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‘Five-star’ New Regent’s College officially opens with ceremony celebrating experiences of students
24th September 2021
State-of-the-art facilities at New Regent’s College have been officially opened as part of a ceremony featuring speeches from Hackney students championing their experience at school. The ceremony at the vocational college and Pupil Referral Unit at Nile Street included inspiring speeches from students covering their most cherished experiences of life at New Regent’s College. From playing basketball in the new sports hall to enjoying the school’s breakfast club and excelling in an environment where you can “truly be yourself”. Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville was joined by Cllr Anntoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Education, Young People and Children’s Social Care, Cabinet colleagues and local Hoxton councillors to cut the ribbon unveiling a plaque marking the official opening of the school yesterday (Wednesday, 22 September).The school, which is a mixed provision for primary aged students through to Year 11 of secondary school, caters for about 250 pupils each year. Executive headteacher Richard Brown said: “The sense of support that this school has received is really incredible. Hackney has invested hugely in this project and that means that they have invested in the children and young people here. “Our mission statement is ‘learning to succeed’. Some of the young people who come here have had difficult experiences previously and we want to ensure that they have the skills to harness their talents and abilities. We have created the best possible environment with this school building for young people who can then learn to succeed. Now we have a five-star building to match five-star staff.”Last week the education regulator Ofsted published its latest report on New Regent’s College, which found that the school continues to be “good”, with inspectors visiting in June reporting that “pupils enjoy coming to school”, “staff expect all students to do well and aim high” and that “students focus well in lessons and enjoy learning from the curriculum”. Hackney Council’s Director of Education Annie Gammon said: “These state-of-the-art facilities will give students the best possible chance to flourish with their studies in Hackney. Some students have come to New Regent’s College following challenging circumstances, but their time here can kickstart their learning and improve their opportunities for the future. We are looking forward to New Regent’s going from strength to strength.”The New Regent’s College is part of the Council’s delivery of its commitment to build almost 2,000 homes, two new schools and a leisure centre on over 20 sites between 2018 and 2022. Since 2018 the Council has completed more than 800 new homes, alongside a new primary school, secondary school, the New Regent’s College and the state-of-the-art Britannia Leisure Centre. It has started construction on a further 170 new homes and received planning permission for over 700 more.More information on New Regent’s College, which opened in September 2019 but delayed its official opening ceremony due to the coronavirus pandemic, is available here.
Empty building refurbished to help those at risk of homelessness get back on their feet
24th September 2021
An empty building in Clapton has undergone extensive refurbishment and modernisation to accommodate young, single homeless people, or those at risk of homelessness, from Hackney, The detached property, which had been empty for a number of years, was given a significant investment by Hackney Council, and can now support 12 people, including two spaces for those with no recourse to public funds, with those aged under 35 prioritised. The building, managed by homeless charity Thames Reach, boasts new, individual bedrooms, shared bathrooms, and a large shared kitchen which opens out into a renovated garden area. A Thames Reach housing manager is based onsite, Monday to Friday, with 24-hour on-call assistance available over the weekend. Residents will receive a minimum of three hours of support a week from Thames Reach staff, who will focus on helping them into employment and unsupported housing within the private rented sector. Mathiu, 27, was placed in the property by the Council after a relationship breakdown left him homeless and living in a car. He has been working with Thames Reach to get into permanent accommodation and employment.Mathiu got in touch with the Council, who helped him to renew his immigration papers to ensure he was eligible for support. In April, the Council temporarily accommodated him in a hotel before he spent some time in a shelter in north London. Mathiu says the differences between living in a shelter and living at the Clapton Common residence are huge, including private own bedroom and space to cook your own meals. At the shelter, he says, there were up to twelve people sharing one room. He said: “I’ve had help here with employment and getting qualifications. Thames Reach has been really helpful in getting me towards that. Living here has really motivated me to be myself and to be better. I had never thought of being a personal trainer until I got my own space, and now I have people that I train on a weekly basis. Now, I’m looking at getting my personal training licence as well as a rail qualification.”Bill Tidnam, Thames Reach Chief Executive, said: “At Thames Reach, we are proud of our work in collaboration with Hackney council for this unique project. The pandemic has emphasised the need to provide a range of accommodation and support to people experiencing homelessness, and for this to be based on the individual’s needs. Where we can, we work with partners to provide accommodation that can divert people away from the risk or reality of street homelessness and quickly towards work and independence. This scheme is an example of this preventative approach, and we are pleased to be able to work with the borough to provide housing management and employment support to the people, like Mathiu, who live in the Clapton Common project.”The renovations support the Council’s ongoing commitment to ensure all Hackney rough sleepers, or those at risk of homlessness, are offered suitable accommodation and support.
Local GPs urge residents to be aware of the early signs of cancer
Blood in stool? Tummy pains that last longer than three weeks? Coughing up blood and pains in the chest? All of these could be early signs of cancer, warn local GPs.A new campaign has been launched by the NHS in Hackney to raise awareness of some of the symptoms of bowel, gastro-intestinal, and lung cancer. The campaign aims to improve early diagnosis as many typical abdominal and respiratory symptoms of cancer go unnoticed or are dismissed as nothing serious. Symptoms such as tummy pains, seeing blood in your poo, or coughing up blood should not be ignored and if you are experiencing any abnormal toilet behaviour, you should contact your GP.Some factors that increase the risk of cancer can’t be helped, such as age – 90% of all cancers are diagnosed in people over the age of 50, so older people should be on the look-out for any symptoms. However, as many as four in 10 cancers are preventable. Find out more about cancer symptoms on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/cancer/symptoms/ or contact your GP to find out more.
24th September 2021
Modernised community hall is better, brighter and accessible for all
A community hall set above a parade of shops in a Hoxton housing estate has become accessible-for-all thanks to a refurbishment project by Hackney Council in partnership with Wenlock Barn Tenant Management Organisation.The renovation of Wenlock Barn Community Hall, in Cropley Street, has seen windows replaced, and electrics and insulation overhauled to modernise the building and make it a more comfortable and pleasant place to be. There is also a new kitchen, baby-changing facilities and disabled toilets. In the past the hall was only accessible by stairs, but a new platform lift allows all members of the community to access the building, including those with limited mobility and wheelchair-users.The hall is also one of the first community assets to benefit from the Council’s ‘Better Broadband’ programme: a partnership between the Council and full-fibre broadband providers to offer faster, more reliable and internet services to people living in Council homes in Hackney. As part of this, companies provide free broadband to nominated community sites, including community halls, housing with care schemes, temporary accommodation, and children’s centres.The refurbishment project - driven and inspired by Wenlock Barn Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) - is mainly being funded by the Council's development in nearby Nile Street, which has provided a new college and residential units. The TMO not only pushed for this investment, but also contributed additional funds from their own reserves. A number of consultations about the future plans for the hall were held with residents of Wenlock Barn. As part of this, the TMO, residents, local community groups and ward councillors got to view the final designs for the hall and share their thoughts about the sorts of activities and events they would like to see. Suggestions included: a lift, disabled access, modern facilities and an improved public realm.David Nkrumah-Buansi, Head of Services, Wenlock Barn TMO, added: “The TMO and the Council have worked magnificently in partnership to deliver this project. A positive demonstration of how the Council can work with TMOs towards a common goal for the benefit of the community.” The new hall was officially opened by Mayor Glanville alongside local councillors, Wenlock TMO and local residents last Saturday (18 September). On the day, there was a small street party and guided visits of the new space.
24th September 2021
Promoting the safety of women and girls in public spaces – share your ideas at online event
Residents can submit their ideas and questions to improve safety for women and girls in public spaces to a panel of experts, charities, police and council staff at a special event next week. The online discussion on 30 September will explore the experiences of local people and include presentations on the policing response to the issue, how to improve safety in Hackney’s nightlife and the support available to women – including trans women – who have experienced sexual violence.Speakers will include the East London Rape Crisis Service, the Metropolitian Police, LGBT+ anti-abuse charity Galop, relevant Council services and Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, Hackney Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety. More than 70% of women in the UK say they have experienced sexual harassment in public – whether on the street, public transport, schools, workplaces or parks. Part of the Council’s dedicated strategy to tackle violence against women and girls, the event follows the Council’s #ReframeTheNight campaign to tackle common myths and misconceptions about night-time sexual harrassment, increased investment in women’s refuges and work to tackle domestic violence, and vigil in response to the murder of Sarah Everard in March. The Safety of Women and Girls in Public Spaces event takes place at 12pm on 30 September. Register online and submit a question to the panel.
23rd September 2021
A cleaner, greener and safer Stoke Newington - your questions answered
Stoke Newington’s new low traffic neighbourhood, aimed at reducing traffic, improving air quality and supporting people to walk, shop and cycle locally, was introduced on 20 September. A new 7am-7pm bus gate on Church Street is helping to reduce through-traffic on the street. Only cyclists, buses and Blue Badge holders who have registered for an exemption can pass through during this time. This is supported by five further traffic filters, which stop new short-cuts opening on surrounding residential streets. These operate at all times in line with the Council’s aim to reduce traffic on residential streets. The new low traffic neighbourhood has been implemented as an 18 month trial, with residents and businesses encouraged to have their say online or by writing to ‘Freepost Streetscene’ in the first six months. The Council will then consider comments, alongside traffic and air quality data, before deciding whether or not to make the scheme permanent. Council officers have been on site every day this week to monitor the new scheme and speak to residents about the changes. A number of responses to common questions have been compiled below. Parking There are a number of designated exit routes in the area so vehicles that need to avoid the bus gate can exit the area without turning in the road. The Council expects traffic to reduce on these roads as drivers get used to the changes and avoid the area. A number of parking spaces have been temporarily removed from these routes to ensure there are adequate passing places on these roads. The Council is monitoring traffic on exit routes and will reinstate these parking spaces if they are no longer needed. It is expected that some of the parking suspensions will be removed over the weekend. A decision on the other parking changes will be made by the end of October, to allow time to adequately assess changes in traffic movements. A small number of properties in the Edward’s Lane area and on Nevill Road are experiencing issues in finding parking spaces. The Council is looking at potential solutions to address this if these problems persist.MonitoringThe Council has completed comprehensive pre-implementation monitoring at 45 sites across the area. When the scheme has settled down, it will repeat this monitoring, which it will share with residents and businesses. Westminster University is also conducting an independent study into the impacts of the scheme using four continuous traffic counters. RoadworksEmergency roadworks are currently taking place near the Stoke Newington High Street/Church Street junction, which is impacting on traffic levels there. This is scheduled to be completed by 6 October. Electric vehiclesSome residents have been asking about electric vehicle exemptions from the low traffic neighbourhood. Permitting electric vehicles to pass through filters would be contrary to the scheme’s aims as it would reduce road safety improvements for pedestrians and cyclists. It is also important to note that tyres and brake wear on all vehicles are still a significant contributor to particulate matter pollution. Sat nav apps The new low traffic neighbourhood is currently shown on sat nav apps. This can change if drivers using sat navs ignore restrictions - but the Council will continue to do everything it can to ensure apps are notified and all restrictions are shown.To find out more, read more frequently asked questions and have your say, visit: hackney.gov.uk/stoke-newington-ltn
23rd September 2021