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.

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.