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Sotheby Mews and Highbury Fields barbecue campaigners prepare town hall protest

PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 September 2017 | UPDATED: 14:16 22 September 2017

Gladys Bolton (86), Florrie Searle (93) and Edna Newman (93) at Sotheby Mews Day Centre in March. Users have been campaigning to keep it open. Picture: Polly Hancock

Gladys Bolton (86), Florrie Searle (93) and Edna Newman (93) at Sotheby Mews Day Centre in March. Users have been campaigning to keep it open. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Elderly people will attack Islington Council at a town hall meeting tonight (Thu).

Tearful users of Sotheby Mews Day Centre accused the council in March of “erasing” them over plans to demolish their “lifeline” building.

Islington plans to build affordable housing on the site and relocate the Sotheby users to nearby Highbury Roundhouse.

But they claim the newly built Roundhouse will be unsuitable, and will hold a demonstration outside the town hall before the full council meeting tonight.

Three people are attempting to hold councillors to account on the matter in the public questions segment. One, Margaret Wolfe, will ask health and social care leader Cllr Janet Burgess: “Please inform us if you are aware that, as a consequence of this council’s decision to close Sotheby Mews, a charge of indirect age discrimination and indirect disability discrimination could be brought against the council?”

Another, Jackie Noone, will ask housing leader Cllr Diarmaid Ward: “Why have no innovative options been considered to support both social housing and continued use of the community centre? For example, the front car park could be used for housing and also keep the centre in use.”

They won’t be the only protesters tonight.

As revealed in the Gazette last week, the Save Highbury Fields group has launched legal action against the council over its policy allowing barbecues in the fields.

These campaigners will also demonstrate outside the town hall, before handing in a petition – signed by 1,200 people as we went to press yesterday (Wed) – calling for the council to ban barbecues over pollution concerns.

Labour-controlled Islington has constantly defended its policy, saying it allows people who don’t have gardens to enjoy barbecues.

The council’s own members are also trying to effect change.

Cllr Gary Poole (Lab, St Mary’s) will ask for free parking for members of the armed forces who are home on leave or visiting relatives in the borough.

The meeting starts at 7.30pm. All are welcome.

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