Thursday, 10 March 2011

International Women’s Day 2011: celebrating Mary Wollstonecraft

On Tuesday 8 March Mildmay celebrated a special International Women’s Day – not only was it the centennial IWD but we were also commemorating the life and work of Mary Wollstonecraft, the pioneering feminist writer and educator who lived, worked and taught on Newington Green in the 18th century.

Her best-known work is A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, which in 1792 argued for the first time that women should have equal rights and access to education. Islington North’s MP Jeremy Corbyn, Mayor of Islington Mouna Hamitouche and many local activists and residents joined Leader of Islington Council Catherine West in unveiling a green plaque at Newington Green School – Mary Wollstonecraft’s school for girls, which she founded in the early 1780s and which is believed to have been located on the current school’s site.

Catherine and Jeremy arrived fresh from a meeting about women’s services in the borough, the continuing importance of which Catherine highlighted in her speech. After the unveiling of the plaque, the Unitarian Chapel – where Mary Wollstonecraft is thought to have worshipped - welcomed everyone for some heartfelt singing by Newington Green schoolchildren and a speech from Jeremy Corbyn encouraging the tradition of dissent that Newington Green was famous for in Wollstonecraft’s time.

Our Councillor Kate Groucutt also spoke, voicing support for the campaign to raise funds for a statue of Mary Wollstonecraft in Newington Green – a prominent, permanent reminder of her groundbreaking work to promote equality for women.

As Tory-Lib Dem cuts hit women especially hard – highlighted by Yvette Cooper in yesterday’s Guardian - it’s all the more important to remember the crucial roles women play in our own communities and in those around the world - and to continue to challenge inequality with as much conviction as Mary Wollstonecraft did more than two hundred years ago.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Supporting local business and enterprise

Local businesses are at the heart of our community in Mildmay.

We are lucky to have so many wonderful restaurants, caf├ęs and bars, newsagents, florists, computer and furniture shops and of course our many greengrocers, bakers and food shops. It's been great to see new local enterprises start-up in the last six months, and to see established ones remain and grow.

Islington Labour and your local team in Mildmay - Joe, Kate and Conor - are determined to provide help and support to enable local businesses to develop and continue to play a positive role in our community.

Yesterday, Conor and Jeremy Corbyn visited local businesses on Grosvenor Avenue, Balls Pond Road, King Henry's Walk, Green Lanes and Newington Green. We were overwhelmed with the support - as evidenced by the number of local businesses with 'Vote Labour' posters in their windows! We'll upload the photos as soon as we can!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Al fresco campaigning!

Kate, Conor and Joe were on the streets of Mildmay last weekend, joined by Jeremy Corbyn and local Labour activists. The three Labour candidates hosted a 'street stall' in the ward on Saturday morning, which had lots of information for local people about Islington Labour's policies for a fairer and better Mildmay.

Kate said: "The idea behind setting up a street stall was to bring our message directly to local people, and to give voters the chance to question us directly. We received a great response, both from the many individuals and families we spoke to and also from local businesses. People who have a stake in our community want to know that local politicians aren't afraid to get out there, put forward their policies, and talk about local and national issues. Joe, Conor and I are all committed to this area and are working with local people to make this a better, fairer and cleaner place to live."

Local resident Nick Hope, who lives on Highbury New Park, said: "It was really good to have the chance to meet the people who want to represent me, my neighbours and our area. Kate, Conor and Joe are the only candidates I've seen working on the ground, and Labour are the only party who've been serious about listening to local people around here."

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Support for Mildmay Library

Your local Labour team are committed to supporting and extending levels of service at Mildmay Library.

Older people, families, local schools and students are just some of those who rely on the library and use it for study, learning but also to meet with friends or enjoy reading a book in comfort and quiet.

Joe, Kate and Conor - pictured here with Jeremy Corbyn - want to ensure that the many members of the library are able to get the most out of it. Varying or extending the opening hours is one proposal that has been suggested. They are also looking at ways to get the wider community involved in the library, by holding events and encouraging local creatives to hold book readings, poetry workshops and art exhibitions there.

Jeremy Killingray, who lives a few doors away from the library on Mildmay Park, said "I'm really pleased that the local Labour team here in Mildmay realise how important the library is to local people. I'd like to see more events at the library and to see it become a focal point for community activity - a real centre of learning."