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Championing Fairtrade in Hackney

24th February 2020
Local residents and businesses are being encouraged to think more about where their products come from, as part of a nationwide campaign to ensure that all cocoa farmers are paid a fair income.  Hackney Council will be holding a range of events across the borough to mark Fairtrade Fortnight (24 Feb - 8 March), including pop-up stalls where residents can sample fairtrade food, an evening of storytelling, films and quizzes, and informative displays at Hackney Libraries which showcase a range of books on fairtrade to coincide with World Book Day on 1 March. The Council is also working with businesses on the Narrow Way by providing fairtrade tea, coffee, snacks and other products for their staff, and encouraging them to stock at least one fairtrade item, with the aim of having at least 50% of stores on the Narrow Street offering fairtrade options. This achievement would see the Council endorsed by the Fairtrade Foundation for their efforts in supporting fairtrade.  The UK chocolate industry is worth at least £4 billion each year, but the cocoa farmers in West Africa who produce the nation’s favourite treat make on average less than 75p a day - which is well under the local poverty line of £1.40 a day, according to statistics from the Fairtrade Foundation. The picture is even more bleak for women farmers in West Africa, who often have fewer rights than men and often earn less than a quarter of the money generated, despite working in the fields, looking after children, carrying water and helping to transport the crop to market. Fairtrade Fortnight is the Fairtrade Foundation’s annual movement to help highlight these inequalities and encourage people to think before they buy. Hackney is a Fairtrade borough and has hosted Fairtrade events for the last 13 years, with the Hackney Fairtrade Group operating since 2008 to promote this ethos to local businesses and organisations, and help influence where they get their supplies.For more information visit or follow @FairtradeHackne on Twitter.Hackney’s Fairtrade Fortnight eventsHackney Fairtrade pop-up stallsMonday 24 February, 10:30am-3pmHackney Service Centre, 1 Hilman Street, Hackney, London E8 1DYThursday 4 March, 10am-1pmSalvation Army Restaurant, Mare Street, E8 4RTCalling all chocolate fans! Come and sample our fairtrade chocolate fountain, taste fairtrade olive oil and herbs, find out information about fairtrade and try out your luck in our raffleFairtrade Social Evening Saturday 29th February, 7:30-10pmSt Paul’s Church, West Hackney, 184 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7UYCome and find out more about fairtrade at our fun social evening, with short fairtrade films*, a quiz, storytelling, discussion and fairtrade samples. *The short films will focus on cocoa and the special role that women farmers play in the journey to living incomes. Empowering women by fighting and campaigning for their rights and for a living income means enough money for them to live a simple but dignified life - paying for essentials such as clothing, medicine and school - which we strongly believe are not luxuries but human rights. You can also help support fairtrade by:Buying fairtrade products - fairtrade tea, coffee, fruit, sugar, chocolate and clothes are all available in shops in HackneyEncouraging your workplace to stock fairtrade tea, coffee and sugarIf you attend a place of worship, encouraging them to stock fairtrade productsSupport Fairtrade Foundation’s national campaign:

Hackney Council to host Windrush compensation scheme advice session: 2 March

20th February 2020
Hackney Council is set to hold a free advice and support session for residents affected by the Windrush scandal.  The event will be facilitated by Cllr Carole Williams, the Council’s Windrush lead. Independent immigration lawyer Martin Forde QC and staff from the Citizens Advice Bureau will also be on hand to offer support and advice. Both Cllr Williams and Martin Forde have been instrumental in ensuring the Windrush scandal is addressed and the Home Office are held to account to provide compensation.  The event is open to anyone affected by the scandal, with experts on hand to offer free, confidential advice on how to apply to the Government’s compensation scheme. Community groups and those who may be in a position to help older family members are particularly encouraged to attend. The drop-in session will offer practical information on the Windrush Compensation Scheme. A video, group discussions and one-to-one sessions will be hosted throughout the evening and leaflets will be provided to take home.  Compensation is available for those who have suffered because they couldn’t easily demonstrate their right to live in the UK. This includes loss of employment, loss of housing, impact education, non-access to banking, wrongful deportation and immigration fees incurred, plus any impact on ‘normal daily life’ and mental health. There is no limit to the amount of money that could be paid out. The scheme is open to anyone from a Commonwealth country, regardless of nationality, who arrived before 1 January 1973, and those with a ‘right of abode’ or ‘settled status’ who arrived in the UK before 31 December 1988. Compensation is also open to family members such as children, grandchildren and carers. To meet people who can help in a relaxed, confidential and safe space, come to the free drop-in session 2 March, Hackney Museum, 1 Reading Lane, Hackney, London E8 1GQ 4:00 pm - 7:00pm.  If you are unable to attend but still need help you can call the freephone Windrush helpline: (0)800 678 1925 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. You can also email: If you are overseas you can email and request a callback. For more information on how Hackney is supporting its Windrush Generation visit Hackney Council online. The scheme is open to anyone from a Commonwealth country. A list of Commonwealth countries is available here.  
Over 182 new electric vehicle charging points to be installed in Hackney
An additional 182 electric vehicle charging points are set to be installed in Hackney this year, with the Council also launching a feasibility study into the rapid expansion of charging infrastructure in the borough.  Of the new charging points 120 are set to be installed on lampposts - with dedicated charging bays created on the road - which will bring the total number of chargers in Hackney to 298.  Funded by the Department for Transport’s Go Ultra Low City Scheme, with match-funding from the Council, the lamppost chargers make use of the existing power supply to lampposts to provide additional charging points, and will help people make the switch to electric vehicles, reducing their impact on air quality.  Residents and businesses are being asked to suggest locations for the new charging points that will best support people to switch to electric vehicles.  The Council is also commissioning a study that will investigate the feasibility of delivering lamp column charge points on all of the borough’s residential roads, as part of a broader programme to drastically reduce motor vehicle pollution without increasing car ownership overall.  If a charging point were to be installed on every street, up to 2,000 would be seen across the borough, building on the Council’s existing commitment to provide a charging point no more than 500m from every home.  As part of the study, the Council is exploring how its new publicly-owned, low carbon energy services company, Hackney Light and Power could be used to power the new chargers.  The roll-out of GULCS across the capital is a joint initiative between Transport for London (TfL), the Greater London Authority (GLA) and London Councils.Residents who want to suggest locations for the new lamppost chargers should contact Findings from the feasibility study are expected to be available in the summer. The new chargers will bring the total number of charging points in Hackney to 298, including: 12 Rapid Chargers with capacity to charge 22 vehicles 69 Fast Freestanding Chargers with capacity to charge 93 vehicles183 Lamppost ChargersThe Go Ultra Low City Scheme is a programme by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles within the Department for Transport. It aims to provide funding to local authorities in the UK that encourages thousands of people to consider switching to an electric car.
17th February 2020
Hackney's Windrush Generations Festival wins ‘Best Arts Project – Community Cohesion’ in the Hearts for the Arts Awards 2020
Hearts for the Arts, the UK’s annual celebration to recognise the heroes of community arts, has awarded Hackney Council ‘Best Arts Project – Community Cohesion’ for its 2019 Windrush Generations Festival. The win comes after this week’s news that the festival won global recognition at the Apolitical awards for ‘championing equality’.  The awards celebrate the unsung heroes of Local Authorities and were judged by high-profile figures in the arts and sciences including Susie Dent, Gary Kemp, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Alom Shaha, Errollyn Wallen, Kirstie Wilson and Samuel West.  Hackney is home to hundreds, if not thousands, of people from the Windrush generation. The annual festival aims to celebrate and honour the valuable contribution they bring to the borough through a series of intergenerational events from cricket matches, baking days and tea parties. Through a variety of inclusive events, Windrush elders can connect with one another and give young people an opportunity to learn from their legacy.  Cllr Carole Williams,Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources, said:   The Hearts For The Arts winners have been announced by the National Campaign for the Arts' (NCA) with an award to be presented by Samuel West at the Local Government Association’s Annual Culture and Tourism Conference 2020, on 2 March. Notes for editors: To find out more on Hackney Council’s Windrush motion and how to access support for undocumented migrants.View the full programme of last year's Windrush Generation Festival. Find out more about the Windrush Artwork Commission. For the full list of winners visit To read more about the project visit: community-cohesion-winner-windrush-generations-festival/ The National Campaign for the Arts present the Hearts For The Arts Awards each year. The awards are delivered by UK Theatre, in partnership with Culture Counts; the Local Government Association; Thrive; Theatre NI, Voluntary Arts Wales, Wales Council for Voluntary Action Hearts For The Arts is a National Campaign for the Arts initiative, delivered by UK Theatre, in partnership with Culture Counts; the Local Government Association; Theatre NI; Thrive; Voluntary Arts Wales; and Wales Council for Voluntary Action. The National Campaign for the Arts (NCA) is a charity and independent campaigning organisation, run by a board of volunteer trustees. They campaign for more investment in the arts, to improve the lives of everyone; and they champion those who make that happen. UK Theatre is the UK’s leading theatre and performing arts membership organisation – promoting excellence, professional development, and campaigning to improve resilience and increase audiences across the sector. 
14th February 2020
Hackney Light and Power announces free insulation for thousands of homes
People in Hackney are set to be offered free home insulation by Hackney Light and Power, Hackney Council’s publicly-owned energy services company, as it launches its Green Homes programme.  Hackney Green Homes is the first borough-wide programme in London to offer thermal efficiency measures to privately-owned and rented homes, including cavity, loft and floor insulation. This could lower energy bills for thousands of local residents and significantly reduce the gases produced by heating our homes, which are contributing to the climate emergency. The programme is also set to trial innovative new renewable heating upgrades, such as hydrogen fuel-cell boilers and air-to-air heat pumps to explore the potential of such technologies to reduce the environmental impact of space heating, which the Committee on Climate Change has been clear is essential if national commitments to net zero emissions are to be met.  Hackney Light and Power will play a key role in delivering the Council’s ambitious decarbonisation targets set out in the climate emergency motion passed at Full Council in June 2019 - which will see the Council deliver a 45% reduction in carbon emissions relative to 2010 levels across all its functions by 2030, and deliver net zero emissions by 2040, in line with the most ambitious reductions set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Hackney Green Homes is the first programme to be launched by Hackney Light and Power, which will also deliver its first large-scale rooftop solar project this year as part of an ambition to turn Hackney into a leader in clean energy generation.  Last year, over 210 households in Hackney agreed to install solar panels as part of the Mayor of London’s Solar Together Programme, the highest of any London borough - demonstrating the appetite for energy efficiency measures among Hackney residents. Residents can sign-up to the Hackney Green Homes programme and access free energy saving advice by emailing or calling 0800 281 768 or 020 7527 6795.The free insulation offered by the Hackney Green Homes programme is subject to home surveys, terms and conditions, and will be installed on a first-come-first-served basis. It is not means-tested because the Council aims to insulate as many homes as possible in order to significantly reduce carbon emissions across the borough. The further renewable heating upgrades, such as hydrogen fuel-cell boilers, air-to-air heat pump or new window glazing will be subject to means-tested eligibility criteria. The Green Homes programme is funded by the Energy Company Obligation, the Greater London Authority’s Warmer Homes Fund and Hackney Council’s Carbon Offset Fund.To find out more, visit
13th February 2020