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Barry Oxford


NOTICE boards giving residents information about site safety regularly go up on the Market Estate, but tend to come straight back down, not to be seen again.

Most of the information residents do get comes from the lips of Barry Oxford, Higgins' resident liaison officer.

Barry is a veteran of other community regeneration schemes that Higgins has done and is well used to fielding calls from irate residents demanding that 30 m cranes should be moved because they can't get TV reception.

And does he often get a frosty reception when he knocks on doors and fields calls? 'Well, there is the one Mr Obnoxious that you seem to get on every scheme, ' he says.

His powers of diplomacy are also tested by his dealings with the Market Estate Tenants and Residents Association on issues such as dust and noise but, six months in, relations with residents are, he says, 'amicable'.

Residents are now regularly popping into his office, which also has a selection of finishes, carpets and colours for them to choose for their homes which will be allocated in the next few weeks.

Each week a careers advisor from Islington Council comes to his office to help young people on the estate find jobs on the project towards a target to sou rce 15 per cent of labour locally.

But it's often Mr Oxford that has put in the ground work, talking to mothers who've come in to see if he can help find a job for their son.