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Council news

Free open day for Hackney leaseholders and freeholders

11th October 2019
Local leaseholders and freeholders will be able to learn more about the services on offer from the Council at a free open day tomorrow (Saturday 12 October).  The event, which takes place from 11-4pm at Hackney Town Hall on Saturday 12 October, will provide residents with the opportunity to speak to service areas from across the Council and external leaseholder organisations.  Residents will be able to get advice from the Housing Services team and other Council service areas, including estate recycling; the fostering team; electoral services; and our free employment support service, Hackney Works, on a range of topics.  Attendees will also be able to speak to a range of external organisations, including the Leaseholder Advisory Service (LEASE), the Hackney Community Law Centre, and local charity Shoreditch Trust, who run community initiatives across the borough to improve people’s health, wellbeing and opportunities.  An ‘Introduction to Building Maintenance’ workshop will be on offer in the afternoon, providing a summary of the services and teams included, as well as information on the types of repairs, which repairs require leaseholder consultation, contractors managed, and more. There will also be free activities, including mask decorating classes for children and massages, and free food and drink.  When: Saturday 12 October, 11-4pm Where: Assembly Rooms, Hackney Town Hall, Mare St, London E8 1EA Full list of services available at the event: Housing services:Anti-Social Behaviour Team (ASB) Environmental OperationsFire Safety TeamRepairs Team Housing ManagementLeasehold Services Property and Asset Management Private Sector Housing Right-to-buy/Property servicesTenant Management Organisation (TMO) Other Council Services:Estate recyclingElectoral servicesFostering TeamHackney Central Conversation Hackney WorksResident Participation External organisations:CensusThe Seasonal Health Intervention Network (SHINE)Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE)Hackney Community Law CentreShoreditch TrustMassage Works

“Give renters genuine security” – our response to Section 21 proposals

Government should scrap break clauses and fixed-term tenancies as part of proposals to end unfair evictions for private renters, the Council has argued in its response to a consultation on ending Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions. The government’s New Deal for Renting consultation proposes to end Section 21, which lets private landlords evict tenants with as little as two months’ notice without having to give a reason. It follows a Council-backed push for a change in the law to prevent private renters being evicted through no fault of their own as part of our #BetterRenting campaign.  We’re making the case to government to do more to deliver on its commitment to ending unfair evictions by removing break clauses and fixed-term tenancies – following the successful Scottish model that means landlords are no longer able to ask a tenant to leave simply because a fixed term has ended. The Council’s response calls on the Government to:Scrap proposals for break clauses and fixed-term assured tenancies, which could easily be abused by landlords who wish to unfairly evict tenants.Introduce protections where tenants are forced to move on ‘no fault’ grounds, such as if landlords wish to move back into or sell the property, including paying tenants’ relocation costs and encouraging landlords to sell with sitting tenants.Introduce rent controls to prevent retaliatory rent hikes, such as limiting rent increases to the rate of inflation.Introduce notice periods of at least six months. Establish a universal register of landlords and properties to improve standards in the sector and ensure rent controls are implemented. Read our full response.
11th October 2019

Hackney Council and City of London Corporation first in London to sign up to Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health

To mark World Mental Health Day (Thursday 10th October), the Council and the City of London Corporation have signed up to the ‘Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health’, a national agreement to help improve mental health and wellbeing for residents. Both are the first governing bodies in London to do this and are supported by local health partners, including NHS City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Healthwatch Hackney, Healthwatch City of London, East London Foundation Trust (ELFT), and voluntary and community groups. The ‘Prevention Concordat for Better Mental Health’ outlines a series of actions that both authorities, NHS health partners and local organisations can take to ensure there is better collaboration to improve mental health care, promotion and prevention.  This week also sees the launch of ‘Every Mind Matters’, the first national NHS campaign to encourage adults to be more aware of their mental health and wellbeing, offering practical self-care tips and guidance. The online tool which is available on the ‘Every Mind Matters’ website can help individuals discover simple steps to deal with stress and anxiety, boost mood, improve sleep and feel more in control, as well as flagging when more support may be needed. The City Corporation and Hackney welcome the launch of ‘Every Mind Matters’ as they are already taking action to promote positive mental health and wellbeing amongst their residents and workforce. There are a large number of services and support available locally to residents experiencing, or at risk of mental ill health, which are commissioned by the two Local Authorities and NHS City & Hackney CCG and delivered by mental health providers including Homerton University Hospital Foundation Trust and East London Foundation Trust, as well as voluntary and community groups. For the significant local worker population, support is offered through initiatives such as the Business Healthy network. For example, ‘Five to Thrive’ is a local initiative, based on the New Economic Foundation’s Five Ways to Wellbeing. These five simple steps can help local residents improve their emotional health and wellbeing. In the City and Hackney different health organisations, schools and community projects have used it as a way to connect people and communities, and improve mental health wellbeing. Talk Changes offers free and confidential NHS ‘talking therapies’ for adults in City and Hackney who are struggling to cope with low mood, anxiety or depression. It is one of the best performing ‘talking therapies’ services in London, helps more than 6,000 people every year and has recovery rates well above national averages. Talking therapies involve talking to a trained professional to help overcome negative thoughts and feelings and make positive changes. Appointments can be booked directly online without needing to see a GP first. Access is quick - most patients wait no more than two weeks for their initial assessment, with a treatment plan agreed and commencing shortly after. The service is for adults who are registered with a City & Hackney GP. East London Foundation Trust (ELFT) also runs a Walk-in Crisis Cafe in The Raybould Centre in Homerton Row from 6pm to 9pm weekdays and midday to 4pm at weekends. It is free and run by mental health professionals who provide advice and support and are always available for a chat. In the Square Mile, Dragon Café in the City offers a free and safe space for visitors to release the pressure and look after their mental and physical wellbeing. Matthew Bell, elected Member for Farringdon Within and the City of London Corporation’s Mental Health Champion, said: “A collaborative approach across the City of London and Hackney brings about many benefits. Signing the Prevention Concordat helps partners to share their expertise and boosts ongoing efforts to prevent mental health problems and promote good mental health among our local populations, including those living, working and learning in the City of London.” Rhiannon England, Clinical Lead for mental health at NHS City and Hackney CCG has said: “The mental health and wellbeing of our residents is as important as their physical health. We want to take this opportunity on World Mental Health Day to highlight our dedication to ensuring we provide the best possible support and services in City and Hackney by all working together. We are proud of the steps we have already taken to improve mental health care, promotion and prevention in the local area and it will continue to be a priority to all those involved.” If you are worried about your mental health and wellbeing, you can talk to your GP about your concerns and they will discuss support available with you.
10th October 2019