Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hackney - 1 week on - Clarence Road Tea Party

Pictures credit: Tony Pletts

Tea Party with a difference

Clarence Road tea party has been organised by local residents. The hope is that people will get talking together, and begin to work on ways of taking the local community forward from the disruption of the disturbances.

There will be an opportunity for people to put up their views on ways forward in the future, on post-it notes on a board. The results of that will be fed back later. We are grateful for the support of the local Marks & Spencers shop in providing some of the refreshments and to Hackney Council for all their support.

Fr Rob Wickham, Rector of St John at Hackney, said: “We suggested the idea of an afternoon tea to bring the whole community, including local residents, businesses and faith communities, together exactly one week on from the Hackney riots.  Last week Clarence Road was a place of destruction, this week, I pray, Clarence Road will be a place of hopeful healing."

Sarah Pletts, of the Clapton Square User Group, said: “We all need to listen to one another and find out how we’re feeling about this area and how we can improve things. We have supported the Help Siva fund because his shop acts as place where everyone in the community can meet one another and he has been so helpful to so many people.“

Steve Lord, Chair of Pembury Tenants and Residents Association, said: “We welcome the street party. We have already had events this week on the estate to help people talk to one another and share any problems. This will help us to build up better relationships in the wider area and support our local shops.”

Siva Kandhia, shopkeeper, said: “I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who has been helping me and all the many people in the community who have given me their sympathy for what has happened and wished me well. My response is – I’ll be back and back soon!”

Ian Rathbone, Chair of the Friends of Siva group, said: “Our streets have been subjected to violent disorder with people subsequently not feeling safe. That is not right in a democratic society. So this is the first stage of ensuring that people do feel safe, and that they also feel listened to and have some ownership over what happens in their area.”

Meg Hillier, the local MP, said: “"This event shows the real spirit of Hackney. Just a week after the area was overwhelmed by violent disorder this event has been organised. The organising residents are here for the long haul. I now ask that the media leave us alone to get on and do what we do best and to sort out our own affairs. I must say thanks to all those involved in organising the street party and the Help Siva fund including Fr Rob Wickham and St John at Hackney for all their help with tables, volunteers and other things.”

Vincent Stops, local ward councillor, said: “The Pembury Estate is fine, there was very little damage to the fabric of the estate. The residents I know are resilient. There are a lot of good people on it who have been working hard to build up community. I am sure these disturbances will not hinder them from continuing their good work. I will be working with all residents to see what we can achieve in improving our community life.”

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