Gazette letters: Community dancing, Tenant Tax, floods, EU vote and visitor centre

MoveMe getting the community to dance

MoveMe getting the community to dance - Credit: Archant

MoveMe is in the midst of taking 80 Islington residents - aged from eight to 87 - on a journey from their community centres to a public dance event at Islington Assembly Hall July 12 at 6pm, writes Matthew Schmolle from the MoveMe dance company.

It is a journey guided by irresistible music and moves created for both dance lovers and those convinced they have two left feet!

This is the first stage of a pilot program to find new ways of bringing the joy of dancing to as many people as possible.

For more information about the event, visit or email me on

Islington Labour stands against plans by the Tory government to levy a new charge on working council tenants, writes Cllr Mick O’Sullivan, chairman of Islington Council’s housing scrutiny committee.

Islington Council is set to agree to officially refer to the measure as the “Tenant Tax”, after myself and Cllr Clare Jeapes submitted a motion for tonight’s town hall meeting.

The motion calls on the council to continue to fight the Housing and Planning Act that will see some council tenants forced to pay a new charge through the Tenant Tax, as well as the introduction of other measures that will lead to a significant loss of social housing in Islington.

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The Tenant Tax will hit working people in Islington hard. The people affected will be on modest incomes, for example a nurse and a teacher living together in a council home will now have to pay higher tax, probably costing them around £750 per year.

It is right that the council calls this measure what it is – a tax. People will be punished for taking on more work, or for getting a promotion. It’s deeply unfair.

Last Wednesday night’s torrential rain revealed our vulnerability to extreme weather and the crucial importance of preventing and preparing for flooding, writes Caroline Russell, London Assembly Green Party member and Highbury East councillor.

Many Londoners have woken up to the misery of flooded homes and disrupted travel. Flood prevention and preparedness must be a top priority for the mayor.

The increasing density of our city with more and more land built on to provide much needed homes and business premises means that our drains just can’t cope with the volumes of rainwater falling in these intense storms that are likely to become more frequent with climate change.

The mayor must act now to protect Londoners from the disruption caused by flooding. This means ensuring resilience of emergency services, preventing further loss of permeable land, incorporating creative drainage schemes in landscaping and planting many more trees.

As is more than clear from recent events, the current political set-up is delivering governments and decisions which do not reflect the views of inner London residents, writes Kate Calvert, of Make Votes Matter.

Make Votes Matter is a campaign for change in the way our votes shape government, and their first Islington meeting will be at Hargrave Hall in Hargrave Road, N19 on Thursday, July 7 at 8pm.

This will be a chance to quiz the organisation about the implications of the Brexit vote, and discuss what kind of changes might be proposed.

Last week’s vote on Europe can generate positive outcomes should politicians on a grand and a half a week put their big egos aside and focus on what matters to the electorate, writes Michael McElligott, Amwell Street, Islington.

Top of this list is the NHS, it is a corner stone of society which helps allIt would be a great policy for Labour to declare they will not let the NHS be privatised further and certainly not give a contract away where profit is put before/alongside your health. It should be renationalised and the responsibility of the serving government. I mean, what else do they do? It is impossible to have good health when a profit margin must be met.

In light of the economic crisis, and deep financial uncertainty for the future following the Brexit decision, surely Islington Council will not go ahead with its crazy plan to to maintain the unwanted visitor centre in Caledonian Park for 20 years, writes Mike Power, Clock View Crescent, Islington.

Every penny the council has will be needed to protect essential services and jobs, as it’s highly likely that there will be more cuts to local government funding.

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