Sunday, 29 July 2007

Cleared but still suspended

From the Hackney Gazette:

THE town hall's standards watchdog has been accused of a whitewash after it went against independent advice and cleared a Hackney councillor of having a prejudicial interest in a controversial development.

Cllr Darren Parker was suspended for three months after admitting making an "error of judgement" by not declaring an interest in the proposal to bulldoze the 19th-century Dalston Theatre and build a 19-storey high-rise block in its place.

Crucially, however, Hackney Council's standards committee decided the 33-year-old's employment with a government body that supported the scheme did not amount to a prejudicial interest.

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Saturday, 7 July 2007

Stamford Hill deserves better

From Hackney Planning Watch.

Hackney Council is planning to exclude 38 streets in Stamford Hill from normal planning protection. A period of so-called ‘consultation’ on the plans has already concluded, but most residents had no idea that this consultation was taking place. One councillor has already been quoted in the press celebrating what he described as an unprecedented u- turn in council policy. While the councillor was celebrating, most residents had not even been informed of the proposals. Those who have managed to obtain copies of the ‘draft’ proposals are appalled at the proposal to abandon their streets to unregulated property developers.

The Council already has an appalling record of applying its existing policies and often grants planning permission for front, rear and side extensions that are completely out of character with the existing streetscape, and which in some cases involve the almost total in-fill of rear gardens. Not satisfied with the existing levels of architectural vandalism, the Council wishes to relax even further the rules that they so rarely apply.

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Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Want A Landline? Not In Hackney!

From I Intend to Escape...

You would have thought Hackney Council and Virgin would have agreed clear working processes to ensure any mechanical faults could be quickly repaired, and tenants would get the service they are paying for. Not so. Two working days notice is required before Hackney will provide Virgin with a key to the roof (that's two days you are paying for a service you cannot use, on top of the week before the engineer can come round)

This time a new twist was added. Virgin informed me I had to request the key from the Council, and they would then pick it up from Hackney on the day of the repair. When I visited by Neighbourhood Office, I was simply told there was no access allowed to the roof of the building, for anyone, due to "problems caused by pirate radio stations operating from roofs".

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