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Council news

Mayor: 'lockdown is tough', but we must keep each other safe

15th January 2021
If you’re concerned that a business is not complying with the Covid-19 regulations, please let us know by emailing covidresponseteam@hackney.gov.uk. The Council does not have powers to take action against individuals who are not complying with social distancing guidance. If you have concerns about individuals not following social distancing guidance or wearing face masks, please report these directly to the police online or by calling 101.

Keeping people safe from Covid-19: joint council and police action this weekend

15th January 2021
Council and Police officers will be carrying out joint enforcement action this weekend to help keep people safe and ensure that lockdown rules are being followed.While the Council does not have powers to take action against individuals who are not complying with social distancing guidance, enforcement officers will be taking part in joint patrols with the police in key areas in Hackney where Covid-19 breaches have been reported to ensure that residents are adhering to lockdown regulations. The patrols will ensure that people are maintaining social distancing, wearing masks indoors and not mixing with people outside of their household or support bubble, with individuals risking fines of up to £6,400 if they do not stick to the Government guidelines.The latest regulations have been introduced to help ensure the safety of workers and residents in light of a rapid rise in coronavirus cases in the UK - which has seen local health services face increasing pressure. In Hackney, the current rate of coronavirus cases is 974 cases per 100,000, as shown by Public Health England data from 14th January 2021. This is significantly higher than the rate of 19 per 100,000 seen in the borough in the last week of August 2020. Over the weekend, Council licensing officers will ensure that local hospitality businesses are trading in line with the Government’s lockdown rules, including the temporary ban on selling takeaway alcohol - which is now only available by delivery. Businesses who refuse or fail to stick to the Government guidelines could face fines of up to £10,000. The Council has also written to all residents last week to inform them of the new lockdown and guidelines, and to remind them of support that’s available to them. In line with the national lockdown, which began on 4 January, the Council and police are encouraging residents to: Stay at home except for specific essential purposes or emergencies like shopping for basic necessities or escaping domestic abuse. Do not gather with those you do not live with or share a support bubble with, and make sure you minimise time spent outside your home. When you are around other people, such as when shopping or at work, ensure that you are two metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble.Wear masks in shops and on public transport, unless you are medically exemptWhile Council officers cannot enforce social distancing guidance, enforcement and licensing officers will be on hand at the weekend to help support businesses to operate safely.If you’re concerned that a business is not complying with the Covid-19 regulations, please let us know by emailing covidresponseteam@hackney.gov.uk. Please report directly to the Police for any issues regarding customers not wearing face coverings over their nose and mouth where mandated: https://www.met.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/c19/tell-us-about-possible-breach-coronavirus-measures/
Get tested for coronavirus
Testing if you've got symptomsIf you have coronavirus symptoms, even mild ones, you must isolate yourself immediately from other people for 10 days and get a test, online at nhs.uk/coronavirus, by downloading the NHS COVID-19 app, or by calling 119. What are coronavirus symptoms? A high temperatureA new, continuous coughA loss or change to your sense of smell or tasteYou can book a home test kit or arrange an appointment at one of Hackney’s testing sites:Dalston, Bentley Road Car Park, N1 4BZ (open 7 days a week 8am-8pm)Hackney Central, Mare Street, E9 6ND (open 7 days a week 8am-8pm)Stamford Hill, Bus Garage, Rookwood Rd, London N16 6SD (open 7 days a week 8am-8pm)Homerton, Hackney Marshes Centre, E9 5PF (open 5 days a week Mon-Fri 9am-3.30pm)Stamford Hill, Yesodey Hatorah School, Egerton Rd, N16 6UB (Sundays 10am-3pm)There are also 2 testing centres nearby that residents can use:Stamford Hill Primary Nursery Berkeley Rd, Haringey N15 6HD (7 days 8am-8pm)Guild Hall Yard, City of London, EC2V 5AA (7 days 8am-8pm)Testing if you don’t have symptomsRapid COVID-19 tests provide results on the same day and are for people who do not have symptoms of coronavirus. These tests are aimed at those who need to leave their home for work or volunteering, such as people who are critical workers, unpaid carers or tradespeople. If people are required to be in contact with others for work or volunteering throughout the week, then rapid testing once every three days is recommended.There are two rapid coronavirus testing sites in Hackney:18 Edward’s Lane, Stoke Newington, N16 0JJShellgrove Community Hall 29-8 Shellgrove Rd, Stoke Newington, N16 8UU You can book an appointment for these sites online by clicking under book a rapid test at: hackney.gov.uk/coronavirus-support 
15th January 2021
Cyberattack - what you need to know
Last week, the Council was made aware that data had been stolen in October’s cyberattack and published on Wednesday 6 January by the organised criminals responsible for the attack. Council staff are working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre, National Crime Agency, Information Commissioner’s Office, the Metropolitan Police and other experts to investigate what has been published and take immediate action where necessary. There remains a live criminal investigation into the attack.While the publication of this data won’t affect the majority of Hackney’s residents or businesses, we understand that you may be worried about your data and personal information and we’re sorry.Here are the five things we know so far: Is my data safe? At this stage, it appears that the vast majority of the sensitive or personal information held by the Council is unaffected, but we’re working with our partners to review the data published carefully and will contact and support any directly affected people who are at risk.The experts supporting us believe that this is a limited set of data, it has not been published on a widely available public forum, and is not available through search engines on the Internet. Reviewing the data in full will take some time, but we will provide regular updates.We have reported the publication to the Information Commissioner’s Office and are working closely with its teams to investigate the incident, and take any actions necessary.Why aren’t you saying more about the attack, and why do some media outlets seem to be saying more than the Council?We’ll continue to provide public updates about this work and be as open and transparent as we can – but we won’t provide information publicly that could compromise the ongoing criminal investigation or put people at risk. This doesn’t mean that we’re not working as hard as possible behind the scenes.What do I need to do?We will contact you directly if you are impacted, and will continue to provide public updates about any actions residents or businesses may need to take.The National Cyber Security Centre has helpful advice and tips for staying safe online and ensuring your data is secure.If you’re really concerned or believe your data has been compromised, you can contact Hackney’s Data Protection Officer Nicholas Welburn on nicholas.dataprotection@hackney.gov.uk How did this happen?This was an attack on the Council carried out by organised criminals, who have targeted many organisations around the world. The National Crime Agency continues to investigate the circumstances of the attack.We take cyber security extremely seriously, and have invested heavily in modern technology and cloud-based services – ahead of many other councils. We were not complacent before the attack, and will continue this investment in our cyber security in the future, learning from this incident.While we’ve been proactive about moving away from old-fashioned servers and PCs to cloud-based services, some of these older systems still remain – as they do in any large public sector organisation. It is these older systems that were subject to the cyberattack in October.Our team had planned for any eventuality following October’s attack, and had a structured plan in place to respond to the publication of any data. Working with partners and the police, we are now executing this plan.How is the cyberattack still impacting services?The cyberattack in October is still severely impacting some Council services, as we work with experts to recover systems safely and ensure that no other systems are compromised. You can find the latest updates on the Service Status page.Many services that were initially disrupted have now been restored or are operating in a different way. The publication of this data does not change our approach to restoring services.This was a complex and sophisticated criminal attack on public services, and we share your anger and frustration about how it continues to affect your services in the middle of responding to the coronavirus pandemic. 
13th January 2021
Hackney Council Chief Executive to retire
Hackney Council Chief Executive Tim Shields has announced that he will retire at the end of May following 13 years in the role and more than 40 years of public service.Tim has worked for Hackney Council for nearly 19 years. He became Corporate Director of Finance and Resources in July 2002, before being appointed Interim Chief Executive in May 2007 and permanently in January 2008.Throughout his time at Hackney, Tim has focused relentlessly on service improvement, identifying areas where resources are needed to accelerate the pace of change. Working closely with the Mayor and councillors, Tim has overseen dramatic improvements in Hackney’s service provision and reputation across the sector and in the community. His achievements include: Transforming the Council from one of the most poorly performing in the country to one of the best, being voted ‘Council of the past 20 years’ at the 2016 Local Government Chronicle AwardsSupporting the delivery of the 2012 London Olympic Games and securing its legacy, including the transformation of public transport, investment in the borough and jobs for local residentsContinuing to deliver first-class public services through sound and robust financial management, despite more than a decade of cuts to local authority budgetsLeading the Council’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, working with partners to minimise the spread of the virus and ensure residents and businesses get the support they needTim is an accountant by background and has spent over 40 years in local government, working in Wandsworth, Epsom and Ewell, and Lambeth before joining Hackney Council in 2002.Tim’s last day of service will be on 31 May 2021. Recruitment to a new Chief Executive will begin soon. 
12th January 2021
Prioritising safety should not risk nurseries’ financial stability, Council tells Government
Nurseries that open at reduced capacity to help protect staff, children and the wider community from coronavirus should be given financial help by the Government, the Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, and Cllr Caroline Woodley, Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Families, Early Years and Play, have said in a letter to Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson.Many early years providers have decided to reduce the number of children they look after - or provide part-time places - in order to ensure that social distancing is prioritised. And the letter calls on the Government to set out what financial support it will provide to ensure early years settings will not lose income as a result of these safety measures.The Mayor and Cllr Woodley also asked the Government to halt the yearly mid-January early years census, which surveys the number of children attending early years settings and allocates government funding accordingly. If only a small proportion of children are present this January, the reduction in government funding would have significant implications for jobs and the viability of nurseries. The Council’s own children centres have opened at reduced capacity - in some cases by offering part-time places to safely accommodate as many families as possible. The Council is also supporting a joint campaign of early years membership organisations, including the Early Years Alliance, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) and National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), calling on the Government to:prioritise those working in the early years and childcare sector for Covid-19 vaccinationsroll-out mass asymptomatic testing to all early years and childcare settingsreinstate early entitlement funding support for settings which have been forced to close or have seen a fall in the demand for funded placesintroduce targeted funding for providers reliant on private income who have suffered from falls in parental demand. Read the letters sent to the Secretary of State for Education:4 January 202111 January 2021
12th January 2021