Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Friday April 12th 2013 Dalston CLR James Library

C.L.R. James project
Have you ever wondered, why people fought so hard to retain the name C.L.R. James above the new Dalston Library? If so, you will be interested in these two exciting and linked events as part of the C.L.R. James Legacy project. 

The C.L.R. James lecture (the importance of the black vote) 18:30 to 21:00      

BEMA in partnership with: LBH Library Services, Operation Black Vote & Hackney Unites

A lecture followed by a panel discussion, looking at the impact, importance, patterns and relevance of the African/Caribbean vote in Hackney.  The degree to which this community has achieved proportionate representation in terms of elected Councilors and the extent to which the boroughs cultural diversity has been reflected in the formulation and implementation of its policies will be examined.

The question to be discussed is: Why vote?

The panel will include Simon Woolley from Operation Black Vote (confirmed), a prominent local black politician and other high profile individuals.

This will be the second annual lecture established following the successful campaign 2011 by BEMA and its partners in the community to ensure that the name of C.L.R James was retained when the library was rebuilt.

Saturday April 13 WEA 96 -100 Clifton Street EC2A 4TP

We are proud to host the first C.L.R. James Legacy Project conference on the Life & Legacy of C.L.R. James. This free conference is organised by the C.L.R. James Legacy Project in partnership with the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA).
The conference takes place on Sat 13thApril 2013 (11am-6pm) and will involve a day of discussions, workshop and performance around C.L.R. Jame’s Life and his relevance today.
Confirmed speakers include Darcus Howe (Broadcaster, writer and civil-rights activist, Mike Dibb (filmmaker) and Selwyn Cudjoe (Wellesley College and co-editor of C.L.R. James: His intellectual Legacies.). There will also be contributions from Ngoma Bishop (BEMA) and Andrea Enisuoh (Hackney Unites) who led the campaign to keep the name of C.L.R. James on the local Dalston Library when the local Council threated to drop it.

Please see attached flyer for more information – though more speakers and participants are being confirmed all the time. If you want to be involved in some way then do please email andrea@hackneyunites.org.uk

Please help spread the wordWe value your continued support. However, if you no longer wish to receive notifications from us, please click the unsubscribe button. Equally, if you value our updates, please forward them onto friends, family and colleagues and encourage them to sign up to our mailing list (http://eepurl.com/bPJDH)  to receive regular updates.

Hackney Unites

Monday, March 4, 2013

Hackney’s CPZ… a right cock up!

The battle over Hackneys CPZs continues with Cllr Feryal Demirci, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods describing the R Zone consultation as, a right cock up.

At the Councils monthly public meeting on Wednesday 30 January 2013, R Zone campaigners supported resident Gary Malcolm as he delivered a succinct 5 min deputation into the catalogue of errors involved in the CPZ process. 

Holding the mandate of 300 signatures, a petition signed by residents that opposed the CPZ, he explained that the process was flawed as the council failed to follow: The Councils Constitution, Mayors Delegated authority, Scheme of Delegated Authority, Parking & Enforcement Policy (PEP and amended August 2011), Case Law - The Sedley Test / Gunning Principle, Consultation Charter, Consultation Guidelines, Equal Opportunities Policy, Traffic Management Act 2004 and Local Authorities' Traffic Orders (Procedure) (England and Wales), etc.

In responding to the deputation, Cllr Demirci acknowledged that the process had been, a right cock up, but intriguingly went on to defend some of the practises as, We analyse consultation responses road by road and have done so for the past 9 years.  Every CPZ consultation we have done to date, we have done so in this way.

What is clear from the Cllrs response, is that the deputation has illuminated not only the flaws in this particular CPZ consultation but brings into question Hackneys nine years of implementing CPZs.

Furthermore, when the Cllr went on to dismiss R Zones signed petition as, The council does not accept petitions as we can not verify what was said to residents to obtain those signatures, a statement that went unchallenged by the meetings Chair, this suggest serious concerns with how Cllr are representing their constituents.  For example, this statement undermines the fundamental principles of Englands entire democratic process - as signing a petition is a tool for the ordinary person to speak to their government when all other channels have been made unavailable.

In recognition of the cock up, Cllr Demirci did suggest undertaking a further consultation of 21 days, I will provide another 21 day consultation to all residents asking whether they want a CPZ, providing them with proposed timings and costs and this will give residents another opportunity to have their say on whether or not to adopt the proposed CPZ.

Although the stand down was welcomed, it appears these actions are both unprecedented and they also appear to fall outside of the Parking Enforcement Plan (PEP) and the consultations official processes.  In fact a further consultation would merely reaffirm one of the many alleged failings Mr Malcolm had already put to Cllr Demirci.

Victoria Parks CPZ consultation also appears to be on hold and like relationships within the R Zone, that consultation has also driven a wedge between the thriving community.  Business owners and residents appear in disagreement into how to manage their car parking capacity needs.  In that case Hackney council undertook public meetings in but then failed to have any mechanisms available to capture residents opposition to the CPZ.  In summary, that meeting presented as a public relations exercise with the sole aim of selling the CPZ to the area.

Although vehemently denied by Hackney - that CPZ are simply a money making venture, it appear that when challenged to explore alternative parking capacity tools, Cllrs claim the CPZ process dictates that such discussion cannot be held while a consultation is underway.  These legal arguments continue to obstruct residents from discussing the range of other capacity tools that are available to manage parking capacity which means their decisions to elect for a CPZ may be because they believe there is no alternative.

What is clear is that the R Zone campaigners are made up of a caring bunch of individual residents and business owners who genuinely want to address parking capacity; however, there is also a growing awareness that CPZs should only be used as a last resort and only after the other parking capacity tools have been applied. 

For example, it may well be that opening the underground car park in the R Zone area - where it appears there are about 30 to 60 parking spaces, this would ease both Jenner and Benthal Roads parking pinch point.  Similarly turning Jenner into a one way with diagonal parking would also increase the roads capacity.

An awareness that a minority of residents are completely fed up with not being able to park close to their home, has seen the R Zone campaigners organising a community Pow Wow.  This meeting is intended for all residents to hear about the range of alternative parking capacity tools that are available to R Zone residents.  Given that Hackney has had nine years of implementing CPZ on an allegedly cocked up process, other Hackney residents from other areas may also wish to attend.

The Pow Wow aims to explore how to change the paying CPZ into a system that directly improves the communitys relationships with cars and parking.  The Pow Wow meeting date and time will be posted on lamp posts in the area as well as being advertised on their facebook page: R Zone against CPZ


Friday, March 1, 2013

Haggerston Pool Ideas Meeting - 7pm on Thursday 7th March at the VLC Centre..

Haggerston Pool Ideas Meeting - 7pm on Thursday 7th March at the VLC Centre, 151 Whiston Road, next door to Haggerston Pool E2 8BN
For anyone who doesn't know this building - there are some pictures here http://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-Haggerston-Pool/136728543014315

Unfortunately, due to the recession, the Council has had to abandon its plan due to refurbish Haggerston Pool and create a Health and Wellbeing Centre.  This was to have included a hydro-therapy pool, GP surgery, dentist, gym and sports centre.  The pool building has been mothballed.  They have no current plans for its future.

So - we have set up an IDEAS meeting.

The aim of the meeting is to share ideas about alternative ways that the pool could be reopened in difficult financial times, yet in an area which has changed significantly since the closure of the pool 13 years ago.  Jonathan McShane who is Hackney Council cabinet member for leisure, and a Haggerston Cllr, will be there to explain the current situation and to answer questions about the building,

But the main part of the meeting will be to discuss what ideas, contacts and skills we have between us - and the support for the pool's re-opening

We hope to see you there.  Please get in touch if you'd like some more info in advance. 

Best wishes, Liz

Liz Hughes