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, 31 March 2010

Two new licensing applications

Two new applications for premises licenses have been submitted in our ward:

Oz Gaziantep Restaurant, 115 Stoke Newington Road, N16 8BX

Application for premises licence for late night refreshment from 23:00 to 02:00am daily and supply of alcohol from 12:00 to 02:00am daily.

Ciz Biz, 4 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7PL

Application for premises licence for late night refreshment from 23:00 to 05:00am daily.

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. The deadline for Oz Gaziantep is the 9th April and for Ciz Biz 7th April.

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Labour's team for Stoke Newington Central

Whilst the national media is getting increasingly excited about the General Election - don't forget that there are local elections happening in Hackney on 6th May.

We'd like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves (although for regular readers of this blog, hopefully you're used to us by now!).

Your Labour candidates in the local election are:
  • Cllr Rita Krishna
  • Cllr Louisa Thomson
  • Susan Fajana-Thomas
A strong local team working together for Stoke Newington.

Find out more about us here and if you have any questions about our work for Stoke Newington please do not hesitate to get in touch.

It's not too late to register to vote for the elections if you're not on the electoral register. More details on Hackney Council's website here.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Good news for Dalston

Just down the road from us in Stoke Newington - but worth highlighting as Hackney Council has secured £1.3m from the Mayor of London to transform Kingsland High Street as part of the Council's major improvements to Dalston town centre.

The funding was granted after the Council submitted proposals developed with Design for London to transform the area, which include better walking and cycling routes, planting more trees to make the town centre greener, and providing improved lighting. There will also be new cycle stands, dropped kerbs to make things easier for wheelchair users and those with pushchairs, safer crossings for blind and visually impaired pedestrians, 20mph speed limits and the introduction of CCTV.

The plans will transform Kingsland High Street while ensuring Dalston's distinct character that makes it such a popular destination for residents and visitors is strengthened.

The new London Overground station is due to open at Dalston Junction by June. Around the station, the Council is working with partners to build 500 new homes, a new library and public archive, shops, restaurants and a modern public square.

Ed Balls MP - the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families was in Stoke Newington last week to launch Labour's manifesto for Hackney and to mark the start of the election campaign.

He also congratulated Cllr Rita Krishna - local ward councillor in Stoke Newington and Cabinet Member for Children's Services, and Mayor Jules Pipe on the Local Government Chronicle awards that Hackney Council had scooped up the night before.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

An award winning council!

Last night at the prestigious Local Government Chronicle awards, Hackney Council won three - more than any other council in the country.

Hackney received awards for:
  • Place of the year
  • Best Children's Serivces
  • The Employee Engagement Award
More details here.

This is a fantastic achievement showing the commitment that council staff, councillors and residents have to making Hackney a great place to live and work in. Congratulations to all involved!

Consultation on lap dancing clubs

At Licensing Committee earlier this week, councillors unanimously agreed to go out to consult residents and businesses in Hackney on the proposed new policy regarding "Sex Establishments".

The government has recently passed new legislation that will come into force later this year that allow local councils to licence lap dancing clubs, sex shops and sex cinemas using a different set of powers.

These include setting a maximum number of premises within a locality. Last night, the committee decided to consult on a "nil" policy across all of Hackney. It means that the five premises that currently have a sex encounter licence - which will then seek a "sexual entertainment" licence - would have to argue forcefully why they should be the exception to the policy.

Potentially, this could see all of the venues shut when they seek their licence renewal next spring.

The consultation will begin in the summer and we'll let you know when this is live so residents can comment. Those of you who were involved in the campaign against Satchmo's becoming a lap dancing club might be interested in giving your views!

You can read the policy proposals here.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

New powers to target street drinkers

On Monday, a Hackney wide "Public Place Order" was approved at the Council.

This has been wrongly described as a public drinking ban - which it isn't. It gives the police powers, across the borough, to confiscate and/or dispose of alcohol from people who are causing anti-social behaviour.

In the other parts of the borough where these powers have been in place, residents have reported that these powers work and have improved their quality of life.

At the end of last year, when there were big issues with street drinking in Kynaston Gardens, having these powers in place would have helped the Police to deal with the problem more quickly.

A bit more information about the Public Places Order:
  • this isn't a ban on public drinking. The police will not routinely stop people walking down the street, or sitting in one of Hackney's parks having a picnic and confiscate their alcohol.

  • the police will use the powers to direct resources to areas where there is alcohol-related ASB. So this may be at the request of local residents through the Community Advisory Panels, or it could be through the formal police tasking meeting which decides on how the police will spend their time.

  • there will be a 6 month review of the powers, and then an annual review thereafter. If the problems of alcohol related ASB have lessened greatly and the powers aren't needed, then the council can rescind the order.

  • anyone who the police stop and ask to cease drinking, or confiscate alcohol, will be issued with a form saying that they have been stopped. We're the only borough which has asked for this reassurance, so that there is a separate source of monitoring the use of the powers.

  • it allows for a speedy and proportionate response to the problems. The existing orders take months to put in place and prevent a quick response that may be all that is needed.

  • these powers will be used in conjunction with the Drug and Alcohol Team going out to ensure that people have access to treatment, so that there is the support in place for those who suffer from problem drinking.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Community Empowerment Network Conference - tomorrow

Hackney Community Empowerment Network is holding a REACH Conference tomorrow - Tuesday 23rd March - 10am-4pm at Morley Hall, Mare Street.

It's designed to discuss and share ideas on how community representatives and networks in Hackney can influence services as well as showcase their work at grassroots level in the borough.

Speakers include Tim Shields, the Chief Executive of Hackney Council; Steve Bending - the Borough commander; and Jules Pipe, the Mayor of Hackney.

The Team Hackney Community Grants programme will also be launched.

The event is free and can be booked on 020 7923 1962 or here.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Bike racks

There have been some misleading reports locally about the loss of cycle racks in Stoke Newington.

Transport for London has been removing guard railing from along the High Street and Stoke Newington Road (not the Council as this is a red route, which means Transport for London control it). This is part of TfL's ongoing decluttering programme to remove street furniture and make our high streets and pavements more pedestrian friendly.
The Council has put in additional stands on Church Street, and works closely with TfL in cases where there have been a loss of cycle parking from the guard railing having been removed.

As ward councillors we've also asked residents to let us know if they have any suggestions for particular locations, and we've followed up the one request we've had so far for more bike parking at Dalston station (actually outside our ward).

So do get in touch if you have any further suggestions for more bike stands. Hackney has been judged as the best borough for cycling and we want to help keep it that way!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

A new look Church Street

We've had lots of good feedback this week from residents and businesses who are pleased to see two way traffic back and a much improved Church Street with a new road surface, pavements, kerbs, as well as more cycle racks and street trees!

The investment in Church Street has created a safer, more pleasant and coordinated environment - and will help to promote our area as a place to visit, shop in and enjoy

The footway works, at the end of the road between Wilmer Place and the High Street, will continue without the need for a traffic diversion and are expected to be completed in April.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Safer Stoke Newington

The latest Safer Stoke Newington newsletter from the police and the Community Safety Team at the Council is now out - you should have received your copy with Hackney Today last week (if not - let us know).

The newsletter can be downloaded here.

There are details about the Council's Neighbourhood Warden Service whose role it is to patrol our neighbourhood, report anti social behaviour and investigate other neighbourhood issues such as dumped rubbish.

The newsletter also outlines how crime has fallen by 13% since 2005 in Stoke Newington. Look out for the 'X Marks the Spot' postcard that came with the newsletter where you can report any local anti social behaviour issues to the local police.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Orchard planting on Somerford Estate

Local resident Robin Grey organised the planting of an orchard on Somerford Estate over the weekend - apple trees, a pear tree, a plum tree and a mulberry tree were planted by happy volunteers.

The project was funded by the Play pathfinder - new play areas are being built on the estate at the moment.

Having never planted a tree before it was fascinating to see how it was done - congratulations to all involved!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Recycle on the go

An earlier post mentioned our record level of recycling - we're all helping to get our recycling rate up even more and have reached 27% earlier this year.

As part of our ongoing attempts to make it easier and better for everyone to recycle, the council is going to trial recycling bins in busy areas of Hackney as 60 new bins are put on the streets. The new bins, which collect recyclables at one end and litter at the other, allow passers-by to recycle their newspapers, drinks cans, cartons, glass and plastic bottles, at the same time as disposing of general waste.

More information on recycling can be found here - including information on what you can recycle in your home.

New licence application

Cafe Mostra, 86 Stoke Newington High Street has put in an application for:

Live music, recorded music, performance of dance, making music, facilities for dance, entertainment of similar description and supply of alcohol from 08:00-23:00 daily.

The deadline for representations is 25th March.

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.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Community safety day - this Saturday

The Hackney Community Engagement Board is holding a Community Safety Open Day tomorrow at Stoke Newington Town Hall (from 10am-4pm).

The event will give residents the chance to come and meet the wide and diverse services who work to make Hackney a safer place to live, work and visit.

If you're worried about anything related to crime or safety in our area then this is an opportunity to get information and advice. There will be stalls from: Hackney Police Safer Neighbourhood teams, Hackney Fire Brigade, Hackney Council’s Noise Nuisance, Trading Standards and Community Safety teams, RSPCA, Crown Prosecution Service, Hackney Probation Service, the Domestic Violence and Hate Crime team, and representatives from the voluntary and community sector.

The Hackney Community Engagement Board (CEB) is funded by the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) and it aims to provide a resident-led forum with the opportunity to meet those responsible for policing and community safety in Hackney.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Hackney Homes and anti social behaviour

Hackney Homes have published a contract in their latest magazine to residents about how they respond to anti social behaviour. From the complaints we receive from residents, we know that anti social behaviour can have a massive impact on people's lives and that it can be frustrating and slow getting effective action to be taken.

Please do let us know you have any problems with anti social behaviour on your estate and we can help to take this up with Hackney Homes. You can also report ASB through the local housing office; online at www.hackneyhomes.org.uk, texting 07527 385603 or calling the out of hours helpline on 020 8356 3310.

When you report ASB, you can expect:
  • An acknowledgment letter within three working days
  • An invitation for an interview within five working days
  • An action plan for resolving the complaint within 12 working days
  • Monthly reviews of your case and regular contact updating you on progress
For more serious acts of ASB, you can expect:
  • An acknowledgment within 24 hours
  • An invitation to an interview with 24 hours
  • An action plan within 12 working days
  • Regular monthly reviews and contact.
More information online here.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Fed up with no North London Line? Get on your bike!

With the North London Line closed until the end of May, Hackney Council has been encouraging more people to get on their bikes.

It takes just 15 mins to cycle from Hackney Central to Highbury & Islington; and 20 mins from Hackney Central to Stratford (with 40% of the journey off road along the Greenway and through Victoria Park.

With free cycle lessons and a free map of cycling routes - what further incentive do you need? Find out more

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Did you meet Ken Livingstone yesterday on Church Street?

Yesterday, Ken Livingstone visited Stoke Newington Church Street.

He came to show his support for Labour's team for Stoke Newington Central: Cllr Rita Krishna, Cllr Louisa Thomson and Susan Fajana-Thomas, as well as letting local residents know about our campaign against Boris Johnson's bus fare hikes.

Shoppers and passers by on Church Street took the time to stop and talk to Ken - we've set up a Flickr site. If you're in any of the pictures and want a copy - let us know.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Labour's Budget for Hackney

On Wednesday at the Town Hall, Labour's Budget for 2010/11 was agreed by the Council.

The good news is that council tax will be frozen for the fifth year in a row. Hackney's council tax is now below the London average and is the only council in the country to have five years in a row with no rise in council tax.

By running the Council more efficiently Hackney has made savings of more than £40 million during the past five years, the highest amount in London according to recent Government figures, and the third highest in the country. This has allowed consistent investment in those services that matter most to residents - with no cuts to frontline services.

During a lively Full Council meeting where the budget was debated, we also confirmed that there will be investment in the following areas:
  • £66m on keeping our streets clean, waste and recycling services - including specific investment in improving recycling on estates with new containers which will allow residents to recycle a wider range of materials and extra investment into graffiti removal, and weekday litter picking
  • £25m on safer neighbourhoods - working with partners to reduce crime and anti social behaviour across the borough
  • £5.2m on parks and green spaces - to build on our record of 9 green flag parks across Hackney. We will also be refurbishing toilets in all our parks.
  • £72m on children and young people's services - as well as £5m from the Myplace project which will bring new state of the art youth centres across the borough
  • £186.7m on education - with £170m over the next five years going into the next phases of the Building Schools for the Future programme
  • Investment in adult social care to provide an additional 5000 hours of homecare to support vulnerable residents in Hackney in their own homes
  • £500k into a new library in Dalston
  • Further investment in cycle training programmes, road safety improvements, car clubs, electric charging points and street decluttering
All the budget documents are publicly available here.

There have been some misleading reports in a local free newspaper about budget cuts - we'd like to reassure you that this is not the case - these are different economic times, but due to managing the Council's finances well, we're able to freeze council tax and continue to invest in key services.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Local policing priorities for our ward

The Community Advisory Panel meeting for Stoke Newington Central is tonight at 7pm in Somerford Grove Community Hall.

Come along and have your say in setting the policing priorities of our local Safer Neighbourhood Team for the coming months. There will also be an officer from the Council's Planning Department to answer questions about venues and planning enforcement in the area.

More details about our team

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Hackney reaches new recycling high

We're recycling more than ever in Hackney - the figures from January show that over 27% of rubbish in the borough was collected for recycling.

This shows the commitment local residents have to recycling. Since the end of last year, you can now recycle plastic packaging and cartons in green box collections.

However, there's still more to do - over 60% of household waste can be recycled so we need to do even more to get all residents in Hackney recycling.

We're always after suggestions of how to improve recycling services. Another thing we're often asked is about whether the Council provides lids for green boxes. The Council doesn't - but you can get a net lid for free which helps to stop recycling blowing away, and you can also be reassured that even if paper and card gets wet outside in your green box, it can still be recycled.

More information on recycling can be found here.

Free film screening for Fairtrade Fortnight

As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, the Arcola Theatre and the Hackney and Tower Hamlets Fairtrade Groups present The Great African Scandal – a free film screening at 6.30pm tonight - Tuesday March 2 at St. Mark’s Church Hall, Dalston, E8 2NL.

This thought-provoking documentary asks “Why, 50 years after independence, Ghana, which is rich in minerals and is a stable democracy, is still one of the poorest countries in the world.”

Film goers are invited to stay and chat after the film screening and enjoy a cup of Fairtrade tea or coffee and a slice of cake.

For more information, please contact Rachel Carless, Arcola Theatre’s Sustainability Projects Manager, at rachel@arcolatheatre.com / 020 7503 1645.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Help to grow your own food

Hackney Homes has teamed up with Capital Growth to help residents grow their own food.

Residents can apply for between £200 and £1500 from the Capital Growth Scheme to use spare pieces of land on estates for food growing. Hackney Homes gardeners can also help provide seeds, plants, and advice for residents intersted in growing.

In our ward, Smalley Road Estate is in the process of applying for the funding and we look forward to supporting residents in transforming the green spaces across the estate.
More info here.