Mildmay by-election: traffic and environment clash

Controversial low-traffic neighbourhood scheme was put on hold in ward last year

Friday, 30th April 2021 — By Calum Fraser

Angelo Weekes Labour right Philip Stevens Lib Dem

Angelo Weekes, Labour. Right: Philip Stevens, Lib Dem

ENVIRONMENT and traffic concerns are at the forefront of candidates’ agendas in the Mildmay by-election.

Plans to bring a street closure scheme to the ward is in motion after the council pledged £1million last year to create a “liveable neighbourhood”.

Angelo Weekes, who is standing for Labour, has pledged to keep the pressure on the Town Hall to roll out the scheme.

He said: “It’s a social justice issue. We want the life expectancy and health of Mildmay and all Islington residents not to be harmed by dirty air and pollution. Countless unnecessary journeys is something we don’t want to see.”

While there is not a Low Traffic Neighbourhood scheme set up in Mildmay, it is surrounded by ones – in Canonbury and Hackney. Critics feel this has pushed traffic into the ward and especially onto the main roads around Newington Green.

William Woodroofe, Tory. Right: Zoe Alzamora, Green

The Lib Dem candidate, Philip Stevens, said: “I believe that Islington Council is not listening to disabled people and I want to speak up for them. As a disabled person myself, I am very aware of the impact that the recently introduced LTNs have had on the less mobile. Disabled people have told us that they feel imprisoned by the LTNs and when they have contacted the council about this they haven’t had a meaningful response.”

Conservative candidate William Woodroofe said: “It’s affecting everyone. There are children who are living on streets that are highly polluted and Mildmay Road has become a thoroughfare for cars going between Islington and Hackney.

“This issue is front and centre to why I am standing. There must be a voice in the Town Hall that is challenging LTNs.”

Zoe Alzamora, who is standing for the Green Party, said she wanted to focus on issues other than LTNs and instead pledged to call for Mildmay library to be open seven days a week.

She added: “At the moment it is only open for three days a week. That is not good enough. It is a vital community source in an area where there are not many. Access to books is absolutely vital for everybody.”

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