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, 30 March 2011

Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum - tonight

Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum meets tonight at 7pm at Stoke Newington Town Hall.

There will be an update on Clissold Park and Abney Park Cemetery.

The full agenda is online here and any local resident can attend the meeting.

If you have any suggestions for issues that the Neighbourhood Forum should look at in the future - please do get in touch with us and we'll pass these on to the Chair.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

What matters to you most in Hackney?

Hackney's scrutiny councillors are after your ideas for issues to look at over the coming year.

Scrutiny plays an important role in the development of better policies and improving performance, and can hold the Council and outside agencies to account, including police and the health service.

Last year's survey found that making the borough safer was the top priority, so one of the Scrutiny Commissions completed a review of how the council and police are working together to address gun and knife crime. Residents also said that education services were important, so a Commission reviewed local achievement at Key Stage 2.

What matters to you most locally? Fill in the short survey online and help to influence the work of Hackney Council's scrutiny commissions.

Two of your Stoke Newington councillors are on scrutiny commissions - Cllr Fajana-Thomas is on
Living in Hackney and Cllr Louisa Thomson on Community Safety and Social Inclusion. If you have any questions about our work, please do get in touch.

Friday, 25 March 2011

March for the alternative

Government spending cuts will damage public services and put more than a million out of work. They will hit the vulnerable, damage communities and undermine much of what holds us together as a society.

The March for the Alternative is taking place in central London on Saturday 26 March. It is expected to be the largest demonstration in the capital for many years and the first national mobilisation against the spending cuts which are viewed as unfair, too fast, and too deep by the majority of voters.

The march will form up from 11am on the Victoria Embankment between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges and proceed through central London until reaching Hyde Park, where the rally will start from around half past one.

Join Hackney Labour on the march! There will be a significant contingent from Hackney travelling to the march together on Saturday morning, setting off from Dalston Junction

Stoke Newington Labour councillors and local Labour Party members will be out in force! Get in touch with us if you want to join.
You can find more details on the march here.

Have your say on Hackney libraries

There were quite a few residents who got in touch with us recently to say they were very pleased that no libraries are closing in Hackney.

As a result of Government cuts to public spending, many other areas in the country have been forced to close libraries - which are valuable community resources.

In Hackney, we completed the refurbishment of Clapton library last year and the new library at Dalston will be opening soon.

Hackney Council wants to encourage more people into our libraries and make sure we provide the best possible service for residents.

There is a consultation underway on Libraries for Life. Please do take the time to fill this in - the deadline is 31st March 2011 and the survey is online here.

You can also find out more information about the range of events on offer in Hackney libraries here.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Bar A Bar - meeting for residents tonight.

Many of you have contacted us in the past about noise nuisance and anti social behaviour from Bar A Bar on Stoke Newington Road.

The venue recently submitted a license application and this will be heard by the Licensing sub-committee on March 29th.

However, the new managers of Bar A Bar have arranged a meeting with residents for this evening - Weds 23rd March at 7pm. They want to discuss with residents their new plans for the venue, taking on board all the concerns that have been raised.

This is a good opportunity to go along and ask more about how the venue will operate.

Alternatively, you can contact Dan from the new management on dan@sohoevents.co.uk.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011


Census forms have begun to land on people's doorsteps in Hackney. This is Britain's survey of our population which takes place every decade.

The official population figures are used to calculate the amount of central funding to be allocated to local areas for a range of services including health, education, emergency serves and police. It is also used to calculate the money transferred from central government to local government to fund services.

At the last Census the response rate in Hackney was the second lowest in the country at 73%. In terms of finance, this has been calculated to translate into the local primary care trust receiving £40m less than it was due, and the Council receiving £17m less than it was due in the last year alone.

This year we need to get it right just to get fair funding into the area over the coming decade so please do play your part and fill in the form.

Some people may find the forms confusing or have questions about them.
You can call the Census hotline on 03000 2011 01 or contact them via their website. The council will also be providing help via local libraries. Some useful bit of information:
  • The 2011 Census is taking place in March and the forms are arriving now
  • Forms should be completed on or as soon after the 27 March (Census Day) but they can in fact be completed and returned in advance.
  • If you have access to the internet, remember that you can complete the census online.
  • If there are more than 6 people in your household, you will need to order extra forms. Call the national helpline
Your replies will make all the difference for Hackney over the next decade.

Friday, 11 March 2011

New license application

Bodrum Cafe Bar at 61 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 8EL
have put in an application to vary their premises licence for:
  • live music, recorded music, performance of dance, anything of similar description, making music, facilities for dance, entertainment of similar description and supply of alcohol from 08:00 to 00:00 Monday to Wednesday, 08:00 to 02:00am Thursday to Saturday and from 09:00 to 00:00 Sunday
  • late night refreshment from 23:00 to 00:00 Sunday to Wednesday and from 23:00 to 02:00am Thursday to 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
The deadline for making representations is 29th March. 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, 9 March 2011

Set the priorities of our local police team - tonight

The Community Advisory Panel is meeting tonight at 7.30pm 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.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Hackney Council's Budget for 2011/12

Last night, Hackney Council set the Budget for 2011/12. The cuts in Hackney are among the deepest anywhere in the country, with £44m being taken out of our budget for the year ahead.

As we’ve said before on this blog, Hackney can’t escape the impact of the Government’s decisions, but the budget put forward by Hackney’s Labour Mayor, Cabinet and councillors shows our determination and commitment to protecting the most vulnerable in our communities.

The Budget protects frontline services in our borough. There will be no raising of eligibility criteria for homecare for the elderly, there will be no library closures, no closure of children’s centres or youth facilities, no reduction in the cleanliness of our streets or many of the other services on which residents in Hackney depend.

One of the biggest impact of the cuts has been the Government’s removal of the ‘area based grant’ which was money that more deprived areas received to help tackle the high level of social need. This money was directed through Team Hackney – our strategic partnership. However, the Council has found £3m to contribute to maintaining some of these services that would have otherwise gone completely – in particular around youth crime intervention and domestic violence support.

A lot of this has been possible due to Hackney Council having managed its finances well over the past few years. In previous years, through efficiency savings we have been able to invest in front line services. In identifying savings this year – whilst facing a massive cut to our spending – the priority was to drive out further back office efficiencies, and improve ways of working.

There were attempts during last night’s Budget meeting to disrupt the proceedings, but we managed to hold the meeting in public, so those who wished to, could listen to the Budget debate.

Hackney Labour has been very clear about our opposition to these cuts – they are imposed by Central Government and are an ideological attack on services and the communities we represent. But we’ve also been clear that we have to defend residents and services from the Government’s onslaught.

There were calls last night for us to refuse to set a Budget and charges that we’re guilty of ‘implementing Tory cuts’ – setting a Budget is a legal requirement and these accusations help the Government to localise the blame for cuts on councils.

As the Mayor set out last night – if we hadn’t set a Budget for Hackney, then we would be using residents as a weapon against the Government. There would be an immediate shut down of services – nurseries would close, meals on wheels would stop, libraries and leisure centres would close. This would be playing politics with people’s jobs and lives.

Next year we face further reductions in our grant funding. None of us became Labour councillors to want to make cuts. But in making decisions we will do everything we can to make sure that the impact of the cuts made by this Tory Government are minimised. We will be applying our Labour values to every decision we make – and will work relentlessly to protect those we came into politics to fight for and represent.

We want to hear from you – we want to know from residents in our ward what the most important services are and what needs to be maintained and protected. Also we urge you to join us in our campaign against the Government cuts – we’ll be out this Saturday in our ward so please do come and talk to us.