Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Hackneyed thinking

From The Times:

Exhibitors seem a little thin on the ground this year, but councils are out in force spending thousands on stands to lobby for more money. Take Hackney: posh stand, plasma screen, glossy booklet. Two members of staff. Councillors on hand if someone wants a photo. Why? “The 2012 Games give us a golden opportunity to make Hackney a better place. We will work with partners and organisations to get the best out of the Games for the people who live in the borough . . . ” But would Hackney council tax payers agree?

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Sunday, 23 September 2007

Pounds, pints and a personal vendetta

Christopher Booker in the Sunday Telegraph:

Last week I reported how, two days after the media had been claiming victory for the Metric Martyrs and that Brussels had reprieved pounds and ounces for ever, council officials and police officers again swooped on the Hackney fruit and veg stall run by Colin Hunt, one of the original "martyrs", to seize his "illegal" non-metric scales. Because this did not suit the media's new "narrative", only the local paper bothered to pick up the story.

Visitors to Ridley Road market might be surprised to see how many other stalls, mostly run by members of "ethnic communities", are selling in pounds and ounces without Hackney council taking any action.

The body that supposedly oversees enforcement, Lacors (Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services), has issued a "Con-cordat", stating that the law must be imposed impartially.

But instead of insisting on a policy of non-discrimination in Hackney, Lacors has circulated a leaflet personally attacking Neil Herron, director of the Metric Martyrs Defence Fund and Mr Hunt's champion, for claiming that he had "saved the crown on the British pint".

Since Mr Herron has never made any such absurd claim, one must ask whether it is the role of public officials to pursue what appears to be such a scurrilous personal vendetta.

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Friday, 21 September 2007

Council payoff to abused siblings

From the Hackney Gazette:

A WOMAN and two younger siblings have been paid a total of £100,000 in an out-of-court settlement because Hackney Council failed to remove them from their abusive home.

Jennifer Routledge, 39, who was given £57,000, was sexually abused by a stepfather when she was nine years old.

Along with her brother, Anthony, 32 and sister, Amanda, 36, she was also beaten in her South Hackney home and deprived of food.

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Landmark left to rot

From the Hackney Gazette:

CONSERVATIONISTS have raised concerns about the deterioration of a Hackney landmark.

Members of the Central and South Hackney Conservation Area and Advisory Committee (CAAC) are worried about the poor condition of the New Lansdowne Club in Mare Street.

Planning permission was granted in 2004 to turn the grade two listed building, which is on English Heritage's Buildings at Risk register, into a Vietnamese cultural centre on condition it was fully restored.

However, three years on, no repair work has been carried out on the 18th-century building and CAAC members are shocked that it has been left to rot.

One of their number, Louise Oldfield, said: "Ownership of a listed building comes with a responsibility and the deterioration of this building over a few years has been shocking. It's one of the most important buildings in Hackney."

Rossana Tich, another CAAC member, who is also a Hackney Society trustee, added: "It is sitting there rotting. The council is dragging its feet to use its statutory powers."

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Tuesday, 18 September 2007

The Entire London Borough of Hackney In A State Of Disrepair?

From This is Stoke Newington:

morehackneychaos.jpg And the hits just keep rolling at the London Borough of Happiness. Is there nobody at Hackney that can get a grip? Click on the photo to read the latest consequence of Hackney Labour “led” in-action.

How much more Hackney Labour know nothing managerialism are residents meant to endure?

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Sunday, 16 September 2007

£100,000 for abused siblings council failed to take into care

From The Guardian:

A 39-year-old woman and her two younger siblings have won a total of £100,000 in an out-of-court settlement with Hackney council in east London because it failed to remove them as children from their abusive home.

Jennifer Routledge, who received £57,500, was raped aged nine by a stepfather who was jailed for the crime, and later abused by another who she believed had groomed her for the purpose. She and her siblings were beaten and deprived of food and she left school at the age of 13 unable to read and write properly.

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Friday, 14 September 2007


From the Hackney Gazette:

ANGRY tenants protested outside the town hall this week over sell-off plans which could see estates being built on and council homes demolished.

Jeers and boos greeted, Hackney's deputy mayor, Cllr Jamie Carswell, after the council's Cabinet gave the go-ahead on Monday to the plans to transform the borough's estates as part of a £6.8 million investment programme.

For the past nine months, Hackney Council has consulted tenants over controversial plans to sell off land on their estates to a housing association landlord.

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Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Building resentment

From Scorn and Noise:

Imagine coming home one day to find that your neighbour had built an extension that was bolted onto the outside wall of your upstairs living room. When you’d suppressed (or not) the urge to dynamite the edifice, you would feel certain that the authorities would take a similarly dim, if less emotional view of the matter.

And so they do: unless you live in Hackney, where official policy allows the council to grant planning permission for structures built on other people’s property.

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