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Council news

Joint statement from the Mayor of Hackney and Cabinet Member for Community Safety

23rd November 2020
Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville and Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, said: For information:We would urge anyone with information that could assist police to call 101 ref CAD 6587/22 Nov.Alternatively tweet @MetCC, or to remain 100% anonymous contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Cyberattack update: impact on services

20th November 2020
Council teams are working hard to recover systems and resolve the significant disruption caused by the serious cyberattack that has affected services since October.The advanced, criminal attack remains under investigation by the Council, National Cyber Security Centre and National Crime Agency, in close cooperation with the Information Commissioner’s Office.Some services will be unavailable or operate differently for months, and the Council’s teams are doing everything possible to restore them. Vital services, including the Council’s coronavirus response work, continue to operate, but the effects of this criminal attack are having a significant impact on many residents. Wherever possible, Council teams are creating new or temporary ways to run systems differently and the Council will continue to share updates on the recovery of services through its website and regular newsletters. What’s still disrupted?Land searches and planning applicationsWe remain unable to process land searches for residents buying property, and this service is unlikely to be fully available before the end of the stamp duty holiday in March 2021. We hope to offer a partial service in the coming weeks, and have written to applicants and agents this week to outline which elements of the service are publicly available, and which we expect to offer as a partial land search service. Affected residents should speak to their lender or mortgage broker about taking out indemnity insurance. Visit the Land Searches page for more information.Planning applications submitted before 1 October cannot be processed, and applicants are being contacted directly by the Planning Service, with advice provided on the best way forward. In some cases, this involves re-submission of applications on the Council’s new planning system. Some applications received before 1 October have now been resubmitted using the new system and are progressing towards a decision.Ordering and reportingDisruption to normal systems used to process reports such as noise nuisance, anti-social behaviour and missed waste collections means responses and investigations may be slower than usual.Residents can email recycling@hackney.gov.uk or call 020 8356 6688 to order recycling bags, food waste bins and report a missed collection.PaymentsThe online portal for paying rent, paying service charges and checking your balance is temporarily unavailable, as well as the Council’s One Account system.Many payment options are unaffected and are safe and secure to use, such as online payments through our multiple payments portal, over the 24/7 automated phone payment system by calling 020 8356 5050, online bank transfer and at a bank, Post Office or Paypoint location.We currently cannot accept some forms of payment, amend existing payment schedules both to and from the Council or make certain one-off payments.Some direct debit payments are being processed in line with the most recent payment on your account. In a small number of cases where this varies slightly from the agreed amount for the next payment, this will be reflected in future payment schedules.Business rate payments that were due to be taken by direct debit on 1 November have been taken today, and those due on 14 November will be taken on 23 November.New applications for benefits such as Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, or Discretionary Housing Payments are being processed more slowly than normal. Approved claims will be backdated to date of application. If you have submitted an application but need urgent assistance, contact the benefits service on 020 8356 3399.Find out more about how services for Council tenants and leaseholders are affected.SafeguardingIf you’re worried about the safety of a child or adult, it’s really important that you continue to report your concerns. Find out what to do if you’re worried about a child or young person, or an adult. 
LTNs have not caused a rise in nearby main road traffic, early analysis shows
The introduction of low traffic neighbourhoods in Hackney has not caused a rise in traffic levels at nearby monitoring sites on five main A-and-B roads, early analysis of Transport for London (TfL) traffic data shows. The analysis uses data from five TfL traffic count monitoring sites in the borough: Mare Street at its junction with Brenthouse Road; the A10 at its junctions with Richmond Road and Walford Road; Homerton High Street and Albion Road. At each, data points to a significant drop in traffic levels during the first lockdown this year, which rose again from May 2020 and reached near 2019 levels by August, largely before the introduction of low traffic neighbourhoods in Hackney. At the Mare Street junction with Brenthouse Road, numbers of vehicles have remained largely below 2019 levels throughout the year, with a further drop after the introduction of the London Fields low traffic neighbourhood At the A10 (Kingsland Road) junction with Richmond Road, traffic levels are largely in line with those from last year, with no obvious impact caused by the introduction of the London Fields low traffic neighbourhoodAt the A10 (Stoke Newington Road) junction with Walford Road, traffic has remained below 2019 levels, with no obvious impact caused by the introduction of the Hackney Downs low traffic neighbourhood or filters in the Walford Road areaOn Homerton High Street, traffic levels remained broadly in line with 2019 levels. After a slight increase following the introduction of traffic filters in the area, traffic dipped back below 2019 levels in October On Albion Road, traffic levels were already higher than 2019 at the start of the school-term, but then dropped to near 2019 levels after the introduction of traffic filters in the Walford Road area and on Clissold Crescent.It will also be installing approximately 20 permanent, continuous counters on strategic roads to supplement existing TfL counters in order to monitor longer term trends.A number of these traffic monitoring sites have been vandalised in recent days. The Council will be working closely with the police to address this issue.While the data shows no effect on daily traffic levels, it does not measure fluctuations at certain times of the day. The Council is working closely with TfL to understand these in more detail, and making changes to signal timings to improve traffic flows. The full data can be viewed here. 
20th November 2020
Equal Pay Day 2020: Reading between the pay gap
Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources, ​​​​​​reads between the lines in this year's Equal Pay Day report from The Fawcett Society. Today is Equal Pay Day, the day when, based on the average pay for those in full-time work, women overall stop being paid compared to men. That means from tomorrow, based on the Government’s Gender Pay Gap data, women will provide free labour until 2021. Equal Pay Day is based on data submitted to the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) and interpreted by The Fawcett Society. Employers were asked to provide data on the pay period ending 22 April 2020 and this year’s figures report that the gap has shrunk. 2020’s mean hourly pay gap between men and women for full time workers is now 11.5% vs 2019’s 13.1%. Yet that 11.5% gap still means women earn £3,964 less than men based on the average London salary of £34,473 (according to The Office for National Statistics), or brings the National Living Wage of £8.72 per hour to £7.71 for women. The pandemic means we need to read this data carefully. This year, fewer businesses submitted data, which is understandable with April 2020 being such a disorienting time for employers navigating a lockdown and understanding the furlough scheme. Key workers have also been significantly affected by the pandemic. According to the Women’s Budget Group we know women are twice as likely to be key workers, pick up the bulk of home-schooling and childcare responsibilities and work in sectors most affected by lockdowns, such as retail, hospitality and childcare. The impact has been particularly acute for ethinic minority women as they are likely to be in lower paid, insecure work.The Women’s Budget Group also reports: 39% of working mothers are key workers, compared to just 27% of the working population.77% of workers with high risk of covid exposure are women with 6. 98% of high-risk workers being paid poverty wages.36% of young women vs 25% of young men worked in sectors that have closed.Women in the UK are four percentage points more likely to have lost their job than men, with 17% of women newly unemployed compared to 13% of men. But pay gap scrutiny isn’t limited to gender. We want to ensure employers are paying the same amount for doing the same job no matter their race, religion, sexuality, age, physical ability or educational background. Whether they are parents, carers or managing mental health issues. We need more not less gender pay gap reporting if we are to achieve pay equality. Estimates show that, at the current rate of change, it will be another 52 years before we achieve pay equality in this country. Women can't afford to wait that long. That is why Hackney is leading by example: Our latest figures show that at Hackney Council, women are paid more than men overall. Using the mean, they are paid 2.9% more and using a median measure, they are paid 5.24% more. This is because there are more men than women in the lower quartile, and there are more women than men in the two upper quartiles.There are more male dominated jobs in the lower quartile such as manual/labour jobs.As an employer, we are working to improve the diversity of our senior leadership, building on our inclusive leadership training, and maintaining the ‘excellent’ rating in future Local Government Equality Framework peer challenges. 60% of chairs of Council committee are women and 60% of the cabinet (including cabinet advisors) are women. 50% of the cabinet are from an ethnic minority group as are 40% of scrutiny chairs. Since 2015 we have been an accredited Timewise employer, allowing for flexibility around working hours which is beneficial, for example, to those with childcare duties.43% of our award-winning apprenticeship scheme are women (up from 35% in 19/20), and of the 24 ICT apprentices recruited in 2020, 46% were women with significant representation as well for care leavers and residents with a disability.Despite it being written into law 50 years ago the gender pay gap still exists which is why The Fawcett Society’s report on this year’s Equal Pay Day is important work to acknowledge. Today we call on all Hackney’s employers to read the report, understand the importance of accurately reporting wages and ensure women exercise their #RightToKnow if they feel they are being short changed.Notes for editors Read The Fawcett Society’s 2020 pay gap reportMore information on the Council’s Gender Pay Gap Reporting Information on Hackney Council’s flexible working and Timewise accreditation.Find out more about Hackney Council’s apprenticeship scheme Hackney jobs can be found at recruitment.hackney.gov.uk Due to coronavirus, the Council’s pay gap figures for 2020 are yet to be published and will go to full council in the New Year.
20th November 2020
Residents invited to suggest names for new roads, parks and other public spaces, celebrating the borough’s diversity
Hackney Council is inviting members of the public to submit ideas for names of future roads, buildings, parks and other public spaces, as it launches the Hackney Naming Hub to crowdsource names to make the borough’s spaces more inclusive.The Council has launched a new online platform to collect names that bring to light hidden histories within Hackney. The Hackney Naming Hub seeks to address underrepresentation in the public realm and welcomes ideas that acknowledge the achievements of diverse and migrant communities, as well as women, LGBTQI+ communities and people with disabilities. It is hoped that the interactive map will act as a knowledge bank for new, inclusive names that can be used by the Council and developers and will provide residents with the opportunity to engage with and learn from each other’s histories. The names could also be used to replace those of figures involved in the transatlantic trade of enslaved African people, as part of a Public Realm Naming Review being led by the Council.The Review was established in June to listen to the views of residents about how to tackle public spaces named after plantation owners and people who traded in enslaved Africans. Central to this is a steering group made up of local cultural historians, community leaders, young people and other residents.The group has met regularly since June, and is developing a series of recommendations and a framework for the Council on the decision making and renaming of contentious sites across the borough. More details on this will be shared early next year.The steering group has already recommended that Cassland Road Gardens - which was named after Sir John Cass, a Director of the Royal African Company, who made substantial profit from the enslavement of African people - be renamed. The Council has agreed and committed to doing this, and residents living near Cassland Road Gardens will be asked for their views on potential new names in a consultation starting in January. This could include names suggested via the Hackney Naming Hub.Names put forward should have a Hackney connection and reflect Hackney’s values of equality, anti-racism, innovation and community activism. Names that meet this brief will be researched for potential use in the naming of future public spaces.Take part online  via email or telephone: 020 8356 4501.
20th November 2020