Tuesday, August 30, 2011

September report

Councillors Report – September 2011

£11.5 million for the refurbishment of Kings Crescent Estate

The cabinet meeting on 18th July approved a further £11.5 million to complete the refurbishment of the estate. The first stage includes replacement of lateral mains and corridor lighting, all lifts and then installation of two tier door entry systems. This stage also includes new roofs and windows for Weston and Lemsford Courts. The second stage works include energy efficiency works to all blocks, and retrofitting parts of Datchworth, Theobalds and Bramfield.

The masterplan for the estate has been amended following a further consultation with residents. We received comments back from the GLA which were broadly supportive but had concerns about the proportion of social housing and mix of unit sizes which we share. Officers still hope to submit an outline planning application in the autumn.

Woodberry Down regeneration – new community centre opens

The new Redmond Community Centre was opened on July 22nd by Sir Bob Kerslake, head of the Department of Communities and Local Government. It’s an impressive facility with stunning views over the New River Path and West Reservoir.

As reported previously, the first residents moved into brand new homes in “Reservoir Apartments” in May 2011. A second block, “Watersreach” has now been fully handed over to Genesis HA and is occupied.

The third, “Aqua Apartments” should be handed over by the end of August. And the next “Parkway” is back on schedule to be handed over in November this year. The tower block is now up to it’s full height and the external cladding almost complete.

At 268 Green Lanes the roof has been installed and carpentry work is now complete to rear block. The front block is on schedule. It is also anticipated that both Peak & Petherton will be completely demolished by end of September.

August 2011 riots

One of the outbreaks in London on 8th August was on and around Clarence Road in central Hackney. The council’s cleansing team did an outstanding job to remove virtually all traces overnight. Councillors and officers met with affected residents and business during the days after. However since then there have been no incidents.

In Brownswood, the SNT team provided us with updates on number of arrests and actions taken. The latest figures across Hackney are –
• 142 suspects arrested
• Over 80 charged - majority to court in custody
• 52 warrants applied for since investigation began
• CCTV and information still being researched

There was an increased police presence around Finsbury Park and Manor House during the period. As far as we are aware there were no riot related disturbances. We spoke to shopkeepers on Blackstock Road who reported business as usual. Across Hackney, local councillors have since played a major role in supporting local businesses and celebrating the many positive developments in the area.

School results

Hackney’s school results continue to improve at an astonishing rate. Every secondary or sixth form for which results have been published, got at least 96% of students getting the basic 5 A to E grades. Stoke Newington School, a state comprehensive, helped 23% of its pupils get all A’s and A’stars as opposed to 9% last year.

Although exact figures aren’t available yet, it is also expected that our primary SATs result will exceed national averages for the first time.

St Johns Court Estate

Despite the substantial reduction in government grant for Decent Homes, we have lobbied successfully for the tower block at St Johns to be prioritised in this years programme. However residents in the two low rise blocks remain dissatisfied.

Alexandra National

The latest update is below, overall the build is about 2 weeks behind:
• Siteworks and cages are complete
• Reduced dig and piling has begun on the villa blocks
• The first 20m of the new road are laid
• Tower cranes were due on site on 28 July
• Concrete frame works should have commenced from 1 August

It should eventually provide -
Tenure 1B 2B 3B 4B Total homes
Council rent 18 26 19 4 67
Private sale 18 11 9 4 42

Traffic calming and 20mph zones

We are currently consulting on the implementation of 3 zones which will eventually cover the entire ward – one south of Brownswood Road; one north of Brownswood Road and west of Green Lanes; and one east of Green Lanes (which includes adjacent parts of Lordship ward).

The 2010 Hackney Labour manifesto included in it a commitment to introduce a 20mph speed limit on all residential roads in the borough. This is to make the roads safer for all users, particularly pedestrians and cyclists, hence we have already implemented 20mph across most of the borough. The residential roads in Brownswood ward are next on the list to have 20mph zone implemented on roads where there is speeding.
A seven day speed survey was carried out in Brownswood and indicated that there are speeding issues on some of the roads. As a result, speed humps were proposed for certain locations, including Queen’s Drive. On Queen’s Drive, the speed survey indicated that 85% of traffic had an average speed of 25.3 mph. Police accident records also showed that in the past five years there have been five personal injury accidents involving cars and the most vulnerable road users (two pedestrians, two cyclists and one motorcyclist), two of which resulted in serious injuries.

The existing barriers remain!

Councillors Brian Bell, Oli de Botton and Feryal Demirci

Friday, August 12, 2011

Normal Life resumes in Hackney

The information below aims to provide an update on what the Council, Police and partners have been doing since the incidents on Monday to help Hackney pull together and move forward.
Since the events of Monday evening there have been no significant disturbances in Hackney and the streets have been relatively quiet. Hackney Council services and buildings are open for business as usual and have been for the last two days.


There will be 16,000 police officers deployed across London and this increased police presence is expected to continue until Monday. However locally in Hackney the Safer Neighbourhood Teams are doing more patrols helping to reassure residents.

The police are currently assessing 30+ hours of CCTV footage, from council CCTV cameras which will provide a fuller picture of the number and scale of incidents around the borough. Importantly, this will also help secure more convictions of those who took part in the events.
Over 50 arrests have been made so far in Hackney and at least 30 people have now been charged.

Cleaning up

Council street cleaners worked as soon as it was safe to clear debris from the streets. Most areas where there had been trouble were clear by 5am on Tuesday morning; streets had been washed down by 7.30am; graffiti on Clarence Roadwas washed off by 7am and burnt cars were removed by lunchtime. Repairs to the carriage way on Clarence Roadwill be completed by tomorrow.

In addition all minor street lighting damage was repaired on Tuesday and 2 burnt lamp columns will be repaired on Monday and reconnected on Wednesday Bins and loose street furniture have temporarily been removed as a precautionary measure.

All bins and loose street furniture removed from Hackney Central, Dalston and the A10 on Tuesday, as a precautionary measure. They will be returned on police advice.

We'd like to pay tribute to the street cleaners and their amazing work in making sure Hackney was cleared up as soon as possible, and all the residents who turned up to volunteer help clean on Tuesday morning at the Town Hall. This reminds us of all that is great about our borough and how much we all care about our local community.

Supporting local businesses

15 businesses were damaged in the Hackney Central area and 5 in Dalston. 7 of these are locally owned ones.

Mayor Jules Pipe, Council Officers and councillors has been visiting businesses in the town centre on a daily basis and distributed advice sheets from the Police, advising on safety measures, and helping with the clear up.
Town Centre managers have also been talking to businesses in their areas to provide additional advice. The Metropolitan Police advice for businesses concerned about the recent disturbances which is available  here.

And remember if you have any information for the Police or want to check their latest advice for the public – please look online here.

The Mayor of London and the Government have announced funds to help those areas most affected by the events of earlier this week. The details of this are not yet clear.
Community engagement and reassurance

As detailed above, the Council has been in constant contact with local businesses affected by the public disorder.

The Mayor and Chief Executive visited local residents and businesses affected on Tuesday morning and throughout Wednesday, including meetings with residents, businesses, community and faith leaders on Wednesday afternoon [see further information on the HCVS meeting below].  Cabinet and ward members have also been meeting with local residents and businesses affected.

SNTs are updating CAP Chairs regularly; and providing reassurance through face-to-face contact with residents.

About 150 people turned up at the Town Hall on Tuesday morning as part of the Twitter campaign (#RiotCleanUp) and were thanked but told that the streets had been cleared and they should go elsewhere in London where their help was needed.

Hackney Community Voluntary Sector Community meeting
An emergency meeting to consider a community response to the disorder was organised by Hackney CVS on Wednesday afternoon.

The meeting was chaired by Jake Ferguson (Chief Executive, Hackney CVS) with the Mayor, Chief Executive, Cabinet Adviser for Crime and Community Safety, Police Borough Commander and over 50 community leaders, frontline workers and residents attending.  

A set of actions for further community engagement and involvement came out of the meeting and these are outlined below:

1. It was agreed to coordinate with key partners to arrange a community meeting/event to galvanise community support during responses to major incidents.

2. It was agreed to work with relevant partners and agencies to convene a meeting to look at issues around parenting and supporting stronger parenting in the borough.

3. It was agreed to work closely with the Borough Commander to make plans for a community event to bring together the police and communities about police/community relations and community safety.

4. It was agreed to explore with a range of statutory and voluntary services the possibility of a meeting for young people, led by young people, that brings together those involved and those not involved in the incidents – without incriminating those involved, to discuss young peoples perceptions and solutions to what has happened.

5. It was agreed to arrange a young people and borough leadership meeting to enable young people to express their feelings and look towards the future.

6. It was agreed to explore further a T-shirt/positive message campaign

7. It was also agreed to focus on longer term issues of effective police campaigns that will build relationships between police and young people

The CVS, Council and Team Hackney partners will be taking these forward over the coming weeks and months, and further information will be available as these progress.

Please do get in touch with us if you have any suggestions about how we can all work together to rebuild trust.

Statement from Hackney Mayor Jules Pipe

Jules Pipe, Mayor of Hackney, said: "I am appalled by the events of last night. These were people bent on violence who attacked not just property and local businesses but put residents in fear of their lives. The Council has cleared away all the debris from last night and Hackney is going about its business, but if we are to avoid a repeat of last night, I am urging families across London to make sure they know where their children are and to support the police in identifying perpetrators.
“The Council's cleaners were on the streets throughout the night and had cleared away all the debris, apart from a few burnt out cars, by and I would like to pay tribute to them for their hard work. I would also like to thank the several hundred residents and volunteers who turned up at Hackney Town Hall this morning offering to help clean up the borough. This shows overwhelming generosity and community spirit and many were keen to go and help in other parts of London when it was clear the clean up in Hackney was already complete.”