Monday, November 30, 2009

Campaign against road safety cuts

The London Cycling Campaign in Hackney and Hackney Living Streets came to the Full Council meeting at Hackney Town Hall last week to ask for urgent action following the Mayor of London’s decision to cut funding for the Commercial Vehicles Education Unit.

The unit played a vital role in helping to reduce collisions between large vehicles and cyclists or pedestrians. It also had the power to investigate unsafe lorry operators and make sure they were meeting health and safety standards. As a result of Boris Johnson’s funding cuts, the unit will be disbanded.

Cllr Alan Laing, Cabinet member for Neighbourhoods, responded to the deputation, stressed that Hackney Council has already called on Boris Johnson to reinstate funding for the unit, He said: “This is another cut by the London Mayor. Despite this we continue to work with the police and cyclists to reduce the number of cyclists being injured on our roads. We have a number of initiatives in place including education events along the A10, improving signage on the Council's own lorries and continuing to improve our road surfaces.”

The campaigners also secured a commitment that the Lorry Safety Working Group which brings together user groups, the Police, freight operators and the Olympic Delivery Authority, will meet quarterly and work throughout the year to tackle the hazards and threats associated with lorries.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Another year another marathon

On March 7, in no doubt baking Catalonian heat, I'll be running the Barcelona Marathon to raise money for Laburnum Boat Club.

The club, which celebrated its 25th birthday recently, is a vital and much love part of the local community.

It's Co-ordinator, Jim Armstrong, has devoted a quarter of a century to giving children who face real challenges in their life a place to come and make friends as well as learning canoeing and sailing skills.

If you don't know about them check out their website at

I'm proud to be associated with them in even this small way.

This will be the fourth marathon I have run for Laburnum in as many years and we hope to raise £1,500 this time. Every penny raised will go to the club and I know it will be well spent.

If you are able to donate please go to or contact me direct.

Thanks in advance.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Plastic People licensing application

147/149 Curtain Road

London EC2A 3QF

Application for variation of premises licence for live music, recorded music, anything of similar description, facilities for dance, entertainment of similar description and supply of alcohol from 10:00-01:30am on Sunday.

Closing date for representations:


Have your say on housing

Hackney Homes is currently carrying out a tenant satisfaction survey.

A selection of Hackney Homes tenants have been sent the postal survey which is used to assess how well Hackney Homes are doing and look for ways to improve housing services based on tenants' feedback.

If you complete the survey, you will be entered into a prize draw and could win a digital TV, pay as you go phone or an iPod shuffle.

The responses are kept anonymous and it will not be possible for any person or address to be identified from the survey findings.
For more details see here.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Street Trees in Scawfell Street

After a long wait, street trees were finally planted in and around Scawfell Street near Haggerston School.

If you would like to see street trees in your area then get in touch.

Be 'Fare' to Hackney

At the last meeting of the council, a motion was passed condemning the decision of the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, to increase bus fares by 20%.

As a result, the council yesterdaylaunched a "Boris - be "Fare" to Hackney" campaign, asking the Mayor to reverse his decision.

Johnson's decision is unneccesary. The extra revenue that we all accept is needed in public transport could have been raised by retaining the western extension of the congestion charge area and by keeping the decision to increase the charge to those vehicles that are the most polluting.

Instead, the London Mayor has decided to increase bus fares. He is cynically punishing areas and groups that did not vote for him.

It means that for the average Hackney family where both adults take the bus to work they will pay £263 more every year in additional bus fares. That is the equivalent of increasing council tax by 27% - something that is unthinkable, or Boris Johnson increasing his share of the tax by almost 100%.

His decision means that the hard working ordinary residents of Hackney and London will pay more and suffer directly for the choice that he has made. Boris has been shown to prefer the richest car owners in London, over hard working Londoners. 82% of Hackney residents use the bus at least once a week and we have the lowest level of car ownership in London - we rely most heavily on buses.

Join the council's campaign to ask Boris to reverse his decision. Send him an ecard directly, telling him exactly what you think here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Labour Freezes Council Tax in Hackney for 5th Year in a Row

It's now official! Hackney will now be freezing the council tax for the 5th year running, whilst still investing in key frontline services - the first council in Britain to achieve this.

At Cabinet last week, Mayor Pipe announced his early budget plans for 2010/11, which included a record-breaking fifth year of freezing council tax.

Mayor Pipe said:"Hackney Council is on the side of residents in difficult times – we are the only authority in the country to be freezing our Council Tax for the fifth year running, while continuing to invest in what matters most to residents and providing better value for money. Hackney residents rightly expect their local authority to be efficient, well run, and provide high quality services. I am committed to improving Council services, while at the same time ensuring Hackney residents receive better value for money from their Council Tax.”

Since 2002, Hackney has set the third lowest Council Tax rise of all the 33 London boroughs, meaning that Hackney’s Council Tax is now below the London average.

By running the Council more effectively Hackney has made savings of more than £40 million during the past five years, the highest amount in London according to recent Government figures, and the third highest in the country. This has allowed consistent investment in those services that matter most to residents and a proposed fifth year of frozen Council Tax.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Hackney kitten saved after two day ordeal

On Sunday, Hackney Fire Brigade braved the wind and rain to rescue Mushy the cat from high up in a local tree.

Called out by the RSPCA, the local fire team spent half an hour coaxing the 18 month old cat down from the upper branches of the huge poplar tree. Mushy's owners said their cat had been too frightened to make its way down the tree by itself, having chased a squirrel up the tree two days before.

Ravey Street Licensing Application

5 Ravey Street
London EC2A 4QW

Mr Hallam
Application for a premises licence to allow supply of alcohol and recorded music from 11:00 to 23:00 Mon to Thurs, 11:00 to 00:00 Fri and Sat and 11:00 to 22:30 Sun and live music from 11: to 22:30 Mon to Sat and 11:00 to 22:00 Sun.

If you want to object you have until 17/11/2009 to do so.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Community Payback

Local residents and community groups are being invited to suggest outdoor spaces, streets or buildings in Hackney that could potentially benefit from a facelift through the Community Payback Scheme.

The London Probation Service and Hackney Council will consider all requests for jobs, so long as the work visibly benefits the community. The first Community Payback project - the Lea Bridge Tow Path - was suggested by local residents back in April and is now complete after 1000 hours of work.

The team has also completed work on 30 Hackney Homes gardens where residents had been unable to maintain these themselves. Do you have a favourite place in Haggerston Ward that could benefit from the project? Let us know or fill in the online form here.

How can we improve recycling in Hackney?

Recycling performance in Hackney has really improved over the past few years.

But we have a huge challenge facing us. Central government has set us a target of 50% recycling by 2020 and in an inner-city borough like Hackney, that is a significant hill to climb.

So the council is asking how we can best improve our recycling service and asks what is stopping you recycling more. Are we collecting food waste in the best way? Do we need to collect recycling more often? What improvements can be made to how we collect garden waste?

The consultation is available here and we'd be grateful to hear your views.