Dalston drinking and dancing ruins residents’ respite
THE rise of London’s newest party capital is leaving fed-up residents with a serious hangover – as drunken clubbers row on the street and urinate in front gardens.
And now those who live in Islington’s Balls Pond Road area have had enough.
The past couple of years have seen the nearby Dalston party scene explode with a flurry of new bars and clubs.
But when residents complain to Islington Council that their lives are being blighted by late-night revellers spilling out on to the pavements, they are fobbed off – because the clubs lie just over the border in neighbouring Hackney.
And when they ask Hackney Council to take action, they get a similar reaction – because they are Islington residents.
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As the biggest party night of the year approaches, residents are begging both councils to stop passing the buck and finally do something about the problem.
Leyla Rathouw, 32, who lives with her three sons aged nine, two and one in Boleyn Road, Islington, said: “There is lots of screaming and shouting. There are arguments and fights. There are people having sex on the streets.
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“The problem is mainly concentrated in nearby Gillett Square. When the clubbers have finished what they are doing, they come and hang around the square. It’s become a space for homeless people and drunken people.
“Hackney Council said they couldn’t do anything because I live in Islington and Islington Council said they couldn’t do anything because the noise is coming from Hackney. They are just passing the buck. We just want someone to do something.”
Michelle Daniels, whose elderly parents Judy, 67, and Brian, 70, also live in Boleyn Road, added: “The problems all started two to three years ago and now Dalston is being advertised as the new place to go out.
“My parents have had people standing outside their bedroom window urinating. We don’t want to stop people going out but people should show a little bit of respect.
“We have complained to everybody but nothing has happened. If you are an Islington resident and you are complaining about the Hackney side, they don’t want to know.”
There are dozens of late-night venues in the Dalston area – providing music, booze and food into the early hours seven days a week.
Retired milkman Michael Stratford, 66, who lives nearby in Mildmay Place, Islington, said: “The main issue is that this area has become a toilet with people urinating and defecating. It’s disgusting. Yet Islington Council has been passing the buck to Hackney and Hackney has been passing the buck to Islington.”
When approached by the Gazette, Islington Council and Hackney Council continued to direct long-suffering residents to one another – each insisting that while they would try to help, residents should still get in touch with the other council.
Councillor Paul Smith, Islington Council’s executive member for environment, said: “Our noise patrol team will always investigate any complaints from Islington residents and are available right through from 10pm to 4am on Friday and Saturday nights.
“Licensing teams in Hackney will be able to confirm whether any of the bars or clubs are breaking any conditions of their licence and the police should be able to advise on the anti-social behaviour complaints.”
A spokeswoman for Hackney Council said: “Noise complaints are dealt with by the council that is in receipt of council tax from the complainants. Where a resident is being affected by noise coming from a premises based in another borough, their council is able to enforce the Environmental Protection Act 1990 on their behalf, and take action against those premises.
“Alternatively, if the complainant is aware of the licensed premises causing problems, then under the Licensing Act 2003 they can apply for a review of the premises licence. This review would be carried out by the council that issues the licence – in this case, Hackney.”