Working to Protect Endangered Species

On our summer holiday we did our bit for the conservation of the endangered sea turtles. We went to the mass release of hatchlings at Alagadi Beach by Society for the Protection of Turtles (SPOT – Kuzey Kıbrıs Kaplumbağaları Koruma Cemiyeti) and Exeter University students.

The hatchlings we released into the sea were rescued from nests where they became trapped and would have died. By having the public assist in mass releases it greatly improves the chance that the hatchlings will survive over being released individually.

The volunteers were walked in darkness to the seafront and we were each given two hatchlings to release together. No white light was allowed as the hatchlings navigate their way to the sea by moonlight.

A wonderful experience!

 


Turkish exams saved!

In Turkey I was asked about our new Prime Minister Boris Johnson and what he could do for the Turkish community.

I told them how he had already helped the Turkish community in education.

I was fortunate to meet the PM during the 2015 General Election, when he was the then Mayor of London and he came to Enfield, on the train using the services he managed, to support Conservative candidates standing for election. I was standing in Edmonton and Nick de Bois was standing in Enfield North.

We met him off the train at the aptly named Turkey Street Station and he gave a rousing speech to supporters.

He was asked to support the Save Turkish Exams campaign which was threatened with retirement. He not only supported but used his influence to change policy and Turkish exams continue today.

He already has delivered for the Turkish community and will continue to do so.


Education & Arkadas in Istanbul

I was delighted to meet Prof Dr Zeliha Koçak Tufan, from the Turkish Government, Council of Education, in Istanbul, where I saw a summer school for overseas students in action. I was introduced to Prof Tufan at the T.C. Londra Büyükelçiliği / Turkish Embassy in London by HE Umit Yalcin last month, where we met to discuss initiatives to support Syrians.

The location for the summer school was in the historic building Rabi Madrasa, pictured below, constructed by the Ottoman architect and engineer Mimar Sinan and built in the 16th century and now used by the Turkish Academy of Science.

I was given the opportunity to speak to the students about the social action initiative I am working on, which brought me to the Education Department, Project Arkadas, and about my work as Conservative Friends of Turkey.

A lovely visit followed by a wonderful lunch at Istanbul University, thank you for your hospitality.

The start of #Arkadas


Bowes Southgate Green

I attended a meeting at Bowes Southgate Green School on Thursday 18th July at the request of a parent because the school has been threatened with closure by Enfield local authority.

The new 1FE Bowes Southgate Green School opened in September 2014 following a campaign I initiated due to the lack of primary school places in the local area. Parents and the local community were delighted by the proposals for a new school on land adjacent to Grovelands Park set out by Gary Barnes, a council officer from Enfield back in 2013. The new school would open on a temporary site at Broomfield School until the Grovelands project, plans below, could commence following a site survey by English Heritage.

Five years after the school opened a Bowes Southgate Green mum tells me that she doesn’t know where her child’s brother will go to school as Enfield are threatening to close Bowes Southgate Green. Enfield’s Neil Best said at the meeting that Enfield local authority don’t have a site for the school and renewal of the lease for the temporary site with Broomfield School is not guaranteed. There will be annual reviews to determine the site status.

At the meeting an Enfield Education representative ridiculed the proposal of a school on the land adjacent to Grovelands Park, proposals that were put forward by themselves. What better environment for a school than next to a park with green space for children to explore and thrive in. It is certainly better use of the Enfield owned derelict land than to leave it for bad behaviour and drug related activities that currently take place.

The Enfield Council representative gave the impression that a school would have an adverse effect on the park, either she has not done her homework or was trying to stop debate before it started. The school could have been built on land adjacent to the park but the Council admitted at the meeting that because of their lack of commitment no progress was made.

A new school would not impact on the current Grovelands Park boundaries and the project had the full support of the Friends of Grovelands Park group.

The meeting became very political with the Council implying that the process for funding a site limited them. I had to remind Enfield Local Authority that Ashmole Primary School, 2FE established in 2016 moved into brand new state of the art building in September 2018 following Government investment of £7.5mn, bringing investment and jobs into the local area. The school had been created because of the commitment of all of the stakeholders.

Ashmole Primary School is a free school that resides in London Borough of Barnet but due to its location on the Enfield border provides approximately 50% of its school places to Enfield children. The Enfield local authority is passing its responsibility for school places to other local authorities whilst expanding schools that are unpopular with parents in its own borough and threatening to shut down schools that are popular with parents.

Bambos Charalambous, MP for Enfield Southgate, refused to make any firm commitment to assist in resolving the issue and implied that the school at Grovelands was no longer required because Ashmole Primary School had met local demand. I offered to work with him to find a solution but he was reluctant to engage with me.

There were over 400 applications for 60 school places for the 2019 admission to Ashmole Primary School so I can inform the MP that there is more than enough demand for a new 2FE on the Grovelands site. The local authority and the local MP don’t seem to understand that parents want to send their children to outstanding schools near to where they live, not to schools where space has been created in a poorly judged Enfield expansion program.

Council vs Free School? The evidence is here, this is the reality for two mums who live near to each other.

Bowes Southgate Green Mum – is scared for the future of her family, will her child’s sibling be going to the same school as his brother? Uncertainty and fear is her future whilst Enfield holds annual reviews to determine what their future will be.

Ashmole Primary School Mum – is delighted, her three children will all go to Ashmole Primary School in a brand new state of the art building, built to accommodate 420 children which has just been rated outstanding by Ofsted.

This is about real people, not policy! Do the right thing Enfield!

Sign the petition to save Bowes Southgate Green https://www.change.org/p/london-borough-of-enfield-save-bow…


100 Years of Conservative Women’s Organisation

100 years of the Conservative Women’s Organisation 
100 Conservative Women 
100 words

Day 101 – In this 100th year of the Conservative Women’s Organisation CWO London have featured 100 inspirational Conservative women, in 100 words, over 100 days on our Facebook page.

Thank you to everyone who contributed by suggesting women and providing data. It has been a joy researching those that were featured and learning about their achievements. One thing is obvious from all of the women is that hard work and determination can do great things.

Sadly the 100 days are over and there are many more women that we wanted to feature but couldn’t. Let’s continue to recognise women’s achievements.

 


Ashmole Primary School Opening 2019

My journey started in 2011, there weren’t, and still aren’t, enough good school places in the area so I campaigned to increase that number.

When I started I never really believed that we could do this, but we have built a fantastic facility and created an amazing school.

Five years ago we had to find parents who would sign a form to say “yes” we will send our child to this imaginary school. I gave forms out to friends and mums, to nurseries and toddler groups and we, the Ashmole team were successful in our free school application.

We all had a part to play in making this dream a reality!

For the first intake of children to the school, parents had to take a huge leap of faith.

When employing Mr Tofallis, he had to take a huge leap of faith that this imagined school would materialise but yet here we are.

There was nothing but a green field to see when parents said they would send their children to our school.

But they took that leap of faith and the applications came in. We were oversubscribed then and continue to be oversubscribed every year.

That leap of faith is the essence of Ashmole, some things money can’t buy!

You cannot buy the enthusiasm, positive atmosphere and ethos that is Ashmole! It is part of everyone who has been involved in the setting up of Ashmole Primary School and now in its day to day running.

From parents to teachers, from the senior leadership team to support staff and from governors and trustees to the local community.

We have all worked our hardest to ensure the best outcomes for children – to provide that outstanding education that children deserve.

Our journey is not complete we are looking forward to the challenges that Key stage 2 will bring to us and the inevitable Ofsted inspection.

One thing I have learnt as a governor and trustee is that there are challenges around every corner and that each year brings new challenges. We will never forget that “excellence is a habit”.

To mark this special occasion we were joined by the Right Honourable Viscount Younger of Leckie who opened the brand-new building and the Right Honourable Theresa Villiers, MP for Chipping Barnet.

School Tour

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Pankhurst Party

In the centenary year when women got the vote and on the birthday of Emmeline Pankhurst the Conservative Women’s Organisation hosted parties up and down the country to celebrate the contribution that Emmeline Pankhurst, and women like her had made to suffrage.  

The NW London CWO hosted a party where leading women from different walks of life were invited to speak. I spoke alongside inspirational women, Theresa Villiers MP, Cllr Alison Moore, Lieutenant Colonel Angela Richardson, Pauline Fynne and Jill Summers.

In 2018 Emmeline Pankhurst’s birthday fell on World Cup Final day and Wimbledon final day. I spoke about how wonderful it was that the England men’s football team was finally equaling the women’s England football team by reaching the semi finals but that the men still had a long way to go in other sports such as the Ashes and World Cup Rugby to be equal with women.  

Unfortunately in other areas such as representation in Parliament, on Councils and on Trust Boards the number of women to men is not equal which is why I am a women’s activist. Women make up approximately 50% of the population so it is not unreasonable to expect equal numbers in policy making positions. I am the only woman on my Trust Board, Ashmole Academy Trust and I promise to remedy that over the next year.

There are some excellent examples right here and now of women succeeding. Children, and having a family does not have to be a blocker. New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden was pregnant whilst in office and had her baby whilst serving as Prime Minister. Benazir Bhutto, the first woman Prime Minister of Pakistan also had children whilst in office. They are an inspiration!

Women are able to vote today because of Emmeline Pankhurst and women like her. I want to see more women in Parliament, more women on Councils, more women on Trust Boards and I will do that on my Trust Board!

I’m asking for more women to get involved, I’m asking women to stand! #AskHerToStand

Let’s get equality and empower our daughters!

 


Supporting Women into Public Life Dinner

 

The CWO NW London held a fundraising dinner to support women into public life. Many thanks to our wonderful speakers whose speeches were inspiring to men and women.

We heard from the Rt Hon Penny Mordaunt MP about her experiences as a woman in politics, from His Excellency Abdurrahman Bilgic the Ambassador of Turkey about how women in Turkey hold key roles and half of Turkey’s Ambassadors are women, Virginia Crosbie director of Women2Win on her experiences as a candidate and from Rehman Chishti who gave a rallying cry for women standing in the forthcoming London elections.

Thank you to the CWO NW London committee for making the event a success.


Ashmole Primary School and the Campaign for a New School

I visited Ashmole Primary School today for a meeting on the permanent school building and it bought home to me the enormity of what has been achieved by dedicated members of the Ashmole team, my campaigner group and me!
 
Ashmole Primary School’s permanent building is a building site but by the end of this year it will be ready for children to move in.
 
When I started this campaign I never believed that I would be part of the team that founded a brand new school! The road I traveled to get to this point has been full of challenges, of highs and lows but perseverance, determination and a stubborn resolution to have a new school made me carry on. There is one real reward that I have from this campaign and that was the hug from a crying mum on the opening day of the school. Her tears were of happiness, telling me that I had changed her, and her family’s life! I will never forget that moment and as I write this I am moved again.
 
The campaign started in 2012 from my front room. A group of community minded parents and grandparents who lived in an area that didn’t fall into any primary school catchment area decided to campaign for increased primary school provision. We each paid £10 to produce 2000 leaflets to distribute in the area letting residents know of the problem with school places and to gain support.
 
That was the beginning of SWEAT, the South West Enfield Action Team. We worked hard using our website https://wewantlocalschools.wordpress.com/… to get our message out there. We lobbied the Council, we went to the local press, we met our MP, we spoke to Councillors, we tried everything to raise awareness. I hated the way that Labour Councillors treated our problem as part of their political game, they didn’t care about us, we were a community group that could be exploited. The Labour Cabinet Member for Education called me naive for thinking I could do anything about school places, in a public meeting after I had spoken so that I was unable to respond. Political point scoring! But I did it! Despite what the Labour Cabinet Member for Education thought.
 
I used my influence and position as a school governor at Ashmole Academy to pursue a dream that has resulted in the building site pictured. One of the biggest disappointments for the Ashmole team was when our first free school bid failed! I felt that I had let down all those parents who had become wrapped in my enthusiasm and we can do it attitude … we had failed! I was bitterly disappointed…. it wasn’t a failure, it was a setback! Once we got over the disappointment, the Ashmole team took on board the feedback from the Department for Education and we submitted another, much improved free school bid and we were successful! I was so happy, not for me as my children would not get into the school but for all those parents who could send their children to an outstanding local school.
 
I am delighted that some of my fellow campaigners have gone on to become school governors and trustees.
 
My message is that if you see an injustice and if you feel strongly enough about it, others will feel the same and follow you. You can do anything if you put your mind to it! Ignore the nay sayers!
To find out more about Ashmole, SWEAT and myself visit:
 

Training Women Candidates

I went to Bosnia Herzegovina to train potential female candidates for their General Election to be held in 2018.
 
The political system in Bosnia Herzegovina is very different to the British electoral system. Theirs is a system of proportions with the candidates coming from a single list that is closed three months before the election. The rules surrounding the list means that 40% of the listed candidates will be women and a percentage will be youth. There are different challenges around women’s selection given that there are guarantees of a number getting on the list.
 
The candidates that I met on the workshop are highly educated women with very few being from a business background and some still students. The history of Bosnia Herzegovina impacts on the economy and industry of the country. One of the problems highlighted during my three day stay was that Bosnia is becoming a country of old people. One of the young candidates impressed me with her passion for the country and desire to be a candidate so that she could do something about the exodus of young people from her country.
 
My colleagues, Gio and David, and I were very impressed by the female candidates when they pitched to us at the mock selection panel. Some things are the same in Bosnia as in the UK, such as how can a woman stand out against fierce competition?
 
The workshop or training worked well because we had a fantastic translator Dragan. I was happy to give him a new word which he hadn’t heard before, hustings.
 
The session concluded with a visit from Senad Šepić MP who had flown in from London that morning. I hope to visit Bosnia Herzegovina again and see how the country develops and progresses.

Turkey – the Edge of Europe

I attended an interesting talk by Ziya Meral on Turkey hosted by the Conservative Christian Fellowship and with colleagues from Conservative Friends of Turkey.

Ziya MeralZiya bey gave fascinating insights into the political situation in Turkey with the most recent events of the failed coup and how Turkey has evolved historically. Ziya bey’s analogy of a failed betrothal representing Turkey’s relationship with the EU was amusing. The wedding isn’t going to take place but they don’t want to give up on the engagement.

Points that I took away from the talk:

  • The AK Party has provided freedoms to Christians living in Turkey
  • The government has the support of the electorate with 45% of the vote and an 87% turnout at the last election
  • Turkey has a thriving economy and is not reliant on the EU
  • Turkey has opened 29 embassies in Africa and good trade
  • Turkey has the third biggest army in the world and the second biggest in NATO
  • The war against ISIS is being won
  • Turkey is providing refuge to millions and the demographics of the population is changing
  • 3 million Syrians live in Turkey
  • The situation in Libya will be the next concern in the middle East

The event closed with prayer and a final message of how we can think more positively about Turkey.


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


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.

2015-05-03 10.38.36-12015-05-03 10.19.422015-05-03 11.07.132015-05-03 16.54.362015-05-04 11.27.40


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 .


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.

 


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.


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.


Conservative Party Conference

My first party conference was a great experience. I came away feeling very motivated and determined that I would work hard for the Conservatives so that we win the General Election.

IMG_0792

It wasn’t all about listening to great speakers although there were some great moments. For example I am not convinced that Michael Gove has a Bichon Frisée puppy dog called Snowy but it was a very funny moment and it left an image of Michael Gove stroking the dog in not too dissimilar a fashion to a 007 baddie. Don’t get me wrong I am a huge fan of Michael Gove! What the Chief Whip said was that he would trust his Bichon Frisée puppy dog Snowy over Ed Miliband to face down Putin, very funny.

Other memorable moments were when David Cameron imitated William Hague and then went on to move the audience near to tears by his personal experiences of the NHS. The Mayor of London was, as expected, hilarious even if the audience were slightly concerned that they might get hit by a brick.

boris1I managed to do some practical work whilst at conference and attended the Road Trip 2015 to deliver leaflets and I manned the phone for Kris Hopkins MP with my friend Tanya Graham, the PPC for Bradford South.

I got involved in debate over childcare and wanted to get involved in education policy debate but it was so popular that it became impossible.

 

I attended other talks that I didn’t have enough experience to debate such as CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale. You probably think it was a man who persuaded me to go, but it wasn’t it was a Yorkshire lass! Very interesting and I’m sure it’s popularity was helped by the bottled ale being served.

A few pics from a memorable conference.

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Achievement and disappointment!

I ran the Hackney 1/2 marathon yesterday, the first ever in Hackney. This was a first for me too, I have never run a 1/2 marathon before and in the build up to the day I realised that perhaps I should have started small and built up to the event. I should have run in an organised 5k or 10k run before going for a 1/2 marathon. Fools rush in as they say.

IMG_8014The day dawned with the promise of a lovely summers day. I worried that it might be too hot and I wouldn’t manage the whole course, but if it had been cold I would have worried that the cold would hinder me. I was nervous that I would let myself down.

I decided to run for the British Heart Foundation because it is a cause close to my heart. My lovely brother Mem died in 2008 after a lifetime of heart problems and my lovely husband Jon has had a quadruple heart bypass. I hope that any money I raise will go towards helping those with the sort of problems that my brother and husband had.

I thoroughly enjoyed the run , the before and the after. The hardest part was the walk to the car park after running 21k. At the time it felt harder than the run itself. The very good thing about the Hackney 1/2 marathon is it is in London, it is spectator friendly and most importantly for the runner it is flat, no hills! Would I do it again? Maybe? Probably!

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So this weekend I had a fantastic personal achievement that was inter-mingled with grief and remembering my much missed brother. I also had bad news, 2 days before the run I learnt that the free school bid that I have been involved in at Ashmole School had been unsuccessful.Locally we parents of young children were optimistic that there may be two new schools in the Southgate area and this now seems to have been taken away from us. SWEAT campaigners (a group that I chair) have been striving for increased primary school provision  for over a year and we are bitterly disappointed that despite our efforts there is no progress.

IMG_8463We will not be beaten!


Electoral Reform

I used a postal vote to vote in the 2014 Local Elections in May because I was a candidate in Edmonton and I wanted to be visible in Haselbury ward on polling day. I wanted to make sure that I voted but because I knew I would be busy I applied for a postal vote. In casting my postal vote I realise how open to abuse a postal vote could be and that it would be very easy for someone other than the voter to cast the vote.

I think that there should be electoral reform regarding postal votes however I do not believe that removing postal voting is the answer, much as I would like it to be. Voting in person is a more secure method of ensuring that the voter is the person they claim to be particularly as reforms planned for this year by the Electoral Commission will require proof of identification to be shown at polling stations.

The turn out at Haselbury was under 40% and it is likely that the turn out will continue to decrease in the future, particularly in local elections. Politics needs to engage with younger voters and until there is an online method of voting I suspect that many of generation z will not cast their vote when they come of age.

Postal voting needs to have security applied to it that a voter would not easily give out; for example I wouldn’t give just anyone my banking password or my National Insurance number. When I have applied for a passport there is a secure process to follow and this ensures that you are the person applying for the document and this is the sort of check that should be used for postal voting.

At present all that is required to cast a postal vote is date of birth and signature; this really is not secure enough as people will easily give out their date of birth. Recently I have given my date of birth and signature to my dentist, a high street shop, my political party, my doctor and loads more. Recently I have given my National Insurance number or Passport number to no-one. My point is make it harder for fraud but make voting easier.


Politics–A fun experience

I’ve been a bit quiet on my blog recently due my participation in the local elections. Unfortunately the results didn’t go as well as we Conservatives hoped in Enfield but for me some real positives came out of the canvassing and I am sure that we can build on these over the coming year. I’d like to thank the Edmonton Association for selecting me and giving me the opportunity to meet and canvass Edmonton residents. I’d like to thank all of those people who turned up to help the Haselbury ward candidates especially Christine, Lee and Martin without whom it would have been a far harder and less fun task.


MP’s Supporting Candidates

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David Burrowes MP and Nick de Bois MP attended a meal in Cockfosters to meet with Turkish speaking Council Candidates and show their support in the forthcoming local elections. Due to their Parliamentary commitments David and Nick didn’t have the opportunity to eat the meal that we Council Candidates enjoyed.

The evening was an opportunity for local Conservatives to let the Turkish speaking community know what we can do for them if they vote for us on May 22nd through the Turkish Press.

photo 4

Journalists from Turkish newspapers Avrupa and Haber attended the meal to report back to the huge Turkish community who live and work in Edmonton and Enfield about the Conservative Party Candidates. Turkish is the second most spoken language in Enfield and we Council Candidates and the Conservative Party want to engage with them so we can ably represent their needs.

An enjoyable evening after days of canvassing in Edmonton.


Conservative Party Candidate

I am proud to announce that I am standing in the local elections for the Conservative Party on May 22nd in Haselbury ward, Edmonton.

If elected my priority will be to shape the local community that I have already been active in. I have campaigned for increased primary school provision and the SWEAT group that I chair has been successful; we have the promise of an additional 120 school places in the Southgate area in the near future.

I became a school governor 10 years ago at Ashmole Academy. Ashmole is an outstanding community school which The Guardian newspaper has ranked 9th nationally for its outstanding GCSE results. I am proud to contribute to Ashmole’s success by chairing the Curriculum Committee and have found school governorship a challenging and fulfilling role.

I also suport my community as a committee member of an active residents’ association. Our Association preserves and improves the area in which we live. My role as Web Manager has led to information sharing being easily available to all.

By standing for Council I want to extend my community work and be involved in the policy making that defines a community. I recognise that Councillors need  to be a diverse range of people to make the right decisions for a diverse community. As a woman, a mother of young children and being of ethnic background I feel I have the qualifications to ably represent those in the community that may be under represented.

If elected I promise to work hard and carry out my responsibilities honestly and for the benefit of the community.


Library Opening Times

My husband and I spent this weekend in the New Forest and had a lovely time enjoying nature although we had to endure typically English weather, in other words it was very wet.

On Sunday we visited Winchester, a lovely cathedral city. It has a small but picturesque centre. The word city gives the wrong impression of Winchester, when I think of a city I imagine capitals of the world and Winchester is nothing like any of them. They are busy metropolitan places whereas Winchester is more like a quaint little town.

I made a point of visiting Winchester library because as we walked past it I was surprised to see it was open on a Sunday and also because it had a coffee shop. Locally I have been to meetings about the development of Palmers Green library where there were discussions about whether there would be a coffee shop in the revamped library. I seem to remember that there isn’t going to be a coffee shop to the dismay of local residents. I was impressed to see how well Winchester’s library come Internet cafe come coffee shop was doing and how that Council was meeting the need of their community.

I believe Education is the basis of a good society so why not open up places of learning and knowledge and make them more accessible. I would like to see Enfield Council open it’s library doors on Sunday and make libraries into popular places for youths and adults alike. Let’s face it the demand for books through libraries must be decreasing. I have a Kindle and can read books on all of my technology ie PC, iPad & phone. I still use the library to borrow books for my children and they love the variety of books that we get from the library but that does not stop me from buying books.

Personally I only borrow books that I am unsure whether I will read or not, for example if I am reading a new author or if I’m not sure if I will like the book then I borrow it to see if I want to buy the book. In Winchester library a gentleman (of about 60 years) took a book off the library shelf, got himself a coffee and sat on a sofa to read that book. I would like to have that option in Enfield, enjoy a good read in a nice quiet environment (which all libraries are) and be able to have coffee and cake.

On a different note Winchester is embracing the technology and has self service kiosks so that customers can scan their books in and out themselves, or renew them. I know other Councils such as Westminster also use kiosks and there are obvious benefits to such a system. These kiosks also provide access to other Council services through the terminals.

I would like to see Enfield Council opening up libraries on Sundays and introducing coffee shops so that customers spend more time in libraries.


More Primary School Places

I was interviewed by Ruth McKee of the Enfield Advertiser about the new primary school that is to be opened in Southgate for September 2014.

Many parents of children starting school this year will not be aware of this development unless they have been following the We Want Local Schools campaign that I set up with a group of concerned parents; also known as SWEAT (South West Enfield Action Team). Here is part of the article and the full article can be read here.

 


Happy New Year

I had a marvellous 2013! The year really finished on a high for my SWEAT (South West Enfield Action Team) primary school campaign and for me personally. There were many ups and downs along the way, but I am a cup 1/2 full type of girl so I enjoy the roller coaster ride of life.

The SWEAT success came after just 9 months of campaigning for increased primary school places in the form of a proposal by Ashmole Academy for a primary school which is scheduled for September 2015. The proposed school is some way off, however the parent support that is needed for it to go ahead has been given by the local community. Members of the SWEAT group and I were busy distributing the Ashmole proposal to toddler groups, nurseries and libraries in December and our efforts have produced the desired result.

The campaign for primary school provision is not over and the 60 school places that Ashmole will provide yearly from 2015 will go someway to ease an increasing problem. Well done Ashmole. The school place requirement will not be satisfied by this proposal and SWEAT will continue to raise awareness in our aim to achieve more school places in the area.

On a personal note I am delighted to have passed Parliamentary Assessment Board and have been added onto the Conservative Party’s list of Approved Candidates. I am looking forward to a busy 2014 in politics.


Primary School Campaign Update

Fantastic News on our Primary School Campaign! Ashmole Academy have announced a proposal to build a New Primary School for local children. Ashmole Academy is located in Barnet but because their school is right on the border of Enfield many of the children that gain admission will be residents of South West Enfield.

If plans go ahead Ashmole Academy may implement a priority zone to include the Fox Lane area which has become a school admission “dead zone”. Residents in the FLDRA area would not be able to get their children into any local school but this may change in 2015.

Well done Ashmole Academy for taking action and for meeting a real need of the local community.

There have been further developments on the Grovelands proposal. You may be aware that Enfield Council proposed a school on the land adjacent to Grovelands Park, and we are all waiting to hear whether the school will pass the first step in the process which will be to gain English Heritage approval. I attended a Friends of Grovelands Meeting last week and was surprised and delighted by the announcement that in general the Friends support the proposal for a school, providing it does not impinge on the current public park. Good news indeed if the proposal gets to the public consultation stage.

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Friends of Grovelands Park

I am a member of the Friends of Grovelands Park and I attended a general meeting this week. This year was Grovelands Park centenary and hundreds of people attended the celebrations in the park to make it a marvellous success.

I am surprised that there aren’t more members of this group to support and maintain this historic park. If you want to become more involved with the park and the Friends of Grovelands Park, they are actively seeking more members. Annual membership is £5 and their website is here http://www.n21.net/friends-of-grovelands-park-winchmore-hill-n21-london.html. The next meeting is Thursday 21st November 2013, 8pm at St Paul’s Church Hall.

At the FoG meeting we heard about Travellers being evicted from Edmonton and actively looking for a new place to set up in the Enfield area. I had a traveller knock at my door and ask if I wanted anything sharpened the day before the meeting. Does anyone get anything sharpened on their doorstep by gypsies anymore? Or is it a tactic to check whether anyone is at home? I didn’t feel safe.

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I had to speak out at the FoG meeting about SWEAT (South West Enfield Action Team) and our campaign. I clarified what we are trying to achieve and also what Enfield’s current proposals on the land adjacent to Grovelands are. The majority of FoG members have an open mind about the Grovelands proposals, I think that is because we are all waiting to see whether English Heritage says the concept is viable.

Some members, like me, have strong views, some in favour of a school and some against a school. If you support the school proposal please register your support on the SWEAT website  http://wewantlocalschools.wordpress.com/

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