The way ahead: chairman’s report for the AGM

 At last we are beginning to escape from Covid’s impacts though we are all being careful. Last year we had a virtual AGM, this year we are able to meet at Frederick’s.

Despite the constraints on us all we have been active and engaged and your Association has taken a close interest in St Peter’s developments, engaging with the Council and our local partners.

The two main local issues, though very different, are Low Traffic Neighbourhoods and the forthcoming boundary changes to our Ward. Everyone agrees that traffic needs to be managed and over the years our area has seen a range of initiatives and changes including street closures, lower speed limits and car share schemes. Widespread use of electric cars is clearly coming. Many wish to see a number plate recognition scheme to give mobility preference to local residents who otherwise have to make long convoluted journeys along crowded main streets. The Council have announced a local on-line consultation about the scheme so do give your views by the closing date 11 October 2021.

We strongly objected to the proposed Ward boundary changes, we lose our natural boundaries of Essex Road, New North Road, the Canal and City Road. For the 2022 Council elections onwards the Ward shifts south to cross City Road and loses much of Arlington and the Popham areas. We will consider with members whether for Angel Association purposes it is better to operate within the old boundary which is coherent and where there is a strong sense of community.

We continue to support a range of good local causes including sponsoring the planting of street trees, the Angel Boat which does such good work for disadvantaged children, we previously supported the St Peter’s Project which enlivens disadvantaged children’s holidays, we plant and maintain the very popular Canal towpath area by City Road Basin. We have developed a good relationship with the Canal and River Trust and individual members have become part of the anti graffiti initiative to help keep the towpath area pleasant and welcoming.

We are in the early stages of an Asset of Community Value initiative to try to keep the Elia Street Charles Lamb pub in business. This was a very popular local, now recently closed, and we are planning to be part of the group to try and encourage its reopening. We will keep members up to date as this initiative progresses.

We keep abreast of planning applications and comment where we consider that applications don’t respect the character neighbourhood, recognising that everyone is entitled to propose sensible changes to their property. Mansards are a continuing issue with, in some cases, developments not keeping to the agreed rules and in other cases homeowners are concerned that it’s challenging to get permission to build mansards on listed properties.

We keep in close touch with Islington’s Business Improvement District,, who do such good work keeping our town centre safe and clean. The Collins Theatre saga at the corner of Islington Green and Essex Road continues, the ground floor properties remain boarded up with no resolution with the Council in sight.

Your Committee greatly welcomes members’ support and do contact us about local issues. We are always looking for Committee members and contact us if you want to join the Committee :

Eric Sorensen

Chairman, Angel Association

September 2021.

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