|Clissold Park Café “Missed opportunity”, say local Greens|
Caroline Allen, the Green Party London Assembly candidate for North East London, visited the newly opened café in Clissold Park last weekend in order to see for herself whether concerns raised by local people that the café is not socially inclusive were well-founded.
Clissold House was restored and upgraded as part of an £8.9 million pound project jointed funded by Hackney Council and Heritage Lottery Fund. At the time the contract for the café was tendered Hackney Green Party expressed their concern that only allowing companies with a turnover in excess of £1 million pounds would exclude most small, local businesses who might want to run the café.
“The Clissold House café is a missed opportunity to have had a real community cafe, using local produce, providing cooking classes, maybe even getting kids involved in growing and cooking, in the heart of the park. In awarding this contract the Council has shown once again that while it says it is on the side of the more disadvantaged in our community, this is not always matched by what it does. The Council must admit its mistake and endeavour to improve its tendering process and equalities assessments.”
Photo - Caroline Allen Emma Dixon, local campaigner who wrote the 'Toast of Hackney' blog, at Clissold Park.