Gazette letters: The eclipse, St Mary’s Path, protect children from cars and smog and tackling crime

Mavis Pilbeam took this picture of the partial eclipse from her window.

Mavis Pilbeam took this picture of the partial eclipse from her window. - Credit: Mavis Pilbeam

I looked out of my window last night about 10pm and thought, “What has happened to the full moon?”, writes Mavis Pilbeam, Tufnell Park, full address supplied

The most amazing eclipse! Close to the anniversary of the first moon landing on July 20, 1969.

We are surprised that Islington and Shoreditch Housing Association (ISHA) continue to claim their consultation over the redevelopment of St Mary's Path Estate has been "proper", "rigorous" and "independent" (see Consultation on estate under way, July 18), writes Nico Christian, chairman, St Mary's Path Estate Tenants and Residents Association.

Most residents have not felt it to be any of these things - or to be genuine or fair. It has been far too short for something that will affect the rest of our lives and was also poorly run. ISHA are also still saying they do not want to be bound by the residents preferred choice, making the consultation a meaningless exercise.

Early on in the process the Tenants and Residents Association requested that Connect, the company hired to run the consultation, extend the first phase of it by just one week, so that residents could discuss the proposals together, as a community. This was refused though. ISHA later added two more days - partly under pressure but mostly because of a low turn out to the consultation. These two days were added too late in the process to make a difference though. And the exhibition flat where the consultation was held was actually closed on one of the added days, as the consultant never turned up.

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The reason for the poor turn out was also because only five days notice was given to residents prior to the consultation and the time given to residents to consider the issues was far too short.

All in all, the consultation lasted just 26 days, which included a two-weeks long lull between the two phases.

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This is just short of four weeks and a long way short of the Local Government Association best practice recommendations, which suggest that consultations should last between six to 12 weeks.

The fact it was held in an empty flat in St Mary's House looked good on paper as it was supposed "to make it as easy as possible for the estate's residents to take part". But as it was on the first floor, it was inaccessible to disabled residents. One disabled resident told us that ISHA had arranged a home visit with them but the Connect consultant didn't turn up. We asked ISHA confirmation that all disabled residents had been visited at home with the presence of an architect to explain the plans but they never replied.

It is not clear who ISHA are trying to convince when they repeat claims about their consultation process, maybe themselves, but we are certainly not convinced.

Cllr Claudia Webbe, Islington Environment Executive, tweets (July 21, 2019): "With residents we led the transformation of a former industrial street to become a street for children designed by children themselves to support our new Moreland Primary School and Children's Centre.", writes Anita Frizzarin, Wedmore Gardens, Archway.

Painting a street does not make it "for children".

Motor vehicles will still go through it, and make it totally unsuitable for children.

A street will be for children when you put bollards in it, and motor traffic can no longer go through it.

I would like to point something out to parents on behalf of their young children in prams that go walking about the high street, writes Michael McElligott, Amwell Street, Islington.

When the poison smog is sinking towards their kids young lungs it is unhealthy most likely lethal.

I think they should protect their kids from dangerous lung conditions as their immune systems are underdeveloped. Wake up!

I also observe the antisemitism issue being presented and if this is an issue for human rights then where is the "shout out" for kids that live in poverty in Islington or are politicians not interested in their rights?

The causes of violent crime are multi-faceted and complex, and we know that these have been compounded by the government's £1 billion cut to the Met Police's budget by 2023, writes Jennette Arnold OBE , London Assembly Member for North East (Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest).

This week, City Hall shone a spotlight upon the specific and significant link between poverty and violent crime. It is something that is widely acknowledged, but not talked about nearly enough on the public stage.

From City Hall, the mayor is addressing this issue through the roll-out of a £45 million Young Londoners Fund, as part of his wider public health approach model.

There's no escaping the need for the government to confront the empirical reality that violent crime is one of the side-effects of their programme of austerity. Of course, there is no excuse for criminality. We now need everyone - communities, the police and politicians - to play their part.

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