|Our end of year round up:|
As we draw towards the end of a year, it is always good to look back and celebrate what has been achieved. This year we have concentrated largely on a small number of very local initiatives. We hope next year to help more communities develop local initiatives that are relevant to their area.
For Hackney Unites, the year began with news of a very concerning, and divisive attempt to wrest democratic control of planning in the north of the borough from elected councillors and hand it to an unelected and unrepresentative ‘forum’. A substantial campaign initiated by Hackney Planning Watch, one of our founder groups, alerted the community to the threat, and saw a major victory when the council instead declared a ‘Area Action Plan’ for the area (although since then we have seen no plan and precious little action since then).
Unfortunately, the problem has returned! We have been informed that a revised application for a ‘Central Stamford Hill Neighbourhood’ planning group has been submitted. As we enter the new year, we will be working closely with the community to ensure that this divisive proposal is rejected.
The long running campaign against the proposed Sainsbury’s/Wilmer Place development rumbled on, with a number of wins for local people early in the year, but a shocking reversal when the council granted planning permission in August (after the developer threatened a costly appeal against an earlier rejection). The community, however, were not prepared to ‘roll over’ and put up with the heart being torn out of a conservation area, the threat to the biodiversity of Abney Park and the inevitable damage to the independent local stores. A public appeal was launched to raise £10,000 to pay for a judicial review. The money was raised and a judicial review is ongoing. The battle goes on however, as the developer has submitted a further, identical, application in an attempt to outmanoeuvre the judicial review process.
Stokey Local is a genuine grass roots community organisation, with over 70 people regularly attending meetings. You can read their latest email here: http://stokey.lc/news3 If you want to help the community in Stoke Newington, then you can sign their petition, and join them on 11 December when the latest planning application goes back to committee.
Inspired by the success of the summer’s Dalston People’s Festival, we have begun the work of putting together a local, inclusive group which is capable of bringing the community together. We used techniques we had learnt from the Stokey local campaign to bring people together, and the last meeting had 45 residents discussing how to build a powerful voice for the community. You can watch a short video of the event recorded by East London Lines, here: http://www.eastlondonlines.co.uk/?s=hackney+unites&x=0&y=0
What are our plans for 2014?
Our aspirations for 2014 include organising a series of ‘hustings’ meetings in advance of the May council elections. Candidates who want our votes should make themselves available to answer our questions, and we want to use these meeting to encourage our communities to re-engage with the election process. We are actively looking for local community groups across the borough to work with us to host these meetings. If you are part of a community group that would like to play a role in empowering your community and enhancing democracy by hosting an event with local candidates, please drop us a note:firstname.lastname@example.org
Hoxton and 'Tech City'
Hoxton contains some of the poorest and most deprived estates in the borough. It is also host to ‘Tech City’ an amazing collection of high tech companies. The difference between the wealth, innovation and energy of tech city, and the lack of opportunity that exists on estates is an affront to decency. We want to explore how we create bridges between Tech City and the surrounding estates. We are planning an innovative project that brings together the movers and the shakers from Tech City with the community that surrounds them. We hope to get training and development opportunities, as well as a commitment to ‘skill share’ with the community so that some of that technology can be put to good use supporting the community. If you live or work in the south of the borough and are interested in getting involved in a planning meeting for this project let us know. email@example.com
With planned ‘regeneration’ on the Nightingale Estate, we have been approached to help establish a community group in Hackney Downs. Discussions to establish a community organisation (or link up existing groups) in the area are at an early stage, but if you are from the area and want to get involved, please let us know.
Student give back
We are engaged in talks with the student union at London Metropolitan University with a view to getting students living in the borough more involved in the community. Many of the students are Hackney born and bred, they are getting an education that provides them with skills that many in the community simply don’t have. We want to create an opportunity for them to ‘give a little back’ to the community that raised and nurtured them. More details to follow, but if you are a student, even if it is not at London Met, and you want to help facilitate a process by which students engage with their communities, then let us know. We need help to establish a student group committed to supporting the community.
None of our successes could take place without some financial resources. In the last few years Hackney Unites has relied on grants from charitable trusts, collections at events and donations from supporters. Our organisation could not function without our Andrea, our part-time organiser/project manager, but we often struggle to find the money to pay for her work. If you could make a donation, or make a series of smaller donations via regular direct debits, then you can help strengthen and support us in delivering against our objectives.
If you would like to help, you can make a donation via telephone, or on-line banking:
our account name is Hackney Unites,
Unity Trust Bank,
Sort Code 08-60-01
Account number: 20245706.
Alternatively you can write a cheque and send it to Hackney Unites C/O HCVS, 84 Springfield House, 5 Tyssen Street London, E8 2LY.
Some of our supporters help by donating a regular sum each month. If you would like to join them, you can download a standing order form from http://tinyurl.com/cjcrqqd (please complete and return to us) or you can set this up via telephone banking.
We increasingly need volunteers, to help us turn our vision of a well organised community into a reality.
For example, we need volunteers who:
Help us update our records
We want to keep you updated with the events and activity that really matters to you, so please visit http://hackneyunites.us2.list-manage2.com/profile?u=b82d5d5a7ac69045df976d76f&id=752d8a5a1d&e=[UNIQID] and update your profile.
Please tweet/facebook this newsletter
If you are on facebook or twitter, you can help us increase our reach by sending the following message/post
Hackney Unites, a community gets organised http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=b82d5d5a7ac69045df976d76f&id=eb440b5771&e= Please share
It has been a good year for Hackney Unites, lets make sure that 2014 is even better.
Thank you for your continued support.
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Friday, November 22, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
|Please download and circulate our leaflet/poster|
From shops, to schools to open-spaces the face of Dalston is rapidly changing. In recent years many millions of pounds of public and private money has been invested in the area. But little of that money has found its way to local people.
Despite the influx of residents who can afford to live in the new developments of Dalston, some parts of the ward remain the most deprived areas of the country.
Hackney Unites is organising a new community network in Dalston – Dalston Futures. The aim is to ensure that local people have a voice and can influence the changes happening in their area. We are determined to create a strong, inclusive voice that can make a positive difference to the future of the area.
If you want to get involved in Dalston Futures then please come along to our open meeting (6.30pm Thursday 14 November,
Trinity Centre Beechwood
Road, London E8 3DY).
If you live in Dalston (or just want to help get this initiative up and running), then please complete our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DalstonFutures, attend the next meeting or volunteer to help with leaflet/poster distribution. You can download our leaflet here – please display it in your area.
To sign up and receive Dalston Futures regular emails visit: http://eepurl.com/ETY9P