Islington has been afire with the news of the Council's plans to sell two hundred of its freeholds to finance its spending on schools, regeneration and home building programmes, a portfolio said to be worth about £45 million.
We have been covering this story on our main website since the first news broke. Our Nick Canty attended the explosive South Area Meeting on Monday night- his report is soon to be posted. Traders on Amwell Street have taken out a full page advertisement in today's Islington Tribune, warning that a wholescale sell-off will result in increased rents, breakdown of communities, and the loss of shops and services.
Meanwhile, the Council has been blasted for its £5 million bill for external consultants last year, a 150% increase from 2001. Islington is one of the biggest spenders on schools in the country but remains one of the worst-performing boroughs for education in the UK - last week, it was revealed that 96% of children at the Clerkenwell Parochial C of E school failed to meet the Government's writing targets. Homes for Islington is hitting leaseholders with bills of up to £41,000 for what is claimed to be years of underinvestment in our estates. So is this the real reason why they want to sell off these properties?
In any case, please help our neighbours and local businessmen in their efforts to buy these freeholds, remembering the great Conservative tradition of supporting communities by giving council tenants the right to buy their properties instead of selling to faceless developers. Here's what you can do:
- Visit www.amwelltraders.wordpress.com for more information about the impact of this sell-off on Amwell Street and sign their petition.
- Write to your local councillor and to the local newspapers.
- Attend your local area meeting:
- North Area Committee Meeting: February 13, 7.30pm, Archway Campus
- East Area Committee: February 13, 7.30pm, Resources Centre, 356 Holloway Road
Please use the comments section to let us know your thoughts and experiences about this sell-off!