Open Letter to Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Community Plan’s Women’s Building Advisory Panel has written an open letter to Sadiq Khan to call on him to support the campaign for a legacy Women’s Building for London’s women. On 8th March, Islington Council approved Peabody’s plans for a Women’s Building on the site of the Holloway Prison, but at 1,500 sqm we think it needs to be bigger to house all the services that were lost when the prison was closed down.

You can help by adding your name to the call for a bigger and better Women’s Building! You can do this in two ways:

Together we are stronger! Thank you.

Dear Sadiq Khan, 

We are writing to you to raise a key issue for the future of London – the Legacy Women’s Building on the site of the former Holloway Prison. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to provide a stable home to sustain London’s services for women.

This is a chance to address the needs of London’s women, especially those who have had, or are at risk of having, contact with the criminal justice system. The time is now to deliver meaningful support for women’s futures.

Given the enormous need for women’s services, we are however deeply concerned that the proposed Women’s Building – envisioned as a celebratory landmark and model support infrastructure – is far from what it must be in the developer’s current plans. Despite the sector’s repeated cries that a far more substantial building is required, the plans are for a single floor under a tower block. This is simply not enough – London’s women need more space. 

Islington have deferred their decision on the plans for the former Holloway Prison site due to loose ends and question marks over how the Women’s Building will be finished and funded into the future and are due to meet again to discuss this on 8th March – International Women’s Day. We need your help to make sure that the plans can still be reshaped to deliver what is needed for London’s women.

 Please join us in calling for:

  • A Women’s Building that is a fitting legacy for the former prison 
  • Enough space for the services that were lost when the prison was closed as detailed in Islington’s Special Planning Document
  • Independent governance of the future building in perpetuity
  • Locating alternative funding sources for the Women’s Building. 

We would welcome the opportunity to meet you, or one of your team, to discuss how we can work together to create this space for women in one of London’s most historic sites.

Yours sincerely,

Andrea Coomber, CEO Howard League for Penal Reform
Helen Pankhurst
Mandu Reid, Leader of the Women’s Equality Party 
Sarah Wigglesworth RDI MBE RIBA, Director Sarah Wigglesworth Architects
The Community Plan for Holloway Women’s Building Advisory Panel

The following people have also pledged their support:

Laxmi Hariharan, Local resident

Judith Wren, Autogenic therapist and local resident

Tim McDowall, GP and local resident

Professor Jeremy Till, Head of Central Saint Martins, Pro Vice-Chancellor, University of the Arts London, University Lead on Climate Emergency

Professor Linda Clarke, Director of the Centre for the Study of the Production of the Built Environment (ProBE), Westminster Business School, University of Westminster, local resident

Helen Strongman, Chair of the Bakersfield Estate Residents Association

Dr Debbie Humphry, Oxford Brookes University

Beatrice Millar, Local resident and retired therapist

Catherine Max

Nick Wakely, CP4H Trustee

Will McMahon, Chair of the CP4H Board

Dr Anita Colloms, PhD, Long time local resident and retired Child and Adolescent psychotherapist 

Tiff Barker, Local resident

Caz Royds, Islington resident

Michael Ann Mullen, Local resident and retired university lecturer, History of Art, Middlesex University

Rod Gonggrijp, Islington Green Party, CP4H Trustee

Andrew Wilson, Local resident and former magistrate

Devon Osborne, Community Organiser and Islington Green party

Andrej Mecava, Architect

John Mullen

Lawrencia Frempong, Local resident, CP4H Trustee

Marj Mayo, Local resident, CP4H Trustee

Richard Hope, Islington Resident, Islington Homes For All, CP4H Trustee

Wendy Barnes, Local resident, massage therapist

Niki Gibbs, CP4H Women’s Building Working Group, Reclaim Holloway

Revd. Alexandra Lilley, Vicar, St George and All Saints Tufnell Park

Michael Isaac, Probation Service

William LaShonse, Leftwing populist

Courtney Wallace

Lauren Floyd

Dr Tomas Fernandez Alonso, Local resident

P. M. Msimang, Islington resident

Ariana Timms

Michael Edwards, Hon Professor, Bartlett School of Planning, UCL

Courtney Wallace, Local resident 

Natasha Finlayson, Chief Executive, Working Chance

Clare Conors, Holloway resident, composer, educator, violinist

Bevin Court Tenants & Residents Association

Lauren Floyd

Ben Samuel

Devon Osborne 

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