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On your side, no matter what

Following the EU Referendum, Cllr Richard Watts, Leader of Islington Council, issued an email to over 11,000 residents. A copy of this email can be found below.

Dear Friend, 

I am immensely disappointed that the UK voted to leave the EU last night.

I fundamentally believe that as a community, and as a country, we achieve more together than we do alone. But the people have spoken, and we must respect the result of the referendum.

Being honest, I didn’t anticipate this result. As we all look for a way forward I have two priorities.

First, to ensure Islington remains a tolerant, diverse and welcoming borough.  This was an ugly campaign and if I was a member of one of the groups scapegoated during the last few months, I would be feeling pretty worried today.

When I dropped the kids off at school this morning, I have never seen such worry in the eyes of many of my fellow parents who could be forgiven for asking if they’re still welcome in their own country.  We need to stand with those who are under attack and say that, in Islington, everyone is welcome.  I will be spending some time over the next few days and weeks to spread that message of solidarity.

Second, we must protect our economy, particularly investment in new homes and jobs.  Islington has a housing and unemployment crisis, and the uncertainty created by yesterday’s vote is already hitting planned investment in the borough.  I’m worried a downturn my trigger further damaging cuts to public services from an even more right-wing Tory government.

It’s vital that the government works with Mayor Sadiq Khan and councils like Islington to start an emergency housing programme to stop house building coming to a complete stop.  

I am proud that in Islington 75 per cent of residents who voted chose to remain in the EU and that a record number of people turned out to vote.

I believe our borough can remain a beacon of tolerance, mutual respect and decency. If given the opportunity we can continue to run good services, build homes, create jobs and reduce poverty. 

Islington Labour remains on the side of working people in Islington, and we will continue to fight to protect local people from whatever challenges are created in these uncertain times.

Best wishes,


Cllr Richard Watts

Leader of Islington Council

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commented 2016-06-27 09:54:15 +0100
Democracy is a fundamental benchmark to ensuring Fairness and Justice.

For many, it seems that the rebuilding of Local lives through the engagement of Experts by Experience to innovate policy and social development, are seen as key measures for leadership and local ‘champions’. But, it is clear that many have seen and felt a disconnection to such vital needs, and development opportunities.

Having served my local community in its development of policies that address the issues I refer to above, I am passionately and objectively driven as an Expert by Experience to support local authority. But, understand that I can only be effective if the REAL issues are confronted, dissected and solved by the vast potential of diverse minds in order that we can innovate solutions way beyond expectations.

Finally, the referendum result MUST motivate education throughout our GREAT land, and into the hearts and minds of ALL. GREAT Britain loves Europe, but has voted to eradicate a Undemocratic Political Union. We MUST acknowledge and understand this in order to move forward. Democracy MUST remain a sovereign principle for every Country in Europe, and throughout our world. This principle MUST also be encouraged by all political leaders. So, many have seen for far to long a policy of “free movement” of people throughout European members a betrayal of their democracy. Do we continue to challenge this reality, or do we take a deep breath and evaluate… as we learn… understand the Power of Diversity… and continue to find new and innovating ways to work together towards achieving progress for local people.

Best wishes.

Ivor Sutton
published this page in News 2016-06-24 14:30:19 +0100

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