Gazette letters: Highbury Fields, EU referendum, cars, The Whittington and crime fighting

Barbecue in Highbury Fields Picture: Stephanie Knight

Barbecue in Highbury Fields Picture: Stephanie Knight - Credit: Archant

Ramesh and I are barred from Highbury Fields! writes Róisín Ní Corráin, Islington, full address supplied.

It’s not just the distressing sight of small children instinctively knowing the carcinogen smoke billowing into their faces is dangerous and trying to bat it away with their tiny hands, nor the fact that even if we walk on the pavements surrounding the outer edges of the fields, we also get a lungful of this dangerous substance, but the fact that he, being Hindu, is a vegetarian, as am I.

You don’t have to attend the university of the obvious to know that billowing grey and black smoke is dangerous to asthma sufferers, children and adults alike!

More people than ever before have registered to vote in Islington ahead of today’s referendum on Britain’s future in Europe, so it’s clear local people want their say, writes Cllr Richard Watts, leader of Islington Council.

The institution that is the EU is not perfect, but it is clear Islington is better off remaining a part of Europe. On the ballot paper today are the hard-won rights and protections at work that are secured by the EU – like paid holiday, equal pay, and maternity and paternity leave. In an uncertain world that faces challenges from security risks and climate change, cooperation with our neighbours and the security this brings are also on the ballot paper.

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There are thousands of jobs in our borough reliant on the trade relations we enjoy with Europe. Independent economists agree leaving will hit the economy, meaning more cuts and tax rises to Islington by the Tory government.

I am deeply concerned about what leaving the EU would mean for local projects like the EU-supported Bunhill Energy Centre that provides cheaper energy to homes and businesses in Islington. Leaving would also deny funding for extra work the council is hoping to deliver to help local people find decent and secure work.

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The risks of leaving the EU are so great, and the threat is so severe from a Tory government needing to make more cuts to fill the Brexit budget black hole, that I urge everyone to vote to remain today.

More must be done to encourage walking and cycling if we are to cut pollution levels in Clerkenwell where I live, throughout Islington and across London, writes Ben Hickey, Islington Green Party.

Nitrogen dioxide pollution in Clerkenwell was measured earlier this year as part of an Islington Green Party campaign to measure harmful air outside our schools and on our streets. Month-long testing showed the air outside Clerkenwell Parochial Primary School on Amwell Street was 38 per cent over the legal limit for NO2 whilst it was 18pc over the EU standards outside the Hugh Myddelton School on Myddelton Street. In Rosebery Avenue, at the junction with Exmouth Market, the results were a massive 70pc over the limit.

In all, out of the 29 testing locations, only one site in the whole of Islington showed measurements for NO2 within the legal threshold. This air outside our schools is the air that our children are breathing throughout their day and it’s having an impact on the health of the next generation and all of us. We must do more.

That means reducing car-use and making it more convenient, safe and attractive to use public transport and to walk or cycle. I welcome the decision to filter through traffic on Amwell Street in Clerkenwell but we can’t just move that traffic to somewhere else in our community. We must take action to reduce vehicle trips throughout the borough and across London.

I would like to invite readers to join me at the next meeting of our new Patient and Community forum at 3pm on June 29, writes Steve Hitchens, chairman, The Whittington Hospital NHS Trust.

We want to improve the way we listen and connect with our local community and whether you are a patient, local resident or just someone with an interest in health care we would love to hear your thoughts about us and about healthcare in the area.

Although our forum is in its early stages, we want it to be owned by its members and we would like to work together to decide how to grow and develop the forum so you can make your voice heard on the issues and activities that matter to you. If you are unable to join us please visit for future dates.

Andy Hull is the new political crime fighter [replacing Paul Convery – ed], writes Michael McElligott, Amwell Street, Islington.

His predecessor did not have great fortune on the mobile phone snatch open season in Islington. It is big bucks fishing for those involved and easy to render an iPhone valuable by resetting it. The easy answer would be to have an app that detonates the phone but this may be illegal. Wouldn’t it be a huge surprise if phone snatching were reduced by a police presence?

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