This week 30 years ago: MP Chris Smith’s council rent hike warning

Islington Gazette: June 19, 1987

Islington Gazette: June 19, 1987 - Credit: Archant

Rents were set to rocket for Islington Council’s 40,000 tenants after the Conservative election victory.

Islington South and Finsbury MP Chris Smith warned the increase could be as much as £10 a week (£25 in today’s terms).

His fears were based on the Tory campaign in which ministers said local authorities should not be allowed to subsidise housing from general rate funds. Islington had a £32million fund to keep rents down.

He said: “Thousands of families struggling to get by on low incomes will become much worse off.”

Mr Smith was re-elected with a majority of 805 over second-placed Social Democrat George Cunningham. He was supported by 102-year-old former suffragette Catherine Griffiths, after which Catherine Griffiths Court in Clerkenwell is named.

Jeremy Corbyn won his first re-election in Islington North poll, cruising to a 9,657 majority over Conservative candidate Ernest Noad.

Meanwhile, EastEnders actress Gillian Taylforth was special guest at Islington Disablement Association’s sports day in Finsbury.

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But her presence was overshadowed after a policewoman was struck by lightning.