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We’re calling residents to try and reduce their Council Tax
7th December 2023
From Tuesday 12 December we’re calling residents on low incomes to help reduce their Council Tax bills.We’re calling Hackney residents that we know are claiming Universal Credit but have not claimed Council Tax Reduction. Why we’re callingWe know lots of people miss out on Council Tax Reduction which lowers the amount of Council Tax that they need to pay. We’re calling residents to help them make this claim with us over the phone so that they don’t miss out on the support that they’re entitled to.This is a shortened form for a particular group of residents. The application process only takes about 5 minutes and we don’t need to ask lots of questions. Make a claimIf you’ve had a text from us and would rather make a claim yourself online you can do so here: Council Tax Reduction short claim formPlease note this is only available to residents we have sent texts to. If you have not received a text, but would like to apply to Council Tax Reduction you can do so here: Council Tax Reduction standard form What happens nextOnce you have completed the form we will check if you qualify for Council Tax Reduction. We will write to you to let you know if you qualify. If you are awarded Council Tax Reduction we will send you a new lower Council Tax bill.
Cabinet to decide next week on the proposals to close or merge schools in Hackney
7th December 2023
On 11 December, Hackney Cabinet will meet to decide on the proposals to close or merge schools in Hackney as a result of the significant decrease in their pupil numbers. The report that will inform the decision was published online last week. The report recommends that the Cabinet agrees to a number of changes to affect six primary schools in the borough from September 2024:closure of De Beauvoir Primary School;closure of Randal Cremer Primary School; closure of Colvestone Primary School, guaranteeing all children a place at Princess May Primary School if the families want it;closure of Baden Powell Primary School, guaranteeing all children a place at Nightingale Primary School if the families want it;increasing the published admission number at Nightingale Primary School by adding an additional form of entry to all year groups. The proposals, first announced in March this year, are in response to an ongoing decline in the number of school-aged children in Hackney. This reduction means 21% of reception places were unfilled in 2022-2023. Because schools are financed based on the number of pupils they have, the significant decline in pupil numbers has caused some of them to face serious financial and sustainability pressures. In 2022-2023 alone, the 58 primary schools in Hackney were missing more than £30m in funding compared to if classrooms were full. In September 2023, following an informal consultation that took place in the summer of 2023, Hackney Cabinet decided to publish statutory notices of its intention to close/merge the schools. The proposals were published on 6 October 2023, which marked the beginning of a 28-day representation period of statutory consultation during which any person could object to or make comments on the proposals.At the end of the consultation period, 175 responses were submitted online, by email and letter: 164 responses received online via the Council’s online survey platform, Citizen Space; 10 emails and 1 letter. The feedback received during the statutory notice period has been analysed and reviewed by an independent third party, Kwest, and the report included in an Appendix to the Cabinet report. According to the report, 95% of the responses that could be clearly assessed were against the proposals, and 5% supporting them. The Cabinet report advises that, despite the vast majority of the statutory notice comments being against the proposals, the Council should still proceed with the proposed changes, as the objective reasons behind the proposals have not changed, and the decreased demand for primary places across the borough is projected to continue for years to come, impacting more and more the financial viability, sustainability and quality of the Hackney education system as a whole. If the Cabinet decides to proceed with the proposals, families and staff will receive the support they need to help them understand their options and prepare for transition. There will be one-to-one support for families to ensure their children have places at suitable schools, including extra priority for places at nearby schools.More information about the proposals can be found on the project’s webpage.
Joint statement on shooting in Hackney from Mayor of Hackney Caroline Woodley and Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas
Mayor of Hackney Caroline Woodley and Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, said: "We are deeply shocked and saddened to learn that a woman has died after a fatal shooting which left two others injured in Vine Close, Hackney Downs last night. Our thoughts and condolences are with all those affected, their family, neighbours and friends.“While incidents like this are rare in Hackney, we know that the events of last night will cause concern for local people. We want to reassure everyone that we're committed to doing all we can to prevent what are fortunately isolated events. The police will be working in the area over the coming days to continue their investigation. Council officers will be supporting the police and helping to reassure those affected within the community. “We would urge anyone with any information on this incident to contact the Police 101 quoting CAD 5811/05 Dec. Alternatively people can call Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”UPDATE at 4pm on Wednesday 6 DecemberThe victim who tragically died at yesterday's fatal shooting in Vine Close has been named as Lianne Gordon. Mayor of Hackney, Caroline Woodley, appeared at a Met Police press conference alongside Central East BCU Commander, DCS James Conway, today, where she read out the following statement: "This is a heartbreaking incident and my thoughts and everyone’s at the Council are with the loved ones of Lianne and the other injured victims."We are working with the police to support the families of the victims and will continue to do so in the coming weeks and months. We are also working with local schools and community groups to offer any support they need."While incidents like this are rare, we know that the community will be shocked, worried and distressed."Council officers are in the area to support the police investigation and provide reassurance to local people. We also have outreach workers in the area to make sure people can speak to us about any concerns they have."I’d urge anyone with information to contact Crimestoppers anonymously or to contact the police on 101.“Anyone with concerns about a child or young person can contact a Council social worker on 020 8356 5500. ”Update at 4pm on Friday 8 DecemberToday, Mayor of Hackney, Caroline Woodley, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas OBE, and Met Police Central East BCU Commander, DCS James Conway, have written to residents in the Hackney Downs area - with an update on the investigation and the work we are doing to prevent further violence. Read the letter.
6th December 2023
Planning powers at Hackney Wick and Olympic Park to return to Hackney Council
Control over new development in Hackney Wick and the parts of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park will return to Hackney Council from next year after the Council approved plans to transfer planning powers back from the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC).The decision, approved by the Council’s Cabinet on 27 November, will see the Council take back responsibility for setting planning policies, making decisions on planning applications and placing levies on new developments in Hackney Wick and the area around Here East for the first time since London 2012.The move is part of an agreement with the LLDC – who since the games have overseen all new development in and around the Olympic Park – for planning powers to be transferred back to the host boroughs of Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest from 1 December 2024.This will mark the first big milestone in local councils having a bigger role in the future of the Olympic Park, providing greater democratic control over decisions about the area and a renewed focus on ensuring that local communities are the first to benefit from the long-term Olympic legacy.Since London 2012, the Council has worked with the LLDC to ensure the growth of Hackney Wick benefits local communities and protects the area’s creative heart. This includes delivering a new, inclusive town centre through the Hackney Wick masterplan; putting in place new planning rules to ensure development provides genuinely affordable workspace; repurposing council-owned land to create new community facilities; and overseeing a 60% increase in creative-sector jobs through the Hackney Wick and Fish Island Creative Enterprise Zone.
5th December 2023
Integrated Gangs Unit update name to Community Gangs Team
Hackney Council’s gangs unit changed its name today (1 December) to better reflect its role in the community.Hackney’s Integrated Gangs Unit (IGU) has now become the Community Gangs Team – 13 years after its creation, and after helping over 2,000 people at risk of becoming involved in gang violence.Established in 2010, the IGU was created to support people involved in gang violence through methods of prevention, diversion and enforcement. Today – although the work of the team remains the same – the Community Gangs Team has developed its approach to become more proactive and less reactive. The Community Gangs Team tackles gang violence as a public health issue. This means it seeks to address the social, educational, mental health and employment factors that can lead to violent crime, and is done by working in partnership with the police, probation officers, the Council's youth services team, and voluntary agencies.This more holistic approach is working: Hackney has seen gang-related violent crimes decrease from 129 in 2017 to 31 in 2022.Examples of how the Community Gangs Team have taken a more community-focused stance include:Expanding its community outreach team to focus on mentoring and help finding work, employment and training opportunities;Working on ‘clean up’ projects, in collaboration with community organisations, in targeted areas to improve the surroundings (for example removing abandoned cars and painting over graffiti);Working with third sector organisation Mentivation to help educate young people in schools on how they can be responsible members of the community;Offering extra police patrols for community reassurance;Holding events with local employers. The name change follows a community consultation, involving 2,000 residents, which concluded the words ‘Gangs Unit’ made the team sound like it was a police unit, not a multidisciplinary team. This reportedly resulted in some barriers within the community for people who were wary of the police.For more information, visit: https://hackney.gov.uk/preventing-gang-crime
1st December 2023
New campaign aims to help end harassment and misogyny on nights out in Shoreditch
Hackney Council, Tower Hamlets Council, and the City of London Corporation, have joined forces on a trailblazing campaign against harassment and misogyny on nights out.The #DontCrossTheLine campaign has been created in response to reports from local residents and venues that there has been a rise in misogynistic behaviours in the night-time economy since the Covid-19 pandemic. It uses stark, perpetrator targeted messaging that lists the types of behaviours - like touching, groping, staring, or grabbing - that are not tolerated in nighttime venues in Hackney, Tower Hamlets, and the City of London.The campaign was informed by insight work with over 200 young men in Hackney who said that they thought there wasn’t enough awareness about the types of behaviours that were illegal.Results of a survey by UN Women published in March 2021 found that 97 per cent of young women in the UK said they had been sexually harassed, while 80 per cent reported experiencing sexual harassment in public spaces.ONS research also shows that nearly 800,000 women aged 16 and over had experienced sexual assault in the year ending March 2022, with Internet Matters research demonstrating the impact of misogynistic online content targeted at boys and young men. Building on the success of the launch, the partnership campaign will target visitors to Shoreditch’s nightlife by calling out unwanted behaviours and highlighting that harassment is a crime.The launch comes during the UN’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence and ahead of a busy festive period, as part of the three authorities’ strategies to tackle abuse and anti-social behaviour. The project is supported by the Met Police, who have been working closely with the boroughs to organise additional enforcement activities, including pop-up welfare events, safety briefings for bars and clubs, and CCTV radio networks. The City of London Police also supports the campaign and protecting women and girls from violence is at the heart of its Christmas operation. The operation covers the whole of the City which neighbours Shoreditch and includes a number of safety initiatives, aimed at keeping women safe such as, training bar staff on the dangers of drinking spiking and increased police patrols.To find out more about the campaign, visit: https://dontcrosstheline.uk/
30th November 2023