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, 21 December 2011

Christmas opening times

All the details for festive opening times, recycling and refuse collections and parking enforcement are on the Council's website here.

Recycling collections are as normal, but there are a few changes to refuse collections and parking enforcement so it is worth checking!

Season's greetings to all Stoke Newington residents! It's been another busy year for the three of us - thank you for all your support and we look forward to continuing to work with local residents to improve our local area in 2012!

The Old Fire Station is advertising for a development officer

The Old Fire Station on Leswin Road is hiring - are you interested in helping to take forward the future of this local building? Details below and here.

The management committee of the Old Fire Station is looking for a flexible, creative and entrepreneurial individual / organisation to deliver a business development contract to develop:
  • Short-term measures to increase use of the building (temporary hire and long-term use);
  • A phased and costed plan for building improvement, from immediate low-cost measures to long-term refurbishment;
  • Long-term strategy and business plan;
  • Identification of possible sources of funding and fundraising.
The contract has a budget of £5,000 and is expected to run for 3 months from 1st Feb 2012; we hope to extend the contract, depending on success attracting new users and funding.

To apply, please send a covering letter, CV and outline of initial ideas (no more than 2 sides) to Nick Saltmarsh - info@oldfirestation.org - by 5pm on 20th January 2012.

For more information, please contact Nick Saltmarsh: info@oldfirestation.org / 020 7241 3468

Monday, 19 December 2011

Clissold House opening in January

Hackney's ambitious project to develop Clissold Park and restore the historic Clissold House is due to be completed in January 2012.

Clissold House and its new cafe will open to the public on 3 January.
The House will include a new café, beautifully restored function rooms and smaller meeting rooms for private hire and community use.

Free guided tours will be offered throughout January and February 2012. Bookings for tours and function rooms in the House are been taken now. You can find out more here.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Hackney Homes tenancy consultation

Don't forget to have your say on proposed changes to Hackney Homes tenancies!

A number of changes have been proposed to update the Hackney Homes conditions of tenancy. These changes include new legislation and also best practice.

If you are a Hackney Homes resident you should already have received a consultation form through the post in order to have your say on these new conditions.

If you have not received the form you can pick one up at your local neighbourhood housing office. You can also complete the form online if this is more convenient.

The new conditions of tenancy are available in full here.
The consultation form is also online here.

If you require further information on these changes please call 020 8356 2060 or email tenancyconsultation@hackneyhomes.org.uk or visit your neighbourhood housing office.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Christmassy events locally!


Quite a few Christmas events happening locally over the next few weeks.

Here are a few we've been told about:


A Festive Feast at Stoke Newington Town Hall. A whole range of events including a Christmas market this weekend, a swing dance, silent disco, Proms, the Gay Men's Chorus. All the details are online here.

Chatsworth Road Christmas Market Sunday 11 December 11am – 4pm
Chatsworth Road will be holding a special Christmas market which will see the road closed to traffic and a host of activities taking place. There will be the usual array of stalls from street food to vintage clothes and furniture, accompanied by carol singing, mulled wine and mince piesYou can also visit Santa or pick up a bargain at the sample sale with clothes donated by Topshop / Topman. More info here

Christmas Carols outside the Fire Station on Church Street - Thursday 15th December - 6.30pm. Organised by the Stoke Newington Business Association and there will be mulled wine and mince for the adults and juice and biscuits for children. We've heard Father Christmas will be visiting too...

Of Cabbages and Kings Christmas Market - Sat 17th and Sun 18th in Abney Hall
A different selection of artists, designers and crafts people we be at the hall each day offering an abundance of cards and prints, decorations, stocking fillers, festive fashion, designer homewares and other crafty bits.

St Paul's Church Carol Service - Sun 18th 6pm
A service of traditional carols and readings followed by mince pies and mulled wine

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

New Licensing application - Cafe Mostra










Cafe Mostra, 86 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7PA
have put in an application to vary their premises licence to:

  • extend the supply of alcohol from 7am-1am Sunday to Thurs and from 7am-2am Friday and Saturday
  • include late night refreshment from 23.00-1am Sunday to Thurs and from 23.00-2am Friday and Saturday
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
A guide to making representations can also be downloaded here. The deadline for making representations is 28th December. 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.

Hackney Homes Garden Swap

Hackney Homes has launched a Garden Swap initiative.

The idea is
to join people up to help each other to look after and spruce up their gardens. If you have a garden and are unable to look after it due to health or other reasons, you can sign up to Garden Swap and Hackney Homes will match you up with someone who is green fingered and wants to help others.

If you don't have a garden, you can donate your time to someone else and help to create a beautiful garden in Hackney. You can grow food and vegetables or just flowers to make the space an inviting and welcoming area to be enjoyed.

For more information and to get involved see www.hackneyhomes.org.uk/gardenswap.htm or pick up an application form from your local housing office.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Save our station staff in Hackney!


We've been working with other local community groups in Hackney on a campaign to defend Hackney's train station staff. Lots of residents in our ward use Stoke Newington and Rectory Road stations - both of which are under threat.

There is a meeting on Monday 12th December at 6.30pm at the Old Fire Station on Leswin Road.

Jennette Arnold, the Assembly Member for our area on the Greater London Assembly, speakers from the TSSA rail union, the Green Party and Hackney Disability Backup will be there as we discuss how to continue campaigning and raising awareness of this issue. A spokesperson from Abellio, the train operator taking over from National Express in the New Year, has been invited to speak.


Please do come along - those of you have lived in this area long enough will remember the old Silverlink trains when the stations were unstaffed and how unpleasant and dangerous they were.

All the details from
Together for Transport below:

A community coalition is launching a campaign to defend Hackney’s train station staff after government proposals to cut ticket office staff were exposed. The McNulty report recommends that smaller stations across the country lose their ticket office staff. In Hackney, this would mean cuts to all ticket office staff at Hackney Wick, Homerton, Rectory Road, Stamford Hill and Stoke Newington stations. Ticket office staff would be cut at Hackney Central, Dalston Kingsland and Clapton. Community activists believe that without staff, Hackney’s train stations will become dangerous, unwelcome and inaccessible places.

A spokesperson for Together for Transport, a founding member of the community coalition, said: ‘Everyone in Hackney who uses the trains and Overground will be dismayed to hear talk of unstaffed train stations. We don’t want to go back to the bad old days of unreliable trains and dangerous train stations. This public meeting will be a chance to show how bad this move would be for Hackney, and plan a community response.’’


More information about the McNulty report and its recommendations on ticket office staff here

Anybody wishing to attend the meeting or find out more information should email info@togetherfortransport.org

Monday, 28 November 2011

New licensing application

Unit2 rear of 85 Stoke Newington Road 2d Prince George Road) London, N16 8AA have put in a new application for a premises licence to:
  • allow supply of alcohol from 10:00 to 23:00 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
A guide to making representations can also be downloaded here.

The deadline for making representations is 16th December. 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.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Consultation on more cycle stands for Garnham Street


Hackney Council is committed to promoting cycling as an alternative to private car use. The number of cyclists in Hackney continues to grow at a significant rate and we regularly receive requests from residents and businesses across the borough asking for more secure cycle parking stands.

We have received a number of requests for more cycle parking in and around the Stoke Newington area. Opportunities to install footway cycle parking facilities in this area are limited due to the narrow pavements and high pedestrian flows. A proposal has therefore been developed to introduce carriageway (on-street) cycle parking facilities in Garnham Street.

This would involve installing eight 8 cycle stands, providing capacity for 16 cycles to be parked, between two protective islands in Garnham Street.

The consultation documents are online here and you can have your say on the proposed scheme up until 9th December.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

West Hackney Recreation Ground NEEDS YOU!

West Hackney Recreation Ground was recently awarded the first stage of Heritage Lottery development funding. St Paul's Church and Hackney Council are now working together to put in a bid for 'Stage 2' funding of £640,000 to regenerate the park.

If the application is successful it will transform our neighbourhood with a much needed local park that residents can enjoy and be proud of for years to come.

A user group is now being set up to make sure that residents have their say on the plans and to encourage a wide group of people living in the local area to get involved with the future of the park.

This is taking place on Mon 5th December at 7.30pm in St Paul’s Church.

Please do come along – it’s a really important opportunity for the future of West Hackney Recreation Ground.

Mince pies and mulled wine will be provided! If you need more information please email whrgusergroup@gmail.com.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Wilmer Place update

Cross posted with our colleagues in Lordship ward.

Since July we have been campaigning for a public meeting to discuss the proposed development at Wilmer Place.


We recently collected nearly 500 signatures during just two street stalls on Church Street calling for a public meeting on the plans. We felt the developer should be accountable to the local community, given the big impact the plans are likely to have on Stoke Newington if they are approved.


Despite the developer and Sainsbury’s refusing to attend a public meeting and rejecting an invitation to the Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum, we are pleased to say they have now agreed to a second exhibition for the public before the plans are submitted.


This is an important opportunity to see how the plans have changed and whether any of the many planning concerns we have been raising have been addressed.
We have written to the developer again today asking for details of when and where the exhibition will be held; how they plan to promote it within the local community to ensure as many people as possible can attend and how they will record and report back on the issues that get raised by residents at the exhibition. A copy of the letter is provided below.

We will keep you posted as soon as we have more information.


Copy of our Letter to Four Communications:


Dear Alun, We write in response to your email of 20 October 2011. Please accept my apologies for the delay in replying.

We are disappointed that you do not feel able to attend a public meeting to discuss the proposed development at Wilmer Place. The grounds for doing so not a fair representation of the residents of Stoke Newington who care passionately about their local area and would like to have a say in how it develops.

We understand that there are a wide range of views on the proposals. We have worked closely with nearly 500 Stoke Newington residents that have signed a petition calling on Newmark Properties and Sainsbury's to attend a public meeting so that these views can be discussed. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that it is the local planning authority that is requesting a public meeting: it is the local residents and businesses that will be directly affected. It is their view that your consultation to date has been deeply flawed and provided little opportunity for local opinion to be properly considered.

However, we do welcome your proposal to hold a second public exhibition before submitting a formal planning application. In the absence of a public meeting it does at least offer some form of further engagement. We would welcome details on when and where the exhibition will be held; how you plan to promote it within the local community and how you will record and report back on the issues that get raised by residents at the exhibition.


Our letter of 22 August 2011 highlighted a range of planning concerns, which, again, you have not yet addressed. We have also called on Sainsbury’s to provide more information about the impact the store will have on the local economy. The refusal of Newmark Properties and Sainsbury's to be transparent and accountable to the local community about these issues is of considerable concern. We hope that you will respond to these issues and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

Shop Local campaign





The Council has launched a Love Hackney Shop Local campaign to support our local high streets.

Businesses participating in Love Hackney, Shop Local have signed a pledge to:

  • ask customers if they really need a carrier bag (rather than automatically providing one)
  • store plastic carrier bags out of sight, behind counters
  • offer reusable bags instead of plastic bags

Lots of businesses in Stoke Newington are taking part and you can find out more online here.

We are really pleased to support this initiative – a while back, we worked to raise awareness of the Sustainable Stoke Newington Pledge and this current campaign takes forward this work.

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Set the priorities of the local police - tonight

The Community Advisory Panel meeting for Stoke Newington Central is taking place tonight - at 7.30pm in Yorkshire Grove Community Hall (the easiest way to reach it is via Gunstor Road).

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.

If you can't attend the meeting tonight there is now a virtual CAP - a very short survey for local residents to fill in online which helps to set ward priorities. Please email the SNT: StokeNewingtonCentral.snt@met.police.uk if you would like to take part in this.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum - Tonight

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

Jules Pipe the Mayor of Hackney, will be attending for a Q&A.

The recent riots and an update on the one way system are also on the agenda.

All local residents are welcome!

More info here.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Local meeting for Hackney residents on the Olympics


A meeting to update Hackney residents of any local issues relating to the 2012 Games will take place on 25 October - tonight - from 5pm - 8.30pm at the Wally Foster Community Centre, Homerton Road, E9 5QB.

There will be a particular focus on the following key areas:
  • Test event tickets
  • Transport/parking at Games time
  • Doing the day job
  • Licensing on the Olympic Park
The meeting will be a good opportunity to hear from the LOCOG and TFL on these issues.

Free Halloween Games Festival - Kynaston Gardens - this Saturday!

There is a free Halloween Games Festival in Kynaston Gardens this Saturday 29th October.

It is taking place from 12 til 4pm (turn up at any time).

There will be fun things for all the family:


* A Pumpkin Carving Competition
* Apple Bobbing
* Giant Jenga
* Board Games...and much more

It'll be a great opportunity to get everyone using the Gardens and having a great time. The event has been organised by Groundwork with the Friends of Kynaston Gardens group.

More information on the flyer here

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Oxjam comes to Stoke Newington this weekend!


The Oxjam music festival is coming to Stoke Newington this weekend - Saturday 22nd.

It's a community project that raises money for Oxfam and involves a whole host of live bands across five different local venues.

All the details are online here.

Bulb planting - Yorkshire Grove this Sunday!

Residents on Yorkshire Grove Estate have organised a bulb planting session this Sunday 25th October as part of an ongoing effort to improve the green spaces on the estate.

This is a fantastic way to get involved and meet neighbours!


It starts at midday meeting outside the Community Hall. Bring a trowel if possible - and there will be tea and cake afterwards.

A flyer can be downloaded here.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Two events tomorrow!

There are two interesting events taking place tomorrow:

GIve or Take Day - Sat 15th Oct at Shacklewell Primary School. Turn up on the day with items you want to give, or come along and take what you need.

You can give or take just about anything: garden and household items like books and toys, bikes, tools, kitchenware, clothes, bric-a-brac, plants, furniture and small electrical items (please note that no large electric items like fridges or washing machines can be accepted, and all small electrical goods will be safety tested on the day).

More information online here.

Tomorrow is also the inaugural Greener Hackney event at the Arcola, 2 Ashwin Street, between 10.30am and 2pm. This features stalls, talks and workshops to look at how the council, voluntary sector and residents can work together to make Hackney a more sustainable and greener place to live. More info in the flyer here.


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Biodiversity Action Plan

The Council is currently consulting on its Biodiversity Action Plan - and the deadline for comments is 24th October.

Hackney is home to a wealth of wildlife, for instance our parks are already home to a number of important plants and animals including bats, house sparrows and Britain's rarest native tree the Black Poplar. All of these species are recognised in the BAP and plans put in place to enhance and protect such species and their habitats. People's gardens, local parks and road verges can also be a refuge for wildlife and a home to rare flowers.

The action plan is a strategic document bringing together our planned activities to protect and enhance our local wildlife.

The consultation documents are online here.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Zombie-a-thon - this Saturday!

Stokey Local have organised a Zombie-a-thon this Saturday 1st October to express the continuing concerns from local residents about the plans for Wilmer Place.

It starts at midday at Wilmer Place car park, and there will be a mock funeral to help make the point about the threat to local businesses.
Afterwards there will be tea and cake in St Mary's Church Hall. More information online here.

We'll also be out earlier in the day on Church Street continuing to collect signatures calling on the developer to hold a public meeting about his plans for Wilmer Place.

You can sign our petition online here too.


Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Update on policing priorities

At the Community Advisory Panel meeting last week, the following three priorities were set for the police team for the next two months:
  • anti social behaviour from the night time economy
  • cycling on pavements
  • fireworks
The meeting also discussed the progress made in addressing street drinking on the A10, and tackling anti social behaviour on Smalley Road estate.

More details about our local team are here.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Online petition: calling for a public meeting on Wilmer Place

We were out on Church Street last Saturday collecting signatures calling on Newmark Properties and Sainsbury's to attend a public meeting to discuss their proposals for Wilmer Place. This is following their refusal to meet with local residents and businesses.


Despite it being a blustery morning, we collected nearly 150 signatures in just an hour and a half.


Concerns about the development have been raised with us repeatedly over the past few months and remain unanswered, including the impact on: traffic; road safety; the Stoke Newington Conservation Area; biodiversity; and the provision of affordable housing.


The petition is calling on Newmark Properties and Sainsbury’s to attend a public meeting in to discuss the proposals with local residents and that both companies commit to attending such a meeting before any planning application is submitted.


The petition is now online and you can sign it by clicking here.

Please note - this is a different petition from the Stokey Local one as ours is focussed on calling for a public meeting. Please sign both and support the Stokey Local campaign.

Car free day on Ashwin Street - Thurs 22nd


Not quite in our ward - but there's a fantastic car free day tomorrow just down the road on Ashwin Street in Dalston.

To celebrate the national car free day there will be:
  • Street café with early bird discount on coffee and tea before 10am
  • Free bike health checks: 8 -10am and 4.30 - 6.30pm
  • Bicycle security tagging: 8 -11am
  • Bicycle maintenance workshops: 2.30 and 3.30pm

Plus:

  • Exchange places with an HGV
  • Bicycle portraits exhibition
  • Street-games, eco-workshops, stalls and more
More information online here.

Set the priorities of the local Police - tonight

The Community Advisory Panel is meeting tonight at 7.30pm in the community hall on Yorkshire Grove Estate (easiest way to reach it is via Gunstor Road).

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.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Wilmer Place update: holding Sainsbury's and Newmark Properties to account

Labour Councillors in Stoke Newington Central, Lordship and Clissold wards, Jennette Arnold AM and Diane Abbott MP have sent a second open letter to Newmark Properties and Sainsbury’s in response to their refusal to attend a public meeting to discuss the proposed development at Wilmer Place.

Below is a copy of the text of the letter that has been sent.

This follows a letter we wrote to Newmark Properties and Sainsbury’s in August raising serious concerns about the proposals and the deeply flawed consultation that has provided little opportunity for the views of the local community to be properly considered.

The response we received from Four Communications failed to properly address these concerns, as well as rejecting calls for a public meeting.

In their letter Four Communications did state that a planning application would only be submitted “once we are satisfied we have addressed the key issues and have the best scheme possible for Stoke Newington.”

We fail to see how they can develop ‘the best scheme possible for Stoke Newington’ without hearing directly from residents and businesses that the proposals will affect.

In addition to writing to Newmark Properties and Sainsbury’s, we will be running a street stall on Stoke Newington Church Street – outside William Patten School - from 11am on Saturday 17th September where we will be asking local residents to support our campaign for a public meeting.


Copy of the Letter to Newmark Properties and Sainsbury’s:

Dear Mr Cohen,

RE: Proposed Development of Wilmer Place, Stoke Newington

We write in response to a letter received from Alun Hayes on 24 August 2011.

It is disappointing that Newmark Properties’ and Sainsbury’s are refusing to attend a public meeting to discuss the proposed development at Wilmer Place. Your unwillingness to be held accountable for the significant impact this development would have on local residents and businesses in Stoke Newington is of considerable concern.

We urge Newmark Properties’ and Sainsbury’s to reconsider their position and commit to attending a meeting before a planning application is submitted.

Our letter of 22 August 20111 highlighted a range of planning concerns, which were not addressed in the response from Mr Hayes. These include concerns that have been raised repeatedly over the past few months and remain unanswered, including the impact of the development on: traffic; road safety; the Stoke Newington Conservation Area; biodiversity; and the provision of affordable housing.

Mr Hayes states that these are requirements of the formal planning process and answers will be given when an application is submitted. However, it would be surprising if you had not considered these matters as your plans have developed. Your failure to be transparent and accountable to the local community about these issues is an unacceptable response to the legitimate concerns of local residents

Our letter of 22 August 2011 also called on Sainsbury’s to provide more information about the impact the store will have on the local economy. There is support for more local jobs and helping to rejuvenate the upper stretch of the High Street, but local residents are not convinced that the current scheme will achieve this; and the lack of detail provided by Sainsbury’s is unhelpful.

Mr Hayes’ letter of 24 August 2011 stated that ‘there will be a number of opportunities for residents and others to provide more feedback as our proposals develop’ yet failed to provide any detail about what these opportunities are. Based on the nature of the pre-planning consultation carried to date, we remain sceptical about whether these opportunities will materialise.

Since the display in Abney Hall and the launch of the website, there have been no other visible attempts to enter into a genuine dialogue with local residents. The questionnaire on your website is deeply flawed: it is designed around four choices that help to support the current scheme, rather than providing a proper opportunity for residents to have their say. This one sided consultation process would not have given you an accurate sense of the strength of feeling amongst local residents and businesses about the proposed development.

Mr Hayes refers to a ‘determined group of people’, but our experience is that there are a large number of local residents who have come together voluntarily to address the genuine concerns that they have with the scheme. At a meeting organised by Hackney Unites in July, 200 local residents were present. These are local residents who care passionately about Stoke Newington, and at the moment, do not feel that the current scheme will work and that their concerns are being ignored.

We fail to see how you can develop ‘the best scheme possible for Stoke Newington’ without hearing directly from residents and businesses that the proposals will affect. A public meeting can only be of benefit for all parties.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,


Diane Abbott MP
Jennette Arnold AM
Cllr Edward Brown, Lordship Ward
Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, Stoke Newington Central Ward
Cllr Rita Krishna, Stoke Newington Central Ward
Cllr Wendy Mitchell, Clissold Ward
Cllr Daniel Stevens, Lordship Ward
Cllr Louisa Thomson, Stoke Newington Central Ward

CC

David Tyler, Chairman, J Sainsbury PLC
Justin King, Chief Executive, J Sainsbury PLC

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Our latest e-newsletter


Our e-newsletter for September has just gone out.

You can now read this online
here too.

If you want to sign up to receive it directly then do email us.

There was also a missing paragaph reporting back on Cressington Close TRA which should have gone out in the original e-newsletter (I blame a lack of coffee today!). This is pasted below:


Cressington Close TRA


The Cressington Close enhanced tenants and residents association met on 6th September. Residents have developed plans for trees and planting to soften and green the estate. Next steps are to add more detail on the specifics of the plants and places and to choose which medium-sized trees to plant. Cressington close is one of the estates in which communal aerials will shortly be installed, in preparation for the digital switchover.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

This weekend - Funday on Stoke Newington Common


This Sunday there is a free funday on Stoke Newington Common organised by the Stoke Newington Common Users Group.

From 1-5.30pm there will be music, food, face painting and sock wrestling on the Common.

More information online here: http://www.stokenewingtoncommon.co.uk/


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Free bike security and Free bike workshop - this THURS

Get your bike fixed, security tagged and support the campaign to improve Kynaston Gardens and Avenue

Thursday 8th Sept – 3pm-6pm in Kynaston Gardens

Several organisations and community groups are teaming up to promote courteous and safe cycling along Kynaston Avenue.

Friends of Kynaston Gardens, Hackney Cyclists, Hackney Council and the Safer Neighbourhoods Team are setting up in Kynaston Gardens to remind cyclists to dismount on pavements and are offering FREE security tagging, a FREE bicycle health check from Donut Kids Bicycle and advice on safe cycling and cycle training.

Just pop in on the day!


Thursday, 1 September 2011

The Amazings - a new local project


The Amazings is a new social enterprise which is set up to allow people to make the most of their retirements.

As they approach their launch, they've got in contact with us looking for over 60s in Stoke Newington who have unusual skills and knowledge that they'd like to share with the wider community.

Kate Ivey-Williams who is helping to launch the amazing told us "an example of an experience could be someone interested in local history giving a tour of the streets telling stories of life growing up in the East End, or an expert at baking giving a lesson on making classic British cakes. How great is it to earn a bit of cash doing something you love?"

If you're interested in find out more there's details on the poster below and also on their website: hwww.theamazings.org

Thursday, 25 August 2011

A response to Newmark Properties and Sainsbury's

On Monday we wrote to Newmark Properties and Sainsbury’s asking both companies to attend a public meeting to discuss the proposed development at Wilmer Place, Stoke Newington.

The letter raised serious concerns about the development and highlighted that a deeply flawed consultation has provided little opportunity for the views of the local community to be properly considered.

Yesterday we received a response from Four Communications on behalf of Newmark Properties and Sainsbury’s.

The response fails to address our concerns and rejects the request for a public meeting.

Four Communications state in their letter that a planning application will only be submitted “once we are satisfied we have addressed the key issues and have the best scheme possible for Stoke Newington.”

The best way to understand this is by hearing directly from the residents and businesses that the proposals will affect.

We have issued the following statement in response:

“The response from Four Communications is inadequate and shows the continuing unwillingness of Newmark Properties and Sainsbury's to consult with and listen to local residents. They have yet again failed to address the issues with the Wilmer Place development and have rejected our request for a public meeting.

“It is about time that Newmark Properties and Sainsbury’s take responsibility for the significant impact this development would have on local residents and businesses and commit to attending a public meeting before any planning application is submitted.

"We will be writing again to Newmark Properties and Sainsbury’s to urge them to reconsider their position.”

Monday, 22 August 2011

Wilmer Place: Holding Sainsbury’s and Newmark Properties to Account

Labour Councillors in Lordship, Stoke Newington Central and Clissold wards and Diane Abbott MP have today written an open letter to Newmark Properties and Sainsbury’s calling on them to attend a public meeting so residents have a proper opportunity to scrutinise and discuss the plans for a new development at Wilmer Place.


In the letter we highlight the serious concerns we have with the proposed development and the deeply flawed consultation process which has not allowed local residents to have their say.

We strongly believe that both Sainsbury’s and Newmark Properties should be properly accountable for the significant impact the development would have on residents and local businesses in Stoke Newington.

We are, therefore, calling on Newmark Properties and Sainsbury’s to attend a public meeting in Stoke Newington to discuss the proposals in detail and that both companies commit to attending such a meeting before any planning application is submitted.

Open letter on the proposed development at Wilmer Place:

22 August 2011

Dear Mr Cohen,

RE: Proposed Development of Wilmer Place, Stoke Newington

We write to raise serious concerns about the proposed development at Wilmer Place, Stoke Newington.

We do not support the current plans for the site and are concerned that a deeply flawed consultation process has provided little opportunity for the views of local residents to be properly considered.

We ask, therefore, that Newmark Properties and Sainsbury’s attend a public meeting in Stoke Newington to discuss the proposals in detail and that both companies commit to attending such a meeting before any planning application is submitted.

The following is summary of our key concerns with the proposed development:

1. Hackney Council’s Core Strategy Policy 25 on the Historic Environment states that “all development should make a positive contribution to the character of Hackney’s historic and built environment.” We are at a loss to explain how demolishing part of an old terrace building on the High Street makes a positive contribution to Hackney’s built environment.

2. The Core Strategy also states that the Council should encourage a diverse range of developments within its major and district centres, including Stoke Newington. These developments are required to enhance the environmental quality of the area and to resist the loss of shops.

Stoke Newington is home to a successful and diverse independent retail and evening economy. Neither you nor Sainsbury’s appear to have assessed the impact a 24,000 square foot retail store will have on the local economy and whether it will lead to the loss of local shops in the area.

3. You have repeatedly made reference to the 2005 ‘Hackney Retail and Leisure Study’ to justify the proposals on the grounds that the study identified land at Wilmer place as ‘suitable for retail and leisure uses.’ This is misleading and certainly not an accurate representation of Hackney Council policy. Council planning documents designate Wilmer Place as suitable for a range of uses – of which retail is only one.

4. Wilmer Place is part of the Stoke Newington Conservation Area. The Stoke Newington Conservation Area Appraisal states that “the opportunities for new development in the Conservation Area are very limited because of the intensely built-up nature of the townscape.”

Where new development is to be carried out, it should follow a number of key principles, including: respecting the scale, massing and height of the surrounding historic properties and reflecting the existing details and materials of the historic buildings in the surrounding area.
The Appraisal also states that views from Stoke Newington Church Street, Stoke Newington High Street and out of Abney Park Cemetery “must be preserved by not allowing new development which is too dominant or obtrusive.” The proposals as they currently stand do not appear to respect these requirements.

5. We are not clear on what proportion of the forty-four residential units will be affordable, and what proportion will be family-sized.

6. The plans show an entrance to an underground car park on the High Street. This part of the High Street is very narrow, and the entrance is near to two junctions on a red route and bus stops. Access into Wilmer Place from Church Street for delivery vehicles is also very narrow and residents from Wilmer Place are understandably concerned about noise and disruption from delivery trucks, particularly as no detail has been provided on the timings of these.
It is our understanding that you have not carried out an assessment of the transport implications of the development; including the impact that access into the site from both Church Street and the High Street will have on traffic and the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

The lack of detailed information about this and the other serious implications the development will have on biodiversity, conservation and the local economy is of considerable concern. We would expect a thorough assessment to be carried out in each of these areas and for the results to be published in full.

Consultation on the proposals has also been characterised by the failure of Sainbury’s to engage with and understand the local community’s concerns about the development. This is despite a corporate responsibility policy that commits Sainsbury’s to being a “good neighbour” and to play “an active role in local communities.”

Both Sainsbury’s and Newmark Properties should be properly accountable for the significant impact this development would have on residents and local businesses in Stoke Newington. We urge representatives from both companies to attend a public meeting at the earliest opportunity.

Copies of this letter have been sent to J Sainsbury’s in order to highlight our concerns at the company’s failure to engage with the local community.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Diane Abbott MP
Cllr Edward Brown, Lordship Ward
Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, Stoke Newington Central Ward
Cllr Rita Krishna, Stoke Newington Central Ward
Cllr Wendy Mitchell, Clissold Ward
Cllr Daniel Stevens, Lordship Ward
Cllr Louisa Thomson, Stoke Newington Central Ward

CC David Tyler, Chairman, J Sainsbury PLC
Justin King, Chief Executive, J Sainsbury PLC
Luke Jensen, Group Development Director, J Sainsbury PLC
Roger Burnley, Retail and Logistics Director, J Sainsbury PLC
Neil Sachdev, Property Director, J Sainsbury PLC
Mark Rigby, Director of Corporate Affairs, J Sainsbury PLC
Alun Hayes, Director Politics, Four Communications



Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Grant funding for organisations in Hackney

The deadline for the Council's Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Grants Programme is 22nd September.



Applications are now being invited for the Council's 2012/13 programme. Organisations can bid for Small Grants (up to £7,000), Holiday Playscheme Grants (up to £10,000) and Main Grants (up to £50,000).


Organisations receiving funding under this programme have demonstrated how their projects and programmes deliver one or more of the seven objectives in Hackney's Sustainable Community Strategy. These are


  • Reduce poverty by supporting residents into sustainable employment, and promoting employment opportunities.

  • Help residents to become better qualified and raise educational aspirations. Ensure the educational improvement of Hackney's children and young people is excellent.


  • Promote health and wellbeing for all and support independent living.


  • Make the borough safer, and help people feel safe in Hackney.


  • Promote mixed communities in well-designed neighbourhoods, where people can access high quality, affordable housing.


  • Be a sustainable community, where all citizens take pride in and take care of Hackney and its environment, for future generations.


  • Provision of Holiday Play Schemes.

More information about the grants and application process is online here.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

After the riots: practical things we can do

Siva Kandiah is one of the local businessmen who was most affected by the rioting and looting on Monday evening on Clarence Road. Hackney Council is helping Mr Kandiah by providing support and advice, but there is also a fund set up by concerned local residents. All the details of how to donate are on the HCVS website here.


Can you help the Police? Operation Withern has been set up to investigate the last few days of disorder and violence in London. Anyone with information should call the Major Investigation Team on 020 8345 4142. The Police are also asking people to look at CCTV images online here http://www.flickr.com/photos/metropolitanpolice to help with identifying people connected with the looting across London.

The Government confirmed on 11th August that there will be a £20m High Street Support Scheme which affected businesses will be able to access – once further details are released, the Council will see whether any of this can be used in Hackney.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Surgeries in August


Please note that we will not be holding any formal surgeries in August.

Our next advice surgery will be at 10am on Saturday 10th September.


However, if you have anything that you would like to talk to us about in the meantime, please do not hesitate to
contact us via email or phone, and if necessary we can arrange an appointment to meet.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

A further update - dealing with the aftermath of Monday's riots


PLEASE NOTE THIS IS AN UPDATE FROM THURSDAY 11th AUGUST - these are obviously circumstances that are changing rapidly due to the live investigation.

Since the events of Monday evening there have been no significant disturbances in Hackney and the streets have been relatively quiet.

The information below is an update on what the Council and the Police have been doing in Hackney to deal with the aftermath of Monday’s events. All council services are running as normal and have been for the last two days.


Policing


As reported in the press there have been 16,000 police officers deployed across London and this increased police presence will continue. Locally in Hackney the Safer Neighbourhood Teams are doing more patrols helping to reassure residents.

The police are currently assessing 30+ hours of CCTV footage, from council CCTV cameras which will provide a fuller picture of the number and scale of incidents around the borough. Importantly, this will also help secure more convictions of those who took part in the events.


Around 52 arrests have been made so far in Hackney and at least 30 people have now been charged.


Cleaning up


Council street cleaners worked as soon as it was safe to clear debris from the streets. Most areas where there had been trouble were clear by 5am on Tuesday morning; streets had been washed down by 7.30am; graffiti on Clarence Road was washed off by 7am and burnt cars were removed by lunchtime. Repairs to the carriage way on Clarence Road will be completed by tomorrow.


In addition all minor street lighting damage was repaired on Tuesday and 2 burnt lamp columns will be repaired on Monday and reconnected on Wednesday
Bins and loose street furniture have temporarily been removed as a precautionary measure.

We'd like to pay tribute to the street cleaners and their amazing work in making sure Hackney was cleared up as soon as possible, and all the residents who turned up to volunteer help clean on Tuesday morning at the Town Hall. This reminds us of all that is great about our borough and how much we all care about our local community.

Supporting local businesses

15 businesses were damaged in the Hackney Central area and 5 in Dalston. 7 of these are locally owned ones.


The Council has been visiting businesses in the town centre on a daily basis and distributed advice sheets from the Police, advising on safety measures, and helping with the clear up.

Town Centre managers have also been talking to businesses in their areas to provide additional advice.

The Met have also issued advice to businesses here.


And remember if you have any information for the Police or want to check their latest advice for the public – please look online here.


The Mayor of London and the Government have announced funds to help those areas most affected by the events of earlier this week. The details of this are not yet clear.


The strength of our community in Hackney has been evident since Monday – showing the real character of Hackney.

Please do get in touch with us if you have any suggestions about how we can all work together to rebuild trust.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

An update

Over the course of yesterday and last night there were no significant disturbances in Hackney and the streets were relatively quiet.

We hope that this signals the end of the events that were experienced on Monday afternoon and evening. However, the local police have confirmed that they will continue to be present and have additional officers throughout the borough over the coming days. For the lastest advice from the Police, please do check the Met Police website.

All Hackney Council services are open today as normal and there will be updates provided on the Council's website if required.

We will update this blog with further information as we have it. As always, please do be in contact if you have questions or concerns.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Last night in Hackney

Like everyone we are shocked and saddened by the unrest and violence in Hackney last night – our thoughts are very much with the local businesses whose property was damaged and residents who were placed in frightening situations beyond their control.

It seems that last night’s events did not spread up to Stoke Newington High Street and Church Street and by this morning, the roads and pavements had been cleared thanks to the fantastic work of council staff. However, we can understand that people are nervous about further unrest and we encourage you to follow the advice of the Police and stay indoors if there is more disorder.


We are proud of our community in Stoke Newington and Hackney – we are strong and we know we can get through this together.

In response to last night’s events, the Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe issued the following statement: “I am appalled by the events of last night. There were people bent on violence who attached not just property and local businesses but put residents in fear of their lives. The Council has cleared away all the debris from last night and Hackney is going about its business, but if we are to avoid a repeat of last night, I am urging families across London to make sure they know where their children are and to support the police in identifying perpetrators.

“The Council’s cleaners were on the streets throughout the night and had cleared away all the debris, apart from a few burnt out cars, by 7.30am, and I would like to pay tribute to them for their hard work. I would also like to thank the several hundred residents and volunteers who turned up at Hackney Town Hall this morning offering to help clean up the borough. This shows overwhelming generosity and community spirit and many were keen to go and help in other parts of London when it was clear the clean up in Hackney was already complete.”

Monday, 8 August 2011

Stoke Newington gyratory consultation response

Earlier this year, the Council asked local residents and businesses for their views on the future of the one-way system in Stoke Newington.

The consultation results have now been published and are online
here.

The headline responses are:

850 responses were received in total and 92% of respondents identified themselves as Hackney residents; the highest number of responses came from postcode areas N16 0 and N16 7 which correspond to the Stoke Newington Central ward where the gyratory sits.

75% of respondents consider traffic levels to be a problem in the area and 67% considers traffic levels have a negative effect on the development and quality of life in the area.

Approximately a third of respondents (32.5%) consider parking arrangements to be inadequate, another third (35.1%) to be adequate and another third doesn't know/is not sure (32.5%)

A majority of respondents (70%) would support the removal of the Stoke Newington Gyratory, 14.5% oppose it and 15.5% consider that they don't know and mostly asked for more detail on the proposals before giving an opinion.

What happens next?

The Council has fed back the results of the public consultation to Transport for London (TfL). Over the next few months the Council will be working closely with TfL to develop clear objectives that will help to establish a range of options for improvements in the area. They will also consider and review the traffic and transport issues raised during the consultation as part of this process.


Wilmer Place update - Conservation Area

Another useful update from our colleague in Lordship ward explaining more about the Conservation Area in Stoke Newington and what this means in terms of any future development on Wilmer Place.

Full post
here.

Please do contact us if you have any questions - we've been attending a few of the
Stokey Local meetings over the last week and are still stressing the importance of letting the developer know the strength of feeling from local residents about his proposed development - before a planning application is submitted.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Hackney One Carnival


Hackney One Carnival is back again and this year the route will be going through Stoke Newington!

The Carnival starts at Ridley Road market on Sunday 7th August at midday and will proceed up the A10 and along Church Street to end up in Clissold Park at 2pm. There will be a festival of live music, dance and activities in the park from 1pm onwards.

More details online here.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Safer Stoke Newington

The latest Safer Stoke Newington newsletter was delivered last week with Hackney Today.

You can also download a copy online here.

This issue contains updates about cycle security; the dog control consultation; the charging of those responsible for a violent incident in the ward earlier this year and an update on the Community Advisory Panels.

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

Friday, 29 July 2011

Wilmer Place update - why no Environmental Impact Assessment?

Some of you will have seen this already but our colleagues in Lordship ward have done a helpful post regarding the Environmental Impact Assessment issue for Wilmer Place. We've pasted their post below - please do contact us if you have any questions.

Environmental Impact Assessment:

Many of you will be aware that an Environmental Impact Assessment is not being conducted into the proposed Sainsbury’s development at Wilmer Place.

We thought it would be helpful to set out why and, most importantly, to highlight that although an Environmental Impact Assessment is not required, the developer will still have submit detailed surveys and assessments to demonstrate that the proposal would not have a detrimental impact on the environment.

The circumstances, and procedures, for carrying out an EIA are set out in national legislation. This states that all large scale developments – such as oil-refineries – are required to carry out an EIA.

For smaller developments an EIA is only required if they:
- Are located wholly or partly in a sensitive area (national parks, scheduled monuments, World - - Heritage sites etc); and/or
- Exceed one of the thresholds set out in legislation.

With regards to the latter, the legislation states that projects on sites over 0.5 hectares may require an EIA to be carried out.

The proposed Wilmer Place development is 0.51 hectares.

Having determined that a development exceeds one of the thresholds; national guidance advises local authorities to assess whether the development will have a “significant environmental impact” before determining if an EIA is required.

To do this, a local authority has to consider three key criteria:
- Characteristics of development (size, use of natural resources, production of waste, pollution and nuisances and risk of accidents);
- The environmental sensitivity of the development;
- The characteristics of the potential impact (extent, magnitude, probability, duration, frequency and reversibility).

There are also three additional cases where the Secretary of State has indicated that an EIA is required on smaller developments. These are:
a. Major developments of more than local importance
b. Developments which are proposed for particularly environmentally sensitive or vulnerable locations; and/or
c. Developments with unusually complex and potentially hazardous environmental effects.

In respect of point a. the Wilmer Place proposal is not considered to be more than local importance. In terms of b. and c. the proposal does not lie within an environmentally sensitive area as defined in legislation, nor does its operation involve unusually complex and potentially hazardous environmental effects.

The site does, of course, sit within the Stoke Newington Conservation Area with No’s 193 – 201 Stoke Newington High Street forming part of a longer terrace of properties recognised as being of ‘Townscape Merit’ and 183 – 187, 189 and 191 Stoke Newington High Street being all GradeII*Listed.

Despite this, it is still not considered that the proposal triggers any of the criteria set out above.

Overall is it judged that by reason of its nature, size, or location, the Wilmer Place development is not likely to have a significant effect on the local environment. Therefore, an EIA is not required to be submitted together with the planning application.

It is important to note that, as aforementioned, this does not mean that the developer can ignore environmental issues. They will still have to submit detailed surveys and assessments to demonstrate that the proposal would not have a detrimental impact on the environment.

These include:
- Design and Access Statement,
- Planning Statement,
- Townscape and Visual Impact Assessment,
- Daylight / Sunlight Assessment,
- Ecological Survey,
- Sustainability Statement,
- Renewable Energy Statement,
- Code For Sustainable Homes / BREEAM pre-assessment reports,
- Heritage Statement,
- Air Quality Assessment,
- PPG24 Noise Assessment,
- Transport Statement,
- Retail Impact Assessment,
- Affordable Housing Statement,
- Financial Viability Appraisal / Three Dragons Toolkit Appraisal, and
- Contaminated Land Desktop Study report.