On 4th May cyclist Ninian Fraser Donald was killed by a lorry at the junction of Whiston Road and Kingsland Road.
Local resident and Kingsland TRA Chair Anna Maria Mari has drawn up a petition calling for safety improvements at the junction.
It can be found at the bar in the Old King John’s Head pub on Whiston Road. If you are passing please pop in to sign it.
The following article was sent to Hackney Independent. The author wished to remain anonymous:
If you were walking past Hackney Town Hall a couple of weeks ago you may well have noticed a protest being held by London Field residents over the erection of a phone mast by T mobile in the Richmond Road area.
Back in 2004 the Council failed to respond to or reject a planning application from the company to build the mast and as such T-mobile exploited planning laws by deciding to go ahead with their plans at the end of April.
Protesters gathering on the Town Hall steps were delighted when Labour Chief, Jules Pipe addressed them stating, ‘T-mobile should do the honourable thing and not go near London Fields.’
Considering the concerns over the possible health implications of placing radiation emitting devices close to busy public areas I think that we would all agree with the sentiment of Mayor Pipe and his apparent resolute stand against such developments!
However I was recently on the 55 bus passing through Lower Clapton and to my surprise I noticed a new mast, situated on top of a portacabin, between Mildenhall and Atherden Road.
The top of the aerial is almost level with the top deck of a bus and in heavy traffic passengers are presented with a safety sign on the mast itself which rather alarmingly alerts readers;
‘DANGER MICROWAVE RADIATION’
You have plenty of time to read the sign as you sit in rush hour traffic adjacent to the microwaves and the new flats which they front.
It struck me on observing the demonstration by residents from the recently gentrified Martello Street and surrounds that Mr Pipe appeared to be saying one thing and doing another.
Appeasing the middle class residents of the ex-squatted, Class War heartlands whilst on the other hand apparently ignoring the carcinogenic pulses of masts in Lower Clapton, one of Hackney’s more run down areas populated in the majority by working class people.
On further investigation it seems that Hackney is covered in ‘base stations’. Indeed in Clapton alone there are many, including four on the Lea Bridge Roundabout (at least two on top of the B-Six sixth form college), two on the Pembury Estate and two on buildings around the Downs.
Furthermore there are at least seven on Mare Street, two on top of the Trelawny Estate and loads in Dalston.
It would seem that the only real ‘reception black spot’ in Hackney is the London Fields area and although I do not take issue with those expressing their rights to demonstrate on that sunny day in April I do take issue with the cynical and ill informed approach of a Mayor who has been leading the council for the last 11 years during which time mobile phone masts have been springing up all over the place, on schools and Council blocks throughout the Borough.
If the Mayor, who exclaimed that T-mobile had ‘no moral right’ to build the mast in London fields, feels so strongly about their erection then perhaps he should examine the Council’s income to see how much the Borough makes from renting out their building’s rooftops to phone companies.
If readers feel the need to contact him to express their concern at his apparent hypocrisy may I suggest that they ring from Lower Clapton I understand that the coverage there is excellent!!!
by James Ballhatchett
After the reckless demolition of the Laburnum Primary School on Laburnum Street in September/November of last year to create another Blairite City academy, the after effects are still being felt by residents of Laburnum Court after a mass invasion of mice fleeing the wreckage to lay their new home in our homes.
In one flat (flat 3) alone 20 mice have been caught since November and no. 20 arrived Wednesday 13th of September.
The case has been looked upon by the Hackney Council but all they can do is deliver an endless supply of mouse traps and say ‘what else can we do’.
After the reported drive by the council to supply us with decent ‘Hackney Homes’ we ask ‘where is the evidence?’
Here is the evidence of the mice:
When Haggerston Baths was closed without notice in February 2000, the local Labour Party circulated a leaflet (a rare occurrence outside of an election) reassuring residents that the pool would be reopened in six months. Shortly afterwards Labour took full control of Hackney Council, but the pool remains closed.
The Council’s given reason for shutting the pool was based on health and safety concerns requiring some £300,000 to remedy. Today, estimates for the cost of reopening the pool exceed £20 million.
Other related sums of interest are:
The anticipated costs of reopening Clissold Leisure Centre by Summer 2007, now closed for two and a half years following shoddy building work and contract mismanagement.
The anticipated cost of the Bridge Academy on the now-derelict site of the once popular Laburnum School. This is £8 million in excess of original estimates.
In February 2000 the Council claimed not to have the £300,000 necessary to undertake Health & Safety repairs, yet there appears to always be plenty of money for doomed and unpopular projects.
Hackney takes a dive…
Hackney currently has only one public swimming pool (Kings Hall recently damaged by fire). Estimates based on Sport England criteria demonstrate that Hackney should have six or seven for its population.
In the run up to the Olympics in 2012 and all the associated hoo-hah it’s a disgrace that over the last two decades Hackney Council has actually been closing pools (six since 1988). The consequences for health and education are obvious. Despite the requirements established in the national curriculum, primary school children in Hackney are unable to learn to swim here.
The future? Don’t trust Labour…
At a People’s Consultation meeting organised by the Haggerston Pool Campaign in January 2006, Labour’s cabinet member for Community Services (Cllr Nargis Khan) promised unequivocally that they were committed to the reopening of Haggerston Pool. However, promises are cheap. And there’s usually a catch.
The council have recently been debating their preferred options for Haggerston Baths. By far the better of the three is for a swimming pool and GP surgery. The remaining options include housing on the site. In February 2006 the cabinet agreed to back Option 1 (with the GP surgery) but added that housing should not be excluded from these plans.
Hackney Independent says housing should definitely be excluded from these plans. The results of our survey work, conducted on local housing estates in the years since the closure of the pool show that the vast majority want the building reopened as a public swimming pool at affordable prices.
There are enough private flats being built in the area already. The redevelopment of the Haggerston West and Kingsland Estates sees increasingly more being planned. If the council can find the money to waste on Clissold and City Academies, it can find the money to reopen Haggerston Baths as a public swimming pool.
Last week’s advice session on the Geffrye Estate was well attended. Local people came along with a number of issues – all of which related to repairs. In case after case people had reported problems to the Council, after which nothing had happened. Hackney IWCA will be pursuing this directly with the Council.
The residents in the vicinity of the proposed mobile-phone mast in Shepherdess Walk and Sturt Street, Shoreditch, are to be congratulated for making a stand against T-mobile and Hackney Council.
It comes as no surprise that T-mobile is denying that mast radiation poses a risk to public health; and no surprise that Hackney Council is – once again – denying that it is guilty of poor administration. In both cases the script is only too predictable.
Incidentally, I would advise the residents in Shoreditch to ask Jules Pipe if he is prepared to intervene on their behalf. I recall that he pledged to stand shoulder to shoulder on the picket line with the residents of Hawksley Court when they physically blocked a phone company from erecting a mast on their estate two years ago. This was, of course, during his election campaign to become Hackney’s Labour mayor. Is he still prepared to man the barricades, I wonder?
Hackney Independent Working Class Association
Kingsland Estate rubbish piles up 2 weeks after the strike ends.
According to the Council the bins were “full but not overflowing”. Rubbish!