Where You Live: Islington

Where you live >> Islington

London is more than just the City and its famous landmarks. More than its museums, theatres, palaces, taxis and red buses. It is home to some 8 million people. You live, work and socialise across London’s 32 boroughs – you make them tick. You give Islington’s neighbourhoods, from Clerkenwell to Finsbury Park, their unique identity. It is these distinct areas that make our great capital such a rich and diverse city. Unlike the previous Mayor, Boris is working to give all your boroughs - not just Zones 1-3 - his attention.

Boris Johnson has a nine point plan to secure Greater London’s future. He is paying for this plan by cutting waste at City Hall to free up £3.5 billion for services.

In Islington the plan means:

  • Freezing City Hall’s share of council tax for three successive years and cutting it this year, benefitting 99,970 Islington households and putting an average £445[1] back into pockets. (Point 2) (GLA, Press Release, 1 February 2012, link ;  GLA Website, ‘Budget archive’, link.)
  • Investing in local high streets with £92,5000 of funding for Archway Islington from the Outer London Fund, for Archway. (Point 6) (GLA, Outer London Fund – Round 1 Grant Funding, link.)
  • Investing in local transport with the building of Crossrail at Farringdon station, expanding London Overground to four stations in Islington, rolling-out Oyster cards onto national rail, and investing £12.2 million in local transport in Islington. (Point 8) (TfL, Press Release 20 November 2008, link, TfL, Press Release, 11 December 2009, link ; TfL, Press Release, 16 December 2010, link; TfL, Press Release, 15 December 2011, link)

  • Boris is benefitting local pensioners by reversing the previous Labour government decision to stop those at 60 getting the Freedom Pass until 65.
  • He is also the only candidate in this election who can secure a better deal for London from No 10.

Freezing council tax

  • Boris Johnson has frozen council tax for three years and is cutting it this year. Boris Johnson has frozen his share council tax for three years and is cutting it this year (GLA, Mayor’s Final Draft Consolidated Budget 2012-13, link).
    • This has helped keep cost of living low for 99,970households in Islington (DCLG, Council Tax Base, October 2011), putting £445 back in the pocket of the average household.

Restoring green space

  • 118 Green Spaces. 118 green spaces have been created for Islington residents to grow their own food (7 funded by the LDA) (Capital Growth Website, link).
  • 367 street trees. 367 street trees have been planted in Islington under Boris Johnson (London Assembly, Written answers to Mayoral questions, 25 January 2012, link).
  • Ending garden grabbing. Boris Johnson has introduced new protections for gardens from development. His revised London Plan enables boroughs to: ‘introduce a presumption against development on back gardens or other private residential gardens where this can be locally justified’ (GLA, The London Plan 2011, July 2011, p. 86-87, link). Draft guidance also urges councils to prevent garden grabbing: ‘Such a presumption reflects Government’s recognition in PPS3 of the need to provide support for justified, local measures to prevent “garden grabbing”’ (GLA, Draft supplementary planning guidance, December 2011, link).

Investing to transform local high streets

  • Investing £92,5000 in Archway Islington from the Outer London Fund Archway is receiving a £92,500 boost from the Outer London Fund. This money will be spent to attract shoppers and boost local businesses (GLA, Outer London Fund – Round 1 Grant Funding, link).

Making your streets and homes safer

  • 1,000 more police across London by May and £132 million more investment under Boris. The number of Special Constables has more than doubled from 2,500 to well over 5,000 (GLA, The Mayor’s Consultation Budget, 22 December 2011, link; MPA Website, Police numbers, link; GLA, Mayor’s Final Budget 2011-12, link; Evening Standard, 30 January 2012, link).
  • 39 more patrols per month in Islington. In 2010-11 there were 39 more patrols per month in Islington than in 2008-9. (London Assembly, Written answers to Mayoral questions, 22 February 2012, link).
  • Total crime and robberies in Islington have fallen. Since May 2008, Islington has seen an 18% decrease in total crime and a 20.% reduction in the number of robberies. Youth violence is down 15% and bus crime has fallen 43.7% (MPS Statistics, May 08 -Jan 12 compared to Aug 04-April 08).

Ensuring a true Olympic legacy

  • Boris Johnson has funded five sport participation programmes in Islington so far. They are (Mayor of London, Sporting future for London, April 2009, p. 9, link):
  • 7 organisations in Islington are receiving Sports Legacy Programme grants. 7 organisations in Islington are receiving Sports Legacy Programme Grants to offer free sports coaching to London (Freesport Programme Website, link).

Investing in Transport

  • £12.2 million of funding for local transport in Islington. Since becoming Mayor, Boris Johnson has invested over £13.9 million to boost local transport in Islington. In 2011 this included £571,000 for the second phase of a three year programme to regenerate Hornsey Road and improve the safety for cyclists and pedestrians. Particular attention will be made to improving access to local shops and reducing accidents (TfL, Press Release 20 November 2008, link , TfL, Press Release, 11 December 2009, link ; TfL, Press Release, 16 December 2010, link; TfL ,Press Release, 15 December 2011, link).

Underground

  • Upgrade of the London Underground. This is part of the Tube upgrade programme secured by Boris Johnson:
    • Northern Line. When the upgrade is completed in 2014 capacity will have been improved by one fifth, meaning the line can carry an additional 11,000 passengers per hour at peak time.  Passengers will also see an 18 per cent reduction in journey time (TfL Website, Northern line upgrade plan, link).
    • Victoria Line. New trains and signalling has increase capacity by 21 per cent, meaning that from 2013,the line will be able to carry an additional 10,000 passengers per hour at peak time. Passengers will also see a 16 per cent reduction in journey time (TfL Website, Victoria line upgrade plan, link).
    • Piccadilly Line. The Piccadilly will be one of the two last lines to be upgraded. The upgrades will deliver new trains, new signaling and new control centers, allowing for increased capacity on the line (TfL, ‘Tube Upgrade Plan’, link).

Rail

  • Crossrail. Islington will have one Crossrail station at Farringdon to provide better East-West links (HMT, Spending Review, 22 October 2010, p.23, link).
  • Oyster Cards rolled out on national rail. After years of talk under Ken Livingstone, Boris Johnson secured the roll-out of Oyster cards onto national rail. Islington is now the 25th highest oyster- using borough on national rail services (TfL Website, ‘Oyster on National Rail’, December 2009, link).

Roads and congestion

  • Introduced the roadworks Permit Scheme. Boris Johnson introduced the roadworks Permit Scheme in 2010, resulting in an average 17 per cent cut in the number of road works by utility companies in those boroughs, such as Islington, which have adopted the scheme (GLA, Press Release, 11 January 2010, link London Councils, London Permit Scheme: First Year Evaluation Report, 27 May 2011, link). 15 per cent of applications by utility companies to dig up roads in Islington have been refused following the introduction of the permit scheme (ibid.).
  • Scrapped the Western Extension Zone. Boris Johnson scrapped Ken Livingstone’s Western Extension of the Congestion Charging Zone in December 2010 after 69 per cent of residents voted in favour of cancelling the zone (TfL, Press Release, 20 October 2010, link).
  • C-Charge. Boris also scrapped Ken Livingstone’s plans to introduce a £25 charge for family vehicles (TfL, Press Release, 20 October 2010, link).

Buses

  • Bus improvements. 32 bus routes in Islington have been expanded and/or improved under Boris Johnson (TfL, Bus service changes borough by borough, May 2008-January 2012).
  • Bendy Buses removed. Nearly 500 new vehicles boasting the latest clean engine technology will replace the Bendy buses. Transport for London estimates this will save more  than £7 million a year (TfL, Press Release, 5 October 2011, link).
  • Islington had three bendy bus routes removed. Former bendy bus routes 29, 38 and 73 running through Islington have had the bendy bus withdrawn (TfL, Press Release, 13 November 2009, link).

Cycling

  • Cycle Superhighways. Cycle Superhighway 12 will run from Muswell Hill to Angel by 2013 (TfL Website, ‘Cycle Superhighways: About the scheme’, link).

Housing

  • 770 total affordable housing units completed in Islington.  580 social rented and 200 intermediate affordable housing units were completed in Islington between 2008/09 and 2010/11. (DCLG, Affordable Housing Live Tables 1006,1007,1008).

Mayoral visits

  • Boris Johnson has made more visits to Islington in four years than Ken Livingstone made in eight. Boris Johnson has visited Islington ten times since July 2008. Ken Livingstone visited Islington just twice in his eight years as Mayor (GLA, Mayor’s Report to the Assembly, May 2000 – April 2008; GLA, Mayor’s Report to the Assembly, May 2008 – March 2012).

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