to lock parks was deferred until now to enable consultation with the Friends of Parks groups. During the consultation period the council has seen a change in Cabinet Member for Environment to Cllr Daniel Anderson.

It was noted at the meeting that the council’s decision and the ensuing months had bruised the relationship between council and Friends of Parks groups. It was acknowledged that the volunteers who make up the Friends groups provide an invaluable service to the parks and community. In Volunteering Week this decision is a victory for democracy and for people power.

At last, the council are listening to the people they serve!parks


2015-05-04 11.27.40

Clean-Up Enfield

In the run up to the General Election I campaigned across all three constituencies in Enfield and found there to be high levels of rubbish left to rot on pavements and roads across the borough. Nick de Bois campaigned to keep weekly bin collections and Conservative councillors are calling for the local authority to maintain the current system, but even weekly bin collections don’t seem to be enough to keep our streets clean.

There is no question in my mind that Edmonton has by far the dirtiest streets in the borough and to be frank it is a disgrace.

Summer is fast approaching and the smells coming from decomposing rubbish are the least of our worries. Health risks associated with rotting rubbish on the streets will surely increase, the millions of harmful bacteria found in rubbish can multiply over five times during one week and researchers have found bacteria from the same family as the plague in household rubbish that has been left to rot.

In the first instance I would like to see Enfield Council simplify the process of reporting rubbish on the streets. When I have tried to report incidents of fly tipping via Twitter or Facebook I have been redirected to the council website for which the process of reporting rubbish seems akin to those annoying automated telephone answering systems. Surely it should be possible to report rubbish by telling the council that there is a problem, for example on Twitter or Facebook a message with a picture, road name and post code should be enough for Enfield Council to locate and clear the offending pile of rubbish.

Secondly, I don’t feel that Enfield residents should have to report issues of dumped rubbish to the council when we pay council tax for rubbish collection. Why can’t there be regular patrols, at least in the worst areas, to clear dumped rubbish? Let’s face it if you were parking dangerously or illegally Enfield Council would soon be available to resolve that problem, why can’t the same be done for rubbish?

Conservative councillors across the borough are already highlighting the problem of dumped rubbish on Twitter and I encourage readers to join in the campaign for cleaner streets. If you see dumped rubbish get a picture and tweet it with the following details:

Postcode, road Name, @EnfieldCouncil, #cleanupenfield

Let’s work together for a cleaner Edmonton and Enfield.



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Conservative Government and Education

I joined a webinar “What does a Conservative government mean for education? Sponsored by OCR” with the Secretary of State for Education – Nicky Morgan, Jonathan Simons – Head of Education at Policy Exchange, Paul Steer – Head of Policy at OCR and Schools Week editor – Laura McInerney.

Well done schools week for the first of its kind webinar which provided me and many others with an education forum that was easy to access.

Jonathan Simons explained the Government’s big push on Education in the first days of Government and how they could build on their first term in office. He talked about how schools would not be able to “coast” and that schools would have to achieve and make progress in the future. The Queen’s speech would set out bills for childcare and coasting schools.

Paul Steer from OCR spoke about the decoupling of AS and A level exams, about the new GCSE’s, their grading and progress from KS2 rather than absolute outcomes.

I had submitted a question to the webinar asking about children using laptops in exams. In the Times newspaper there was an article where a loophole had been exploited and that children had been permitted to use laptops in exams. Paul Steer had mentioned this topic and was about to answer my question whether the loophole would be closed or whether this was the start of new policy when Nicky Morgan arrived and unfortunately there wasn’t time for an answer.

The Secretary of State made it clear that Education is a priority of the Government and that every child should have the best start in life. Schools that are failing or coasting will get the help they need for improvement. The schools that don’t improve will become academies and the bureaucracy will be cleared to ease that outcome.

Nicky Morgan made it clear that OFSTED will be coming back in house and that judgements of a school would not only be based on an OFSTED inspection. There would be a consistent basis for judgements with accountability.

I had submitted another question to the webinar asking about minority language exams which OCR had threatened to drop due to a lack of demand. The Secretary of State said that she supported maintaining the exams for minority languages. Good news for all of us supporting this campaign and particularly Londra Gazete who launched the campaign and T-Vine who supported.

Well done Schools Week and I hope to get my question about laptops in exams answered at a later date or the next webinar.


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Rubbish on the streets of Edmonton

During the run up to the General Election I’ve campaigned across the 3 constituencies in Enfield.

There is no question in my mind that of the 3 constituencies Edmonton has by far the dirtiest streets in the borough and to be frank it’s an utter disgrace!

I’ve already started working with local Conservative councillors to address the situation and we’ve had success in getting the local authority to clear builders rubbish.

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Edmonton Train Stations

In Edmonton there are three stations which will join Transport for London (TFL) as part of the overground franchise awarded to TFL. The stations are Edmonton Green, Bush Hill Park and Silver Street.

To mark the stations joining the TFL network I joined Boris Johnson with Nick de Bois in Enfield North at Turkey Street Station as the station will also be joining TFL along with the Edmonton stations on May 31st.

Joining the TFL network will bring benefits for train users and the local area. Increasing the frequency of trains per hour and improving the service will benefit the local community leading to job creation, helping the high street, smaller businesses and the local economy.

I look forward to the improvement for the Edmonton economy and community.

In his inimitable fashion Boris arrived by train, badged out using his Oyster card before greeting his audience of activists and journalists.

On the same train was a photographer from a Turkish newspaper there to photograph Boris in Enfield North and who refused to believe that Boris is of Turkish descent. I think he believes it now after hearing it from the man himself. Boris’ great grandfather was Ali Kemal, a journalist and also a minister the Ottoman Empire .


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Save our Language Exams

I learnt about the proposed abolition of the Modern Languages exam in an interview with Londra Gazete. They asked for my opinion and I confirmed that it would be something I would campaign to stop.

If you want to save the exams please sign the petition here:

https://www.change.org/p/department-for-education-save-our-turkish-exams

As someone with a passion for education I want to encourage foreign languages to be learnt and taking away examinations for languages is sending out the wrong message.

There are so many reasons why the examinations should remain, such as:

  • So that future traders and businesses trade and converse in the language of the country
  • To recognise achievement in learning the language
  • To formalise a language that may be spoken at home
  • To learn different cultures
  • To provide UCAS points for students going onto university education

Boris Johnson joined the campaign to support saving the exams and said:

“My great grandfather Ali Kemal, when he was a minister in İstanbul, he actually reinstituted the study of Latin and Greek which was amazingly beneficial.”


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The Best Start in Life

I was invited to attend a speech given by the Prime Minister outlining the Conservative Education policy for the next government.

I am passionate about a good education for all no matter what your background and I am convinced that the Conservative commitment to education will give every child the best start in life.

My twins, Harry and Poppy, will start primary school this September and I know that the policies proposed under a Conservative Government will give my young children the best education possible. I agree with David Cameron when he said “like every other parent in the land I don’t want to settle for second best”.

I have been a governor at a state secondary school for the last ten years because I care about our children’s education. I am now Chair of Governors and my role is to challenge the school. It is a role that I take seriously as no child should be left behind. All Head teachers, teachers, staff, governors, students and parents want the same thing, a good education for the children.

I believe a Conservative Government can provide the best start for every child regardless of where they are from.

 


2015-01-27 18.47.22

Accident and Emergency

Yesterday I had to take my young son to Barnet A&E after he ran into a table at my mum’s house. It was horrible with a cut just above his eye. There was a lot of blood, but he was a brave boy. My son was treated very well and came home with some paper stitches.

Where at home I would have gone to North Middlesex Hospital, the events of yesterday underlined how much we need a good health service across the whole borough.

Right now we have had the best news in years with the announcement of a brand new hospital at Chase Farm, true we have not got the A&E back, but with a huge state of the art facility, it is possible for the future.

What upsets me is the deliberate cynical opposition of the Labour Party, who choose to forget their role in closing the A&E at Chase Farm Hospital and is matched only by their apparent political desire to run down the new hospital.

It seems that Labour do not want a plan that includes the possibility of restoring A&E services, unless they can claim the credit for it. The Labour Council voted against the proposals at a recent meeting.  They should be supporting this fantastic new hospital as it is in the best interests of the community.

We need to see Chase Farm facilities improved, we want a hospital that can reduce waiting times and increase the number of operations being performed. In this day and age it is unacceptable for patients to continue to be wheeled out between buildings for operations.


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Bury Lodge Park

Friends of Parks are to be commended on their voluntary work that helps support the green spaces for the wider community to enjoy. Friends dedicate their time to doing the work of monitoring and maintaining parks that in the past would have been paid employment from the Local Authority.

It is therefore disappointing to learn that Friends of Bury Lodge Park, who had offered to work with the Council to maintain and improve a natural piece of land for the benefit of the community had their offer rudely rejected.

The Local Authority have supported Thames 21 into turning an oasis for wildlife and habitat into a wasteland. The new proposals for the land are hoping to recreate something that nature had already established.

The Council rely on these groups to maintain parks and recreational areas and should be working in partnership with them and not be ignoring their views and contributions. The Council claim to consult residents but they should review their methods as residents at a recent ward forum made it clear that they had not been consulted about changes to Council land.


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Exciting Times!

I am absolutely delighted to announce that in late November 2014 I was selected by The Edmonton Conservative Association to be the Conservative Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Edmonton. To get to this position has taken many, many months of hard work and determination, and I look forward to working even harder in the run up to the 2015 General Election.

I know that I will have an uphill struggle in trying to overturn a fairly substantial Labour Party majority but I believe it can be done!

For the time being I will not be posting to MrsDaniels.co.uk whilst I focus on the General Election campaign; you can keep up to date with my progress by visiting the following social media sites:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/GonulDaniels

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Gonul-Daniels/488918787916943

Campaign Website: http://gonuldaniels.co.uk/

Edmonton Conservatives Website: http://www.edmontonconservatives.com/

If you feel you’d be able to help my campaign then please do get in touch via one of the above sites.

Best Wishes

Gonul