Wednesday, October 03, 2012

August Update

GCSE results- You’ll have heard that nationally results are down for the first time, but Hackney bucked the trend big time. This year, 60.5% of students achieved five good GCSEs including English and Maths – a 3.5% increase on last year and our best ever results. Ten years ago the number of pupils getting five good GCSEs was 31 per cent.

Woodberry Down regeneration We are at a notable stage where flats are about to come available faster than we need to rehouse residents. Between September and March 277 social housing units will be completed, while there are 154 households with a “right to return” and 25 to be decanted from the Springpark Drive area. Construction on “the old school site” is almost finished. The Residence tower block is being finalised with the first residents having moved in. Five of the current shops are due to move across to the base of this. The local labour figure is now over 35% on some sites which is a significant achievement. Locals were assisted to set up a security company which is now patrolling the development. Construction of Phase 2 which includes most of the rest of Brownswood, should begin later this year. We have encouraged officers to remain sensitive to how stressful a move can be, particularly for the elderly. Before the regeneration began a masterplan for how the new neighbourhood would look was agreed. This had to be amended as economic and political conditions evolved and is now out of date. A major review is underway to agree what it should now contain and identify any additional community facilities needed. There is a consultation on Wednesday 19th September from 2pm to 9pm in the Redmond Centre. A consortium of all the partners led by the Manor House Development Trust has been successful in it’s bid to the Big Lottery Fund for £1million over the next 3 years to spend on preparing the Manor House community to deal with climate change.

2013/14 council budget Our group meeting in July agreed approx £7m in saving from the Chief Executives, Legal and Finance directorates, leaving £2.8 to be found to balance next year’s budget. This will lead to substantial redundancies for the first time.
Kings Crescent masterplan due at Planning in September Formal consultation on the masterplan for the future estate closed in July but the documents can still be viewed here - Planning applications , application no 2012/0676. It is due to be reported to the Planning Committee on 12th September. In anticipation of a positive decision, Invitations To Tender for architects for the first 2 phases of the new build were issued in August. Building could start next spring. Meanwhile the second stage of the refurbishment which includes replacement of the electrical mains, all lifts, the installation of two tier door entry systems, and new roofs and windows for Weston and Lemsford. The first of the new doors is now operative.
Parkside Youth Club Work on the new building is now well behind schedule mainly due to the discovery of asbestos in the old one. In the meantime youth work has been provided elsewhere including from the Redmond Centre and on Myddleton Grange. Brian continues to be involved in the steering group, arguing for a new name and comprehensive relaunch.
Policing and community safety There has been an extremely worrying lack of continuity in our SNT in recent months with all the current officers in post less than a year. Over the Olympic and Paralympic period it will go down to one PC and one PCSO.
Hackney’s population Our work promoting the census has paid off. The 2011 one records a population of 246,300, up over 43,000 since the last one. This should mean that funding allocations are now more accurate.
Alexandra National site Construction is now almost complete, and utilities are being installed. Much of the scaffolding has now been removed and the development can now be seen clearly from the street. Residents are due to begin moving in shortly.
The Olympics and Paralympics Although the games were undoubtedly a great showcase for London, for us it was never just about two weeks of sport. About a quarter of the Olympic Park falls in Hackney including the international broadcast and press centres. Our vision was to develop these to support the IT and creative industries hub in Shoreditch and elsewhere in the borough. The appointment of iCITY as the sole preferred bidder for the use of the site post-games was therefore extremely welcome. Their aim is to use these uniquely powerful, connected and protected buildings to provide 4,600 jobs on site with 2,000 in support.

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