Gazette letters: Holborn Studios, floods, dangerous road upgrade, James Cook MBE and fight against hate

Holborn Studios in Eagle Wharf Road (Picture: Isabel Infantes)

Holborn Studios in Eagle Wharf Road (Picture: Isabel Infantes) - Credit: Archant

Hackney Council has made some good decisions in recent years, writes Ian Shacklock, chairman, Friends of Regent’s Canal.

Cycling facilities have improved significantly, the Wenlock Pub has been absorbed into the Regent’s Canal Conservation Area, and most importantly the council went out of its way to protect the Holborn Studios buildings by adding them all to the local heritage list two years ago. So why on earth did the same council decide last week to allow this much admired establishment to be flattened and replaced with characterless modern buildings? [Gazette, July 7] Obviously, this was a crazy mistake; fortunately it’s not too late to correct it.

I read with interest the letter about flooding in last Thursday’s Gazette [July 7] from Caroline Russell AM, London-wide Green Party member, writes Mr J E Kirby, Clissold Crescent, Stoke Newington.

One of the problems is how the actual road surface is constructed. Years ago, the surface had a camber from the crown (road centre) to the side. The idea behind this is that surface water would run from the road centre to the gutter on each side of the road and then into the surface water drain.

Today, however, road surfaces seem to be flat from gutter to gutter, thus allowing surface water to stand instead of draining.

Another problem is that the surface water drains appear not to be cleaned and inspected on a regular basis; however, I notice that on a red route road which TfL are responsible for, the drains do get cleaned.

Another problem, particularly when roadworks are carried out, is that the refilling of the hole does not seem to be done properly as after a short while the tarmac and other filling seems to sink, leaving a depression in the road of both the width of the original digging and sometimes a depth of some two or three inches. This allows pooling of the water as in the instance of the north- and southbound bus stops at Clissold Crescent on the B104 Albion Road in Stoke Newington.

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When it rains, the dip in the road forms a puddle and people waiting at the bus stop, especially the northbound stop, get showered with water when buses approach.

Perhaps people could fill holes properly and then after a few weeks re-inspect them for settlement and the re-fill. Perhaps then puddling as described would be less likely to happen. I am not saying regular inspection and cleaning of road drains would solve this 100 per cent, but it would certainly help.

Years ago, councils used to have gulley cleaning vehicles and crews who did this, but it seems this is no longer a priority in road maintenance. When you consider what is paid out in taxes, both in council and other forms of rates, then surely the money is there. A pity that some of this money is not spent on addressing such issues.

I trust that when a pedestrian is killed or maimed, writes G Twist, Queen Elizabeth Walk, Stoke Newington...

Following the upgrading of the lights etc at the junction of Manor Road and the A10, someone at Transport for London will be held criminally responsible for having removed the traffic island so essential to pedestrian safety.

Former British & European Super-Middleweight Champion James Cook MBE has become an advisor to the Hackney Independent Advisory Group, an initiative devised by the Metropolitan Police to strengthen relations between the police and the people (Who’s Who, page 18), writes Melanie Lloyd, Pedro Youth Club, Clapton.

Cook is the driving force behind the Pedro Youth Club in Clapton and one of 12 representatives in the group. He has been a voluntary youth worker for 40 years – since he was a teenager himself.

The outstanding contribution such individuals make to society is analogous to housework. One tends not to appreciate what they do until the job neglects to get done, by which time it is often too late. It is good to learn the Met are teaming up with and tapping into such a dedicated resource of localised knowledge, which can only be a positive move towards making Hackney a safer place to live.

It’s time London’s communities came together and put a stop to rising hate crime, writes Jennette Arnold, London Assembly Member for Hackney, Islington and Waltham Forest.

Meeting people from all backgrounds every day is what I love most about our city. But we have to remember these values of openness and tolerance were hard won over many years.

There has been a shocking rise in hate crime since the Brexit vote. This is down to a minority of individuals using this uncertain time to push back against the tolerance we have fought for. If we experience hate crime, we must report it; if we see a hate crime, we must report it.