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.

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Have your say on Kynaston Gardens

We have been campaigning for improvements to Kynaston Gardens as residents told us they wanted to see the park used more by local residents.

We worked hard to clear up Kynaston Avenue - getting the bins removed, and the graffiti sprayed off. We also supported residents in meetings with the Rochester Castle to address the noise and anti social behaviour from the pub's garden.

Groundwork are now consulting with residents about Kynaston Gardens and looking for your ideas on what you want to see happen there.

If you live nearby, hopefully you will have had a survey through your door, but this can also be filled in online

Friday, 29 January 2010

Licensing update

Last week, there was a Licensing Committee hearing as Bar A Bar had applied to extend its hours.

Cllr Rita Krishna and local residents from Beatty Road spoke at the hearing, expressing concerns about the proposal given the club's history and the impact it has on residents living nearby. There was a good result - the committee refused the extension of Bar A Bar's hours giving the reason that public nuisance and prevention of crime and disorder - two key licensing objectives - would be undermined.

At the same hearing - 92 Stoke Newington Road was given a license until midnight on Sun-Thurs and 2am Fri-Sat, with lots of conditions to make sure that noise is not audible from the venue.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Update from Hackney 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.

In light of the recent applications that have been submitted for late night venues, and ongoing problems with noise nuisance from existing venues, we asked a question on what is being done to crack down on problem pubs and clubs.

Cllr Alan Laing, the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods gave us an update on the work of the Licensing Enforcement Group which brings together the Licensing and pollution teams, the police, Anti Social Behaviour Team and other partners to identify premises that are causing issues, draw up action plans and use enforcement if necessary.

We also asked whether a Special Policy Area (which helps to restrict licensed premises and make it easier to manage the effects of the night time economy on the local community) could be considered for the A10 in Stoke Newington and the reply was that if residents support this, then it is an option that can be investigated further.

Some of the other issues raised last night were:
  • The Council's response to gritting - confirmation that the Council gritted 40% of roads, and praise for the Streetscene staff who worked all hours to keep the main roads moving. There will be a review on what the Council can learn from the cold snap - especially on side streets
  • Crime figures for Hackney - there has been a 39% overall reduction in street crime and 43% in personal robbery. Cllr Alan Laing pointed out that Mayor Jules Pipe meets regularly with the Borough commander - unlike the Mayor of London who has decided he doesn't have time to chair the Metropolitan Police Authority.
  • Hackney has been awarded £3m for the next two years from the Social Housing Energy Savings Programme which will mean 1000 properties can have cavity wall insulation (in addition to the 2500 already being done through the Decent Homes programme)
  • Hackney is getting £16.2m from the Homes and Communities Agency to bring forward regeneration schemes and more affordable housing in the borough - this was the highest allocation in London.
  • 79% of residents are happy with our parks and open spaces in Hackney. More investment is happening locally with £9m to upgrade Clissold Park and £1.1m into Hackney Downs.
Also on the agenda was a discussion of the Local Development Scheme and a report back from the Health in Hackney Commission on health and worklessness.

A busy evening as usual!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

have your say on the Council's budget proposals

As you may have read, we're proposing to freeze council tax for the fifth year in a row in Hackney - with no cuts to frontline services in our local area.

The budget proposals will be approved in March at a Full Council meeting, but in the meantime, the Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, wants to know residents views on where spending should be prioritised.
Some of the investment in Hackney includes:
  • £18m to keep Hackney streets clean, improve road safety and continue to push up recycling rates
  • £25m to improve public safety
  • £123m to support vulnerable residents in Hackney
  • £8.1m on Hackney libraries
  • £5.5m on improving our local parks and green spaces
  • £68m on services for young people
The full details are here and if you wish to comment on the budget for Hackney - then there's an online feedback form here.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Transforming youth services in Hackney

Hackney was recently awarded £5m from the Labour government to invest in youth centres. Overall this will mean five new youth centres in Hackney, which will all be linked to a central youth centre on Forest Road, E8.

One of the new centres will be in Stoke Newington on Milton Gardens - the first to be developed as part of the project.

Two consultation events have happened already with young people to help decide what activities and services they want to see in the new centre. The aim is for each centre to offer exciting activities seven days a week, as well as more targetted services and advice.

Alongside the new centres, there will still be local youth clubs and mobile youth work across the borough. There are more details about the Myplace project on the Young Hackney website here. 

Over a quarter of Hackney's population is under 19 years old and it's important that we continue to develop places to go and things to do for young people locally.

Also - running all this month is Discover Young Hackney with free arts events and workshops. You can download the full brochure here.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Cycle racks

As you may have noticed, Transport for London have been removing guard railing from along the A10. This has caused issues in some places as many cyclists used to tie their bikes to the railings.

On the roads that Hackney Council does have responsiblity for, there is a yearly programme to introduce more bike racks.

Do you know of any locations which might benefit from more cycle racks?

Let us know and we will pass these on to Streetscene at the Council.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Consultation on the future of health services

Another issue that was discussed last week at the Stoke Newington Neighbourhood forum was changes to health services in North East London. There are a number of challenges in the area - particularly health inequalities and poor care for people with long term conditions. Hospital stays in North East London are also higher than average.

A set of proposals have now been developed with the involvement of clinicians, patients and the public. Formal consultation on the proposals is now taking place and will run until 8 March 2010. You can fill in your views online here.

The proposals do not involve any significant changes for hospitals in Hackney, though just across the border in Tower Hamlets, the Royal London will become a major acute hospital. A new polyclinic which will offer a 7 day a week service will be opening at St Leonards so that local residents can access health services at more convenient times.

Friday, 22 January 2010

North London Line update

One of the items on the agenda at the Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum this week was the upgrading of the North London Line.

As anyone who uses the line regularly will know, it is not very reliable and has suffered from years of underinvestment.

Over the last few years, there have been improvements with stations now manned, graffiti removed and passengers can use Oyster Pay as You Go.

However, the line needs new tracks, signals, longer platforms, and a new power infrastructure to ensure the trains are more frequent and reliable.

To complete this work, the section of the North London Line (NLL) which runs through Hackney will close completely from 20 February to 1 June.

A rail replacement service will provide buses every 20 minutes, six days a week, serving all NLL stations in Hackney. On Sundays this will be reduced to two buses an hour. Transport for London (TfL) says the closure from Gospel Oak to Stratford is necessary. Representatives from TfL also explained to the meeting that Pay as You Go Oyster users who have to travel through Zone 1 as a result of the closures will have their fares refunded next time they 'touch in' at a station three days later.

More information can be found on TfL's website here.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Neighbourhood panel meeting - tonight

The Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Panel meets tonight - at 7pm at Howard Road Resource Centre, N16 8PX.

The focus of the meeting is on decent homes works on estates across the Stoke Newington neighbourhood.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Mayor Jules Pipe at Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum

The Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum is taking place this Wednesday 20th January at 7pm at the Trinity Centre, Beechwood Road, E8 3DY.

The meeting will be discussing changes to health services in North East London; the Manor Area Action plan and the East London Line.

Jules Pipe, the Mayor of Hackney, will also be there for a question and answer session.

More details online

Monday, 18 January 2010

New health centre

The local Primary Care Trust has submitted the planning application for the new Health Centre on Somerford Grove.

You can view this online here and comment on the application.

We have been campaigning to ensure that when the health centre is redeveloped there will be green space on the site for community use. There will be an agreement between the Council and the PCT to ensure this happens.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Road safety on Amhurst Road, Rectory Road and Shacklewell Lane

Improving road safety is a high priority for Hackney Council. As many local residents will know, the junction of Shacklwell Lane, Amhurst Road and Rectory Road is very dangerous - over the last three years there have been 9 accidents at the junction.

The Council consulted with residents over introducing a road safety scheme, which will:
  • Upgrade the signals at the junction and introduce a green man crossing
  • Remove the large island in the middle of the junction and build out the kerbs - enabling pedestrians to cross in on go
  • New paving around the junction
  • New pedestrian islands on Amhurst Road
Transport for London manage traffic signals and they will be installing them at the junction in April 2010. The other parts of the scheme will be done by the Council and work is exected to start next month.

Please contact us if you have any questions about the scheme.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Stoke Newington Town Hall re-opening

Last night there was a preview event to see the newly refurbished Town Hall in Stoke Newington. The Busy Bees danced on the new stage and the Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, gave a speech marking the opening of the building.

The 1930s Grade 11 Art deco building has had £8m of investment and the council chamber and assembly rooms are now available for hire. Full details are here.

There is also a new entrance and foyer with information about Council services.

There is a showcase of cultural events at the Town Hall from 27th-30th January - the programme is online here.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Your policiing priorities for Stoke Newington

At the Community Advisory Panel meeting last night the following priorities were set for the local Safer Neighbourhood Team of police for the next two months:
  • licensing issues on the High Street
  • Anti social behaviour on Smalley Road estate
  • Drug dealing and prostitution on Somerford Estate and surrounding areas
The main part of the meeting was about licensing issues on the High Street, and we heard from the Principal Licensing Officer at Hackney Council.

We are receiving an increasing number of complaints about venues and it can be a long process to get action taken where venues are breaching the terms of their license. Many venues work constructively with local residents to try and address noise concerns, but this is not always the case.

One source of frustration is that residents have often not been informed about what happens after they complained about a venue and the Licensing department has now reviewed their procedures to make sure that regular updates are sent out.

It was also pointed out that the main problems for residents are knowing who to complain to, knowing how to complain to and knowing when to complain.

We were told that if you are disturbed by a venue and suspect that it might be in breach of its conditions it is important to complain (however many times) so these are investigated and logged.

The contact details are below:
  • Licensing: 020 8356 4970 or licensing@hackney.gov.uk
  • Pollution Team: 020 8356 4455 or info@hackney.gov.uk or via an online form here

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

More car club spaces for Stoke Newington

We received good news today that there will be two additional car club spaces on Evering Road in our ward.

Hackney Council has been working hard to find available spaces and expand the number of car club vehicles in the Borough.

The scheme is being developed to help relieve parking pressures within Hackney and to reduce the reliance on private cars by residents.

Would you like a car club space on your street? Please let us know and we will forward it to council officers to be considered in the future.

There are already streetcars on Brighton Road, Foulden Road, Bayston Road, Kynaston Road and Wilmer Place.

You can find your nearest streetcar by entering your postcode here.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Young people have their say on local policing

The Community Safety and Social Inclusion Scrutiny Committee tomorrow will be finalising its report on estate safety in Hackney.

As part of the review, we heared from Hackney Youth Parliament representatives about what steps can be taken to make reporting ASB and other issues easier for young people.

Two wards in Hackney have youth-led crime fighting panels. Panels of young people from two large estates in the borough meet Police and Council officers every couple of months to agree on priorities for action to make their neighbourhoods safer. At the meetings, Police share up-to-the-minute data on crime figures, youth crime trends and patterns as well as listening to young people's concerns. The project aims to build trust between the authorities and young people; create a bond between the generations and give young people a stronger voice and platform to express their concerns about safety within their communities.

Council officers will be working with representatives from the Youth Parliament and Hackney Police Safer Neighbourhood Teams to roll out this initiative to other areas in the borough.

Young people interested in joining the youth crime action panels should click on www.met.police.uk/hackney and scroll down to find contact details of their local safer neighbourhoods team.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Further update on the icy conditions

We know that the pavements on side streets across Stoke Newington are very icy at the moment during the prolonged cold snap. Many residents have contacted us and raised their concerns about the situation.

We've spoken at length with Cllr Alan Laing, the Cabinet member on Hackney Council about this and he is fully aware of residents' frustrations and worries about elderly neighbours. As we explained in a previous post, the priority is to keep traffic moving, which means that main roads are prioritised for gritting - this is 40% of roads in Hackney. In an ideal world, all roads would be gritted, but difficult decisions do have to be made. Cllr Laing told us that in one case where street cleaners cleared one side of Hackney Road, it took over three hours for four men to complete this task. There are over 400km of pavements in Hackney so as you can appreciate, it is not possible to grit all side streets at present, and by clearing main roads, the Council has been able to keep public transport moving. Other London councils have not gritted and cleared the pavements on main roads as we have done in Hackney.

Please do contact us if there are particular problem areas and we will pass these on.

On Farleigh Road, neighbours have agreed between themselves to clear ice from outside their houses and put salt down to help make the pavements safer - a good example of helping each other out during this difficult time.

There are currently disruptions to waste collection services too - see here for further updates.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Last chance to have your say on Hackney's housing strategy

The Council has been consulting on its housing strategy for 2010-2015.

The housing strategy has three objectives:

  • To support mixed and sustainable communities and provide quality and affordable homes for all income groups
  • To create attractive neighbourhoods where people want to live
  • To ensure prosperous communities in which everyone the chance to thrive and earn a good living.
There is an online consultation on the strategy - which you can fill in here. The deadline is tomorrow so the final chance to have your say.

The full strategy can be downloaded here.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Snow update

There was more snow last night and more expected today along with freezing temperatures. Many residents contacted us when it snowed before Christmas to say that their streets were icy and causing lots of issues.

If this happens again - please contact us and we will forward this on to council officers so they know where the hot spots are that need clearing.

We've asked Cllr Alan Laing for an update on the Council's approach to clearing roads and gritting during the cold weather. He says:

First, we've received assurances that there is enough grit to see us through the worst of the weather over the next few days.

The approach the council takes is to grade roads into three categories. Category one and two roads are prioritised for gritting. These are the main roads, bus routes, town centre roads and those roads around hospitals.

This work can be slow but the council does try to do as many streets as possible, but the priority is to keep traffic and public transport moving. February last year showed what happened if the main roads weren't cleared often enough and didn't have enough vehicles on the road.

We do advise people to refer to the news and to heed the advice being given during this weather. Wrap up, take care and don't risk injuring yourself.

Remember to renew your freedom pass

Freedom Pass users need to renew their passes as current ones will stop working on 31st March 2010.

Application forms are available online
here or from a local Post Office branch. There will also be an information stand in Kingsland shopping centre from late January onwards where forms can be picked up.

The Freedom Pass entitles older and disabled Londoners to free travel on public transport. The entitlement to the pass will not change. The new card will have individual photos on them and will take 10 days to process so make sure you leave enough time to renew your pass.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Recycle your Christmas tree!

Eight million real Christmas trees are purchased every year. If you had a real Christmas tree remember you can recycle it in Hackney.

Simply put your tree next to your brown bin on collection day and Hackney Council will make sure it is recycled.

If you live in an estate or high rise property, Christmas trees can be dropped off at Millfields Depot between 28 December – 15 January or they can be collected using the bulky waste service.

Cycle route improvements

The new improvements to the junction of Amhurst Road/Farleigh Road have now been completed.

This is part of the development of the new cycle route from Finsbury Park to Victoria Park ahead of the Olympic Games in 2012. See here for a picture of how the junction looked before!

We also worked with residents to secure improvements to the Palatine Road/Butterfield Green part of the route and updated information on the works programme will be sent to residents this week. As a result of the campaign with Living Streets, the Shakespeare Area Residents' Association and other local residents - the proposed benches have been abandoned, the cycle lane will remain in its original position rather than being moved to the middle, cycle stands will be installed, fruit trees will be planted and the green bed will also be improved.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Church Street works update

The works on Church Street were suspended during December and will be starting again from today. The traffic diversion will be put back in place whilst the pavement works are completed.

Road resurfacing is due to start on 11th January and the first section to be completed will be between Wilmer Place and Marton Road.

The works are due to be finished by the end of February - though this is dependent on weather conditions.

If you have any questions about the works please contact the Council on 020 8356 2897 or info@hackney.gov.uk.

Two licensing applications

Happy New Year! We hope you all had a relaxing break and a good start to 2010!

Two new licensing applications in Stoke Newington Central were submitted over Christmas and New Year:

Traditional Turkish Café, Pazarcik Lokali, 1st Floor, 121 Stoke Newington Road, London, N16 8B: Application for a premises licence to allow supply of alcohol from 12:00-01:00am daily. The deadline for representations is 13th January 2010.

Shipwreck Caribbean Restaurant and Bar, 179 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 0LH: Application for a premises licence for recorded music, late night refreshment and supply of alcohol from 11am-6am daily. The deadline for representations is 18th January.

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.