Gazette letters: Dementia friendly, tolerance in society, Labour and St Mary’s Path estate

Maaike Plamier-Claus is asking everyone to become a Dementia Friend. Picture: PA WIRE

Maaike Plamier-Claus is asking everyone to become a Dementia Friend. Picture: PA WIRE - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

I would like to introduce myself to readers as the new dementia friendly community coordinator for Islington, writes Maaike Palmier-Claus, dementia friendly community coordinator Islington, Alzheimer’s Society.

With support from Islington Council I'm working to make Islington a dementia friendly community.

People with dementia have the right to live a life they want and continue to do the things they enjoy. But often people with dementia don't feel included in their communities and face isolation.

Two-thirds of people with dementia live in the community, yet many report feeling trapped in their own homes. Only one in three get out once a week, and one in 10 only manage this once a month.

With dementia on the rise, it's important that we all work together to create a place where people with dementia are understood, respected, supported, and confident they can contribute to community life.

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I'm calling on everyone, from local authorities and healthcare providers, to the local corner shop and hairdresser, to unite against dementia and support local people living with dementia.

No action is too small - from signing up to be a Dementia Friend, to introducing dementia-friendly signage to your business. Every action makes a difference to supporting those with the condition.

For more information on how you can get involved please contact me at

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A couple of weeks ago thousands of Londoners marched in London Pride, 50 years after the Stonewall riots in New York, writes Benali Hamdache, Islington Green Party.

In so many ways it's a time to celebrate the massive steps forward. We are a far more accepting and tolerant society than in my teenage years.

But we're reminded even locally that we're not quite there yet. From the recent brutal attack of two women on a bus in Camden to the vandalism of Second Chance's Pride display. Police stats show hate crimes against LGBT+ people are on the rise.

Pride has always been a protest as well as a party. This Pride we can continue to fight for a more accepting society. The recent controversies over LGBT+ inclusive education and trans rights show we all have a part to play in creating a more equal society.

One can only wonder if there is a better way for society to be run as having a Labour council which has the gall to want to expand its councillors numbers, writes Michael McElligott, Amwell Street, Islington.

This move will drive up council tax oppression, while at the same time having food banks at the town hall, old age poverty and one in two children also living in poverty is beyond the actions of normality.

I do wonder if local Labour are the problem and not the solution as they actions are the driver of social misery for the many!

ISHA is really pleased, after a long wait for residents of St Mary's Path Estate, to have started the process of consulting on future options, writes Ruth Davison, chief executive, Islington & Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA).

The consultation is being run independently and onsite, to make it as easy as possible for the estate's residents to take part and share their views on the three options.

We are committed as a housing association to helping keep Islington the mixed, thriving vibrant place it is. That means keeping rents low and building as many new homes as possible.

Whatever option we decide to pursue, we have guaranteed all secured and assured tenants the right to remain on the estate once these extensive works are completed - at the same rents. So, a family who currently pays the average rent for a three-bedroom home of less than £120 a week, will still pay less than £120 a week. We have pledged that there will be no loss of social housing.

The option which proposes the redevelopment of St Mary's House produces two more homes. We could have produced many more if we'd designed a block of one-and two-bedroom flats. But that's not what's needed on the estate. The housing crisis which blights many lives in the borough plays itself out in different ways. On St Mary's path we have overcrowding, especially in some of the three-and four-bedroom homes. The existing four-bedroom homes on St Mary's Path are almost half the size of the proposed modern new-build four-bedroom homes. So, the proposal includes in the new building 11 new three-and four-bedroom flats and maisonettes for families who live on the estate.

We know that these are people's homes. That's why we want a proper, rigorous, iterative consultation and why we have made the promises we have.

The consultation is being held in two stages. At the request of residents, we added two more days. The second stage will be in July. The two-stage consultation allows us to quickly clear up any misunderstandings.

The consultation closes at the end of July 2019 and we welcome feedback from residents on any alternatives which they may have.

All the proposals for St Mary's Path estate are designed to secure both the future of the estate and its community and stay true to ISHA's purpose, to provide genuinely affordable housing in Islington.

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