Gazette letters: Barbecues, Archway makeover, police cameras and health cuts

Barbecue trays left in Higbury Place. Picture: courtesy of TIM SAYER

Barbecue trays left in Higbury Place. Picture: courtesy of TIM SAYER - Credit: Tim Sayer

A friend who lives on Highbury Crescent has just sent me the following writes Tim Sayer, full address supplied.

While he was walking up Highbury Place at 5.15pm, he saw two still burning BBQ trays that someone had put inside a BBQ disposal bin without bothering to put them out.

He managed to douse them with the water can that was left next to the bin.

Smoke was billowing out of the bin, but people walked past without taking any notice.

There were lots of children running around who could have been burnt.

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A report will go to the anti-social behaviour hotline.

On Saturday I visited the exhibition at the Whittington Education Centre about the redevelopment of the old Archway Campus site, writes Tricia Clarke, Tufnell Park, full address supplied.

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I am concerned that this was the last consultation before the plans go to Islington Council’s planning committee and the developers, Peabody Enterprises, were vague about the amount of social housing planned for this massive development.

The exhibition talks about 40 per cent of the planned housing being “affordable” housing, of which some is social and some is part-rent, part-buy.

The government definition of “affordable” when it comes to renting is that it would cost no more than 80pc of the average local market rent. In Islington that would be about £420 a week for a two-bedroom flat. Hardly affordable for the average family!

Such a big development as the Archway campus site should contain 50pc social housing in accordance with Islington Council’s requirements.

Also it looks to me that the site is being over-developed – I would like to see more green space planned that would be for public use.

Following your article on the Archway makeover, while there have been many improvements, I’d like to raise two further problems, writes Merilyn Moos, Cressida Road, Highgate.

Previously the 41 bus going away from Archway stopped directly outside Archway Tube. Now we have to walk a few minutes crossing the main busy road to the nearest bus stop. This is really inconvenient, especially for anybody old (like me) or with a pushchair. Surely, it must be possible for TfL to find a way for the 41 to stop nearer the Tube exit and without having to cross a busy road.

Secondly, the crossing on the eastern side of the Archway roundabout isn’t coordinated and pedestrians get caught in the middle, regularly running across the road because they are so exasperated with the very long wait on the side nearer Archway Tube. An accident waiting to happen?

The other day while at my friend’s house, I opened the door of her house to see a police officer with a camera attached announcing: “This is on”, writes Michael McElligott, Amwell Street, Islington.

My friend had to wait for seven hours for a response to a serious issue.

I am an advocate of police cameras as they can help design out corruption and lies from the police which in reality does happen: complaints have dropped by 90 per cent due to cameras. However, when in a house, should a young child be recorded in a state of undress, what happens to the footage?

Considering Islington’s paedo past, this is a concern. I would like to know the borough commander’s opinion.

While the Tories can afford more than £1bn as a bung to the DUP, they are demanding extra cuts by stealth (the so-called Sustainability Transformation Plan) to our NHS in North Central London (Islington, Camden, Barnet, Haringey and Enfield), writes Jan Pollock, joint chairman, St John’s Way Patients’ Participation Group and chairman, University and College Union London Retired Members’ Branch.

They claim there is a funding gap of more than £183m – “the capped expenditure process”.

Their plans, which include Whittington Health, include rationing treatments, increasing waiting times, staff redundancies and closing/rationaling departments. The vast majority of sites owned by Whittington Health are due to be sold off – although we need many extra care homes to be built for elderly and frail patients.

The Royal College of Surgeons has already said these proposed secret cuts (partly revealed in a national newspaper) will have a “devastating impact” on patients. We demand none of these cuts be implemented without immediate consultation with their intended victims – those who live and work in the boroughs under threat.

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