Canalside Breaks Promise to Tenants

Tenants in Haggerston transferred from Hackney Council to Canalside Housing Association are angry that it has broken a rent guarantee promise made before council tenants voted to privatise their homes. They have decided to increase rents for new tenants by £10.00 per week.


“This decision … breaks the rent guarantee promised before the transfer vote. It is an attack on some of the poorest in our community; homeless families moving out of bed and breakfast,” say Canalside Board reps Nick Strauss and Sheila Seabury in a letter to the Hackney Independent.


Canalside have also decided to use at least 47 homes for a “key worker” scheme. These schemes are supposed to ensure affordable housing in London for “key” workers. Canalside propose rent increases of £50.00 per week for these flats.


“This is bad for people waiting for housing in Hackney, bad for Canalside tenants waiting for transfers and bad for key workers.”


“There is no excuse for turning 47+ social housing units transferred from Hackney with around £19,000 Social Housing Grant per home, into homes for key workers instead of allocating them to people on the waiting list.”


“For key workers, renting a [1 bed] flat for over £500.00 per month does not address their need for secure, decent and affordable housing. We believe that these financially driven proposals will bring Canalside into disrepute. It is our duty as tenant representatives to publicly oppose them.”


“We call on tenants and residents to support the campaign by Haggerston, Whitmore, Kingsland (HaWK) TRA against these plans for higher rents for our future neighbours.”


Messages of support, or requests for further information should be sent to HaWK TRA at 179 Haggerston Road, E8 4JA.


(Nick Strauss is a tenant on Haggerston Estate and Sheila Seabury a tenant on Whitmore Estate.)

Update from the Save Laburnum School Campaign

Hackney Council say that they are now consulting us on whether Laburnum School should be closed. If they are listening, there’s a clear answer – the kids, parents and the wider community are saying KEEP LABURNUM SCHOOL OPEN.


The Council say that half the kids can go to Randal Cremer and the other half can go to a new junior school at Queensbridge. We say we want to keep this school at the heart of this community. And it is an improving school with a new head, new computer room, new science room, new funds to improve the playground and to put in security cameras. And after all this hard work – now Hackney Council wants to close it down.


The Council have said that if they close the school they will try to put a new secondary school there, and if that doesn’t work they will sell the site. We are no fools. We know that it is too small for a secondary school. And that leaves the plan like it always was – to sell the school site to developers.


What are the Council trying to teach our kids? That their education doesn’t matter. That the can be pushed out so that City people can have their loft apartments where they used to have their classrooms? We are trying to teach our kids something different – that you have to work together to stand up for your community and fight to keep the school open.


The Council “consultation” period runs up to 30th September. Lets give them their consultation. Lets make sure that our councillors know what a mistake it would be for them to close Laburnum School.


Council consultation farce


All parents/carers with children at Primary Schools anywhere in Hoxton, Haggerston, De Beauvoir or London Fields should have got a letter from the Council in early August headed “Review of Planning Areas 1 & 2.” You wouldn’t know it, but this is the official Council consultation on closing Laburnum School. This is despite the fact that the word “Laburnum” or even “school” does not appear anywhere in the letter.


It is important that you do not throw it away, but that you turn to page 4, which is a survey. The questions are hard to work out – such as “Do you agree that the LEA should bring forward proposals to reduce surplus capacity?” The Save Laburum School Campaign recommends that you vote “no” to all the questions. The vital question is 3, which asks if you agree with closing Laburnum. To help save the school, please tear out the form and send it back to Marian Lavelle, Hackney TLC, 1 Reading lane, E8 1GQ. If you did not get the letter, we can get you a copy if you ring Carl Taylor on 7684 1743. The Council have agreed to spend £750 on “consultation.” As far as we know sending out this letter is all they are going to do. Compare this to the consultation on the sell-off of the nearby Haggerston East, Whitmore and part of Kingsland estate. Here the Council threw (our) money at the tenants – with videos, glossy brochures, “independent” advisers, fun days – but the difference is that the tenants legally have to get a vote and so need to be persuaded – but Laburnum parents and the wider community do not.


But our kids don’t go to Laburnum …


We are asking for support from everyone in the community – even if you are not directly affected. If you have got kids or grandkids at another school – their school could be next.


And we all need to stand up for what we have got in this community. Haggerston used to have a library and a swimming pool. It’s not just Laburnum School that is under threat – there’s our One O’clock Club in Haggerston Park and the Apples and Pears Adventure Playground. They need our support too. We have all got to support each and every campaign to defend community facilities in Haggerston.


What is the Save Laburnum School Campaign?


A meeting for parents and other supporters of the school was held on July 11th. This meeting elected 10 people to keep the campaign running over the Summer holidays and to plan the campaign for when school starts again. The Committee has six parents – a majority. The other members are Shaun Abrahams, who is the union representative for the Laburnum teachers, Peter Sutton and Carl Taylor from Hackney Independent and Sheila Dadpour from Kingsland Estate Tenants & Residents’ Association. The Committee meets every Tuesday at 5pm at 75 Hebden Court, Laburnum Street. This is the Kingsland Estate Community Flat and is kindly lent to us by the Kingsland Estate TRA. Anyone else who wants to support the campaign is welcome to come along on any Tuesday.


Saturday 31st August – Save Laburnum Day


Haggerston Community Centre, Haggerston Road. 11.30am – 2.00pm We are asking all supporters to drop-in and give your support to the school on this day. There will be a number of different activities going on:


A chance to sign letters and postcards to send to the Council
For children aged 5-11 there will be an art session led by local artist and former Laburnum School student Lee Dadpour. Lee will be working with the children to produce posters and banners calling for the school to stay open.
A local film-maker will be carrying out quick interviews with people on camera to produce a video, which we will send to all councillors.
There will be tea, coffee and other refreshments available.
Pick up campaign materials like postcards, posters and petitions and find out more about how you can support the campaign Save Laburnum Day. Saturday August 31st. 11.30am – 2.00pm. Haggerston Community Centre, Haggerston Road.

This information is produced by the Save Laburnum School Campaign and does not claim to represent the School itself or the School Governors.


To contact the Save Laburnum School Campaign please ring Carl Taylor on 7684 1743, or write to 75 Hebden Court, Laburnum Street E2.

Protest Postcard Launched by Laburnum School Campaign

Parents, children and community campaigners launched a new postcard on Saturday 3rd August as part of their campaign to save Laburnum Primary School.

“The Council haven’t told anyone they are looking to close the school, and this is meant to be the consultation period,” said Sharon Bender, mother of Cain Lowe, 11. “I’ve had nothing through from the Council. It’s only because I’ve read in the Gazette or the Hackney Independent or been told by the Governors. This isn’t consultation.”


Community campaigner Peter Sutton, who gained 595 votes on behalf of the Independent Working Class Association (Hackney Independent) in Haggerston Ward in the Council elections in May added, “As usual Hackney Council consultations are a farce. There have been no meetings and no information. Labour might think they can close Laburnum School quietly, but the kids, parents and the wider community in Haggerston will fight this all the way.”


The Save Laburnum School campaign have now printed up thousands of postcards and are asking supporters to send them in to the Council demanding that the school stays open.


Anyone wanting to help the campaign can get in touch by ringing Carl Taylor on (020) 7684 1743.

Citizens Advice Bureaus Face Closure

From the HackneyNot4Sale Campaign (contact them at allsorts@gn.apc)


Following on from actual and proposed cuts in their grant from Hackney Council, CAB in Hackney is facing the very real prospect of closure.


The grant is to be cut by 40% in total, leaving CAB in an impossible operating position.


Having just received provisional notices of redundancy, Mare Street Bureau Manager Nick Prince and his staff are at a loss to understand the logic behind such cuts.


The bureaux in Hackney assist clients in dealing with over 20,000 issues every year and just CAB’s debt and benefits work with clients alone, contributes over £250,000 per annum to Hackney Council’s revenue! The CAB is simply the means by which the Community of Hackney helps itself, in times of crisis.


The service is essential and irreplaceable and cuts are a “false economy”.

Please help CAB to continue it’s vital work, by giving your support through contacting Max Caller now at Hackney Council on 020 8356 5000.

Look out for further information on this story…

Clapton Park Play Project – Funding Removed

Summary: Below is a letter written by concerned people who run a project in Hackney, which provides an area for children to play and enables the parents to leave their kids there and seek work. Guess what – the council are removing funding.


We understand the council is in financial arrears, as we have read the newspapers and read flyers in relation to Hackney assets for sale. Also the media coverage outside Hackney has painted a very bad picture of the past defrauding of council money.So who suffers, well the poor of course, the ordinary tenants on the priority estates, the majority being the minority groups and one parent families of course.which we cater for 90%. We have now received another 90 days notice with promises of possible funding from Association of London Government. We have never heard of this group and we never got a letter dated 28th June 2002 setting out the principles of the transfer and how it will operate either. SO PLEASE DO SEND US ONE BY RETURN.SO WE CAN READ AND UNDERSTAND THE FUTURE.


We the management Committee have seen the suffering the above project has gone through, especially the staff who have not known how long their job will last, nor whether to apply for another job etc. With 40 children going down to 20, the project has already been reduced by half, this was because there was not enough workers due to the cuts last year. WE are responsible for staff and their well-being. We cannot take on any more staff due to cuts and not knowing how long the project will run. Our staff are continually under threat of being out of a job, so redundancy money has to be forthcoming or we face being taken to court. We the parent Management Committee and our staff want to keep the project running as we all know how valuable it is to the community.


Instead we have to work on a four monthly basis or the present 90 DAYS NOTICE, which we had to sign by 10th July having received it on the 5th. This had to be done in order to receive a further three months funding, so we had no choice did we? OUR BOOKS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN AUDITED AND BALANCED, this is really disgusting. If, and we say if, this Association of London Government takes over this project, then we would like a new worker please and minimum security of 1 to 3 years contract for staff.


Our project is urgently needed by the poorer people, in Kings Ward and by one parent families that are always picked out as getting pregnant on purpose to live off the tax payer on purpose etc.They were encouraged to go to the college to better themselves to get off the welfare money.So our project was set up after nine years of meetings and this building refurbished after it had been burnt out by the youth in protest of not having anywhere to go after school. We asked for £54,000 a year to run this project, ONE RICH MAN’S SALARY.


Parents here feel that money talks and welfare walks as usual. As for the 2020 vision, it was considered that children and youth needs should be top of the list, not bottom. Under 16’s don’t get a say, they need an adult to speak on their behalf, so it is easy to pick on them and cut their services. Adults cannot always speak on their behalf and be heard as the power isn’t there, is it?

Who will look after the children Grandparents? If the project gets 90 days notice, so will the grandparents then. Our project offers integration, friends to play with in a safe environment, trained skilled staff (police checked). So we do hope the Association of London Government are going to contact us soon and not at the last moment. Yes it is a worry for us as we are on the front line. We need some answers as we are parents living here, supporting this project.

For letters of support please write to: Lower Community Hall, Nye Bevan Estate, Overbury Street, Clapton, London, E5 0AW Tel 0208 985 3470

Children's Campaign to Save Laburnum

The following news update was sent by the Campaign to Save Laburnum Primary


The children at Laburnum were incensed at the news of the proposed closure and decided to do something about it. The children have been actively involved in the action to save the school. Firstly, they made a petition and distributed it to their peers in all the classes.These they took home and returned filled the next day;asking for further petition sheets to take home. The response from children,parents and friends was overwhelming.Letters were written by the pupils and sent to the Hackney Gazette and one was published three weeks ago.


This has been followed by a rolling campaign of letter writing to selected MP’s, councilors and other key educationalists. The week before last letters, cards and petitions by the children were sent to Brian Sedgemore (MP). Last week Mike Tomlinson recieved more of the same. This week Diane Abbot will be recieving the same.


The children have made posters and two large banners, one of which is currently hanging at the front of the school. The children have also formed a save laburnum children’s committee that meets weekly to update and plan further action. The children have been writing their persausive letters and are now writing poetry and a newsletter for distribution.


The children are intending to go and interview various officials regarding the proposed closure of Laburnum. They are preparing large banners and posters for a demonstration on the town hall. They are also planning to produce photographs and a video to support their campaign. This information will be updated on a weekly basis.

"Tearing the Heart Out of Our Community" – Threat to Close Laburnum Primary

The threat of closure hangs over Laburnum Primary School in Haggerston. As if shutting down Haggerston Pool, threatening Apples and Pears play area and the one o’clock club weren’t enough, Hackney Council’s New Labour administration is now threatening to shut down the local primary school.

While it is claimed there are surplus places in the Hoxton, Haggerston and Queensbridge area, chair of the governors at the school, Graham Myers has made it clear that the school is close to capacity:

“We have more information on the reasons the council proposes to close Laburnum. Basically, the council has worked out that Laburnum has a surplus of school places. However, according to the LEA we have a form and a half entry (one and a half classes per year group). Although we have only been single form entry (one class per year group) for some time, because when teachers left the school 1991-1992 those classes were closed down by the authority. The teachers were not replaced! So it is quite amazing that the same authority now tell us that we should actually have 330 pupils instead of our 220. Currently every class is at full capacity ie 25 or more. In fact, there is a waiting list for certain classes. Also, the fact that we have a brand new computer suite, a brand new science room, just completed, and the school office was moved down stairs into what was formally the year 2 class room. We doubt very much if we could accomodate 330 pupils.”

The real reasons may be more complicated than what the council are claiming and one schoolkid hit the nail on the head when he said “Hackney Council wants to close our school and make it into posh flats!”. Laburnum School is on prime development land overlooking Regents Canal and ripe for conversion into flats for Hackney’s yuppie influx. And after all, who needs a local state primary when you could go private?

Hackney Independent is meeting with supporters of the campaign to keep Laburnum School open and will do what we can to prevent another sell-off of a much needed community asset. So soon after New Labour strengthened their hold on the Council it’s nice to see they’ve started out as they mean to go on – closing community facilities in working class areas.


Hackney Independent will fight them every step of the way.

These Hybrid Monsters

The government is learning the hard way that the railways and the post are by their very nature public bodies – taken from an article by Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian (Wednesday March 27, 2002).

News like this would once have brought down the government. First, the company we all think of as the Post Office announced 15,000 workers would lose their jobs – the first strike in what could be a cull of 40,000 staff. That staggering figure overshadowed the second axe to fall: 750 naval workers laid off after the government decided to hire private companies to refit British warships. To cap it all, the biggest headline grabber: a Cabinet minister forced to make a full-speed, skidding u-turn by handing £500m of public money to the shareholders of the late and unlamented Railtrack. All of that on a single day: Black Monday.

There was a time when the Consignia decision alone would have made front-page news, not for days or a week but for months. When Arthur Scargill feared the decimation of his workforce, he led the miners out in a year-long strike that became the defining event of Margaret Thatcher’s second term, if not the entire decade. Now Consignia can warn of 40,000 redundancies – and still not lead the evening news.

What explains the change? It’s partly a tribute to Britain’s success: our official unemployment rate is the lowest in the European Union, hovering at 1975 levels below a million. We no longer think of joblessness as a problem. But there is a deeper explanation, too.

Industry mattered to politics when politics mattered to industry. Two decades ago, whole sections of the economy were under the direct control of the state. Now, in the era of privatisation, ministers are able to shake a fist or shout the odd plea from the sidelines but rarely to make the decisive difference. They can beg BMW or Motorola not to pull out of Britain – but if the boardroom has made up its mind, there’s little even a phone call from the PM can do.

So voters no longer look to government to make the industrial weather. Two decades of Thatcherite economics have persuaded us that the market is king: governments are powerless to resist. On this logic, politicians have a choice between doing nothing or making things worse. Their role is to stand aside and let the market sort it out. We are all laissez-faire liberals now.

And so the very phrase “industrial policy” – such a staple of 1970s political talk – has disappeared. And yet it’s worth examining Labour’s stance on industry, for inside it lies a glaring, increasingly risky contradiction – and Black Monday illustrates it perfectly.

The government believes in blending the lean efficiency of the private sector with the social goals once exclusively associated with public ownership. The result is a new industrial landscape littered with strange, hybrid creatures – part private, part public, they look and behave like neither. They are the “third way” made flesh.

Railtrack was one. Inherited from the Major government, this company walked like a private business, talked like a private business – but never quite escaped its genetic origins in the public sector. So it had shareholders and sought profit, but as soon as things went wrong it held out the begging bowl for handouts from the government. Of course it got the money: how could any country let its rail system go under? So Railtrack had all the fun and perks of life as a private company – safe in the knowledge that, whenever the chill wind of the market got too nippy, the nanny state would be there with a blanket.

That’s why so many voters, commuters especially, feel resentful about forking out an extra £500m in compensation to Railtrack’s shareholders. They know that reason is probably on the shareholders’ side: they owned assets which the government could not simply grab from them. But the admittedly emotional response of many is to ask: if your company was worth so much, how come you kept coming to us for more cash? More viscerally, why should we bail you out, just because your shares went down; how much did you give to us, the taxpayers, when they soared up? And isn’t that the whole point of shares: you do well if they go up, but you expect to take a bath if they go down? Railtrack shareholders placed a one-way bet: win if you win, but don’t lose if you lose.

And this is the core problem: we were asking a private company to take on an essentially public task. Railtrack was designed to follow the profit instinct of private enterprise when its real job was to provide a public service. It was meant to be governed by the iron disciplines of market forces, but it always knew its risk was more hypothetical than real: if trouble struck, the government would step in – as Stephen Byers duly did this week.

There is a direct lesson here for the public-private partnership plan still dogmatically pursued by Labour for the London Underground. Once again, the government will pretend that the private infrastructure companies are taking on the risk that things might go wrong. They will certainly be handsomely rewarded for it. But if things do go off the rails, we all know who will really pay the price: the government cannot let the tube collapse, so it will step in – with our money.

Consignia is a different strain of mutant company. It too was meant to behave like a private outfit, even though it remains government owned. And it, too, suffers for being neither fish nor fowl. It faces competition for key services, like a private company, but it cannot do what any private business would do if strapped for cash: it cannot raise the price on its core product. The price of a first-class postage stamp has gone up just once in six years, even though it costs a penny more to deliver a letter than it costs us to post it. The regulator has capped the price, on the reasonable logic that monopolies can’t just up their charges whenever they like: after all, the customer has nowhere else to go.

So the Post Office is sort of private, sort of public: exposed to competition, yet obliged to perform public duties (like delivering letters to remote rural locations) that cost them badly. Its rivals are full-blooded private businesses, able to cherrypick the profitable bits, unhindered by costly obligations. The Post Office is neither one thing nor the other – and soon 40,000 workers will pay the price.

The government needs to have a rethink. It should follow the logic of Gordon Brown’s speech last week on the NHS, and declare that some tasks are public by their very nature. Health is one, said the chancellor. Why not add railways, which will always require a public subsidy, and a collective, social need like delivering mail?

“The plain fact is, there are certain natural monopolies, best run by the state,” says director of the Industrial Society, Will Hutton. That does not mean, he adds, that they have to be run like the “organisationally dysfunctional” nationalised industries of the 1970s. Network Rail, the successor company to Railtrack, could be a step in the right direction. Its directors will be rewarded not for boosting share price, as with Railtrack, but by their performance on the “public” aspects of the service: safety, reliability, punctuality.

That may be a new way of doing things. But only if the government ends this unhappy experiment in asking private companies to do the public’s work. That experiment has failed.

Give Us The Money

Wenlock Barn TRA chair and Hackney Independent member, Tony Butler comments on the latest news about attempts to gentrify the area.

And so, it goes on! After 4 years of telling the Government and local authority what we want as tenants the government and council still sees fit to insist that if Shorditch wants the money for redevelopment we must comply with it’s parameters. These been to knock down 800 homes so that X amount can be rebuilt at X amount rent and X amount of tenants may move back in. All the decision makers involved seem to like to play with figures, a popular one been if your home costs more than £44.000 to repair than it is not worth fixing! These particular properties, strange to notice have the most land surrounding them, can in no way cost more than the stated amount. One survey (Shorditch Our Way) had at one time stated that the buildings ‘Are structureley sound’ so how Levitt Bernstein have come up with this figure beggars disbelief.
There are people involved in the decision making process that will play on the worst fears of the tenants involved in this process and try to make them believe that all is bad. Not only our homes but our aspirations for a better life are shifted about to suit the interests of groups who are waiting in the side lines to scoop the rich rewards of Shorditch who are keen to play up the worst of the area with out commenting on the best of the area.

It is not the fault of Shoreditch council tenants that our homes ‘have been allowed to be run down to the condition where they are now deemed worthless’. Over the years, our rents have been paid only to be mismanaged by Hackney Council in whatever scurrilous means it has allowed it’s self. I wonder if any councillor’s homes are up for the draconian affects of demolition. These people are the very apologists who put us in this situation and laud up the value of such schemes as it means they do not have to take responsibility for council housing and pray, if it ever comes to it, that they will escape surcharging for the incompetent way it has managed our affairs. P.S. Which Housing Association is Hackney Labour M.P. Brian Sedgemore chair of?

The Wenlock Barn Estate 4 years ago made it plain to the council that we did not want Stock Transfer and caused them to back down when the overwhelming majority signed a petition to reject stock transfer and stay council tenants. Our insistence on this has not changed we do not view our homes as been decrepit or our social lives as impoverished. Yes, there are problems with our homes but using social engineering as a mechanism to destable our values is not going to work. We know what we are worth and what we want. We have paid for the maintenance of our homes over the years and have the moral right to be acknowledged for this and not used as a tool to encamp essential/key workers (what ever they are?) in to our homes our area.

My block was once referred to as a ‘bad social mix’. Where the consultants got this from, I cannot imagine because I get on with every one in my block. I can only allude this has come from a set of prejudices that have no connection with the culture and value system that has grown up over the 30 years this estate has lived. 1477 properties cannot be wrong.

The spectre of demolition still haunts the minds of every one but the council tenants concerned. We buried it before and we will bury it again.

WENLOCK BARN IS NOT FOR SALE. IS NOT FOR DEMOLITION. IS NOT FOR STOCK TRANSFER. If they do not believe us, let them come and take us on. We are organised, informed and ready. Take note Lord Falconer we know where you are at. You owe us and not the other way round.

The Deal – £25m From Government In Exchange For £13m Cuts And 10% Rise In Council Tax

News from Hackney Not4Sale Campaign

In response to the three-year budget strategy provided by Hackney Council last year, central government is to give the local authority £25m to reduce the impact of the cuts. The ‘deal’ still requires £13m worth of cuts and a 10% increase in council tax. Not much of a deal for Hackney residents who will be paying more whilst simultaneously watching their public services disappear.

Such is the local authority’s plight that this money provides no long term solution to the erosion of services. The £13m cuts proposed in the budget strategy include: Community and Learning – £926,000 cut, Corporate Infrastructure – £777,000 cut, Education – £981,000 cut, Human Resources – £767,000 cut, Law and Probity £260,000 cut, Policy and Community – £1,134,000 cut, and Social Services – £4,235,000 cut. And that’s only for 2002/3!

How to balance the budget – whatever the social cost
After an audit commission report in 1999, huge gaps in the authority’s finances were exposed and central government demand-ed changes to the running of the council. The first step it took was to prevent a single penny from being spent, by serving a Section 114, an inadequate policy which saw waste vehicles sit idol in the depot waiting for repair as rubbish piled up on the streets. The ensuing protests forced the order to be lifted, but only after the council agreed to formulate a three- year budget balancing strategy. The government paid £3.5m to accountants whose task was to go through each department’s finances looking at ways to make savings.

When the strategy was publicly aired in December last year, there was outrage – no area within reach of the council was safe as group after group and service after service faced huge reductions in their finances. Many residents most in need, the young, elderly and those from minority communities, will lose vital facilities.

The budget strategy requires the government to give Hackney £54m over 3 years. However, it has now been made clear the only one year’s worth of extra funding will be offered. Will the future see even worse cuts imposed than those already outlined in the 3 year budget?

Drop the Debt!
The Government may wish to shift all the blame onto Hackney Council but a major part of the problem is the massive debt repayments the Council has to make to the Government – nearly £75 million each year. If it did not have to pay this it would not have to take the short-sighted step of selling off its family silver, in the form of buildings and land. The facilities that occupy these, such as libraries and play-grounds, are under constant threat of disappearing. The District Auditor has warned that property disposal ‘is not a sustainable medium-term strategy’ while, at the same time, asking for ‘clear actions and timescales to show how the gap (in future budgets) is to be addressed’.

Government-encouraged privatisation has also added to Hackney’s debt. The outsourcing of benefits and council tax to the company ITNET cost the borough £38m when the deal went sour. ITNET meanwhile announced a pre-tax profit for the year of £12.5m. Outsourcing of abandoned vehicles collection is intended although £130,000 of the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund is to be used on it until that happens. And privatisation of Waste Management now seems likely to cost more than when it was in the hands of the council.

The Government claims that the £25m is ‘an exceptional offer of support to prevent unacceptable cuts in services’. Yet £13m cuts are totally unacceptable and more will be scheduled for next year. The Government has provided stringent conditions attached to the money. At least £10m must be made available for future years and so is not available for services at all.

Once again the people of Hackney are left dangling on a thread wondering about the future of their community and what next year’s budget will bring.

News from Hackney Not 4 Sale
Hackney Not 4 Sale, Box No. 7, 136-138 Kingsland High Street, London, E8 2NS. Tel: 07950 539 254.