What we stand for
8. Older people
13. Animal rights
16. Green space
Everyone has a right to a warm, safe home, and to a clean and safe environment surrounding that home. Although many housing blocks have been overhauled recently Hackney suffers from a shortage of available public housing, with many families living in overcrowded or unsuitable accommodation.
Greens are committed to the retention and expansion of council housing and oppose ALMOs (Arms-Length Management Organisations), PFIs (Private Finance Initiatives) and stock transfer. We will defend Hackney Council’s role as the main social housing provider. However, we will also work to ensure that tenants and other residents get as good a deal as possible and have effective representation.
Social and general housing
· Work to improve maintenance response and completion times for residents of council housing, ensure effective monitoring and give residents greater ability to sign-off or reject work.
· Work to ensure there is sufficient accountability of housing associations to residents and that they meet high standards for maintenance and repair. Advice needs to be available for residents of Housing Associations to ensure they get a good service.
· Work for greater action to tackle homelessness and overcrowding in Hackney and to ensure that Hackney Council uses the local authority powers to bring unused private properties into use to house people. Estates should retain sheds and storage space where possible, since there is a current shortfall.
· Work to reinstate Hackney bedroom standard (axed last year). Children of different sexes should have separate rooms from birth. (Hackney policy is currently sharing until eldest is 8, national policy sharing until 10).
· Improve housing standards for private tenants by continuing to support the Landlord’s Forums and Accredited Properties Scheme.
· Give all residents of council blocks the right to garden open land adjacent to their block (in agreement with their Tenants and Residents’ Association (TRA)).
Tackling Hackney’s endemic unemployment should be a priority for its council. Green Party councillors will actively work to develop local employment opportunities, particularly in the non-retail sector.
We will work to strengthen the local economy and provide jobs near to where people live. Boarded up shops are frequently found in areas of high crime, whereas areas with higher volumes of local people walking about and using local facilities build and strengthen communities and make them safer.
Supporting small, independent businesses is a way of stopping big business interests from becoming dominant, taking money out of the borough and turning our streets into 'clone towns'. Shops and services within easy walking distance are also more convenient, healthier, and help to cut carbon. Local economic initiatives can also help to cut unemployment, channel resources into localneighbourhoods, and increase the involvement of ordinary people in the economy.
· Demand a job creation plan from Hackney Council with a job creation target and a monthly report to Council from a dedicated cabinet member.
· Plan and focus economic development on providing more secure local jobs for Hackney residents, and better local training.
· Make reducing Hackney's unemployment a major priority, particularly through the provision of meaningful and empowering employment such as a £1million insulation scheme, a repair scheme, recycling and small manufacture.
· Work for a minimum wage of at least £7.60/hour for all workers in Hackney, in accordance with the Green Party’s Living Wage campaign.
· Support the Hackney Credit Union and existing cooperatives, while increasing advice and resources for new cooperative initiatives within the borough
· Support setting up a local currency for Hackney.
· Work with local traders and businesses to introduce a ‘shop local’ scheme with a Residents’ Card giving discounts for local shops, services and leisure facilities.
· Support Time Banks and Local Exchange Trading Systems.
· Work for the provision of low-cost premises for community/not-for-profit organisations.
· Resist any further closure of post offices and support the postal workers in resistingprivatisation and the break-up of the service.
· Employ a Community Economic Development Officer to develop initiatives to strengthen the local economy and local employment, with a brief to actively encourage green businesses in the borough with preferential business rates.
· Undertake a review of parking enforcement to ensure it helps rather than undermines the local economy, both in terms of retail, and in terms of its impact on small, self-employed traders.
· Encourage greater take up of benefits to tackle poverty and boost the local economy - with better public information and targeted outreach. We would target those identified by this scheme for free insulation funds.
Hackney’s great diversity of people and culture should be celebrated; it is part of its strength. Everyone has the right to be treated equally and fairly regardless of ethnicity, gender, age, belief, sexual orientation, physical disability or other status. Green councillors will work to ensure that Hackney Council follows all best practices in promoting equality and tackling discrimination in employment, engagement, the delivery of services, and across council policy.
Hackney enjoys distinct advantages in terms of transport: it has the largest number of cyclists of any London borough, good bus links, and with only 40% of people in Hackney owning a car, it suffers less congestion than many central boroughs. With the opening of the East London Line this year Hackney will finally link up with the tube network.
However, as an inner city borough, Hackney is also blighted by heavy traffic, particularly on the A10, Mare Street and around Hackney Wick. Green councillors would work to put walking and cycling at the heart of local transport policy, making Hackney streets a pleasant place to live, walk or cycle, meeting the needs of residents rather than those of drivers passing through.
· 20mph speed limit on all Council-controlled roads.
· Work to get Transport for London to revert the A10 at Stoke Newington High Street to two-ways for buses and bicycles, and scrap the gyratory system.
· Improve permeability of streets and new developments for walking. Where suitable remove street railings, and replace lost cycle parking with new cycle racks.
· Ban larger lorries from residential streets, and restrict their movement through the borough.
· Work closely with sustainable travel organisations and lobby groups such as LCC, Sustrans, Living Streets and CTC to ensure that tried and tested and popular measures are put in place to improve and promote green and sustainable travel.
· Work with the Learning Trust to ensure that all Hackney schools have School Travel Plansand that they are completed in such a way that promotes sustainable transport. Focus on education of sustainable travel and facilitate walking buses and cycling to school. Make sure all schools have adequate safe cycle storage.
· Require all new developments to have a green transport plan.
· Campaign for a Walking and Mobility Officer to encourage more walking & implement measures to make streets more attractive and easier to use for pedestrians.
· Aim to double the number of cyclists in Hackney by the year 2014.
· Extend the borough’s cycle network to provide 24-hour cycle lanes along all main shopping and commuting routes, linking up with the London Cycle Network, and provide cycle parking facilities throughout Hackney.
· Properly maintain and police existing cycle routes, in particular making road surfaces safe, providing clear signposting, and removing cars parked across cycle gaps and in cycle and bus lanes.
· Provide contraflow cycle lanes along all one-way streets in the borough keeping pedestrians’ safety a priority.
· Improve safety at junctions through reassessing traffic light use and priority, and providing advanced stop lines where suitable.
· Introduce cycle loans and allowances for council employees while reviewing the use of car schemes; and provide cycle parking, shower and changing facilities in all council offices possible. local employers to do the same.
· Create new bus and cycle lanes, setting aside streets for pedestrians and cycles and extending the implementation of Controlled Parking Zones.
· A review of parking enforcement to ensure it helps rather than undermines the local economy, with a reassessment of the number and location of short stay car parking spaces in local shopping areas.
· Push for improved parking enforcement on Transport for London roads.
· Stricter grading on parking permit costs according to emissions, with discounts for low emission vehicles and introduction of an Oyster card for Pay & Display parking that smart-reads vehicles’ emission levels.
· Campaign for quicker change of traffic lights to reduce individual wait times, especially after pedestrians have crossed. This helps traffic flow and is a successful measure elsewhere in Europe.
· Support car clubs to ensure that those driving are making the most economical journey.
· Lobby the Mayor to replace phased-out bendy buses and old buses with hybrid buses.
· Work with Green GLA members to reduce Oyster card prices and improve monitoring of tickets (especially on pay-as-you-go Oyster).
· Campaign to extend the Overground rail link to North Woolwich
Energy costs are increasing year on year. It is every council’s responsibility to help residents combat fuel poverty, save money on spiraling fuel bills and fight climate change. Our energy policy will tackle these challenges head on, driving down residents’ fuel bills, creating local jobs and slashing our carbon emissions to create a win-win situation for Hackney’s citizens.
· Local energy policy. Greens would commit the Council to a carbon reduction strategy with tougher yearly targets for reductions in energy use, plus a staged increase in renewable energy generation in the borough. We propose an annual carbon budget to run in parallel with the financial budget, aiming to drive down the borough’s annual carbon footprint.
· Start up a universal free insulation scheme for every home that needs it, including cavity wall and other types of insulation, seeking additional funding through the national Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT). (CERT requires that all large electricity and gas companies are obliged to use a percentage of their profits to help councils, residents and home owners fund energy-efficiency projects). Although the CERT scheme is limited, Hackney’s historic levels of high fuel poverty should ensure that its council is first in the queue. This scheme would also actively encourage people to claim benefits or allowances to which they may be entitled.
· By reducing energy use we would reduce the council’s energy bills, freeing up revenue to be invested back into further renewable energy schemes.
· Embed the 2010 national Feed-in Tariff policy in council policy. The Council should help Hackney’s residents to take full advantage of the UK Government’s incoming Feed-in Tariff, whereby electricity is generated domestically and any surplus sold back to the grid.
· Re-commit the Council to identifying and subscribing to a green energy supply so that all council and public buildings and street lighting are fuelled by renewable energy, in line with the council’s commitment to the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change in 2008.
· Free smart meters for loan in libraries. Also known as energy monitors, smart meters show the amount of electricity being used in a house, as well as cost per hour. An average household can cut an estimated £100 a year off its fuel bill without losing either warmth or comfort, simply by using energy efficiently and effectively. Greens on Lewisham Council spearheaded this programme, initially purchasing 100 meters at a price of £2593. Based on their calculations, Hackney Council could supply each of the borough’s eight libraries with 12 meters each for a slightly lower price.
· Provide information and guidance to residents on how to invest in domestic renewables and energy efficiency choices. The council should provide information to residents on how to save money through individual energy efficiency initiatives, including full advice on types of microgeneration and insulation grants and loans available, who to contact in order to access the specific council services, and how to fill in grant/loan application forms.
Greens believe in local democracy, where people take control of their own lives, aided by the local authority. More powers need to be devolved from national government to the local and regional level. This means the transfer of more decision-making to the Council, the GLA, and to neighbourhoods themselves. It is also vital that all of Hackney’s diverse population is represented, including Hackney’s many minorities and historically under-represented groups.
· Greens oppose executive mayors. We believe that Hackney should be run in a more democratic and accountable way by a committee-based council system. While the Mayoral system continues, more opportunities must be provided for both local people and backbench councillors to scrutinise Mayoral and Cabinet decisions.
· Strengthen Neighbourhood Forums. Currently, Hackney's Neighbourhood Forums can often become little more than talking shops. They should be given a significant role in decision-making, especially in areas of neighbourhood environment, planning and budget priorities. They also need to involve a greater diversity of local people, which will be easier if they are shown to be relevant, democratic and effective.
· Community budgets. Money is usually spent best when it is allocated democratically, transparently, and locally. For this reason, Green councillors will support significant revenue funding being allocated to ward and neighbourhood forum level, with members of the public being able to take part in deciding the priorities and projects on which it is spent.
· Open government. Greens are working for more open, transparent government at every level. Hackney Council must have a presumption of transparency while making decisions, and should not wait to be forced to reveal details through Freedom of Information provisions. The council must make it easier for ordinary people to hold it to account.
· A well-publicised quarterly borough-wide Mayor's & Cabinet Question Time.
· An option on the ballot paper at the next Mayoral election to vote for a new referendum on whether we should keep the Mayoral & Cabinet system.
· Greater local involvement in the management of public services. We would like so see the opportunity for greater and more diverse involvement of local people and user groups in housing management and services such as parks, libraries and public transport. User groups should have a greater influence, and as a minimum they must always be consulted meaningfully on decisions being made within their area of expertise.
· Greater support for public meetings. Public meetings play a major role in local democracy. Greens will work for the provision of affordable local venues, and to ensure significant discounts for community and voluntary groups when hiring council buildings.
· Genuine, value for money council information. A Green Council would reduce the size of Hackney Today and use it for genuine public debate and information, rather than positive spin. We would also conduct a review into street signage, using it for information distribution, rather than advertising about 'council successes'.
· More public information boards. There should be many more prominent public information boards on streets and estates across Hackney. They should be well maintained and accessible for use by local groups advertising public meetings and events.
· More obvious planning notices. Currently these are small and easy to miss. Local people need to see planning notices as part of their ‘right to object’ to proposals.
· Support for Citizens Referenda. Citizens should be able to initiate and vote in popular referenda on key laws and proposals.
· Councillor and mayoral recall. Greens are committed to being accountable to their electorate. As part of this commitment, if 40% of all registered voters within a ward sign a petition calling for the recall of a particular Green Party representative, that councillor will resign and submit themselves to a by-election. We would extend the same commitment to any Green mayor.
Greens believe in publicly funded, democratically controlled and freely available public services. We have been involved in campaigns across Hackney to defend public services, including support for striking postal workers and opposition to the privatisation of our GPs’ surgeries. As councillors, we will:
· Continue to campaign for a fully public NHS. We oppose New Labour’s creeping health privatisation, and will work with campaign groups in the borough to inform the public about this agenda.
· Campaign for greater access to NHS dentists. Everyone in Hackney should be able to see an NHS dentist. Nationally Greens are campaigning for a free NHS dental service for all.
· Advocate a greater say for disabled people in service provision. Work with disability groups to ensure services meet the needs and priorities of disabled people.
· Further support for childcare services. Many women in Hackney struggle to fulfil the dual burden of work and childcare. Childcare services in Hackney need further support so that working mothers can fulfil all their roles while adequately providing for their families if they are coping alone.
· Provide greater medical and social support for people addicted to drugs. This is the only way to break the link between drugs and crime.
· Protect grant funding for the many charities and voluntary groups who provide crucial support for Hackney's most vulnerable people.
The welfare of older people is a priority for the Green Party. We believe that older people should be able to live in safety with respect and support from their community. Nationally we are campaigning for a state pension of £170/week, linked to earnings and payable to all without means testing. This would abolish pensioner poverty in Hackney.
Our action to defend and improve provision of local shops, services, post offices and other amenities in local neighbourhoods will improve the lives of older people. We will also campaign to make our streets safer and easier for older people to use.
· Increase the number of benches on estates and streets across the borough.
· Withdraw the current mayor’s discriminatory toilet tax and make all toilets free to use.
· Fund the local Citizen’s Advice Bureau to give advice on take-up of pensioner’s benefits.
· Older people and older people’s groups to have a greater say in council services and involvement in community bodies, including TRAs.
· Guaranteed protection of the Freedom Pass.
· A high-quality mobile library service with a diverse reading stock.
· Ensure that pavements and other public areas are designed with older people in mind. Reduce pavement clutter to make highways less intimidating.
Crime and how people feel about crime is a major issue for Hackney. In the 12 months to December 2009 there were 29,998 crimes (down from 30,058 for the previous year) [Metropolitan Police website] . While the most serious crime is relatively low, a staggering 1 in 7 of us may have been a victim of crime. The overall figures do hide some successes in tackling crime – such as reduced motor vehicle crime. While all crimes are a problem, those which involve physical violence, assault, and the use of weapons strike the most fear. In setting up the successful Safer Neighbourhood Team the police have made a good start in tackling the fear of crime.
In fighting crime the following measures are essential:
· Greater presence of Police Community Support Officers on the street through expanded operating hours for Safer Neighbourhoods Teams. An increased visible presence at times when crime actually occurs will help people feel safer and deter people from committing crimes in the first place.
· Good maintenance of public spaces with increased resources for caretakers, attendants and staff on estates, railway stations, parks and other public areas, as well as improved street lighting and people-friendly street design.
· Proper support for victims of crime, including appropriate schemes to encourage offenders to make reparation to the victims. By bringing offenders together with victims we can make them aware of the impact their crimes have on peoples’ lives. This also allows victims to play an active part in finding a fair resolution to the crime. Making reparations for crimes has proved an increasingly common and successful approach across the world. The primary aim will be to restore and, if necessary, improve the position of the victim and the community, with the offender required to make amends.
· More information and greater outreach from neighbourhood police teams, for example through local newsletters, stalls at local markets, and community notice boards. Residents should know who their designated officers are.
· Continued action to end police racism and discrimination, with a more diverse police force. The police service must act on the concerns of the Black Police Association and other minority organisations.
· Universal access to high-quality youth facilities.
· Increased publicity for ward CAP (community and police) meetings, as they are open to all ward residents but currently poorly attended.
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Every child should have access to the best possible education, as locally as possible. The Labour-run Council has embraced government initiatives to reduce a direct local authority role in education provision. Hackney’s Primary Schools come consistently bottom of National League Tables. Greens seek to place an emphasis on the provision of good, local comprehensive schools for every child, democratically accountable to the local authority.
· We are opposed to selective schools. We oppose the switch to academies and trust schools outlined in Building Schools for the Future, as we believe that schools should be governed in the interests of children and parents, and not by private individuals, businesses or religions.Academies create a two- or multi-tier system, thereby undermining the universal standard of good quality education in every school.
· Work to replace the Learning Trust with a body directly under Hackney’s democratic control and accountable to its residents. We welcome the proposal that education in Hackney should be given back to the Council in 2012.
· Free school meals for all to improve nutrition and remove the stigma associated with means-tested provision.
· ‘Meat-free Mondays’ to reduce meat and dairy consumption and create a heightened awareness of climate change, food production, and nutrition. Schools should be encouraged to have a vegetable patch, both as an educational resource and as a way of producing low-cost, organic food, and to allow the composting of food waste from the kitchen.
· Work to reduce car use and promote sustainable transport for the school journey as a matter of high priority, by establishing closer and more fruitful relationships with partners including the London Cycling Campaign, Sustrans, Living Streets and TfL.
· Put measures in place to create an active School Travel Planthat is more than a written document, and inspires and motivates schools to address transport issues. STP grants should be eligible to be renewed every year. Aim for a modal shift towards sustainable transport through education and incentive schemes that complement one-off measures such as Bike to School Week.
· Support a Green Schools Programme for Hackney to ensure all schools follow best practice in terms of environmental performance and that the educational as well as environmental benefits of this are fully realised. Pilot projects installing solar panels and wind turbines in schools, for education and to reduce power costs. Fund school renewable energy projects as a reward for carrying out energy and waste audits and taking steps in greening the school.
Hackney has a very high proportion of young people, much higher than the national average. Whereas most of the UK is getting older, Hackney, like much of inner London, is getting younger, and also has very high levels of child poverty.
Investing in Hackney’s future means investing more for young people and giving them a better start in life. This must include improving opportunities for young people to realize their potential. It also means giving young people a real say locally, and directing more resources to benefit young people and their priorities.
Green councillors will:
· Support current funding of local youth facilities.
· Provide a Youth Leisure Card for 14-18 year olds giving free visits to cultural and leisure events and places in Hackney.
· Issue a Library Card to every young person living in Hackney, with information on using the library service.
· Initiate a Community Games for Hackney (based on the Southwark model), linking young people and children through sports days, year-round training and sports events.
· Support and maintain the national ‘free swimming’ initiative for young people.
· Start a bike recycling, refurbishment and reuse project, providing free bikes for young people and training in bike repairs.
· Support a street art project to encourage young artists.
· Provide additional skate parks across Hackney.
· Improve representation and involvement of young people on Neighbourhood Forums, Tenants/Residents Associations, park, amenity and transport user groups and police liaison bodies. Support initiatives such as the Youth Community Action Panel and Hackney’s Youth Parliament.
· Provide dedicated project support officer time to help young people get funding for their own projects.
· Campaign for the voting age to be lowered to 16.
· Improve targeted advice and support for young people to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies which is currently very high in Hackney.
Figures released by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) in January 2010 showed that just 2% (125 people) out of 6,277 people working on the Olympic park construction site live in Hackney. Currently only 20% of workers are from one of the five Olympic boroughs, and 53% live in London. We need to be more certain that Hackney is going to get the benefits we've been promised and that the Legacy works are completed on time.
Greens will campaign for:
· Job opportunities and other benefits for local people.
· All workers on the Olympics (including contract workers) to be paid a Living Wage.
· All Olympic merchandise to be sourced from non-sweatshop manufacture.
· All spectators’ needs to be met by public transport, cycling and walking, but with provision for disabled people’s vehicles. All buses on site to be low/zero emission vehicles.
· Protecting green space and trees from Olympic developments.
· Local people to be consulted on legacy plans, so they get the facilities they really need.
· Maintenance and protection of existing local sport facilities. These cannot be compensated for with prestigious sites that are too expensive for local people to use.
· Hackney residents to be offered free or lower-priced tickets.
· Food served on site to be free of unnecessary packaging and, where possible, to be locally produced, but always Fairtrade and organic. No restriction on spectators bringing in their own food and drink.
Animals should have the right to protection from suffering and cruel treatment. Elected Greens will work at every level to tackle animal suffering and cruelty. Green councillors will work for:
· An Animal Rights/Protection Officer for Hackney – to ensure improved council policy and action to protect animals in the borough.
· Subsidised neutering of pets for low income and unwaged people. This helpsminimise unwanted pets and the problem of stray dogs, which the council currently has to deal with.
· Free microchipping service for dogs whose owners are on a low income.
· Strict enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act 2005, particularly where it involves dog fighting or training through cruelty.
· Strictest standards for the licensing of pet shops. A ban on pet fairs and animal circuses in Hackney and the giving of live animal prizes on council land.
· An ethical procurement policy avoiding the purchase of cleaning materials and toiletries tested on animals
· 'Meat-free Mondays', ensuring only meat-free foods are served on Council premises, and encouraging its partnerorganisations, including the Learning Trust, to participate. Vegetarian and vegan meals should be provided in schools and other services under Hackney's control. An explicit ban on the serving or selling of foie gras and veal at council events or on council premises, as part of a policy opposing these cruel practices. A number of councils have taken this step and Hackney should follow their lead.
· Animals in Hackney City Farm and Clissold Park animal enclosure to have the highest welfare standards and to live out their natural lives.
· A strong anti-fur statement from the Council and encouragement for shops and other businesses to go ‘fur free’.
· Humane, non-lethal methods wherever possible when controlling animal populations.
· Council to adopt Animal Aid's Compassionate Charter, many objectives of which are included above.
· Public information aboutminimising animal suffering and compassionate living - for example, in Hackney Today.
Hackney Council is currently seen as a soft touch by developers, it has done little or nothing to endorse and promote sustainable construction. The borough, particularly in the south, has become victim to a series of unwanted speculative developments with little or no affordable housing, and no benefit to the local community. Greens will campaign for a local planning system that works in the interests of local residents rather than big business, actively looking to encourage sustainable developments that provide housing and services to local people.
Green councillors will
· Require that all new buildings are designed to achieve a minimum BREEAM rating of ‘Good’, and this minimum rating to be reviewed annually.
· Require that all existing buildings proposed for further development undergo a BREEAM sustainability assessment to determine the best approach to their improvement.
· Campaign for a sustainable construction strategy for developers to follow, covering recycling/reuse of materials, reduction of waste materials, energy generation, energy conservation, landscape and diversity and sustainable transport facilities.
· Work to implement Planning Policy Statement 10 (PPS10) to reduce the amount of waste generated during construction. We will also work with WRAP to implement working practices to help reduce construction waste and use resources more efficiently.
· Require that all new housing developments should have a minimum of 60% truly affordable housing (including small-scale developments).
· Use planning guidelines to promote local and independent shops, and resist large retail developments by national and multi-national chain stores.
· Require planning applications for chain stores to fund independent commercial impact assessments.
· Require that all new buildings must generate at least 30% of their annual electricity demand using on-site renewable energy systems.
· Require that all new developments have green/brown roofs (with growing medium to a minimum depth of 50mm) other than in exceptional circumstances.
· More obvious planning notices. Currently these are small and easy to miss. Local people need to see planning notices as part of their ‘right to object’ to proposals.
In order to better preserve natural resources, cut down on litter, and keep rubbish out of landfill, Hackney’s priority should be on reduction of waste, followed by reuse and recycling.
At 26%, recycling in the borough is still below the London average and well behind the Government’s 40% target for the end of 2010. The landfill tax will increase pressure on waste. Locally, the challenge is not just to increase recycling rates, but to help people use less, and use better what they have. The initiatives outlined below must go hand in hand with comprehensive publicity.
· Campaign for local drinking fountains to cut bottle waste [see Hackney’s Streets] .
· Request all businesses and companies to use plumbed-in water coolers rather than those with plastic bottles.
· Campaign for plastic bag-free markets and local shops .
· Re-introduce subsidies for real nappies , and provide collection and
· Work with campaigns such as Foodworks to catalyse food-waste reduction initiatives across the borough.
· Offer repair service for broken household items, to be collected from households by the council and sold back (or on) at cost price
· Restore furniture re-use project and work to establish a furniture recycling cooperative.
· Increase frequency of Give or Take days , and provide better publicity for these.
· Improve and promote freecyle forums.
· Bike recycling scheme and maintenance lessons. [see also Young people]
· Ensure all Hackney residents have access to recycling facilities , whether that be doorstep collections or community bins
· Increase provision of domestic recycling facilities to include all recyclable materials at all levels of property (i.e. cardboard recycling banks, facilities to collect all types of recyclable plastics and other packaging materials)
· Separate out recycling streams to minimise co-mingling which reduces the recycling rate considerably due to cross-contamination
· Extend the blue bin food recycling facility to include cafes and restaurants in Hackney. Incentivise food recycling by exchanging contents of blue bins for compost for households or businesses who want it
· Increase the number of `on the go’ recycling bins with separate compartments on litter bins for recyclables [see Hackney’s Streets] .
· Actively pursue investment in recycling centres in Hackney. These will provide local green jobs, support the local economy, reduce the carbon impact of transporting recyclables, and provide a source of energy through capture of bio-gas (from the treatment of food and organic waste). These facilities should be open to the public for education and promotional purposes.
· Investigate feasibility of developing a joint service to recycle business waste by Hackney teaming up with other councils in the North London Waste Authority.
· Aim to merge business recycling with business rates so that is self-financing – pubs for glass, builders for aggregate and wood, offices for paper. Hackney has failed to implement proper business recycling – there are hundreds of shops and business which need a recycling collection.
Hackney has more green space than any other borough in London and thus a greater responsibility to safeguard that space. The borough is also one of London’s most densely populated, so green space is at a premium. Greens will campaign for a more active and fruitful use of existing green space, allowing local people to grow food and making our parks both centres of recreation and wildlife.
· Net increase in green space in Hackney.
· Net increase in biodiversity in Hackney.
· Drive to involve residents in ownership and running of green space.
· Green/brown roofs (with growing medium to a minimum depth of 50mm) on all new developments other than in exceptional circumstances.
· Massive increase in allotments. Demand currently far outweighs supply, to the point that Hackney Allotment Society has shut its waiting list because there are too many people on it.
· Innovative approach to growing food near to where people live. Many people don’t want the commitment of a whole allotment, and the Council should be more flexible in its attitude to public land and how food can be grown locally. Investigate small, deep-bed sites where large amounts of food can be grown in a limited space insist that developers include food growing space in their proposals. Also provide people with the permissions and resources to adapt to their own local situation.
· Food from food, i.e. local food growing to be supported with free compost from recycled food waste.
· Edible estates. Give all residents of council blocks the right to garden open land adjacent to their block (in agreement with their Tenants and Residents’ Association (TRA)).
· Adopt a garden scheme on the council website (and in Hackney Today).
Wildlife habitat encouraged to flourish in all parks. R egeneration of underused recreation areas such as Mabley Green.
· Commitment of all parks to encourage biodiversity.
· Review of Parks Department. Proper training for PD staff to end damage to trees and local habitat. Expand Park Department’s role to include outreach to public, getting them involved in care of green space.
· Protect current status and site of Hackney Tree Nursery and expand local propagation of trees, with possible free tree whips for residents.
· Increase number of local public orchards in Hackney such as those on Hackney Downs and Butterfield Green.
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Hackney residents should feel that the streets where they live are a safe, humane environment. Council policy should aim to mitigate the effects of traffic and overcrowding and make Hackney streets comfortable for residents of all ages. Local people should have a say in how their streets are run.
· Work to make pavements friendly to older people and people with disabilities. Non-slip surfaces on all new pavements and open areas. Regulation of café boards and other street furniture, so that pavements are less intimidating.
· Increase in street benches and public seating, particularly in new street landscaping, but also in busy shopping areas, such as Kingsland Road, Hackney Central and Green Lanes.
· Gradually replace existing street lighting with solar-powered.
· Provide drinking fountains in all of Hackney’s parks and in all new public buildings. There has been an enormous increase in people buying bottled water. This provision would cut the amount of plastic waste in the borough.
Give the public a voice on street art. Some graffiti is a nuisance, some is a genuine improvement and enjoyed by the public. Local people should be given the right to vote on the retention or removal of street art/graffiti. A simple posting of new examples on the council website would enable local residents to decide what they would like to keep and what they would like removed.
· Use public notice boards and advertising for public information about local services and organisations not for advertising ‘council successes’. Conduct a review of current situation for best use.
Expand number of new litterbins incorporating recycling provision, particularly around new town centres such as Dalston and Hackney Central and existing markets.
· Dedicate a street bench/street tree scheme to allow people to commemorate friends of relatives.
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Through its pensions investment scheme, the London Borough of Hackney has over £10 million invested in a number of companies that manufacture and sell weapons around the world. Hackney Council invests more of its pension in the arms trade than any other borough council in London. Hackney Greens believe this is both morally and ethically bankrupt, as it makes the residents of Hackney complicit in funding war, while also profiting from the death and destruction that these companies wreak around the world.
Hackney Greens find it disgraceful that the Labour-dominated council continues to invest heavily in BAE Systems, an international arms company which is being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office and by the US Government for corruption involving weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and European countries, and also supplies the Israeli air force with F-16 jet components.
We believe that the people of Hackney have no wish to invest in this sordid industry. Hackney Green Party will work with anti-war activists and people from all faiths and political views to ensure that Hackney Council ceases investing in companies that profit from war.
16 October 2012
HGP member Mischa Borris submits objection to Wilmer Place development proposals
13 August 2012
24 May 2012
Martin Hemingway speaks on Green Party policy