Sunday 28 August 2011

"Gold Dust" - Iain Sinclair highlights radioactive hazards unearthed on London's 2012 Olympic site

Gold Dust from Mike Wells on Vimeo.

A collaborative performance by the author Iain Sinclair reading from his latest work ‘Ghost Milk’ and the Hackney solicitor/musician Bill Parry-Davies. This rousing performance is illustrated with photographs and video by Mike Wells and Sasha Andrews. It was created to highlight the existence of radioactive contamination on the London 2012 Olympic site

Thursday 11 August 2011

Sledge tower. By Barratt. Did anyone ask Percy?

The latest tower block of unaffordable private flats being erected in Dalston Square is to be called Sledge Tower.

Why so?

An 1886 sketch of Dalston's Circus - the North London Colosseum and Amphitheatre

Dalston Square is built on the ruins of Dalston's 1886 circus building. By 1898 the circus had become a Victorian variety theatre. In 1920 it became the magnificent Gaumont cinema. Then in 1963 it reinvented itself again to become the landmark Club Four Aces - a legendary London club for international black music and a second home for black musicians in Dalston.

In 2007, when owned by Hackney Council , the authorities demolished the circus building, crushed it, ground it up and used it in the foundations for Barratt's New Dalston tower block development.

With the destruction of the circus we lost Dalston's grandest historic building for the performing arts, the oldest circus entrance in the country, locally listed Georgian houses - urban gems - and also the thirty year cultural legacy of Dalston's African-Caribbean community.

So the authorities decided to name the tower blocks of unaffordable private flats after the black musicians associated with the club which they demolished.

Patronising hypocrisy... or what?

Did anyone ask Percy Sledge if he wanted a tower block named after him?

Monday 8 August 2011

One Hackney woman's view of the riots

Meanwhile in Dalston the local Turkish and Kurdish communities have been defending their businesses against looters and, if not expecting more trouble, they are ready for it anyway.

PS Since posting these films Pauline Pearce, our Hackney Heroine, has become a media sensation

Thursday 4 August 2011

Where has all Hackney's money gone?

If you ever wondered how Hackney Council spends your money then, as you see from the Notice below, NOW is the time you can find out.

Hackney Council's Audit of accounts year ended 31 March 2011
Audit Commission Act 1998, sections 15 & 16 Accounts and Audit Regulations 2003 (as amended), regulations 13, 14 & 16

The London Borough of Hackney's accounts are subject to external audit by the Audit Commission (Philip Johnstone, District Auditor, 1st Floor, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London, SW1P 4HQ -telephone 0844 798 1212). Members of the public and local government electors have certain rights in the audit process:

  1. From 18 July 2011 to 12 August 2011 between 10 am and 4 pm, Monday to Friday, any person may inspect the accounts of the London Borough of Hackney for the year ended 31 March 2011 and certain related documents (comprising books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts) at Keltan House, 89 - 115 Mare St, London E8 4RU (telephone 020 8356 3611). They may also receive copies of the accounts and documents, although excessive copies will be charged for and an appointment may be required.
  2. From 10 am on Monday 15 August 2011, until the conclusion of the audit process, a local government elector for the area of the London Borough of Hackney, or his/her representative may ask the auditor questions about the accounts. Please contact the auditor at the address given above to make arrangements to ask any questions.
  3. From 10 am on Monday 15 August 2011 until the conclusion of the audit process, a local government elector for the area of the London Borough of Hackney, or his/her representative, may object to the London Borough of Hackney's accounts asking that the auditor issue a report in the public interest (under section 8 of the Audit Commission Act 1998) and/or apply to the court for a declaration that an item in the accounts is contrary to law (under section 17 of the Audit Commission Act 1998). Written notice of a proposed objection and the grounds on which it was made must be sent to the auditor at the address given above and copied to me at the following address: Keltan House, 89 - 115 Mare St, London E8 4RU.

The draft Statement of Accounts for submission to the auditor, can be found on Statement of Accounts page.

Ian Williams, CPFA, 30 June 2011