Broomfield House

I have been visiting Broomfield Park since I was a child. My family lived  opposite the park in Broomfield Lane and my siblings and I would cross the road and jump or clamber over the park fence to gain entrance. We kids couldn’t be bothered to go an extra 50 metres and use the gate.

My parents left us children to freely come and go to the park. Mum and Dad knew that Hassan, the friendly Park Keeper, in his smart uniform with a peaked cap would keep an eye on us. Hassan was of Turkish Cypriot origin, as were we, and my parents had spoken with him to keep an eye on us and keep us safe in the park.

If you are familiar with the area you will know that the Grade II listed house in Broomfield Park that originates from the 16th century was devastated by fire in 1984. It is a shameful that Broomfield House exists as charred remains held up by scaffolding and has done so for nearly 30 years.

Today I was interviewed by Christine Lalla, a film maker who is making a short documentary film with the intention of raising money for the restoration of this historic building. I recounted my childhood memories of Broomfield House to her.

The house had been a Natural History Museum and on the ground floor there was a live bee hive made of glass so you could see the bees in all their activity. There was a glass tunnel which took the bees to their hive from the world outside. It was fascinating to watch, in fact a hive of activity. I remember visiting the upstairs of the museum where there were drawers of exhibits. Some of the exhibits were dead butterflies pinned out with their names. I knew it to be Natural History but to me it seemed very unnatural to look at dead butterflies when there were many live and colourful butterflies fluttering around the flowers outside the house. I only remember going upstairs a couple of times.

I look forward to seeing the end product and hope that it is not just a film but is the restoration of Broomfield House. Does that mean restoration to its former glory? Or does it mean giving the building a purpose, like a school?  It mustn’t be left to rot for another 30 years.

 


Planning permission and effect

Planning permission has been granted to build 3 new family homes in Bourne Hill, see http://foxlane.net/ planning message in FLDRA messages 31st January.

The plot was previously a car park opposite the entrance to Grovelands Park and  would have been used mainly by people going to the park. Is the sale of this plot of land for housing the best outcome for community property? The sale has brought the Council revenue for the short term but what will the long term effect be?
In this area and the nearby Lakes Estate Conservation Area there is a lack of school places both for primary education and secondary education. There is already a crises area in the centre of five or six community schools where children will not be admitted into a school near their home.
Enfield Council have a Primary School Expansion Programme to address this problem in areas all over Enfield however this is a reactive approach that will not resolve an ever growing problem, particularly as some of the proposed schools have objected and been withdrawn from the programme.

The Council receive a five year forecast from the GLA informing them of the number of Education admissions they will require year on year so there is no excuse for the LEA’s lack of forward planning.

There are two publicly owned buildings in Palmers Green that could be ideal for new schools, namely Southgate Town Hall  and Broomfield House. I am not so naive that I don’t understand why Council officers prefer housing opportunities in this old Civic building and this historic building as opposed to Education, and the answer is money.

Housing will bring in revenue and Education will bring expenditure.

Housing will demand increased services and Education will provide a service.

Housing will pollute and Education will be green, local children walking to their local school.

More long term planning please!

 


Happy New Year

I have made several New Year resolutions and one of them is to post more frequently onto my website so here goes. All views expressed are my own and I realise that people may not be interested in my views … but then again some might.

Someone told me that if you don’t post it looks as though you aren’t doing anything but in reality the opposite is true, but being busy is no longer an excuse that I’ll use.

I am no Liz Jones (Daily Mail journalist), and I won’t be making money out of this. I may however make enemies! People who know me will understand the intonation of my posts however those who don’t may think I am very up myself.

The majority of my posts will be on my areas of expertise and interest, so mainly Technology and Education. I look forward to planning my website and my next post will be on the six w’s; what, when, why, who, where and how of my website posts.

A Happy New Year to you all and may 2013 bring you much happiness. After reading to my babies I’ll be off on another New Year’s resolution and trying to get fit.

 

 


Southgate Village Hall

plaqueI have walked past this plaque many times in Southgate and not really noticed it. It remembers a community’s village hall that was knocked down. In its place stands an empty looking office block with a “To Let” sign on it. What a waste!

It should have remained a community hall or maybe an extension for the library or something that benefits the local community.

The reason I am blogging about the village hall is because Enfield Council appear determined to make a similar mistake with Southgate Town Hall. This is an old building in Palmers Green that Enfield Council used to provide Social Services and Housing services from. Enfield Council have left the building and are determined to turn this lovely old community building into housing.

Turning this building into flats will meet a community want, however the needs of the community is for education and this building would be ideally suited as a primary school. There are not enough primary school places in this area and Enfield Council have a Primary School Expansion Programme which affects 10 existing schools in the borough.

Make Southgate Town Hall into a primary school!


Reception with Ken Clarke

I was fortunate to be invited to an evening reception with Rt Hon Kenneth Clarke QC MP by my local MP David Burrowes.
The venue was lovely and our hostess welcomed us into her home.

Ken Clarke was very generous in answering all of the questions put to him, even my cheeky question about whether he influenced the 1966 World Cup result.
Ken Clarke was famously in the crowd next to the linesman who couldn’t see whether Geoff Hurst’s ball crossed the goal line.
Apparently Ken and the crowd may have convinced the linesman that it did.
A very nice evening where I met a great politician.


Enfield Primary School Expansion

The London Borough of Enfield has been consulting on how to provide more primary school places in the borough. The Council proposes to expand 10 existing schools to increase the number of children that can be taken into Reception classes and in some cases into Year 1.

In my area of Southgate and Palmers Green there are expansion proposals for Walker School and Broomfield School but there are no proposals for a new school. A new primary school could be situated in the old Southgate Town Hall which is empty.

I support the proposal for the expansion of Walker School which is rated a 1 by Ofsted and offers outstanding education. I attended the consultation meeting at Walker which was the forum to have my say. I live ½ mile from Walker School but will be unable to get my twins admitted due to over subscription. There are other issues with admissions to Walker where parents rent properties next to the school for a short period and then once their children are admitted move further away thus taking places that should rightfully belong to people who really reside in the immediate area, but that’s another story!

I do not support the proposal to expand Broomfield School. Broomfield School is rated a 4 by Ofsted and therefore has issues regarding the quality of education provided. It would mean changing the age of admission from 11-18 to 4-18. I would not want to send my child to a failing school so I cannot understand the thinking behind expanding this school. The effect of an expansion would be to force poor education onto more children in the community. Surely a new school in the area would be a better proposition. There is a separate consultation for Broomfield School.

The consultation period is over but if you wanted to comment or get involved then I think the Programme Director of the Primary School Expansion Programme, Bridget Evans could be a good starting point.


Summer of Sport

What a summer! So many wonderful moments that it is difficult to list.

I started my London Ambassador volunteering and that gave me a golden ticket to visit the Olympic Park and watch the Technical Rehearsal of the Opening Ceremony. I feel so proud to be British and to have been a part of the Olympics as a volunteer, spectator and supporter; London put on an amazing show.

The summer of sport got off to a fantastic start for Britain with Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France and then without time for him to celebrate he was straight on to the Olympics.

The Olympics being held here in London was a dream come true as I got to participate through my volunteer work and I was fortunate enough to get tickets to events. How can I forget seeing Usain Bolt run!

Team GB did an amazing job and what stood out for me was what excellent role models the sportsmen and women are. After the Olympics were over I watched the Athletes Parade along with the tens of thousands of others. We all came onto the streets to recognise Team GB’s achievements through their dedication and hard work, the athletes held up placards thanking the supporters and volunteers when we were thanking them for the wonderful Olympics they gave us.

Bradley Wiggins and Andy Murray couldn’t be at the Athletes Parade because they were already onto their next job which led to another British victory and Andy Murray winning his first grand slam and the first British winner for 76 years. How on earth will they decide on who will win the Sports Personality of the Year for 2012?

One sport we’re not talking about is football, apart from the disappointment of the England Ukraine match this week. This summer of sport has shown what great ambassadors and role models sportsmen and women can be and that is what we should expect from footballers.

To clean up football and get better behaviour from footballers FIFA should ntroduce the type of instant replay rules that are used in Rugby Union where decisions can be verified by using technology. If the referees could be given microphones also as in Rugby Union then maybe it would force better language and behaviour.

I took videos of lots of Olympic events that I was fortunate enough to be at which can be viewed on my husband’s YouTube channel here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/JonathanMDaniels/videos?query=olympics


FLDRA Website

I have taken over the management of the FLDRA (Fox Lane and District Residents’ Association) website. My lovely husband Jon has assisted by updating the site and brought it up to date.

The aim of the website is:

  • to be a source of information
  • to facilitate sharing of information
  • to bring together the local community
  • to provide a method for reporting concerns

Please visit the website here http://www.foxlane.net/ and click on follow if you wish to get updates when there is new local news.


Local Community

As a committee member of FLDRA (Fox Lane and District Redsidents’ Association) we are concerned with anything happenning in our area and try to improve the area. I raised a couple of points at a recent meeting which the association have supported and as a consequence changes are being implemented.

One change is a new zebra crossing to go on Aldermans Hill where pedestrians (myself included) always cross the road to get to the medical centre. At the moment there is no crossing near and pedestrians take their life in their hands to cross the road. Unfortunately there was an accident in that very spot recently where a pedestrian was knocked down by a car, fortunately the injuries were not serious.

I suggested some signs in Broomfield Park so that parents were aware of the facilities and where they were and Friends of Broomfield Park took this on board and requested change.

These may be small things however good news particularly as “localism” is the way changes are made locally.