Islington Council has opened consultation on proposals to improve historic Clerkenwell Green by creating a more pleasant and greener local environment.
Clerkenwell Green is one of London's oldest public spaces, dating back to the 12th century. It has a long, rich history and is surrounded by some of Islington's most attractive and interesting historic buildings - writes Islington Council.
The Green is used by about 16,000 pedestrians on an average weekday, and the council plans to create an improved public space that can be enjoyed by local residents, workers and visitors. The new space will be greener and less car-dominated, and improve the setting of local historic buildings and landmarks.
The plans also include the introduction of a statue of Sylvia Pankhurst, a key figure of the women’s suffrage movement and a campaigner for women’s rights.
Councillor Claudia Webbe, Islington Council’s executive member for environment and transport, said: “Clerkenwell Green is one of Islington’s most historic spaces. Thousands of people walk through it every day, and we expect this number to increase even further in coming years.
“We want to make the Green a much more attractive and pleasant public space for local people, workers, businesses and visitors. We plan to provide a safe and attractive walking route through the Green for people travelling on foot.
“We’re keen to ensure that local residents, businesses and workers are able to have their say on our plans, which have been developed with local stakeholders.”
Councillor Alice Donovan-Hart, Clerkenwell Ward Councillor and Chair of the Clerkenwell Green Stakeholder Group that helped develop the plans, said:
“2018 will mark the centenary of the passing of the Representation of the People Act, which afforded women fairer voting rights. We therefore think it’s the perfect opportunity to celebrate Sylvia’s life and legacy by erecting the statue in Clerkenwell Green.
“The Green has a history as a home for activism and has long been used as a gathering point for demonstrations and protests. Islington’s recognition of Sylvia’s contribution to women’s suffrage is especially important in consideration of the time she served at Holloway Prison as a result of her work.”
Clerkenwell Green’s takes its name from the Clerks' Well, which is located to the west of the Green. It has a strong connection with radicalism, and was the scene of Chartist demonstrations in the 19th century. In 1902 the future Russian revolutionary Lenin moved publication of the Communist newspaper Iskra to 37a Clerkenwell Green, which now houses the Marx Memorial Library.
The Green also famously features in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist as the place where young Oliver is first coerced into becoming a pickpocket. The Green is also home to one of London's 18th century Session Houses.
The plans for Clerkenwell Green and information about how to provide feedback can be seen at www.islington.gov.uk/clerkenwellgreen
Drop in sessions will take place at St James’ Church on Clerkenwell Close on the following dates:
5 – 8pm, Tuesday 3 October 2017
11am – 2pm, Saturday 7 October 2017
3 – 6pm, Tuesday 10 October 2017
Properties in the immediate project area will receive copies of the plans and a questionnaire through their letterboxes in the next few weeks. The deadline to respond is 5pm on Monday 30 October 2017.
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