Richard Watts on Highbury Fields barbecue row: ‘Legal action against Islington Council means I can’t talk about it’

PUBLISHED: 11:30 22 September 2017 | UPDATED: 15:19 22 September 2017

Save Highbury Fields campaigners protest outside Islington Town Hall before last night's full council meeting. Picture: Pollyy Hancock

Save Highbury Fields campaigners protest outside Islington Town Hall before last night's full council meeting. Picture: Pollyy Hancock


The leader of Islington Council refused to be drawn into the Highbury Fields barbecue row last night – because of the legal action which has been taken against the town hall.

At the full council meeting, Alastair Hazell handed in a 1,200-strong petition calling for barbecues to be banned, saying: “This is an outrage. The fields are being destroyed. The barbecues are for the pleasure of a few people and not the benefit of the majority of Islington residents.”

But when questioned about pollution by Joanna Greatwich, a Highbury Fields council tenant of 19 years, Islington leader Cllr Richard Watts said: “It’s always regrettable when people threaten legal action as it curtails debate. It’s all I can say – sorry.”

As reported in the Gazette last week, Save Highbury Fields is taking the council to Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court over its policy allowing barbecues on the fields.

They claim the barbecues poison Islington’s air and causes health problems for people living on the Fields. But the council says barbecues should be allowed because many people in the borough don’t have a back garden.

Related articles

Latest Islington News Stories

Yesterday, 16:47

The curtain could finally be raised on a forgotten 400-seat underground theatre beneath Islington Green – a decade after it was built.

Yesterday, 16:35

A popular Blackstock Road boozer was reportedly ordered to close on Wednesday because of an ongoing licensing dispute.

Yesterday, 08:50

City and Islington College (CANDI) students are “over the moon” after bagging places at some of the “world’s best universities” on an emotional A-level results day.

Thu, 18:25

Crew members at Islington Fire Station raised £316 for a “wonderful” cause by hosting a charity car wash.

Thu, 16:39

Cheery 236 bus driver Nelson Campos tells the Gazette why he loves his current route between Islington and Hackney – and reminisced about working for the home office, courts and the police.

Thu, 16:02

The headteacher of North Bridge House Senior Canonbury has lauded the efforts of his students on A-level results day.

Thu, 16:02

Hackney Council has urged Transport for London to scrap a series of “unacceptable” cuts to bus services that would see the 48 shelved completely and several others scaled back.

Thu, 16:00

A mother and her three young kids are devastated after their pet chihuahua was shot dead in a Canonbury garden yesterday afternoon.


Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now