Gazette letters: Swans in the morning, Highbury Corner, Corbyn and Roman Way Medical Centre

PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 August 2018

The family of swans blocking the tow path . Picture: Will McCallum

The family of swans blocking the tow path . Picture: Will McCallum


The stillness of an early morning on the weekend – before the cars have begun to disturb the peace up the A1, but after the last freight trains have barged their way through the Dalston night; the last fox slinking behind the shed and the first gulls barking awake amid the chimneypots, writes Will McCallum, Newington Green.

My boyfriend says it feels like camping, when you head out (or in fact, come home) in the damp dawn hours – and so it was on Saturday that I struck out on a run to enjoy the hush.

As soon as I skipped off-road at the Castle climbing wall, then on the path alongside the western reservoir, I was treated to a rare sight: a full family of sleeping swans, just beginning to stir in the early sunlight, a morning routine about to begin.

Blocking my path, I couldn’t carry on – indeed, why bother?

What could be a more enjoyable treat than to watch from a distance this family behave much as any family does as it wakes – lazy bickering, slow stretches and a gradual coming together for a bite to eat?

It was so remarkably similar to our breakfast routine I felt almost like an intruder or peeping Tom to spend so long stood there.

Across to Highbury Fields and Islington now in the throes of morning life – the stench of too strong coffee and lycra; morning peace departed, time to go home.

Regarding your article about the paving fiasco outside Highbury Station, I must point out that I have never been critical of the extremely complicated engineering works involved in replacing the bridge across the Overground, writes Tim Sayer MBE, Battledean Road, Highbury.

My concerns have always been with TfL’s management of traffic and pedestrian facilities, including the work to reinstate the paving on both sides of the Holloway Road.

I have expressed surprise in previous letters that nobody has been killed because of the way the pedestrian crossing outside La Pasta restaurant has been squeezed into such a small area (the present arrangement is the most dangerous yet) and general astonishment that TfL have been so hopeless at managing these projects.

How TfL’s Nick Fairholme can say that the latest proposals to relay the paving (third try) are “minor issues” is beyond me. The lives of pedestrians, cyclists, motorists and local businesses (especially Haren Bhatt at Universal Newsagents and La Pasta) are set to be disrupted severely yet again. I wonder if Mr Fairholme ever went to Highbury Corner to see the previous problems? I repeat my call for there to be a public inquiry about the way TfL has managed the project.

I look forward to when Jeremy Corbyn becomes the prime minister as he has entertained the greatest negative media onslaught in the history of British politics, and entertained some of his own party members who will generate any excuse to hamper and hinder him, writes Michael McElligott, Amwell Street, Islington.

Who pays the price for all this? Well, us, the general public, the sad mugs that pay for these politicians who care not about the society as it is ravaged by crazy Tory policies.

These are never challenged as they are too busy launching at him with their personal agendas, disruption, distraction – their sick game. I don’t think there is any barbed wire on the doors of the Labour Party, so why don’t they leave? Show their integrity? Or are they waiting to do that close to the next election so as to max out their destruction of the Labour Party?

I think sprinkling a bit of socialism into the have/have not society the Tories have created is in the best interests of the many and not the few.

I am confident Corbyn will prevail if he stops being distracted by the blue Labour brigade of Blair insiders. I think, they know this too, which is why they are doing what they do.

As Caledonian ward councillors, we have been campaigning for NHS England to provide continued GP surgery provision on or near the site of Roman Way Medical Centre, from the end of August when it was scheduled for closure write Cllrs Paul Convery, Sara Hyde and Una O’Halloran.

We are therefore deeply disappointed that NHS England has announced it will not provide a new GP surgery to replace Roman Way Medical Centre. The strength of feeling for this to happen is clear from the 560 petition signatures we gathered and the numerous discussions we had with local people.

The changes mean Roman Way Medical Centre will relocate to Islington Central Medical Centre on 28 Laycock Street. Patients will automatically be registered to the new practice.

We firmly believe NHS England must continue exploring potential new sites for a GP surgery, in order to meet present and future demand in Caledonian ward as the population increases, and with new housing developments on the way. Unfortunately, the government’s procurement policy, which favours private American providers over local people’s needs, has so far made it harder for NHS England to open a new medical centre nearby.

The priority now must be to ensure there is no loss of access to NHS services for local people.

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