Hackney Socialist Unity Summer 2006

People Not Profit: Fight New Labour's Betrayal

Published on: Thu, 06/07/2006 - 13:47

by Janine Booth

Tony Blair’s government does the bidding of big business and attacks working-class people – exactly the opposite of what a Labour government should do.

Here in Hackney, Blair’s lackeys in the Town Hall have cut and privatised services while lining their own pockets. Council workers face attacks on their pensions and local communities are neglected.

In the recent Council elections, Hackney Labour tried to present itself as having saved the Council from chaos. The truth is that – helped by the Tories and LibDems – it caused the chaos in the first place! And if it has not made

Stop East London Line privatisation

Published on: Thu, 06/07/2006 - 13:44

Click here for details of forthcoming public meeting.

“The people of Hackney must join the unions in stopping the privatisers and profiteers getting their grubby hands on the East London Line and its extension. The safety record of the privatised railway must not be spread onto the East London Line. Profits must not come before safety.”

John Leach, RMT National Executive.

Socialists challenge the Blair-Brown show

Published on: Thu, 06/07/2006 - 13:38

Edited extracts from a statement issued by Labour Party socialists after the local council elections...

“A string of policies have turned our own supporters against us. From the Education Bill, privatisation of public services, the cuts in the NHS to the war in Iraq, we’ve alienated our natural supporters.

“Voters stay at home, party members resign, small cliques around Blair and Brown vie for power and position. Decision making is centralised, with policies handed down from on-high.

“These results demand that we launch a serious challenge for Labour’s future - a challenge to transform the

ALMOwatch

Published on: Thu, 06/07/2006 - 13:33

by Tony Osborne, Aspland & Marcon estates

The ALMO (Arms Length Management Organisation), set up by Hackney Council to manage its housing stock, and now called Hackney Homes, ‘went live’ in April. It is supposed to deliver central government’s Decent Homes programme, and bring all Hackney Council’s housing up to a standard that is fit to live in by 2010.

What a great idea. And not before time, especially if you are among the many residents unlucky enough to live on one of the estates that have been neglected for years and allowed to become run down by the council’s mismanagement.

However

Sheltered housing: cuts through the back door

Published on: Thu, 06/07/2006 - 13:31

by Tony Osborne, Aspland & Marcon estates

Hanover in Hackney recently announced a pilot scheme at one of its sheltered housing complexes to replace its resident housing officer. Hanover is the housing association to which Hackney Council has contracted the running and staffing of 30 of its sheltered housing homes for the elderly. Its plan calls for the resident post to be closed, and replaced with daily visits and an alarm system.

Hanover claims this will enable the elderly to live more independently. However, the plan has raised some opposition from residents, not only at the target

A cautionary tale from the Pembury Estate

Published on: Thu, 06/07/2006 - 09:56

by Kevin O’Hanrahan, Boxley House

In March 2000, Hackney Council handed ownership of Pembury estate to the Peabody Charitable Trust.

The transfer process was hardly an exercise in democracy. Residents were offered two options: a Yes vote for transfer, with the release of funding for estate improvements, or a No vote with no improvements. No third option of self-management, or fourth option of direct investment in council housing in line with Labour Party conference policy, was on offer.

Peabody, with Council backing, ploughed a small fortune into the campaign to secure a Yes vote.

Defend Council Housing

Published on: Thu, 06/07/2006 - 09:55

Housing campaigners up and down the country are signing a letter to Tony Blair demanding that the government allows councils to improve their housing without having to privatise it.

The letter has been produced by the Defend Council Housing campaign, and you can get a copy from Hackney Socialist Unity.

SureStart swings the axe

Published on: Thu, 06/07/2006 - 09:51

SureStart - the government’s project for children under 4 - has cut funding to some local facilities for young kids.

It is shifting its services to showpiece ‘Children’s Centres’, such as the Ann Tayler Centre on London Fields, but this seems to be at the expense of play sessions on estates and in the community: where they are needed most.

Local schools crisis: parents speak out

Published on: Thu, 06/07/2006 - 09:47

Mossbourne

Barbara writes:

“I am Barbara, mother of Marvin. He was born and raised in Hackney, and is a polite, intelligent child in all subject areas and in sports.

I am still angry, upset and emotional about the situation with school places. I chose three schools for him in 2004 and he did not get a place at any of them. Our first choice was Mossbourne Academy, which we live about five minutes walk away from. We appealed but it was unsuccessful.

He is at a school in Tottenham now, and has to travel on two buses to get there. But he is doing great and I am with him 100% in everything.

Th

Water privatisation = services down the drain

Published on: Thu, 06/07/2006 - 09:44

by Dave Osler

Water privatisation has had disastrous consequences in many third world countries. It has hardly been a roaring success in Britain, either.

Severn Trent – Britain’s largest water company – was ordered to reimburse overcharged customers to the tune of £42m, after deliberately supplying false information to industry regulator Ofwat so that it could press its case for higher prices.

Now we have the disgraceful case of Thames Water. Industry regulator Ofwat authorised the company to increase prices by 24% above inflation between 2005 and 2010, so that it could undertake

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