Wednesday, June 02, 2010

June report

The election campaign

We fought a hard campaign over many months in the run up to the local elections on the 6th of May. The calling of the 2010 General Election on the same day meant that turnout was almost double the usual. The final results were

Surname Other Names Party Votes
BELL Brian Labour 1,617
COGGINS Stuart Green 505
DE BOTTON Oli Labour 1,448
DEMIRCI Feryal Labour 1,225
KLEINBERG IAN A Conservatives 415
KLEINBERG YVONNE Conservatives 396
LANG Peter Simon Green 534
MARSH Sarah Liberal Democrats 903
PHILLIPS David John Liberal Democrats 825
REDWOOD Rebecca Green 506
SHARER Bella Liberal Democrats 654
WHITE Andrew Conservatives 329

We also won the mayoralty getting over 50% on the first count for the first time. And held both parliamentary seats with increased majorities.

We’d like to thank all those members who turned out to canvas, leaflet or help in any other way. In particular we might not be here if it wasn’t for the outstanding efforts of our Chair and Agent, Peter and Michael.

Labour Group and Council

Congratulations to Feryal who was appointed to the local cabinet. Her responsibilities include waste collection, street cleaning, recycling, enforcement, streetscene, local transportation, markets and parking control.

I was elected to chair the Labour Group, and Oli is Assistant Secretary.

Woodberry Down regeneration

We reported before that the previous government’s Homes and Communities Agency has approved an extra £27m to fund affordable housing on Woodberry Down. It will be a major worry that the new ConDem government may not be committed to this scheme, or indeed a couple of others in our ward.

The phasing plan for the estate has been varied to mean that Peak and Petherton houses are now being decanted and will be demolished later this year. They are to be followed by Nichol and Needwood. Spring Park Drive will remain as it is for the next 4 years. We have made clear to officers that they must minimise the number of double decants, make sure any interim accommodation is of the highest standard, and ensure that the needs of vulnerable residents are carefully taken into account at each stage.

Clearance of the vegetation on the 268 Green Lanes site is beginning.
On the Old School Site, the concrete frame to the first shared ownership block, known as block E, is now complete and scaffolding is around it in preparation for the window and brickwork installation. The fitting out of the first social rented units is well advanced and the first two demonstration units should be complete for the end of June. Berkleys have also begun construction of the first of the private sale blocks.

Kings Crescent Estate

The east-west part of Lemsford is now largely internally demolished. The 4 remaining residents have all accepted offers elsewhere on the estate.

Refurbishments are now almost complete in Kelshall, Therfield, Bramfield, Theobalds, and Datchworth, and have started in Weston. All tenants are getting new kitchens and bathrooms, together with rewiring and associated improvements, and some get new door entry systems.

A new pitched roof has been put on the part of Weston to be retained. All the voids there are now refurbished, and decanting of the east-west wing is beginning.

The plans for the retrofit to the southside are being amended to exclude the idea of hanging new balconies of the blocks which was unpopular with many residents.

The timing of the retrofit works and those to the retained part of Lemsford are being held up by the request from the TRA for a cap to leaseholder recharges. Now the Deputy Mayor has been reappointed, I’ll be pressing for an early resolution of this.

Portland Rise playground

I’m pleased to report that this is finally under construction.

New River Path

The section from the Castle to Woodberry Down has been relaid and recently re-opened. The full length will be completed as part of the Old School Site scheme.

Last word

The Greens whinged – “In both Clissold and Stoke Newington Central our six council candidates got more votes than any Green Party candidate ever has in Hackney. And we lost. By a lot. Frankly, there was simply nothing else we could have done.”

Councillor Brian Bell