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Council news

Hackney's Rough Sleeping Strategy updated

26th February 2020
Hackney Council has published an updated rough sleeping strategy, which outlines its plans to support the borough’s rough sleepers over the next two years. The Strategy outlines the wide range of existing provision for rough sleepers, and the three key priorities for 2020-22: prevention, outreach and pathways out of homelessness.  Specific pledges include: Working more closely with colleagues in the NHS and adult social care to embed a trauma informed approach to supporting rough sleepers. Completing the pilot delivery and enhancing a Housing First model with wraparound support for rough sleepers with complex needs. Offering EEA nationals rough sleeping intensive employment support to enable them to move into employment, meaning they can access welfare benefits and housing including help with housing costs.  Exploring additional accommodation for rough sleepers with no recourse to public funds and developing a programme of intensive employment support for EEA nationals, to enable them to move into employment, meaning they can access welfare benefits and housing, including help with housing costs   The Strategy collates the Council’s work to support rough sleepers over the last four years, including:Establishing a new Street Outreach Team, including a coordinator to have strategic and operational oversight of all rough sleeping services in the boroughSourcing additional emergency bed spacesWorking with the GLA and St Mungo’s to deliver short term ‘floating hubs’, offering intensive supportHosting an annual rough sleeping summit, bringing together local organisations to improve partnership workingEmbedding the No First Night Out principles throughout the housing advice service - a series of principles around homelessness preventionHosting Tap London contactless points at the Hackney Service Centre and Hackney Town Hall reception - allowing people to use their contactless card to donate £3 to homelessness charities.Read a summary, the full strategy and more information about services for rough sleepers here.

Have your say on changes to motorcycle parking

26th February 2020
Hackney Council is asking local people to have their say on plans to introduce motorcycle parking permits in the borough, aimed at tackling London’s poor air quality by encouraging riders to switch to less polluting models. The proposals would see resident permits introduced for motorcycles, which would be in line with cars with similar emissions, working out at about £5 a month for most motorcycle riders. As with cars, businesses would also have to apply for permits for their motorcycles, and visiting motorcycle riders would have to apply for a visitor permit if parking in resident permit holder bays. This would discourage short journeys, and encourage commuting riders to use public transport instead. Motorcycles would continue to be charged at current rates if they park in pay and display bays. As part of the proposals, the Council would install lockable motorcycle parking hoops across the borough to improve motorcycle security. Seven of the 11 other inner London boroughs already charge motorcycle riders for permits. Combustion engine motorcycles produce similar levels of dangerous nitrous oxide as cars, with up to five able to be parked in one car space. Residents can have their say by visiting consultation.hackney.gov.uk and searching for ‘motorcycles’. The consultation closes on 18 May 2020. The Council is also hosting a series of drop-in sessions, where residents can discuss the proposed changes. Details of the drop-in sessions are available at consultation.hackney.gov.uk - with the first being held at Ridley Road Market at 10am-2pm on 6 March. Residents can contact parking.policy@hackney.gov.uk or 020 8356 4008 with any questions or if they would like to request a paper copy of the consultation.
From empty bedsits to homes for renters – living rent plans approved
Outdated bedsits in a Clapton tower block will be replaced with genuinely affordable modern homes for the borough’s private renters after the Council’s latest Hackney Living Rent homes were given the green light. The 16 homes at Gooch House in Clapton, which don’t meet today’s standards and currently sit empty, will be refurbished and repurposed for local residents who are priced out of home ownership but don’t have priority for social housing. Rents will be set at just a third of local incomes, bringing private rents more closely in line with Council rents and saving renters thousands each year following rocketing rents in Hackney over the last decade. As part of the Council’s #BetterRenting campaign, the Hackney Living Rent homes will set the standard for private renting that gives a fair deal to renters, including deposits capped at three weeks’ rent, longer tenancies and exemption from Section 21 ‘no-fault evictions. The campaign has already seen new licensing measures introduced to tackle rogue landlords in the borough and successful calls for a ban on letting fees charged to tenants. Gooch House is the second phase of Hackney Living Rent homes to get the go ahead, with eight new homes aimed at private renters coming to Bridge House in Homerton later this year. With rents calculated based on a third of average local incomes, eligible renters can save nearly £10,000 a year on the average two-bedroom flat compared with market rents.This is one of more than 20 sites where Hackney is building around 2,000 genuinely affordable new homes between 2018-2022. More than half of these will be for social rent, shared ownership or Hackney Living Rent, with the remainder sold outright to help pay for them.Find out more: Five ways our homes for living rent will make renting fairer
25th February 2020
Championing Fairtrade in Hackney
Local residents and businesses are being encouraged to think more about where their products come from, as part of a nationwide campaign to ensure that all cocoa farmers are paid a fair income.  Hackney Council will be holding a range of events across the borough to mark Fairtrade Fortnight (24 Feb - 8 March), including pop-up stalls where residents can sample fairtrade food, an evening of storytelling, films and quizzes, and informative displays at Hackney Libraries which showcase a range of books on fairtrade to coincide with World Book Day on 1 March. The Council is also working with businesses on the Narrow Way by providing fairtrade tea, coffee, snacks and other products for their staff, and encouraging them to stock at least one fairtrade item, with the aim of having at least 50% of stores on the Narrow Street offering fairtrade options. This achievement would see the Council endorsed by the Fairtrade Foundation for their efforts in supporting fairtrade.  The UK chocolate industry is worth at least £4 billion each year, but the cocoa farmers in West Africa who produce the nation’s favourite treat make on average less than 75p a day - which is well under the local poverty line of £1.40 a day, according to statistics from the Fairtrade Foundation. The picture is even more bleak for women farmers in West Africa, who often have fewer rights than men and often earn less than a quarter of the money generated, despite working in the fields, looking after children, carrying water and helping to transport the crop to market. Fairtrade Fortnight is the Fairtrade Foundation’s annual movement to help highlight these inequalities and encourage people to think before they buy. Hackney is a Fairtrade borough and has hosted Fairtrade events for the last 13 years, with the Hackney Fairtrade Group operating since 2008 to promote this ethos to local businesses and organisations, and help influence where they get their supplies.For more information visit www.hackney.gov.uk/Fairtrade or follow @FairtradeHackne on Twitter.Hackney’s Fairtrade Fortnight eventsHackney Fairtrade pop-up stallsMonday 24 February, 10:30am-3pmHackney Service Centre, 1 Hilman Street, Hackney, London E8 1DYThursday 4 March, 10am-1pmSalvation Army Restaurant, Mare Street, E8 4RTCalling all chocolate fans! Come and sample our fairtrade chocolate fountain, taste fairtrade olive oil and herbs, find out information about fairtrade and try out your luck in our raffleFairtrade Social Evening Saturday 29th February, 7:30-10pmSt Paul’s Church, West Hackney, 184 Stoke Newington Road, N16 7UYCome and find out more about fairtrade at our fun social evening, with short fairtrade films*, a quiz, storytelling, discussion and fairtrade samples. *The short films will focus on cocoa and the special role that women farmers play in the journey to living incomes. Empowering women by fighting and campaigning for their rights and for a living income means enough money for them to live a simple but dignified life - paying for essentials such as clothing, medicine and school - which we strongly believe are not luxuries but human rights. You can also help support fairtrade by:Buying fairtrade products - fairtrade tea, coffee, fruit, sugar, chocolate and clothes are all available in shops in HackneyEncouraging your workplace to stock fairtrade tea, coffee and sugarIf you attend a place of worship, encouraging them to stock fairtrade productsSupport Fairtrade Foundation’s national campaign: www.fairtrade.org.uk/en/get-involved/current-campaigns/Fairtrade-Fortnight
24th February 2020
Hackney Council to host Windrush compensation scheme advice session: 2 March
Hackney Council is set to hold a free advice and support session for residents affected by the Windrush scandal.  The event will be facilitated by Cllr Carole Williams, the Council’s Windrush lead. Independent immigration lawyer Martin Forde QC and staff from the Citizens Advice Bureau will also be on hand to offer support and advice. Both Cllr Williams and Martin Forde have been instrumental in ensuring the Windrush scandal is addressed and the Home Office are held to account to provide compensation.  The event is open to anyone affected by the scandal, with experts on hand to offer free, confidential advice on how to apply to the Government’s compensation scheme. Community groups and those who may be in a position to help older family members are particularly encouraged to attend. The drop-in session will offer practical information on the Windrush Compensation Scheme. A video, group discussions and one-to-one sessions will be hosted throughout the evening and leaflets will be provided to take home.  Compensation is available for those who have suffered because they couldn’t easily demonstrate their right to live in the UK. This includes loss of employment, loss of housing, impact education, non-access to banking, wrongful deportation and immigration fees incurred, plus any impact on ‘normal daily life’ and mental health. There is no limit to the amount of money that could be paid out. The scheme is open to anyone from a Commonwealth country, regardless of nationality, who arrived before 1 January 1973, and those with a ‘right of abode’ or ‘settled status’ who arrived in the UK before 31 December 1988. Compensation is also open to family members such as children, grandchildren and carers. To meet people who can help in a relaxed, confidential and safe space, come to the free drop-in session 2 March, Hackney Museum, 1 Reading Lane, Hackney, London E8 1GQ 4:00 pm - 7:00pm.  If you are unable to attend but still need help you can call the freephone Windrush helpline: (0)800 678 1925 Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. You can also email: WindrushCompensationScheme@homeoffice.gov.uk If you are overseas you can email and request a callback. For more information on how Hackney is supporting its Windrush Generation visit Hackney Council online. The scheme is open to anyone from a Commonwealth country. A list of Commonwealth countries is available here.  
20th February 2020