Full sail ahead for the Angel Association



The City Road Canal Basin has always been a very important feature and amenity in our area and as an association we have tried to develop good links with the Islington Boat Club based there. We have also supported the Angel Boat charity based next to the Boat Club. With extensive support from the Council to fund and organise its refurbishment the Boat Club is now back in business, having closed in May 2022, and some of the Association’s trustees have also become trustees of the Club. We shall of course manage our respective responsibilities to make sure there are no conflicts of interest and our mutual support is properly managed. As part of our programme to support the wellbeing of our local young people the association is giving support to All On Board, based at the Boat Club and providing watersports opportunities for those with additional needs. We shall hear more about this very worthwhile programme this evening.

The Basin itself is returning to the management of Canal and River Trust as the Council prepares to stop leasing the Basin themselves in the coming year. We are therefore in touch with CRT to help ensure the Basin continues to offer good watersports opportunities.

We continue to work with other local associations such as the Islington Society, Arlington, and Duncan Terrace Associations on local planning and development issues. As we all know the redevelopment of the large office building at the City Road/Islington High Street corner is under way, we all appeared at the Planning Committee to argue against the loss of the quirky post modern 1980s building by Rock Townsend. Next door is the empty RBS building, now empty for 4 years, there should have been a plan for the whole site, a key part of our town centre. Together with other local associations we have recently written to the owners of the buildings at Islington Green/corner of Essex Road, the Collins Music Hall site. The pavement level frontage has been boarded up for years, representing a stalemate between the owners and the Council about planning conditions and getting the underground theatre space into use.

We track changes in the pattern of building uses and licensing. Here we are in Camden Passage which in not many years has moved from being an antiques centre to cafes, restaurants and hairdressers. Areas like this inevitably change but we do look at licensing applications to help try and keep a reasonable balance between a vibrant town centre and liveability. Also, we are interested in energy efficiency – heat pumps, double glazing and solar panels in listed buildings. Some of this is not easy to reconcile with the character of our neighbourhoods and we need to make progress in sensible ways.

Active Travel is the new watchword and I am glad to see so many of you here looking sleek in your lycra and cycling gear. The practical impact of this Active stuff is local road closures to discourage vehicle use and more places to store bikes, and the related impact of battery powered bikes which litter our streets. We all have our different views about all this, should we help taxis and disabled travel for example.  Your association has particularly expressed concern about adverse local impacts, for example working with our Angel Business Improvement District, Angel.London, to support local businesses and how they can efficiently manage supplies and deliveries. We all want to see a varied and vibrant town centre and the economy is tough enough without adding difficulties.

We continue to do our bit on greening initiatives, growing things in the odd corners of our neighbourhood and working with the Council on street trees, and continue to admire the splendid work of Arlington Association in Arlington Square and that of the Duncan Terrace and Vincent Terrace Associations. All this represents excellent cooperation between the Council and local greening initiatives. We have also organised visits and walks, for example to an interesting and historic house in Bloomsbury and to the squares of Barnsbury. As always your Association’s Committee welcomes your thoughts and ideas about new initiatives and issues we should be thinking about