Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

It's hard to believe that it's been twelve months since the last Christmas message that we posted on this blog. As another Christmas comes around, we reflect on the past year.

Not only were we re-elected in the May local elections, we also successfully campaigned for the reopening of Murray Grove Post Office.

Councillor Phil Glanville became the chair of the Living in Hackney Scrutiny Commission. Councillor Carole Williams became the chair of the Community Safety and Social Inclusion Panel. We have attended estate committee meetings across the ward, the community action panel and meetings to discuss the rebuilding of Thomas Fairchild school. We have lobbied for to extend the Decent Homes Programmes to even more blocks in Hoxton and have worked with police to address a number of community safety concerns.

In the past year we have found even more ways to keep in contact to inform you off all the work that we are doing on your behalf. Over the next year it will be even more important to keep you up to date with changing government policy and how these will affect you.

In light of those changes, we will continue to work hard for you in 2011.

Do let us have your thoughts and write to us about what Hoxton means to you. Also let us know the impact that government changes are having for you and your family and, in the meantime, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Question to Full Council

At the meeting of the full council on Wednesday 24 November, Hoxton Councillors asked the Mayor and his cabinet the following questions:

From Cllr Philip Glanville to the Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the 2012 Olympic Games:

Do you agree with me that the re-opening of Murray Grove Post Office is a vital investment in ensuring that local people have access to Post Office and financial services in one of the most deprived wards in the Borough?

From Cllr Clayeon McKenzie to the Cabinet Member for Children and Young People's Services:

‘What actions have Hackney Youth Services taken in response to the closure of Blue Hut Youth Club in the summer?’

From Cllr Carole Williams to the Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods:

‘In light of the recent publicity around the ROA Rabbit mural on Hackney Road, could the Cabinet member outline what steps were taken to deal with this case, and what the Council's policy is on street art?’

A full list of decisions made at the meeting of the full council are available on the council's website here.  This includes a motion that was agreed calling on the council to condemn the coalition government for the cuts that they are expected to make to the council's budget and their lack of clarity about the extent of their cuts.  We are very concerned about the impact that these cuts may have on vital public services and will update this blog as soon as more information is forthcoming.

Murray Grove Post Office Official Re-opening

Tuesday 30 November is a date to remember as that is when local residents, councillors, business owners, the Member of Parliament and the Mayor of Hackney came along to Murray Grove to mark the reopening of the post office.

We want to say a big thank you to everyone who signed our petition and who campaigned to make this day a reality.

But it doesn't end here.  Please, please use the post office as, without you, the business will be unsustainable.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Murray Grove Post Office has Re-opened

After a long fought campaign by Hoxton Councillors and the local community, Murray Grove Post Office opened today.

Hackney Council are working in partnership with Chandrakant Patel of Murray's Chemist to deliver services you would expect to find in any other post office including postage stamps, stationery, paying bills, cash deposits as well as cash withdrawals.

Although the chemist has been operating for a few weeks now, the post office opened for the business this morning.  There was a swift trade from local residents who have supported the campaign to reopen Murray Grove post office since it was launched by ward councillors Clayeon McKenzie, Philip Glanville and Carole Williams.

Councillor Clayeon McKenzie said, "It has been clear watching the first customers using the reopened post office services why our campaign had the community behind it.  There were many senior citizens who choose to use Murray Grove Post Office this morning because the on at Old Street is too far and has queues of people which mean they have to wait for up to 60 minutes."

"The reopened services will make a huge difference and we are proud that this is one of the few post offices in the country to reopen after the Post Office's closure plan."

Councillor Carole Williams said, "It's great to see the Mayor of Hackney making a commitment to Hackney residents at a time that we are heaing of deep cuts from central government.  This is a very good day for Hackney and a great day for Hoxton residents."

Councillor Philip Glanville said, "We couldn't have achieved this without the Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe.  It will now take the entire community to ensure that this is a successful and sustainable business so would urge the entire community, including local businesses, to use these new post office services".

For more information on the campaign by ward councillors, read previous blog posts here.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Councillor's Charity Skydive

Later this month Councillor Carole Williams will take part in a fundraising skydive for the charity, Crisis.

Along with other volunteers Carole will jump out of a plane at 10,000 above the Oxfordshire skies in a bid to raise a minimum of £1000 for the homelessness charity which she has supported for many years. To date she has raised nearly £600. If you would like to support the work that Crisis do and help her to reach her target, you can make a donation via the secure website here.

All money raised will go toward the costs of running the winter shelters across London which Crisis run each year.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Coalition Cuts to Bus Routes 349 and 149

We have been very disappointment to learn that despite vigerous objections to the Boris Johnson's proposals to reduce bus services along routes 349 and 149 through Hackney, that he has ruled against Hackney residents.

From Saturday 16 October there will be changes to bus routes affecting the way that Hackney residents get around the borough for work and leisure.

Buses along route 149 will change from the articulated 'bendy' buses to conventional double-deckers. Although a few more buses will run in the weekday peak hours, at all other times the service will be less frequent, resulting in lower passenger capacity on the new service.

Route 349 from Ponders End (through Seven Sisters) will be cut back from Stoke Newington Common to Stamford Hill, removing the service between Stamford Hill Broadway and Stoke Newington town centre. The service on the new shorter route will also run less frequently.

We are disappointed that the Mayor of London has taken this regressive step, putting in place a service that is not fit for purpose.

Murray Grove Post Office Update

The post office on Murray Grove closed last year following a hard fought campaign by Hoxton Councillors. You can read the details of our campaign in previous blog posts here.

Hoxton Councillors are pleased that our long campaign has finally resulted in an announcement by Hackney Council that the post office is scheduled to reopen in November 2010.

After a tendering process, Hackney Council has decided that they will go into partnership with Chandrakant Patel of Murray’s Chemist, Murray Grove, which will move from its current location.

Local businesses on Murray Grove have taken a hard knock following the closure of the post office and we hope that this will make a positive contribution toward supporting local trade.

We would like to thank everyone that responded to the consultation on reopening the post office and ask that you support the new post office when it re-opens.

You can read more on this story on the Hackney Council website here.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Thomas Fairchild School Update

Hoxton Councillors have recently met with the Learning Trust to ensure that the voices of all local residents are heard when considering the re-provision of Thomas Fairchild School, which was destroyed in a fire in July 2009.

We have not underestimated the vital importance of a school that generations of Hoxton residents have attended and that is why we have worked hard to ensure the concerns of local residents about the re-provisions of the school have been heard at the highest levels. We have asked the Learning Trust go further than consulting with teachers, parents and school children. We want to ensure that all local residents have an opportunity to have their say.

We expect the school to reopen in September 2012 and it will become an important local resource for the entire community and we believe that the entire community must have the opportunity to have their voices heard.

Consultation on the re-provision of the school will start soon and we will keep you posted of developments on our blog, on our twitter account as well as via our newsletter.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Facebook Page

We have used social media for some time now to tell Hoxton residents about the work that we have been doing both locally and on the council itself.

Now, instead of having a Facebook group which needs to be administered through a personal Facebook account, we have set up a Facebook page which you can join to get all up to date information, links to our blog, news and views.

If you're already on Facebook, why not join here.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Controlled Parking Zone F Review

Hackney Parking Services will be reviewing Controlled Parking Zone F which is bounded by the canal, New North Road, Hackney Road, Goldsmiths Row, Teale Street and Pritchard Road. The Zone crosses three wards in Hackney South and Shoreditch, Hoxton, Haggerston and Queensbridge.

The current hours of operation for parking restrictions are:
  • Monday to Friday 7:30am - 6:30pm and
  • Saturday 7:30am - 1:30pm
Parking Services are proposing changes to the number of bays in the zone. There are also proposals install double yellow lines on sections of narrow road to increase access and visibility.

If you own a business or if you live within Zone F, you will have received a consultation pack so that you can feed back your comment and concerns as parking controls will affect you whether you drive or not and it will also affect your visitors.

If you want a say on how traffic should be managed, how road safety is improved, long term commuter parking, even non-essential traffic or even parking space allocation, complete the consultation questionnaire and return it in the envelope that accompanies your questionnaire.

Alternatively, you can complete the questionnaire online.

Two drop in sessions will also be held where you can speak to a member of the parking team. The dates and times are:
  • Monday 7 June 5pm - 7pm
  • Tuesday 8 June 5pm - 7pm
Both sessions will be held at St Mary's Community Hall, Kent Street, E2 8NU.

You can also send your comments by email.

If you have not received a questionnaire or know anyone who has not, you can call 020 835 8877 and request one. Alternatively, you can visit the parking service's website.

Council AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the council was held on Wednesday 26 May. It was the first meeting since the elections on 6 May 2010 and was more a time for celebration as well as business.

Hackney Speaker
Sally Mulready, Councillor in Chatham Ward, was unanimously elected as the Speaker of Hackney for the 2010/11 municipal year. Not only will Sally be the 110th first citizen of the borough, she will also preside over meetings of the council. You can read more about Sally here.

Hackney Cabinet Members
The Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe, also announced his choice of Councillors to work with him on the Cabinet to deliver his manifesto for the next year. They are:

Cllr Karen Alcock, Deputy Mayor
Clr Feryal Dermici, Neighbourhoods
Cllr Rita Krishna, Children's Services
Cllr Sophie Linden, Crime, Sustainability and Customer Services
Cllr Jonathan McShane, Community Services
Cllr Guy Nicholson, Regeneration and 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Hackney Scrutiny Commissions
Scrutiny Commissions were also established and the chairs and vice chairs agreed.

Scrutiny ensures that the executive (made up of the Mayor and his cabinet) and its partners does their jobs and improve the services for the people of Hackney. Scrutiny does this by investigating policy areas and making recommendations to the Mayor and his executive for changes.

The Council agreed the following commissions along with their chairs and vice chairs:

Health in Hackney Scrutiny Commission
Chair - Cllr Luke Akehurst
Vice Chair - Daniel Kemp

Community Safety and Social Inclusion
Chair - Cllr Carole Williams
Vice Chair - Cllr Angus Mulready-Jones

Governance and Resources Scrutiny Commission
Chair - Cllr Rob Chapman

Living in Hackney
Chair - Cllr Phil Glanville
Vice Chair - Cllr Ian Rathbone

Children and Young People
Chair - Cllr Gulay Icoz
Vice Chair - Geoff Taylor

Overview and Scrutiny
Chair - Simche Steinberger
Vice Chair - Cllr Dan Kemp

Each Commission will determine their individual work programme at their first meeting. We will post further information on our blog as these details emerge.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Team Hackney Community Grant

There is still time to submit and application for a Team Hackney's Community Grant before the deadline of 28 May 2010.

Each grant is worth either £1,000-£5,000; £6,000-£15,000 or £16,000-£30,000.

If you run a community group and offer services to vulnerable people, you may be eligible. For more information and to apply for a grant, contact HCVS on 020 7923 1962 or email or download a pack from their website.

Travel for Free on the New East London LIne

The East London Line has been running trains between Dalston and New Cross/New Cross Gate five days a week from 7am to 8pm since 24 May 2010.

From this weekend, the service will run seven days a week from 5:40am to 11:40pm and will run between Dalston and West Croydon/Crystal Palace. To celebrate, London Rail are giving away 10,000 free tickets for the first customers that turn up to any of the 21 stations along the route. All you have to do is to ask a member of the station staff (terms and conditions apply).

If you take a ride, why not upload your pictures of your first ride on twitter using the hashtag #eastlondonline?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hoxton Election Results

We'd like to thank everyone who came out to vote on Thursday 6 May to vote for us to continue representing them as  all Labour councillors.  More of you came than did in previous elections and in record numbers.

We are also proud that you voted to re-elected Jules Pipe as Labour Mayor of Hackney. The result of the mayoral election can be found here.  You also voted to return Meg Hillier as your MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch.  Her results are available here

We're honoured by the responsibility and confidence that you have shown in so convincingly re-electing us.  Carole has been returned for a third term and Phil and Clayeon have been returned for a second term. There has been so much progress made since we became councillors for the ward in 2002 and 2006 and there's lots more still to do.

You can see the full results for Hoxton here.

The result for the election of MP for Hackney South & Shoreditch can be found here.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

5 Reasons to Vote Labour on 6 May 2010

  • Hackney's Labour Council has frozen the council tax for FIVE years running - the only council in the country to do so.
  • Crime in Hackney has fallen by 39% over the last six years under labour - the biggest drop in London.
  • £225 million unlocked fro Decent Homes works providing new windows, roofs, kitchens or bathrooms for 14,000 residents so far.
  • 27% of Hackney's rubbish is now recycled, collecting an average of FIFTY tonnes a day.
  • FIVE brand new secondary schools have been built and last year Hackney's pupils got the best GCSE results EVER in the borough.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Our Pledges for Hoxton

Yesterday we wrote about Hackney Labour's election manifesto. Today, we want to let you know about the 5 elections pledges that we are making to our electors Hoxton. They are:
  • To invest in green spaces in Hoxton - the next phase of Shoreditch Park's renewal, more allotments and growing spaces on estates.
  • Ensure Thomas Fairchild School is rebuilt
  • Tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in Hoxton, particularly street drinking and dog fouling
  • Support the local economy, including local shops, the market and re-opening Murray Grove Post Office
  • Continue to improve estates in Hoxton with residents' priorities at the heart of our housing service
We believe that our pledges build on the work that we've been doing in Hoxton over the last council term and we want to build on them.

Thomas Fairchild School

On 30 July 2009 a fire ripped through Thomas Fairchild school.  Over 100 fire fighters using 20 fire engines fought to bring the fire under control.  Sadly, however, the school could not be saved.  

Since then Hoxton Councillors pushed the Mayor of Hackney and the Learning Trust  to ensure that the school is re-provided on the same site because it is our priority to have a school where pupils in Hoxton and De Beauvoir can continue their education.  
The Mayor of Hackney, Jules Pipe has assured us that his will happen.  

We have learned that the building has only recently been released back to the Council from the insurance company and, due to the size of the site and nature of the damage to the building, the site will need to be cleared by hand.  The rebuilding work will therefore be a time consuming task but it will ensure the safety of the Children's Centre that was undamaged during the fire, local residents and properties that are in close proximity to the site as well as the safety of those working on the site.

The re-building should be completed by the summer 2012.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hackney Labour's Election Manifesto

The election manifesto for the 2010 local elections has been launched by Hackney labour.

Highlights of our commitments are:
  • make it easier for people to report anti social behaviour and noise nuisance
  • launch a campaign for responsible dog ownership
  • commit to further support for victims of domestic violence
  • increase drug and alcohol treatment places by 10%
  • we will plant at least another 1,000 street trees
  • we will look to expand our recycling service further
  • all residential streets will be covered by a 20mph speed limit by 2014
  • we will look to support those residents who want to grow more of their own food
  • continue to provide free swimming for children and the elderly
  • continue to work with the Hackney Empire to ensure it reopens
  • we will complete the rebuilding or refurbishment of all our secondary schools
  • six primary schools will be rebuilt or refurbished to the highest standards
  • we will open five new youth centres
  • we will complete Decent Homes on our estates by 2013
  • we will use all our powers to bring empty properties back into use
  • by 2013 - we will have created 100 council apprenticeships
  • we'll increase the number of council services available online
You can read the full document here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Your labour team for the 2010 local elections on 6 May 2010 are:
  • Cllr Phil Glanville
  • Cllr Clayeon McKenzie and
  • Cllr Carole Williams
If you have any questions about our work for Hoxton please do not hesitate to get in touch. You can keep in touch with us throughout the election period by visiting this blog.

Register to Vote in the 2010 Elections

On 6 May 2010 you will have your chance to have your say in council elections, a Mayoral election and the parliamentary elections.

If you have not yet registered to vote, you still have time to do so.  Click here for details.

You will have five votes on 6 May: 3 for your local ward councillors, 1 for the Mayor of Hackney and one for your Member of Parliament.

We will be asking you to vote for:

  • Carole Williams, Philip Glanville and Clayeon McKenzie as your ward councillors
  • Jules Pipe for Mayor of Hackney
  • Meg Hillier as your Member of Parliament.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

2010 Local Elections

Local Elections will be held on 6 May and if you haven't yet registered to vote, you can do so here. You have until Tuesday 20 April 2010.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Hoxton Safer Neighourhood Team

The next meeting of Hoxton Ward's Safer Neighbourhoods Panel will take place on 22 March at 6.30pm in the Carol Young Community Hall on Cranston Estate.

The Safer Neighbourhoods Panel is made up of local Hoxton representatives, councillors, and the Hoxton Safer Neighbourhood Policing Team. It mets three months to discuss local policing issues that matter local residents and, with the help of residents, it sets the policing targets.

The Hoxton Safer Neighbourhoods Police Team are all based at the Safer Neighbourhood Office on Orsman Road and the team leader is Sergeant Matt Devereau.

The Team is a permanent fixture in Hoxton, not a 'quick fix' brought in to respond to local changes in crime and disorder. They have been working in Hoxton since 2006 and resident's voices are important on the panel.

The three current priorities for the Team - set at the last meeting are:

  • Anti social behaviour - drugs
  • Dangerous cycling 
  • Theft of pedal cycles
You can read the current Hoxton Safer Neighbourhood Team newsletter there.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hackney Homes Newsletter

The latest edition of the Hackney Homes newsletter is now available.  In it, yo can find information on the upcoming Hackney Homes open day; ways to pay bills; how to get involved in the review of the Tenants Levy; what to do if you are affected by antisocial behaviour and more.

You can download the newsletter here.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

AudoBoo with Cllr Phil Glanville on Drinking Exclusion Zone

Councillor Philip Glanville has recently recorded an AudioBoo on the outcome of the council's consultation on a borough-wide drinking exclusion zone and what it means for Hoxton.  You can listen in here.


Monday, February 15, 2010

East London Line Update

The new East London Line' Hoxton station, may not be in the ward but, its close geographical proximity will mean that anyone living in the east of the ward will benefit from this new transport link.

There will be three new stations in Hackney, Dalston Junction, Haggerston, Hoxton.

Currently there are daily test runs of trans, the station forecourt has been prepared and planted with trees, the announcment system is being tested and when completed, Hackney south will have direct transport links to north to Highbury and Islington, south to West Croydon and Crystal Palace.

The line is due to open in May and, as we approach that date, we will provide more information.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Local Planning Applications

There are a number of planning applicaitons have been submitted to the local planning authority.

6 storey building to provide 4 residential units comprising 3 x 1 bed flats and 1 x 2 bed flat on Bevenden Street.  The Consultation ends on 26 February 2010.

Conversion of existing single dwelling to create 1 x 3 bed (in basement) and 1 x 5 bed self contained residential units. The Consultation ends on 24 February 2010

Variation of condition 3 (hours of use) attached to planning permission ref: 2009/0513.  Consultation ends on 22 February 2010.

Click the links for details of officers to contact if yo would like to make representations.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Have Your Say: Parking Enforcement

Parking has always been important to Hoxton residents because of its close geographical proximity to the City, the night time economy and transport links.  Councillors are told of concerns about the different parking arrangements that exists between estates and surrounding streets.  We are also aware of the difficulties that family members have when visiting elderly and disabled relatives.

Now you have an opportunity have your say and change parking and enforcement arrangements.  Hackney Council are conducting a review of policies, looking at:

  • Parking permits and vouchers for residents, businesses and visitors
  • How we enforce parking penalties
  • How we prioritise different types of vehicle and motorist
  • What we can do to free up parking space
  • How we manage parking for motorcycles
  • How we consult on controlled parking zones (CPZs)
  • How we match the hours of a CPZ to the local area.
All information is available on the council's consultation website and you can have your say here.

Shoreditch Park to Host English Beach Soccer Tournament

Shoreditch Park will host England Beach Soccer Association 3 day Euro Cup Tournament in 2010.
A full sized beach soccer pitch complete with 1000 tons of sand and 4,000 seats will be in place between 7th and 22nd June.

The fixtures will be scheduled to coincide with a number of England's World Cup fixture and will be broadcast on a 30sq metre big screen.

A number of other programmes will also be scheduled to take place during the same period. There will be grass roots beach soccer programmes including coaching and competitions for all. And the England Beach Soccer Squad will be on hand to give tips and advice.

This is a fantastic and exciting opportunity for Shoreditch Park to host a FIFA accredited event and to provide residents with a world class facility over the World Cup.

We will provide you with further detail on the event as we receive them.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

How to Have Your Say on Planning

As councillors we are often contacted by local residents who want to object to a planning applications.
This is a short guide and steps that you might want to take.  For complete information, please see the council website.

Meetings of the Planning Sub-Committee are held in public at Hackney Town Hall.

Planning Committee members will keep and open mind on applications and it is advised that you don't contact them before the meeting.

There is strict guidance for making decisions and they can only be based on:
  • National Planning policy, London Plan 2008, set out by the Greater London Authority
  • 'Saved' Hackney Unitary Development policies
  • Council's policies outlined in the Hackney's emerging Local Development Framework
  • Other 'material considerations' such as the planning history of a site and other development nearby the site
If you want to speak either for or against a particular planning application, can write to the council within 21 days of being notified of the application so your representations can be included in the planning agenda.  Include:
  • The details of how the development will impact you and your community
  • Why you support or object to a planning application
If you make representations or have asked to be notified, you will be informed of the date of the committee meeting relevant to that application.

Plan to arrive at the meeting at least 15 minutes before the start as the agenda can sometimes change.

If you have made written representations, you can also register to speak at the meeting.  Contact the committee officer on 020 8356 3338 or email by 4pm on the working day before the meeting.

If you register to speak, you will be given 5 minutes to get your points across.  If there are other residents who also want to make the same or similar points to you, you will need to divide the five minutes between you or nominate a spokesperson.

You can find further information on how to have your say at a planning sub-committee here, here and here.

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Ways of keeping in Touch

Hoxton Councillors started blogging in 2006 to keep local residents up to date with the work that we have been doing.  Then, in July 2009 we added the micro-blogging site, Twitter, to our list of communications too as well as a Facebook group.

At the start of a new year, we want to add a further option for local residents to keep up with news and developments so, if you would like to join our mailing list for regular news letters, why not send us an email, typing "subscribe" in the subject box and we'll add you to our list.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Severe Weather Update

Following our pre-Christmas post on preparations for severe weather, the country has been hit by freezing temperatures and heavy snow fall. After a thaw in the past few days, snow has again fallen throughout the night here in London.

On their website the council has issued a severe weather update, detailing the impact on services as well as progress on gritting the borough roads. The council had been well prepared for the cold weather, having ordered additional grit and salt. However, due to the extreme conditions nationally, the government made a statement to parliament announcing that councils will be asked to reduce their grit use by 25 per cent to ensure there would be enough to go round nationally. Hackney will continue to press for additional supplies.

More information is available on the council website and Hoxton Councillors have asked for an statement to be given at the next full Council meeting on 27 January 2010.