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Islington residents have poorer wellbeing than neighbouring boroughs

13 October, 2017

Councillor Alice Donovan-Hart

• GOOD luck to Councillor Alice Donovan-Hart if she returns to Salford (Councillor who ‘can’t afford to live in Islington’ stands down, October 6).

According to the Office for National Statistics, not only do Islington residents have poorer wellbeing than our neighbours in Camden and Haringey, but residents in Salford have greater wellbeing than we do too.

Perhaps this should come as no surprise when our Labour council shows no understanding of the drivers of wellbeing and acts in ways that have a detrimental effect.

Take, for example, the following. The council will be creating an institution in its proposed residence for Windsor Street which will accommodate twice the number of people with learning disability than the Care Quality Commission permits.

The council will be creating another institution in its development for 17 people with mental health problems at Beaumont Rise. So that’s two new institutions at a time when all evidence and endeavours by the likes of the NHS say that these vulnerable people need ordinary homes on ordinary streets.

Instead of tackling the obesity crisis, the biggest single public health challenge of the 21st century, by enabling us to build physical activity into our lives, this council converts the Sobell Centre health club into a trampoline park and proposes to take away the football pitch at Barnard Park.

Furthermore, at a time when loneliness is a blight on the health of our elderly and social isolation negatively impacts their physical and mental health, the council proposes to close Sotheby Mews Day Centre – a lifeline for pensioners to exercise and socialise.

Was it any coincidence that, campaigning for votes just prior to the 2014 council elections, Councillor Janet Burgess, deputy leader and executive member for health and social care, promised to keep it open?

If only this council would listen to what people want and provide what we need so we can lead happy and healthy lives.

Isn’t it time it put an end to institutional residences and built homes for people, no matter their abilities or disabilities, provided the sports and health club facilities that promote positive outcomes, and protected our over-60s from isolation? Come on Labour, isn’t it time for wellbeing for the many, not the few?

G WESTON, N1

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