Gazette letters :Diesel charge, Windsor Street plan, parking bay and social housing

Diesel surcharge is just one air quality initiative. Cllr Claudia Webbe hands an anti-idling leaflet

Diesel surcharge is just one air quality initiative. Cllr Claudia Webbe hands an anti-idling leaflet to lorry driver Adrian Fafara in Upper Street. (NOTE: Mr Fafara was not idling his lorry engine, just receiving information) - Credit: Archant

It’s hard to work out why charging more for parking your diesel car would benefit cleaner air in Islington, writes James Heron, full address supplied.

Will this extra £2 per hour deter diesel car owners from driving into Islington and parking? Islington Council gets extra income, but what does that money do for air pollution?

I am, naturally I think, very keen to have “clean” air where I live and would like the council to prove that the money obtained from this diesel parking tax results in less air pollution. How is it going to be used?

Ian Fearnley accuses the council of “a return to the Victorian institutions of old” for its plans to build new housing for 11 people with learning disabilities in Windsor Street, writes Clare Palmer, Avenell Road, Highbury.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am the mother of a young woman with learning disabilities, and have seen the plans for Windsor Street. This is a well designed, attractive project. There will be two separate entrances: the ground floor where four tenants have bedrooms and ensuite bathrooms while sharing kitchen and eating facilities is quite separate from the flats on the floors above, which will house seven people. Those flats are self-contained, offering privacy with a communal space on each floor for socialising if people want. I would be happy for my daughter to live there.

Three years ago a bigger project opened in Highbury, with 19 people living in 13 flats. Similar concerns were expressed about its size and the numbers of tenants. But it has been outstandingly successful. It optimises the independence and the safety of the tenants. It helps prevent the vulnerability that comes from isolation, a very high risk for people with learning disabilities. It offers opportunities to be with others under the same roof and make new friendships while providing them with a self-contained home of their own that reflects their own preferences and personalities.

Projects like Windsor Street are critically important for families who are facing the possibility of their learning disabled son or daughter being sent to live a long way from Islington.

I share my neighbour’s concerns about the council’s proposal to accommodate vulnerable people on a car park in Windsor Street, writes an Islington resident, full name and address supplied.

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It is such an unsuitable position for this building. We think the council should be developing the site for wider community use. In particular, St Peter’s Street Medical Practice has been looking for a new site in the ward for a while. It is a very popular doctor’s surgery, in a cramped building that is not really suitable and cannot be expanded.

Despite the needs of the increasing population in south Islington, it recently had to “close” its list to limit new patients, only because of space constraints, not a shortage of doctors – in fact, it us a training practice and if it had the room it could take more new doctors and be able to treat more local people. The Windsor Street site could be ideal for a modern, purpose-built health centre within a two-storey building, which would suit its position very well. There would be space to provide additional community services as well (for example physiotherapy), which cannot be done at present.

Unfortunately when this was raised with a ward councillor, who had been supportive of the surgery in the past, he simply responded by saying that the council would not change its approach after spending on design and investigation.

Large articulated lorries delivering to Tesco on Islington Green frequently block the southbound bus lane, causing congestion, writes Tim Sayer, Islington, full address supplied.

The pavement is extremely wide at that point, so surely a double parking bay could be constructed without obstructing pedestrians?

Islington Green Party welcomes the news that the Holloway Prison site must include at least 50 per cent “genuinely” affordable homes, according to an Islington Council ruling. Of course it should, writes Claire Poyner, Islington Green Party.

What would be even better is if those homes are guaranteed to be genuinely social housing. We urge the council to stand firm on this and not allow a developer to ride roughshod over this ruling.

We also believe any new development should include a women’s centre of some sort and urge the council to press for such a building.

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