Police were called to a chaotic council meeting about a new low-traffic neighbourhood on Tuesday evening (November 15).

The consultation about a proposed ‘Liveable Neighbourhood’ for Barnsbury became heated after some residents were prevented from entering the meeting due to overcrowding concerns.

Islington Council has yet to publish proposals about roads changes in the Barnsbury and Laycock area, but is seeking suggestions and ideas from the public.

Police were called to Islington West Library, but a spokesperson said that “when officers arrived, the situation was calm and there was no need for police involvement”.

Islington Gazette: The Liveable Neighbourhood areaThe Liveable Neighbourhood area (Image: Islington Council)

Councillor Rowena Champion, executive member for environment, air quality and Transport, who led the meeting, said: “This meeting was open to the public. We wanted to hear from a broad range of people, to ensure all viewpoints could be reflected in our proposal for the neighbourhood, which will be developed and published next year and will then be subject to an extensive public consultation.  

“Regrettably, more people attended the meeting than anticipated, and there was insufficient space to accommodate them all. We apologise for any inconvenience this caused, and will work to ensure that as many people as possible can participate in future meetings. 

“The council appreciates there are a broad range of viewpoints, and is committed to hearing them and reflecting them in the final proposal for the neighbourhood. We plan to continue to engage with local people on the Barnsbury Liveable Neighbourhood over the next year, and there will be plenty of opportunities for people to input. Further public meetings are due to be held, including in January 2023.”

Subject to feedback from local people, the council aims to implement a Liveable Neighbourhood in Barnsbury during the 2023/2024 financial year.

Islington Gazette: Councillor Rowena Champion apologised for the chaos at the meetingCouncillor Rowena Champion apologised for the chaos at the meeting (Image: Islington Council)

Islington Council’s stated goals for a Liveable Neighbourhood in Barnsbury include “reducing traffic on local roads” and helping “make it easier to walk, cycle, and use buggies and wheelchairs”. This is in line with the council’s commitment to achieve a net zero carbon Islington by 2030.

The scheme would form part of a broader network of pre-existing low-traffic zones across the borough.

Comments or suggestions for the proposed Liveable Neighbourhood can be emailed to barnsbury.laycock.ln@islington.gov.uk.