Friday, 20 May 2022

A sad fairwell to the Derry Girls

 Last night I watched the final episode of The Derry Girls. What a brillinat series. I loved the way they manage to blend teenage angst, total mundanity and a monumental end to a crisis that had blighted our nation for the best part of 100 years or so. When you watched the news at the time, showing bombings in Derry etc, you rarely thought that there were teenage girls growing up and trying to be normal teenagers. It wasn't perfect, the best TV never is. My favourite character was Sister George Michael, played by Siobahn McSweeney. Anyone who ever went to a Catholic school run by nuns would recognise the character. Hard as nails, revelling in sarcasm and cruelty and seemingly absolutely steadfast in belief in her own mission. 



Most families with an Irish connection also know a Cousin/Uncle Colm, the most boring man on the planet (or a variant of).  The man you don't want to be sat next to at a family do. Colm is a very well observed character, as is the way the rest of the family interact with him. Another well observed character is Joe McCool, the grandfather, who spends his life delivering withering put downs of his son in law Gerry Quinn. Families always have one such rellie, the one who enjoys lobbing the verbal hand grenades at family gatherings. In our family it was Uncle George. At one family gathering, a 25th wedding anniversary, there was a long speech about how wonderful it was that the happy couple had had 25 blissful years. George stood up at the end and said "All I can say is they bloody well deserve each other". No one was quite sure whether to laugh or sling him out.

In some ways the girls (and James) are the least interesting part of the show. They play the roles brilliantly, but it is the snippets of family life that really fascinate me. The other thing which I found enthralling was the backdrop of the Northern Ireland peace process. My mothers family were Republicans from the South and as Catholics, we had skin in the game, so to speak. Living in London, and attending Finchley Catholic High School in the 1970's, I was acutely aware of the passions that the troubles would arouse in my largely plastic paddy school mates. It hadn't really occurred to me what it would be like for teenagers actually living in the midst of it all.

At the end of the final episode, there was some footage of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton announcing the deal. There was the 71% vote for the Northern Ireland agreement. Whilst Blair and Clinton were in many ways flawed individuals and Blair comprehensively trashed this legacy by lying to Parliament about the Iraq war, I would rather have those two running the show than anyone who has been along since. Brown, Cameron, May, Boris, George W, Obama, Trump and Biden are the successors. For me, only Obama came close to Clinton, but I always felt Clinton was the real deal. 

Seeing them at the peak of their powers made me sadly nostalgic for good government and vision. Whatever one may say about the peace process, it is a fact that todays Derry girls do not have the backdrop of bombs and soldiers on the street. That has to be a good thing. 

What troubles me is that we have a Prime Minister who seems happy to push the province back to those days. I cannot believe the was Boris Johnson indulges the DUP. They recently lost their place as the largest party to Sin Fein. Four out of five parties do not have a major problem with the protocol. If Boris was a statesman, he'd tell the DUP there will be nothing done on the protocol until they take their place on the assembly and do their job. Indulging their behaviour helps nothing. 

So it's goodbye to the Derry Girls. I'll miss them. 

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Will we ever get Step Free access at Mill Hill Broadway Station?

Our local MP Matthew Offord has recently posted that we will see step free access at Mill Hill Broadway by 2024 'at the latest'. He asked a question in Parialment in September and was told 

21 September 2021

We are committed to improving rail access for all disabled passengers, as set out in the recent rail reform White Paper.

Mill Hill Broadway is already part of the Access for All programme and the project is currently in development with work due to complete by 2024 at the latest.

Matthew posted on his website in April, regarding the comment. 

"Since then, work has continued apace and confirmation was given at the recent meeting that the project is on schedule and preliminary surveying will be taking place in the next few weeks. Matthew said: "Given my experience of working with Network Rail in the past, I am keen to ensure that feasibility studies and value for money reviews are undertaken on every aspect of the project. This takes time but is necessary to ensure the taxpayer receives the best possible outcome. As the project is part of the 'Access for All' programme it will occur, but like all big projects, it will take time."

This sounds wonderful, however last week, the head of Network Rail Peter Hendry told The Times that he was having to make deep cuts to the Network Rail budget. The headline is "If we don't cut costs, they'll sack me". An article in the well respected Rail magazine in December quoted one source as saying

One train operator told RAIL: “We all get the fact that demand is low… and will stay low. We recognise that we have reached a point where it is difficult for us to take more than we need as an industry. We are competing for funding against schools, the NHS, and so on.

“The concern for us is the scale of what we are being asked to do. This is very definitely a Treasury ‘ask’. It is not being driven by the Department for Transport.

A Department for Transport spokesman said: “As taxpayers would expect, we have asked operators to provide credible and sustainable business plans which ensure taxpayer money is used efficiently, to deliver exceptional services, promote recovery to reset the balance in financial support and ensure the railway has a bright future.”


The one positive thing is that the work is funded by the Department of Transport rather than directly from Network Rail, although we believe that the Chancellor is also applying pressure to this department to make cuts. What we urgently need from Mr Offord is pressure on the government to give a commitment that these cost cutting pressures will not lead to a 'postponement' of works until things improve. 

What has long been a bugbear of ours is that Mill Hill Broadway does in fact have step free access already. This was installed around 2008. The only problem is that it is only on platform 4, where trains do not normally stop and the gate is padlocked. 


A simple lift and footbridge would solve the issue and mean that locals could gain access via Bunns Lane Car Park. The more tricky issue of a lift from the Bus Station could be addressed seperately. We've been campaigning for this for over a decade. Sadly no one is interested. 

One industry insider told me that he thought projects such as the step free access for Mill Hill would have a 50/50 chance of happening in the current climate. As the surveying has yet to start, sadly work has not progressed to a point where there is a huge impact of ceasing work. 


Wednesday, 18 May 2022

Pike Road has reopened - but Mount Grove access is closed

We are pleased to report that Pike Road has opened, meaning that there is access for residents in the Fairway area of Mill Hill to Apex Corner, without having to drive to Stirling Corner. It has taken over a week for Barnet Council and TFL to sort out the reopening, despite local councillors promising residents that it would be open a week ago. There is still equipment stored on Pike Lane in one lane, so it is unclear why this wasn't simply done from day 1.

If you want to discuss the Mount Grove situation, email your GLA Representative anne.clarke@london.gov.uk - The GLA oversee TFL

There are still however long queues on the A1 from Stirling Corner


The bad news is TFL have closed access to Mount Grove on the west bound carriageway of the A41. It seems they are determined to punish local residents. Mount Grove residents now have to drive to Broadfields and do a U turn to access their road. Once again the question is, who was consulted? We have submitted a freedom of information request to Barnet Council to access all of the paperwork and will be writing a full report. This is necessary as we need to ensure that councillors are aware that they cannot neglect their duties and if they've not been briefed, they should ensure there are consequences for slapdash officials. 

The question every local resident wants to know is how are these cock ups allowed to happen. Did councillors wave this through? Did Council officials agree it without consulting councillors? Did TFL simply do it without proper consultation? 

We've contacted Anne Clarke at the GLA for a comment about Mount Grove. We will report back. 

Update at 15.00

Apparently Mount Grove has no reopened as reported by Anne Clarke

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Why on earth is the Jake Daniels coming out story even newsworthy in 2022 - we need to grow up

 Yesterday was one of those things happened that absolutely makes your day. I got in from work, put on Sky Sports and was greeted by an exclusive interview, with a young player from Blackpool, a mid table Championship team who I have no interest in at all, don't particularly like or dislike them and TBH I wasn't even sure what league they were in, so little interest did I have in them until yesterday. I had quite liked their swashbuclking style in their one season in the Premier League under Ian Holloway, but other than that, they have hardly registered on my football radar. My first thought as I saw the subtitle saying "Jake Daniles recently signed professionally for Blackpool" was "why is a yout team player signing a top news story". Then I read the rest and realised that Jake had come out as a gay man.

As I watched the interview, I was so impressed with him. He spoke eloquently and was a truly engaging player. He is also probably the bravest player in professional football right now. It seems clear to me that Blackpool FC have supported him and must have given some media training for the melee that has occurred. They will be my favourite club in the league next season, assuming Manchester City FC avoid relegation on Sunday!

Why? I'm not Gay, Jake's statement will make no difference to me personally. The reason is because I have always admired the brave and bold, those prepared to sail against the wind. Those who stand up to be themselves. Without the support of his family, club and friends, which are not always guaranteed, it would have been almost impossible. 

Jake is now the only out gay man at 92 clubs in professional league football. If every club has 25 players, that's around 2,229 other players. There are only really two possibilities. The world of football is so homophobic that no one who is gay wants to get involved or that there are a lot of players living a lie. Jake has shown all of those that there is nothing to fear. Of course, the proof of the pudding is inwhat happens on the terraces and on the field of play. Footballers at all levels are unrelentingly horrible to opponents on the field of play. If you can get inside someone's head then you have put them out of the game. I do hope that Jake is strong enough to get through this and referees are aware of this. As for the crowds. I've no idea how they will react to him. I fully expect most fans to lay off him, but there are clubs where I suspect they won't. Brighton FC get homophobic chants even though their only association (officially) with gay culture is to be based in a city with a strong gay culture. 

I do hope that clubs take firm action. We've seen how England have dealt with racism from foreign hostile crowds. We need the same for Jake. I suspect that there will be a lot of young men in locker rooms watching carefully. If Jake is allowed to get onw ith doing what he does best, play football, I suspect we'll start to see a trickle of other players over the coming weeks. 

It is 2022. In truth, it is insane that it has taken so long. The sad truth is that the only other pro footballer to come out, Justin Fashanu, was treated appallingly. He ended up taking his own life as his career floundered. He passed away in 1998, twenty four years ago. I hope and pray that in 24 years, all we remember Jake for is a great career and we see his announcement yesterday as the moment when football and the Uk grew up in regards to how we regard people's sexuality.

To me this is important. I would be nothing without my partner Clare. The thought that anyone cannot make such a statement in public about the person they love is simply horrific. That is why Jake must be applauded and what he did is a brave and wonderful thing. 

Monday, 16 May 2022

The fourteenth Mill Hill Music Festival - Tickets available now!

 Do you like great music? Would you love to see some top musicians playing on your doorstep? If the answer to both of these questions is "Yes", then please checkout the programme for the fourteenth Mill Hill Music Festival - millhillmusicfest.co.uk/progboxoffice. The festival normally happens every two years, but we did not hold it last year because of the pandemic. This year we are back with a bang!


Here is a short summary of the events.

THE ALAN WARNER BAND
 Saturday 11th June - from 8.30pm
Locally based guitarist Alan Warner of 1960s band - The Foundations, best known for huge hits such as Build me up, Butter cup and Baby, now that I found you, brings his own band to Mill Hill, with an exciting mix of rock, blues and pop covers plus original songs. It promises to be a great night out for anyone who wants to see and hear a genuinely live set.
More Info 
Food available. Free entry.
EXPRESS G&S
PRESENTED BY CHARLES COURT OPERA
 Tuesday 14th June - 7.30pm
ALL YOUR FAVOURITE GILBERT & SULIVAN IN ONE PLACE.

All aboard for a murderous musical mystery tour! The “masters of G&S in small spaces” present this brand new, side-splitting spoof of the classic railway mystery...
More Info 
Tickets: £18*. Cash bar.
Quick Buy:
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RECITAL ON THE RIDGEWAY
WITH THE REGENCY STRING QUARTET
 Wednesday 15th June - 7.30pm
An enchanting evening of chamber music performed by the Regency String Quartet will feature a programme including favourites by Beethoven and Dvorak.
More Info 
Tickets: £14 with a glass of wine/soft drink inc.
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AN EVENING WITH JOE STILGOE
 Thursday 16th June - 7.30pm
Joe Stilgoe is an internationally acclaimed singer, pianist and songwriter. He has created a fresh sound for jazz in the 21st century. Older readers will remember Joe's Dad Richard from BBC classic series that's Life. Joe has all the talent and sense of fun, with a huge dollop of contemporary Jazz sensibilities.
More Info 
Tickets: £18. Cash bar.
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PARTY NIGHT @ MILL HILL GOLF CLUB
WITH THE BRIT FUNK ASSOCIATION
 Friday 17th June - from 7pm
Come celebrate at our party night at Mill Hill Golf Club with a great evening of Brit-Funk, with real Supergroup  made up of legends from the world of Brit funk, featuring members of Hi-Tension, Light of the world, Beggar and Co and Central Line, in the amazing setting of Mill Hill Golf ClubBook in advance and save £3
More Info 
Tickets: £17 (£20 on the door). Over 18s only. Food available. BBQ weather permitting. Cash bar.
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THE ROARING TWENTIES
with THE BBC ELSTREE CONCERT BAND
 Saturday 18th June - 7.30pm
Nothing else comes close to the aura of quality and success in the film world. This amazing 45 piece band presents a night of music from the roaring 20s.
More Info 
Tickets: £16. Cash bar.
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FATHER’S DAY @ FINCHLEY NURSERIES
RAZZAMAJAZZ DIXIELAND BAND
 Sunday 19th June - 2pm-4pm
The lovely Finchley Nurseries provides us with a lovely setting for an afternoon of jazz with lively music from the 1920s through to the 1960s to make you smile.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

The tweets of the week in the London Borough of Barnet - 15th May 2022

 So how has your week been? I saw my team win the cup final! No, not the Scousers, the Mighty Hadley FC, the oldest club in the Borough of Barnet! (more of that later). It was my son's birthday, so had a wonderful Chinese meal at The Good Earth. I posted the most read blog for two years about traffic mayhem and we had a couple of days on the South Downs, walking with the doggies!

1. So here's a question, should we reopen the old FInsbury Park to Edgware railway? Or at least part of it. I think it would make sense to reopen the line to Copthall and the StoneX stadioum


2. This was my highlight of the week. @Hadleyfc won the Spartan SML League cup, in a thrilling match. The highlights are well worth watching, a couple of cracking goals.


3. It is good to see that at last the Railway in Edgware has been cleaned up. Lets hope this is a sign of things to come


4. Our friends at @Time_NW tell us that this is their most popular tweet ever. That is something. They've posted some crackers


5. We were having some fun in Mill Hill yesterday. The Inside Mill Hill team have done an amazing job getting people out to enjoy the fun in the sun


6. I love a local spy mystery story


7. How could you not love this tweet!


8. Looking for something to do this afternoon? This is wonderful


9. Do you want a cracking night out, listening to Britains finest funksters!


10. Rock and Roll in the heart of Mill Hill!



That's all folks!

Saturday, 14 May 2022

The Saturday List #347 - My top ten name drops!

 So as I write this, I've just had breakfast with Harry Redknapp, via a Zoom chat. What a lovely bloke he was too. One of my friends was given an on line breakfast Zoom chat for up to eight people with Harry as a birthday present. His sister in law won it in a Charity Auction. So at 9am, we all adjourned to Paul's house, had bacon rolls and at 9.30 Harry came on line for a chat. It was a really pleasant way to spend the morning. Harry knew Mill Hill from when his son Jamie was at Spurs and they trained at Chase Lodge. He mentioned that he loved the Good Earth, we all do. We were there on Thursday for my son's birthday.  His view of the best England Player? Bobby Moore. He also told us of how he was next to Glen Hoddle when he collapsed at Sky Studios and how it was a close run thing. He said that everyone should do a first aid course. HE overran by 10 minutes and it was a real pleasure. A mate said at the end "Another name for you to drop!". So in light of that, I really thought I should compile a list of my top ten name drops. 

1. Harry Redknapp, It would be rude not to start with Harry today!

2. Hank Marvin. Hank's son Paul was in the False Dots and Hank wrote the guitar lick for our song Not all She Seems. I could hardly play, when we had a rehearsal at his house in Radlett. Hank said "You don't need to play complicated riffs, the simpler the better" and  showed me how a simple, six note descending pentatonic riff could transform a song. We still play it, although we lost touch with Hank when Paul left the band. 

3. Lee Thompson. Lee has used the studio for many years and is a mate. He played Sax for us on Saturday, he's a great bloke. He's a great sax player, I think many don't give him the credit he deserves.

4. David Bailey. When I did modelling as a child, David Bailey regularly photographed me. My mum wasn't too keen but he was a great photographer and knew how to get a smile and giggle for a great shot. He also had a string of amazing looking girlfriends. I wanted to be a photographer.

5. Stephen Fry. There is a film called "The Tichborne Claimant", which starred Stephen. I was an extra, which was fun. I had a long chat with Stephen, who was a hoot. 

6. Joe Corrigan. When I was at primary school, I really wanted to be a goalkeeper. I was a City fan and my hero was the great Joe Corrigan. I went to watch England at Wembley. My Dad knew someone in the FA and we got the best seats. When I went to get some fizzy pop, I was delighted to see Joe Corrigan in front of me in the queue. I very sheepishly tapped him and asked for his autograph. He unceremoniously told me to Fuck Off. I sort of assumed I deserved it and never held a grudge, not everyone has been told to fuck off by the great Joe Corrigan!

7.  Tony Blackburn. I spent many a morning chatting to Tony about 25 years ago. His children are the same age as mine and we'd both take them to the Whacky Warehouse at The Green Man Mill Hill. We'd be having a tea and a chat about music. Tony has a brilliant knowledge of Soul Music and is always charming. 

8. Sporty Spice. I used to be a member of David Lloyds fitness club in Finchley. I'd go three times a week and run 10k. My favourite machine was the second from the end. I am very superstitious and always gave to use the same machine. Sporty would always use the one on the end next to me. I'd never hassle her. We'd always smile and nod and do our workout. She'd do a longer workout than me, but one time we finished at the same time. As we were getting off, I casually said "How did you get on?" She said "I was feeling a bit tight today so not as well as usual". She then said "by the way thanks, I always run next to you as you never hassle me when we are running and let me get on with it, everyone else wants to chat and asks me to open their kids fete's". I said "Yeah, I have noticed." After that we'd nod and smile a bit more warmly when we ran next to each other,

9. Mike and Bernie Winters. They used to be customers of the Day of The Raj. My old Bass player Paul Hircombe had a Jack Russell terrier called Reg. Often we'd walk the dog together after a rehearsal, to chat about the musical arrangements. Bernie would always stop and ask Paul how Reg was getting on.

10. Michael Portillo. I once met Michael Portillo on a train to Edinburgh. I was going to Newcastle for work, Portillo was going to address the Scottish Tory conference. He was sitting on the table next to mine. I got chatting to him. I mentioned he'd been at school with my accountant. I told him that he should lighten up a bit in his presentation because he always came across as a miserable sod when he was on TV, whereas he was quite a nice bloke to chat to. I think he took it on board!


Friday, 13 May 2022

Local MP Matthew Offord lays into the Council about A41/Pike Road disruption

 I was quite surprised to see our local MP Matthew Offord launch a stinging criticism of his former colleagues at Barnet Council. Mr Offords website posted yesterday  

"When Matthew was the Cabinet Member for Environment on Barnet Council, he regularly worked with the GLA member, the local authority and Transport for London (TfL) to ensure that disruption was kept to a minimum."


Mr Offord is quite right to criticise the council over this appalling failure. What should happen when works are planned that impact residents, is that local ward councillors would be briefed by Council officers. The closure of Pike Road is an issue for Barnet Council. The former Hale Councillors Laithe Jajah, Elliot Simberg and Lachhya Gurung should have been informed. They would have given feedback and arranged consultation with residents. If they had concerns, this should have been escalated to the head of the Environment Committee, Councillor Dean Cohen. He would, as Mr Offord correctly states, contacted GLA rep Anne Clarke. I have contacted Ms Clarke and she has stated that, as Mr Offord has suggested, this did not happen. For clarity, as Ms Clarke would not be aware of the impact of ward level road closures, such as Pike Road, that are issues for Barnet Council, she would be unaware until asked to intervene. It is in the interests of both Council and TFL to make this run smoothly, which sadly does not appear to have happened.

So the question is, who didn't do their job? Was it the officers, the ward councillors or the chair of the Environment committee. A source close to Mr Offord has told me that he has made his displeasure quite clear to his former council collleagues, as he feels it is a complete embarrassment. 

Some residents have asked me whether the fact Barnet Council elected a Labour administration would have any bearing on the problems. The answer is no. Labour do not officially take control of Barnet Council until the Council AGM on the 24th May. The planning for this has been going on for many months.  Conservative Councillor Dan Thomas is still in charge until this date. He is the man in charge and if you have any questions his email is cllr.d.thomas@barnet.gov.uk

It is woirth noting that this is clearly not an issue of politics. It is just a good, old fashioned cock up. The fact that the Local Conservative MP Mr Offord has piled into his friends on the Council is an illustration of this. 

I want to get to the bottom of this and have sent a Freedom of Information request to Barnet Council, to see exactly who knew what and when. Once I have the information I will publish the facts. 

We hope that his intervention has the desired effect. I have been told, off the record, by TFL that they are not happy with Barnet Council for trying to blame them for the Pike Road closure, when no objections were raised during the planning process and that having set their operation up, they have not been given proper notice to relocate it. My sympathy for this position is limited, given that an organisation charged with keeping roads running, should ot wash their hands of the secondary impacts of their partners. Lets just hope they get their act together and get the road open.
.

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

TFL and Barnet Council conspire to cause traffic chaos in Mill Hill

 My studio manager was 45 minutes late for work yesterday. He lives on the Fairway which is a side road off the A1 north of Apex Corner. He was fuming. Due to TFL bridge works on the A41, Barnet council agreed to the closure of Pike Road, the slip road onto the A41 by APEX corner, for 'storage of plant', the only way to get to Mill Hill is to drive an mile north to Stirling corner, then return south. Temporary traffic lights on Hale Lane have meant this route is also jammed, it is an alternative route from the A41 to Mill Hill from Broadfields, so drivers are left  with little option. This picture from the Apex traffic cam shows the queues at 10.21, normally when the road is quiet.

I asked a Conservative Councillor about the A41 works, they said this was 'down to TFL'. I contacted our GLA rep Anne Clarke yesterday. Anne is a very good rep on casework and got straight back to me. This was the response she received.

While we are sorry for the inconvenience these closures are causing to residents, they are required as we need to complete essential maintenance work on the A41 Edgware Way bridge (over the M1 and National Rail tracks). The full details of the works can be found at 

https://tfl.gov.uk/status-updates/major-works-and-events/a41-edgware-way-bridge?cid=edgware-way

The closure of Pike Road and diversion route were agreed with the London Borough of Barnet following extensive discussion - including a site visit - as the best location to site welfare, storage and recovery facilities. These facilities are vital for ensuring the works are carried out as safely and quickly as possible. Marshals are on site to provide assistance. Any changes to the welfare, storage or recovery facilities location would require a change to our programme and method of working, which could extend the period when we are on site.  

Several alternative sites were considered for locating the welfare, storage and recovery facilities, and the impact on residents as well as agreement regarding the site location was considered through discussions with Barnet. Oakmead Gardens was considered as an alternative, but as a Traffic Order would have been needed to reopen it for access and it is on the wrong side of the road, this was deemed impractical. The footway in front of the nearby KFC restaurant was also considered, but it was deemed that there would not be enough space. The carriageway was discarded as an option as it would have required us to move the welfare and storage facilities and recovery vehicles when we switched approaches and it was deemed that there would not be sufficient space. 

Although we would not generally carry out a formal public consultation for operationally essential works such as these, the closures for the Edgware Way works, including the closure of Pike Road, were advertised in the normal way. This included a letter-drop to properties and a customer email to registered users, and Public Liaison Officers canvassed the area from 21 March, advising local businesses and residents of the works. 

We will consistently monitor the traffic and bus impacts of the closure and respond appropriately to minimise the impacts of the closure. This will include monitoring congestion on routes impacted by the closure and making optimisations to traffic signals to support traffic flows. Extra buses have also been added to the most impacted routes through the area.         

I appreciate this is not the answer that Anne’s constituents were hoping for, but I hope that it helps to clarify the need for the closures as part of these essential maintenance works. 

Please let me know if you have further questions.

As you can see, Barnet Council did agree to the closure. The reason for using Pike Road was that TFL would need to move the site welfare, storage and recovery vehicles across the road when they started on the other side. In plain English, this means that they are quite happy to cause massive inconvenience to residents for months on end, if it spares them a bit of hassle. It is quite outrageous. 

Add in the works on Hale Lane, the closure of Hendon Wood Lane etc, Mill Hill is in gridlock and it is fairly and squarely down to lack of planning by Barnet Council.

One can only wonder why local councillors for the former Hale Ward did not kick up a stink when this was mooted. 

I have written to the local councillors who approved this, a Mill Hill Councillor and the CEO of Barnet to try and get some answers. IF you are affected, I suggest you do the same. Their emails are below

------ Original Message ------
From: "ROGER Tichborne"
To: Cllr.l.Jajeh@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.e.simberg@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.l.gurung@barnet.gov.uk; cllr.v.duschinsky@barnet.gov.uk; John.Hooton@barnet.gov.uk
Sent: Wednesday, 11 May, 22 At 10:21
Subject: Pike Road Closure

Dear Former Hale Ward Councillors, CLlr Duschinsky and Mr Hooton,


Please can you advise why you agreed to the closure of Pike Road for TFL works. I have queried this with TFL who confirmed that this was done, purely because it was more convenient for their works "The carriageway was discarded as an option as it would have required us to move the welfare and storage facilities and recovery vehicles when we switched approaches"


These works are causing massive disruption, making residents late for work and having a hugely detrimental impact on people's lives. With the roadworks on Hale Lane and the temporary traffic lights, Mill Hill was in gridlock yesterday. This has had an impact on my business with both customers and staff arriving very late for sessions/work/music lessons.


Barnet council needs to have a strategic plan for such roadworks and take into account the impact of such works on residents. The closure of Pike Road means residents of the Fairway now have a detour of nearly 2 miles just to get across the A1. WIth the closure of Barnet Gate Lane, there is even more pressure on Apex Corner than ever. This is no way to run a council


Regards

Roger Tichborne

**** Update ****

I have received this email via Councillor Gurung

Dear Roger,
Thank you so much for bringing this to our attention. I am sorry for the disruption it has caused to the residents and local businesses. We have received many emails and phone calls about this road closure and road works. I have raised this issue with the TFL and the council several times in last couple of weeks. Finally, we are meeting with TFL tomorrow. Please see below email from the Liaison Officer Re. Let's see what we can do to improve the traffic situation around apex corner. 

As far as I know TFL & Council officers didn’t consult with local councillors before they made the decision. I will raise this issue during the meeting. Will keep you posted the outcome of the meeting. Thank you so much for your patience and understanding.
Kind regards 
Lachhya

Thank you for your email and I am really sorry to hear about the traffic delays experienced

Your concerns and the request to re-open one lane on Pike Road will be discussed with TFL colleagues tomorrow and I will provide you with an update before the end of business Thursday 12 May

Regards

Cris

Cris Tavares
Member Liaison Re 
2 Bristol Avenue | Colindale | NW9 4EW 
Email:      cris.tavares@barnet.gov.uk  

#### Update 12/5/2022

Barnet Council and TFL have confirmed that, following pressure from the Barnet Eye and local residents, One lane of Pike Road will open today. Thanks to everyone who emailed local councillors 

#### Update 13/5/2022

From: "Hooton, John" <John.Hooton@Barnet.gov.uk>
To: "ROGER Tichborne" <roger.tichborne@btinternet.com>; "Duschinsky, Cllr Val" <Cllr.V.Duschinsky@Barnet.gov.uk>; "Gurung, Cllr Lachhya" <Cllr.L.Gurung@Barnet.gov.uk>; "Jajeh, Cllr Laithe" <Cllr.L.Jajeh@Barnet.gov.uk>; "Simberg, Cllr Elliot" <Cllr.E.Simberg@Barnet.gov.uk>
Cc: "Clarke, Cllr Anne" <Cllr.A.Clarke@Barnet.gov.uk>; "Rawlings, Cllr Barry" <Cllr.B.Rawlings@barnet.gov.uk>
Sent: Friday, 13 May, 22 At 09:22
Subject: RE: Pike Road Closure - Update please

I received this update from John Hooton, CEO of Barnet Council this morning:

Roger – we had a solution to this yesterday but unfortunately a number of issues were raised by TfL which mean that we are still trying to get them to resolve. I am very sorry for the inconvenience  and we are pushing hard to get TfL to sort this out today.

 

John


Tuesday, 10 May 2022

Barnet's oldest club win the cup!!! Victory for Hadley FC in the Spartan SML League Cup

 Just over three years ago, I attended my very first ever Hadley FC match. I only heard about them when my nephew featured the team in a blog he was writing on Barnets Non League heritage in the February. 


I went to a match in April and by September, I was a season ticket holder

I cannot believe it was only three years and a global pandemic ago. I've come to love the club and last night I was delighted to witness their victory in the Spartan SML League cup over Stotfold FC. The match was played in Hemel Hempstead at the ground of Leverstock Green. I've always had an interest in Non League football. I'm proud to say my Dad's business was a sponsor of Edgware town for over a decade back in the 1960's and 70's. I thoroughly enjoyed going to the Old White Lion ground to watch the team, but when they moved away, I felt the link had gone.

Like many Hadley fans, I previously would watch Barnet FC for my non league fix, but when they moved away from Underhill, like many Barnet fans, I stopped feeling that they were my team. Finding Hadley was a Godsend. I thoroughly enjoy it and have made a whole bunch of new friends at the club, as well as re-acquainting myself with a few old mates who I found had also discovered the club. 

Stotfold  FC, like Hadley have won promotion this season, however from the division below, to the Spartan Premier League. Based on the first half and the worldy strike from Stotfold to take the lead, you wouldn't have guessed they were a league below. They are a big team, with a very solid keeper in Liam Gooch, who I suspect from his kicking and handling skills has played Gaelic football. For me he was the Stotfield Man of The Match, making a string of excellent saves.

The game was really decided when Hadley's superstar Solomon Ofori broke through and was taken out in the first half, with Samuel Nicholls being sent off. Hadley were kicking up hill, and Stotfold defended manfully. In the second half, the class of Ofori told. He bagged a hat trick, the second of which was a simply brilliant strike. 

You can watch the highlights here, thanks to The Cold End


It was a thumpingly good game and credit to all involved. The club facilities were excellent, if you've never watched non league football,  a great advert for the league. There was a crowd of a tad under 200,  excellent for a Monday night at a neutral venue.

A special shout out to Hadley's Sam Edwards, who gave his winners medal to club mascot Chelsea-Mae. What an amazing gesture. It clearly made Chelsea-Mae's day. 

The only sad note is that I won't see my friends at the club now until the late summer! Roll on next season.  Best wished to Stotfold. I'm sure that our paths will cross again at some point. I think they are well equipped for the step up.