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Islington’s police and council bosses make history with first joint webchat

07:04 22 July 2012

Acting Borough Commander Simon Corkill and council leader Cllr Catherine West compose their responses

Acting Borough Commander Simon Corkill and council leader Cllr Catherine West compose their responses

Archant

Antisocial behaviour, helicopter noise and even pillowcases were hot topics when Islington’s police chief and council leader were grilled by members of the public.

They fielded a barrage of questions in an online chat session on Thursday evening, hosted on the Gazette, police and council websites.

From a high-tech control centre deep in the bowels of the town hall, acting borough commander Simon Corkill and Islington Council’s leader Cllr Catherine West tackled some thorny issues.

And they claimed it was a truly historic moment – the first web forum held jointly by a council and police chief in London, and possibly even the world.

Supt Corkill said: “From the police side, the biggest issues were antisocial behaviour and drugs. It was also interesting how often alcohol licensing issues came up.

“It’s a great forum for us to interact with people. For lots of people it’s much more convenient and accessible. We hope to do it monthly now.”

The questions flew in thick and fast over a breathless 90 minutes. Into the mix residents threw everything from littering and dog fouling to road safety, unlicensed cabs and the proposed tax on late-licensed venues.

And one resident fired in a comment about the glut of bars and restaurants in the borough’s high streets, saying that there were not enough other shops such as hardware stores and gardening centres.

But eyebrows were raised when this person went on to claim the problem was so severe that it was impossible to even buy a pillowcase near the Angel.

While Cllr West agreed that the high streets need greater diversity, she suggested Marks and Spencer in Liverpool Road as a good bet for bedwear.

Speaking afterwards, she said: “The web chat was a great, new way to discuss issues and concerns from our community.

“Thanks to everyone who took time out of their evening to join in.”

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