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

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Safer Stoke Newington

The latest Safer Stoke Newington newsletter is now out - this is delivered with your copy of Hackney Today and an also be downloaded here.

The newsletter has details of the policing priorities for our ward - currently licensing issues on the A10; anti social behaviour on Smalley Road Estate and drug dealing and prostitution. There is also information about the successful 'X Marks the Spot' campaign which showed the issues that local residents are most concerned about.

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

The start of the municipal year

Last night, there was the Annual Meeting of Hackney Council where a new speaker is elected for the coming year.

Cllr Sally Mulready from Chatham ward was elected as the Speaker and became Hackney's 110th 'first citizen'. Civic leaders, councillors, representatives of the armed forces, the emergency services, our two MPs and GLA member were all present for the ceremony.

Sally has been a councillor for 12 years and has been involved in many campaigns over the yearss, including her work supporting the wives of striking miners, supporting elderly Irish residents in London and helping to bring in many hundreds of thousands of pounds from Ireland to help the traveller community here in Hackney. She has also been a notable supporter for those subjected to miscarriages of justice, helping on the cases of the Birmingham Six and also supporting the calls for a review into the conviction of Hackney's Sam Hallam.

We look forward to welcoming her to events in our ward and hope that she enjoys the year ahead as Speaker.

For more information about the Speaker - see here.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Hackney in Bloom

The annual Hackney in Bloom competition is underway! This is a free gardening competition and anything that grows and is in Hackney is eligible for entry...

The categories are as follows:
  • Best Front Garden
  • Best Container Garden
  • Best Business Premises
  • Best Pub or Restaurant
  • Best Community Project
  • Best Voluntary Organisation Garden
  • Best Educational Garden
  • Best Food Growing Project
  • Young and Green Fingered Award

To enter the competition please complete the online form here.

All entries must be received by Friday 11 June 2010. Judging will take place after 11 June and winners will be notified in writing by August.

It would be great to see some more N16 winners in the competition!

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Yorkshire Grove Estate

At the Yorkshire Grove Estate Tenants and Residents Association last night, residents raised their ongoing concerns about fly-tipping on the estate. Council officers from the Recycling Department are relocating the recycling bins that are currently on Victorian Grove, to a location further inside the estate, to discourage waste being left by the bins, and contaminating what can be recycled.

Remember, if you spot anyone fly-tipping please make a note of the day, date and time of the incident, how many people were fly-tipping and what they looked like and finally the make, colour and registration number of any vehicles involved. This should then be reported to the Council’s Environmental Enforcement Department on 020 8356 4810. Fixed penalty notices can be issues if offenders are caught in the act.

The Council will also collect bulky waste for free - up to four times a year. This can be booked by calling
020 8356 6688.

There has also been an increase in dog fouling on the estate - this is an offence and there is a Dog Fouling Control Order in place in Hackney. Please report any incidents to the Estate Manager in the Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Office on 020 8356 3691. The Environmental Enforcement Team have the power to issue fixed penalty notices.

Residents at the meeting were determined to work together to try and tackle this anti social behaviour on the estate.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Parks for Life

Hackney has nine award winning Green Flag parks, and this summer there are a series of free events in local parks.

Parks for Life kicks off this Saturday 22nd May 12noon-6pm in London Fields, with free swimming lessons in the Lido, food stalls, craft stalls, performers, street theatre, complementary therapies, sport and health challenges and much more.

The full list of upcoming events over the summer is here - including summer boot camp in Hackney Downs, and kick boxing in Clissold Park

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Church Street

As part of the London Festival for Architecture, Hackney Living Streets has identified a space on Stoke Newington Church Street outside the fire station that can be improved.

As part of the 'Love Your Street' initiative, Living Streets are bringing residents together - tomorrow - Sunday 16th May at midday - outside the fire station. Come along and share ideas and come up with some DIY suggestions to make the area more welcoming and integrated into the street.

More information about the festival here and Living Streets in Hackney here.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Building a positive future for Stoke Newington

Transition Town Stoke Newington are organising an event this Saturday 15th May in Stoke Newington Library Gallery to discuss how local residents can work together as a community to make Stoke Newington more sustainable.

Transition towns is an international movement that aims to inspire and support communities in the transition from oil dependency to relocalised economies.

Full details about the event on Saturday are here - you need to sign up to reserve a place. Any questions, please email events@ttstokenewington.org

Set the priorities of our local police team - tonight

The Community Advisory Panel is meeting tonight at 7.30 pm 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.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Thank you for your support!

After a very long count at Hackney Town Hall yesterday, the results of the local elections in Hackney were finally announced.

Stoke Newington residents yesterday re-elected three Labour councillors to represent them on Hackney Council.

Susan Fajana-Thomas, Rita Krishna and Louisa Thomson will represent you for the next four years, along with Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe and Hackney North & Stoke Newington MP Diane Abbott - also re-elected yesterday.

Thank you to everyone who supported us during a lively election campaign - we are very proud to have been re-elected and are looking forward to working with you all over the coming years as we continue to improve Stoke Newington.

We will update this website properly next week - but in the meantime you can still contact us on stokenewingtoncentral@hackney-labour.org.uk and on 07794 637870.

Votes for Stoke Newington Central in full:

Tory 379
Tory 358
Susan Fajana-Thomas 2471
Green 1641
Lib Dem 1077
Green 1649
Green 1262
Con 68
Rita Krishna 2362
Lib Dem 775
Lib Dem 735
Louisa Thomson 2367

Diane Abbott won with 55% of the vote - up 6.4% on 2005. Jules Pipe was also re-elected as Mayor of Hackney on first preference votes.

The full results from Hackney are here.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Thursday 6th May - elections tomorrow

Dear neighbour,

Tomorrow you will get the chance to vote for who you want to represent our area - your three local councillors, the Mayor of Hackney and the local MP. Five votes - all on the same day.

Stoke Newington has three Labour councillors and we have got to know many of you in person. We've worked hard and done our best for everyone who has asked us for help.

We have been overwhelmed by the support for Labour in Stoke Newington over the past few months. Residents have told us that they recognise that the Labour councillors have worked hard for our area.

Thursday 6 May offers you a significant choice, both for the future of our ward, but also for Hackney. This election will decide who represents you on a huge range of local issues, whether it’s making sure our streets are clean and safe to improving council services for all residents and working towards an even greener and more sustainable Stoke Newington.

Stoke Newington needs local councillors who are serious about representing our community and standing up for residents in our area.

We have previously set out our priorities that we will work towards over the next four years if you return us to office tomorrow. For the borough as a whole, we've also laid out in detail what Hackney Labour offers everyone in a costed and comprehensive programme laid out in full in our manifesto.

Hackney Labour has been the only party to offer a positive agenda to continue our borough's improvement - other parties have made it clear that they are not offering the same solutions to local issues and don't have the same experience and local commitment.

So please use ALL your votes for Labour and ensure we keep our team of hard working Labour councillors here in Stoke Newington Central ward.

Thank you.

Cllr Rita Krishna
Cllr Louisa Thomson
Susan Fajana-Thomas

Parking zones

A strange anonymous yellow flyer was put on cars in Stoke Newington yesterday arguing against controlled parking zones.

In our conversations with residents, we know there are a range of views about the controlled parking zone in Stoke Newington. Many say it has worked well on their streets and helped to resolve issues with parking. Others have been less positive.

Every controlled parking zone is reviewed every three years and we have pushed to make sure that Zone E is consulted on at the end of this year - this will be an opportunity for everyone to feed in their views and make sure that in places where the zone is not working, improvements are made.

The wider parking policy in Hackney was consulted on earlier this year - which we advertised to residents here (and it was of course, on the Hackney website)

Owning a car for lots of Hackney residents is a necessity and we recognise that there are frustrations with parking zones and want to make sure that the consultation on our zone in Stoke Newington helps to address some of the issues.

The Council's policy is to encourage people to make responsible choices - we were one of the first boroughs to pioneer parking charges relating to engine size, so the greenest cars park for free. At the moment, we haven't gone down the route of charging according to a car's emissions as this would disadvantage many families in Hackney who have older cars.

Compare this with other parties in Hackney - in this year's budget, the Greens proposed a hike on Pay and Display charges by 12% which would have hit local businesses hardest. We want to support our town centres and local shops, rather than imposing stealth taxes.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Our priorities for Stoke Newington

Happy bank holiday to all Stoke Newington residents!

We're just a few days away now from the election, and would like to thank everyone for all your support over the last few weeks. Please do get in touch if you have any questions for us.

We'd like to remind you of our priorities for Stoke Newington so you can hold us to account if we are re-elected on Thursday 6th May.

  • As your local councillors you can contact us by phone, email or in person and we will respond to all the issues you raise with us
  • A cleaner Stoke Newington – with graffiti removed, and people who drop litter, fly tip and let their dogs foul on the pavement caught and fined
  • Sign up residents and businesses to the Sustainable Stoke Newington Pledge to promote local shopping and cutting carbon emissions

  • More things to do locally that young people want to do – from a new state of the art youth centre for Stoke Newington to activities across the ward and on estates

  • Tougher action against anti social behaviour and noise nuisance from pubs and clubs – through council action and working with the local police

  • Continue to work with the Council and TfL to remove the Stoke Newington one way system and make our roads safer

  • Make sure our area benefits from decent homes improvements and campaign with residents to improve open spaces and maintenance on estates

  • Investing in our local parks and gardening projects so there are high quality green spaces for all local residents

  • Improving recycling facilities in our ward

  • Increase investment in cycling to get even more Stoke Newington residents on their bikes!

Morris Blitz Court – our response

One of the opposition parties in Stoke Newington has put out a story about Morris Blitz Court in our ward.

We’ve been working over the last year and a half to ensure that improvements will be made to Morris Blitz Court. We stand by our leaflet which says that we fought for major works on the block – Morris Blitz Court is now in the Decent Homes programme which is a national government funded scheme to make sure all homes are wind and watertight with windows, doors, wiring, brickwork, kitchens and bathrooms replaced if they are in poor condition.

Other political parties have obviously just picked up on the problems on Morris Blitz Court now at election time. Instead, we’ve been working to try and resolve these for the past year and a half. Much needed improvements will be made – in the next year – rather than rejecting the funding for decent homes and facing more years of uncertainty and appalling conditions on the block.

Other political parties need to answer the question – how would they ensure that the block is improved without the funding that is available through the decent homes programme?

There were consultation meetings with residents during 2009 (see here and here and here) where plans were discussed and presented. There were strong views expressed at these meetings, and council officers then talked to residents individually to ask if they wanted the decent homes programme to continue – the vast majority were in favour, understanding that it would mean improvements being made to Morris Blitz Court. Residents on the block told us they still want the works to go ahead.

Moreover following a walkabout with residents, it was clear that Decent Homes was not enough on its own, and we lobbied for an estate plan to be drawn up to sort out the problems with damp, consider what to do with the community hall, the green spaces and improve security on the block.

As a result of our action:
  • The police have done a survey of the block to identify how to improve security
  • Individual flats which had problems with damp are now in the process of being repaired
  • We’ve reported all known problems to Hackney Homes – including issues with the security doors, and estate cleaning
However, we feel Hackney Homes have let residents down over the timescales of the decent homes work and we’re pushing for:
  • better consultation with residents. The last meeting to discuss the plans was at the end of last year. This clearly isn’t good enough and we’ve asked Hackney Homes to arrange a meeting as soon as possible to keep residents informed about the proposals and provide feedback
  • A resolution to the bin location. Hackney Homes refused to reopen the chutes meaning that residents have to throw their rubbish over the wall. This is clearly unacceptable. Officers carried out a survey on residents preferences for the location. However, although the enclosure has been built the bins have not yet been moved. We’ve pushed for this to happen asap and demanded explanations from hackney Homes about why it has taken so long
  • More support for the TRA so residents can decide how to spend their Estates Improvement Budget and make the changes they want to see.
We are committed to making sure these improvements happen to Morris Blitz Court, and believe that when the Decent Homes works do start, it will make a big difference.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Election myth buster - recycling

Another boast from the Greens on a leaflet that they pushed to extend recycling in Hackney.

We’re a bit puzzled about this as they’ve never voted in favour of more investment in recycling. Labour's budgets in Hackney have meant:
  • Green box collections for all street properties where residents can recycle an ever expanding range of material. Since October last year, you can now recycle tetrapak, plastic tubs and as soon as it becomes possible to recycle other materials, we will add these too
  • Food waste collections from street properties and estates – which is used as compost in Hackney parks
  • Recycle on the go bins in our town centres - including Stoke Newington
  • Recycling facilities on estates which has meant that tonnage has gone up and is at the same level as street properties
Moreover, our budget this year proposed £66m investment in the public realm, which means alongside keeping streets clean and providing parking and market services, money going into recycling collections to ensure we keep driving up the amount being recycled in Hackney.

Residents in Hackney now recycle over 27% of their waste using one of the most comprehensive collection services in the UK. We're pledging in our manifesto to continue to get residents recycling more, including recycling in our parks, and out and about on our streets, and provide incentives to make recycling more attractive.