Local Government Boundary Commission Review
As previously reported the commission are carrying out a review of Hackney which may change the number of councillors, number of wards and ward boundaries. The Labour Group’s position is to A) maintain the overall number of councillors to as close as what we have now as possible (with some flexibility); B) maximise the number of 3 member wards; C) oppose 1 member wards.
£11.5m refurbishment of Kings Crescent Estate gets underway
Following a series of consultation and amendments, there was broad support from residents for the final proposed masterplan. Officers now hope to submit an outline planning application early next year.
The second stage of the refurbishment has begun including replacement of the electrical mains and lighting, all lifts, the installation of two tier door entry systems, and new roofs and windows for Weston and Lemsford Courts. The third stage works include energy efficiency and related works to all blocks. However this has given rise to practical issues which we are now following up -
1) as the lifts are taken out of order to be replaced, the sealed off walkways between blocks should be opened up so the elderly etc, could get to another lift.
2) concerns about the safety of the scaffolding
3) it was reported that an officer had suggested that some repairs would not be done where refurbishment was intended in the longer term. We emphasised that this was wrong and reactive repairs would continue to be done as needed.
4) we had a detailed programme for most works but not the door entry systems or Lemsford and Weston roofs.
5) to what standard were contractors required to repair any damage they cause while doing the works?
6) digital TV aerial installation.
Blackstock/Seven Sisters Roads
We have, thru Finfuture, supported the establishment of a Blackstock Road Traders Association which held it’s formal launch on 28th November (advert attached). It’s been reported that the first meeting went well. They have elected an executive, adopted a constitution and opened a bank account. A press release is being issued.
Hackney and Islington have also bid to the Mayor’s Outer London Fund to improve pavements, shop fronts and junctions on both Blackstock and Seven Sisters Roads.
20 mph zones implementation
Temporary diversions were put in place as needed to allow the works to commence on the 7th November for approx 6 weeks, specifically -
o New entry and exit 20/30mph signs in the area bounded by Blackstock, Seven Sisters and Brownswood Roads and Green Lanes; and also in the area bounded by Green Lanes, Mountgrove, Brownswood and Blackstock Roads.
o New speed humps in Queen’s and Gloucester Drives, Wilberforce Road, and Portland Rise.
o New raised entry treatments at the junctions of Queen’s Drive/Seven Sisters Road, Alexandra Grove/Seven Sisters Road and Somerfield/Blackstock Roads.
o 20mph roundel road markings will be provided at all entrances to the new 20mph zones.
Woodberry Down regeneration
Construction is on schedule on all blocks, with the fourth one due to be handed over at the end of November. The “three P’s” site is being cleared to allow work to start.
Berkleys are continuing to pursue a further tower block on the site.
'Excellence through Sport' is a small sports company which has delivered clubs on Woodberry Down for several years. They won a London Community Cycling Fund grant of about £5,000 in June to set up a cycling club. They will be running this project from the grounds of the Reservoir Sailing Centre mainly for residents of Woodberry Down Estate and plan to have a container brought in and fitted out, with GLL’s permission. The council’s streetscene team will be supporting the project by helping to deliver cycle training as we have expertise in this area and have in-house trainers.
Community safety and policing
We attended the CAP’s AGM on 10th November where Gary Jones, the new Sergeant, set out his desire to engage with a wider section of the population. He noted the lack of representation from Woodberry Down and suggested meetings alternate between Parkwood School and the new Redmond Centre. He also highlighted his ambition to:
· Work with Highbury West SNT (Islington) to tackle issues on Blackstock Road
. Focus on burglaries in the area (which have spiked in recent months)
. Maintain efforts to tackle prostitution in the ward.
St Johns Court TRA
We are pleased that a new TRA has recently been set up to represent St Johns Court. Hopefully this will allow us to engage better with residents there.
The Labour Group meeting on 15th November was able to agree next year's budget. Details will be reported. We faced a budget gap of approx £25 million for 2012/13, made up of £8m of predicted inflationary pressures and £17m of further reductions in government grants.
We will be able to freeze the council tax for a record 7th year.
Councillors Brian Bell, Oli de Botton and Feryal Demirci