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In this issue
.NEWS IN BRIEF
The bus is coming! (We hope.) In our last issue we ran an article critical of London Buses for the delay in getting the planned 393 bus on the road. We have received a message of thanks from Roger Blake, Hackneys transport planner, who brings some (provisional) good news. The first test run was carried out just before Easter by Hackney Community Transport who may be awarded the contract, though it has not yet been finally decided. Various other details, involving the police, placing of new bus stops etc. have yet to be finalised. The planned service is 5 buses per hour with maybe fewer early and late and on Sundays. The route looks like this: Upper Clapton Road, Southwold Road, Theydon Road, Leaside Road, Warwick Grove, Cazenove Road, Stoke Newington High Street (plus Northwold Road/ Stoke Newington Common/Rectory Road/ Brooke Road going south/west), Stoke Newington Church Street, Green Lanes, Highbury New Park, Highbury Grove, St. Pauls Road, Highbury Corner and Holloway Road. Roll up for the magical mystery tour.
Strange but true. N16 is a free magazine. It says so on the front cover. So why was a lady seen selling copies outside St. Marys Church a few Sundays ago? What was she charging? We dont know but were sure it went to a good cause. From the sublime to the ridiculous: a local newsagent tells us that kids nip into his shop and nick copies of the free mag. Do they sell them as well? Perhaps they supply the lady. And its nice to know were so much in demand that at least one local school plans to send copies of N16 to prospective job applicants, and that a major property developer in the area has been using copies in its information packs for potential buyers.
Fresh and Wild, the new organic store and café at Wilmer Place, seems to be doing well. It held a press launch with paintings and drawings by 60 children from the William Patten School opposite. Its employing around 30/40 locally recruited staff. It was not successful in gaining a licence to serve alcohol on the premises but it does sell organic wines and beers to take away. The organisation was founded by Hass Hassan, originally from Kashmir, who established a number of outlets called Alfalfa in the United States. These were sold and Fresh and Wild was started in the UK with stores in Soho, Camden Town, Old Street, Lavender Hill and Notting HiII.The staff are friendly and helpful - they have had one months training - and one of them told us that the counter on which our fruit drink was served was made out of recycled yoghurt pots. There is one small health hazard.Watch out for the baby buggies propelled by vitamin-fuelled Stokey Mums. You may need a herbal remedy for bruised shins.
The new Lemongrass Thai restaurant in Church Street is now in full
swing. Its launch was attended by the Mayors of three boroughs, Hackney, Tower Hamlets and
Haringey. The main ground floor area seats 55 and theres room for 25 downstairs. The
bar area has 22 seats and customers may drink there without ordering a meal. Opening hours
are 12pm-3pm and 6pm-11.30pm Monday-Sunday.
A Farmers Market in Hackney? Londons first Farmers Market began in Islington in 1999 and has proved enormously successful. Nina Planck, founder of the Islington ven- ture is now looking at potential sites in Hackney such as Broadway Market and Stoke Newington Town HaIl.The sort of site required is an open, flat space where 20 or so producers can sell from their vans and the only other requirement is electrical outlets for chiller cabinets. Theres no cost to the landlord as the site is managed by Farmers Market. If you have a site to offer, want to be a partner, or need further information phone Nina Planck on 020 7704 9659.
Still on the subject of food, Growing Communities, an organisation set
up by local people to promote sustainable development, is looking to strengthen its
volunteer management committee. Amongst many other activities, it supplies 100 households
weekly with fresh organic fruit and vegetables, converts derelict land into flourishing
vegetable gardens and helps to make inner-city London a healthier and greener place.
Details from them on TeI/Fax 020 7502 7588
Mobile phone masts are meeting increasing resistance from local residents. Tenants at Lister Court, Yoakley Road, demonstrated recently and quizzed local parliamentary candidates on their views. As it was just before the general election, perhaps it was not surprising that all were supportive of their action. This follows the blocking of an Orange installation at Hawksley Court estate a year ago. Hackney Council negotiate the siting of these masts and people are worried about possible radiation hazards. The mega-rich companies also pay a measly rental. Lister Court receives only £3,000 a year over 20 years.
The meters march on. Stoke Newington Neighbourhood Committee has authorised a Controlled Parking Zone in the south-east part of N16. This covers an area on either side of the High Street down from Brooke Road to Arcola Street. A higher percentage of residents in this area voted for meters (pay and display) than those elsewhere in Stoke Newington. Implementation will occur after some more local consultation and a check on the financial implications for the Council. It will obviously be a nice little money-spinner. Its also a fair bet that adjoining streets will soon become full as drivers seek to avoid payment. Residents in those streets may well then push the Council to introduce controlled parking to free up some spaces near their houses. Its called the domino effect.
Save the trees! Hackney Councils regeneration proposals for the Town Hall Square will destroy half of the existing, mostly mature, trees. The gardens in the square were constructed as part of the art deco design for the Town Hall and are listed as a valuable part of Londons architectural heritage. Hackney Tree Wardens, a group of volunteers dedicated to caring for the Boroughs trees, are campaigning to halt this destruction. More support is needed. If you would like to help phone 020 7249 5820 and for more information on the campaign check out their website at: www.hackneytreewardens.org.uk
Whos for tennis? The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) is funding the re-surfacing, new drainage and fencing of the 5 courts in Clissold Park. This is part of their initiative to improve the standard of tennis players in Britain, particularly young people in inner-city areas. It was discussed at the Clissold Park User Group recently and an objection was raised to the use of the LTA standard court colour of blue. The objection was on the grounds of maintaining a green vista in the park. 020 7249 4344