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Islington Labour has taken another serious step towards tackling poor air quality in the borough, by becoming the first local council to introduce a new charge for diesel vehicles parking in any short stay bays in the borough. 

Diesel vehicles will have to pay an extra £2 per hour to park in any bays across Islington, and the council hopes this will encourage more people to stop using diesel vehicles. 

Cllr Claudia Webbe, Executive Member for Environment & Transport at Islington Council, said:

"Islington's air quality is not good enough. We are determined to take real action to help improve the air we all breathe, and to help local people lead healthier lives.

"Diesel emissions play a big part in contributing damaging particulates to our air, and this extra charge on short stay parking is the latest move in our efforts to reduce these harmful pollutants.

"Alongside the diesel surcharge on residents' parking permits, our anti-engine-idling policy and our calls for the Mayor of London to ban all diesel vehicles from London by 2025, Islington Labour is leading the way on making a difference to improve air quality."

Proceeds from the new charge will go into a ring-fenced account to be used for transport and parking related activities. The Council estimates that between 25-30% of the 1.59 million short-stay visitor parking sessions are made by diesel and heavy oil vehicles.

Pictured - Cllr Claudia Webbe

Tackling poor air quality

Islington Labour has taken another serious step towards tackling poor air quality in the borough, by becoming the first local council to introduce a new charge for diesel vehicles parking...

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To mark Trans Day of Remembrance (20th November), Islington Council is once again flying the Trans Flag above the Town Hall. 

The council has recently adopted a new policy to support trans staff, to help create a supportive and safe working environment for trans people. 

Cllr Osh Gantly, Labour councillor for Highbury East and one of the first trans elected representatives in the country, said:

"Trans Day of Remembrance is an opportunity for us all to highlight the continued persecution and attacks that trans people suffer. I am proud to represent my local community, and to do so as a trans woman is very important to me.

"The council's new policy to support trans staff is very welcome, and it's a great credit to our borough that once again the trans flag will be flying from the Town Hall."

Pictured - Cllr Osh Gantly 

Standing with the Trans Community

To mark Trans Day of Remembrance (20th November), Islington Council is once again flying the Trans Flag above the Town Hall.  The council has recently adopted a new policy to...

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Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Executive Member for Community Development, is urging everyone to sign Islington Labour’s petition calling on the Tory Government to guarantee the #FullRightsNow of local people from countries in the European Union.

Earlier this week, MPs debated the EU Withdrawal Bill, which sets out how the UK will leave the EU. The Bill as it is currently drafted is fatally flawed; it is not only a shameless power grab by the Tory Government, but it also puts people’s crucial rights and protections at risk.

The debate was also a reminder that the Tory Government has still not guaranteed the rights of people from countries in the European Union currently living in the UK. There is no reason why they cannot do this immediately but, almost eighteen months since the UK voted to leave the European Union, they are still failing to make this basic guarantee.

Ever since the Brexit vote, Islington Labour has repeatedly called on the Tory Government to immediately guarantee the rights of local people originally from countries in the European Union. The latest stage of our ongoing campaign to make the Tories see sense is with a petition, which calls on them to stop using our friends, family and neighbours as bargaining chips in the Brexit negotiations. Over 700 local people have signed so far and you can add your name to the petition here.

Islington is a diverse community that is home to people from all over the world, including around 30,000 people from countries in the European Union. They make a huge contribution to our community, with many working in vital public services such as the NHS. We would be poorer in every sense of the word if they left because the Tory Government failed to guarantee their right to remain in the UK.

Islington Labour is on the side of local people, wherever in the world they are from.

Islington Council is continuing to explore how it can further offer support to people from countries in the European Union. Alongside Islington IN Europe and local solicitors, it has jointly organised two advice sessions for local people concerned about the impact Brexit will have on their rights. Over 100 people attended each event. We hope to hold another early next year.

There is no reason why the Tory Government cannot guarantee the rights of people from countries in the European Union now, and we need you to add your voice to our demands that they do so immediately.

Please sign Islington Labour’s petition to keep up the pressure.

Fighting for the rights of local people from countries in the EU

Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Executive Member for Community Development, is urging everyone to sign Islington Labour’s petition calling on the Tory Government to guarantee the #FullRightsNow of local people from countries...

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For the first time, more than half of Islington Labour’s candidates at next year’s local elections will be female. If the Labour candidates are elected, Islington Council would have the highest proportion of female councillors of any council in London.

After the largest democratic process in the borough’s history, outside of a public election, almost 7,000 local party members have chosen 48 candidates to stand across the borough in the council elections on 3rd May 2018. 

14 new candidates will be standing for Islington Labour, with more female black and minority ethnic candidates standing than at the 2014 elections. 

Cllr Richard Watts, Leader of Islington Council, said: “Islington Labour is on the side of local people and is making a difference for the many, not the few, on the issues that matter most. 

“Next year's election is a chance for local people to vote for a Labour council that will build more new council homes, help people find decent jobs and give young people the best start in life. Despite cuts of over 70 per cent by the Tory Government, we are making a difference with less by protecting essential services like recycling collections, keeping all libraries open and maintaining support for older residents. 

“I am delighted that, for the first time, more than half of Islington Labour’s candidates will be female. We have a wealth of talent and experience amongst our diverse range of candidates. 

“This election will also be an opportunity to send a clear message to the Tory Government that people in Islington reject their unfair policies. 

“We will continue to work flat-out all year round to win the support of local people.”

Islington Labour’s candidates for the 2018 local elections will be –

  • Barnsbury - Rowena Champion, Jilani Chowdhury and Mouna Hamitouche
  • Bunhill - Troy Gallagher, Phil Graham and Claudia Webbe
  • Caledonian - Paul Convery, Sara Hyde and Una O'Halloran
  • Canonbury - Clare Jeapes, Nick Wayne and John Woolf
  • Clerkenwell - Ben Mackmurdie, Matt Nathan and Kadeema Woodbyrne
  • Finsbury Park - Gary Heather, Mick O'Sullivan and Asima Shaikh
  • Highbury East - Osh Gantly, Sue Lukes and Chris Russell
  • Highbury West - Theresa Debono, Andy Hull and Roulin Khondoker
  • Hillrise - Michelline Ngongo, Dave Poyser and Marian Spall
  • Holloway - Rakhia Ismail, Paul Smith and Diarmaid Ward
  • Junction - Sheila Chapman, Janet Burgess and Kaya Comer- Schwartz
  • Mildmay - Santiago Bell-Bradford, Joe Caluori and Jenny Kay
  • St George's - Tricia Clarke, Kat Fletcher and Satnam Gill
  • St Mary's – Angela Picknell, Gary Poole and Nurullah Turan          
  • St Peter’s - Vivien Cutler, Martin Klute and Alice Perry
  • Tolllington - Anjna Khuruna, Richard Watts and Flora Williamson 

26 candidates are female (54%), and 22 male. The current Labour Group is 42% female. 

Of the 14 new candidates, 8 are female and 6 male, with 21% being BAME.

Pictured - Islington Labour candidates and volunteers campaigning in Highbury. 

Majority of Islington Labour candidates to be female

For the first time, more than half of Islington Labour’s candidates at next year’s local elections will be female. If the Labour candidates are elected, Islington Council would have the...

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Ahead of the Government's Autumn Budget on 22nd November, Leader of Islington Council, Cllr Richard Watts, has written to the Chancellor urging him to help fix the housing crisis Islington faces. 

Cllr Richard Watts said:

"Islington Labour is working hard to make a difference for working people in the borough by tackling the housing crisis.

"That's why Islington Council is currently delivering the largest building programme of new council homes, prioritised for local people, in the borough for 30 years.

"By 2020, we will have delivered 3,000 new homes for social rent in a decade.

"Despite this, too many people in Islington still cannot get genuinely affordable housing, or are forced to live in overcrowded and insecure homes.

"We need the Government to act in next week’s Autumn Budget to help us tackle the housing crisis by –

  • Allowing the council to build more new council homes.
  • Protecting existing council homes.
  • Helping us to prevent homelessness.

"I have written to the Chancellor today, urging him to announce measures that will allow the council to do more to make a real difference for local people. You can read my letter here.

"Please add your voice to our calls by tweeting @PhilipHammondUK calling on him to #fixthehousingcrisis. 

"We are committed to making our borough a fairer place for all. To do that we need to be able to tackle the housing crisis head-on."

Pictured - Cllr Watts on the site of new council homes being built in Islington. 

Help us fix the housing crisis

Ahead of the Government's Autumn Budget on 22nd November, Leader of Islington Council, Cllr Richard Watts, has written to the Chancellor urging him to help fix the housing crisis Islington...

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Islington Council has announced a new business ambassador scheme to encourage more Islington employers to become accredited Living Wage employers.

The new scheme, announced during Living Wage Week, will recruit businesses in Islington who already pay the Living Wage to communicate the benefits to their peers.

Islington has 118 accredited Living Wage employers so far, one of the highest levels of any local authority area in the country. In order to drive this number up higher, the Council will appoint a Living Wage business champion to lead a peer-to-peer Living Wage drive in Islington’s private sector.

Cllr Asima Shaikh, Executive Member for Economic Development, says: “The Living Wage is good for businesses. It means higher staff morale, improved retention and lower rates of absence. We can help more local people if we have more accredited Living Wage employers in Islington. The Living Wage can mean quitting that second job, getting enough sleep and spending more time with your family.

"Encouraging employers to pay the Living Wage is just one of the ways we are working to tackle in-work poverty. By working with employers and encouraging them to be London Living Wage employers, Islington's economic growth can be inclusive so that all residents see the benefits.

“We are committed to creating a fairer borough for all, which cannot be achieved if local people do not earn a real Living Wage.”

Islington Council has been leading by example to encourage more employers to become accredited Living Wage employers. Five years ago, it became the UK’s first accredited Living Wage local authority, securing the Living Wage for all of its own staff and apprentices. It also has a Living Wage requirement built into its procurement processes, meaning 98 per cent of the Council’s contractors are paid at least the Living Wage.

During Living Wage Week this week, Islington Council became the UK’s first Living Wage landlord. It also announced plans to encourage other local grant-giving organisations to become Living Wage Friendly Funders, meaning they would require grantees to pay the Living Wage. 

Council launches Living Wage business ambassador scheme

Islington Council has announced a new business ambassador scheme to encourage more Islington employers to become accredited Living Wage employers. The new scheme, announced during Living Wage Week, will recruit...

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Labour-run Islington Council has become the UK’s first Living Wage landlord. It will insist that all new tenants in the commercial properties it lets commit to paying at least the London Living Wage to all their staff working in its buildings.

The new policy, announced during Living Wage Week, is the latest in the Council’s efforts to tackle poverty and inequality in Islington by championing the real Living Wage. Its rate is independently set to meet the actual cost of living, unlike the Tory Government’s so-called national Living Wage, which does not go far enough.

Islington Council owns approximately 60 commercial properties which are let to a variety of large and small businesses. As a Living Wage landlord, it will require new commercial tenants entering into council leases to pay the Living Wage to all their staff working on the premises. Failure to do so will mean their leases will not be renewed when they expire.

Cllr Andy Hull, Executive Member for Finance, Performance and Community Safety, says: “Everyone deserves to earn enough to live on, not just survive. Unfortunately, too many people across Islington are struggling to make ends meet after a hard day’s work. That is why Islington Council has been leading the way on the real Living Wage campaign.

“Islington has 118 accredited Living Wage employers, one of the highest concentrations in the UK. By becoming the UK’s first Living Wage landlord, we can drive this number up still higher by requiring more Islington-based organisations to do the right thing by paying their staff at least the real Living Wage.

“Paying the Living Wage can help organisations to save money through better staff retention and increased productivity. For employees, it can make coping with the rising cost of living that little bit easier. Creating a fairer borough is at the heart of what we do, and that includes tackling poverty pay.”

Islington Council’s decision to lead the way on the Living Wage was driven by its Fairness Commission, the first in the UK. There are now more than 30 others across the country.

Five years ago, the Council became the UK’s first accredited Living Wage local authority, securing the Living Wage for all its staff and apprentices. It also has a Living Wage requirement built into its procurement processes, meaning 98 per cent of the Council’s contractors are paid at least the Living Wage, including all of its 500 homecare workers.

As well as now becoming the UK’s first Living Wage landlord, Islington Council is identifying Living Wage Ambassadors who will encourage other private sector businesses in the borough to become accredited Living Wage employers as well.

A report published by the Living Wage Foundation this week shows that workers in voluntary and community sector are particularly impacted by low pay, despite the vital work they do. Last year, Islington was the first council to become a Living Wage Friendly Funder, requiring its charitable grantees to pay their staff at least the Living Wage. It is now working to increase the number of other grant-giving organisations in Islington who are Living Wage Friendly Funders.  

 

Pictured - Islington Labour councillors holding the Living Wage Week on the Town Hall steps

Islington Council becomes the UK’s first Living Wage landlord

Labour-run Islington Council has become the UK’s first Living Wage landlord. It will insist that all new tenants in the commercial properties it lets commit to paying at least the...

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Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Executive Member for Community Development, explains why Islington Council is fighting for a real Living Wage for charity sector workers.

Everyone deserves to earn enough to live on, not just survive on. That is why Islington Council is once again championing Living Wage Week (5-11 November).

A report published by the Living Wage Foundation this week shows that the charity sector is particularly affected by low pay. Over a quarter of charity workers earn less than the Living Wage despite the vital work they do. This disproportionately affects women, people from ethnic minority backgrounds and part-time workers, and risks forcing them out of the sector altogether.

Almost three quarters of those charity workers earning below the real Living Wage are women and just over half are aged between 20 and 24. Part-time workers (42.7 per cent) and people from ethnic minority backgrounds (62 per cent) are also earning less than the Living Wage in the charity sector.

It is also important that we support those charities who do outstanding work in our community to pay their workers the real Living Wage. Currently, nearly three quarters of those charities not paying the Living Wage are either small or micro charities with less than 50 employees.

Last year, Islington Council became the first Living Wage Friendly Funder. We require all the charities and voluntary sector organisations that receive funding through our £2.7 million core grants programme to pay at least the London Living Wage. This also applies to organisations that are commissioned to deliver services, including £50 million of contracts with voluntary and community sector organisations.

We are now urging other local grant-giving organisations in Islington to become Living Wage Friendly Funders and make their grants conditional on their grantees paying the Living Wage as well.

I have seen first-hand the effort the voluntary and charitable sectors put into helping others and fostering relationships within the community. Our borough would not be the same without them.

Charity sector workers do incredible work every day and it is only right that they receive the real Living Wage. Charities who pay the real Living Wage will be able to continue to recruit and retain excellent employees, which is essential if we are to continue working together to create a fairer borough for all.

 

 

Pictured - Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Executive Member for Community Development, at the launch of the Living Wage Foundation's 'Low Pay in the Charity Sector' report

Charity sector workers deserve a real Living Wage

Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Executive Member for Community Development, explains why Islington Council is fighting for a real Living Wage for charity sector workers. Everyone deserves to earn enough to live...

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Local people had their latest chance to put the questions they wanted answered to the Leader of Islington Council, Cllr Richard Watts, this week at the latest 'Leader's Question Time' event held in St Stephen's Church, Canonbury Road. 

After taking questions from residents on topics ranging from housing to anti-social behaviour, Cllr Watts said:

"Leader's Question Time is a great chance for residents to ask questions about the things that really matter to them. From local issues they want to raise with me, to questions about something the council is doing, I’m happy to answer anything that people put to me. 

"It's really important for me to hear people's views and concerns first-hand, so that the council can respond on the issues that matter to local people.

“I want to thank everyone who came along to ask questions, and I look forward to the next event in February."

Pictured - Cllr Richard Watts and the independent Chair of the Leader's Question Time, former Borough Fire Commander, Paul Hobbs.

Listening to local people

Local people had their latest chance to put the questions they wanted answered to the Leader of Islington Council, Cllr Richard Watts, this week at the latest 'Leader's Question Time'...

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Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Executive Member for Community Development, explains how Islington Council is working to tackle inequality through its London Borough of Culture bid.

Labour-run Islington Council is committed to creating a fairer borough for all. That includes reducing access, educational and employment inequalities through the arts.

Islington has a wealth of arts, heritage and cultural offers, and yet too many of our residents do not see the benefit from or take part in what is on their doorstep. We want to change this by increasing access to our cultural institutions, so that they are inclusive of everyone in Islington, regardless of their background.

Culture means different things to different people but, for me, it is all about a distinctive character. I believe that Islington has a unique vibe, with over 160 cultural organisations doing some amazing work. They have the power to make a creative difference, together with local communities.

Islington Council is bidding to be the Mayor’s London Borough of Culture 2019 so that we can deliver our vision to make Islington a place where everyone can develop, share and value their creative talent. That way, we can tackle inequalities in the borough by engaging residents who currently miss out.

Whether you are from a local community group, an established artist or organisation, or a resident, we want to hear from you about how we can achieve this. We will use the strongest ideas that you submit to shape Islington’s London Borough of Culture bid and help bridge some of the gaps in the culture, heritage and arts sector to create a fairer Islington.

The deadline for submissions is 12pm on Friday 10th November, so get applying and good luck!

How to submit a proposal:

For more information and to download the proposal form, visit the Council website. If you feel you have a good idea but would like help with completing the application form, the Arts Service will be providing sessions every weekday until Thursday 9th November. To book a session call 020 7527 5243 or email arts@islington.gov.uk  

 

Pictured - Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Executive Member for Community Development

Creating a Fairer Islington for All through the Arts

Cllr Kaya Comer-Schwartz, Executive Member for Community Development, explains how Islington Council is working to tackle inequality through its London Borough of Culture bid. Labour-run Islington Council is committed to...

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