Gazette letters: Frost, angle wings, Wireless, budget, thanks and homeless

Frost on nettles. Picture: WILL McCALLUM

Frost on nettles. Picture: WILL McCALLUM - Credit: Archant

I hesitate before proclaiming the first frost, knowing full well I am not often awake early enough of a weekend to be certain that Sunday gone was indeed the first frost, writes Will McCallum, Newington Green.

But still, it was my first of the year at the weekend and it was absolutely glorious. After a week of barely seeking daylight, to roll up my blind and see sun reflected off every surface made the world seem an easier place: white crystals on tarmac, clinging to the moss that creeps up the brick wall, spilling off the blades of grass and quickly melting with the rising sun.

Beautiful though it is, I think the crunch underfoot – both sound and sensation – provides the greater thrill on a winter morning. Why walk on the sunnier side of the street when in the shade the frost lingers and each footstep satisfies with a slow ice-breaking?

The nettles at the top of Springfield Park looked almost dainty, bent in towards each other overladen by the frozen dew. The most intriguing plant of my frost walk, however, was a shrub in Clissold Park – dandelion-like seed heads and a purple stem glistened in the morning light. Bundles of delicate stalks gathered at the end of each twig ready to fall into the breeze. The only pity? None of my plant identifications apps have revealed to me what it was.

I am writing to you because I though you might want to know how the petition to save the Angel Central wings is coming on (“Little angel urges: Save our wings!”), writes Olivia Gordon Clarke (10), Cloudesley Road, Islington.

The approximate amount of signatures I have now got is 300.

Someone from the PR company of the developers has asked to talk about public art. We are meeting on Monday after school, and I intend to talk about the angel wings.

Cllr Webbe has written back to me and she says she would be glad to support my campaign. I am pleased to have gained her support as it was she who helped the boys save their local slide.

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There may be problems with the Wireless Festival in Finsbury Park but no more than other events of this nature, writes Terry Wood, Deepdene House, Manor Road.

It also brings trade to the local shops and cafes and a touch of colour to the area. People dress up for the occasion which brings cheer to local residents and visitors to a sometimes bleak area of Islington.

My concern is that Friends of Finsbury Park are a middle-class campaign group with their own agenda. They do not speak for all who views may differ from theirs.

If what Cllr Watts says is correct (“Green Caroline Russell party poops ‘secret’ Islington Labour budget meeting, Gazette website,) and Labour holds budget mismanagement meetings “all the time”, then things are even worse than we thought, writes Sebastian Sandys, prospective parliamentary candidate, The Green Party, Islington South and Finsbury.

I want to say a huge thank-you to everyone, especially volunteers, who helped Islington win a silver award in the “city” category at Britain in Bloom, writes Cllr Claudia Webbe, environment boss, Islington Council.

This is a huge achievement for our small borough. We don’t have huge green spaces, but we do have passionate residents who care deeply about making their street, estate or neighbourhood looks its best.

The judges were captivated by the very strong sense of community, and how groups and individuals were making a real difference to the areas where they live and work.

This award belongs to everyone who worked so hard this year – Islington gardeners, businesses, residents’ groups, tenants and residents organisations, parks’ griends groups, and countless others.

All your work makes a huge difference to Islington.

Cllr Diarmaid Ward, housing boss, Islington Council, writes in response to our Stroud Green Road homelessness story.

For the last year we have been working hard with specialist agencies and charities, commissioning them to join us in helping the rough sleepers in Stroud Green Road. More recently we formed links with Women At The Well to strengthen the support on offer to the women there.

We cannot discuss individual cases but I am pleased that so far six people have been helped into accommodation and countless others have been provided with support including drug and alcohol treatment, emotional support and more. It is difficult work but, along with our partner agencies, we will keep offering support and options to all rough sleepers, even if this is initially refused.

I would like to thank all the outreach workers and organisations whose dedication and persistence is genuinely helping these vulnerable people.