Gazette letters: Shaquan Sammy-Plummer Foundation, Angel Wings, Sainsbury’s and M&S closure

Jessica Plummer, mother of murdered son Shaquan, speaks at a peace march. Picture: CATHERINE DAVISON

Jessica Plummer, mother of murdered son Shaquan, speaks at a peace march. Picture: CATHERINE DAVISON - Credit: Photo Catherine Davison

The Shaquan Sammy-Plummer Foundation is named after a young man from Finsbury Park who was fatally stabbed in January 2015, write Ann Devine and Jessica Plummer, of the Shaquan Sammy-Plummer Foundation.

The Foundation approaches young people in a respectful way, and without judging them, to try to persuade them not to carry knives.

Young people who gather outside McDonalds at the Nag’s Head in Holloway tell the Foundation they need homework clubs. Islington Libraries run free homework clubs from 4pm to 7pm during term-time on Thursdays at Cat and Mouse Library in Camden Road and on Tuesdays at North Library in Manor Gardens.

In addition, many young people tell the Foundation they need help to apply for apprenticeships and jobs.

If we listen to young people with respect and take in what they say, then that can help them learn how to do the same to other people. We also need to approach their parents in the same way to help them help their children.

Following the coverage in local media about the “save the wings” campaign we believe it is important to highlight the impact to the local economy should the proposed development of Angel Central not proceed due to the wings sculpture remaining in place, writes Christine Lovett, chief executive of in Islington High Street., the Business Improvement District (BID) for the area representing over 600 businesses, welcomes the development at Angel Central and all that it will bring to the local area.

There is clearly a lot of support for retaining the wings sculpture, but it is not universal. And while the sculpture plays a part of the identity of the locale, it is concerning to think that its very presence is curtailing a pivotal development within the heart of Angel.

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The proposed upper level circular walkway and ground level landscaping at Angel Central will both improve visitor movement and create better linkages to Liverpool Road and Chapel Market. Moreover, the planned developments would result in better facilities for those with access needs and new public conveniences that will benefit all in the community.

The pressure of the recession is still being felt in high streets across the UK, highlighted by the recent announcement by House of Fraser of the closure of a significant proportion of its high street portfolio.

In Angel we are lucky to have a vibrant high street with a healthy mix of retail and leisure covering both large brands and independents. But we are not complacent and recognise that continued investment is required in order for Angel to maintain its vibrancy.

Thus it is critical that the £11million upgrade to Angel Central should go ahead.

The planned development will generate approximately 100 direct new jobs for the area at all levels, from first-time employment for young people through to management level roles.

The development of Angel Central will also help to safeguard those jobs already in place, by ensuring its long-term sustainability that is vital for the Angel and the wider community.

It made me chuckle to read Sainsbury’s described as a “brazen supermarket giant” in your piece chronicling the supermarket’s latest attempt to open a shop on the Blackstock Road, writes Jack Neill-Hall, of Prah Road, Finsbury Park.

How terribly brazen, impertinent, downright dodgy even, for the supermarket to use the official planning process to attempt to open a shop in an area they believe there to be local demand.

While I’m sure it is relatively easy to find exorcised local campaigners and publicity-hungry councilors seeking to pick a fight with a corporate baddy, please could you consider the less vocal local majority who would quite like a new convenient place to pick up something nice for dinner?

I’m sure the extra local jobs and businesses rates revenue might be useful.

Nearby local businesses might even find that such a prominent high street anchor shop like a Sainsbury’s Local might even increase daily footfall and total sales from passing businesses.

I am very sad that Marks and Spencer in Holloway Road will close. I have lived here 30 years and have used the shop two or three times a week during that time, writes Deborah Fuller, of Windsor Road in Holloway.

We lost John Lewis in the early ‘90s and this is another blow for the Nag’s Head area. It’s hard to see who will take over such a big shop.

It was great having an Marks and Spencer we could walk to, and I don’t see the point of them closing this one and then opening a new one in Archway.

I know they are trialling home delivery but I don’t want to get loads of plastic bags and I prefer to be able to see what’s available, and not have an extra van driving around. Archway will be a short bus ride away but won’t have any clothes.

It will be a sad day for the Nag’s Head when it goes.

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