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.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

In today's Times there is an article praising the significant improvements in Hackney - when Labour took control of the Council and Jules Pipe was elected as Mayor.

You can read the full article here.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Real help now for tenants

Jules Pipe, the Mayor of Hackney, has been lobbying Government ministers to make sure that Hackney Council can keep rent increases for tenants as low as possible.

The rent increase for council tenants had been set nationally at 6.2% but council leaders in London realised that this would place an unfair burden on local residents given the current economic crisis. The Government has now provided an increased subsidy which means that council rents will rise by 3% instead - half of what people were expecting to pay, and a saving of £120 on average over the year.

The reduced payments will come through in June, and the initial higher payments will also be refunded to tenants. If you have any queries about your rent, either contact us, or Hackney Homes on 020 8356 3691.

The decision was taken by the Mayor on Monday - more information here.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Motorbikes in bus lane trial - have your say

Boris Johnson, the Conservative Mayor of London, recently introduced a policy to allow motorbikes in bus lanes. This started in January this year and is being trialled over 18 months.

This is a big issue for cyclists - of which there are many in Stoke Newington (including myself!). Anyone who cycles on some of London's busiest main roads will be aware that it's a perilous experience as it is, without the added danger of fast moving motorbikes.

The London Cycling Campaign are encouraging cyclists to fill in Transport for London's survey - which is available online here. Please fill it in and let Boris know your views about this foolish policy.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

West Hackney Recreation Ground

On Saturday, Louisa met with Groundwork to discuss their plans for the West Hackney Recreation Ground. Groundwork have been working to develop a plan for the site - which is not being put to best use at present.

The draft masterplan was on display at a family fete at St Paul's and will remain exhibited in the Church until Friday 1st May. You can also download the plan online and fill in the consultation form to let Groundwork know what you think about the proposals.

We fully support these plans, and will be working with Groundwork to help ensure that the proposals can go forward. It is an exciting opportunity to improve green spaces in our area and provide an attractive park for local residents - to spend time in, but also to encourage an interest in biodiversity.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

East End Film Festival

The East End Film festival starts tomorrow - showcasing new films alongside larger independent releases and special events from across London and beyond, and raising the profile of London's East End. Our local cinema - the Rio in Dalston - has a number of screenings on as part of the festival, including an Iain Sinclair Weekend. See here for the full listings.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Alexandra Court

One of Hackney Council's scrutiny commissions is called Living in Hackney, and one of the issues that councillors are currently looking at is overcrowding.

Earlier this month, the London Campaign Against Poverty made a submission on behalf of residents at Alexandra Court - a temporary accommodation block in our ward. Concerns had been raised about the conditions in the block, especially over repairs and the length of stay of some of the residents.

Cllr Louisa Thomson and Cllr Muttalip Unluer met with the manager of Alexandra Court to discuss these issues and were shown around the block.

Louisa also went to the Living in Hackney scrutiny commission meeting where residents from Alexandra Court were present and stressed that if any residents have any concerns about rent, the length of their stay, or the condition of their accommodation - please get in touch with us either by email, phone or coming to our advice surgery and we will take up your case for you.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Things to do for young people in Stoke Newington

The Council has also produced a guide of things to do and places to see for young people across Hackney - which can be downloaded here.

We know that there are concerns locally about the lack of things to do for young people. A youth club will shortly be opening on Yorkshire Grove in the ward. It will be run from the Yorkshire Grove community hall three nights a week. This project arose from concerns about anti social behaviour from young people in the area. As a result, the Youth Services department at the Council carried out some outreach work to find out what young people locally would like to see provided for them at the community centre. For more information, please contact Youth Services on 020 8356 4488 or paul.morgan@hackney.gov.uk.

A youth project also operates from the Old Fire Station on Leswin Road - this is run by the Tenants and Residents Association on Smalley Road estate with youth workers from the Council. The Smalley Road Youth Project is open for 13-19 year olds every Saturday from 6-8.30pm at the Old Fire Station on Leswin Road. There are loads of activities - pool, table tennis etc. For more information, contact: magdalen.royal@hackney.gov.uk

Across Hackney, the Council is delivering on its commitment of a safe place to go for young people within half a mile of home, and there are many positive initiatives in place, such as Hackney Youth Parliament, the Youth Opportunity Fund (the next deadline is 30th May 2009) and the Youth Charter. You can also find more information about writing for Contrast - Hackney's Youth Magazine on The Hype website here.

If you have any suggestions about how we can improve what's on offer for young people in Stoke Newington, please do get in touch with us.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Free swimming for local Stoke Newington residents

Free swimming in Hackney leisure centres has just been extended - a new scheme was launched this month which means that under 18s and over 60s can benefit from free swimming all year round.

This is a Government funded initiative, with extra investment from Hackney Council.
Clissold Leisure centre is taking part in the scheme (alongside Britannia and Kings Hall).

There will be free swimming sessions at dedicated times and over 60s can just turn up to one of these and take part. Under 18s need to register and show their proof of age in order to be entitled to free swims - click
here for registration details.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

New licensing application

The Star of the East on Church Street has applied for the following license:

Application for a premises licence to allow the supply of alcohol from 12:00 to 00:00 daily and the provision of late night refreshment from 23:00 to 00:00 daily.

The closing date for representations is 28/4/09 and these can be made by writing to the The Licensing Service, 263 Mare Street, London E8 3HT by the closing date. Alternatively, you can email licensing@hackney.gov.uk. You can find more details about the licensing process here.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Do you ever use this public 'green' space?

If you live in the northern part of the ward, you may have got a flyer through your door this weekend advertising an open meeting on the future of Kynaston Gardens.

Kynaston Gardens is a small green space off the High Street - and local residents have felt that they're not being put to their best use at the moment. As a result, a group of residents who live on the surrounding roads have come together to organise a meeting, with the support of the Parks Department at the Council (and your local ward councillors!) on Wednesday 22nd April, 7pm, at Yorkshire Grove Community Hall (map here).

The open meeting is for all residents, local businesses and other interested parties to discuss the options for a 'better future for Kynaston Gardens'. Please do come along - we will be hearing from the Head of Green Spaces at Hackney Council, those involved in Butterfield Green and Growing Communities (tbc) and will brainstorm ideas of how to improve the Gardens.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Local environment and transport update

Hackney Council recently won the top prize at the recent London Transport Awards - in recognition of its work to boost green travel through investment in cycling, walking, public transport and road safety. A judging panel of industry experts felt Hackney was now leading the rest of London in sustainable transport.

The borough is ranked number one in the UK for growth in cycling. Hackney now has over 70 schools with a travel plan to help reduce school run congestion, and has seen a 75 per cent increase in the number of Council staff walking, cycling or using public transport to get to work. On the important issue of road safety, the Council met all its 2010 accident reduction targets, three years ahead of schedule in 2007, and has a policy of adopting a 20mph limit on all its roads.

Do you have any ideas for improving sustainable transport in our ward? Please
get in touch if there's anything you'd like to discuss.

HCVS have just published their latest magazine which is an Environment special with news from local community environment groups (including a round up of the Hackney Environment Network launch from last month) and how you can get involved with local projects. Download the magazine here.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Community Safety in Stoke Newington

Today is the first anniversary of every neighbourhood in the country having a dedicated team of police officers. Hackney was the second borough to have the full roll out.

Last week we met with our local Safer Neighbourhood Team to discuss a few issues that have been arising when we've been speaking to residents - in particular, concerns with premises on the A10, prostitution on Shacklewell Lane and problem areas for anti social behaviour in the ward. We regularly raise concerns with the local team - and please do contact them if is anything on your street that is causing you concern or come to one of the regular Community Advisory Panel meetings. Their full details are here.

You may have seen the recent Policing Pledge advertisements on the High Street, and as part of the pledge, the local team will respond within 24 hours. More details about the Policing Pledge

Hackney is also part of the Community Payback scheme. You can vote on which project you would like to be carried out here. None of the proposed projects are in our ward, but if you'd like to suggest an area, you can email the London Probation Service.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Walkabout surgery on Evering Road

Tomorrow we will be doing our walkabout surgery from 11am on Evering Road.
Please stop us and let us know if you have any issues you'd like us to take up on your behalf.

You can also contact us via email, phone or in person at one of our regular advice surgeries in Yorkshire Grove Community Hall.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Keeping Stoke Newington clean

We were recently contacted by some residents who were fed up with a patch of land at the end of their road being covered with litter. Following our intervention, the owner of the land has tidied up the problem spot and the area is now much clearer as you can see in the photo above.

There are 'hot spots' across the ward that do attract litter (see below for another patch that we're chasing to get cleared up). We need to all work together to help keep our area clean - so please do contact us if you want to report any litter, rubbish or anything else that is unsightly or causing a nuisance. Alternatively, you can contact the Council directly to report the problem:
  • To report fly tipping or fly posting, call the Enforcement team on 020 8356 4810
  • To report litter or graffiti call the Wasteline on 020 8356 6688
The service standard from the Council setting out what every resident can expect in terms of keeping our streets clean is here. You can also download the schedule which shows when each street in Hackney should be swept.