Thursday, December 14, 2006


Finsbury Park has always suffered from the fact that it is at the junction of three local authority areas, and therefore also three health and police areas. In addition Transport for London, Network Rail and the British Transport Police are key partners because of the importance of the satation and other transport links.

FinFuture was the organisation set up earlier this year to promote co-operation between the three councils and other agencies. Their own website can be found here. It should be stressed that Finfuture is an emerging organisation with a stricly limited amount of resources and staff, and with no statutory powers. It can however play a very valuable role in co-ordinating the efforts of these bodies, enabling joint working and promoting the area. This was greatly enhanced by it succesfully bidding for an London Development Agency programme called "Town Centres for City Growth". This gives it an additional 1.5 million over 3 years to improve and market the area.

Brian Bell is Hackney's representative on the Finfuture Board. The board also includes representatives from the other boroughs, local businesses and elected residents. It held an awayday at the West Resevoir Centre in Brownswood yesterday, to further develop its role and identify priorities for the future. Additional councillors from Haringey and Islington attended. Among the key issues identifed were -
* promoting FinFuture as an organisation to residents, business and the three councils
* enhancing the appearance of it's HQ at 225-229 Seven Sisters Road
* using demographic research to help ensure we are reaching all the local communities
* continue to be responsive to local traders
* improving the environment, streetscene and public realm
* develop the board as a cohesive and active body

Blackstock Road
Improving Blackstock and dealing with the perception of ASB and intimidation there, remains one of FinFuture's priorities. A further meeting on 22nd November on this issue was very constructive. About 15 traders attended - the majority Algerian, but also a couple from older established firms and a couple from the Ethiopian businesses in Rock Street. Brian represented Hackney, and three Islington councillors (2 Labour, 1 Lib Dem) and Jeremy Corbyn's PA were there. Both police divisions were represented.

The issues they wanted the two boroughs to take up were
* Improved lighting
* Cleanliness and appearance

The issues Finfuture agreed to help co-ordinate were
* Business support and marketing of the area (they have contracted Hackney Business Venture to do the former)
* Facilitating greater police co-operation
* Installing alert boxes and radios in businesses in the area
* Arranging further consultation and holding at least one public meeting

There was also discussion of encouraging a mini-festival some time in the summer, to help encourage the different communities to mix more and try each others food, etc. This would require a temporary closure of part of the road. PLEASE LET US HAVE YOUR OPINIONS ON THIS!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Extra 2.554 million for Kings Crescent Estate

Government announcement means refurbishment can begin immediately

The competition to pick development partners for the Kings Crescent Estate
is nearing its conclusion. At the Steering Group (which Brian chairs) on Wednesday night, it was agreed
that exhibitions of the schemes proposed by the remaining partnerships would be
available for residents to view on the 5th of December. A panel of resident
representatives will interview the builders and housing associations forming
each of the partnerships, the following day. This together with the
technical evaluations should mean that a recommendation is ready to go to
Cabinet on 29th January. The detailed regeneration plans will then be worked
through with residents and the council, to allow works to start later next

However there is even better news. While most of the overall regeneration
will be funded through the new partnership, we also put in a bid for a
special London-wide fund for 2.5million to make an early start to some of
that. The Government and London Mayor announced today that this bid has been
successful - see attached letter. This means that we can begin the
refurbishment a year earlier than otherwise. The intention is to make a
start on the blocks along Brownswood Road as soon as a contract can be let.

Demolition works on the further areas to be cleared should also commence in
the new year.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Police Community Advisory Panel for Brownswood needs new members - APPLY HERE

The Police Community Advisory Panel meets every two months to give our safer neighbourhoods team and the wider police force, some direction as to what their priorities should be. It currently meets at 6.30pm on a Wednesday in a local school, AND NEEDS NEW MEMBERS. Please contact us with your email address, via the comment function if you're interested.

Issues discussed at the last meeting on 8th November included-
* crime and ASB on Blackstock Road
* vice on Brownswood Road
* police activity at Manor House
* sex encounter premises licence applications

The most recent crime figures for our ward can be accessed here. Many are encouraging especially in relation to the Hackney or London averages, but there remains much to do. Remember however that the sexual offences category will be artifically inflated whenever there is successful anti-vice activity!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Zebra Upgrade - Woodberry Grove

The zebra crossing outside the shops on Woodberry Grove is to replaced and upgraded shortly - more details here.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Gloucester Drive fifth most haunted street in the country!

According to this piece in the Halloween edition of the Guardian, Gloucester Drive is haunted by "ghostly kids". If you know more, please tell us !

Britain's most haunted roads Special reports Guardian Unlimited

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Late October update

The Lido's open!

Full Council November 1st 2006

Wednesday’s full council meeting has a lot of Brownswood interest. Brian is introducing a deputation of residents of Kings Crescent concerning the lack of planned maintenance. There is also a deputation from the shopkeepers on Woodberry Grove to protest the effects of the regeneration on their business. Feryat will be asking a question which highlights the excellent value–added results in Hackney primary schools, particularly Parkwood on Queens Drive.

Parking consultation

Although the recent meeting was poorly attended, there was a useful discussion amongst those present. Public response to the idea of Arsenal match day controls within a one mile radius of the new ground, has been positive but there is to be a further round of consultation with all residents before a scheme proceeds.

Woodberry Down

All three councillors attended a meeting with the shopkeepers on 11th October. There is a concern that the council feels unable to guarantee first right of refusal on leases in the new shopping parade for current retailers. Many of the shopkeepers are facing financial problems due to the declining population on the estate and need more support in the short/medium term. A deputation of retailers will go to full council on 1st November to voice their concerns. Brian, Darren and Feryat have also written to the Woodberry Down regeneration manager.

Portland Rise and Amwell Court

Feryat attended the TA on 26th October, and will be at the estate committee on 16th November.

Kings Crescent

Brian accompanied residents to developments showcasing both the builder and housing association parts of the partnerships competing to take part in the regeneration, on Saturdays 7th and 14th October. The shortlist has now been reduced to two. If the rest of the programme stays to schedule, a new development partner could be agreed by the end of December.

And finally London Fields Lido is open

The Lido opened to the public on 26th October. Local residents and potential user groups had been shown around earlier in the week. It’s still packed despite the weather. As far we know, no other public lido has been opened or renovated in decades.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

That Nike windfall

Nike cash to go to grassroots sport

Following its £300,000 windfall from Nike. Hackney Council is setting up a unique community fund for disadvantaged athletes, coaches, the disability sport sector and voluntary sports clubs in the borough.

The Council is putting £220,000 into a Youth Sports Development Fund (YSDF). The fund will support bursaries for financially disadvantaged talented athletes, training for volunteer sports coaches, and the development of the voluntary sports club sector and disability sport sector in Hackney.
The fund also aims to encourage participation among groups that traditionally do not participate in sport and physical activity. It supports the Mayor’s priority to develop sport for young people in Hackney, and will be used to develop Hackney’s role in the London Youth Games.

Sports organisations throughout Hackney will be able to apply for grants from the YSDF, although they will usually be expected to match the Council’s funding to qualify. The fund will be administered by a panel made up of representatives from the Council, the Learning Trust, the Primary Care Trust, Hackney Sports Forum, Disability Hackney and the Council’s leisure partner, Greenwich Leisure Limited.

Other projects are being considered for the remaining £80,000 of the Nike windfall. These include:
· Developing the girls football club programme
· A new football development programme for under 11s
· Rolling out the Sports Coach UK accredited programme
· Coaching for disability swimming
· Taster sessions in a variety of sports
· Equipment to encourage new club development
· Street dance sessions for 8 to 12-year-olds on housing estates
· Gymnastics training for teachers and extracurricular gym clubs

This will be publicised in Hackney Today along with contact/process details.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Successful experiment to be rolled out

Compulsory recycling was introduced in 12,500 homes in four wards in Hackney, including Brownswood, in February. It has been an outstanding success and will now be extended.

1299 homes in the ward, representing 69% of the population, began participating immediately.
589 homes, representing over 30%, began participating later or upon receipt of a reminder letter.
Only 17 homes - less than 1% - needed a second warning.

Three separate pilot schemes are to be trialed on estates to see which works best there.

It's also worth pointing out that all of Hackney's remaining waste goes to be burnt in the incinerator at Edmonton, which produces electricity which is then sold at a premium to the National Grid. Even the clinker remaining at the end of this is used for road surfacing. Virtually nothing goes to landfill!

We're probably not allowed to point out that Brownswood was by far the best at recycling. Up to 10% of people needed two reminders in some other wards we won't mention.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Us at the Woodberry Down Fun Day earlier this year

Community Safety in Brownswood

Police operations

Further to our previous reports, please find below an update on three recent police operations specifically aimed at drug dealers/pimps, kerb crawlers and prostitutes.

During this operation officer's from the Met's Clubs and Vice Unit in conjunction with local officers, patrolled Brownswood Road and other red light areas to enforce prostitution legislation. There were sixteen (16) arrests for prostitution/loitering and one for other matters. Thirty-eight (38) prostitute cautions were administered. Outreach workers from the 'Open Doors' and Nia projects were advised of arrests and were able to offer their services at the police station.

The operation ran from Monday to Friday and it was noted that by the end of the week there were no prostitutes in the usual areas. Displacement had taken place into the Kingsland Waste and Crossways junction areas on the A10. Clubs and Vice unit reported that there was also noticeable displacement to surrounding boroughs towards the end of the week.

Although this operation resulted in 23 arrests of which 11 were drug related, the team found no evidence of drug dealers to be found in or around the Brownswood road area on the dates shown. The local Safer Neighbourhoods Team, Drugs Task Force and Transport for London support officers took part in this operation.

Officers from the Met's Clubs and Vice Unit, local SNT officers and Traffic officers took part in this operation. It resulted in 21 Kerb Crawlers arrested, 9 had their cars seized, 7 received £200 fines and 6 points on their licence for having no insurance. 8 received £60 fines and 3 points on their licence. All were charged with the offence and will be appearing at court on 19th of October.

Prevention dot-matrix sign
A dot-matrix sign has been placed on Brownswood Road at the Junction with Digby Crescent N4. This will hopefully help to reduce further incidences of prostitution, kerb crawling and drug dealing. The police would appreciate any feedback on the wording displayed on the sign. It can be changed on a daily basis if you can come up with anything a bit punchier.

The positive message on this front is that the police will be moving into the old shops on Kelshall Court in the Kings Crescent Estate. The timetable will depend on the relevant ones being fitted out to their specifications. The local councillors helped make sure that the housing department offered them this base.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Parking consultation - 7pm Tuesday 24th October

Same old Tories

Parking consultation - Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum

A reminder that there is a special meeting from 7pm on Tuesday 24th October in the Gallery, behind Stoke Newington Library, to discuss the outcome of the consultation on parking. We had to fight resistance by council officers and insist on further public consultation, so please come along and make your views known.

Labour Group awayday

The Group had an awayday on Sunday 10th September to review implementation of the manifesto and how to continue local campaigning.

Finsbury Park and FinFuture

Finsbury Park as an area continuously suffers from being at the junction of three local authority, police and health areas. It’s importance as a town centre tends not to be properly acknowledged by any of them. We need to ensure that changes.

FinFuture was the organisation established to take over the work of the previous Finsbury Park Partnership. It has recently been awarded a 1.5 million LDA contract to co-ordinate town centre growth. Brian serves on their board and recently arranged a meeting with the council’s Regeneration and Neighbourhoods Directorate to ensure effective co-ordination.

We also need to ensure it is properly identified as a town centre within the council’s LDF (explained below) as this progresses.

Woodberry Down

The development of the masterplan for the estate continues, and should go for outline planning consent in December. Hackney’s planners are holding their ground for a much smaller tower on the old school site, while the design consultants would prefer to go up to 20 storeys.

A meeting of the shopkeepers on the estate and the regeneration team is to be held on Oct 11th to discuss what provision can be made for their smooth transition into the new retail units. Communication with the retailers has been seriously lacking, and efforts will be made to encourage a representative to sit on the EDC - Estate Development Committee.

The Tories continue to be extremely negative in their engagement and use the EDC as a platform to score cheap political points. We need to work out how to can help the residents regain more control, not just over the regeneration process but within their own meeting considering the attempts to hijack the agenda each month.

Labour Group 19th September

The Labour Group approved a draft green spaces strategy, and an approach to further housing regeneration. We also had a useful discussion on our local strategic partnership “Team Hackney” and how the council tends to get blamed for their actions even when we have little or no involvement.

Full Council 20th September

The main item at this month’s full council was to adopt the version of the council’s Local Development Framework to be published for consultation. The LDF is the new term for all of the planning policies for the borough.

This should have been an opportunity for a wide-ranging debate on the future of Hackney, and the type and standard of development we require. Instead the Tories wasted everyone’s time with hysterical allegations about domestic extensions in Stamford Hill.

During the election they ran this line that we were intending to particularly restrict extensions by the Orthodox Jewish community. Of course it was nonsense then and is nonsense now. However dishonest that was, you can understand their motivation for doing it during the election to motivate their core vote to turn out. It appears that they have now become so deluded, they believe their own propaganda.


The Planning Committee on 21st September approved, amongst other things, the outline proposals for the first three secondary schools in the Building Schools for the Future programme – Stoke Newington, Clapton Girls and Hackney Free & Parochial.


Cycle racks are due to be installed in front of the shops at the junction of Green Lanes and Brownswood Road. If you are aware of any further suitable locations or other measures we could promote, please let us know.

Portland Rise and Amwell Court

The AGM of the TRA was held on the 21st September attended by officers, 15 residents from Portland Rise and Amwell Court and Feryat. The current chair, vice chair and secretary were re elected on to the TRA.

Kings Crescent

Three development partnerships for the estate have now been shortlisted. Visits to comparable estates have been arranged for 7th and 14th October. If the rest of the programme stays to schedule, a new development partner could be agreed by mid-December.

Overall performance

It’s no secret that back in the dark days of no overall control, the council was one of the worst performing on most measures. We know that things have steadily improved since Labour took back control but it’s always nice to have independent verification of that.

The recent Joint Area Review of education and children’s social services scored the council as 3 on a scale of 1 to 4. To date, no authority has scored higher.

The Comprehensive Performance Assessment by the Audit Commission rated us a “strong 2” on the same scale and agreed we were continuing to improve.

The District Auditor gave us a virtually unqualified approval of last year’s accounts, for the first time in living memory.

School results improved by three times the national average. No schools are in special measures. A second new secondary school opened in September, with a third scheduled for next September.

Overall crime is down 22%. Burglary and motor vehicle crime are falling faster than anywhere else. Gun crime, rape, domestic violence and racist crime are down significantly. Violent crime especially involving knives, continues to be a priority.

And finally … the football score

Hackney 300,000 Nike 0

As you may have heard, Hackney has agreed an out of court settlement with sportswear giant Nike, who had used our logo without permission. The money will be ring-fenced to sports development for young people.

“The astonishing win by Hackney LBC against Nike over the latter’s misuse of the council’s logo must surely rank as one of the greatest public sector achievements of the decade.

First it portrays little old Hackney as the David battling on behalf of its taxpayers against the over-mighty private sector. Next it was an audacious and daring move by the council to pursue the case when the temptation might have been to avoid litigation against such a powerful adversary, or indeed, lamely conclude that it was good free publicity.

Thirdly, the court win has helped dispel Hackney’s image as a basket-case council, and closed a chapter on the past.” (Municipal Journal 14.9.6)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Brownswood Councillors

Parking Consultation - Special Meeting

There will be a special meeting of the Forum on Tuesday 24th of October in the Gallery behind Stoke Newington Library on Church Street. This will consider the outcome of the recent consultation on parking and subsequent proposals, in both the Brownswood and Clissold areas.

The potential effects on our ward include the amalgamation of the three existing zones into one, which may mean including Saturdays and extending the hours of operation throughout Brownswood. Consultation in both areas also included the possibility of introducing Arsenal matchday restrictions.

We had to fight substantial resistance from council officers to make sure that this meeting happened - so if you have a view, get yourself down there on the 24th!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Brownswood Councillors

Summer Term

Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum

The first meeting of the new forum was on the 20th July. Angus Mulready Jones (Dalston Ward) was elected Chair and Feryat was elected Vice-Chair. There was an update on the long running saga of Clissold Leisure Centre. We also had a briefing on the proposed National Heritage Lottery Fund bid for Clissold Park and House.

As well as the councillors, each can co-opt local people and we are still looking for at least one from Brownswood. Suggestions would be very welcome.

The next meeting is at 7pm on Wednesday 13th September at Parkwood School. It would be great to see local residents there. Details can be obtained at

There is also the possibility a special meeting in October to discuss the outcome of the consultation on parking.

Crime and Community Safety

We continue to work to improve conditions on Blackstock Road. To this end we have organised a meeting of the Council’s Neighbourhoods and Regeneration Directorate, whose responsibilities include environment and community safety, and FinFuture on 14th September.

Both local and specialist police attended a meeting with Kings Crescent estate representatives on 23rd August. This led to the innovative use of new powers as detailed below.

The next Community Advisory Panel for the ward’s police team is on Wednesday 6th September. Residents who are interested can get details of future meetings on 02087212030.

Cycle Racks

We have arranged for cycle racks to be installed in front of the shops at the junction of Green Lanes and Brownswood Road. If you are aware of any further suitable locations, please let us know.

Full Council 26th July

We used the opportunity to ask questions on securing funding for Kings Crescent, better co-ordination of activities on Blackstock Road, and gambling policy.


Darren chaired the planning sub-committee when it decided on the controversial planning application for Dalston Lane South - the site of the old Dalston Theatre. The development is a mixed-use scheme of homes, retail units and a new library as well as a large public square which will sit between the development and the Dalston Interchange site. The application was given permission subject to conditions.

A number of complaints have been made regarding Darren’s role as chair as he works for CABE - the govt’s advisor on architecture, urban design and public space. The design review service of CABE did review the Dalston south scheme as a non-statutory consultee, and concluded that the design was of high quality and would be a welcome contribution to the development of Dalston. Darren played no part in reviewing the scheme, as he is a member of a different directorate at CABE, and had no prejudicial interest that would have precluded him from taking part in the planning committee’s decision.

Lakeside, Portland Rise and St Johns Court

A walkabout of all 3 estates to look at medium sized improvements works took place on Monday 17th July. Various items, including the possibility of creating a kids playground on Portland, will be followed up.

Amwell Court

Feryat will be attending the AGM of the TRA to be held on the 21st of this month. The whole of the Amwell Court has just had Decent Homes work completed, including new bathrooms and kitchens. Residents seem generally happy with the work and the time took to complete it, apart from minor delays with a few of the properties due to access issues.

Woodberry Down

Darren and Brian attended the Estate Development Committee (EDC) on 17th August. The EDC has not received its funding yet for this financial year and we agreed to write to the council to obtain written clarification what the EDC must submit to enable their funds to be released.

Hackney signed a development agreement with Berkley Homes on August 3rd for the “old school site” in Brownswood, which is the first site to be developed and will kick-start the regeneration project into life.

Darren will be presenting an introduction to the regeneration programme at this month’s Labour Party meeting. It is one of the largest of its kind in western Europe. 1,980 homes will be replaced by 4,300 new mixed-tenure homes. The regeneration of social housing is paid for by the income generated from building extra homes and selling them on the open market. The overall objective is to create a more mixed and balanced community, a “total living environment” which integrates community facilities, commercial redevelopment and housing within a more diverse community.


We are campaigning against an application by the Spring Park Hotel for a sex encounter license - raising a petition and arranging to represent residents at the hearing, as requested by the TRA and other residents of Portland Rise. Some residents living close to the hotel are also circulating their own petition against the application. Many of those visited voiced great concern about the sex encounter application, as well as complaining about noise that comes from hotels in the area over the weekends and the parking problems caused by hotel users.

The new hackney gambling licensing policy is going through public consultation due to end on September 30th.

Kings Crescent

Regeneration plans took a major step forward this month as the residents approved the detailed refurbishment specifications. They will involve an almost complete refitting of flats on the blocks to be retained, to a high standard. They also approved a Residents Charter setting out the standards of management they expect from any landlord. Invitations To Tender were subsequently issued, and expressions of interest received from most of the main builders and RSLs.

There has been a severe ongoing problem with the empty parts of the estate – Codicote Terrace and Weston Court – being used for drug abuse and prostitution. To counter this an Anti Social Behaviour Closure Order was obtained and served on these areas last week. This means the police can now arrest anyone found abusing these properties for breach of the order instead of or in addition to any particular offences. The area is also due to be properly fenced off this week.

Road, street and lighting works

Details of planned works were circulated on 21st July. Ideas for further ones can be put forward at any time.


As a reminder, times and venues are -

Date: 1st Saturday of each month
Start: 11:00 am End: 12.30 pm
Venue: Amwell Court Community Hall
Address: Green Lanes, London N4

Date: 3rd Wednesday of each month
Start: 6.30pm End: 7.30pm
Venue: Kings Crescent Community Hall
Address: Off Green Lanes, London N4

Date: 1st Friday of each month
Start: 9.00am End: 10.00am
Venue: Robin Redmond Resource Centre
Address: 440 Seven Sisters Road Woodberry Down Estate London N4

Thames Water’s new ringmain

A new water main linking the reservoirs to the central London ringmain at New River Head (adjacent to Sadlers Wells Theatre) is being constructed over the next 10 years. It will run 50 metres deep, from the West Reservoir across Green Lanes, under the Filter Beds Estate, beneath Digby Crescent, under Kings Crescent and out beneath Mountgrove Road. There is predicted to be little effect on the surface other than construction traffic but this will be regular and prolonged, and in addition to all the other capital projects scheduled.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

29th June 2006

Last Thursday was a busy day. Spent the early part at Parkwood School chairing an interview panel for two new teachers. A couple of years ago we would have struggled to get enough applicants suitable for appointment but now we had 28, most of whom were shortlistable. Also interesting was the fact that most of them had not come into teaching thru the traditional routes but had had other careers first. We even had the proverbial merchant banker who decided it wasn’t rewarding enough!

I had hoped to get away in time for the official reopening of Manor House tube at 4pm, but we took ages making the decisions on whom to appoint. I did make a quick meeting with the Building Research Establishment on Kings Crescent Estate. They’re helping us to ensure the maximum possible amount of the materials created during demolition, are recycled. Then it was off to the Town Hall for a meeting.

One of my minor roles is as Vice-Chair of the Audit Committee – yes, every bit as exciting as it sounds. At it’s meeting on 29th June, among the many fascinating reports we had to consider, was a list of the council's assets. It started as you might expect with

24,292 dwellings
2 town halls
30 office blocks
43 primary schools

and concluded with
21 items of civic regalia
1 sculpted javelin
1 anglo saxon long boat
1 reservoir

(Glad someone's keeping an eye on the reservoir. You know how hard it is to find one after you put it down somewhere.)

Anyway, in case it keeps you up at night wondering, our net worth is approx 2,489,987,000 pounds. Not too shabby!


Sunday, June 25, 2006

Brownswood Councillors

June ends, work continues

Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Forum

The first meeting of the new forum is on the 20th July. It’s made up of the five wards in the northwest of the borough and is the main mechanism for consultation on how corporate policies will affect individual parts of Hackney. It also holds the Cabinet accountable, and can take up local issues and refer them to it or other bodies. Incredibly during the last four years it didn’t meet in Brownswood even once – something we intend to change.

As well as the councillors, each can co-opt local people and we are looking for at least one from Brownswood. They need to have a record in the community, e.g. in a TA, neighbourhood watch, school, but mostly just be prepared to make a constructive contribution towards the future. Suggestions would be very welcome.

Crime and Community Safety

The Safer Communities partnership held it’s annual conference at the West Reservoir Centre in Brownswood, on Thursday 8th June. The keynote speaker was Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair. He had made a point of attending the Hackney partnership’s conference as we were among the top three boroughs in London for crime reduction.

Overall crime in Hackney fell 6.5% in 2004/5.
Overall crime in Hackney fell 5.1% in 2005/6.
Youth crime (either as victims or perpetrators) fell 27% last year.

We are attending a June 27th meeting on issues concerning Blackstock Road which is being convened by FinFuture’s Safer Town Centres project, and will report back on matters arising.

We are also attending the Community Advisory Panel for the ward-based police Safer Neighbourhood Team on Wednesday 5th July.


Consultation on the review of parking controls in the area has begun. The options include keeping the current zones but adjusting the details, amalgamating 3 zones into one and introducing additional controls on Arsenal match days. (I’m sure this will be uncontroversial, BB)

Children and Young People

Brian and Feryat are both members of the Children and Young Persons Scrutiny Commission. It has agreed two major reviews for the coming year -
Young people not in education, employment or training (NEET)
Child protection (Safeguarding)

In addition it will closely monitor -
Building Schools for the future – the major rebuilding programme for the whole of the secondary estate
Attendance and exclusion
The annual Children’s’ Plan and the Learning Trust Plan/contract


Darren is to sit on the steering group for the new Local Development Framework and attended his first meeting on 9th June.

The current plan is 11 years old and in urgent need of replacement. The Core Strategy, the heart of the plan which sets out how the community strategy is to be delivered in spatial terms, is to be approved by Council in September. All members have been invited to special briefing sessions to review the work to date in July. Two special Labour Groups on the subject have been scheduled.

Lakeside, Portland Rise and St Johns Court

A visit to all 3 estates to look at possible medium sized improvements works has been organised for Monday 17th July.

Amwell Court

Because of historic boundary issues, Amwell Court is managed from the Stamford Hill Neighbourhood Office, rather than Stoke Newington like the 3 above. A permanent estate manager has started on the 19/06/2006 and an estate walkabout has now been confirmed for 26th June. There are extensive decent homes work going on, with new kitchens, bathrooms and toilets being installed at present. This work is expected to continue for approximately three months.

Woodberry Down

Darren and Brian attended the Estate Development Committee (EDC) on 15th June. There continues to be much debate over the fate of leaseholders on the estate - particularly in terms of compensation for those that are being moved out of the ‘kick-start sites’. Darren spoke against a motion for the EDC to take up an offer of informal advice on the stock transfer of the whole estate, which in our view would have led to a conflict of interests.

All three ward councillors attended the Woodberry Down fun day on June 17th at Rowley Gardens where they were able to meet the WD council regeneration team, developers and planners for the kick-start sites as well as a number of community groups and residents.

Alexandra National

Development partners for Alexandra National are being sought in tandem with four other medium sized estates. The tenders are now out, to be returned and assessed early in the autumn.

Kings Crescent

Brian now chairs the steering group of residents and officers overseeing the regeneration of the estate. The detailed plans will hopefully be the subject of a presentation to future neighbourhood and local meetings. The residents are broadly supportive of the new direction, and basic works including the installation of individual heating are progressing well. It was hoped to tender for development partners at the same time as Alex Nat but a legal challenge from the remnants of the old regime have delayed this for approximately a month.


All ward councillors have now confirmed the times and venues of their surgeries.

Date: 1st Saturday of each month
Start:11:00 am End:12.30 pm
Venue: Amwell Court Community Hall
Address: Green Lanes, London N4

Date: 3rd Wednesday of each month
Start:6.30pm End:7.30pm
Venue: Kings Crescent Community Hall
Address: Off Green Lanes, London N4

Date: 1st Friday of each month
Start:9.00am End:10.00am
Venue: Robin Redmond Resource Centre
Address: 440 Seven Sisters Road Woodberry Down Estate London N4

We are also looking for a venue in the north-west corner of the ward (area of street properties) where we can hold a fourth surgery, and will look to hold this towards the end of each month.


We have set up a blogspot as a tool to communicate to the public what we are doing as ward councillors. The plan is to use the site in much the same way as the three councillors in Hoxton -

Future elections

It’s critical we keep up the contact and goodwill - and all the polling data - achieved by so much effort during the recent elections. The first step is the “thank you” letter to our supporters which Jamie Carswell is preparing. It’s also vital that we keep up the momentum by going back to see them regularly and during each of the lower profile elections to come in the next few years.


Finally, an excerpt from a Hackney Tory website.

“Unfortunately, there remains a tiny swatch of north east London which remains annoyingly red. Haringey to Islington to our umble manor of Hackney, remained solid red. And in Hackney we had the shock of losing Andrew Boff’s seat in Queensbridge, Shoreditch. You have to know Andrew and the area to know what good he’s done here. It was stomach-churning to stand in a room with 300plus jeering socialists as the result was read out.

Up until that point, I hadn’t actually realised just what the Hackney Labour machine is. There are literally hundreds of them. I am sure most of them are reasonable human beings, but there is a far larger proportion than is typical of the average cross-section who are shiny suited, overweight, red-faced with that impregnable middle-class smugness to which I’m allergic.

I’m also willing to bet that not one of them has ever stepped foot on a council estate”

Thank God they’re not bitter!

Brian Bell, Feryat Demirci and Darren Parker
Brownswood Ward

Brownswood Councillors

Brownswood Councillors

Borough Elections – Thursday 4th May 2006

The elections were a triumph for Labour in Hackney. We went in holding the mayoralty, holding 44 council seats, and most importantly holding Brownswood. We came out holding the mayoralty, holding 44 council seats, and most importantly holding Brownswood.

We also took the Tory Mayoral candidate’s seat in Queensbridge, so if it hadn’t been for the Greens stealing one in Clissold, we would have actually have come out with a larger Labour Group. Jules Pipe’s personal vote for Mayor increased, and overall turnout was up but particularly encouraging in the most keenly fought wards. There are no opposition seats in the south of the borough. It was easily among the best results in the country.

We also increased our majority in Brownswood. Our votes ranged from 977 to 808 while the nearest challenger was a Green on 561.

The magnificent result was down quite simply to hard work, both borough-wide and locally. The borough and constituency agents, Luke Akehurst and Jamie Carswell did a superb job in setting the overall direction and priorities.

Locally, the Labour Party branch ran a campaign that hadn’t been seen for years. We started last September, and were still dragging people in to vote at 10pm on Election Day. We would sincerely like to thank absolutely everyone who helped. There are far too many to list, but we and the branch owe an enormous debt to Peter Dacre and Robin Hewings for everything they did.

Local work

Despite the hectic round of inductions and AGMs, we have already begun work on local issues. We attended our first estate meeting, for Portland Rise and Amwell Court, on the Thursday following election. This has already been followed up with one site visit with another to be arranged. Feryat is taking the lead on these estates.

Darren is leading on the regeneration of Woodberry Down estate and attended his first EDC meeting on the Thursday following Annual Council.

Brian will be chairing the regeneration board for Kings Crescent and has already been actively improving conditions on the estate.

It appears that plans to redevelop the Alexandra National Estate are already well developed and we are due to be briefed on these within the next few days.

Surgery details are being confirmed and will be publicised shortly.

Thank you again to everyone who helped in the campaign.

Brian Bell, Feryat Demirci and Darren Parker