Gazette letters: Local climate, fairer borough and St Aloysius College boys

Campaigners plot next years car free day in Upper Street. Picture: NICOLA BAIRD

Campaigners plot next years car free day in Upper Street. Picture: NICOLA BAIRD - Credit: Archant

December’s key climate meeting in Poland (COP24) suggests our planet is at a survival crossroads, writes Nicola Baird, Islington Green.

David Attenbrough warned the delegates we must pick the best path because: “If we don’t take #ClimateAction, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon.”

Increasingly people live in cities, so that’s a good place to start rethinking how to thrive.

Car free centres tackle climate change and air pollution. Bristol plans to be carbon neutral by 2030. Manchester already has a plan to tackle climate change and proposes to be zero carbon by 2038. Locally, there are plans for a car free day on September 22 2019. Upper Street will be taken over by people on foot, mums with buggies, kids on wheels and probably some cyclists enjoying an Islington where ambulance sirens don’t stop the conversation and buses can’t belch out diesel.

Last month, motivated by the fear we have no more than 12 years to sort out the damage humans have done, activists closed Southwark, Blackfriars, Waterloo, Westminster and Lambeth bridges. The aim was to make politicians focus their policies on our over-heating planet. Many are willing to get arrested explaining how the greatest threat to our planet is the belief someone else will save it. Frustration about the general lack of climate change headlines inspired Lindy Sharpe, from Highbury, to create a 12 minute You Tube film called We Need to Talk About Climate Change. She hopes it will encourage people to have one conversation a day about what they can take do to tackle climate change.

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Your shift might be switching to clean electricity or walking your kids to school. It might also be learning to bite your tongue when a change is suggested you feel is going to disrupt your schedule. Breaking our fossil fuel addiction is going to change the way we live.

Making Islington a fairer place for all is the top priority for Islington Labour, write Cllr Andy Hull, executive member for Finance, Performance and Community Safety and Cllr Sheila Chapman, Islington Labour councillor for Junction ward.

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Since 2010, the Tory government has imposed a programme of austerity that has seen huge cuts to public services and vital social security support for local people.

The government is making it harder to tackle the issues that matter to local people because of their reckless cuts.

In Islington, austerity has meant core government funding to Islington Council cut by 70 per cent since 2010. It has also meant 300 local police officers cut, and local schools have over £300 less to spend per pupil per year.

Support for the most vulnerable is also being eroded. 10,000 Islington families who are due to move on to Universal Credit will lose an average of £500 a year. We are also seeing longer NHS hospital waiting times.

Despite this, Islington Labour is determined to continue to make a difference for local people and to continue our fight to make Islington a fairer place for all. From building the largest number of new council homes for 30 years, to supporting over 5,200 local unemployed people into work, including 1,500 young people – we are making a difference on the issues that local people have told us matter to them.

But, after eight years of Tory austerity, we know the cuts don’t work.

That’s why we need a Labour Government, led by Jeremy Corbyn, that will end austerity, invest in public services and support local people.

Local people can help send the Tories a message today by signing a petition against Tory austerity at

I have become increasingly concerned about the conduct of the boys from St Aloysius College on the A1 after school, writes a resident, Fitzwarren Gardens, Islington, full name supplied.

Members of the public can’t get past them as the boys steam down the Archway Road. On Wednesday last week a group of Year 7/8 boys pushed my elderly neighbour into the path of a bus coming down the Archway Road. The attitude of the female who answered phone the following day was disinterested in the extreme. “Describe them, boys misbehaving, I’ll pass it on, Goodbye”. When I tried to say it was more than misbehaving if an 85-year-old is pushed into a busy road, she said GOODBYE!!

Not once did this rude specimen ask after the lady.

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