Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg visited Haringey this afternoon after launching the Liberal Democrats' local election campaign.
Mr Clegg arrived at the Cypriot Community Centre in Wood Green at 12.30pm today to meet local people.
After speaking privately to centre manager Chris Stylianou and chairman of the centre Susie Constantinides, he greeted assembled users and visitors.
He was then whisked outside for interviews in front of the camera.
Mr Clegg said: “The Liberal Democrats are out and about on people’s doorsteps telling people our side of the story.”
In response to questions on the declining numbers of Liberal Democrat councillors across the UK, he said he was confident people would be willing to vote Liberal Democrat in the forthcoming elections.
He said: “When every penny counts it’s very important we spend every penny wisely. We’re the only party, where we’re in control of the council, delivering a council tax freeze. 45 Conservative councils have put council tax up, and 49 labour councils have put council tax up.
“Where we’re in control we say, you know what, we’re going to look after you. We’re not going to spend your money on gimmicks or vanity projects as Labour and Conservative councils have.”
Speaking to the Haringey Independent, Mr Clegg said: “In Haringey we’re committed to building new homes, bringing in the landlord licence schemes and freezing council tax. We believe in putting in the hard graft to get money into the things people care about.”
He added: “The Cypriot centre is a good example of a brilliant community centre, and it’s been around for about thirty years. It raises 80 per cent of its own finances. The council is now paring back the support and grants it gives to the centre, which is wrong.”
Susie Constantinides, chairman of the centre, said: “It’s important that real people have seen him. The reality is that not many people are interested in politics.”
She added: “At the moment we’ve got a small commission grant from the council, but they used to subsidise our lunch service. They say that the government has cut their funding.
“We provide all sorts of services that prevent people from going into old people’s homes, and we save those people’s health, whether physically or emotionally.”
Chris Stylianou, manager of the centre, said: “Nick Clegg is a very charming man. He’s approachable. It’s an honour to have the Deputy Prime Minister of the country come to visit our community centre in person.”