Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Nappuccino at Hackney City Farm

The Hackney Real Nappy Network (HRNN) is a group of parents living in Hackney, London, UK, who use and promote real nappies.

They are holding a 'Nappuccino' social event on Friday at Hackney City Farm where you can find out more about the benefits of using real nappies. You can also claim a £54 real nappy voucher and spend it at the event.

Nappuccino, Hackney City Farm, Friday 26th March from 10.30-12pm.

Register with Leo on 020 8356 7930 or

Lapdancing Consultation

Last night at Licensing Committee, councillors unanimously agreed to go out to consult residents and businesses in Hackney on the proposed new policy regarding "Sex Establishments".

The government has recently passed new legislation that will come into force later this year that allow local councils to licence lap dancing clubs, sex shops and sex cinemas using a different set of powers.

These include setting a maximum number of premises within a locality. Last night, the committee decided to consult on a "nil" policy across all of Hackney. It means that the five premises that currently have a sex encounter licence - which will then seek a "sexual entertainment" licence - would have to argue forcefully why they should be the exception to the policy.

Potentially, this could see all of the venues shut when they seek their licence renewal next spring.

The consultation will begin in the summer and we expect the policy to be adopted, subject to the outcome of the consultation, this autumn.

You can read the policy proposals here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Photos from East London Line

Not long to go now...

Hoxton station is, like most good things, actually in Haggerston.

You can see one of the Fellows Court towers in the background.

More information on the line can be found here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

New powers to target street drinkers

The Council has today approved a Designated Public Place Order which gives police the power to confiscate alcohol being drunk in public places or require people to stop drinking. Failure to comply can result in arrest or a fixed penalty notice being issued.

This is not going to stop people enjoying a drink in the park - it’s for the persistent drinkers who’re shouting and intimidating people, and giving police the power to deal with them.

Tory mayoral candidate Andrew Boff does not approve. He told the Hackney Post:

“I think it would work in isolated problem areas but a blanket ban is just another example of the nanny state."

He's wrong. First of all it's not a ban on drinking - it's a power to prevent anti-social drinking in public places that makes decent people's lives a misery. Second, the trouble with tackling 'isolated problem areas' is that street drinkers simply move on a few hundred yards and cause misery to a new group of people. That's why Haggerston Councillors and others argued for a Hackney wide approach.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Latest news from Haggerston Safer Neighbourhoods Team

The latest Haggerston Safer Neighbourhoods team newsletter is out and can be found here.

It includes information about the "Hackney Says Relax" campaign run in Shoreditch over the festive period.

It also outlines the latest policing priorities set by local people at their recent CAP Panel meeting:
• Anti-social behaviour - drugs • Anti-social behaviour - youths • Squatters

On this last priority there has been recent action to evict 17 squatters from the Haggerston Estate which is being redeveloped to provide new homes for residents.

Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, Alan Laing, said: “These squatters spoilt the quality of life for tenants who were still in the block and those living close by. Due to the premises closure order, they are finally out of the block and vital improvement works can now carry on for the estate.”

Friday, March 12, 2010

Making Recycling Easy

An earlier post mentioned our record level of recycling - we're all helping to get our recycling rate up even more and have reached 27% earlier this year.

As part of our ongoing attempts to make it easier and better for everyone to recycle, the council is going to trial recycling bins in busy areas of Hackney as 60 new bins are put on the streets. The new bins, which collect recyclables at one end and litter at the other, allow passers-by to recycle their newspapers, drinks cans, cartons, glass and plastic bottles, at the same time as disposing of general waste.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Contract on Anti Social Behaviour for Hackney Homes Residents

Hackney Homes have published a contract in their latest magazine to residents about how they respond to anti social behaviour.

From the complaints we receive from residents, we know that anti social behaviour can have a massive impact on people's lives and that it can be frustrating and slow getting effective action to be taken.

Please do let us know you have any problems with anti social behaviour on your estate and we can help to take this up with Hackney Homes. You can also report ASB through the local housing office; online at, texting 07527 385603 or calling the out of hours helpline on 020 8356 3310.

When you report ASB, you can expect:
  • An acknowledgment letter within three working days
  • An invitation for an interview within five working days
  • An action plan for resolving the complaint within 12 working days
  • Monthly reviews of your case and regular contact updating you on progress
For more serious acts of ASB, you can expect:
  • An acknowledgment within 24 hours
  • An invitation to an interview with 24 hours
  • An action plan within 12 working days
  • Regular monthly reviews and contact.
More information online here.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Grow Your Own Food

Hackney Homes has teamed up with Capital Growth to help residents grow their own food.

Residents can apply for between £200 and £1500 from the Capital Growth Scheme to use spare pieces of land on estates for food growing. Hackney Homes gardeners can also help provide seeds, plants, and advice for residents intersted in growing.More info here. Fellows Court TRA is already looking into options for growing food on their estate.

Council Tax Frozen for Fifth Year Running

On Wednesday at the Town Hall, Labour's Budget for 2010/11 was agreed by the Council.

The good news is that council tax will be frozen for the fifth year in a row. Hackney's council tax is now below the London average and is the only council in the country to have five years in a row with no rise in council tax.

By running the Council more efficiently 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 - with no cuts to frontline services.

During a lively Full Council meeting where the budget was debated, we also confirmed that there will be investment in the following areas:
  • £66m on keeping our streets clean, waste and recycling services - including specific investment in improving recycling on estates with new containers which will allow residents to recycle a wider range of materials and extra investment into graffiti removal, and weekday litter picking
  • £25m on safer neighbourhoods - working with partners to reduce crime and anti social behaviour across the borough
  • £5.2m on parks and green spaces - to build on our record of 9 green flag parks across Hackney. We will also be refurbishing toilets in all our parks.
  • £72m on children and young people's services - as well as £5m from the Myplace project which will bring new state of the art youth centres across the borough
  • £186.7m on education - with £170m over the next five years going into the next phases of the Building Schools for the Future programme
  • Investment in adult social care to provide an additional 5000 hours of homecare to support vulnerable residents in Hackney in their own homes
  • £500k into a new library in Dalston
  • Further investment in cycle training programmes, road safety improvements, car clubs, electric charging points and street decluttering
All the budget documents are publicly available here.

Conservative Proposals:

There weren't any. For the first time ever, the main opposition group didn't propose their own budget. In a truly remarkable and shocking move, they simply didn't do anything to propose their own budget, nor query any major part of the Labour budget. They have shown how unprepared they are and how little effort they have made in offering the people of Hackney an alternative.

Green Party Proposals:

This was to tax car owners and small local shops, by massively increasing the cost of parking your private car outside your house. They also proposed increasing pay and display costs (vital for customers to local shops) by 12%, when Labour in Hackney has decided to freeze them, given the recession, to help our local shops and town centres. They also proposed a massive cut in the budget to keep our streets clean and cutting the budget to replace old street lighting and dealing with pot-holes on our roads and broken pavements - which would affect about 300 roads in the borough.

Lib Dem Proposals:

These were to cut £170,000 from street cleaning and invest it in a bike club. They also proposed cuts to the planning service which is so vital in ensuring that illegal development doesn't happen.

It's Hackney Labour that offer Hackney residents a clear and costed approach to running the council.

New Recycling High

We're recycling more than ever in Hackney - the figures from January show that over 27% of rubbish in the borough was collected for recycling.

This shows the commitment local residents have to recycling. Since the end of last year, you can now recycle plastic packaging and cartons in green box collections.

However, there's still more to do - over 60% of household waste can be recycled so we need to do even more to get all residents in Hackney recycling.

More information on recycling can be found here.