Monday, February 04, 2013

January/February update

Councillors Report – January 2013

Ward boundaries

The Local Government Boundary Commission have announced a third round of consultation on boundaries within Hackney. Although their proposals for Brownswood and Woodberry Down wards remain the same, it will cause a further delay to reorganisations and selections. Details can be found here -

Parkwood School

The advert for a new Headteacher appeared on the 18th January. The governors hope to interview and appoint in mid February. However there is a severe national shortage of suitable candidates so the timetable allows for further rounds if necessary.

Kings Crescent regeneration

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, is almost complete.

Although all the door entry systems are now installed, the state of the electrical mains was worse than expected and has delayed some being turned on. All should be operative within the month. In addition new windows are currently being installed at Therfield Court, with Datchworth and Theobalds to follow shortly.

With the masterplan having been approved in September, work has started on the detailed design of the north side of the estate. It will see the estate rebuilt in phases, each consisting of new build and refurbishment of the existing stock so that the eventual design is tenure-blind.

An apple orchard is being created in one of the triangular spaces on Queens Drive. Planting is from 9am on Thursday 31st January .

Manor House Area Action Plan

We’ve been approached by developers looking at two key sites. The first is the UNITE /T&GWU building on Green Lanes. There they propose a 6/7 storey mainly residential development on the northern two thirds of the site. The southern third will be landscaped as a small park offering access through to the New River and reservoirs.

The second is 420-424 Seven Sisters Road, the south western corner of the Manor House junction. There they’re proposing a 7 storey and basement 200 room hotel. This also accords with the vision in the AAP which is due for adoption this month.

Alexandra National House

The scheme is finally almost complete with council tenants due to move back in January and February. Private sale units will also be occupied from February.

It is well behind schedule and we are pursuing the developer for substantial compensation.

Woodberry Down regeneration

Work on the Old School Site is almost complete with the first shops transferring from the old parade to the base of the tower. Enabling works to allow us to begin building Phase 2 on the ‘3Ps’ site are well advanced.

The first residents have moved into brand new homes in Woodberry Down North and feedback has been very positive. Future arrangements for street naming, and the provision of school places, are among issues being raised by residents.

Community safety/policing

The new borough commander proposes a different approach to neighbouring policing. He has stated that fixed SNT membership will be reduced to 1 sergeant and 2 PCs. All other PCs and PCSOs will be allocated by a Neighbourhood Inspector to wherever they judge is most needed. He argues that by the elimination of some specialist teams and the reallocation of admin, more overall resources will go into community policing.

At the recent CAP meeting however, the outgoing Inspector thought that PCSOs would remain with SNTs. This needs to be clarified. Local priorities continue to ASB, prostitution and burglary.

A consultation on the wider Mayor of London’s policing plan was arranged for 6pm on 24 January at Hackney Assembly Halls.

Woodberry Down Youth Hub

The new hub is finally open and invites to tours of the facility were circulated, with a formal launch in February. A long-term name for the facility still needs to be found. The youth service have also committed to continuing provision on Myddleton Grange.

GCSE results

Provisional results have been released for GCSE performance and Hackney schools are again above the national average. Despite the much publicised fiasco over marking 59.6% of children in Hackney schools achieved 5 A*-C including English and Maths last year (the national average was 58.4%). In Ofsted terms 7 out of our 12 schools are now good or outstanding with no schools inadequate. More information can be found through the hackney website which has published our annual review of schools:

Finsbury Park railway bridges

The bridges at Finsbury Park have been an eyesore for many years. The recent treatment of the Hackney Central bridge shows how they can be transformed.

New art work breathes life into Hackney Central Bridge