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)