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Key themes

A big part of the Let's Talk Islington work was to focus discussion and find opinions on nine key themes.

Diversity and inclusion

Many survey responses and workshop participants felt that Islington is a welcoming, diverse community. Many also wanted to aim for a more inclusive borough in the future.

Negative perceptions were less common, but included residents who felt unwelcome and excluded and those who had experienced discrimination. Some respondents felt too much attention was given to immigrants and other minority groups.


Residents said they were affected by high rents, excluded from ownership by expensive sale prices and felt there were high maintenance charges in social housing.

  • The lack of affordable housing was raised by secondary school students as well as adults.
  • The need for more housing was talked about often, although some respondents were unhappy that additional housing is being built because they thought more housing contributes to borough overcrowding and loss of green spaces.
  • Respondents living in council housing often had concerns about the quality and timeliness of maintenance and repairs, housing allocation policies and long waiting lists. Some criticised council housing as "handouts" and the perceived prioritisation of migrants over local residents.
  • People of all ages are concerned about people experiencing homelessness.


Safety and reduced crime was raised by adults and students, more often by women than men. Some respondents felt more police were needed, although others - in fewer numbers - expressed concerns about police behaviour or emphasised the need to address underlying drivers of crime.


When talking about the future of Islington, a greener, cleaner, less polluted environment was most frequently raised, although it was rated a lower priority relative to housing and safety.


Survey respondents wrote about wanting to live a borough that was generally more “affordable” and “less expensive”. More students than adults mentioned increased costs of energy and food, probably because the survey closed in March but student discussions continued through May as the cost-of-living crisis began to be more obvious.

Health and wellbeing

Mental health and wellbeing was raised in all but one volunteer and community sector workshop, but overall health was sometimes raised in the resident survey and student discussions, which took place while the Omicron Covid-19 variant was spreading rapidly.

When health was mentioned, residents most often spoke about the need for more mental health support (although this was a lower priority to them) and about the effects of other areas of their lives on health and wellbeing.


Good work was identified as a priority by the Inequality Taskforce, although employment was not a major theme raised by residents.

When it was mentioned, respondents spoke most often about access to employment. They also raised concerns about wages, prioritising local jobs for local people, Islington Council as an employer and investment in the local economy.


Education was not a big theme in the resident survey and group discussions. When it was raised, students and professionals that work with students gave insights into the role of schools and ways to support students.

Resident-council interactions

Overall, statements about resident-council interactions were more negative than positive. Many respondents felt that their concerns were ignored by the council and that some voices mattered more than others. They called for greater transparency and accountability.

  • Services was the most prominent theme in voluntary and community sector discussions, where residents noted the variety on offer and identified gaps, especially communication with residents about what is available.
  • In the resident survey, many respondents spoke about what they perceived as a lack of responsiveness and efficiency from the council. Some acknowledged the limits of what the council could influence.
  • Low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) were a common theme in the survey expressing a range of supportive and opposing views, including to do with experiences of the consultation process. All comments in relation to LTNs have been picked up by the relevant LTN team and are being reviewed as part of the next phase of LTN planning.
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