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.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Season's Greetings

Season's greetings to all Stoke Newington residents!

It's been a particularly festive time in Hackney in 2014 - with more markets, carols, local shopping and festivities than ever before. 

We hope you all have a lovely break over the festive period! 

We'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support during 2014. It was a particularly busy one for us with the local elections, and we are looking forward to continuing to work with Stoke Newington residents next year. It's been a great year for our ward with Kynaston Gardens reopening, West Hackney Recreation Ground getting a big facelift, some progress on the one way system - to name but a few of the fantastic things going on locally! We've also enjoyed staying in touch with you through our walkabout surgeries, our regular surgery in the library, our regular ward forums, and the e-newsletter.

Instead of doing our usual Christmas card this year, we will be making a donation to Hackney Winter Night Shelter. 

Council services over Christmas and New Year: There are some changes to refuse and recycling collections, opening times of council services and parking enforcement - all the details are here.

Monday, 27 October 2014

Love Hackney Shop Local campaign

Love Hackney tote bag designed by James LongThe Love Hackney, Shop Local campaign has launched again calling on residents and visitors to support local shops and markets and think twice about using plastic bags. 

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. 
Another special limited edition tote bag has also been launched. Bags can be picked-up for free from Saturday 25 October when you purchase an item from a participating local shop.

There are loads of businesses in Stoke Newington taking part in the campaign - so join in and show your support for our great local shops on the High Street and Church Street. 

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Campaigning to improve the private rented sector

This week Hackney Council resolved to establish a Council-run lettings agency and improve support for private renters. You can read the full text of the motion here.

With average private rent in Hackney at £2,125 per month, letting agents charging up to £500 every move, and some landlords hiking up prices, renting can leave many people in vulnerable situations. We know this is an issue for many Stoke Newington residents and that alongside extortionate prices, conditions in the private rented sector can also be very poor, with tenants reluctant to complain for fear of being evicted.

A Labour government would make three-year tenancies the norm and ban letting agents’ fees for tenants. But we need to make sure we're doing everything we can in Hackney to improve conditions in the private rented sector.

We want to get a large group of private renters in Hackney together so they can share their experience and help the Council make conditions better.

Please support our campaign by signing up here.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Final week to have your say on the future of Hackney Homes

There is an important consultation currently open on the future of housing management in Hackney. 

The Council and Hackney Homes would like your views on the proposal which is to return housing management to the Council.

Hackney Homes was set up in 2006 to manage the improvement of tenants' homes to meet the Decent Homes standard. This is due to be completed in next year.

As the Council's management contract with Hackney Homes is due to end on 31 March 2016, the views of residents are being sought over the future of housing management in the borough. 

The outcome of the consultation will not affect any works scheduled to take place under the current Decent Homes programme or those identified as part of its successor works programme, the Hackney Investment Programme. The outcome of the consultation will not affect anyone's tenancy or lease with the Council either.

There is still time to have your say!

Every registered Hackney Homes secure and introductory tenant and leaseholder will have been sent a letter, a questionnaire and a summary document explaining the proposal. It is important for each person who received a letter to reply by returning the questionnaire or taking part on-line.

If you wish to take part on-line, you should have received a code in your letter, allowing you to respond to the Council's on-line survey.  

You can find that survey here: https://consultation.hackney.gov.uk/hackney-homes/hhconsultation

Make sure you respond by 31 October, when the consultation will end.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Stoke Newington ward forum - 30th September

Our next Stoke Newington ward forum is on 30th September, 7pm at St Paul’s Church, Stoke Newington Road (enter via main church door).

We will be discussing future transport plans in Stoke Newington, so if you are interested in anything to do with walking, cycling, public transport and road safety in our local area, please do come along. We will spend the meeting:
  • Receiving an update on the latest plans to remove the one way system – there are different options that are being modelled and there is now a commitment from Transport for London to take forward the plans
  • Discussing Hackney’s Transport Strategy which is currently being consulted on – we will look at the implications for Stoke Newington and gather your ideas so we can make a submission before the consultation closes.

Ward forums are an opportunity to bring people together with your local councillors to identify priorities for improving our area. Please do spread the word and encourage others to come along.

We look forward to seeing you on 30th.

Friday, 5 September 2014

All About Abney event tomorrow

More exciting things happening in Stoke Newington this weekend:

All About Abney – Saturday 6th Sept 2-5pm. This has been organised by the Abney Park Trust, User Group and Stokey Local.

There are guided walks, entertainment and activities including talks on the future management of the Cemetery, the species that live on the site, and how the proposed development on Wilmer Place will impact on Abney Park, alongside art workshops, crafts, forest school and theatre. 

More information here.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

West Hackney Recreation Ground re-opening this Saturday

The Re-opening party for West Hackney Recreation Ground and St Paul’s Churchyard is this Saturday 6th September 12-3.30. 

There will be a picnic, music, and a free workshop. Bring some food to share, a rug and your own drinks. 

Mayor Jules Pipe and the Rt Revd Adrian Newman, Bishop of Stepney will also be there to formally re-open the park. 

The park has been restored with £670,000 of Heritage Lottery Funding and has involved:
  • creating new access routes to link the park with the front of the church
  • restoring original pathways
  • planting new woodland
  • installing play features
  • conservation work to the tombstones and headstones within the site
  • improving the appearance of the front of the church
There has been a fantastic effort from St Paul’s Church and local residents to see the project through. It will be great to have a local park for everyone to use again.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Crossrail 2 consultation closes this week

There's still time to respond to the Crossrail 2 consultation!
Crossrail 2 would mean a new north east to south west rail line. In 2013 Transport for London (TfL) and Network Rail consulted residents across the route on proposals for metro and regional route options.   

Nearly 14,000 responses were received and over 96 per cent of respondents supported the need for Crossrail 2 and over 80 per cent of these supported the regional option.  

Read full details including the consultation report and the response to issues raised for the 2013

TfL are now consulting again as they want to explore specific route options in more detail.
  • two route alignment options north of Angel serving Hackney or Dalston Junction;
  • an alternative option for a possible new station in Chelsea; and
  • a short extension of the route from Alexandra Palace to New Southgate.
It is important to respond as the latest proposals reduce the number of Crossrail stations in Hackney. The consultation is proposing only one station for Hackney, and we believe that the case needs to be made for two - at both Dalston Junction and Hackney Central.

The full consultation is online here and is open until 25th July.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Hackney Council response to Channel 4 Dispatches programme

Some of you have been in contact with us following the Channel 4 Dispatches programme last week which featured unregistered Charedi yeshiva schools in Hackney. 

The Council issued a statement after the programme outlining how the Council works with Ofsted and the Department for Education to engage with these schools to try to ensure they provide the education and care to which all children have the right. 
You can read the full statement here.   

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Thank you for your support!

We'd like to thank everyone in Stoke Newington who voted Labour last Thursday 22nd May in the local elections.

Stoke Newington residents re-elected three Labour councillors to represent our ward on Hackney Council - Cllr Mete Coban, Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas and Cllr Louisa Thomson.  

We spoke to so many residents throughout the campaign, and we are really grateful for the opportunity to hear your ideas, vision and thoughts about how we can continue to improve Stoke Newington. We are very proud to have been re-elected and are looking forward to continuing  to work with you over the next four years.

Jules Pipe was also re-elected as Mayor of Hackney. On first preference votes, he took 59% of the votes, an increase of 7.5% over 2010.

The full results from Hackney are here.

We will update this website properly soon, and post details of our advice surgeries - but in the meantime you can still contact us on stokenewington@hackney-labour.org.uk. You can also sign up for our e-newsletter here.

Thank you once again

Susan, Mete and Louisa

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Election day!

It's election day today - Thursday 22nd May.

Residents in Stoke Newington will get the chance to vote for three councillors to represent our area, as well as elected the Mayor of Hackney and voting in the European elections. We've spoken to thousands of residents over the past few months, conducted an online survey and we've been overwhelmed by the support for Labour in Stoke Newington. Some of the things you've told us you care most about are:

  • A cleaner and safer Stoke Newington: we will continue to tackle anti social behaviour hot spots, keep our streets clean and make sure the police respond to local issues
  • Improving housing: we will continue to lobby for more affordable housing, more investment in Hackney Homes properties, bringing empty properties back into use, and for more powers to tackle abuses in the private rented sector
  • Improving road safety: the speed of the traffic along the one way system continues to be an issue and we will work with Transport for London to see it reversed. We will also ensure that Hackney remains the best cycling borough, making it as easy as possible for people to cycle.
  • Protecting our High Street: we opposed the new development on Wilmer Place, and we will do all we can to support local shops, making sure Stoke Newington continues to be a great place to shop, enjoy and live.
The Labour Council in Hackney since 2002 has delivered real improvements in our borough - with falling crime rates, huge improvements to our schools, new leisure centres, award winning parks and building more affordable housing than almost anywhere else in the UK.

We want to continue to work with you and be a strong voice for our area - delivering real improvements for Stoke Newington. Our pledges are here and you can also read Hackney Labour's full manifesto for Hackney here.

So please use ALL your votes for Labour.

If you have any questions about your vote - call the Council's hotline on 020 8356 3000. You don't need your polling card to vote, and if you haven't taken back your postal vote yet, you can take it to any polling station before 10pm on polling day. 

Monday, 19 May 2014

We support Space for Cycling

We've received a lot of emails from local residents about the Space for Cycling campaign and we are all fully in support of this.

Hackney Council has been recognised as leading the way in promoting cycling. The Labour Council in Hackney actively promotes cycling as a clean, healthy and efficient way to travel, and Hackney now has record levels of cycling amongst residents and visitors to the borough. In Stoke Newington alone 18.8% of residents cycle to work - which shows the commitment to cycling in our area.

We are committed to continuing to promote and encourage cycling and an important and integral part of this work is ensuring that Hackney provides a safe and welcoming environment for cyclists. Hackney Labour has recently published its manifesto for the 2014 elections and a key pledge is to continue to make it easier and safer for cyclists (and pedestrians) to get around the borough.

The Space for Cycling ask for Stoke Newington is to remove the one way system - this is something that we have been working on for a number of years, and recently successfully lobbied Transport for London to include the removal of the one way system in their future Business Plan. This has now happened, and modelling is taking place to work out the best way of removing the one way system. A full update is on our blog here. We have also restated our commitment to removing the Stoke Newington Gyratory in the Hackney wide manifesto.

Our focus is also on improving cycle infrastructure and routes, and the Council works very closely with local cycling groups such as Hackney Cycling Campaign to identify and prioritise locations where cycle accessibility can be improved.  In addition to road and cycle route improvements, the Labour Council has also taken the lead in the promotion of cycle safety around lorries. Hackney led the development of a new HGV driver training module including hands-on cycle training, and we were the first local authority in the country to train all our HGV drivers in this way.

The Council also offers free cycle training to everyone who lives, works or studies in Hackney, as well as holding regular bike maintenance 'pit stops' and undertaking public information campaigns on safer cycling.

Please do contact us if you have any further questions.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Our pledges for Stoke Newington

We are standing as your three Labour candidates to represent Stoke Newington on Hackney Council. You can find out more about us here - Susan and Louisa have been councillors for a number of years, and Mete is standing for the first time in this election.

Our priority is to be committed local councillors, responding to your issues, and identifying local priorities with you. We know there’s always more to do – and we want to continue to work with you to make our fantastic part of Hackney even better. We've set out our pledges for the next four years below. Please do get in touch if you have any questions or issues you want to raise with us. 

You can also download our most recent leaflet here.

Our pledges for Stoke Newington. We will:
  • campaign for better and more affordable housing – ensuring Hackney Homes estates in our ward continue to receive investment and are well managed, and for a better deal in the private rented sector
  • invest in our local green spaces – championing improvements to Abney Park Cemetery, planting more street trees and looking at ways with residents to transform neglected areas into spaces for growing
  • support a thriving local High Street – promoting the Shop Local campaign, campaign against more betting shops and payday lenders, and continue to push for more enforcement against late night venues that repeatedly cause disturbances for residents nearby
  • work for a cleaner and safer Stoke Newington – in partnership with the local police and council to reduce anti social behaviour, and take tough action against fly tipping, litter and dog fouling
  • campaign to improve road safety in Stoke Newington – making sure Stoke Newington continues to be a cycle and pedestrian friendly place, and working with TfL over the long term goal of removing the one way system

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Update on removing the Stoke Newington one way system

We have argued for a long time that the one way system in Stoke Newington should be removed.

Many residents have told us that having one-way traffic in the heart of our town centre cuts our community in half, speeds up traffic, causes rat running on side roads and makes walking and cycling more difficult. 

The main roads that make up the one ways system are controlled by Transport for London. At first TfL were reluctant to priortise removing the Stoke Newington one way system. In 2011, Hackney Council carried out a consultation with local residents and businesses, which showed that there was clear local support for removing it. Since then, we have been working with TfL to keep the pressure on them to deliver road safety improvements to Stoke Newington.

There has been some recent progress that we’d like to update you on

In 2013, the Council commissioned transport consultants to develop a range of options for Stoke Newington that would improve the public realm, cycling, parking for businesses, improve public transport access and reduce rat running.

As a result of this work a number of options have been identified that will now be modelled:

  • Full two way working including Brooke Road
  • Two way working (except Evering and Manse Road) with Brooke Road one way eastbound
  • Two way working with buses and cyclists southbound only on the High Street between Evering Road and Church Street
Once the three options above have been modelled, one will be selected so that TfL can take this forward.

The Council lobbied for removing the one way system to be included in TfL’s Business Plan and for the funding to model the options above. The good news is that TfL have agreed to the scheme, it is in their Business Plan for 2016-22, and the focus now is on identifying the most feasible way to remove the one way system.

In addition TfL recently announced that there will be “an upgrade of the existing road layout to make it safer and more easier accessible for pedestrians and cyclists” in Stoke Newington. This will include a Quietway route parallel to the A10 which will help provide a feasible alternative for cyclists away from the main road.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Hackney Labour's manifesto for 2014

On 22 May, residents in Stoke Newington will have the chance to vote in 3 elections - for the local council elections to choose three councillors to represent our ward; for the Mayor of Hackney, and for the European elections.

Hackney Labour has published our manifesto for 2014. You can download and read it here.

Since Jules Pipe was elected in 2002 and Labour gained control of previously hung and failing Hackney Council, Hackney Labour’s record is one of getting thousands of people into jobs; providing some of the best libraries, leisure facilities and parks; achieving some of the greatest school improvements in the country; keeping Hackney’s streets amongst the cleanest in London; and building more affordable housing than almost anywhere else in the UK. You can read more about how we've delivered our our pledges from 2010 here.

Our manifesto sets out how Hackney Labour will work to secure the best outcomes for all residents living in the borough – driven by fairness, greater opportunity and social mobility for those that are disadvantaged, so that everyone can benefit from the rising prosperity happening across Hackney.  

How can I vote?
You can register to vote up until 6th May and also apply for a postal vote up until this deadline.

If you're resident in Hackney and you're from another member state of the EU, you can still vote in all three of the elections, even if you're not British. See here for more information.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Tell us your priorities for Stoke Newington

We have been in touch with thousands of Stoke Newington residents over the past few years, and spoken to lots of you recently during the election campaign. However, we know we can never round everyone and we always want to hear from you about what more we can be doing to make Stoke Newington a great place to live.

Please do fill in our short survey and let us know your priorities for Stoke Newington - it is very short and should only take a couple of minutes of your time. 

The survey is online here.

You can also get in touch with us by email, phone and in person - all the details are here. 

We look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Youth Opportunity Fund - apply now!

There's still time to apply for the Hackney Youth Opportunity Fund.  

The deadline for Round One applications is 30th April 2014 for activities taking place this summer and early Autumn. Grants in this round will be made in early June.

Hackney YOF money can be used for an activity or project that benefits young people and their friends/youth group and other young people in Hackney. The funding can be for  a wide range of activities and projects including sports, arts, culture, citizenship and volunteering. The grant can also be used to pay for small pieces of equipment such as computers, musical instruments, sports gear, arts and crafts supplies and props for creative activities.

For application forms and more information - visit the Young Hackney website here.

Monday, 31 March 2014

New licensing application

Y.O.L.O 175 Stoke Newington Road London N16 8BP has made an application for the following premises licence:
  • Application for a premises licence for plays, films, indoor sporting events, live music, recorded music, performance of dance, anything of similar description and supply of alcohol from 10:00 to 23:45 Mon to Wed, 10:00 to 02:45am Thur, 10:00 to 03:45am Fri and Sat and from 10:00 to 22:45 Sun
  • Late night refreshment from 23:00 to 23:45 Mon to Wed, 23:00 to 02:45am Thur, 23:00 to 03:45am Fri and Sat
The deadline is 16/4/14.

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

There is a guide to making representations here. Representations can be made in writing to The Licensing Service, 263 Mare Street, London, E8 3HT or by emailing licensing@hackney.gov.uk.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Free internet in Hackney

There are many places across Hackney where you can access the internet for free - in the Council's libraries, the Service Centre, children's centres, housing association and other community organisations.

The Council's website has a list and map with all the locations here.

You can also book a computer in a library online if you have your library card and PIN. Most of our libraries also have free WiFi.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The future of Abney Park Cemetery

Abney Park Trust has been looking for new trustees and their AGM is next Wednesday 2nd April - there is more information on getting involved here. 

Abney Park Cemetery is owned and managed by the Council and Abney Park Trust.

The Council recently commissioned a report to look at future options for Abney Park Cemetery with a view to making suggestions for a sustainable way forward to manage the cemetery so that vital safety improvements and heritage work can take place and to ensure that the future of this very important site is secure for generations to come.

We have been in contact with the Abney Park Trust as we know that there were some concerns following the external report. We have also discussed this with the Cabinet member for Community Services (who has responsibility for parks in Hackney), and stressed the importance of of working with the Trust and engaging all the relevant local stakeholders. 

Cllr Jonathan McShane has confirmed that the Council wants to continue working with the Abney Park Trust and that a partnership between the Council and Trust is the proposed way forward. Cllr McShane has assured us that discussing the details with Abney Park Trust is a priority.

This is an important local issue and we will continue to liaise with all involved as decisions are made about the cemetery. 

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Beat the bookies - sign the petition

Hackney Council has launched a new phase in its campaign against the wave of betting shops blighting Hackney's high streets. You can read the full story here.

The Council is also calling on residents nationwide to sign an online petition to Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles to demonstrate the weight of public opinion against the current betting shop free-for-all.

The Council’s proposal is that betting shops be given their own use class, as with nightclubs and casinos. This would mean residents and councillors could have a say over every application, and the potential impact that a new betting shop may have on an area would become a key factor on whether or not it gets approved.

This could make a massive difference - back in 2010 when Paddy Power opened on the High Street we made representations against the application but knew this would ultimately have little impact on the final decision (the blog post from the time is here).

To sign the petition, visit www.change.org/petitions/eric-pickles-mp-help-councils-stop-betting-shops-taking-over-our-high-streets 

You can read the full submission that Hackney Council has made to the Government here.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Council Budget for 2014/15

On Wednesday this week, the Council passed the Budget for 2014/15.

There is £1.1bn of spending in the budget on vital services in Hackney including:
  • £47.7m on the public realm including street cleaning, graffiti removal, maintaining street lights, recycling, providing cycle training for local residents
  • £86m on adult social care – including supporting residents to live as independently as possible, mental health services, and services for people with learning disabilities
  • £7.7m on libraries, museum and culture.
  • £7.5m on managing Hackney’s 56 parks
  • £29.8m on public health services including sexual health services, reducing obesity, smoking cessation and drug and alcohol misuse services.
  • £254m on schools
  • £6.7m on environmental health, licensing and planning
  • £41.5m on children’s social care
  • £16m on the Young Hackney service
  • £4.6m on community safety, the integrated gangs unit, domestic violence response and emergency planning.

Council tax has also been frozen for the ninth consecutive year. At the Budget meeting, Mayor Pipe made it clear that increasing Council Tax would not have made up for the scale of cuts imposed on Hackney by central Government. He said: "Increasing Council Tax at this time would add more financial pressure to those in need, for little benefit to services. Despite collecting 97% of what is owed each year, a 2% rise in Council Tax bills would yield only £360,000 extra which is dwarfed by the £100m cut in central Government grant."

There have been unprecedented cuts to council funding from the Coalition Government since 2010 and £100m has been cut from Hackney’s grant.  The cuts have been disproportionately high in some of the most deprived areas of the country, and there has been a sustained attempt from central Government to permanently reduce the size and scope of local services. As Jules Pipe set out when introducing the Budget, the priority in Hackney has been to keep providing services that residents depend on, finding new ways of working and new sources of funding.

He said: “We have had to make tough decisions and we have seen job losses, in common with many local authorities up and down the country, and it is clear that we will have to make further tough decisions in the future. Our priority over the coming year is to protect the services that matter most to them, to keep our streets clean, keep our parks and libraries open and welcoming and to care for the most vulnerable members of our community.”

The Tory and Lib Dem groups on the Council put forward amendments to the Budget. These included measures such as stopping 20mph zones, Controlled Parking Zones, cutting the street cleaning budget, and the highways maintenance budget. This would have a big material impact on our environment in Hackney and is a reckless approach.

Monday, 24 February 2014

Consultation on Community Infrastructure Levy

The Council has been consulting on the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and there’s still time to have your say – the deadline for comments is 26th February at 5pm.

CIL allows local authorities to fund infrastructure by charging on new developments in their area. This can include parks, schools, community facilities, and leisure centres, and other similar examples of infrastructure. It cannot be used to fun affordable housing.

The consultation sets out the proposed CIL rates that will be charged on different types of developing in Hackney. It is also asking for views on a draft list of possible infrastructure projects which could be funded through CIL.

This is the part that you might be interested in as a Stoke Newington resident, as the draft list includes:

  • Provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of new and existing transport infrastructure, including:
    • Support to TfL investment relating to Stoke Newington Gyratory
    • A10 Junction improvements
    • Hackney wide cycling improvements.

  • Provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of new and existing open space, which includes Abney Park Cemetery
The list is in Appendix 2 of this document. All the details about the CIL consultation are online here. 

We have campaigned for years for the removal of the one way system. Following a consultation with local residents in 2011 which was clear there was local support for this, we have continued to work with the Council and TfL (who control the road) to push for future options to be investigated and developed in order to take forward the changes.

Please do take the time to have your say - and email your comments to CommunityInfrastructureLevy@hackney.gov.uk 

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Stoke Newington ward forum - 3rd March - on local parks and green spaces

The next Stoke Newington ward forum is on 3rd March 7pm at the Methodist Church on Stoke Newington High Street.

The meeting will focus on local parks and open spaces. There will be updates on the latest plans for West Hackney Recreation Ground and Abney Park.

Representatives will also be there from Kynaston Gardens and the Yorkshire Grove play area to exchange ideas about how to encourage participation and a range of activities in our local green spaces – and ensuring they are safe and well managed.

We will also identify whether there are any ‘unloved spaces’ locally that could do with sprucing up!

If you’re interested in local parks and green spaces please do come along and join in the discussion. Ward forums are an opportunity to bring people together to identify priorities for improving our area.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Special Policy Area update

The Council has now agreed to adopt a ‘Special Policy Area’ in Dalston. This will extend up as far as the Evering Road/Stoke Newington Road junction on the A10.

We have written about this previously as it’s been an important issue for many residents in our ward who live on or off the A10.

Our position has always been that there needs to be a balance between the night time economy with late night venues and the right of those living nearby to get a good night’s sleep. There are also public safety issues associated with a large concentration of pubs and clubs that need to be taken into account. There have been an increasing number of complaints from residents and the police about anti social behaviour related to licensed premises. Theft has increased in Dalston by 94% since 2009, and the number of alcohol related ambulance call outs by 55%.

The Special Policy Area is not about preventing new clubs and pubs from opening as some have claimed. There has been a SPA in operation in Shoreditch for a number of years and this is a thriving area for going out, attracting people from all across London.

What the SPA does mean is that when new venues open, they have to be able to demonstrate that they will not add to the cumulative impact in a particular area in terms of noise nuisance and public safety, and that they can demonstrate a certain standard of operation. Each application is still considered on a case by case basis. In addition, existing late night licenses will not be affected. 

The SPA helps to control the rapid expansion of late night venues in a more managed way – and ensure a better balance between business needs and the negative impacts experienced by residents.

The decision report on the Special Policy Area is online here. 

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Changes in Stoke Newington ward

As you may be aware, there was a review of the local ward boundaries in Hackney and this means that for the May 22nd local elections residents will be voting in new wards. 

The changes are because of Hackney’s rising population, and Central Government decided that there was a need to ensure more equal numbers of residents in each ward.

The old Stoke Newington Central ward is changing. The southern part from Palatine Road and Somerford Estate down will be moving into the new Shacklewell ward. Stoke Newington ward will take in some of the roads north of Church Street, and west of Nevill Road. The full map is available here.

Cllr Louisa Thomson and Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas are currently councillors in Stoke Newington Central and will be standing in the new Stoke Newington ward. They are joined by Mete Coban. Cllr Rita Krishna is sadly standing down after being a councillor in the area since 2002. She has also been the Cabinet member for Children’s Services for the past 8 years. We are sorry to see her go and wish her all the best for the future. 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

20mph speed limit extended to main roads

At Full Council last week, the Cabinet member for Neighbourhoods confirmed that 20mph zones will be rolled out to all main roads in Hackney.

All residential areas in Hackney have 20mph zones in place, but it has been harder to extend this to main roads, as the Police have been reluctant to enforce it. Hackney has been trialling 20mph zones on main roads that we share with Islington, and there has been a positive response from the Police following this.

20mph zones on main roads will be enforced through lines and signs, resetting cameras and changes in police guidance.

At the moment, this does not apply to TfL controlled roads, but the Council is committed to working with them to see if this might be possible in the future.

We really welcome this announcement – improving road safety is vitally important in Stoke Newington particularly as we know some streets have suffered from being rat runs, there are a large number of children walking to school and we have one of the highest percentage of people cycling to work in London. 

Manor Road, Rectory Road and Shacklewell Lane will become 20mph in our area. A map of the changes can be downloaded

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Don't lose your right to vote on May 22nd!

The electoral register is updated every year, and the Council needs to keep the list as accurate as possible. 

A household registration form was delivered to your property in October 2013. This form shows the names of the people who are currently registered up to and including 10th October 2013, and by law must be completed and returned.

To be able to vote in any election, you must complete and return your household registration form. The revised register will be used for any elections that will take place after 17th February 2014. This is important this year in particular as there are local elections and European elections on May 22nd.

What you need to do:

  • Every household in Hackney must fully complete and return the annual household registration form by 7 February 2014.
  • If there are no changes to your details then please use the free telephone, text or internet service.
  • You must list all eligible residents living at your property.
  • Please ensure all forms are signed, dated and names are written clearly. Incomplete forms will be returned for amendments

You can read more on the Council’s website here.