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, 15 March 2012

Olympics meeting

Hackney’s 2012 team is hosting another community meeting on 20th March to update Hackney residents of any local issues relating to the Olympic Games. There will be a particular focus on the following areas:
  • Games Time
  • Transport/parking
  • Security
  • Park Legacy
  • Test events
The meeting will take place on: 20th March 5.00-8.30pm at the Wally Foster Community Centre, Homerton Road, London E9 5QB.

There will also be a Transport and Parking drop in session at the centre organised by LOCOG. This will be from 3.30 – 5pm.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

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.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Wilmer Place - March 2012

When we’ve been out doing our walkabout surgeries recently, quite a few people have asked if we have heard anything further on the proposed development at Wilmer Place. Like many of you, we’ve found it frustrating that there has been a long silence from the developer, after residents in Stoke Newington made it clear last year that they had serious concerns about the plans for the site.

We have stressed to Newmark Properties and Four Communications the importance of keeping residents in Stoke Newington informed about their plans. We thought it would be helpful to let you know where things currently are.

The first thing to say is that no formal planning application has been submitted to the Council. We were promised by Four Communications in November 2011 that this would not happen until the developer, Newmark Properties, and Sainsbury’s had held a second public exhibition of their plans.

On 1st December we were told that a date for this had not been decided as the developer was still reviewing the feedback received and trying to incorporate this into the plans. We have consistently argued that a second consultation meeting is crucial given the flawed nature of the online survey last year and the fact that the plans are likely to have changed considerably since they were first published.

We were due to meet with the developer this week so that we could report back to residents on the how the current plans looked and whether local concerns had been taken into account. However, the meeting was cancelled as the developer wanted to meet with Council Planning Officers first.

It is disappointing that we cannot be any clearer about the current plans, or when they will be exhibited, but as soon as we know anymore we will let you know. In the meantime, if there are any specific issues that you would like raised, please do let us know.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Consultation on federating Shacklewell School and Grazebrook

There is currently a consultation open on whether a federation should be established between Shacklewell Primary School and Grazebrook primary.

Grazebrook and Shacklewell Primary Schools have worked together in a successful partnership for nearly two years. The Governing Bodies of both schools are now seeking the views of parents, carers and staff on whether the partnership should be developed further and a federation created in September 2012.

The consultation is open until 30th March and can be filled in online here or by emailing your comments or queries to asa.melander@learningtrust.co.uk

Monday, 5 March 2012

Hackney Council Budget 2012/13

Last Wednesday Hackney Council set its budget for the coming year.

Last year Hackney faced the biggest cut in Government grants in the whole of London and one of the highest in the UK. This year Hackney sees a further reduction of £17.3m – a total of £55.9m across the two years, one of the highest absolute cuts faced by any Council, and the highest of any Council on a per head basis.

The cuts in funding fall hardest on local authority areas in the most deprived areas. Numbers provided by the Communities and Local Government Department show that between 2010/11 and 2012/13 the reduction in spending power per head for Hackney will be £256 compared to just £17 in Wokingham.

In the face of this unprecedented reduction to our Government grant, the Council has been faced with having to make difficult decisions about how we can continue to provide high quality services to the people of Hackney.

It is not possible for Hackney to escape the impact of the Government’s spending review, however Hackney’s Labour Councillors and Mayor are determined that, as with last year’s budget, in the forthcoming year the Council will not make cuts to the services received by residents.

For example, there will be no raising of eligibility criteria for homecare for the elderly, no library closures, no closure of children’s centres, and no reduction in the cleanliness of our streets.

Due to prudent financial management over the last ten years and continuing to find new ways to approach our back office support and front line services, we have been able to safeguard front line delivery, coping both with cuts to our grant and additional cost pressures such as the £1m hike in the cost of Hackney’s share of the Freedom Pass which take our budget gap to £25m.

However, we are reaching the limits of this approach. By the end of this coming financial year, any savings that can still be wrung out of the Council’s administrative and back office functions will be dwarfed by the size of further reductions to our Government grant. We will keep looking for more and more efficient ways to do things, but the fact is, in future years, we will not be able to absorb the impact of Government cuts without services being affected. In 2013/14 and 2014/15 we will need to find up to another £40million in savings, and to make some very difficult decisions. Now this years budget has been set, we will be embarking on a wide-ranging consultation with residents to find out your priorities so as to help us make those decisions.

These are challenging times - the cuts we face will limit our ability to continue to invest in the borough in the way we have over recent years. At the same time we as Hackney’s Labour Councillors are determined to make sure that we use the powers that we have to protect frontline services and ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable people in our borough are prioritised.

If you are interested in finding out more, the full budget document – including a statement from Mayor Jules Pipe and the full budget proposals - they can be found here.

In addition, a full Budget FAQ has been posted on Hackney Labour’s website outlining why we are not raising Council Tax and why setting a reduced, legal Budget cannot be avoided.