Hackney Not4Sale Autumn Newsletter OutPosted: October 15, 2002
Hackney Not4Sale, who have been campaigning on a range of issues in the borough (many of which we agree with!) have released their Autumn newsletter. Below we reprint the first article Would You Vote For Who’s Responsible For This? from the newsletter. For your own copy email Hackney Not4Sale
nothing is safe…
Laburnum Primary School…Kingsland Secondary School… Rainbow Nursery…St John’s Nursery… Shoreditch Centre… Springfield 1 o’clock Club…Saturday opening in libraries… Dalston & Hackney Citizens Advice Bureaux…playgrounds… funding for voluntary groups… All gone or still under threat since the May elections.
Would you vote for who’s responsible for this?
The summer holidays are over, schools have returned and the Mayoral Election is upon us. Time to check in to Hackney Council and see what is left of our services. Remember the “Rose”, the Labour Party election pamphlet posted through our doors in May? Remember the headline “Only Labour Can Save Hackney!” and how they boasted about ending the threat to libraries and nurseries? Why then are our libraries still closed on Saturdays and suffering on a daily basis because of lack of staff? Why then was St John’s Nursery closed at the end of August, when there is a long waiting list, in addition to a whole host of other completed or immanent closures? Why are voluntary groups yet again uncertain about their future? You might well ask but the huge new Labour majority obviously has something to do with it. Was the headline “Big Improvement in Children’s Services” in August’s Hackney Today meant to be a joke? Inside this newsletter we give you the gory details of facilities that are closing or under threat. It is a long list from a party that is hoping the public will elect one of its main protagonists as mayor for the next four years – Jules Pipe, present Council Leader. His Council has presided over a year of cuts and uncertainty over funding and created a feeling that ‘nothing is safe’. With added authority as executive mayor, what shape will Hackney’s services be in this time next year under his rule?
Our questions to mayoral candidates should include: do you or any of your family actually use these services? There are certainly doubts that many Councillors in Hackney Cabinet need them. If they did they would know what it is like to live without them. Also worrying is a recent decline in access to information. There is little evidence that the new Cabinet/Scrutiny arrangements are of benefit, or accountable, to the public. For many people trying to save their facilities, lack of consultation and accurate information just adds insult to injury. Advice and information points such as the Citizens Advice Bureaux have been forced to close and there are threats hanging over the First Stop Shop. It seems impossible that such services, vital to the daily welfare of many people, are allowed to disappear with little debate. The Council may not care about such concerns but the work of the CAB resulted in the return to them of a substantial amount of debt (see right). Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
Whatever you do, before you vote, find out what each candidate’s vision for our borough is and how they are going to stop the decline in services. We will all live with the result for four years.