Three boroughs sign pledge to work together to improve Finsbury Park
�Islington has pledged to work more closely with its neighbours in an area split between three boroughs – so that embarrassing scenes like this winter shambles (pictured right) can be consigned to the past.
The image shows the Islington side of Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park, perilously covered in snow, yet the pavement across the street – on Haringey ground – has already been cleared for pedestrians’ safety.
Now bosses from Islington, Haringey and Hackney councils have vowed to put an end to such scenarios by signing the Finsbury Park Accord, a commitment to a more joined-up approach to services in the area where the three meet.
Cllr James Murray, Islington Council’s executive member for housing and development, said: “There’s a law that areas on boundaries get ignored but we’re saying Finsbury Park needs to have attention placed on it. This is the starting point and it’s about making sure the councils link up services.”
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Although it is early stages, the accord document says the boroughs will consider pooling resources and agreeing joint spending proposals, which could lead to activities like gritting and rubbish collections being handled collectively.
Haringey councillor Richard Wilson (Liberal Democrats), who witnessed the signing, said: “As a local councillor, I’ve found it very difficult to get Haringey to work effectively with other boroughs, even over simple things like getting Christmas lights put up on Stroud Green Road.
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“This attempt to start trying to work better with other councils is long overdue, but residents will judge the council on its actions rather than fine words.”
The councils also agreed to work together to tackle the “high levels” of crime and antisocial behaviour in Finsbury Park and to bring about the regeneration of the area, which is described as one of London’s most deprived.
The signing took place at the Park Theatre in Clifton Terrace, a multi-million pound project seen as a symbol of a brighter future.
Building work is well underway on the playhouse, which will have two auditoriums of about 200 and 90 seats and will open later this year or in 2013, while the team has raised around �250,000 of a �400,000 target to build a floor dedicated to teaching and community projects.
Artistic director Jez Bond said: “Collaboration between the three boroughs will provide a huge advantage to the future growth of Finsbury Park in which we are proud to play a part.”
We intend to make a big impact locally; increasing young people’s access to live theatre and providing a catalyst for positive change in N4 and its surrounding areas.”