Friday, January 21, 2011

Let's Speak Up for Hackney - a message from Hackney Unites

Hackney Unites are asking for your help in producing and distributing a tabloid newspaper which showcases the best in Hackney while urging our communities to unite against the budget cuts that threaten our services.

We also urge you to register to join ‘the Hackney contingent’ on the national demonstration against the cuts on 26 March.

Please cascade this message on to friends, family, neighbours, and to colleagues at work and in faith and community groups in the borough and thereby help us get our message to the wider community.

We cannot accept these cuts

The government is cutting public spending at an alarming rate. Hackney Council is talking of cutting £44 million pounds from its budget in the next 12 months; money that pays for social services, housing, pest control, refuse collections, libraries, the noise service, trading standards, planning control and food safety among many other services.

Our children’s education is threatened, by cuts to schools budgets, by the withdrawal of the Education Maintenance Allowance and by the legislation which will see Universities charge students £9,000 per year.

Meanwhile Hackney GP, Dr Tomlinson, has spoken out on behalf of the BMA against the government’s planned ‘£20 billion of cuts to the health service over four years and the conversion of the NHS from a public service to a commercial market’.

Public transport has seen rapid fare rises at a time when busses are to be reduced and tube jobs are being cut.

Not only is unemployment set to rise, but if you lose your job through redundancy, you may find that the reductions in housing benefit mean that you can no longer live in Hackney and are forced to relocate to outer London, far from your friends, family and support networks.

The Government insists these cuts are unavoidable, yet senior economists warn that far from solving the deficit the cuts could drive the economy into a recession which will starve the treasury of income and actually make the deficit worse.

We need to act as one

Hackney Unites is not primarily an anti-cuts organisation. We aim to bring people together from across our various communities in the belief that we can achieve more for our communities by working together. (to find out more about us, visit However, the biggest immediate challenge to our communities is the effect of these proposed cuts: which will hit women, ethnic minorities and lower income families the hardest.

Cuts on this scale can have the effect of fracturing communities and lead to the scapegoating of vulnerable communities. We have teamed up with the HOPE not hate organisation and intend to produce a tabloid newssheet which celebrates what we have and alerts our communities to what we might lose.

There will be articles from trade unionists, faith leaders, tenants’ reps, health workers, legal aid practitioners and dozens of small community groups. This is your opportunity to add the voice of your group or campaign to the thousands of others in Hackney demanding that these cuts are stopped and our services protected.

The tabloid newspaper will celebrate Hackney, but will also call on people to participate as part of a Hackney contingent in the national demonstration called by the TUC on the 26 March. However, 26 March will not be the end of this initiative. We need to build a local Hackney based network capable of organising our communities and focussing effective opposition to individual cuts as they impact on our communities.

We have booked a print run of 25,000 copies and over the next few weeks we will need help both in writing and then distributing them.

If you want to help in either the production or distribution (or have any other comments) please complete our very short on-line survey:

If you want to join us on Saturday 26 March then sign up for the Hackney Contingent, which we hope will be over 1,000 strong.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, please help us unite Hackney, by forwarding this message on to friends, family, neighbours and colleagues in Hackney who may want to help build a strong united community coalition that challenges these cuts and celebrates Hackney.

And don’t forget we have an anti-cuts meeting this Sunday (see for details)

If you are not already on our email list and would like to join you can sign up at

Thank you

John Page


Hackney Unites

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