#BushHillPark goes to the polls

Bush Hill Park goes to the polls for the third time in three years on Thursday 28th July.

After a whirlwind campaign it all comes down to what the residents of Bush Hill Park want. Paul D Smith, aided by his Lib Dem team, is ready to represent the of views of the people of Bush Hill Park and ensure that their voice is heard above the yah-boo-sucks party politics in the council chamber.

"We will listen to people’s views before wasting time on expensive external consultations, said Paul. "And we will represent the entire ward from Lincoln Road to The Fairway, from Ridge Avenue to the Great Cambridge Road."

"Residents have happy to share their views, whether through our surveys, on the doorstep or by telephoning or e-mailing me and I will continue that dialogue after I’m elected. Residents should not be surprised to find a councillor on their doorstep, it should be a regular occurrence."

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If you care for #BushHillPark, use your vote

I’ve just looked back at the turnout in the 2009 Bush Hill Park by election and was horrified to find it was just 20%. That means that 4 in every 5 voters simply didn’t vote. This is even more shocking when your realise that 20% is not far off the number of postal voter in many wards these days. Presumably this means far less that 20% of the voters who could have gone to the polling stations, actually did. The question is, will voters settle for whatever they get this time, or will they vote and choose the councillor they want?

My team and I have been knocking on doors, making sure voters know what they will get if they elect me as their next councillor. The photo above doesn’t convey the torrential rain which still didn’t stop us going out and about and talking to residents. I hope the voters of Bush Hill Park show they also care who represents Bush Hill Park, and go to the polls on July 28th.

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Last week in #BushHillPark

As we enter the last week of the by election in Bush Hill Park, where are we at? Well wet for one thing as the weather turned distinctly unpleasant! But the residents are warm and friendly which more than makes up.

We’re starting to get responses back to our Focus leaflet which highlights the sledgehammer approach of the council to speeding in parts of Bush Hill Park. The proposal was to carpet bomb the area around St Marks Road and Trinity Avenue with speed humps, including all the adjacent roads.

Thus far responses agree with our assertion that there are a small number of key junctions which need work, such as the Trinity/Ladbroke/Melbourne junction, that the junction of First/St.Marks/Trinity by the station needs to be made much safer for crossing pedestrians as well as slowing traffic, but that if this work is done, the problems will be solved.

A few residents have also suggested a zebra crossing somewhere on Trinity Avenue, towards the A10 end, as traffic entering and leaving the A10 makes crossing the road difficult. Perhaps the money saved on not putting in the many speed bumps judged unnecessary by residents could be diverted to this.

The use of 20mph zones is slightly more contentious. Generally the view is Yes but there are a significant number of Nos. I was interested to read the comments in the local press about St.John’s school’s request for a 20mph zone. It seems the council believes that a 20mph zone must have additional protection such as speed bumps. Whilst I understand why speed bumps help, I don’t see any reason why periodic speed gun patrols cannot be used to ensure that motorists adhere to 20mph limits in areas where speed bumps are not possible. It seems wrong to use ambulances to justify doing nothing to provide additional protection for school children.

But the sun is shining so I must get out and catch up on lost work. I have a number of papier mache creations thanks to the mix of leaflets and rain earlier this week. Fingers crossed that this week is drier.

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As you sow in #BushHillPark…

As you sow, so shall you type it appears! I’m taking a short rest from pounding the streets to catch up on paperwork. We’ve had a great response to our Residents’ Survey and follow-up canvassing but it’s pointless unless we do something with the data.

So, are the problems in Rayleigh road the same as those in Wellington Road? Are the voters going to paint Bush Hill Park yellow, or red, or green …? The answers seem to be “some of them are” and “the voters are keeping their powder dry”.

It could be telling that in a ward traditionally thought of as Tory, there are very few declared Tory voters and an overwhelming number of “still deciding” voters. They might just be shy, or this could be a reflection of the disillusionment expressed by some that Bush Hill Park has been viewed as “Tory by right, no need to make an effort here”.

And Labour and the rest? Conspicuous by their absence. The odd leaflet has been spotted here and there but my Lib Dem team seems to be the only group actively ringing doorbells and listening to voters.

But I should get back to entering the data and calling back those respondents who have real problems and are hoping I can help. No promises but this is why we rang their doorbells, because we want to help wherever we can.

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#BushHillPark – What’s on your mind?

With the by-election getting nearer, I’ve put our Bush Hill Park Residents’ Survey online. This short link, http://bit.ly/rcCnHc, will take you straight to the survey on the Enfield Lib Dem website. So if you’ve not received a survey yet, you can jump the queue, and if you have but didn’t get around to returning it, here’s another chance to fill one in without moving from your computer.

The most common complaint we’ve received so far is that councillors don’t listen to residents. I and my fellow Lib Dems are committed to bucking that trend and this is a simple way for residents to get in touch with us and tell us what are the important issues for Bush Hill Park and Enfield.

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#BushHillPark – three weeks out

Three weeks out from the election, it seems like a good point to give a quick status report. Sorry I’ve been quiet recently but there are only so many hours in the day and we’ve been out and about in Bush Hill Park as much as we can.

Sadly we learnt yesterday that the planned hustings, where election candidates get to answer questions from voters, has been cancelled. This event is normally held by the Bush Hill Park Residents Association but there have been some added complications this time around. Firstly, there are candidates standing who some members of the association would rather not invite to the hustings, secondly a mainstream parties has indicated that they would not attend if some of the other parties were present, and finally one of the keystone members of the association has decided to stand as an independent.

To be clear, the Lib Dems will appear at such events regardless of who else is on the platform because we believe that voters are drawn to fringe and extreme parties primarily because the major parties are seen as ignoring them. Get out onto the doorstep, meet these voters at hustings and they are given the voice they want and deserve and they can see how false the arguments from the extremists are.

The hustings also promised to be an interesting event. We’ve been actively knocking on doorsteps and asking questions and we learnt about problems with drugs, an alleged brothel, problems with fly tipping, issues with people annexing parts of shared alleyways behind houses and many other smaller issues. It would have been interesting to hear which of these were bothering the residents at the hustings and what the responses from the other candidates were.

And when you knock on doors you also get to meet people with a real passion for their neighbourhood. Yesterday we have a great chat with a resident who clearly had a great knowledge of the local area and is someone well worth keeping in touch with. If we’d just dropped a dry leaflet through her door, we’d never have discovered her so well worth that extra effort.

The oddest thing we’ve observed is the number of people indicating on our survey that they don’t see their ward councillors, don’t think that they listen to them, but are still intending to vote for their party. I admit that this is something that I really can’t get my head around but from polling done around the country I do know that there is a real difference across the age divide. My grandparents, and parents, generations often voted for the same party “cradle to grave” but younger voters are far more ready to judge the candidates as individuals and vote across party boundaries. I wonder if we have enough information on our surveys to see if this holds true in Bush Hill Park?

So if you’ve received one of our questionnaires and returned it, many thanks. I’ve already had some useful and informative chats with the local police about issues raised, and I’ve passed along issues such as fly tipping to the council to get it cleared. If you see more, let me know.

If you haven’t returned your questionnaire, there is still time to post if back to us, no stamp required. And if you haven’t received a questionnaire yet, we’ll get there as soon as we can. Talking to 5000-plus households takes a lot longer than just shoving through a leaflet, but it’s far more rewarding because we get to find out what you want, surely the first job of a councillor.

Right, back to work for me! There’s plenty to do so if you want to help, or even just display a poster, get in touch, paul@pauldsmith.org.uk, 07979 994131.

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More fly tipping in #BushHillPark

One mattress and a loo seat gone, another mattress takes its place in The Fairway. Makes you want to scream but we’ve taken a photo of it and reported it to the Council so it should be removed shortly.

If you see fly tipping, let us know – paul@pauldsmith.org.uk, 07979 994131. And if you see it taking place, try and take down the number of the vehicle involved so we can pass that information along to the Council and the Safer Neighbourhoods Team – they will prosecute wherever they can but they need information.

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Flytipping in #BushHillPark

A great session talking to residents at the very bottom of #BushHillPark last night revealed a few local issues, and we found one ourselves, fly-tipping. On Rayleigh Road we found an abandoned mattress, beloved of rats everywhere.

Further down The Fairway, an oddity on the list of fly-tipped items, a loo seat.

Both items are now logged with the Council (refs: WK/211032966 & WK/211032971) and should be removed shortly.

If you have large items which you cannot take to Barrowell Green yourself, the Council (020 8379 1000) will come and collect them if you call and ask.

And if you see someone fly-tipping, please take the registration number of their vehicle and a description of the vehicle and items and report this to the Council.

There are individuals making money by taking away rubbish (for cash) and then dumping it around your neighbourhood. We can only stop this if everyone plays their part and reports such behaviour. The Council will act against these people, but they can’t without evidence.

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More #BushHillPark casework

The life of a would-be councillor is not always exciting, but keeping an eye on the state of the ward is an important task. And here’s a simple example, a large puddle at the junction of Private Road and Wellington Road on Saturday.

It should be a simple fix – clean the blocked gully which you can’t even see in the first picture but if you look carefully in this one…

…it’s somewhere down below the walking stick we borrowed to give an idea of the depth of this puddle.

A resident living opposite tells me that this puddle has been there on-and-off for 5 years so perhaps there is more to this than a few leaves. So it’s reported to the council (their ref: 1070998) and I’ll keep swinging by to make sure they fix it, and see if the problems comes back.

So don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have a problem in #BushHillPark which the Council should fix and I’ll be round and take a look.

Paul D Smith


07979 994131

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Bush Hill Park by-election

Cllr Savva’s resignation means that there is a by-election in Bush Hill Park. The date is the 28th July and I’m the Liberal Democrat candidate.

Dawn Barnes, one of the best-of-the-best at getting people motivated, has taken charge of the campaign, and we had a very good feedback at our annual local party dinner last night, bouyed up by some celebrity guests. As well as guest speaker Nick Harvey, minister for the armed forces, we had Caroline Pidgeon and Mike Tuffrey from the GLA. Both Mike and Lembit Opik, who also attended, are would be Lib Dem candidates for London Mayor whilst Marisha Ray, sat at the next table, is already one of our candidates for the GLA list.

But enough name dropping and whittering away. If you want to help me win in Bush Hill Park, drop me an e-mail to paul@pauldsmith.org.uk. Should be a busy and interesting few weeks. And if you want to see me out and about, come and support the Raglan Schools Summer Event tomorrow afternoon; the weather is supposed to be good and local schools depend on events such as this to raise monies for “added extras” like school trips. So bring your wallet and be generous!

Right, back to printing posters – if you want one, get in touch and we’ll rush one round.

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