Monday, April 30, 2007

Become a friend of Edgwarebury Park

Last night I attended the inaugral meeting of the Friends of Edgwarebury Park. This group has been set up by a group of residents in Edgware who want to ensure that the park can be maintained and improved for their's and everybody's enjoyment. I thought the meeting was very productive and came up with some good ideas for how the park can be used by more people and improved in the future.
If you are interested in how the park can be improved and would like to have your say why not get involved in this group. If you would like to get involved please let me know or you can contact the Council's park team on 020 8359 7870 or and they will put you in contact with the group.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Why Barnet doesn’t need fortnightly refuse collections

Given the recent coverage about waste collection, I welcome the announcement this week by the Council that in Barnet we will not be introducing fortnightly refuse collection.

Unlike some members of the Labour Government, I do not believe there should be a nationally imposed policy of waste collection being cut back from weekly to fortnightly. Though I can understand why some local authorities may wish to introduce refuse collection fortnightly, to encourage greater levels of recycling, I do not believe this is needed in Barnet at present.

As a result of the excellent management of the refuse service by Cllr Matthew Offord, Cabinet Member for Environment and Transport, who has made recycling compulsory, the service is cost-effective, while at the same time leading to higher levels of recycling. As a result last year and thanks to the conscientious residents of Barnet, 30% of waste in the borough was recycled.

The continued growth in recycling by Barnet residents - so that by 2010 it is likely that 40% of waste will be recycled - means that in Barnet fortnightly waste collection is not required to increase levels of recycling.

I therefore agree with the Leader of the Council Cllr Mike Freer, who has said that it is vital that high achieving councils continue to innovate as we have done in Barnet. This is better than follow the unpopular trends as many councils seem to do.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Israel

Happy 59th birthday to Israel.

As a strong supporter of Israel, today is a happy today for me. I am able to look back and think of the successes that have taken place in this small country in the world, which is a homeland and safehaven for the Jewish people.

Last night I was privileged to attend the service at Kinloss Shul, organised by Bnei Akiva and Mizrachi. The Chief Rabbi reminded us of how after 2,000 years of exile, a Jewish country, a Jewish language and a Jewish culture has been reborn in Israel. This is much to celebrate especially when we think of all the achievements that have come out of Israel to help the world.

Yet this has all been achieved while Israel has been under constant attack for the past 60 years from its neighbours and enemies around the world, which now even include the British National Union of Journalists who have called for a boycott of Israeli goods.

However, today lets forget this and just celebrate all that is good about Israel.

Councillors Surgery

My Edgware colleagues and I will be holding our regular monthly Councillor surgery this afternoon at 5:30 to 6:30 at Edgware Library.

This takes place on the last Tuesday of every month.


As you may have noticed, Three Valleys Water have started work at the corner of Broadfields Avenue and Hale Lane in Edgware, which is seeing them dig up the road to modernise the pipe network.

This has caused major congestion for people travelling into and through Edgware. As the councillor I am working with the councils Highways Staff and Three Valleys to see if the congestion can be minimised as the work is due to carry on in Edgware until August.

Sadly as water, gas and electricity utility companies are not governed by the local authority and do not require a permit before digging up roads. Therefore, as councillors all we can do is try and minimise any disruption they cause.

Below is a letter to me from Three Valleys.

Dear Councillor

Replacing the water mains in Stonegrove/Edgware
Further to my letter dated 21 February 2007 regarding the new strategic water main from Totteridge to Fortis Green, please be advised that Three Valleys Water started work on 5 March 2007 to renew the water mains in the Stonegrove/Edgware area. The existing iron pipes are in the region of 70 years old and we will be replacing them with more flexible plastic pipes which will improve and safeguard the tap water supply serving the residents in that area.

This £4.2 million investment scheme includes four areas (Edgware Way, Barnet Way, Highwood Hill and Stonegrove/Edgware) within the borough where the pipes have been identified for replacement.

Work on the first three schemes is well underway and now our contractors, Hollerans have started work on 5 March 2007 to replace the water pipes in the residential streets north of Station Road and will then carry out the necessary work in Hale Lane and Station Road from 16 April 2007 onwards.

Due to the nature of this area, which is heavily occupied by commercial properties and a major east-west route way, we will be working within the hours of 9.30-3pm, Monday – Sunday to avoid peak traffic congestion but carry out the work as quickly as possible to minimise any disruption to businesses. Subject to no major complications it is anticipated that the work in the streets listed on the attached residents’ letter will be completed by early July 2007.

All residents affected by these works are being sent an introductory letter about the scheme and those directly affected by work in their street will receive a second letter with more specific details about how the work will affect them.

We are in close liaison with the London Borough of Barnet Highways Department regarding traffic management throughout the works and have planned communications to ensure that all people in the area of kept informed of our works.

If you need any further information about any of these schemes please do not hesitate to contact me or one of my colleagues in the Public Relations office on 01707 277110.

Yours sincerely
Sally Howe
Public Relations