Now Autumn is merging to winter and only a few migrants are still passing south on our coasts. However, some visitors have been seen on the coasts and in the north which will winter in Britain. Of these we may see Fieldfares, Redwings in our gardens or the parks and even a Great Grey Shrike within striking distance if we are lucky. Geese will be arriving, too, along with many ducks and gulls. Locally our Tufted Ducks and Shovelers have already moved off the local lakes, but gull numbers are increasing. As it becomes colder more gulls and ducks will turn up with visitors in the Lee valley including Teal, Wigeon, Goosanders, Mergansers, Goldeneye and even the elusive Smew.
In our gardens food still lingers, but we need to be filling the feeders now the days are colder. This will encourage our garden birds to stay: Tits (Great, Blue, Coal or even flocks of Long-Tailed): Also, Finches, Sparrows, Thrushes, Starlings. Wood Pigeons and Wrens.
I know I wasn’t the only one to notice the dramatic change in street lighting levels in our area when Enfield switched from Sodium to LED lamp heads last year. This was done to save energy as they are so much more efficient to run; no argument there. However, as can be seen from the accompanying photos, it appeared to have been executed very poorly. This can best be seen when compared to neighbouring Haringey, who have also made the switch but done so correctly.
Thankfully, I was able to connect with someone on York Road who was something of an LED lighting expert through his work, and some other local residents who cared about how this was affecting our neighbourhood. This triggered us to take lumen measurements across a great number of locations to see what had happened to our light levels.
We found that across the board the Enfield side roads gave out a pitiful level of light. Most interesting, for comparison, was Queens Road in Bounds Green as it straddles two boroughs; ¾ of it is in Haringey and ¼ in Enfield.
Here in my video is what we found: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFc5AlPrrLQ
Spoiler alert: Enfield’s LED light heads emitted under 10% of that given out by the Haringey light heads on the same street! In an effort to cut a long story short, It transpired that there were a number of issues at play:
When we alerted Enfield Council to this they were painfully slow to respond and after much chasing they got their lighting people to do a survey. They came back and said that they had met minimum levels. Although to reach these minimum levels they did hack back the trees on York Road. We then saw street safety being highlighted in the media exemplified by the tragic Sarah Everard case.
We continued to kick up a stink and in what can be seen as a partial victory a few upstanding residents of Bowes went out to get some light measures recently and found Enfield council had turned them up a bit. However, don’t crack open the champagne just yet as the Haringey lamp heads on Queens Road are still just over 12 times brighter than we enjoy in Enfield. I do hope the current Enfield Labour administration will be revisiting this issue. We really do deserve better than this!
Stay Safe and keep warm.
Stephen Dalziel, Chairman, BHORA
Many BHORA Members will have been puzzled that they have not heard from the Association for many months. As Chairman, I apologise for this. The situation has been caused principally, of course, by the COVID- 19 pandemic, with its lockdowns and other issues which we are all well aware of. This prevented us from holding an AGM in 2020 or 2021. On top of this, it has become increasingly clear that it is currently very difficult to conduct a meaningful conversation with Enfield Council.
The biggest local issue in the past two years has been the imposition by the Council of Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) in Bowes (and Fox Lane). This was done without any consultation with residents. Emergency government regulations allowed for this, but nevertheless, under the same regulations vulnerable people, local businesses and the emergency services should have been consulted. They weren’t.
As soon as it was announced that this scheme was to be imposed, I contacted the Council on behalf of BHORA, pointing out difficulties that pushing all traffic from the Bowes area onto the North Circular Road would cause. My concerns were dismissed without consideration. So BHORA organised a petition – not to stop the LTN completely, but to put the plans on hold until residents had been consulted. In the space of just ten days, 1,600 residents signed the petition calling for consultation.
Delivering the petition under COVID restrictions was a challenge, but we managed to do it. It took the Council’s Scrutiny Committee three months to examine the petition, but it was dismissed out of hand.
By this time, the Bounds & Bowes Voice Group had become very active in the struggle for a democratic process to be applied to the LTN issue, and BHORA agreed that it made more sense to have one local group leading on the issue, and so stepped back.
The worry here is that Enfield Council has acted in a way that has very serious concerns for the democratic process in the Borough. The Council ignores residents’ concerns, and has even insulted individuals, notably on social media. Have our Councillors forgotten that they are public servants, and that they have been elected by residents to work for the good of the community?
BHORA has not disappeared, and when more people are confident about meeting in large numbers we shall call the delayed Annual General Meeting, COVID restrictions allowing. No-one knows how the winter will pan out, but it is hoped that we can meet again in the Spring.
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