This week 30 years ago: Hackney Council tries to ‘steal’ part of Islington

Islington Gazette: January 8, 1987

Islington Gazette: January 8, 1987 - Credit: Archant

Cheeky councillors from Hackney were trying to grab a bit of Islington.

They were seeking government approval to take Finsbury Square, Wesley’s Chapel and Oliver’s Yard from the south-east of Islington’s borough boundary.

But mayor of Islington Cllr Terry Herbert, who had lived in Finsbury his entire life, said: “They can get knotted. What do they want – us to live in symmetrical boxes? Anyone who believes what Hackney says about this believes in Father Christmas.”

The attempted land-grab by Hackney Council, the poorest borough in Britain, was to boost its rates income. The disputed areas brought in 14 per cent of Islington’s rates income – about £15million a year.

Cllr Chris King, Labour’s chief whip, said: “It’s an ancient parish boundary and they aren’t having any of it.”


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Islington South and Finsbury MP Chris Smith accused Hackney of “empire building” and went on: “I regard this as an attempt of theft.”

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