Campaign for Islington’s war heroes to be given housing priority

A campaign has been launched for Islington war heroes to be given housing priority when they return after serving their country.

The Islington Veterans’ Association is calling on Islington Council to extend the policy that gives priority to injured or disabled troops to all returning service personnel.

The campaign is being backed by the opposition Liberal Democrat group, who in 2009 brought in the rules that see injured troops get extra housing points.

Stefan Kasprzyk, chairman of the Islington Veterans’ Association, said: “These people were willing to give their all when their country and the international community needed them.

“Many of these people’s roots are in Islington and they want to come back here and settle down. It’s the least Islington could do to help.”

Councillor Terry Stacy, leader of the Lib Dem opposition group, wrote to Councillor James Murray, Islington Council’s executive member for housing, urging him to make the change.

Cllr Stacy said: “I was proud that Islington was one of the first councils to give housing priority to disabled and seriously injured ex-servicemen.

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“Now is the time for the council to once again take the lead and extend this policy to all returning troops from Islington.”

The calls follow recent Government announcements on future troop reductions in Afghanistan.

In a reply to Cllr Stacy’s letter, Cllr Murray said he would not consider the move until after the government’s Localism Bill becomes law later this year.

He added: “I am sympathetic to your suggestion that all returning troops be given additional points.”