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May 20, 2008



Just a few points on Jules' piece: the population of Hackney is a shifting one,perhaps30% pa although some of this will be intra-borough movements.Jules' "Local residents" is a dynamic concept. Meaningful in the present, nothing more. So it is entirely conceivable that Dalston could be another Notting Hill, which is a mix of rich and poor with nothing in between.
Jules is also fighting both national and global politics and markets over which Hackney Council has no control. The price of housing largely reflects land prices. Why is Hackney land so expensive? Look no further than the self-regluating tax-haven marked by the gherkin at the bottom of Kingsland Road,mopping up the nation's hottest Maths and Physics graduates as they endeavour to produce even more subtle programmes to bet on fluctuations in currency markets. The flood of bonuses surely has some effect on land prices?

I can't quite fathom Jukes' final paragraph. I hope "stimulating the local economy" doesn't just mean allowing Tesco Offshore plc
to let it rip. I read it as "get a good local eduction, get out and find a good job. Come back when you can afford a mid-Victorian villa"
We are of course, thanks to TfL and freedom of movement, not constained by the frontiers of Hackney though we live in it.
Finally, why do we have to have a new library above Dalston Junction station? What will happen to the old site?

Michael Rosen

...and the number of 'affordable housing' units in the new development is how many, Jules? Not a word in your sneering rant. I wonder why... And the flogging off of 14 retail units on Dalston Lane (made derelict by Hackney Council by refusing to let the tenants either renew their leases or buy) to a single offshore owner? Not a word. That you'll remember was because, as your spokesperson says, your office was looking for a 'string of investors'. Take a look at Dalston Lane. Still derelict, years after your approved purchaser bought it. It's been firebombed twice, and who's paying the £400,000 to demolish and shore it up? Why us, of course, thanks to Jules and his cronies earmarking the dosh to do it. Hey let's throw more money at offshore millionaires, eh? Why stop there?

The 'keep Hackney crap' is a disgusting sneer. I've lived and worked in Hackney for thirty years, and have pleaded over and over again in whichever sector I've lived and worked in for improvements - mostly in education. Perhaps you've forgotten, Jules, that plenty of us have lived through a time when Hackney had education taken away from it, because you were so incompetent, during which time, you lot refused to build any new comps and were spending millions following Hackney's secondary students out of Hackney. You'll remember the mysterious closure of all the sixth forms (against popular wishes) only for them now to be...whaddyaknow...coming back.

Meanwhile, with the Dalston development, what Hackney refused to do was allow the tenants along Dalston Lane the right to develop where they lived and worked. Hackney refused to allow the other plans for Dalston Junction to be considered because it was already a done deal with TfL and the LDA. You'll have forgotten too, no doubt that the final decision to pass this development was passed by a tiny committee where the casting vote was passed by someone who failed to declare an interest. Corrupt? No, of course not.

And tell us Jules, what'll happen if the new blocks fail to sell? Who bears the cost? Who takes the risk? It wouldn't be Hackney, by any chance? Tell us please.

In the meantime, it would have been quite possible to have conserved and replanned, provided affordable housing, allowed sitting tenants to buy, if the great transport scheme had been planned as a green, low energy, low cost system eg trolley buses.

Plenty of people are trying to make Hackney better, while you spend your time working out ways of harassing Ridley Road stallholders. They might be in the way of the next great 'regeneration' scheme, mightn't they?

Meanwhile, you know as well as me that a certain Mr Cantor has been knocking on doors all over Dalston Junction offering people options they won't be able to get out of, so that suddenly we'll all wake up one day and find that Cantor owns the rest of Dalston and the next great bit of ethnic cleansing can take place.

Michael Rosen

I woke up pondering Pipe's sneer 'Keep Hackney Crap'. The point is, I don't think Hackney is crap.I've never thought Hackney is crap. I've never thought that the wrong people were living in Hackney. However, I do think the council is crap. The accusation arcs back to Pipe himself. Perhaps he thinks Hackney and its people are crap and it's his job to see it bulldozed, replanned and the the people moved on. A different matter altogether.


Over to Jules...in the meantime,Michael,feast your eyes on these..
To introduce such technology in the UK after 38 or so years would not be easy.
China, Russia, Switzerland, Czech Republic etc seem much more advanced than oil loving GB in this area.

Graeme Archer

We certainly have a crap Mayor. I love the way he characterised opponents of the council as "far left". Mr Rosen is of the left- so what? This Tory party member finds more commonality with his love of the borough than I do with the views of our Labour councillors. Ask Pipe to justify his council's campaign of hatred against Spirit on Broadway Market. The way that man's been treated by Pipe and his cohort of big offshore business lovers makes his claim to be on the side of small local business nauseating.

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