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Council news

100% of Hackney Council electricity now supplied by renewables

1st April 2020
From today, Hackney Council will source 100% of the electricity it uses from renewable sources - as part of its decisive action to reduce carbon emissions and fight global warming.  The increase - which will see all of the Council’s electricity sourced from wind and solar power - is being introduced alongside a range of other radical decarbonisation measures.  These include large rooftop solar panel schemes across Council buildings, and the recently-announced Green Homes programme, which will provide free insulation and trial renewable heating upgrades to help residents save money on energy bills while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These schemes are being delivered through the Council’s publicly-owned energy services company, Hackney Light and Power.  In line with its ambitions to rapidly decarbonise across all of its functions, the Council is also set to install an additional 182 electric vehicle charging points this year, alongside a feasibility study into delivering chargers on every street in the borough, and is also converting all street lamps in the borough to energy-efficient LED bulbs by 2022.

Residents asked to return unwanted community equipment to support hospitals

1st April 2020
Hackney Council is asking residents to return community equipment that is no longer needed, to address the increased demand for equipment which has arisen as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. This equipment will be reused to support people who are being discharged from hospital, to make hospital beds available for new patients, and to decrease the strain on the NHS.  Hackney residents who may have equipment in their homes that is no longer needed or wanted are able to return their items for reuse, allowing them to benefit someone else in the local community. Equipment that can be returned, and is currently in demand, include hospital beds and mattresses, hoists, bath lifts and adapted chairs.  If you have community equipment which is no longer needed or wanted, please contact Millbrook Healthcare Hackney Collections on 0333 241 2510 or rcu@millbrookhealthcare.co.uk For further information and advice, please contact Hackney’s Occupational Therapy Team on 020 8356 5621 or OT@hackney.gov.uk
Coronavirus: Council investment to support vulnerable and affected families
Around 20,000 families and single people on low incomes will receive a further rebate of up to £150 on their Council Tax bill and hundreds more will have access to crisis cash under new Hackney Council investment for those affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Working-age residents eligible for Hackney’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme will automatically receive the discount on their 2020/21 bills. Pensioners on a low income and young people leaving care already get 100% of their Council Tax paid. An additional £500,000 will also be invested into the Council’s Discretionary Crisis Support Scheme, which residents can apply to for urgent financial support with emergency needs. A further £120,000 has been invested to support Discretionary Housing Payments for those needing support to pay rent. Council tax discounts will be made from the borough’s allocation of the Coronavirus Hardship Fund announced by the Government in the Budget earlier this month and intended to target support at those on the lowest incomes. Delivering this through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme means these households don’t need to apply for support and we can apply the discount directly. The Council will also stop all Council Tax debt collection or enforcement action in cases resulting from Coronavirus. Anyone who needs support, or people who know someone who does, should visit the Council’s dedicated Coronavirus support hub.The Council is working closely with its service providers to apply the discount as soon as possible. We are also exploring how we can channel support to residents with No Recourse to Public Funds.The Council is committed to urgently exploring what other additional support residents need and ensuring that this hardship funding reaches residents most affected.To apply for help through the topped-up funds, residents should apply online for Discretionary Housing Payments or through the Discretionary Crisis Support Scheme. There are a range of other support options for residents who need financial support, including: Applying for Universal CreditApplying for Housing Benefit or Council Tax supportFor independent advice and support, the Council’s regularly updated Find Support Services Map shows organisations which remain open and are providing alternative services during the current restrictions.For the latest information about how the Council is working hard to slow the spread of Coronavirus, and to sign up for daily email updates, visit hackney.gov.uk/coronavirus
27th March 2020
Coronavirus: Package of measures to support Hackney’s businesses
Hackney Council will support the borough’s businesses through the Coronavirus pandemic with a £100million financial support and relief package announced today. The range of measures, which include a three-month rent free period for the Council’s voluntary and charity tenants and rent deferrals for other commercial tenants, were agreed this morning. Where it holds account details, the Council will also start making the first grants to eligible businesses from the Government’s Coronavirus business grants programmes next week – ahead of receiving central Government funding. Businesses could receive up to £25,000. The Council’s Hackney Business Network has already contacted thousands of members to monitor the impact of the pandemic on their business, with daily updates and information. The Council’s commercial tenants have today started receiving letters explaining the range of measures the Council is bringing forward to support businesses and organisations in Hackney. The immediate measures include:  A three-month rent-free period for all of nearly 50 voluntary and charity organisations renting Council buildings, with an ongoing review of any future payments  A three-month no-quibbles rent deferral for all 300 other commercial tenants, with an ongoing review of future payments, as well as suspension of enforcement or eviction proceedings Immediate application of the Government’s business rate reliefs for eligible businesses, with the cancellation of direct debit payments due for existing 2020/21 bills Urgent payment of Coronavirus business grants where the Council holds account details of businesses from previous business rates bills, with a secure online system for other businesses to submit details launched imminently The suspension of all commercial waste payments for businesses that have been forced to close, with other fees and charge waivers also being considered as the situation evolves The suspension of any fees and charges due from street market traders unable to trade Payments to local businesses for services provided to the Council made immediately rather than within 14 days Further measures, including other fees and charges for closed or impacted businesses, will be considered in the coming weeks, as the current situation changes. The Council estimates nearly 3,700 small businesses will be eligible for 100% relief from business rates under the package, while more than 4,200 businesses will be eligible for grants. The Coronavirus small business grant scheme will grant up to £10,000 to eligible businesses, with a separate Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant of up to £25,000 on offer for eligible businesses. Businesses classed as within retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, including pubs, with a rateable value of over £15,000 and up to £51,000 will be eligible to apply for a £25,000 grant in 2020/21 in addition to their relief from business rates.Businesses who receive small business rates relief, or who receive retail relief and have a rateable value of £15,000 or less, will be eligible to apply for a £10,000 grant in 2020/21 on top of their existing relief.The Council will continue to press ministers on behalf of those that are not supported under these schemes.For more information, visit the Hackney Business Network website or the Business Rates page. 
27th March 2020