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Deputy Mayor responds to Education Secretary's exams announcement
26th February 2021
Yesterday, the Secretary of State for Education announced that students will receive grades awarded and determined by teachers, with pupils only assessed on what they have been taught. Schools, colleges, other educational settings and exam boards will conduct multiple checks to ensure results are moderated, and every student will have the right to appeal their grade.Results days are to be brought forward to the week of 9 August. To find out more about the return to school, visit: https://education.hackney.gov.uk/content/coronavirus-advice
Improvement work to start at ‘magnificent’ Abney Park
26th February 2021
A £5m project to improve Abney Park, bring its chapel back into use and build a new cafe and classroom at its main entrance is set to start in March.The work, £4.4m of which is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund, will also see a new accessible entrance created on Stoke Newington Church Street.Abney Park is one of London’s ‘Magnificent Seven’ Victorian cemeteries, opened in 1840 to alleviate overcrowding in existing burial grounds.It is the resting place of radicals, anti-slavery campaigners and dissenters, as well as local civilian victims of war and fallen soldiers. The new cafe and classroom will help open up this history to visitors and generate income towards ongoing maintenance and improvement of the park.As Abney Park is already a local haven for biodiversity, the new buildings will feature green roofs and walls, and new species-rich lawn and grassland meadow areas will be introduced as part of the works.This sits alongside the Council’s wider plans to plant 1,000 mature trees in parks by 2022, and 5,000 street trees and 30,000 saplings across the borough.To make way for the new cafe, classroom and accessible entrance, a number of small trees must be removed at the entrances as the first stage of work. The entrances may need to be closed for a short period while this work takes place.Work to construct the new buildings will then begin later this summer.The Council will contribute an additional £710,000 to the National Lottery funding, which will bring total investment to over £5m.Hackney Council owns and manages the site. The Abney Park Trust is a charitable volunteer-led organisation that helps to maintain and bring the park to life. It runs a website, provides grave searches and maintenance and runs talks, tours and events to increase use and engagement with the site.Abney Park is one of Hackney’s 58 green spaces. It is listed as a Grade II park on Historic England’s register of parks and gardens of historic interest. As one of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ cemeteries in London, it’s the resting place of around 200,000 people in 60,000 graves ranging from elaborate monuments to path-side common grave markers. It covers 12.5 hectares and is located between Stoke Newington Church Street and Stoke Newington High Street.Abney Park Chapel was designed by William Hosking and is the oldest surviving non-denominational chapel in Europe. It was completed in 1842 and functioned purely as a chapel for funerals – not a place of worship – with its non-denominational design meaning it could be used by anyone.Fire and vandalism gutted the Chapel, currently on Historic England’s ‘Heritage at Risk’ Register, in the 1980s, and the Council hoarded off the building in 2012 to protect the public until work to restore the structure of the building was completed in 2017. Work to restore the interior of the Chapel will include a new floor, new toilet facilities, electricity, lighting and new seating at balcony level. The new classroom and cafe will be located at the Stoke Newington High Street entrance, providing refreshment for park visitors, as well as interpretation of the site’s incredible history.To find out more about Abney Park, visit www.hackney.gov.uk/abney-park.Residents can also join a free online talk on Abney Park's ecology hosted by Russell Miller on 3 March.
New budget set to rebuild a better Hackney
Councillors and the Mayor agreed the budget for the year ahead, which outline the significant investments the Council is making to rebuild a greener, fairer, safer and healthier Hackney out of the Covid pandemic and in the face of ongoing Government core funding cuts. The Council’s budget for the coming year was heard at Full Council last night (24 February), and included a Council Tax increase of 4.99%. It means most residents will pay less than £1 extra a week, but will ensure the Council can raise more than £4m to fund essential services to all residents at a time when they need them most. Hackney will still have one of the lowest Council Tax rates in London, and the Council is putting extra money into supporting the thousands of working-age households on the lowest incomes, and who already receive up to a 85 percent discount, by reducing their bill by a further £60 a year. It will also see an extra £900,000 invested this year in tackling inequality and poverty. The Council has injected tens of millions of pounds into supporting residents and businesses during the Covid pandemic, prioritising those who need help most: including providing thousands of essentials and supplies to households and keeping services running in immensely challenging circumstances.Read the full budget report here.
25th February 2021
Hackney is no place for anti-Semitism - Statement on Community Security Trust’s national report into anti-Semitism
Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Cllr Sade Etti, Hackney’s No Place for Hate Champion, and Neighbourhood Superintendent Andy Port respond to the Community Security Trust’s (CST) 2020 Anti-Semitism report.“As proud representatives of our welcoming, inclusive and diverse borough - where people from all walks of life live and work side-by-side - we recognise the importance of tackling racism and hate crime in everything that we do. We have been clear that Hackney - which is home to one of the largest Jewish communities in the country - is no place for anti-Semitism. “Whilst we welcome the decrease in national anti-Semitic incidents highlighted in the CST’s report, one incident of anti-Semitism is one too many, and we want to reassure our communities that we will continue to do everything we can to bring those commiting such crimes to justice, ensure that victims receive the support and help that they need and to tackle this scourge on our society.“Our official strategy for tackling hate crime outlines the steps we’re taking to make Hackney no place for hate. Since the Strategy’s launch in 2019, we have provided 100 Council staff and partners with hate crime awareness training in partnership with Stop Hate UK, held awareness stands with Council staff and police partners to encourage residents to share their ideas on how to tackle hate crime and produced a ‘no place for hate’ reporting leaflet for use by Council teams and community partners to promote reporting hate crime.“The Council and Police work closely together to review patterns of anti-Semitic incidents in order to target joint patrols and community reassurance work, which have led to the identification, arrest and conviction of people who’ve committed anti-Semitic hate crimes. This joint approach has led to the arrest of over 170 people for hate crimes in Hackney over the past year, including for abuse on public transport and the recent arrest of the person responsible for multiple offences of anti-Semitic graffiti on bus stops in Hackney. The Police, Council and neighbourhood watch group Shomrim worked closely together to quickly identify the person responsible for this abhorrent crime and to bring them to justice through a successful conviction at court. “Hate crime has a profound impact on the lives of those affected by it, and we work with Community Alliance to Combat Hate (CATCH) to ensure that victims of hate crime get the support that they need. We recognise that hate crime also has a significant impact on our communities as a whole, which is why we work all year round with our schools and community groups to tackle hate crime and extremist views in our borough. This includes supporting two Building a Stronger Britain Together-funded programmes, which have specifically addressed hate crime, including anti-Semitism, with local young people and their families. We also work closely with our partners and communities to tackle far-right extremism and other forms of radicalisation through the Prevent programme.“However, we recognise that more needs to be done. We will continue to work with all our partners and communities to combat hate, improve the way reporting operates and leave no stone unturned to bring offenders to justice. We are constantly in contact with our partners across all communities to bring about more confidence for victims to come forward and report hate crime.“If you’ve experienced or witnessed a hate crime, you may feel afraid to report it, or believe that there’s nothing you can do about it - but every report made will help us to bring those responsible to justice. No matter how small you think an incident is, please report it, and become part of the movement to make Hackney no place for hate.”If you’ve been affected by hate crime, you can:Report it to the police by calling 999 in an emergency, and 101 in other situations.If you’re deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, call the Police’s 999 textphone in emergencies on 18000. You can also text 999 if you’ve pre-registered for the Emergency SMS service on bit.ly/emergency-sms. In non-emergencies, call the textphone: 180001 101.If you do not wish to contact the Police, you can contact Stop Hate UK on 0800 138 1625 for free, confidential advice and support.Report offensive graffiti to the CouncilContact North London Victim Support for free local support on 0808 186 9291 (8am-8pm Monday to Friday) or 0808 1689 111 at all other times. You can also request support online.
24th February 2021
Boosting recycling rates: fortnightly waste collections to start next week
Waste collections at some properties in Hackney switch to every two weeks from 1 March to encourage people to recycle more. The change affects most street-level properties — generally houses, or houses that have been converted into flats and currently have green sack recycling services. Food waste and recycling collections will remain weekly under the changes to encourage residents to recycle as much as possible. The changes will not affect estates or blocks of flats, which keep weekly waste collections.Currently, around half of the waste that is thrown away in Hackney could be recycled. It is hoped that the switch to fortnightly collections will increase recycling rates and reduce the amount of waste sent for incineration by 4,500 tonnes each year — the equivalent of 450 bin lorry loads of waste — and help tackle the climate emergency as fewer overall waste collections take place. The 15 London boroughs that have already implemented fortnightly collections in order to meet targets set in the Mayor of London’s Environment Strategy — which all London councils are signed up to — have seen increases in recycling, showing that it is a proven approach for increasing recycling rates. With fewer overall waste collections, it’s also expected that there will be reduced traffic disruption and fewer emissions generated from waste vehicles as they cover a reduced mileage.Under the changes, households will keep their existing collection days, which they can check on the Council’s website, and on new calendars, which have been sent to all affected properties in the post. Residents have been provided with new wheelie bins, which not only limit the waste residents throw away, but also help to improve hygiene and prevent vermin from being able to rip open bin bags. The most significant step people can take to stop attracting foxes is to recycle all food waste in new fox-proof food waste bins, which are provided free by the Council and will be collected weekly.Once new collections start, larger households and households with babies will be able to apply for an extra bin if they need it. Bins will only be collected if the lid is closed. No additional non-recyclable waste will be collected. New bins Residents have received new wheelie bins for non-recyclable waste, with space to write their house number on the binThe bin should have more than enough space for the average householdBins will only be collected if the lid is closed. No additional non-recyclable waste will be collectedLarger households and households with babies can apply for an extra bin if they need itAssisted collections are available for older and disabled residents The Council can collect old bins and recycle them if requestedNeighbours can ask to share wheelie bins if they want to reduce the number in their front garden.Find out more at hackney.gov.uk/waste-changes.
24th February 2021
Lower bills, cleaner energy – solar panel offer returns to Hackney
A programme to help homeowners get high-quality solar panels for the best possible price is relaunching as part of the Council’s drive to reduce fuel poverty, decarbonise the borough’s buildings and rebuild a greener Hackney following the coronavirus pandemic.More than 200 Hackney homeowners signed up for Solar Together London in 2019 – a group buying scheme which makes investing in solar panels more accessible and more affordable – which was the highest of the thirteen London boroughs taking part. Hackney residents can register their interest in the relaunched scheme until 23 March 2021 and wait to receive a personal recommendation from an approved provider for solar panels, following a London-wide auction with suppliers submitting their lowest prices. This year’s programme also offers retrofit battery storage for those who have already invested in solar panels and are looking to get more from the renewable energy they generate or increase their independence from the grid. Installing solar panels helps homeowners use energy from a sustainable source, reducing their dependency on carbon-intensive grid electricity and gas contributing to a reduction in global warming carbon dioxide and methane emissions emissions, and lowering energy bills from year one.The scheme is part of the Mayor of London’s Energy for Londoners and Hackney Council’s Hackney Green Homes programmes, allowing homeowners to buy collectively with others across London and benefit from the lower prices that group-buying brings. It builds on three years of the highly successful Solar Together programme run across the UK which has delivered over 3,000 installations to date (including nearly 1,000 in London) and almost 50,000 tonnes of avoided lifetime carbon emissions. 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.Register nowHow Solar Together worksFrom 15 February: Householders can register online to become part of the group for free and without obligation. Pre-approved UK solar PV suppliers participate in an auction on 23 March. They are able to offer competitive pricing as the volume and geographic concentration makes it possible for them to realise greater efficiencies, which they pass on with lower prices for installations.After the auction, registered households will receive a personal recommendation which is specific to the details they submitted in their registration. If they choose to accept their recommendation, the specifics of their installation will be confirmed with a technical survey after which a date can be set for the installation of their solar PV system.Telephone and email helpdesks are on-hand throughout the whole process which, together with information sessions, will allow households to make an informed decision in a safe and hassle-free environment.
24th February 2021