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, 4 July 2013

Update from the Town Hall

There was a Full Council meeting at the Town Hall last week. The full agenda and report from the meeting is online here, but a number of issues were discussed:
  • There was a deputation from residents who were concerned about the impact of the bedroom tax in Hackney. Cllr Karen Alcock replied to the deputation confirming that Hackney Council is opposed to the bedroom tax, and will lobby to revoke it if Labour get back into power nationally at the next General Election. The bedroom tax fails to recognise that these are people's homes, not units of transactions, and it should be everyone's right to build roots in a community. The bedroom tax impacts on just under 4000 residents in Hackney. The Government claims that people can downsize, but the issue is that there are not enough 1 or 2 bed properties to make this practical. There is a dedicated welfare reform team in Hackney Homes working with residents over the changes.
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  • Crossrail 2 was discussed and the importance of responding to the current consultation. There is a 'regional' option which would see a station in Hackney.
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  • There was an update on the Decent Homes programme for 2013/14. This is now well underway, with 1900 kitchen and bathroom refits this year. Due to cuts in Government funding for Decent Homes, it has been more challenging to undertake these works. In 2010, the Council had £40m for Decent Homes programme, and this year, it has been reduced to £16m. However, the Council has put additional resources in to take the investment up to £26m. 80% of our stock now meets decent homes standards. There is also good news that the new stock survey is almost complete - this has been an issue on a number of estates in our ward where due to inequities in the previous survey some estates had half of the blocks in the programme, and half not. We're pleased that progress is being made on this.
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  • There was the annual report from Overview and Scrutiny on the issues that have been looked at over the past year. 
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  • A report on the night time economy was also discussed - another issue that is particularly relevant to our ward given the number of late night venues. One of the recommendations in the report is for the night time economy delivery group to report back to ward councillors with updates about particular venues in their area. This would be very useful as we often get complaints from residents that they don't receive any feedback - even when a venue is being investigated. Improving this communication could potentially help to reassure complainants that their concerns are being taken seriously.

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