Friday, December 31, 2010
The meeting is from 2pm – 4pm on Sunday 23 January at the Open the Gate Black Cultural Cafe, 33 – 35 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 8BJ.
See http://www.openthegate.org.uk/ for the venue.
Please help us promote by downloading and circulating the flier (right).
Monday, December 20, 2010
The meeting is from 2pm – 4pm on Sunday 23 January at the Open the Gate Black Cultural Cafe, 33 – 35 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 8BJ.
See http://www.openthegate.org.uk/ for the venue.
The meeting will consist of two sessions, a round table discussion about the impact of cuts on our communities and how we as Hackney Unites can work with groups such as BARAC to develop a strong united community response. Speakers in the round table will include, Lee Jasper, Andrea Enisuoh, and Arpita Dutt.
The second half of the meeting will be a set of workshops that will help us to explore ways that we can mobilise our communities.
There will also be a session of Hackney Unites' Workers Advice Project - for any workers requiring employment advice.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Thursday, December 9, 2010
The session will include an introduction by Wilf Sullivan: TUC Race Equality Officer, plus the opportunity for individual employment advice from local trade unionists and professional employment lawyers.
- There will also be advice for job seekers including interview skills and practice. Finally, there will be advice on benefits for working families.
All of this is free to those who live or work in Hackney
Please help make this event a success by forwarding on this message to individuals, groups and organisations who may be interested in supporting the event, or who may benefit from the advice available.
For more information on the workers advice project visit: http://www.hackneyunites.org.uk/search/label/WorkersAdvice
Hackney Community Census
You can also help us by taking part in the Hackney Community Census. This is an independent on-line census, undertaken by Hackney Unites seeking the views of Hackney people. We want to know what you think about the challenges facing our communities and what we can do together that will help protect our communities. The census takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.
We are aiming to translate the census into community languages. If you could help with this, please drop an email to email@example.com
Hackney Unites is a coalition for social justice, please cascade this email on and help us build a network for social justice across our communities.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Labour councillors in Hackney have launched a campaign against the government’s cuts to public services and funding.
They say the whole country has started to live in fear. Fear of losing our jobs, fear of losing our benefits, fear of losing our homes. Some already have lost their jobs.
Day after day there is some new assault on people by this government. Headlines in the newspapers, on the radio, internet and TV keep blaring out the web of misery being spun by this government.
No-one feels safe any more. Far from obtaining some ‘Churchillian’ feeling of a ‘we will fight them on the beaches’ mood, this government has reduced people to feelings of helplessness, of victims of bullying. Frightened of the future. Fearing they have no real future except the dole queue and poverty.
Someone has to stand up to these economic bullies. Someone has to say enough is enough. This is our country for all the people regardless of race, creed or politics.
Not the place of the divine right to rule by out-of-touch millionaires like Cameron and Clegg, supported by media billionaires now running our media and supporting the Tory Party.
This is the place where we live and belong together using a democratic way of finding solutions together to our common problems.
We say: It’s their cuts – not ours. This is not the way to do things. They
are using ideological cuts, not based
on financial reasons, aimed at the poor and vulnerable in our communities.
They need to stop what they are doing and start listening to reason. To start seeing they have no mandate for this, to start talking to those on the ground locally and put an end to such damaging decisions.
Cllrs Linda Kelly, Deniz Oguzkanli,
Ian Rathbone, Patrick Vernon and
other Labour councillors
• If you want to know more about this growing campaign against the cuts, call 07890 654 068 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Printed by Ian Rathbone of 31 Stevens Ave, London E9 6RX, Promoted by Luke Akehurst of Flat 1, Button Court, 177 Victorian Grove, London, N16 8GL on behalf of Leabridge Ward Labour Party of 26 Wattisfield Rd, E5 9QH.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
As UCL students continue their occupation of UCL’s central campus against the reductions in state funding for education, the broader scheme of cuts and supporting the London Living Wage for UCL employees, they appeal for support. Hackney Unites fully supports their actions and appeals to everyone to send them messages of solidarity too.
We want to build links with all other groups involved in the struggle against the catastrophic government cuts now threatening all areas of society. Using our time as a united group in occupation, we want to meet leaders from sympathetic groups and help build an alliance against the cuts.
We are sending representatives to every meeting that will welcome our support, allow us to learn from their action and organize what action to take next.
But we also want to appeal to you to support our action against the university management and government policy that states that indiscriminate cuts are unavoidable. We are holding events in UCL until the next planned demonstration on Tuesday 30th and as long we can remain in occupation. There will be ongoing open discussions, talks and debates tonight and over the weekend, on Tuesday and beyond. Any support you can offer would be massively helpful.
If no one from your organization can appear in person, we are collecting a wall of solidarity and any contribution you can make will help us gain further support and achieve our demands.
Many thanks and best of luck fighting the cuts,
Follow our progress on Twitter: UCLOccupation
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Hackney Unites is holding an open meeting (all welcome) on Tuesday 23 November at 7pm in the basement of the Café Z Bar, 58 Stoke Newington High Street, N16 7PB.
We will be formally launching the Hackney Community census, and discussing how we get people involved in it. Our target is to get 1,000 people in Hackney to participate in the Community Census. After just a few days we have reached over 150, so a good start but still some way to go.
To participate in the census please visit:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/hackneycommunitycensus If you have not done so already, please cascade this email onto others and encourage them to participate and also to pass on the details.
We will also be discussing the next workers advice session which will now be held on Saturday 11 December (more details to follow). We will need help with pre-publicity, in particular leafleting and arranging the display of posters to publicise the event.
You can also help publicise Tuesday's meeting by visiting the facebook event and then inviting your friends:
Please help us publicise not just the launch but the census itself by cascading this message onto friends, sharing this info on any blogs you are on, as well as Twitter and facebook etc.
Why not take the survey now, and help us reach the target of 1,000 respondents:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/hackneycommunitycensusMany thanks for your support
Thursday, November 18, 2010
The Grants Committee of London Councils will be meeting on Thursday 25th
November to make its final recommendations to the Leaders Committee on
proposed cuts to the London Councils Grants Programme.
BAN (BME Advice Network) is co-ordinating a lobby of this meeting:
10.30am, Thursday 25th November 2010Outside the London Council offices
591⁄2 Southwark Street
London SE1 0AL
BAN opposes cutting services funded by London Councils because:
• Vulnerable Londoner’s will be hit hardest and the impact of this has not
been fully considered
• The categorisation of services as local, sub-regional and pan-London is
• There is no guarantee repatriated funds will be ringfenced for the
• The proposals are not cost-effective as many advice services are
significantly cheaper to provide on a pan-London basis
We are calling on London Councils to honour the grants it provides until
the end of the original contracts to allow organisations enough time to
find alternative funding for the future
All London Councils funded projects including staff, volunteers and
service users are invited to join us at this lobby to ensure the voice of
those affected is fully represented and heard by the decision makers.
Whilst many of us have taken part in the London Councils consultation,
there have been limited opportunities for us to show our unified
opposition to the proposed cuts and the manner in which the consultation
process has been conducted.
The lobby will also be handing in a petition, which can be signed at
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/londoncouncilsfundingcuts• BAN is a network of over 40 quality assured advice services delivered by
and for people from London’s BAMER migrant and refugee communities. More
details about BAN and why we oppose the cuts can be found at:
For queries about the BAN lobby, the liaison contact is Estelle du Boulay,
Newham Monitoring Project 020 8470 8333 / email@example.com
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Last week Hackney Unites, the TSSA (Transport Salaries Staff Association) and Hackney Trade Union Council came together to organise a meeting about Public Transport and the challenges ahead. The purpose of the meeting was to allow for a discussion on exactly what the cuts in public transport are likely to mean to residents, workers, young people, families and businesses in Hackney. Teena Lashmore reports..
A representative from the RMT (Rail, Maritime and Transport Union) gave a brief summary on the potential consequences of 800 job losses which are currently on the table for London Underground’s ticket staff. In summary, the losses and gains for transport users may mean less staff to help you if you are trying to get children and prams up stairs or need assistance with mobility. Although many stations do have escalators or lift facilities not all do.
Now that transport in London is mostly covered by Oyster - with ticket machines available in most stations, it seem wholly reasonable that we need less ticket staff, but this becomes a little different when you want to journey outside the M25 boundary. Finally, the escorting of passengers down the train lines and back into stations when the trains breakdown. With less platform and ticket staff, this is likely to mean passengers will have to wait on the train in the tunnel until staff are ferried in from other locations.
Unite supports a hybrid of workers across a range of services and their representative spoke mainly on the changes of Arriva Busses. He explained the loss of the ‘bendy bus’ (route 38 and 149), has already had an impact on the bus workers, users and the environment. He explained the capacity of 40 bendy buses is met using approximately seventy double-decker buses, causing more pollution and resulting in more vehicles on the roads. The biggest losses are to people with prams, those carrying heavy shopping and those with mobility needs. Finally the salary losses to the individual bus drivers is about a 25% drop, as they are removed from the articulated buses and put back on the double-deckers.
Whatever the back issues to the ‘efficiency savings’ are, it is clear that those with the better ‘spin’ will get greater support from the public; however, what appears absent is the user’s voice. My journey on the 149 from Stoke Newington to London Bridge used to take just over half an hour on the bendy and on the double-decker it is closer to forty five minutes. I understand this is due to the ‘dwell time’ which is how long it takes for all the passengers to enter and exit the two doors where as on the bendy there were multiple entries.
Unlike all the other areas being cut or undergoing efficiency saving, public transport is different. It has unique business characteristics. In particular, it continues to make profits. So much so that Chief Executives in these ‘transport’ businesses are reportedly receiving salaries beyond one hundred thousand pounds every year. So when we talk about ‘cuts’ in public transport running costs, what we are actually discussing is making less profits. This being the case, perhaps its time to ask public transport providers if they could be so kind as to make a little less profit from us this year?
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
It has been a busy time of late in terms of community engagement and Hackney Unites’ Teena Lashmore has been on tour… here is her round up of a few days of protest...
Tuesday 19 October 2010 saw the lunchtime rally in Westminster, where members of the public attempted to gain an audience with their MP’s to discuss alternatives to the Spending Review. Wednesday saw the evening rally: No to billions in cuts, Defend our Welfare State. This was organised by Camden Trades Council, Camden NUT and St Pancras and Holborn Constituency Labour Party. Speakers included Tony Benn, Lee Jasper and others, and the message was unrepentantly: No to cuts.
Many at Wednesday’s evening rally appeared oblivious to the chill in the air. It was as if their inner bodies were warmed by their rage at the savagery of these cuts. Speaker after speaker identified the current political leaders’ programme as being ideological. Workers and students were unanimous and united in their views, that those in most need will be hit the hardest, and that what is being attacked is essentially the Welfare State and public services.
The week ended with a Saturday demonstration consisting of a march from Charlton Street to the Trade Union Council’s building in Congress House. Synchronised with this was the strikes over London the Fire Fighters. This began at local stations at 10am.
The afternoon was spent in Congress House reflecting on the 150 year history of the London Trade Council, which was created to bring all the trade union movements together in solidarity. The session was chaired by Brendan Barber with guest speaker John McDonnell, a Labour MP. He recapped on the week’s events and on the importance of organised resistance as being the most effective means of raising an alternative narrative to the Spending Review.
As debates continue around the country, the ConDem coalition continues to hold firm, that there is no alternative to the package they published on Wednesday. And if Sunday’s newspapers are anything to go by, it appears that both Nick Clegg and David Cameron have agonised over their decision to address the country’s deficits in this way. Clearly, these ‘agonising’ moments must have been during a later period of reflection, as the male-bonding and joyous shoulder slapping of George Osborne by Mr Cameron after his austerity speech on Wednesday in Parliament was not the behaviour normally associated with agony.
As I reflect over the week here in the UK and in France and throughout Europe, I cannot help but notice the lack of debate in our media, on an alternative narrative to the Spending Review. For example, a 2% Wealth Tax on the richest 10% of the population would raise £78 billion in one year. Over four years such a tax would obliterate all deficits with extra money stored for insurance against future rainy days of poor banking practices – why is this not plausible? Changes to Private Finance Initiative (PFI) could see a net saving of £56 billion – why is this not worthy of commentary from our media?
The internet is awash with alternative narratives for the Spending Review and even the governments’ own think tanks (Institute of Fiscal Studies), have argued that those ‘in most need’ will find the changes to the benefit system difficult to negotiate, leaving many families struggling to survive.
The critical debates on the cuts appear to be slow in building their momentum, leaving many to believe there is no alternative. But Britain is a wealthy country and our history teaches us that there is always more than one way to address our finances. “We are all in this together’ is the rhetoric, but as the days pass and the potential impacts are explored further, the evidence is beginning to suggest to the contrary. Under the current review, the rich become a little less rich and the poor fall by the roadside, and those fortunate enough to be caught in between – well, they are left hoping that the private sector will deliver jobs to fill the void.
Although the Trade Union Council are discussing protests and campaigns for the spring of 2011, it is likely that community groups will take independent and coordinated approaches of campaigning against the cuts. In the interim, perhaps it is time to suggest a little reading. The Spirit Level, Why Equality is Better for Everyone is a book that has been reviewed by The Economist and they state: “The evidence (in the book) is hard to dispute.” The book explores the theory of one group looking after its own economic interest above the needs of others and the writers Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett make it very clear that such practices deepen inequality and actually hurt everyone. Lets hoped signed copies can be sent to our leaders.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
As the 20 October 2010 looms closer, so does George’s Osbourne’s Spending Review and its almost certain depressing outcomes.
One cannot help but feel overwhelmed with the Coalitions’ plans to cut, cut, cut public services. The Spending Review has been discussed and debated over the last few months; however, what has had little press and air time is whether and how viable are the alternatives.
There are alternatives and these will be discussed at this evening’s rally, beginning formally at 6pm on 20 October 2010 outside number 10 Downing Street, Whitehall, London.
The rally has been organized by the Coalition of Resistance and their details and further information can be explored by clicking on to the following website: http://www.coalitionofresistance.org.uk/?page_id=2
Speakers include Tony Benn who stated recently in the Guardian: “The time to organise resistance is now. We reject these cuts as simply malicious ideological vandalism, hitting the most vulnerable the hardest. Join us in the fight”. Also in attendance will be the likes of MP John McDonnell, Zita Holbourne (Black Activists Rising Against Cuts), Paul Brandon (Right to Work Campaign), students, the elderly and speakers defending the NHS from privatisation.
Students in London are set to meet up at Malet Street, London WC1 at 4pm and then move on at 4:30 pm to Lincoln’s Inn Fields, where they will join together with others and the main rally. Other demonstrations are set to take place simultaneously in outer London Boroughs - outside their respective town halls.
As Tony Benn has already stated, these cuts will hit the vulnerable and the well less off the hardest. For Hackney – these cuts will most likely be devastating and affect us all regardless of our employers. We may or may not have elected the ConDems personally, but they are our elected leaders and they must have regard for our wishes to stop the savage cuts in public services.
Your voice only impacts if you are heard speaking. The greater the attendance the more powerful our voice becomes.
Friday, October 15, 2010
Hackney Unites is supporting a meeting on Tuesday, 26 October at 7pm at the Stoke Newington Library Gallery on the issue of public transport. The aim is to give a voice to public transport users in the borough.
London Underground has announced 1,600 job cuts on the tube. Transport for London have begun to announce cuts in bus services. All of this before the government’s announcement of its cuts to the London transport budget (expected to be between 25% and 40%).
Hackney people rely on public transport; to get to work, to visit relatives, to take children to school and to undertake day to day tasks such as shopping. Statistically people living in Hackney have less access to cars than the average, we also have a significant pensioner population and an above average number of residents living with disabilities. Public transport is not a luxury for us.
The meeting will hear from tube workers involved in a battle to stop the cuts in tube station jobs and a speaker from the group ‘Campaign for Better Transport’. However, the success of the meeting will depend on how many Hackney public transport users attend and whether they commit to organising a forum to defend the public transport services we have. Bus routes are already being cut in Hackney. We are not being consulted. We intend to create a campaigning voice in Hackney to defend our public transport.
How can you help?
Come along to the meeting with your ideas.
You can help publicise the meeting by:
Cascading on this message to friends, neighbours, family and workmates
Signing up to the event on facebook (and then inviting friends to do the same): http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=167077869975293&id=684939084&il=0&ref=notif¬if_t=share_reply#!/event.php?eid=154406061264154 (you need to be logged in for this link to work)
Taking some leaflets to distribute to yoru neighbours in your street.
Getting a newsagent to display a leaflet in their window.
Joining us for leafleting at Manor House or Stoke Newington stations (details to be arranged).
Please drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help.
The meeting has been called jointly between Hackney TUC and the transport union TSSA.
Friday, October 8, 2010
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
We are meeting with Hackney Councillors tomorrow (Thurs) evening to put our demands to leave the name of CLR James library alone. We now have close to 2,500 signatures on the petition – let’s have another push so we can prove just how much support we have in Hackney and around the world.
Please circulate the petition and get others to sign: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/saveclrjameslibrary/
And for those that don’t know what this is all about: http://www.hackneycitizen.co.uk/2010/10/04/storm-over-clr-james-set-to-rage-through-black-history-month/
As the world pays homage to the survivors of nine eleven and the victims of seven seven, Hackney’s Youth Parliament undertook their first ever Conference in London’s Hackney Town Hall.
It was a fun filled day with the conference kicking off at 11am. Rhasan Brunner, the current Chair of the Hackney Youth Parliament, gave a rundown of the day’s events. There was a range of workshops looking at issues affecting young people from tackling drug misuse, teenage pregnancy and obesity to exploring social expectations around gender and behaviour.
There was an open debate in the Council’s main chamber that looked at the recent burning of the Quran in the USA which has given rise to facebook discussions with young people in Hackney. Those in the council chamber were able to explore the potential consequences for Hackney, as there is a large Jewish, Muslim and Christian community. Others pointed out there are many religious beliefs in Hackney and that all young people should be allowed to explore these identities without fear. Leroy Logan who has worked as Hackney’s Met Police Deputy Borough Commander, was able to offer reassurance by pointing out that as every year passes, from nine eleven to the seven seven bombings, Hackney’s hate crimes have remained low, suggesting community work by other organisation are largely successful with achieving social cohesion.
This conference rides on the success of Hackney’s youth members visiting America and having access to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Although one of the key focuses for this conference was to bring young people in the Borough together, another was to establish a Youth Manifesto. Rhasan reflected that many young people in Hackney are involved in positive things such as politics and that he is keen to come along to Hackney Unites to see how he can participate so that young people’s views and needs are included.
As the day come to a close there was a hot buffet and an opportunity for reflection. Hackney has many young people actively participating in community events to make their environment better. As I walked away from Hackney Town Hall, on to my next job, I could not help but think I had been in the company of tomorrow’s leaders.
Friday, October 1, 2010
Thanks to those of you who attended the second meeting last
night of the Working Group for the ‘Hackney: Borough of Sanctuary
The next meeting is Tuesday 9th November
7pm at Stoke Newington Methodist Church, 106 High Street, N16 7NY.
If you are interested in working towards making Hackney a ‘Borough
of Sanctuary’ please come along.
If you would like to read more about the ‘City of
Sanctuary’ Movement in general (upon which we are basing our move towards
becoming a ‘Borough of Sanctuary’) please take a look at the
excellent website at www.cityofsanctuary.org
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
15 September 2010
Hackney watchdog to hold meeting on
government proposals for the NHS
Hackney Local Involvement Network (Hackney LINk), the borough’s watchdog for health and adult social care services, is to hold a public meeting to coordinate a local response to the government’s proposals for the NHS.
The meeting will take place on Thursday 23 September at 6.30pm at Morley Hall, City Edge, 125-127 Mare Street, E8 3RH. Local MP Meg Hillier will be among the speakers.
Malcolm Alexander, Chair of Hackney LINk, said the LINk was aiming to lead the local response to the government’s recent NHS White Paper by bringing together MPs, councillors, the voluntary sector and the general public.
“There are concerns that this White Paper puts the National Health Service at considerable risk. We don’t want to wake up one day and find that our healthcare has gone to the private sector and that the NHS has been left as nothing more than a brand name. That’s why we need to organise a powerful response now. We must ensure that the NHS is fully accountable to patients and the public and is focused on their needs, not the need to make profits out of healthcare.”
The speakers at the meeting will include:
• Meg Hillier (Member of Parliament for Hackney South and Shoreditch)
• Patrick Vernon (Chief Executive of the Afiya Trust and local councillor)
• Dot Gibson (Keep Our NHS Public and General Secretary of the National Pensioners Convention)
• Malcolm Alexander (Chair of the National Association of LINks Members and Chair of Hackney LINk)
After hearing from the speakers the meeting will break into discussion groups to plan tactics for responding to the issues raised in the White Paper.
The position of Hackney LINk is that it:
• Aims to provide leadership on the White Paper bringing together MPs, councillors, the voluntary sector and the general public;
• Is committed to securing the NHS as a publicly funded body free at the point of use;
• Opposes privatisation of health and social care services and the transfer of taxpayers’ money to private healthcare companies;
• Notes that the main thrust of the White Paper is to privatise both the commissioning and providing of services;
• Is concerned that the government has no mandate from the recent election for the further privatisation of health and social care services;
• Welcomes the government’s desire to promote shared decision-making between doctors and patients, and believes this will be best achieved by letting GPs concentrate on treating patients rather than becoming commissioners and bureaucrats;
• Welcomes the government’s concern for accountability, but fears the transfer of commissioning from PCTs to GPs will harm the doctor-patient relationship, reduce accountability and require the use of expensive consultancy services and private healthcare companies;
• Believes that 50% of the people on all NHS commissioning/planning boards should be patients and members of local HealthWatch;
• Fears the White Paper proposals will lead to the NHS becoming bogged down in another round of reforms causing havoc to patient care for the next five years;
• Wishes to support the growth and development of the voluntary sector, but not at the expense of public provision of health and social care;
• Regards the massive cuts in the voluntary sector as inconsistent with the government’s notion of a ‘Big Society’;
• Supports ring-fencing of public health expenditure and believes that public health provision should be integral to the planning/commissioning of healthcare;
• Believes a major role for local HealthWatch should be to develop, support and collaborate with patient participation groups in every GP practice;
• Believes HealthWatch England must be adequately funded and wholly independent of government, local authorities and the Care Quality Commission, and its Board must be elected by local HealthWatch groups.
For further information about this story contact Mark Hope, Hackney LINk Policy Manager, tel: 020 8510 1973, email: email@example.com.
For further information about Hackney LINk see www.hackneylink.org.uk or contact Esther Norman, Hackney LINk Support and Development Manager, tel: 020 8510 1975, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Just finished reading a very interesting report commisioned by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) as part of its Active Unions Active Communities programme.
Entitled Swords of Justice and Civic Pillars, the report uses Hackney Unites as one of its case studies. An excerpt can be downloaded here (right)but if you would like to see a copy of the full report then email: email@example.com
Thursday, September 16, 2010
As some of you already know Hackney Unites are the winners of an HCVS Adiaha Antigha Community Achievement Award 2010 - for being the voluntary and community organisation which has been the most enterprising in adapting to current challenges. Just thought you'd like to see the Award and our certificate..
Monday, September 13, 2010
Hackney Unite's resident blogger Mz Lashmore reports on another successful Workers Advice Session for Hackney Unites...
Although there was strong competition with Hackney’s Youth Parliament hosting their very first conference in the Town Hall, it was clear that members of the community are very concerned about jobs and impact the austerity cuts will have on their livelihoods.
The Community Centre on the Wilton Estate, Greenwood Road, Hackney E8 provided a comfortable meeting point. The session began with a brief overview of organisations and their rights to change employee’s working conditions. Of most interest was developing the understanding that changes to work do not leave the individual unable to do their job.
There was also an update from an advisor on Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) Family Tax and Working Tax Credits. Crucial information was shared and most noteworthy was the fact that HMRC allow claimants up to three months to inform them of changes in their material circumstance before beginning proceeding for benefit fraud. Apparently there continues to be about £6 billion unclaimed from the Working Tax Credit purse. Those who are single and in full time jobs, but earn less than £14,000 are eligible to apply.
We then moved on to the private sector. Members of the public were able to inquire into the generic conditions of Constructive Dismissal before moving on to have private ‘one to one’ advice from employment lawyers and/or trained union employee reps.
Although these sessions are scheduled for two hours those who attend also have the opportunity to obtain a specialist’s employment law services, should they require. I find these public meeting provide a brilliant opportunity for Hackney residents to obtain support and advice about their individual work matters.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
This Saturday at 11am is a ‘Greening Hackney Forum’. An open meeting at Hackney Town Hall. There is no set agenda - just bring your ideas and priorities.
Contact Ian Rathbone for more details: Ian.Rathbone@Hackney.gov.uk
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Come and play candi-dating – the political equivalent of speed dating – also come to a hustings meeting on Tuesday 7 September to question local candidates standing in the by-election.
Hackney Unites believe that we need good quality representation prepared to answer to local communities. We have therefore called a candidating/hustings meeting on Tuesday 7 September at Stamford Hill Library. Each of the candidates have been invited and at the time of going to press three of the five have agreed to attend (we do hope to have all five on the night).
Candi-dating from 6pm-7.15pm
This is your opportunity, in the political equivalent of speed-dating to meet on a one-to-one basis with each of the candidates for two or three minutes and ask them any question you wish.
We will also have a formal hustings meeting where each of the candidates will address us on their reasons for standing and listen to their views and answer your questions on your priorities.
How you can help make this a success
Let us knowing advance what you think the key issues are that will decide how you vote. We will compile these and send them to the candidates. Send in your questions in advance. If lots of people attend on the evening it may not be possible for everyone to ask their question. However if you send in a question we will ask the candidates to them and post the answers on our blog. Please also encourage your friends, family and neighbours to come along on the 7 September and have their say. Our publicity flier for this event can be downloaded on the right. You can help make sure our local politicians are accountable to local communities.
Please email questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, August 20, 2010
Welcome to the first TTSN newsletter.
It's not always obvious from our web site what is happening
in TTSN. so here is a short summary of to help keep everyone in touch with what
is going on and coming up. It's by no means complete or authoritative so please
get in touch if you have any questions or would like to find out more.
*Bike Maintenance Workshop*
This was one of the projects which sprang to life from the open space event. If
you haven't heard, we're planning on running bike maintenance workshops where
the idea is to teach people how to look after and maintain their bicycles
(rather than actually do it for you). The amazing Hackney Cycling Campaign have
been running workshops along these lines very successfully in east Hackney for
some time now and have offered us expertise in getting ours up and running and
to help out with tools.
The venue is likely to be St Michael & All Angels Church on Northwold Rd. We're
hoping to hold our first workshop in September and then on on a monthly basis.
If you're interested, drop Kate a line on kategobell at hotmail.com (who will be at
the Inclusion rounders game on the 15th).
*Levi Memorial Garden*
The spring plantings have flourished into a vibrant, colourful demonstration of
what can be achieved in urban, public spaces. Last weekend saw carrots, winter
lettuces and radishes planted for the coming months. Freya will be giving short
talk about the garden on 8th September at Hackney City Farm along with other
groups developing new green spaces in Hackney.
The Inclusion Group has had a number of meetings over the past few months to
explore at ways of involving a wider audience in Transition. In the near term
they're looking at events which appeal to a wider range of people. On that note,
one final reminder of the of the event they've organised this weekend happening
from 2pm on Sunday, in Clissold Park, somewhere near the ponds (look out for the
fabulous recycled home-made signs). If you're keen bring a dish to share and
maybe a rug to sit on.
Another project which sprang to life from the open space event is already off to
a flying start. This project aims to map the fruit trees in public and private
spaces around Stoke Newington and Hackney and then making the best use of the
fruit and ensure that it doesn't go to waste. We will achieve this by helping
with the harvesting and then redistributing the excess fruit around the
community via community groups, local businesses and other partners. We are
being supported by the magnificent London Orchard Project
(http://www.thelondonorchardproject.org/) who are going to be
planting a community orchard in Haggerston Park this autumn.
So far we have had some very successful mapping days where groups of eager
mappers have hit the streets and found a huge number of fruit and nut
Quite simply they're everywhere and when you start looking for them you
can't stop spotting them. One of the reasons for this is that Stoke
Newington has a long history as a market garden for London (see
Next phase is to start harvesting and redistributing the fruit. We
have harvesting and processing weekends planned
(http://hackneyharvest.com/events/) throughout the Autumn, culminating
in an Apple Day in the farmers market in Stoke Newington in October.
There is a lot of work to be done in the coming weeks and we need your help!
If you can spare any time on the harvesting weekends (and if anyone out
there owns some sort of cargo bike or trailer) then we'd love to hear from
you (http://hackneyharvest.com/contact/). Alternatively you can help by
spreading the word about the project and encouraging friends and neighbours
to register their fruit tree with us (http://hackneyharvest.com/tree-submission/)/
You can read more about the project on our website, hackneyharvest.com where
you will also find a map of the trees uncovered so far
After a relatively quiet summer, the Buildings Group will be back up and
running as usual for the new heating season which is now just a couple of
months away (sorry!). Now it the time to be thinking about the energy
efficency measures which you will be doing this year so that you get them
done early and maximise the savings.
We'll be starting up our monthly meetings again where you will be able to
seek advice on how to cut your home's energy consumption. As ever we're very
keen to find people in the area who are considering improving their home's
energy performance so if you are thinking about doing this or know of anyone
in Stoke Newington who is toying with the idea, please put them in touch.
The RefurbN16 <http://refurbn16.com/> website is growing all the time with
practical tips on cutting carbon in our homes and if there is any subject
that you feel we should add then please let us know. There's lots of useful
information up there already so please check it out and feel free to add
comments or queries below any article.
After the success of the first Draught Busting
we're going to be rolling these out again this autumn. If you live in a leaky
house and are interested in learning how to make it much more snug and
comfortable, as well as saving money on your energy bills, then please come
along to one of these sessions. You'll be shown how to install draught
proofing (it's very easy) and will be given an opportunity to buy cost price
draught proofing materials
We are particularly interested in finding people who would be interested in
hosting a session in their home - please get in contact if you can help out in
We have other ideas for this winter bubbling away and we're very happy to
hear your ideas too so please get in contact via the
website (http://refurbn16.com/contact/) or email refurbstokey at gmail.com.
*London Transition Networking Event at London Permaculture Festival*
The London Permaculture Festival will be taking place on Sunday 22nd August
right by Regent's Park at Cecil Sharp House.
As part of programme there will be an informal networking event for Transition
Town groups from 11am to 1pm. If you are interested in meeting up and sharing
experiences with other Transition groups in London then please come along.
As part of the event there is a survey in progress to help get an overall
picture of Transition in London. A summary of results will be presented at the
start of the event (see http://www.london-transition.org.uk/survey-090810.html
The festival itself will be continuing until 11pm with a full programme of
workshops, talks, demonstrations, films, music and food and drink. For more
information please visit:
*Get Growing at Home Workshops*
We've been talking so Hedvig Murray about running a series of practical home
vegetable growing workshops in the spring. Hedvig runs Get Growing
(http://www.getgrowing.org.uk/) and is an experienced Permaculture and organic
gardening teacher. The idea is we start early spring next with a workshop about
planning and preparing, followed by a more hands on workshop getting the garden
ready and then workshops on maintaining and developing the garden.
If you would be interested in participating in these workshops or have a garden
or space you would like to develop early next year (and would be prepared for
some TTSN people to come along help) please get in touch.
The events group have taken a bit of a summer holiday but will be back later in
the year. Some of us went on a tour of to the Friends of Tottenham Mashes
Permaculture garden a few weeks ago, which was a fascinating demonstration of
the application of permaculture principles - letting nature do all the work - in
an unlikely setting. Many thanks to Phil for showing us around.
One event which is currently being looked at is a workshop/talk on home brewing.
*Documentary Feature Project*
Rowan asked if we could mention Just Do It, a feature length documentary in
production about climate change activism. It's an experiment in crowd-funding,
group production and community-engaged documentary filmmaking. See
http://just-do-it.org.uk/ for more information.
*Education Officer Job at EcoActive*
Some of you might also be interested in Part-time Education Officer position at
Eco Active (see http://www.ecoactive.org.uk).
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Out next Workers Advice Project is on Saturday 11 September 2 – 4pm, Wilton Estate Community Hall, Greenwood Road, London E8 1BE.
This will, for the first time, include additional advice provided by the ‘Raise Project’ who provide advice on benefits issues.
Please help us make this session a success by dowloading and displaying our poster (right) and passing the word around.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Hackney Unite's resident blogger Mz Lashmore reports on our recent evening of reflection and future planning...
An evening in late July. The venue is Café Mostra in Stoke Newington and Hackney Unites have brought together local residents, community group leaders and workers to reflect on the Celebrate Hackney community event and conference that took place earlier in the year at Stoke Newington School.
The register from the conference had 400 signatures. Initial feedback on the day was largely supportive, with people saying how inclusive they felt the event had been. Analysis from the feedback survey revealed about 25% of those in attendance came from the community’s younger generation, those usually under represented in politics and neighbourhood engagement.
The evening of reflection echoed further those sentiments captured in the feedback survey and from those supportive discussion that happened on the day. With lessons learned and agreed tweaks for future events, the meeting turned their attention to key areas affecting our Borough: one being the restructuring of the National Health Service (NHS) and the other, cuts in community services.
On the table was a Statement of Intent from the group which in summary is suggesting Hackney Council explores an alternative to the austerity budgets currently being promoted by the Con-Dems government. Should the cuts go ahead as planned, the impact for the London Borough of Hackney is unimaginable at this time. The Chief Executive of the Borough is reported to have said, if the council was to cut back all office staff by 50%, shut one swimming pool and a library, this would save £16 million. But this is merely a tip of the ice-berg on the planned cuts for £80 million. The scale of job loses and the reduction in local services is likely to affect every citizen in this Borough and those beyond.
The NHS delivers health services locally and is also a large employer. The NHS is now under review with Primary Care Trusts (PCT) being given the main responsibility to commission private health services. This may seem like a cost effective move and is indeed being promoted as such by the government. In reality private companies involved in delivering public services begin cheaply, but those introductory costs soon rise and the overall service deliver becomes more expensive for the tax payer.
The evening concluded with food, wine, beers and coffee. The date for future meetings is to be confirmed via the website, word and mouth and other informal networks. In the interim, plans are a foot to link Hackney Unites with other political and campaigning groups for a coordinated approach to campaign against the country’s deficits - where the collective feeling is: let the banks wait!
Friday, July 30, 2010
Academic and student researchers at Goldsmiths College working with community organisations in Hackney
Hackney Unites is working to link academic and student researchers at Goldsmiths College with community organisations in Hackney.
The aim is to link community groups with researchers who can assist them in preparing an evidenced based argument for their particular concerns. We also hope to be able to bring all these small projects together to build an evidence bank for campaigners in Hackney and hopefully have an event where the research can be presented publicly.
Please see details from Anna Carlile, Lecturer in Inclusive Education at Goldsmith’s below and contact her to express your interest.
Research collaboration: Goldsmiths, University of London and Hackney Unites
The four ways in which collaboration would work would be:
A. An intern for your organisation: I place PGCE students (student teachers) with organisations one day a week. These are called 'enrichment placements', and are are intended to provide organisations with support to design resources, carry out projects, and support people, at the same time helping new teachers to become aware of and empathic about some of the issues they may come across in their classrooms. If your organisation would like to carry out a bit of research, a focus group project, or an arts-based investigation, this might be a good route. Placements do not necessarily need to be with young people or in education settings.
B. Collaborate with a school to carry out your research: The Illuminate Young Researchers Project trains young people in school in research methods. The young researchers then carry out their own research projects in school, at home and in the community. This may be a way to reach out to people not currently involved with your organisation, and will support young people to develop self advocacy skills, to make a reasoned argument, and to help their school become an active member of the local community. This might be a way to develop a collaboration between your organisation and a school, and to work with young people to carry out research into a particular concern. Recent Illuminate projects have covered safety on the bus route to school, lighting in quiet and secluded areas, racist bullying at school, and the role of the police in keeping school children safe on their route to school.
C. BA student research projects: I teach a course called 'Studies in Inclusion and Exclusion' on the BA Education Culture and Society at Goldsmiths. Their assignment is to carry out a case study of a person or organisation in terms of their experiences of and work relating to issues of inclusion and exclusion. I would like to invite four organisations to Goldsmiths to offer a research brief to these students, who would then carry out a piece of research and produce a research report for your organisation. The dates for these sessions are 20th January and 3rd February from 1pm-3pm, here at Goldsmiths. Please let me know if you are interested.
D. Research training and planning sessions for organisations: Illuminate researcher training can also be made available to adults in your organisation. I was thinking of starting this with the Workers Group, with other Hackney Unites people welcome to join. The training could take two half days and would help you to plan and carry out your own research project.
Please feel free to email me if any of the above ideas would work in terms of what your organisation is hoping to achieve within the Hackney Unites framework.
Anna Carlile, Lecturer in Inclusive Education
Head of Secondary Partnerships/MQA and Coordinator for CPD
Department of Educational Studies
Goldsmiths, University of London
Thursday, July 29, 2010
My name is Jaya Carrier and along with my colleague Jim Barlow, I am working at St. John-at-Hackney this month on a placement with London Citizens and TELCO, both of which use community organising in order to enact political change in local areas.
Our project involves creating a listening group to find out about life in Hackney, what some of the problems are, and how we might best respond to them. This is so that the coming works of London Citizens in Hackney might be better informed and so that we can begin to forge good relationships with different people and groups in Hackney. Our listening project involves conducting informal one-to-one conversations with people. They can be organised at the best convenience of people (be it in their homes, or anywhere else) and are no longer than 45 minutes. It would be wonderful to have as many people take part as possible, so please do get in touch if this is something you are interested in.
Should you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask either by email (email@example.com) or by calling me on 07709495578.
Friday, June 25, 2010
The activities of our 21st Festival have kicked off after a launch last week, and I am writing to provide information about the activities of our festival. Just as every year, the festival features activities for almost all sections of the community, with the major activity of our festival, the traditional Park Festival due to take place on Sunday, 4 July at Clissold Park.
Our multi-cultural festival is now the longest running festival in the borough and in the Turkish and Kurdish community. Just as every year, our festival activities once again brought to the fore strong messages of community solidarity and the need to create conditions in which the migrant communities and the rest of the society to work and live together.
At this year’s Park Festival, we will host the prominent Kurdish musician, Mikail Aslan, who have made a name for himself with his original synthesis of the traditional and contemporary Kurdish and Turkish music. Along with Mikail Aslan and his band, we will have Yeni Türkü, a band that has been bringing together Mediterranean and Anatolian melodies successfully over the last three decades, bringing forward the diversity of Anatolian culture. The programme of the event includes other performances bringing their own flavour of music for peace, unity and a better world for all. On the day of the park festival, there will also be stalls from various organisations giving out information, bookstalls and, of course, traditional food and drinks.
We would like to take this opportunity to invite you to the activities of the festival and the park celebration on Sunday, 4 July. Please see the attached leaflet for a detailed programme of the day.
Thank you very much for your time and hope to see you at festival activities.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
On Saturday 5 June 2010 some four hundred Hackney residents attended Stoke Newington School as part of the Hackney Unites Celebrate Hackney! Event.
Hackney Unites is a local group with members coming from the diverse range of community sectors. People have dedicated their time and effort to the project since October last year.
The aim of the event was to celebrate Hackney and everything the borough has achieved to date, while at the same time act as a catalyst to link local businesses and community organisations together so that they could work in the interest of local people.
The day was a success with stalls occupied by a range of community based businesses and voluntary organisations such as Open University, Hackney Migrant Centre, HCVS and the Community Empowerment Network. A range of food was on sale – sponsored by local business. One of the major highlights was the first ‘Hackney shorts film festival’ – so aptly named to reflect the range of short films shown throughout the day.
There were some fifteen workshops - all looking at issues that affect Hackney residents, community groups and businesses. The penultimate session on the day covered five key topics: young people and their needs, the struggles against racism and the need to build an effective campaign, the wider concerns with peace and war, community organisation and the need to work collaboratively with other community groups and the workers advice sessions – where community members could obtain basic advice on how to enforce their employment rights in the work place.
Under the coalition Conservative/Lib Dem government there are likely to be major changes to community groups with budget cuts affecting the services they provide. Speaker Andy Benson from the National Coalition for Independence Action detailed some of the impacts these changes may have, such as government becoming directly involved in organisations – affecting their autonomy and their ability to be impartial in the community work they do. Maurice Glassman discussed the work of London Citizens, a local group. Wendy Pettifor galloped though the recent cost cutting measures within the Law Society with the net effect that people in need of legal advice and support are unable to access it. Cathy Reay from Hackney Housing Group explained how their actions are about empowering individual tenants to engage with the processes to improve the quality of their accommodation. Finally Liz Hughes from Haggerston Pool Community Trust detailed their on going battle with the Hackney Council to keep a swimming pool within their local community.
The closing session was facilitated by John Page, secetary of Hackney Unites where initial feedback was extremely positive on the day’s events. I came away with an awareness that the pending cuts to Hackney’s local services will have an unquantifiable impact on Hackney residents and businesses.
By Mz Lashmore
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
The UK's current prison population has topped over 84,000 people. While the debate rages on about being tough on crime, little is heard of recent changes to one of the key stakeholders involved in managing crime and diverting offenders away from criminal behaviours: probation.
As of April 2010 the Probation Service became a Probation Trust. Criminal justice services will now be delivered locally - mirroring the boundaries of Local Authorities. The change is designed to allow Probation to 'commission services' with other public and/or third sector organisations or voluntary agencies such as educational services and training providers. Links that help reduce further offending.
For people in Hackney, these fundamental changes in the criminal justice process create the possibility of a shift of emphasis towards community justice. This change has seen little political debate, or discussion on what it means (or could mean) for our communities. Anti-social and criminal behavior affects local communities and it is hoped that these changes in the Probation service will ensure offenders sentenced to community sentences will 'pay-back' locally to their communities for their offending.
If these changes are to be successful then the communities of Hackney need to participate in the process; for example, nominating meaningful and useful projects for offenders to undertake as part of their punishment. Meanwhile, community groups that seek to divert young people from offending will need to gear up for the inevitable changes in funding arrangements.
As communities we will need to find ways to participate in local crime reduction partnerships so that the crime strategy for Hackney is focused locally. We can achieve different outcomes by diverting young people away from criminal behavior by breaking the patterns that exist in poor education, social exclusion, lack of employment and training and offending.
Community and restorative justice can be an effective way of reducing reoffending. Perhaps we in Hackney need to discuss how our communities play a role in ensuring that the policies that are adopted are the ones that work for Hackney rather than being imposed by 'opinion formers' elsewhere.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Unfinished Histories is a project that seeks to record oral history interviews with individuals, document the movement and ensure that archives are preserved. The project has a special releveance to Hackney, given the long-standing history of the borough as a home for artists and a home of dissent.
If you are interested in the project and would like to know more or get involved, come along to Celebrate Hackney or see our web site at www.unfinishedhistories.com
Susan Croft (Hackney-based Co-Director, Unfinished Histories)
Friday, May 21, 2010
While we congratulated Haggerston Pool campaigners for their success in our tabloid newspaper, Hackney Unites would like to make it clear that the camppaign is far from over. Here Liz Hughes from Haggerston Pool Community Trust explains the current situation.
Work starts on 2.5 year project to re-open Haggerston Pool
Work has started on the re-opening of Haggerston Pool following a 10 year community campaign.
Haggerston Pool closed in February 2000 for Heath and Safety reasons when inspectors identified £300,000 worth of work needed to keep the pool safe. The council was in financial chaos, there was an overspend on Clissold Leisure Centre of many millions, and this funding request was denied.
The plan now is to re-open Haggerston Pool as part of a new Health and Wellbeing Centre, very much in line with the vision set out by users of the pool at the time that it closed. As well as the swimming pool and a hydrotherapy pool, likely facilities are a GP practice, dentists surgery, community kitchen, gym, youth space, computer suite, dance studio/sports hall and rentable units for community groups organisations.
Architects BDP have been appointed to the project and the estimated timescale is 28 - 30 months for design and construction. More time will be needed for the fit-out.
The Department of Children Schools and Families has awarded Hackney Council a £5.1 million “co-location” grant towards re-opening of Haggerston Pool as a project bringing health, education and children's services together under one roof.
The total cost estimate is £21million.
Work is being overseen by a Project Board led by the council’s Community Services Directorate liaising with GLL who hold the main leisure contract for Hackney. We have requested that there be a local community representative on this board.
Liz Hughes will be speaking about the campaign at Celebrate Hackney! on 5th June. To book your place visit: http://celebratehackney.eventbrite.com/
Friday, May 14, 2010
The Black Parent Community Forum (BPCF) is hosting a Drugs awareness event this Saturday as part of the Adult Learners' Week:
DRUG Awareness & Intervention
Remember, "The people perish through lack of knowledge" so come and join us, bring a friend and update your awareness on the dangerous drugs that are destroying the lives of our children, dividing family's and increase crime in our communities.
The event is absolutely free and refreshments will be provided.
Date: Saturday 15th May 2010
Address: Adeline Centre
20 Belsham Street Hackney London E9 6LG
Time: 11am - 2pm
"We all are affected one way or another".
Book your place here for Celebrate Hackney! Saturday June 5th:
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
If you click on the images on this and successive posts you will see the fabulous 8 page tabloid paper we have published to promote the Celebrate Hackney event on 5 June. Just click on the image and it will enlarge.
We have had 50,000 printed and we now need your help to distribute these.
If you can help deliver these door to door in and around the streets where you live, or if you are a member of an organisation that will take and display them, please drop us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) telling us how many papers you need and where you can deliver them.
The paper is packed with news and information about local groups and organisations who are going to be involved in Celebrate Hackney. However, in the end we could not fit everything in so apologies if your group gets little more than a small mention.
Thanks to everyone who has made both Celebrate Hackney and this paper possible.
Page two features an article about Day-Mer a Turkish/Kurdish organisation that has been supporting people from their communities for over 20 years. It promotes a cultural festival to be held later in the year. The page also talks about fundraising for Hackney Unites (we are asking people to make a regular donation of £1 a month). Finally, it features the ‘city of sanctuary’ movement and encourages us to make Hackney a safe and welcoming place for those fleeing persecution.
Page three leads on the story of the Hackney Empire and former artistic director Roland Muldoon's blistering attack on the theatre board who have closed the beloved Hackney Empire 'for a period of reflection. It also features an article about Hackney's older residents. The article reminds us that we will all grow older in time and describes as a scandal the fact that older people in Hackney die on average 8 years earlier than their counterparts in Kensington and Chelsea.
Page four features the children's party organiser Sue Forrester-Brown of 'Birthday Dreams' who will be providing children's entertainment at Celebrate Hackney. It also reports on the Workers Advice Project' and invites people to get involved in both Hackney Unites and the HOPE not hate campaign.
The majority of page 5 is taken up with a full list of the speakers at the conference and the 15 separate workshops we will be holding. Everything from a question time of local politicians to a discussion of war and peace!
Page six previews the Changing Lives exhibition which will be a feature of the Celebrate Hackney event, celebrates the HOPE not hate campaign (and thanks those from Hackney who 'twinned' with Barking and Dagenham to defeat the BNP) and features a project interested in Hackney Routes.
Page seven features the Sam Hallam, Yum Yum restaurant, congratulates the Haggerston pool campaigners (we will be publishing a fuller article on this website) and announces that Celia Stubbs from the Blair Peach campaign will be speaking at the miscarraige of justice session.
With just over three weeks to go before the 5 June Celebrate Hackney event, we are eagerly awaiting the return of our 8 page tabloid newspaper which we hope to distribute to 50,000 homes in the borough (see front page on the right).
The event has speakers from 50 different groups, including Roland Muldoon from the Hackney Empire, and Cellia Stubbs from the Blair Peach Campaign. We have trade unionists, community activists and faith groups. We have children's activities from professional party organisers, 'Birthday Dreams', massage, a question time of local politicians, a choir from the Pedro Club, our own Hackney film festival, plus food from Cafe z, Lillys, Yum Yum and Vegan Peasant.
It is going to be a fantastic event, however we need your help to publicise it. Will you take a couple of hundred of these papers and distribute them to the neighbours in your street or block?
If you can help, please drop an email to email@example.com, tell us where you live and where you can post these papers.