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Council news

Tackling violence against women and girls

8th April 2024
Women and girls in Hackney Central and Dalston were given help and advice on how to stay safe as part of a partnership day of action co-ordinated by Hackney Council, the Met Police and British Transport Police.As part of the initiative, a pop-up information stall, additional enforcement patrols, and a safety awareness campaign were part of a joint day of action to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG) in Hackney. Hackney’s specialist VAWG team provided information and support to residents at a pop-up stall in Hackney Central. The Council’s Hackney Nights team also held a welfare stall in Dalston to provide medical support and guidance to people on a night out. Local Police Officers, Detectives and mounted Police joined the event to provide a briefing for partners, as well as carry out additional patrols. This wider operation tackling crime in the area led to two arrests for theft offences, three anti-social behaviour warnings, an investigation into a male exposing himself to a female, and the recovery of 10 knives. Officers from British Transport Police also ran a parallel day of action at Hackney Central Overground. For more support and information on our campaign to end violence against women and girls, visit: For more information on the Hackney Nights initiative, promoting safer nights out, visit:

Hackney Council celebrates launch of Screen Hackney with free training course for aspiring film-makers

2nd April 2024
Hackney is set to attract more filming opportunities into the borough with the launch of the Council’s re-branded film office, Screen Hackney. The refreshed brand features a new logo, website and social media accounts, and will promote local training and employment opportunities in the film industry. A new location library will showcase the amazing range of potential film locations throughout the borough. To mark the announcement Screen Hackney is offering a free two-day training course, run in partnership with Set Ready Ltd, for up to 25 Hackney residents aged 18+. Those who successfully complete the course, will be offered a high quality paid position as a location marshal on a film or TV set.Hackney is one of the most popular film destinations in the capital with the Council fielding an average of around 30 requests a week. Many of the biggest names in film and TV have shot on location in Hackney, with the borough being showcased in productions for Warner Brothers, Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures.For more information about Screen Hackney please visit the website or sign up to the mailing list for updates.To secure your place on the training course please submit your application here before Thursday 9 May.NotesAbout Screen HackneyScreen Hackney is the leading authority on film and media production in Hackney, dedicated to promoting the borough as a premier filming destination while empowering local residents with training and employment opportunities. About Set ReadySet Ready is a pioneering training and employment programme committed to nurturing the next generation of film and TV talent. Through its emphasis on diversity and inclusion, Set Ready aims to address industry challenges and create pathways to success for aspiring professionals.
Stoke Newington Library awarded £499,700 grant to improve reading, study, culture and children spaces
Hackney Council’s Library Service has successfully applied for a Government grant of £499,700 to redesign the interior of Stoke Newington Library into creative, inclusive and innovative new spaces.The Libraries Improvement Fund award from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport will help make the premises fit for modern library users while retaining the historical features of the Victorian building. The enhanced service will provide residents with improved reading rooms, study spaces and a new children’s area as well as a cultural and digital hub which will deliver on what 8,500 residents said they wanted from their local libraries in the new Libraries Strategy. The new library will provide a new integrated space for the Community Library Service and allow for more opportunities for creativity, heritage and culture to flourish.Stoke Newington Library is among 43 library services to receive a share of the £20.5 million Libraries Improvement Fund. The fund aims to transform public library services in England by helping them upgrade their buildings and improve their digital infrastructure so they are better placed to respond to the changing ways people use them. This is the third round of the fund, with 52 projects already benefiting from around £10 million of funding in previous rounds. In February, Hackney Council announced that the library will close its doors to the public from Saturday 30 March for up to two years for a renovation project which includes repairs made to the roof and fabric of the community facility as part of a wider £4.4 million investment into the borough’s libraries. 
26th March 2024
More than £37m given back to communities through Council funding initiatives
More than £37 million in charges placed on developers building in Hackney has been invested back into communities since 2021, according to new figures released by the Council.A report detailing the effectiveness of the Council’s Planning Service and local planning policies shows how this money was spent across Hackney in areas such as affordable housing, sustainable energy, public realm, education, leisure, libraries, culture, highways, waste and community-focused initiatives. Examples include the creation of the Hackney Community Energy Fund (involving the installation of solar panels on schools and other buildings); new murals and sculptures to celebrate culture; and public realm improvements, The Council has also used money allocated from the charges on developers (known as Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy contributions) to allow organisations to apply for money through the Hackney Community Fund and Shoreditch and Hoxton Art Fund, implementing multi generational projects which have brought residents together and created benefits and opportunities for a growing community.The Authority Monitoring Report, which covers the financial years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023, details the Council’s success in a number of key areas:HousingOf more than 650 new homes to have been given planning permission in Hackney since 2021, 47% will be affordable, according to the report. The report shows that between the 2021 to 2023 period, 2,393 homes were completed. Competed schemes also contributed around £11.9 million towards the delivery of affordable housing. Business and employment The newly released data shows that between 2019-23 Hackney gained an additional 3,635 enterprises, or a growth of 17% over the period. The Inner London growth was 1% over the same period. Around 61,000sq m of office space and roughly 2,800sq m of retail space was completed in the two reporting years, as well as 4,800sqm of affordable workspace. Open Space Abney Park was awarded Green Flag status in 2023, taking the total number of parks and gardens to 29 which have been awarded the status - the benchmark international standard for publicly accessible parks.Many of Hackney’s open spaces benefited from CIL and Section 106 funding, including Shoreditch Park, Daubeney Fields, Clissold Park (where a new splash pad was installed), Fairchild’s Gardens, Abney Park, Mabley Green and more.Transport More people are using sustainable transport in Hackney than in any other London borough, with walking now accounting for 55.7% and cycling 8.5% of trips beginning in Hackney. Planning policies have facilitated the delivery of car free development throughout the borough and as of August 2023, 375 charging points have been installed. Hackney plans to deliver 3,000 charge points by 2026.Design and Heritage The Council has continued to work with owners of at risk listed buildings and the Historic England Heritage At Risk team to bring forward repairs and restoration. Planning decisions The percentage of major planning applications determined within 13 weeks or to agreed timescales was at 90% in 2012/22 and 89% in 2022/23. This exceeds national and local targets.Read the full report
18th March 2024
How we’re campaigning for a #BetterDealForRenters
Cllr Sem Moema, Deputy Cabinet Member for Private Rented Sector and Housing Affordability on the draft Private Sector Housing Strategy 2024.‘’With around 8,500 households on the Council’s social housing waiting list and house prices increasing more than sevenfold in twenty years, renting privately has become the only option for many in Hackney.It’s no surprise, therefore, that the number of private renters has doubled in the last decade to 1 in 3 households. But with the supply of homes failing to keep pace with this growing demand, they face less choice at the same time as much higher rents.That’s why I’m sharing the draft of our new Private Sector Housing Strategy  – our plan to ensure that those who rent from a private landlord get the safe, warm and secure homes they deserve. Hackney today is facing an unprecedented housing crisis. The majority of landlords provide a professional service to their tenants. But with so much demand, some exploit the lack of proper regulation and force many private renters to accept conditions that don’t meet modern day standards.In Hackney, we’ve long been committed to change. We’ve led the way in creating a better system for renters in Hackney – introducing measures requiring private landlords to meet higher standards and taking action against those who fail to provide a good, safe home.Our new strategy builds on this foundation, setting out how we will use every power we have to raise standards of accommodation and challenge rogue landlords in the borough, while we continue to make the case to the government for the protections that Hackney’s private renters deserve.Our draft strategy is calling for:A better deal for private renters – fair rents, quality homes. We will continue pushing the Government to implement the promised end to Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions and the removal of end dates from tenancies. Borough-wide landlord licensing across as many wards in Hackney as possible – legally committing landlords to meeting acceptable standards – we will apply to the Secretary of State to renew and extend our existing landlord licensing scheme. We will continue to call for powers to be devolved to Local Authorities to licence their landlords.A ban on bidding wars – so that the advertised price of a rental home is the final price that tenants pay.Licensing of ‘Airbnb’ style short-term lets –  In May 2019, Hackney had the third highest number of short-term lets of all London Boroughs.This reduces the amount of homes available in the borough, pushing up housing prices and increasing rents. We’re calling for licensing to better understand how this market is operating and how it impacts our borough. Raising the standards in the private rental sector and extending Awaab’s Law – to hold private landlords to the same standards and responsibilities that social housing landlords are held to. It won’t solve the problem overnight – not least without proper Government support and regulation that protects tenants and makes clear the framework landlords operate in. While we welcome the introduction of the Renters Reform Bill, after so much delay we will need to keep pushing the government to implement these changes in months, not years. While this is only a draft strategy, it is the first step in ensuring that we are providing a fairer deal for private renters across the borough as we work alongside organisations such as London Renters Union, Age Concern, Generation Rent, ACORN and Hackney Citizens to campaign for renters’ rights. Now is the opportunity to read through our commitments and asks, ahead of us asking for your feedback in spring this year. ‘’To find out more, please visit sign up for updates, please visit 
12th March 2024
Pupils’ performance in Hackney significantly above national levels
According to a recently released annual report, pupils' performance in Hackney has continued to improve in the last school year, with local schools faring well in all areas when compared to national levels. At Key Stage 2, Hackney is ranked sixth amongst 153 local authorities on the percentage of pupils achieving the expected standard in reading, writing and maths combined. Despite the disruptions of recent years and the negative effects of pandemic affecting this generation of children, 70 percent of Hackney pupils met all expected standards in 2023, ten percent above the national average and one percent up from the previous year.On individual subjects, Hackney is ranked 14th for reading, 4th for writing and 11th for maths for the percentage of pupils reaching the expected standard. This is a significant increase from the 2019 pre-pandemic rankings, when Hackney placed 101st for reading, 10th for writing and 107th for maths. At Key Stage 4, 53.4 percent of pupils in Hackney achieved the level 5 in English and maths, almost eight percent above the national level of 45.5 percent. Hackney has been consistently in the top 75 percent of local authorities for the majority of key stage 4 outcomes over the period from 2018 onwards, and in the top 20 percent of local authorities in 2023 for all attainment and progress indicators. That means that Hackney children are consistently amongst the very best pupils in the country, both in terms of meeting the academic standards and when it comes to measuring their achievements over a period of time, such as from key stage 2 to key stage 4.While results continue to vary between different groups of pupils, all children, independent of background, gender, level of need or ethnicity, outperformed the equivalent national cohort in 2023. Performance for disadvantaged pupils and those with special educational needs is also strong across all key stages compared to national averages.
11th March 2024