Hackney Unites against anti-semitism

Hackney Planning Watch fully endorses the following statement by Hackney Unites. 

As a Hackney group working to unite the borough’s communities, we are disgusted that a virulent, and criminal anti-Semite (from Yeovil) has proposed a protest targeting the Jewish community of Stamford Hill.

We have launched a petition calling on the police and the local authority to respect the wishes of every section of the community and use their powers to prevent this deliberate attempt to incite racial hatred. We are also calling on the police to investigate whether a criminal offence has been committed in the disgusting promotional material he has produced for this event.

We recognise that the individual concerned hopes to promote confrontation. We are therefore determined that we will not provide him with that satisfaction, but will instead bring our whole community together to celebrate multicultural Stamford Hill.

Please sign the petition and encourage others to do the same.

Great Meeting: What’s Next?

This was the scene when over 100 people attended a meeting to hear about the proposed Area Action Plan in Stamford Hill and how the community could engage with the consultation 

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The event was addressed by Councillor Guy Nicholson (Cabinet member for Regeneration), as well as staff from the Planning Department and the Council’s contractor who is undertaking the consultation exercise.

While this was a terrific turn out, it was clear that the meeting did not fully reflect the diversity of the area. Only one member of the local Charedi community attended the meeting (this does not include the maverick former councillor Isaac Leibowitz who leafleted outside asking people not to attend) and a key discussion on the evening was how we create inter-communal dialogues.

The meeting itself broke into workshops to discuss what our vision of Stamford Hill is, what needs to change and how we can effect that change. A detailed report of those discussions will be contained in our next newsletter. However, among the key issues that arose were:

  • a lack of affordable housing in the area,
  • inconsistency with the Council’s approach to enforcement when inappropriate development takes place,
  • a failure by the Council to ‘zone’ areas for the development of infrastructure (i.e. schools)
  • issues relating to disabled access to pubic buildings, and
  • the lack of a ‘town centre’ for Stamford Hill.

Newsletter
It was agreed that we should produce a newsletter, and that this should be translated into Yiddish, as this would help to demonstrate our commitment to engaging with the full community.

We will be looking for help to distribute this newsletter across the area and we will need to fundraise to pay for the cost of leaflets, room hire and the newsletter (more details to follow)

Survey
However, the main issue at the moment is to increase the number of people in the area taking part in our on-line survey (we are concerned that the Council’s contractors are simply not reaching enough people to have a full understanding of the diverse views of the community).

If you have not done so, please do fill in the on-line survey and ask your friends and neighbours to do the same. 

Planning Watch
Planning Watch is an independent community organisation that arose in response to concerns that the Council was failing to meet the needs of the community in the north of the borough.

If you would like to join Hackney Planning Watch’s email list, please sign up here.

Thank you for your interest.

Area Action Plan Survey: tell the Council what you

As you hopefully already know Hackney Council has decided to declare an Area Action Plan for Stamford Hill. It is currently in the process of gathering an ‘evidence base’ from the community. The only problem is that it has failed to make it easy for the community to participate. We have therefore produced an on-line version of their consultant’s questionnaire. We believe that the more people who contribute to the evidence base, the better the final action plan will be.

The area for the Area Action Plan is the area contained within the blue line below. If you live in this area, please contribute your views by following the link.

We will forward the responses to the Council.
Don’t forget we are holding a meeting on Tuesday 20 January Stamford Hill Library 7pm till 9pm

If you are not sure if you are in the designated area, a map is available here

We need help to make the meeting on 20 January a success

  • We will need people to distribute a leaflet door-to-door in the streets of the proposed Area Action Plan
  • We will need people to help facilitate smaller group discussions on the evening
  • We will need some ‘stewards’  on the evening, and
  • We will need volunteers to attend a planning meeting.

If you can help in any of these ways, please drop an email to planningwatch@btinternet.com

In the meantime: 
Please spread the word to your friends and neighbours in the area.

If you would like to join Hackney Planning Watch’s email list, please sign up here.

Many thanks for your continued support and please do fill in the on-line survey

Planning Watch

Find out about the Area Action Plan: Meeting Tuesday 20th January 2015

Meeting Tuesday 20 January Stamford Hill Library 7pm till 9pm

As reported in our last newsletter, Hackney Council has once again rejected competing Neighbourhood Forums and recommitted itself to a Area Action Plan. We believe that this is the best solution, but we know that the only way that the action plan will address the issues in the area is if the community is actively involved in formulating it.

We believe that an Area Action Plan could provide a long-term strategy for dealing with the issues of all communities in the area, but only if the Council actively listens to the communities (and that will only happen if we take the time to express our views).

We thought that it would be a useful way forward if we tried to bring together different sections of the community to talk about their concerns, needs and aspirations.

Stamford Hill gateway
We have therefore booked Stamford Hill Library for a public meeting on Tuesday 20 January from 7pm till 9pm. However, we do not want this to be a debate, more of a workshop. We will have some key speakers (from the Council, some planning students etc.) but ultimately it is a meeting designed to get everyone talking in smaller groups.

We know that planning has been a divisive issue in the area for years, but if we start talking, maybe, just maybe, we can find solutions that work for everyone. In the meantime, lets celebrate the diversity of our area.

Purim Kids

The festival of Purim is the biggest local street festival and something we all can celebrate.

We need help
To make the meeting a success we will need help.

  • We will need people to distribute a leaflet door-to-door in the streets of the proposed Area Action Plan
  • We will need people to help facilitate smaller group discussions on the evening
  • We will need some ‘stewards’  on the evening, and
  • We will need volunteers to attend a planning meeting.

If you can help in any of these ways, please drop an email to planningwatch@btinternet.com

In the meantime: 
Please forward this on to friends and neighbours in the area.

If you would like to join Hackney Planning Watch’s email list, please sign up here.

Finally

We just had to include this photo, because it so much begs for a ‘caption competition’.

Boris BoxingPlease sent your entries to planningwatch@btinternet.com

Many thanks for your continued support

Planning Watch

Area Action Plan Meeting

We’re planning a public meeting for the New Year to discuss the Council’s announcement of an Area Action Plan for North Hackney. The good news is that on 24 November, the Council rejected two competing proposals for a neighbourhood forum in the Stamford Hill. This is undoubtedly a good step as it means that planning will remain within the direct control of the Council and will not be ceded to one or other ‘special interest’ group, as reported in East London Lines and the Hackney Gazette

However the big question now is, given that the Council have decided to declare an Area Action Plan for the area, what involvement will there be from the community?

We are therefore  calling a public meeting in the new year, where we will have some community planning advisors discuss what an Area Action Plan is, and we will begin the process of asking what is it that we need from a planning policy for the area.

The time and place of the meeting will be announced shortly. We’re aiming for the week beginning 19th January and it is hoped that it will be an opportunity for people from all sectors of our community to begin a discussion about our shared needs and aspirations for the area.

For too long planning has been a divisive issue in this area, the only way we can change that is if we start listening to each other and exploring solutions that work for all.

More details to follow. But in the meantime, if you know people concerned about planning in north Hackney, please get them to sign up for our newsletter.

Thank you for your support


Council to Decide on Neighbourhood Forums 24th November 2014

On Monday 24th November two competing proposals for a neighbourhood forum in the Stamford Hill area will be discussed at the Council’s Cabinet. The meeting will be at Hackney Town Hall, Mare Street, from 6pm

The fact that there are two competing applications demonstrates once again that there is no consensus regarding planning in the area. Unfortunately, given that the rules of accountability of ‘Neighbourhood Forums’ are very weak, it would be possible for one section of the community to dominate a forum to the exclusion of other sections.

Fortunately the Cabinet Report (available here) recommends that both proposals are rejected and that the alternative inclusive Area Action Plan is progressed.

Planning Watch supports this position and we are asking our supporters, if you have not already signed, to sign our petition urging the Councillors to reject both of the competing forums.

Urgent: please let people know
With just a few days before the vote, we need as many people as possible to sign the petition (because we don’t want the Council to think we have gone away, and we know that supporters of the proposed forums will be seeking to convince the Cabinet to reject the report). So please forward this email to friends and neighbours and ask them to sign the petition. 

Sign up to our newsletters
If you would like to join Hackney Planning Watch’s email list, please sign up here.

Many thanks for your support

Planning Watch