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'No serious attempt at long-term, practical solutions' – Mayor of Hackney responds to Queen's Speech

14th October 2019
Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, responds to today's Queen's Speech: Brexit and immigrationHackney Council passed a motion calling on the Government to rule out a ‘no deal’ Brexit and extend Article 50 if necessary in January.The Council has also called for the Windrush Compensation Scheme to be simple, reasonable and transparent. EnvironmentalThe Committee for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Environment Audit Committee have both said that the draft Environment Bill falls woefully short of the current EU protections on offer. Hackney Council declared a climate emergency in February, and pledged to reach zero net emissions by 2040 in June. The Mayor of Hackney gave evidence to Parliament in June, urging the Government to make sure big corporate producers and brands that sell or produce goods in plastic packaging pick up the bill for the waste they cause.Policing and crimeHackney Council’s Integrated Gangs Unit brings together staff from the Council, police, third-sector organisations and government agencies to tackle gang-related violent crime. It has been recognised as a good example of cross-sector working that has delivered a reduction in violent crime.HousingThere are over 13,000 families on Hackney Council’s housing waiting list, more than 3,000 of whom are homeless and in temporary accommodation. Hackney is building 2,000 homes itself between 2018-22, with the majority for genuinely affordable social rent and shared ownership. Without additional Government funding, the Council is unable to build more homes or use a greater proportion of its housebuilding programme for social rent.The independent Hackitt report, commissioned after the Grenfell Tower fire to investigate building regulations and fire safety, was published in May 2018. The Government has not published any draft legislation to implement its recommendations.

Free open day for Hackney leaseholders and freeholders

11th October 2019
Local leaseholders and freeholders will be able to learn more about the services on offer from the Council at a free open day tomorrow (Saturday 12 October).  The event, which takes place from 11-4pm at Hackney Town Hall on Saturday 12 October, will provide residents with the opportunity to speak to service areas from across the Council and external leaseholder organisations.  Residents will be able to get advice from the Housing Services team and other Council service areas, including estate recycling; the fostering team; electoral services; and our free employment support service, Hackney Works, on a range of topics.  Attendees will also be able to speak to a range of external organisations, including the Leaseholder Advisory Service (LEASE), the Hackney Community Law Centre, and local charity Shoreditch Trust, who run community initiatives across the borough to improve people’s health, wellbeing and opportunities.  An ‘Introduction to Building Maintenance’ workshop will be on offer in the afternoon, providing a summary of the services and teams included, as well as information on the types of repairs, which repairs require leaseholder consultation, contractors managed, and more. There will also be free activities, including mask decorating classes for children and massages, and free food and drink.  When: Saturday 12 October, 11-4pm Where: Assembly Rooms, Hackney Town Hall, Mare St, London E8 1EA Full list of services available at the event: Housing services:Anti-Social Behaviour Team (ASB) Environmental OperationsFire Safety TeamRepairs Team Housing ManagementLeasehold Services Property and Asset Management Private Sector Housing Right-to-buy/Property servicesTenant Management Organisation (TMO) Other Council Services:Estate recyclingElectoral servicesFostering TeamHackney Central Conversation Hackney WorksResident Participation External organisations:CensusThe Seasonal Health Intervention Network (SHINE)Leasehold Advisory Service (LEASE)Hackney Community Law CentreShoreditch TrustMassage Works

“Give renters genuine security” – our response to Section 21 proposals

Government should scrap break clauses and fixed-term tenancies as part of proposals to end unfair evictions for private renters, the Council has argued in its response to a consultation on ending Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions. The government’s New Deal for Renting consultation proposes to end Section 21, which lets private landlords evict tenants with as little as two months’ notice without having to give a reason. It follows a Council-backed push for a change in the law to prevent private renters being evicted through no fault of their own as part of our #BetterRenting campaign.  We’re making the case to government to do more to deliver on its commitment to ending unfair evictions by removing break clauses and fixed-term tenancies – following the successful Scottish model that means landlords are no longer able to ask a tenant to leave simply because a fixed term has ended. The Council’s response calls on the Government to:Scrap proposals for break clauses and fixed-term assured tenancies, which could easily be abused by landlords who wish to unfairly evict tenants.Introduce protections where tenants are forced to move on ‘no fault’ grounds, such as if landlords wish to move back into or sell the property, including paying tenants’ relocation costs and encouraging landlords to sell with sitting tenants.Introduce rent controls to prevent retaliatory rent hikes, such as limiting rent increases to the rate of inflation.Introduce notice periods of at least six months. Establish a universal register of landlords and properties to improve standards in the sector and ensure rent controls are implemented. Read our full response.
11th October 2019