Highs and Bowes

In our latest councillor’s column, Bowes ward member Yasemin Brett applauds the community’s pandemic response

It’s a privilege to serve as a local councillor. I want to take this opportunity to actively recommend participating in public office. It is fantastic to empower people to transform their lives by providing information on services, to be there to listen, and to help frame a solution.

Local government impacts on all our lives every day, from the streets we walk on, to the air we breathe, and it is a shame central government funding to Enfield Council has been almost halved since 2010.

I would like to acquaint Dispatch readers with Bowes ward. I have been serving this area since 2002 with my Labour Party colleagues Achilleas Georgiou and, more recently, Katherine Chibah. Bowes is one of the gateways into Enfield from Haringey and is a hugely diverse ward, boasting the highest number of Polish and Gujarati speakers in the borough. There are also significant numbers of Bulgarian, Greek and Greek Cypriot speakers. Curiously, the best English breakfasts are served along Green Lanes – they are even served at night!

Throughout the Covid-19 crisis l have been consistently impressed by the resilience and kindness of Bowes residents towards one another. By organising into street-based WhatsApp groups they have cooked, shopped and generally looked out for each other. Some residents created art displays in support of the NHS and a project run by residents which saw them put flowers in their window to help make the area look more attractive, while also raising money for The Trussell Trust.

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Many residents said how pleased they were with the improved air quality and noise reduction as the pandemic lockdown saw a fall in traffic volumes. Bowes is a cut-through to the North Circular but it shouldn’t be – Bowes residents deserve a better environment. We have fought for and retained all of our green spaces and have been working with Transport for London to get flowers planted along the North Circular. But long-term traffic reduction in the area, beyond the pandemic, continues to be our biggest challenge. We are working with residents to address this.

Life expectancy is at least improving for Bowes residents, which is a good indicator for the ward. Thank you for taking the time to read this and feel free to get in touch with me.

Cllr Brett is one of three councillors representing Bowes ward, alongside Achilleas Georgiou and Katherine Chibah (all Labour). Ward surgeries are currently being held online. Get in touch to take part:
Call 07943 698919
Email [email protected]

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