Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Langdon Community

I was pleased to attend a function organised by Langdon Community on Sunday. Details of the charity can be found at

Langdon Community is a charity that provides support for young Jewish adults with learning difficulties/disabilities to enable them to determine and maintain a lifestyle of their own choosing which affords dignity, fulfilment and individual status and maximises their potential for independence in the wider community. The Community seeks to empower and enable people to enjoy lifestyles, which are age, culture and needs appropriate.

The Community had previously been based in Manchester. However, in recognition that many of the people they support come from families in London, Langdon have now opened their first residential home in Edgware. I was therefore pleased to attend this ceremony which saw their patron the Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks officially open the new home.

This was actually the first time I had heard of this charity, but I believe this is an excellent charity which helps to provide support to those in need so that they are able to then support themselves and take part in everyday society as much as they wish.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Edgware Councillors Surgery

I will be at Edgware Libary this evening between 5:30pm and 6:30pm for the monthly surgery. Please come along if you have any queries.

Please note that there will be no surgery in December and so the next one following today will be in January.

If you have any queries please email me at or call me on 020 8958 0640.

Update on Science in Schools Review

Last week at the Education Scrutiny Committee, I reported on teh work that I have been working on as part of the working group looking at science in Barnet's schools. The work we have done shows that while we should remain vigilant about the state of science in our schools, we should not be as concerned as the national media reports suggest. The average results for Barnet show an increase between 2001 and 2006 which are better than the national average and the average for similar local areas.

At Key Stage 2 attainment is stable for both boys and girls. Those achieving level 5 has risen by about 10% which is above the national average and the same as our statistical neighbours.

At Key Stage 3 attainment has improved for both boys and girls by13% at level 6 and 9% and level 5. We are meeting the nationally imposed target of 79% reaching level 5 in 2006 and are above the national average and those of similar local authorities.

At GCSE and A Level there has been an overall increase in entries particularly for the individual sciences as opposed to a broader curriculum. While results have increased in line with the national average.

Over the remainder of the review we will therefore examine the impact of the new GCSE curriculum that has been introduced nationally for those doing GCSE science in year 10 this year. This is a more practical curriculum which is aimed to make science more interesting to pupils in the 21st century and so encourage further uptake at A-Level and beyond.

As a committee we have decided to therefore spend the majority of our time looking at how this new curriculum is bedding down in our schools. We will look at how well teachers, with the support of the local authority have the capability to teach this new style and increasingly practical and computer based curriculum. Look at the views of pupils in the current year 10 and compare their view of the curriculum to older years. Look at examples of best practice and areas which can be improved.

Monday, November 13, 2006

In Rememberance

Yesterday I was proud to represent the people of Edgware, together with my colleagues Cllr Helena Hart, Cllr Hugh Rayner and Cllr Brian Gordon, at 2 rememberance services. Firstly, I attended the Royal British Legion service at the memorial on Edgware High Street. This was followed by the Edgware Association of Ex Jewish Service Men and Woman service at Edgware United Synagogue.

At this time it is particularly important to remember the important work that are armed services have done in the past and currently do. I was therefore upset to read that this year in London the poppy appeal is expected to collect £1 million less than in the past due to a shortage of collectors. I therefore encourage you to visit the Royal British Legion website to make a donation on-line.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Whos having to pay for the London 2012 Olympics

Since the campaign began for London to host the olympics in 2012, I have been and continue to be a supporter of London hositing the olympics, as I believe this will bring much enjoyment and economic benefit to the country and particularly East London.

However, I am starting to get worried that the Government seems to be failing to correctly manage this properly. Firslty, costs seemed to keep on rising and this week have heard that the Government mistakenly thought they didn't need to include VAT on the building costs, which they now admit will need to be paid.

This keeps on resulting in higher costs, which the Government expects the whole of London to pay for (as opposed to tax payers in the rest of the country.) Therefore the taxpayers of Barnet are increasingly expected to pay more for the Olympics while they will gain no more benefit than the people of Hertfordshire or anywhere else in the country.

I generally want these Olympics to be a success, but this should not be at the expence of the resients of Barnet. So let's make sure this is managed properly and does not make London the laughing stock of the world.

Christmas Lights in Edgware

I am pleased to let you know that the Council's Christmas lights will soon be going on in Edgware.

While, I personally do not celebrate Christmas, although I do enjoy this time of year (even if if it seems to get earlier every year - is that to cheesy?) where everyone just seems to get in to a better mood, as people start to celebrate however they choose.

I hope the Council lights that are going up in Edgware and in all town centres in Barnet, will help to cheer you up this winter.