Tag Archives: islington council

Marisha Ray selected for Lib Dems in Croydon North

The Liberal Democrats have tonight selected Marisha Ray as Parliamentary Candidate for the Croydon North by-election, caused by the death of Malcolm Wicks MP.

Marisha, a married mother of one, is a former IT professional. She spent much of her childhood with close family friends in Croydon. Marisha served as a councillor in Islington between 2002 and 2010, and was an executive member with special responsibility for tackling crime (2006-08), implementing a groundbreaking gang prevention strategy.

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections and Selection news | Also tagged , and | 10 Comments

The problem with poll cards, 2011 vintage

Millions of pounds have been spent in total in the UK on testing various forms of electronic voting, in the hope that this might raise turnout in elections. The overall verdict across different technologies – such as voting by SMS or online – has been remarkably consistent: it’s expensive, not very reliable, of dubious security and, above all, has almost no impact on turnout levels.

It’s easy to see how the idea of using modern technology has caught the eye and budget of decision makers. But with the emphasis on the high-tech, boringly old-fashioned items such as paperwork have got much …

Posted in Election law | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Donna Boffa RIP

Sad news has reached us here at Lib Dem Voice that Islington Councillor Donna Boffa died today after a long illness.

From the Islington Tribune:

Cllr Boffa, 43, was first elected to represent Bunhill ward in 2003, in a by-election following the death of Lib Dem Cllr Rose Wooding. She leaves behind five children.

Islington Council leader Lib Dem Cllr Terry Stacy said: “Donna was a fighter right through to the end. From the day she was elected a councillor, Donna never forgot where she came from or who she was there to represent. Donna was all about helping the people without

Posted in Obituaries | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Clause 81 of the New Roads and Street Act 1991 is your friend

You may have been following some of my travails trying to get repairs made to some of those telephone, broadband, traffic light etc boxes which appear on many pavements.

Although  my own local council (Islington) is very good at dealing with them either directly themselves or passing on to the relevant company and ensuring the work is done, other councils, including Haringey and Westminster, are far less so.

Haringey in theory also gets the job done if a member of the public reports a problem to them, but in practice I’ve often found problems of things going wrong or being forgotten.

Worst of …

Posted in Local government | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Does Richard Tracey understand his own recommendations?

London Assembly Member Richard Tracey has past form on writing odd letters to local newspapers in London. In August I reported on his claims that a Tory mayor and Tory boroughs were responsible for London not seeing a rise in unemployment – when in fact unemployment, sadly, has soared across the whole of London.
Now he has sent this letter to Southwark News:

“The introduction of speed cameras to enforce 20mph zones in Southwark, Waltham Forest and other London boroughs is bad for London’s hard-pressed motorists.
There are already too many revenue-raising speed cameras on the capital’s roads, London does not need more.

Furthermore, there is a danger that large areas of average speed-check cameras will encourage drivers to concentrate on their speedometers instead of the road; which would have a counter-productive effect on safety.

Many road-users feel that congestion means journeys in London already take too long and 20mph speed limits will force people to spend even longer in their cars. Not to mention that driving at 20mph causes even more pollution and higher CO2 emissions than driving at 30mph.

Richard Tracey, London Assembly Conservative Transport spokesman”

Richard Tracey might have a point that speed cameras are not popular, but he does seem to be exaggerating just how many would be necessary to ensure that 20 mph zones are effectively enforced.

Posted in London and News | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 15 December 2009

It’s December 15th. It’s 4 years since Latvia amended its constitution so that same-sex couples would not be entitled to marry.

2 Big Stories

Registrar who refused to carry out civil partnership ceremonies loses appeal
Islington Council has won its High Court appeal against a ruling that it had discriminated against a Christian registrar who refused to conduct same-sex civil partnership ceremonies.

From the Islington Tribune:

Lillian Ladele, 48, had hoped to overturn a decision by a top employment tribunal judge who had backed Islington Council in the dispute.
The council said Ms Ladele’s religious beliefs, that same sex unions were “sinful”, clashed with their strict employment codes and meant she was failing to fulfil her duties.

High Court “Master of the Rolls” Lord Justice Dyson dismissed the appeal this morning and ordered Ms Ladele, who was not present in court, to pay costs.
In a 17 page judgement, Lord Dyson said: “Islington wished to ensure that all their registrars were designated to conduct, and did conduct, civil partnerships as they regarded this as consistent with their strong commitment to fighting discrimination, and internally in the sense of relations with and between their employees. I find it very hard to see how this could be challenged.”

Liberal Democrat councillor Ruth Polling (Islington’s cabinet member for Equalities) said,

This is very welcome news. The judgement is the right one as it confirms all public sector employees must carry out their duties without discrimination and Islington was right to insist this of all our staff. We are delighted it provides much-needed clarity for employers across the country.”

You can read more here.

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 13 Comments

Guardian asks Lib Dems, “When did you stop beating your wife?”

The Grauniad, bastion of liberal values. But also a newspaper which today gives vent to a number of unsubstantiated smears against the Lib Dems in an article by Steven Morris – Liberal Democrats accused of dog whistle politics over Gypsy claims – which buys hook, line and sinker into the spin from Labour and Tory HQs.

The Grauniad’s story focuses on Islington (though cheerfully throws a few other snide half-truths into the mix to legitimise turning a local issue into a story for a national newspaper – of which more later), and the recent proposal by Islington Labour party to consider locating a site for travellers and gypsies in Highbury Fields, the borough’s premier open space. The Lib Dems in the area have campaigned against the idea, arguing that Highbury Fields is unsuitable as a location for any development, including new travellers’ sites. Agree or disagree with the local party’s position, but it’s an entirely consistent view.

What’s most definitely not consistent is Islington Labour leader Catherine West’s spin. Here’s how the Grauniad presents it:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 26 Comments

Boris Johnson brings the house down

The Mayor of London, who is in charge of the capital’s planning issues, was told to remove a wooden summer house at his Islington home because it was built without planning permission.

From the Times:

Council officers ordered Boris Johnson to remove the shed from a balcony at his home, a Grade II listed building in a conservation area of Islington, North London.

Islington Council wrote to Mr Johnson to tell him that the shed required planning permission because it was within the curtilage of a listed building.

“Planning enforcement officers advised Mr Johnson that the shed did not have planning

Posted in London and News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

CommentIsLinked@LDV… Terry Stacy: Councils must be transparent and accountable about surveillance

Well, it’s not quite an op-ed article, but there’s a detailed letter from Lib Dem leader of Islington Council, Cllr Terry Stacy, urges all councils to follow Islington’s example, and reject the local use of surveillance powers. Here’s an excerpt:

… local government really is on the frontline of Britain’s expanding surveillance state – councillors and council leaders need to be held accountable for their decisions. Councillors must decide whether they embrace the surveillance society, or reject it and introduce checks and balances and public democratic oversight of the local use of surveillance powers, as the Liberal Democrats have done

Posted in LibLink and Local government | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Opinion: RIPA – Lib Dems are leading the way in improving scrutiny of council surveillance

As the latest series of reality show Big Brother graces our TV screens, I wonder if all those millions of viewers remember that – 60 years since George Orwell published 1984 – we are increasingly living in a Big Brother Britain?

As the new leader of Islington’s Liberal Democrat council I wanted us to do our bit in rolling back the surveillance state that has been growing up around us under twelve years of Labour Government. That’s why I’m following the example of other Liberal Democrat councils like Oldham in making the council’s use of its investigatory surveillance powers more transparent, …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

Lib Dem councillor ‘faces down youths goading dog to attack tree’

And, no, she didn’t need to call the police/council, or threaten litigation to deal with the matter. And, no, the young people in question did not threaten violence against her as a result of her intervention. From the Islington Tribune:

FACED with a group of youths goading a Staffordshire Bull Terrier to strip bark off trees to toughen its jaws, a lesser person would walk away. But 82-year-old deputy mayor and Lib Dem councillor Anna Berent is not a lesser person – she once bit a burglar – and the safety of the tree, in Petherton Road, in Highbury, was

Posted in Local government and News | 2 Comments

Opinion: How Islington’s Liberal Democrat Council is responding to the recession

Liberal Democrat councils in London and across the country have been working on ways to help their residents and local businesses through the recession. Vince Cable is leading the debate nationally, and Liberal Democrats in local government are supplying answers to the real problems on the ground.

In Islington, the Liberal Democrats inherited a basket case council from the loony-left. Labour-run Islington was the proverbial case of bad local government, with enormous levels of debt and the highest council tax in the capital. Labour Islington was a tabloid favourite with scandals, sky-high spending, and crazy policies. …

Posted in Local government, London and Op-eds | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Islington Council wins appeal over registrar who refused to carry out same-sex marriages

The BBC reports:

A council has won its appeal against a ruling it discriminated against a Christian registrar who refused to conduct same-sex civil partnerships.

Lillian Ladele said she could not carry out same-sex ceremonies “as a matter of religious conscience”.

An Employment Tribunal found in July that Islington Council, in north London, had unlawfully discriminated against her.

But an Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has now upheld the authority’s appeal…

Islington councillor John Gilbert said: “The council is extremely pleased with this decision which it believes to be the right one.”

You can read the full story here. Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrats equalities spokesperson, …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 13 Comments

Opposition watch news from around the country

Blyth Valley: Labour Mayor switches to Liberal Democrats.
Islington: Conservatives choose lap-dancing establishment for their Christmas party.

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Liberal Democrat Council intervenes as Labour Council bans “controversial opinions” from library

Jonathan Calder has the welcome news that Liberal Democrat run Islington Council has stepped in to the controversy over Labour run Hackney Council’s decision to ban the launch of a book by Iain Sinclair from one of its libraries because the book expressed, “controversial or political opinions”.

This excuse has been given very little credence by anyone outside Hackney Council. The real motive for the ban looks to be the author’s critical views of the 2012 Olympics plans, which the council has been an enthusiastic supporter of.

In response to the ban, Islington Council has invited the author to come and launch …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Greening Islington

Yesterday the BBC ran a TV story on how Lib Dems in Islington are greening the borough. All the Council offices, libraries, leisure facilities and streetlights now run off renewable electricity and Islington’s vehicle fleet is getting greener each year as vehicles are converted to run on electricity, LPG or biodiesel.

The planning rules have also been strengthened so as to promote energy efficiency, cycle parking, water saving and green roofs.

The latest initiative is wind turbines on Council offices.

You can watch the story on the BBC website.

Posted in News | 1 Comment

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    Thank you, William. Tom Arms offered us Warfare or Welfare. Hopefully our larger body of MPs will push the new government hard to analyse the causes of th...
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