Gazette letters: Upper Street flood, hustings, Barnard Park and Lennox House Care Home

The burst water mains in Upper Street last year. Picture: LONDON FIRE BRIGADE

The burst water mains in Upper Street last year. Picture: LONDON FIRE BRIGADE - Credit: Archant

I notice work to replace the water main that burst at the Angel last year started in April and is going to take some five months, writes Mr J E Kirby, Clissold Crescent, Stoke Newington.

I estimate if the work was done on an around the clock basis it could be done in one and a half months at most.

On May 15, I was on a bus passing these works at 3.25pm. There was not a single person in sight doing any work. Very often when there are people there you will see them walking up and down or having a confab on the mobile phone, but actual work being done is zilch.

So far we have had holes dug but it appears little if any water mains replacement is actually being done. There seems to be no sense of urgency to get the work done as soon as possible to minimise disruption. It doesn’t help having the bus routes (38, 56, 73, 341 and 476) that normally turn right at Islington Green and go down Essex Road diverted along Upper Street, round Highbury Corner and down Canonbury Road.

So my question is: why does it have to take so long?

Just a short note to congratulate and thank you for an excellent hustings at St Mary’s on Sunday evening, writes Craig Cross, Priory Green, Islington.

It was encouraging to see so many people at the church and I think that it was largely due to your firm and fair (strong and stable?) chairmanship that so many interesting and relevant questions were asked in the time available. In fact, on the way out I heard one person say that wish that they could vote for “James of the Gazette”. [Thanks, Craig, for your kind words but it was actually me who chaired the event – not, it would appear, very memorably. Ed]

The Gazette is to be commended for organising the event and my occasional purchase of the newspaper (I’ve been an online reader) will now become a weekly Thursday treat. Wishing you and your colleagues continuing success.

Green space is precious in a small, condensed urban area like Islington, and we want to make our parks accessible and enjoyable for as many people as possible, writes Andrew Bedford, Islington Council’s acting head of greenspace and leisure, writes in response to last week’s letters on Barnard Park.

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Barnard Park’s new seven-a-side football pitch will be widely available to the local community, including free slots, dedicated time for groups working with children and young people, and “pay-to-play” sessions. The exact split is still to be determined and there will be further consultation on this.

Alongside an improved pitch, Barnard Park will have a new open space for park users to have a kick-about with friends.

When we consulted on our most recent proposals, the overwhelming majority (nearly 80 per cent) of responses we received – from people from a wide-range of backgrounds, including local estate residents – supported the scheme.

It’s impossible to satisfy all the competing demands of such a small space, but we think our plans strike a good balance between opportunities for formal sport and the broader community’s needs.

I was shocked to read the latest write-up about Lennox House Care Home (“Home is ‘robbing elderly of dignity’”), writes Maria O’Brien, full address supplied.

My aunt was allocated a space at Lennox House about three years ago and has been very happy since. She is a resident on the first floor and since accommodated has been on outings to the theatre, seaside and garden centres and even had a birthday party for friends and family when she reached the ripe old age of 90 last year.

She has visits two or three times a week from friends and I personally visit once every two to three weeks. There is a garden for use of residents and family and friends and just before Easter we had a lovely tea party there with my aunt and other residents that carers brought down to join us. Last summer we had a barbecue in the garden laid on by the carers.

To date none of us have seen any mistreatment of residents on this floor. I feel it’s a shame that this home will be given a bad name for one reported failure. There is also so much good that goes on.

I was at the hustings at St Mary’s Church, writes Oliver Levy.

Unsurprisingly, there didn’t seem to be much love in the room for Emily Thornberry. Alain Desmier was by far the best received, although all the candidates other than Ms Thornberry gave good accounts of themselves.

As a former Labour member and voter, I can’t in good conscience vote again for Emily Thornberry, because she has completely betrayed her constituents, seemingly putting her own career considerations above the people of Islington South.

I’d hazard a guess that many people in the room last night felt the same way.

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