Welcome to Hendon Greens

Welcome to the blog of the Barnet Green Party's Hendon group. Andrew Newby was Green Party candidate in Hendon constituency in the 2010 general election.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tube ticket office plans could see off Boris

Reported plans by Transport for London to axe 800 tube station staff, affecting around 12 ticket offices in Barnet borough among dozens across London, could be the broken pledge too far that causes so many people to end their support for Boris Johnson that he will fail to win re-election if he stands again as Mayor of London in two years' time, predicts Andrew Newby, Green Party candidate for Hendon.

In 2007 when previous mayor Ken Livingstone announced plans to shut the ticket offices at Totteridge and Whetstone, West Finchley and Mill Hill East stations among 40 proposed closures, tube travellers were so keen to make their objections known that they literally grabbed draft protest letters from the hands of Barnet Green Party campaigners who offered them to people emerging from the local stations.

"Some people told us awful stories of problems they had had when no staff member was around to help them - elderly people who had had to climb over barriers, mothers with children in pushchairs who had had to lift the chairs over stubbornly closed barriers before climbing over themselves, and so on," Newby said.

Wily Ken backed off from his idea and so will Boris if he has any sense. Despite the impression given by the vociferous road lobby that most people rely on cars, in fact around 80 percent of people who work in central London commute by public transport every day and they deserve improved tube, train and bus services, not reduced.

The objections to reduced ticket office opening hours are as strong now as they were then - greater risk to everyone, delays to journeys, loss of revenue. Worst of all, the heightened feeling of insecurity when no staff are around might put some people off travelling by Underground altogether.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Newby says give carers more care

It is already certain that health will be one of the major issues in the coming general election amid talk of a need for cuts despite all parties' pledges of support for the NHS.

In the Barnet area the spotlight has been taken by proposals to axe key services at major hospitals including the Whittington, Chase Farm, Barnet General and North Middlesex. Many parliamentary candidates have quite rightly taken a stand against many of the reductions.

However I urge voters to seek pledges from candidates that they will also work to improve support for family carers – those thousands of unsung and unpaid people who spend much of their time looking after relatives who cannot fully fend for themselves.

I have written to my Hendon rivals, Labour's Andrew Dismore, Matthew Offord for the Conservatives and LibDem Matthew Harris, to ask them to endorse the aims of www.Carerwatch.com which is campaigning for recognition that family carers are at the heart of the care system.

Many members of all the major political parties have already signed up to the campaign's "Pledge to End Carer Impoverishment" and I hope all parliamentary candidates in the Barnet area will do so too.

Carerwatch are concerned that governments have failed to recognise that family carers are at the heart of the care system. They believe that unless family carers are acknowledged and supported, both financially and through care services, no new system will be sustainable. Family carers are not an optional extra to be added on as an after thought, Carerwatch says.

Carerwatch campaigners are also fighting to restore unconditional benefits to all people with severe and enduring illness.

The 2001 Census identified 30,000 adult carers and 1000 young carers (under the age of 18) living in the borough of Barnet.
If anyone doubts that the situation of carers is a major issue they should drop into my local supermarket, where Barnet Carer Watch is one of three charities of the month. The pile of tokens in support of Carer Watch is currenty higher than those for the other two charities put together.