Gazette letters: Sotheby Mews generation and ban sale of fireworks


Green campaigners. Picture: OUR BOROUGH OUR PLANET/FOSSIL FREE ISLINGTON - Credit: Archant

The big news last month was from the climate change experts, writes Nicola Bird, Islington Green.

In their newest report the IPCC explains we’ve got 12 years to embed the lifestyle and technical changes that will make it possible for our world not to overheat.

Climate change is a confusing topic. Capping our heating planet by one or two degrees doesn’t seem that difficult. Yet missing the target by even half a degree looks set to worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

Thanks to groups like Fossil Free Islington, who’ve just convinced Islington to divest its pension fund from fossil fuels, our borough is doing OK. But could we all do better? Sometimes there’s that irritating feeling that if I’m doing my bit,it’s cancelled out by the folk next door who aren’t. So, here are five ways to make some changes to your life that will tackle climate change and not feel like a sacrifice.

1 Everyone has an “evil carbon twin”. That “twin” is probably also shamelessly posting on Facebook even before they land at their mini-break destination. Forget that person. And if you are away, turn your hot water/heating down or off

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2 You don’t have to eat vegan to save the planet. But you could eat more meat-free meals and stop wasting leftovers. Bruschetta, omelettes and soup are great ways to use up oddities

3 The poorest people do far less damage to the planet because they don’t fly and they buy less consumer goods. This Christmas avoid that pressure to buy loads of new stuff.

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4 Find ways to skill up. Know how to mend a hole, sew on a button, cook healthy food. Be sure your kids know too

5 Being lonely is not the way to sort out the climate change mess, so talk to your neighbours. Street parties and play streets are inspired but popping round for a cup of tea is easier.

Remembrance Sunday should be a wakeup call for Labour, writes Róisín Ní Corráin, Islington, full address supplied.

Without the sacrifice of the Sotheby Mews generation there would not be a Britain! Yet this faux Labour have not shelved plans to evict them from their Sotheby Mews home and put them, out of sight and out of mind, into a cramped, windowless noisy room in a building designed for teenagers.

It’s hypocrisy for councillors to stand on Islington Green with pious faces on Sunday, awaiting their photo opportunity, and then on Monday return to planning the eviction of the descendants of those who fought in the First and Second World Wars.

They say they must level Sotheby Mews to build affordable homes. But for whom? If an Islingtonian, from any of the many communities here, leaves the borough for five years, although they were born and raised here, they cannot proceed past the initial stages of the council housing application process. Without this initial step, they are also effectively barred from applying to the borough’s housing associations. Thus they are not eligible for the houses built by their fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers, having survived war but lost years of their young lives and witnessed friends and siblings being killed.

If every blade of grass in Britain is built over there will still not be enough housing. The Sotheby Mews generation should not be made a scapegoat for this. Common sense must apply!

You must ban fireworks for sale in Islington, and being used in home gardens, writes Martin Rutherford, Popham 1 Estate, Islington.

Why? This year they are louder than ever. The sound of them resembles gunfire and, with many gun attacks in Islington, how do we know that there isn’t a gun attack or a terrorist attack? We don’t.

They are continually going on until the early hours of the morning, as people don’t seem to have any respect – not just on November 5, but at least the week before and a few after.

The noise this year is louder than ever before, making animals nervous, as well as a lot of elderly and non elderly residents. Do we deserve to be subjected to this? And with so many dry leaves at this time of year, it won’t be long before there is a serious fire.

So, Islington Council, why not organise a fireworks event on Highbury Fields or suchlike, charging about £3 per person (cheaper than any fireworks, even if you were a group of 10, and don’t have any concessions). That way, it would be a one-off event, or two if you wanted one for Diwali.

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