Wednesday, May 30, 2007
ISLINGTON Council's £45million portfolio of 222 shops, warehouses and charity offices is set to be sold for almost £70million to property investment company Structadene.
Many leaseholders are still hoping to buy their own premises - even though a number of the 159 traders who had hoped to purchase now need to raise hundreds of thousands more than they were expecting. Structadene has told the council how much it is offering for each property in the portfolio and, in order to buy, leaseholders need to price-match this figure.
As we discussed on our site back in February, the tenant businesses were originally looking to be offered the right to purchase. Now we need to ensure that as much as possible neither the Council is deprived of revenue nor that are our local businesses are adversely affected.
We need to ensure that the Right to Buy for the tenants is as transparent and a fair a process as possible. We also need to check that the Council does not squander the monies it raises, and we will do all we can to find out how this money is 'reinvested' into our Borough!
Currently the seat is held by Labour's Jenette Arnold. In the 2004 Election, the Conservatives were narrowly third place. Labour received 26.8%, LibDems received 17.3% with the Conservative Candidate Andrew Boff receiving 16.7%. In contrast in the 2000 elections for the constituency, the LibDems had been 3.3% ahead of us, so we definately are closing the gap.
We had eight applicants to review for the selection yesterday, and short listed them down to four candidates. One of the four is a member of the Islington Association. We won't release the names until the unsuccessful applicants have been notified.
The next stage in the Selection is a Question Time format meeting at the Walthamstow Conservative Club later in June. The event will hopefully be chaired by a high profile Conservative MP. We will update you when we have all the details!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Whilst flicking through the Times today, I read today's column by Matthew Parris. IN part of his article he wrote about a bizarre situation regarding the dumping in the countryside of urban foxes. Surprisingly you can always identify a released urban fox, as it will run towards buildings instead of away from them.
This made me wonder what Islington Council does for fox management. I thought I would start with Islington Council's website and it says this:
The council's pest control section provides information and guidance on deterring foxes from your property, but doesn't provide treatments.
They recommend you contact a charity called the Fox Project. However if you look around on the Council website , you will find their guide to Urban Foxes, although I prefer their filename, PestFox. Apart from some helpful pointers on rubbish disposal, and contacting the Fox Project, the most helpful piece of advice is
- If you suspect foxes are ‘going to ground’ on your property, much can be done to discourage them from using a den by creating noise and disturbance in the vicinity
So basically make some noise or contact the Fox Project, and over in theie website, the advice is:
Some householders do not like foxes in their garden, so The Fox Project operates a specialist fox deterrence and advice service, which is both more effective and more humane than outmoded "pest control".
So it looks like we are stuck with our Urban Foxes in Islington, so let's just make sure she doesn't dont recieve any more votes.
Shoppers in Islington cheered as they witnessed a parking warden’s van being towed away by a clamper.
They watched on in delight as the Islington council van – which had stopped in a bus bay – was hoisted into the air by a TfL tow truck.
The incident took place on Upper Street, in Islington, north London. One witness said: “It was amusing. People were shouting ‘Go on my son’.”
But a TfL spokesman said: “The van actually broke down and was being recovered by the truck because both work out of the same depot.”
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Boris Johnson points out that 50% of parents in Islington buy extra tuition for their children.
My role as Chairman in Islington Conservatives isn’t to provide or comment on Conservative Party policy on a national issue, however personally I do agree with Boris’s point that we need to address our children’s education, especially in locations like Islington.
As one of the Islington Conservative Future Officers said to me on Sunday, schools are one of the most vital influences on everyone and good schools can benefit a child beyond any other factor.
I am glad that this Nationwide debate about schooling is showing the measures the Conservative Party can and will introduce when next in office, including more setting and streaming
Actually the whole of Boris's Islington related comment in his grammar schools article was as follows:
They pay for tutors, like the former Labour education minister Margaret Hodge, and it is largely thanks to her diabolical leadership of Islington that, in some schools in the borough, the number receiving expensive out-of-school tuition has risen to 50 per cent, and no one complains about the consequences for the 50 per cent of children whose parents cannot afford the tutor.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
From today's Guardian Diary:
Hats off, finally, to the ever-alert Lib Dems, who yesterday protested against post office closures outside the post office at 238 Essex Road, Islington, currently threatened with closure because it and 221 other fine properties across the borough have been put up for sale by Islington's Lib Dem-controlled council. Brilliant.
Only today Bridget Fox (Islington LibDem PPC for Islington South & Finsbury) wrote on her website:
Meanwhile Liberal Democrats will continue to support local residents and fight to save Essex Road Post Office. On Monday Jo Swinson MP supported me as we launched our petition demanding the Post Office keep Essex Road open.
How can the Islington Lib Dems be supporting residents by selling off these properties, or does Bridget not speak with her former Council colleagues?