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Readers' Letters

Readers' Letters

Gazette letters: Homes for All, Highbury Corner roundabout and Green thanks

PUBLISHED: 08:30 01 June 2019

Protestors marched to Holloway Prison site to demand council housing and community facilities. Picture: KEN MEARS

Protestors marched to Holloway Prison site to demand council housing and community facilities. Picture: KEN MEARS

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Our Islington Homes for All campaign focuses on the need for an increased provision of homes for social/council rent in the borough, writes Jenny Kassman, Islington Homes for All.

Since 2016, we have been heavily involved in the campaign for housing for social rent on the Holloway Prison site and welcome with some reservations the deal made by the Mayor of London with Peabody to provide 42 per cent homes for social rent out of the approximate 1,000 homes to be built. We also note that there will be another 18pc or so homes for rent that will be less than the market rent. According to the approximate time scales given, the first homes should be available in four to five years.

Islington Homes for All will continue to scrutinise developments on this site, participate in consultations and forums and campaign for the best outcome for those in housing need. This maybe of interest to people on Islington Council's housing waiting list who would be welcome to join us in our campaign along with others who have an interest in the provision of homes for social rent in the borough.

A second campaign that we have mounted more recently is to prevent the sale of housing association homes in the borough which has a housing waiting list of 14,000 households. To our knowledge, so far this year four housing association properties owned by Family Mosaic, Peabody and Clarion, containing a total of eight homes at social rent have been put up for auction. Such sales are happening all over London. We are campaigning for these homes to be let to households on the Islington housing waiting list rather than be sold or auctioned.

Housing association tenants may also be interested in joining us.

We meet every two to three weeks at 7pm in Islington Town Hall, Upper Street. Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, June 18. All are welcome!

, writes Mr J E Kirby, Clissold Crescent, Stoke Newington:

After reading the article in the Islington Gazette, where it was reported that a child was hit by a van in Canonbury Road, it has confirmed what a lot said and feared would happen with the removal of one side of the Highbury Corner roundabout.

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People poo-pooed those of us, including I believe the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, these people said that this would have a negligible effect on noise, pollution and traffic levels as a result of this revamp which allegedly was supposed to make it safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

I do volunteer work on a Tuesday afternoon at the Marie Curie shop at Highbury Corner. From when I get there to start at 2pm until when I finish when the shop closes at 6.30pm all we see is a constant holdup of traffic which backs up along Holloway Road. Also when I get the bus down to St Paul's Road at that time of evening, the traffic is often tailed back to Highbury Grove going towards Highbury Corner.

When I am going there in the afternoon, traffic is the same. When trying to cross the road on the new crossing outside the Hen and Chicken pub you take your life in your hands.

We read about a child of about 10-years-of-age being knocked over in Canonbury Road at about 4pm and according to one bystander the ambulance struggled to get through the heavy traffic with Canonbury Road rammed. I hope that the people who thought this scheme up are proud of what they have done, just imagine, God forbid, that we have a repeat of the Grenfell Tower tragedy at Dixon Clarke Court for instance, how would the fire services etc get there in time?

Cllr Caroline Russell (London Green Party) said she cycled past the scene and her heart goes out to the family of the child involved and that her kids went to Canonbury School. She added: "It just shows the importance of reducing road danger and trying to reduce the traffic dominance in our streets".

Fine words indeed, yes, we would all like to see a reduction in traffic and congestion on our roads but it doesn't help by reducing the roads to a single land in each direction.

There is, unfortunately, no easy answer to traffic management in London but how do you get around London today? We have the Mayor of London saying walk, cycle or use the bus or Tube so what does he do? He starts by cutting bus services ie the 277 no longer running to Highbury for a start. He also says he doesn't want empty buses, so why then do we have convoys of no 30 buses running up Ball's Pond Road, often as many as five with less than one minute between them all going to Victoria? Also, the number 73 bus runs empty from its base at Stamford Hill to Stoke Newington Common, and then, when a bus has finished its day's work, it goes empty from Stoke Newington Common to Stamford Hill, again, it could take passengers along this piece of road in each direction going to and from the garage but TfL says no, it can't be done.

The results of the European election in Islington were a watershed moment in the Brexit debate, writes John Mullen, Green Party, Islington.

The turnout was markedly up in Islington from the 2014 European election - and the great mass of voters gave the clearest signal yet that the people of this borough are committed to saying "yes" to Europe and a second referendum.

The votes for the remain parties were well over 50 per cent of the vote - and the Greens had an amazing night in London, holding onto a seat that the party has now held for 20 years. With seven UK MEPs now representing the Greens in the European Parliament, it is clear there is now a green wave spreading across Britain and Europe - and the Green Party would like to thank all of those people who voted for us. At a time of great discussion about how to resolve the Brexit question, let's hope that the two MPs that represent Islington remember what its constituents said so clearly on May 23.

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