Originally there were Stoke Newington Forums. These were an opportunity for the entire neighbourhood to meet and communicate. They often formed the basis for expressing anger about various topics or Council policies and led to change. Sometimes they were poorly attended but often they could be lively. For example, they formed a focus for anger about the Clissold Leisure Centre and concern about the introduction of “bendy buses” onto the route 73. Its now been decided by Councillors that there should be individual ward forums and that these should be guided to introduce “positive” improvement plans while problems should be kept to Councillors’ surgeries. Whether this is a positive development or a form of attempted social control must be a matter of opinion.
The Forum met in October. The January date has not yet been set.
We received this report:
“ There were only 9 people there – but discussion was more productive and less “angry” than last time.
We discussed Allen Gardens, the possibility of having “play streets” as the models in Oxford and Bristol), maintenance and security in the Estates, and somebody proposed (though it’s a pipe dream) making the old post office site in Manor Road into a green area that would link up with Abbney Park Cemetary and provide a direct walking link form Manor road to Church Street. People all thought this a brilliant idea – but thought that the possibility of purchasing it pretty slim.”
This is the summary produced by the two Lordship Labour councillors:
“After an interesting discussion, the following issues were agreed as initial priorities for the Forum:
Working with the local Safer Neighbourhood Team and the Council to reduce the presence of prostitution in the area.
Investigating opportunities to improve open spaces such as Allen Gardens, including working with corporate groups.
Working with organisations such as Groundwork to improve areas where there is high level of vice activity, starting with Brett Close.
Improving resident engagement on estates without Tenants and Residents Associations.
Helping residents take advantage of Hackney Council’s new policy on play streets.”
For the Labour Councillors’ view: http://www.lordshipn16.com