Islington Gazette letters, May 24

How do we spend so much on dog mess?

After nearly treading in dog poo while out at Highbury Barn this weekend I was reminded of the councils ‘dog squad’ and the incredible amount of money, nearly quarter of a million pounds, being spent on a 12 week trial.

I fear that this is money down the drain and I do actually wonder how the council is managing to spend such a large amount of money in such a short space of time.

As a vet I know that the problems of anti-social behaviour with dogs and irresponsible pet ownership go far beyond the unpleasant issue of dog poo and that to address this properly we need to go beyond the superficial.

I can’t help but think that with �240,000 it should have been possible to put in place a programme for a year and beyond, extra dog wardens, an education programme and a programme to start to tackling irresponsible breeding, which in the end would have been far more successful at tackling the dog poo menace and much more besides.

The council have obviously realised that tackling dog poo is a vote winner, however I very much doubt that Islington residents will fall for what appears to be nothing more than an expensive stunt.

Caroline Allen

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Islington Green Party

Labour could help increase numbers

We all agree that Islington needs back the 50 police officers and sergeants it has lost recently. However, the new Labour Executive Member for Community Safety, Paul Convery, is only telling half the truth when he tries to make out this is all down to the Mayor of London.

Of course the Mayor’s decision to remove four sergeants from Islington was wrong. But the Labour council’s own decisions on crime and community safety have been wrong too.

Since coming to power Labour councillors have axed funding for sixteen Islington police officers and shut down two specialist police teams tackling crime hotspots. In recent weeks we have seen the shameful spectacle of the council putting lives at risk by giving the personal details of residents to the thugs they were complaining about. Yet they wonder why so many crime statistics have gone up on their watch.

Islington Labour councillors had the chance to put their money where their mouth is when the council decided its spending plans in February. But despite their fine words, Labour’s budget proposals will not put a single extra police officer on Islington’s streets this year. To add insult to injury, Labour councillors voted down Liberal Democrat proposals to put an extra nine police officers on Islington’s streets.

No doubt Labour councillors will revert to their usual claim that it is all the Government’s fault. But local residents will not understand why these cuts to policing and community safety have taken place in Islington when the council failed to spend �9 million of its budget last year. Islington Labour councillors are on very weak ground blaming others when they promised to be ‘tough on crime and the causes of crime’. Tragically, their actions have instead left public confidence in reporting crime to the council in tatters.

Councillor Rhodri-Jamieson Ball

Liberal Democrat Community Safety Spokesperson

Surely it’s time for a ‘Wenger Way’

Concerning the new Student Tower plan by Arsenal. Could this not be the chance to deliver the long-promised footbridge from outside the underground station over the A1 and onto the other side – continuing to the stadium if necessary? Of benefit to commuters and supporters alike, surely the time is right. Call it Wenger Way, but let us have that bridge!

John O’Connell

Bardolph Road, N7

Commute can be fundraising effort

Like many people in London I was wondering how I could make this my Olympic year. So as a sports fan, I’ve set up The Big Home 2012 fundraising event where people can run, walk or even skateboard their commute to raise money for homeless charity St Mungo’s.

I’ll be leading the way running and walking my 90 mile commute from my office in White Lion Street, Islington, to Winchester – a staggering thought – and I would love it if readers could accomplish their own home run during the 2012 Games.

Whatever your age or fitness levels you’re welcome to join. Plus you can go the distance at your own pace. And when it comes to sponsorship, raise as little or as much money as you like.

Taking part in The Big Home Run 2012 will also be a great way of circumnavigating public transport and it might even inspire readers to kickstart a new fitness regime.

If people are interested, they can visit or call 020 8762 5582 or email

I’ve also set a Twitter account @SebsBigHomeRun so you can follow my progress.

Please join me and help create a positive legacy for homeless people in the capital.

Seb Mayfield


Do you remember our infant school?

Our school is celebrating its centenary later this year and we are looking for any ex pupils to contact us with any memories, stories, photo’s etc of their time spent at the school. According to our records, many children from the Islington area were evacuated to Wellingborough in the Second World War. Most of the children went to Moreland Street School, as it was known then. Anyone with any information can contact the school by to The Avenue Infant School, The Avenue, Wellingborough, Northants, NN8 4ET or by emailing

Allison Munns

The Avenue Infant School, Northants