We Love Stoke Newington is for residents living in the local area providing updates about local meetings, campaigns and useful information. This site is maintained by your local Labour team for Stoke Newington.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum

The Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum is taking place this Tuesday (31st March), 7pm in Abney Public Hall.

These are quarterly meetings where local residents can come along and hear presentations and ask questions on specific local issues. Councillors from the Stoke Newington neighbourhood (Stoke Newington Central, Clissold, Dalston, Brownswood and Lorship wards) will also be present.

The agenda for tomorrow's meeting is here.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Princess May Nursery

On Thursday, Cllr Rita Krishna and Cllr Louisa Thomson attended the formal opening of the new playground at Princess May Nursery in our ward.

Cllr Ian Rathbone, the Speaker of Hackney was the guest of honour - cutting the ribbon to mark the playground officially open. The nursery received funding from the West Hackney Parochial Charity to redevelop the site and there is now a separate playground for the nursery children to use which is full of things to climb on and play with allowing them all to benefit from the outside space.

You can see from the picture above that everyone was very excited about the opening, despite the rain!

35-39 Stoke Newington High Street

The deadline has now passed for registering objections to the licensing application for 35-39 Stoke Newington High Street. We'd like to thank all the residents we've spoken to and been in contact with over the last couple of weeks and for all your efforts in sending in objections and mobilising your neighbours to do the same - there's been a real joint effort which has shown the strength of feeling against the proposed late night venue on a quiet residential street.

We had a poll on this website asking if people were for or against the application. 113 people voted, and 102 opposed the application, with only 11 in favour.

We know that at least 40 individual ones had been received, along with a petition and that objections were still coming in right up to the deadline. The planning department and pollution team at the Council had also lodged objections as well as our local Safer Neighbourhood Team.

The earliest date that the licensing hearing will be is 5th May, and all those who have made representations will be notified in writing. We will keep you posted as to what happens next. And please do
contact us if you have any questions about the process.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Safer Stoke Newington

Copies of a new local policing and community safety newsletter for Stoke Newington Central were delivered to residents this week along with your usual copy of Hackney Today.

This is a pilot project funded by Hackney Council and the Police aiming to keep residents up to date with community safety and policing issues in their local area.

Hackney has some of the best crime reduction figures in London - dropping 32% in the last four years. In our ward, over the last year, crime has fallen by 5%; burglary by 23%; drugs offences by 7% and theft from motor vehicles by 8%.

The newsletter highlights some of the issues that our local Safer Neighbourhood Team have been focussing on. If you need to contact them call 020 8721 2922 or 07879 603482 or email stokenewingtoncentral.snt@met.police.uk. If you are interested in coming along to the local Community Advisory Panel meetings to help shape the Team's priorities, then the full details of upcoming meetings are here.

If you didn't receive the newsletter, you can download it here.

Monday, 23 March 2009

The 1000th street tree planted on Dynevor Road

We recently helped to plant the 1000th street tree in Hackney – which was on Dynevor Road in our ward.

In 2006, Labour made a promise in Hackney that more than a 1000 trees would be planted on streets in the Borough. The planting of the 1000th tree on Dynevor Road means we have met that pledge a year early.

Dynevor Road residents formed a Tree Group and put in their request to the Council. As a result, 43 saplings were planted on the street. We were pleased to support the residents’ application, and would like to thank Nadine and all the other Dynevor Road residents who championed the need for trees on the street.

Labour is continuing to invest in new street trees across the Borough, although the current planting season has just come to an end. Residents can put in requests – please contact us if you would like to put forward your street for consideration.

Once the trees are planted, they need watering twice a day between March and September – and some streets have Tree Champions to divide up the responsibility between local residents. I’m currently looking after a tree on my road!

Friday, 20 March 2009

Hackney Winter Night Shelter

On Thursday, I visited St Paul's Church on Amhurst Road to help out at the Hackney Winter Night Shelter. This runs from January to March to provide a meal and bed for homeless people in a different church each evening of the week.

Volunteers help to set up the beds, tables for dinner, alongside a team of cooks who make a hot meal and serve tea and coffee. Outreach workers from
London Street Rescue are also present to provide assistance and advice to get people into more permanent accommodation.

The night shelter is about to draw to an end this year, but if anyone reading this has time to spare and wants to help out locally, a number of local organisations are operating out of the hall at St Paul's and North London Action for Homeless are also looking for volunteers.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Have your say on the Dalston Masterplan

The Council is consulting on the Draft Interim Dalston Area Action Plan (Phase 1) - Masterplan (a catchy title!), between 9th March and 20th April 2009 (although you can still submit comments up until 15th May 2009) The Masterplan sets out potential planning and design policies for the area - and has been developed using the comments that local residents gave in Spring last year.

During this process, residents said that there were many things they liked about Dalston - Ridley Road market, the diversity of the community and the streets with character. However, a clear message emerged about improving safety and security in the town centre, preserving local identity, more green and open space and more affordable housing.

The consultation documents are just ideas at this stage, and no final decisions have been made. If you want to take part in the consultation you can access the documents
online or come to one of the street stalls:
  • Thursday 2 April 10am - 2pm, Ridley Road Market, E8
  • Tuesday 7 April 11am - 3pm, Somerfields Supermarket, Amhurst Park, N16
  • Thursday 16 April 4pm - 7pm Kingsland Shopping Centre, E8

You can also book time with a planning officer to discuss the Masterplan in more detail, by calling 020 8356 7740 or emailing strategic.delivery@hackney.gov.uk. Or visit one of the exhibitions in any of the Council's libraries.

Dalston is just down the road from us here in Stoke Newington, and you may have views on the Masterplan, so do take part and help to shape the future of our area.

Monday, 16 March 2009

35-39 Stoke Newington Road

At our walkabout surgery on Saturday, we met with residents who were concerned about the license application for 35-39 Stoke Newington Road (which is actually on Victorian Grove).

We have added a poll at the top right hand side of the page, where you can vote and let us know whether you are for or against.

Residents can also write in with their views on the application to The Licensing Serve, 263 Mare Street, London E8 3NT, or email licensing@hackney.gov.uk. The deadline is 26th March.
Your representations should refer to the four licensing objectives:
  • the prevention of crime and disorder
  • the prevention of public nuisance
  • public safety
  • the protection of children from harm
Please contact us if you have any queries.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Grants for small community organisations

One of the presentations at the Hackney Environment Network yesterday was about the Community Empowerment Network in Hackney which supports the voluntary and community sector.

There are at least 1250 voluntary and community organisations in Hackney, and over 70% of those have a turnover of less than £10,000 a year.
Mary Cannon, the Chair of the Community Empowerment Network, encouraged groups yesterday to apply for some of the grants that are available through Team Hackney and the HCVS.

There are community grants available for the coming year for community projects which benefit local people in Hackney
- voluntary and community sector groups can apply, including tenants' and residents' associations. Two sorts of grants are available:
  • Team Hackney Small Community Grants from £1000-£5000 (closing date Friday 27th March)
  • Team Hackney Large Community Grants from £5000-£50,000 (closing date Friday 1st May)
For more information and advice on applying, see the HCVS website.

The Office of the Third Sector recently established a
Grassroots Grants programme for small organisations. You can apply for a maximum of £5000 over three years and the next deadline is 9th April. For details of how to apply for funds in Hackney - see here.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Hackney Environment Network

The first gathering of the Hackney Environment Network is taking place this Saturday 14th March at the Arcola Theatre in Dalston.

The event will bring Network members together and provide an opportunity to discuss local issues and campaigns, draw out common themes and discuss successful ways of getting things done and moving forward. The Network is part of Hackney Environment Forum and you can find out more about their work here.

Cllr Sophie Linden, the Cabinet member for sustainability, and Mary Cannon, Chair of Hackney's Community Empowerment Network will outline the Council's current work on sustainability and consultation processes. There will also be workshops on climate change; keeping Hackney green; biodiversity and community politics and representation.

The last we heard was that places are now full, but in case there are any last minute cancellations, and you are interested in attending it might be work emailing the network at: hackneyenv@tiscali.co.uk. We have our monthly walkabout surgery on Saturday, but hope to pop into the meeting afterwards.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Licensing application

The following licensing application was received last week:

35-39 Stoke Newington High Street
London N16 8DR

Application for a premises licence to allow supply of alcohol from 12:00 to 00:00 Mon to Thurs, 12:00 to 03:00 Fri and Sat and 12:00 to 23:00 Sun.

Live music, recorded music, performances of dance, facilities for dancing and any entertainment/entertainment facilities of a similar description from 11:30 to 03:00 Fri and Sat.

Late night refreshment from 23:00 to 03:00 Fri and Sat.

Closing date for representations: 26th March 2009 - this can be done online here.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Legacy plans for the Olympics

There is a public consultation going on at the moment seeking people’s views on the legacy plans for the Olympic Park. The documents are available here and the deadline is Friday 22nd March to get your comments in.

Hackney is one of the host boroughs for the Olympics and last week, Hackney won a Beacon award for using its status as a host Olympic borough to encourage people to be more active, boosting jobs training, volunteering, encouraging involvement in cultural programmes and developing community environmental projects.

The Council is working hard to secure a long term legacy for Hackney residents from the opportunities the Games bring - in particular over training and jobs, transport, opportunities for local businesses and sports venues that all can use. The media centre for the games will be located in Hackney – and the Council wants to ensure this is converted into a new employment hub for East London after 2012.

If you have any queries about the Games, there is a section on the Council website which has lots of information and responses to Frequently Asked Questions.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Eat a banana and support Fairtrade!

As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, Hackney Council and the Hackney Fairtrade Group are urging residents to eat bananas as part of an attempt to break the world record for the most number of bananas eaten during a 24 hour period.

The Speaker on Hackney Council – Cllr Ian Rathbone is leading Hackney’s efforts from the Town Hall steps at 12 noon today – but you can eat a banana from the comfort of your own home – just make sure you sign up online so your effort is recorded.

This is an annual awareness raising campaign to highlight global trade inequality and promote Fairtrade – which benefits small scale farmers and farm workers and their communities in the developing world. Two billion people live on less than two dollars a day – so it’s more important than ever that people buy Fairtrade to support producers who are faced with rising food and production costs as prices soar.

London is the world’s largest Fairtrade city – and Hackney achieved Fairtrade status last year. A Fairtrade directory for our area is available here and over the coming year there will be more awareness raising events to ensure we maintain our Fairtrade status in the years to come.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Labour's budget for Hackney

Last night, Labour’s budget for 2009/10 was agreed by the Council. For the fourth year in the row, the Labour administration on Hackney Council was able to freeze council tax. Four years of council tax freezes means that on average local residents will have saved £256. Council tax in Hackney is now lower than the London average. The Budget set out how we are planning to invest in a number of key services. Many other councils have been cutting frontline services, but in Hackney through our better use of resources, we are in a position to:
  • Invest £0.5m in keeping Hackney clean – increasing street sweeping, graffiti and fly-poster removal, and weekend litter picking
  • Invest £0.576m in recycling – particularly expanding it on estates
  • Increase schools spending by 3.9% per pupil
  • Expand the Youth Service
  • Open one new library (Dalston) with 20,000 new books and refurbish and extend another (Clapton)
  • Provide free swimming for all under 18s and over 60s at local pools
  • Re-open the Stoke Newington Assembly Halls and offices
  • Recruit more environmental health officers – particularly specialising in noise pollution and food standards
  • Invest in local cycling scheme
  • Launch a Climate Change Strategy for the Borough
  • Allocate over a £1m more to adult social services.
All the budget documents are publicly available here.

The annual survey of resident satisfaction with council services also showed that there has been a 12% increase in the last year – and is now at 72%.

And today – the Audit Commission announced that Hackney has achieved a 3* (out of a possible 4) rating for a second year in a row. Several priority areas for the council were singled out for praise – community safety, children and young people and adult social care.

The assessment reads:

What progress has the authority made in the last year?

Hackney Council is improving strongly. Hackney is delivering significant improvement in priority areas such as community safety, children and young people and adult social care. The pace of improvement is higher than the national average with three quarters of performance indicators improving in 2007/08. Overall resident satisfaction has improved with 60 percent of residents feeling their views are taken into account. This is supported by the Service First programme. Challenges remain in the planning service and tackling childhood obesity The Council works well with partners to deliver wider community outcomes such as health inequalities, addressing worklessness and tackling crime. Infant mortality and teenage pregnancy rates have decreased. Apprenticeships are used to deliver more local job opportunities. Crime overall has decreased. The Council provides improved value for money and financial standing is good. Leadership, planning and prioritisation are strong. Consultation is used well to shape services to meet the needs of diverse communities. The Council continues to improve performance management and is making good use of joint appointments to increase capacity. The Council is well placed to sustain and deliver future improvements."

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Have your say in setting local policing priorities

The Community Advisory Panel meeting is tonight at 7pm - there is a change of venue and it's taking place at Stoke Newington Police Station. Go to the front desk, and you will be escorted through.

The meetings are an excellent opportunity to talk to the local Safer Neighbourhood Team for the ward and help set policing priorities for our area for the coming months. Find out more about our local team here.

The current priorities for the team are: dealing with anti social behaviour from groups of young people; and drug dealing and using. If you have a particular problem on your street or something you'd like to raise, then do come along to the meeting. Unfortunately, it clashes with the annual budget setting meeting at the Council, so we have to send our apologies, but we are in regular contact with the team and will be there at the next meeting.