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.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

We'd like to wish you all Happy Christmas and New Year!

It has been a busy year for us in Stoke Newington - from campaigning on the local issues that you told us matter most to you, to getting re-elected in May, to the news of the devastating cuts being passed onto local government... and next year promises to be just as busy. Thank you for all your support over the year and we look forward to working with you more next year.

For those of you staying in Stoke Newington over the festive period - a few practical things:

For Council opening times - see here. Recycling and waste collections are unchanged (though due to the bad weather there may be delays - the Council is advising not to throw your recycling away - it will be collected!)

Don't forget that the London Overground through Dalston Junction is closed this week and again from Mon 27th December to 3rd Jan 2011 so the improvement works can continue. More info on TfL's website here.

Finally - there is some advice here on how to have a Green Christmas!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

More Christmas events in Stoke Newington

The festive cheer continues in Stoke Newington with lots happening in the final week up to Christmas.

The Stoke Newington Business Association have organised the following:

  • Thurs 16th 6.30pm Carol singing, mulled wine and mince pies outside the firestation on Church Street
  • Sun 19th 3pm Children’s Storytime with Santa Claus – Stoke Newington Book Shop
  • Thurs 23rd 5-8.30pm Farmers Market and last minute shopping on Church Street
There is a Woodland Grotto Family Event on Saturday 18th December in Abney Park Cemetery from midday-3pm. There will be a Green Santa, stalls and music... and more!

Finally - there's also the Christmas craft market in Abney Hall, organised by Of Cabbages and Kings. It's taking place on both Saturday and Sunday. More info

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Budget update

As we reported before, we have grave concerns about the speed and the level of the cuts on local government budgets being imposed by the Coalition Government.

Over the past weeks, Mayor Jules Pipe has been using every opportunity to urge the Coalition Government not to make devastating cuts to Hackney. Councils were told that their funding will be cut by 27% between now and 2015 and Hackney Council had been planning to make savings of £26m in 2011-12 which would have meant the Council could have coped next year without any reductions to frontline services.

But then it emerged that the cuts next year could be far worse - over £50m in one year, and Mayor Pipe has been lobbying the Secretary of State for Local Government – Eric Pickles – urging him to think again over the severity of the cuts.

The Local Government Finance settlement was published yesterday and Hackney Council is currently going through the detail to work out exactly what the impact will be on local services. At first glance, it does look like government ministers have listened to some of the concerns about frontloading the cuts – but this is still a devastating settlement for local government and if you look at the figures across London, it is clear that the poorest boroughs are the worst hit:

Highest cuts to "revenue spending power":
LB Hackney 8.9%
LB Tower Hamlets 8.9%
LB Newham 8.9%

Lowest cuts to "revenue spending power":
Richmond-upon-Thames 0.61%

This is a hugely disproportionate hit on areas which have more people living in poverty, and therefore more reliant on the services that councils provide. The scale of cuts in the local government settlement is unprecedented.

We will keep you updated as soon as we know more. There is also information on Hackney's website here.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Improving recycling in Hackney

Hackney Council has recently been awarded funding to improve recycling in flats and high rise properties in the Borough. The funding from the London Waste and Recycling Board has been allocated across London and in total, is expected to divert 41,000 tonnes of waste from landfill.

In Hackney, there are a large number of high rise properties, and recycling rates tend to be lower. The extra funding will mean that the Council can supple residents in 50,000 flats with reusable bags to transport recyclables down to communal recycling facilities. This will help to incentivise recycling and make it easier for residents.

For more details about what can be recycled in Hackney, please see here.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Coronation Avenue Heritage Campaign update

The Coronation Avenue Heritage Campaign is gathering pace - more information here. There has been considerable local support and we're getting near the fundraising target.

This weekend - on Saturday 11th December there will be a stall at the Farmer's Market where you can find out more about the Campaign and buy a special mug to help with the fundraising efforts.

There will also be a bric a brac stall at the St Paul's Christmas fair.

Come along and lend your support to this important campaign!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Christmas events in Stoke Newington

It's snowing in Stoke Newington and the festive season is well underway with lots of fun things happening locally over the next few weeks.

There's a Winter Festival on from 2nd-5th December in St John at Hackney Church yard - there will be an ice rink - £4 for adults and £2.50 for children (which includes skate hire). The tickets can be purchased from the Hackney Empire box office.

Stoke Newington Common User Group are holding a winter fair this Saturday 4th from 2-5pm at St Michael and All Angels Church Hall. Admission is free and there will be festive songs and stories and lots of craft activities for everyone to enjoy.

The Christmas tree market is now up and running outside St Paul's Church on Amhurst Road as well as the Christmas fair next Saturday too.

Finally - there's a programme of Christmas events on at Stoke Newington Town Hall. A tea dance, a hoe down, a Christmas market, Cabaret, carols... and much more over the next few weeks. Full details online here.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Grit preparations

Several of you have contacted us asking what the Council is doing to prepare for the likely big freeze to help keep roads and pavements clear in Hackney.

This was also an issue that was raised at Full Council last week. Salt is used on roads to prevent ice forming - this is what we commonly refer to as 'gritting'. Transport for London is responsible for keeping red routes clear, and the Council is responsible for all other roads. Officers in Waste Operations grit pavements.

The main aim is to make sure that road users can travel safely and many roads are pre-gritted in anticipation of cold snaps. The Council works closely with weather forecasters to make sure that changes in temperature are constantly monitored.

The Council carries out gritting of roads in a priority order:

1. Main Roads (inclusive of all bus routes & access to all emergency services)
2. Susceptible routes (roads near water courses , steep gradients and problem sites)

This represents approximately 40% of the road network in Hackney (the average percentage of roads that councils grit is actually only 20-25% across the UK). When there is prolonged period of snowfall, the Council will only begin to treat the remaining 60% of the road network once the main and susceptible routes are cleared. These will be prioritised as a result of information received from the emergency services and reports of black ice.

Pavements are prioritised in the same way, and include all main routes and shopping centres. There is also a particular focus on areas where there are a high number of pedestrians such as hospitals, libraries, schools and old people's homes. Once these pavements are clear, pavements on residential streets are gritted - although there is no legal requirement for the Council to do this.

In view of the problems experienced last year, Hackney Council has increased our local salt stock to 300 tonnes. Waste Operations have also been preparing with 500 tonnes of rock salt in stock for pavements which is twice as much as was used last year. There is also new equipment for spreading salt on pavements, and new snow shovels and salt bins. There will also be pick up points for salt for residents' use.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about how the Council prepares for the cold weather.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Fighting for fair funding for Hackney

Over the past weeks, Mayor Jules Pipe has been using every opportunity to urge the Coalition Government not to make devastating cuts to Hackney’s budget.

As we've said before, councils were told that their funding will be cut by 27% between now and 2015 and Hackney Council had been planning to make savings of £26m next year which would have meant the Council could have coped next year without any reductions to frontline services.

But it now looks that the cuts next year are far worse - over £50m in one year. The details are still emerging, but the frontloading of budget cuts to next year means that unless there are further funding streams still to be revealed by the Government to make up the shortfall, the Council will be faced with some tough decisions to make.

At last night's Full Council, Mayor Jules Pipe outlined the steps he had been taking to fight for fair funding for Hackney. He has written to Eric Pickles – the Secretary of State for Local Government – urging him to think again over the severity of the cuts. At a summit of councillors from across London, Eric Pickles said that Hackney’s figures were ‘a fiction’ (full story
here). Jules Pipe is pushing the Secretary of State to confirm that the 20% cut won't happen in writing - more here.

At Full Council last night, alongside all the issues discussed in the previous post, a motion was passed calling on the Council to publicise its opposition to the unfair and unnecessary cuts. This was fully endorsed by all 50 Labour councillors on Hackney Council. The Lib Dems wanted to tone down the wording to just express ‘concern’ about the cuts, and then abstained. The Tory group failed to vote at all.

The text of the motion is:

This Council:
  • is outraged by the scale of the cuts to local authorities announced by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government on 20th October
  • Notes the imminent announcement of the funding decision by the Government
  • Notes that, despite the Government rhetoric of 7% cuts per year, the true cuts could be closer to 20% in year one
  • Deplores the lack of clarity from the government about the extent of the cuts for next year
  • Is outraged that the cuts are made worse in the most deprived boroughs such as Hackney by the removal of additional grants that tackled inequality
  • Is concerned about the impact of the cuts on vital public services and on the lives of our most vulnerable residents.
This Council:
  • notes the lobbying of the government undertaken by the Mayor in opposition to these funding cuts
  • supports the Mayor’s lobbying of Government to restore the grants paid to inner city areas such as Hackney to tackle our significant areas of need
This Council resolves:
  • to call on the Mayor and the Council to publicise its opposition to these unfair and unnecessary cuts

Update from the Town Hall

Last night was Full Council at the Town Hall. A key part of the meeting involves councillors asking questions to the Mayor and Cabinet.

Some of the issues raised last night include:
  • Cuts to policing and the impact this might have on Hackney - Cllr Sophie Linden said that the Met were also facing big reductions in their Budget and like the Council, were waiting for the details. She stressed there was a big commitment to Safer Neighbourhood Teams in Hackney and highlighted that crime had fallen in Hackney by 40% over 5 years - a trend that needs to continue
  • The Council's preparations for grit ahead of a likely cold snap - Cllr Feryal Demirci confirmed that we are well ahead in our stocks of grit and also have plans for salt bins on residential streets.
  • Rabbit mural on Hackney Road - there was confirmation that no enforcement action will be taken and that the Council had worked with the owners to try and resolve the issue.
  • A member of the public asked about the Council's commitment to the 10:10 campaign to reduce emissions and Cllr Sophie Linden outlined the behaviour and structural changes the Council is making in our buildings and amongst staff in order to meet the commitment - despite the pressing financial challenges we now face.
Also on the agenda last night was the adoption of the Local Development Framework and Core Strategy.

There was also a report from the Living in Hackney Scrutiny Commission on
Growing food in Hackney - this included evidence from the team behind Somerford and Shacklewell Estate and includes some good recommendations to help enable more local residents to grow food.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Keep in touch with Hackney Council

There are now new ways to keep in touch with Hackney Council online:
  • Mobile website: this is a new way to make Council services quick and easy for residents to use at on the move. The Council's mobile website has information on jobs, events and contact details to report problems in the local area. Go to myhackney.mobi on your mobile web browser, or get the link sent to your mobile from this page.
Hackney Council is now on twitter! There are a variety of feeds for you to follow to get up to date information: Finally - the Council has a youtube page and a flickr page.

Bar Ish

On Monday, there was a special Licensing sub-committee meeting to discuss Bar Ish on Stoke Newington Road.

On Saturday 13th November there was a serious fight outside the venue, after a 17th birthday got out of hand. A young man was stabbed during the incident, and police fear that the venue was the focus for rivalries between local gangs.

As a result the Police applied for an 'expedited review' of the premises licence in order to deal with the serious crime and disorder.

The owner did not turn up for the hearing, and the Licensing committee have suspended the premises licence with immediate effect. More information online here.

The Police have also applied for a full review of the licence and the deadline for making representations is 17th December.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Community Safety update

A belated update from the Stoke Newington Communiy Advisory Panel meeting.

The following priorities have been set for our Safer Neighbourhood Team for the coming two months:

  • street drinking and anti social behaviour

  • cycling on the pavement

  • drug dealing, anti social behaviour and dangerous dogs around Smalley Road Estate

The team updated the meeting on their recent activities. Following an increasing number of complaints about dogs being trained to fight and damaging play equipment on Stoke Newington Common, this area has had many more patrols, and the Police are working with the Council and partners to try and identify the owners responsible.

Remember you can get in touch with our team here.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

New Licensing Application

La Sera at 176 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 7JL have put in an application to vary their premises licence for:
  • live music from 12:00 to 01:30am Friday to Saturday
  • recorded music, performance of dance and facilities for dance from 11:00 to 00:30 Sunday to Wednesday and from 11:00 to 02:00am Thursday to Saturday
  • supply of alcohol from 11:00 to 00:00 Monday to Wednesday, 11:00 to 02:00am Thursday to Saturday and from 12:00 to 23:30 Sunday.
The deadline for making representations is 7th December.

If you wish to make a representation these must address the licensing objectives:
  • prevention of crime and disorder
  • prevention of public nuisance
  • public safety
  • the protection of children from harm
Representations can be made in writing to The Licensing Service, 263 Mare Street, London, E8 3HT or by emailing licensing@hackney.gov.uk. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Set the priorities of our local police team - tonight

The Community Advisory Panel is meeting tonight at 7pm in the community flat on Clevedon Close, Smalley Road Estate.

This meeting happens every two months and is a chance for local residents to meet the Safer Neighbourhood Team for Stoke Newington and set their priorities for the months ahead.

More details of our local team are here.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Coronation Avenue Heritage campaign

During the Blitz homes, churches, factories, schools and many other places across London were destroyed - leaving thousands of people dead, injured or homeless.

On the night of October 13th, 1940, hundreds of people had taken refuge inside the Air Raid Shelter in the basement of the Coronation Avenue flats. The building received a direct hit from a bomb and by the next morning over 160 of the people sheltering there had died.

It's now the 70th anniversary of this terrible incident and a group of local people are organising ways to commemorate what happened on that night. We are trying to arrange for a memorial plaque to be placed on the building, and a local heritage project to collect stories and make a permanent resource. There have been many messages of support so far and it's clear that many people feel that something should be done to commemorate this tragic event.

The aim is to raise £5000 and have a plaque put on the building by March 2011.
We need the support of local people! Here are some ways to get involved:
  • Make a donation via the Timeline website
  • Email us to let us know what you think of the plans - ebones@blueyonder.co.uk
  • Tell other people locally
  • Organise a cake sale at your school (we were out at the Farmers Market last weekend raffling a blue plaque cake!)
Find out more on Timeline's website here.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Tackling prostitution

Shacklewell Lane has been a well known hot spot for prostitution for many years and we've been pushing for more co-ordinated measures to help tackle the problem.

At the last Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum residents received an update from the Anti Social Behaviour Team at the Council on what the Council and partners have been doing to help minimise the impact that prostitution can have on those living nearby; to prosecute kerb crawlers; and help find ways off the street for prostitutes.

The report highlighted that:
  • calles have dropped in the Shacklewell Lane area in recent months
  • some physical measures have been introduced - gates, lighting and mobile CCTV
  • New 'Enforcement and support' orders are being used
  • Vice operations are taking place with kerb crawlers being charged or required to take part in a diversionary course
  • Open Doors continue to work with women to get them engaged with support services
Dalston and Stoke Newington councillors will be doing a walkabout this Friday 5th November from 3pm with Council officers to look at some of these issues further. The Council will distribute flyers beforehand and if you'd like to speak to us or officer, please put it in your window and we'll come to your door.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Business survey

Hackney Council is conducting a survey of businesses. Local businesses are at the heart of Hackney's continued regeneration. The Council can't subsidise businesses, but we are working hard to make sure they are in the best possible position to thrive.

With the 2012 Games less than two years away, Hackney is one of the most exciting places to do business in the UK and our local business support organisations, like Hackney Enterprise Network and Invest in Hackney, are committed to helping businesses who are interested in bidding for both Council and Games-related contracts.

The Business Survey is to help the Council better understand business needs, so we will be able to make the best decisions about how we shape and develop our local economy.

The survey that can be filled in online here.

The deadline is 1st December 2010 and there is more background information online here.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

The Comprehensive Spending Review and its impact on Hackney

As you will be aware, the Comprehensive Spending Review was published last Wednesday which sets out Government spending over the next four years.

The Comprehensive Spending Review was catastrophic for local government - councils largely depend on grants from central government for their funding, and last week's announcement meant council funding will be cut by 27% between now and 2015.

As one of the poorest borough's in the country, Hackney will be disproportionately hit by the severe cuts that have been set out.

In the lead up to the chancellor’s announcement, savings of £26 million (6-7% of the total Council budget) had been identified - which meant Hackney Council could have coped for the next year without any reductions in frontline services.

However at this month's Full Council Mayor Jules Pipe told the meeting that we may be facing even worse government cuts than we thought in the coming year: “The detail behind last week’s government announcement suggests that the grant cuts aren’t spread across four years, but have been frontloaded to take out between £50 and £60million in the first year. This means a reduction of around 20 per cent in the first year, not the 7.25 per cent stated by the government. Unless there are further funding streams that are still to be revealed by the government to make up this shortfall, the council will be faced with having to make devastating decisions.

“Extra grant funding has been given to areas like ours in the past for good reason, but we will now see reductions in grant of more than twice the national average."

Mayor Pipe has declared that this level of cuts is Armageddon and he will fight these cuts and work with other poorer parts of the country to make sure Hackeny is not penalised for having more social needs.

The Mayor and Labour councillors will make every effort they can to minimise the effect of these cuts to our communities and the protection of frontline services will remain our absolute priority.

Are you concerned about the impact that the Coalition Government cuts are having on us locally in Stoke Newington? We want to hear from you.

Somerford and Shacklewell Estate wins Best Estate Garden award!

Congratulations to Somerford and Shacklewell Estate in our ward for wimming the Best Estate Garden award in a London wide competition - Edible Estates.

Somerford and Shacklewell was recognised for the dedication residents have shown to improving communal areas and getting people involved in the project. Anyone who has walked through the estate recently will see first hand the fruit trees, raised beds and plots of land covered with sunflowers, beans and peas, nasturtiums and cabbages!

Well done to Alex, Hedvig, Robin and TRA Chair Yolanda and all the residents who got involved for this fantastic achievement.
More about the award in the Evening Standard here.

At 2pm tomorrow in the old factory site on Shacklewell Road there will be a Hallowe'en themed fun day with facepainting, apple bobbing, pumpkin carving and lots more! It will also be a good opportunity to sign up and get involved with the Growing Club on the estate.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

A new youth centre for Stoke Newington

On Saturday we went along to the opening of Young Hackney Stoke Newington - a new centre for young people locally.

The centre was funded as part of the previous Labour Government's Myplace project - developing high quality youth centres in local neighbourhoods.

The centre in Stoke Newington is just off Howard Road on the Milton Gardens Estate and is currently open from Tuesday-Friday until 9pm with a range of activities from homework support, health and fitness, cooking projects and services provided by voluntary and community partners. The centre specialises in ITC provision and there is a brand new multi media suite.

It's a great new centre, designed and developed by young people, and we're keen to see young people from across the Stoke Newington neighbourhood get involved.

If you are a young person locally who wants to get more involved - come along to the Stoke Newington Youth Forum which is meeting tonight at 4.30 at 63 Clissold Road.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Last chance to vote in the Hackney Design awards!

The Hackney Design Awards celebrate great design in Hackney, and this year they include a "People's Choice" award. Voting closes tomorrow, but local residents have a final chance to judge and vote for their favourite project.

The shortlist is online here and includes several Stoke Newington buildings - the Stoke Newington Town Hall renovation (details here); Stoke Newington School which benefitted from Building Schools for the Future funding (details here) and the newly opened Young Hackney youth centre on Milton Gardens (details here)

There will be an awards ceremony in November where the results will be announced.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Stoke Newington one way system

Hackney Council is currently consulting with local residents and businesses about the future of the one-way system in Stoke Newington.

Transport for London controls the main A10, Rectory Road and Manse Road, and Hackney Council has responsiblity for the side roads in the area. Some of the problems with the one-way system that residents have reported include speeding, rat running, congestion and difficulty in accessing shops on the High Street.

As a result, the Council is looking at options for managing traffic in the Stoke Newington area and would like to know your views on how the one-way system affects you at the moment, and proposals improving traffic and road safety issues in the area.

The consultation documents are online here and are available until Monday 10th January 2011.

There is also a drop in session today between 11am-2pm in Stoke Newington Library.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum - tonight

The quarterly Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum is taking place tonight at 7pm in Stoke Newington Town Hall.

There are some important local issues on the agenda, in particular:
  • Tackling prostitution
  • Licensing issues along the A10
  • The one way system consultation.
The full agenda is online here. The meeting is open to all local residents.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Can Hackney Homes improve resident engagement?

Living in Hackney, the Council’s Scrutiny Commission for housing, is reviewing tenant participation in the Borough, looking at how Hackney Homes engages residents in the decision-making which affects their area.

All tenants should by now have received a letter with a hard copy of the survey- if you would rather complete it electronically there are two versions, one for people who attend Tenant and Resident Associations (TRAs) (http://bit.ly/99lHSL) and those who don't currently engage in formal consultation events (http://bit.ly/90UT7X)

If you’re a Hackney Homes tenant please do respond as the results of this survey will help inform how Hackney Homes engages with tenants in the future. We go to local
TRA meetings in our ward and are well aware that there is room for improvement – especially in empowering residents to hold Hackney Homes to account and in being given the resources to develop community projects on individual estates.

The results from the review will help to determine how Hackney Homes engages with residents in the future.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Local art events

Two local residents have contacted us about two community art events that they're involved in which might be of interest:

  • An art exhibition from Beeraahaar Sweet Combination celebrating local children and young people is on at Claudia Jones Organisation 6-8 Palatine Road on 26th-28th October

  • Local resident Ernesto Leal has organised ‘East End Promise: A Story of Cultural migrants’ an exhibition on at 28 Redchurch Street until 24th October
Let us know if you're involved in anything locally and we'll give it a plug on this blog!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Electric vehicle charging comes to Hackney!

Hackney recently launched the first publicly accessible electric vehicle charging point in Dalston.

The Council is committed to helping people to travel in more sustainable ways while also working to reduce transport-related emissions across the borough. This includes looking at ways to encourage the transition to electric vehicles from petrol/diesel engine vehicles amongst residents, businesses and the Council’s own fleet. The Council has begun a programme installing publicly accessible electric vehicle charging points across the borough with support from Transport for London and Department of Transport.

Further charging points will be installed around the borough during 2010/11, and the Council is currently assessing sites where demand is expected to be highest.

If you would like to suggest a location for a new electric vehicle charging point please let us know and we will pass on your request to officers. Would Stoke Newington Central benefit from a charging point?

More information about electric vehicles in Hackney is available online here.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Getting involved in the Olympics

Volunteers are needed for the Olympic Games in London in 2012!

Applications are open until 27th October and the organisers are after people with specialist skills and also general 'Games Makers'. This is a great opportunity to get involved in the Olympics and help make the Games in London a success. All the details on how to apply are online here.

Don't forget to register for tickets if you're interested in attending events - the details are online here. Hackney councillors recently met with the representatives from the organising committee to stress the importance of affordable tickets for local Hackney residents, and more details about ticketing will be released in Spring 2011.

For local businesses - there are many opportunities to get involved, and all tender opportunities are online on the Compete For website. More info here.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Horizon School update

At the beginning of September we attended a consultation meeting at Horizon School on Wordsworth Road regarding the school's plans for a new building on the site.

Residents on Prince George Road and Palatine Road had contacted us because they were concerned about the current designs and up to that point communication about the school's plans had not been very clear.

The first meeting with residents was a valuable opportunity for the council officers working on the plans to hear local concerns, particularly around the access point on Prince George Road, and the loss of trees and green space along the road.

We had a useful meeting with council officers this week and stressed the importance of an open and constructive dialogue continuing from here on to make sure that residents' views are taken into account. Residents on Prince George Road have elected representatives amongst themselves and we have now called for a more focussed meeting to go through in more detail different aspects of the plans, hear ideas for alternatives and work out what amendments can be made.

There is more information about Horizon School on Hackney's website here and also on the Prince George Road residents blog here.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Have your say on the licensing of sex establishments in Hackney

Hackney Council’s licensing committee is inviting residents to help shape the borough’s town centres by taking part in a public consultation looking at the way sex establishments are licensed.

The licensing committee is responsible for regulating sex shops, sex cinemas and sex entertainment venues, such as lapdancing clubs and erotic dancing venues, and has drafted a new policy to determine whether and how to grant sex establishment licences in Hackney.

A "nil" policy is being proposed which would mean that no licenses would normally be granted to sex establishment in Hackney. The licensing committee wants to know whether local people think this is appropriate.

Residents’ views will help the committee determine a policy based on local knowledge about the impact of sex establishments on the local community, which may, for example, include concerns about noise and anti-social behaviour or their effect on local businesses.

A consultation is now underway - you can read all the background information online here and fill in the survey online. The deadline for responses is 13th December.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Food waste survey

The council has launched a new survey about food waste recyling in the borough.

For a number of years, we've offered a comprehensive food waste recycling service, but we know that not everyone takes part and not all the food that could be recycled is put into those blue boxes.

Telling us what you do and what you think about the system is really important - so please do take part and let the council know what you think.

You can complete the survey here.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Stoke Newington bike workshop - tonight

Hackney Cyclists and Transition Town Stoke Newington have come together to organise bike workshops for local residents.

These are entirely free and the aim is to show cyclists how to fix their bikes (you need to bring replacement parts with you if necessary). One of the things that stops people from cycling is not knowing about bike maintenance so this is a good opportunity to find out more and learn some new skills.

The workshop tonight is at St Michaels and All Angels Church on Northwold Road from 7pm. More details about the regular workshops here.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Safer Stoke Newington update

A quick follow up from the Community Advisory Panel meeting last week... Quite a few issues were raised in the meeting around dangerous dogs and anti social behaviour associated with street drinking. Out of control dogs has been a big issue on Smalley Road Estate and following the meeting we've asked Hackney Homes to make sure that their Estate Safety division are doing all they can to patrol this hot spot.

At the meeting, the priorities were also set for the local Safer Neighbourhood Team for the coming two months. These are:
  • Kynaston Gardens and Avenue - street drinking and cycling
  • Drug dealing
  • Anti social behaviour on Smalley Road Estate
As issues around licensing come up regularly, an officer from the Council's Licensing Team will be coming to the next meeting in November to update residents on the work being done by the Council to help manage late night venues.

Sadly, the meeting was rather low on residents this month - it really is a useful way to hear about what the local police are doing to help tackle issues in our area and to help set their priorities.

For those of you interested in Hackney wide crime issues, there's a meeting of the Hackney Community Engagement Board this Weds 15th Sept at 6.30pm at Morley Hall, 125-127 Mare Street E8 3RH.

The HCEB is a resident led forum for the discussion of policing and community safety in the borough, and there are more details online here.

Friday, 10 September 2010

I Love Stokey day - tomorrow

The second I Love Stokey day is happening tomorrow - Saturday 11th September on Church Street and the High Street.

The Stoke Newington Business Association have organised the day, with the support of the Council. There will be special offers in shops along the street, as well as street entertainment, face painting, a raffle and lots of fun activities!

Come along and support local shopping and businesses in Stoke Newington.

Flyer online here.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Horizon School - meeting tonight

There is a consultation meeting tonight at 6.30pm at Horizon School on Wordsworth Road.

Hackney Council is able to rebuild or refurbish all secondary and special schools in the Borough because of the programme called Building Schools for the Future. Horizon school on Wordsworth Road is one of the special schools which has been allocated funding to be rebuilt.

Residents have got in contact with us as they're concerned about the the current designs. We’d like to stress that no plans have been submitted yet for planning approval and an essential part of the process is for the Council and Horizon School to consult with local residents and stakeholders about their proposals.

We are determined to make sure that residents have the opportunity to shape and influence the plans for the school, as they are developed.

So do come along tonight and we hope that a useful discussion can be had regarding the plans for the school.

For more information on the Hackney BSF programme visit: www.hackney.gov.uk/bsf

Monday, 6 September 2010

Safer Stoke Newington

The Safer Stoke Newington newsletter was delivered with copies of Hackney Today at the end of August.

If you didn't receive it, it's also available online and has more information about our local Safer Neighbourhood Team's current priorities, and other crime fighting intitiatives across the Borough.

You can download the newsletter for Stoke Newington Central

Remember you can get in touch with our local team here.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

New Licensing Application

McQuinn pool club at 129 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 0PH have put in an application to:

Allow supply of alcohol from 10:00 to 03:00am Monday to Saturday and from 12:00 to 23:30 Sunday and late night refreshment from 23:00 to 03:00am Monday to Saturday and from 23:00 23:30 Sunday.

The deadline for making representations is 22nd September.

If you wish to make a representation these must address the licensing objectives:
  • prevention of crime and disorder
  • prevention of public nuisance
  • public safety
  • the protection of children from harm
Representations can be made in writing to The Licensing Service, 263 Mare Street, London, E8 3HT or by emailing licensing@hackney.gov.uk. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Cycle pit stop on Palatine Road - tomorrow

Hackney Council's Streetscene team hold monthly 'cycle pit stops' across Hackney to offer cyclists free bike maintenance checks and advice on cycling safely.

Tomorrow, the team will be on Palatine Road on the bike lane section next to Butterfield Green.

If you're passing by - do stop and make use of this free service!

Don't forget to register to vote!

During August, Hackney Council has been delivering electoral registration forms to properties across the borough.

Every household must complete the form by November 2010 even if you have already registered.

For more information - click here.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Two events in Stoke Newington parks this weekend

On Sunday 15th August between 2 and 5pm the Stoke Newington Common User Group will be holding a local ‘Bike Afternoon’ for local residents near the playground on Stoke Newington Common.

Dr Bike will be there to provide free fixes for your bikes, there will be free TFL cycle maps to help you discover rides beyond N16 and the community police team will be on hand with security advice to prevent bike theft and free registration on the Immobilise register.

Also on Sunday - Transition Town Stoke Newington are putting on a fun day from 2pm on Sin Clissold Park. There will be rounders, boules, cookie/cake decorating, kite-making and all are welcome. The organisers are also encouraging people to bring food and something to sit on if they want to make an afternoon of it!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Successful crackdown on Rectory Road

A bit late reporting this - but residents near the bottom end of Rectory Road will have noticed by now that the snooker club at 9A has been closed down.

This was part of Operation Crackdown where the Council and the Police work together to coordinate the closure of properties where there is suspected drug dealing and anti social behaviour taking place.

Residents nearby had noticed people coming and going at all times of the day and following the operation the premises have now been closed.

More information in the flyer that went out to local residents

Remember you can get in touch with our local Safer Neighbourhood Team here.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Do we need a Special Policy Area in Stoke Newington - have your say

We are frequently contacted by local residents who are disturbed by venues on the A10 that are failing to adhere to the terms of the premises licenses. This is an issue that has got worse and we pledged during the recent election
to campaign for tougher action against anti social behaviour and noise nuisance from pubs and clubs.

One option was to introduce a Special Policy Area (a SPA) for licensing premises in Stoke Newington and Dalston. There is currently one in operation in Shoreditch. The aim of a SPA is to help to manage the night time economy and ensure there is a balance between successful businesses that attract people to our area and the right of residents living nearby to have a good night's sleep. It’s not aiming to stop new businesses or put an end to the vibrant night time economy in this area (which as local residents we enjoy too!) but instead make sure that when late licenses are applied for, the applicants demonstrate that they can run their venues responsibly and not contribute to cumulative impacts of public nuisance, anti social behaviour and noise in the local area.

The Licensing Service at the Council has now launched a consultation on the Council’s revised Statement of Licensing Policy which will come into effect on 7 January 2011. Alongside general licensing issues, the Policy contains proposals to extend the Special Policy Area to Dalston and Stoke Newington. We believe this would be a positive move and help to address a lot of the issues that local residents have been experiencing along the A10.

The consultation runs until 25 October 2010 and there are more details online here

There is an online survey here - do fill it in and have your say on licensing issues in Hackney.

New licensing application

An application has been submitted for the variation of a premises license in our ward:

McClane, 129 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 0PH have applied vary their license for recorded music, making music and supply of alcohol from 10am to 3.30am from Thursday to Saturday.

The deadline for making representation is 31st August.

If you wish to make a representation these must address the licensing objectives:
  • prevention of crime and disorder
  • prevention of public nuisance
  • public safety
  • the protection of children from harm
Representations can be made in writing to The Licensing Service, 263 Mare Street, London, E8 3HT or by emailing licensing@hackney.gov.uk. Please contact us if you have any questions.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

One Carnival - this weekend

The third annual Hackney One Carnival takes place this Sunday 8th August.

The Carnival showcases Hackney’s cultural diversity and communities as part of the wider Cultural Olympiad. There will be over 1000 participants taking part, from 20 different organisations, made up of carnival and community groups from across Hackney.

The event kicks off from Ridley Road at 11am arrives at Downs Park at approximately 2pm and the overall event concludes at 6pm. More information, including the parade route, is available here.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Hackney Design Awards

There is still time to nominate the best new buildings in Hackney for the Hackney Design Awards 2010 - the deadline is 2nd August.

The awards are run by the Council and help to promote high quality design in Hackney.

Anyone can make a nomination, including architects who have completed a scheme and residents or visitors who have spotted an outstanding building in Hackney.

Entries will be judged by an independent panel, and for the first time, the 2010 awards include a People’s Choice award. This is a chance for anyone not on the judging panel to vote for their favourite from the entries short-listed by the judges.

More information about what can be nominated is online here.

Friday, 23 July 2010

As we've mentioned previously, Team Hackney has its own grants programme for the voluntary and community sector.

Details of this have now been released and it's great news that this is going ahead. Organisations applying must demonstrate how theirproject delivers one or more of the seven objectives in Hackney's Sustainable CommunityStrategy:
  1. Reduce poverty by supporting residents into sustainable employment, and promoting employment opportunities.
  2. Help residents to become better qualified and raise educational aspirations. Ensure the educational improvement of Hackney’s children and young people is excellent.
  3. Promote health and wellbeing for all and support independent living.
  4. Make the borough safer, and help people feel safe in Hackney.
  5. Promote mixed communities in well-designed neighbourhoods, where people can access high quality, affordable housing.
  6. Be a sustainable community, where all citizens take pride in and take care of Hackney and its environment, for future generations.
  7. Provision of Holiday Play Schemes.
There are three grants available:
  • Small grants up to £7,000
  • Main grants up to £50,000
  • Holiday scheme grants up to £10,000
Council departments and public bodies are not able to apply, but fully constituted not-forprofit
groups are eligible.

There is more detail online here. The deadline is 22nd September 2010.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Improving local green spaces

There are two park user group meetings happening this week in Stoke Newington

Wednesday 21st July - the Friends of Kynaston Gardens User group
is meeting at 7pm in the Daniel Defoe pub on Church Street. Groundwork have drawn up plans for the Gardens, and the new user group can bid for funds for this as a newly set up community group. Unfortunately the street drinking has got worse with the nice weather and we are calling for a meeting with the Community Safety Team, the Drug and Alcohol Action Team and the Parks Department to make sure that the different agencies are working together to tackle the problem.

Thursday 22nd July - the West Hackney Recreation Ground User Group
- 7pm in St Paul's Church Hall. A bid is about to go in for major funding for the Recreation Ground. The new user group will be discussing the progress of the plans.

Friday, 16 July 2010

Building Schools for the Future

There has been a lot of press coverage of the coalition government's cuts to the Building Schools for the Future programme.

There is good news for Hackney though - none of our BSF projects are affected by the cuts.

The BSF programme has involved £167m of investment from the previous Labour Government which has meant that three Hackney schools have been refurbished and a further three secondary and four special schools will be either rebuilt or refurbished. It's vital that every young person being educated in Hackney benefits from schools with excellent facilities - new classrooms, laboratories, kitchens, IT facilities and sports areas.

There is more information about BSF in Hackney here.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Summer activities for young people in Hackney

Over the summer, there are lots of things to do and places to go for young people.

There is a comprehensive guide online here which you can download.

It has details of all the activities for 0-19 year olds available in youth centres, children's centres, parks, libraries and leisure centres across Hackney.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Free swimming continues in Hackney

You may have read that the coalition government has cut funding for free swimming.

However, there's good news in Hackney following an announcement from the Mayor, Jules Pipe, that thousands of residents can continue to swim for free at Hackney’s leisure centres. The free swimming programme is for all under 18s and over 60s and has been very popular in Hackney.

Despite the Government cutting their part of the funding, Hackney Council will keep the programme going.

There will also be a consultation later this year to find out more about local people’s priorities for use of facilities in Hackney, and work out the best ways to promote and encourage swimming activities for residents.

Clissold Leisure Centre is part of the swimming scheme - for more information go to the GLL website here.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum - tonight

The Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum is meeting tonight at 7pm at Stoke Newington Town Hall.

These are quarterly meetings with councillors, council officers and local residents to discuss issues in the area.

On the agenda for tonight's meeting is an update on the Clissold Park project and policing priorities for Stoke Newington.

The agenda is online