Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Schools update

There are major changes in the pipeline for schools in our area and this is just an update on what we now know following meetings with the Learning Trust.   The council via the Hackney Learning Trust is trying to make sure that there are enough primary and secondary school places available for local children and young people. They estimate that because of a rapidly growing population there will be major pressure in particular on secondary places, meaning they need roughly two new six form of entry secondary schools by 2019.

They have undertaken a feasibility study and believe the best option is to use an existing primary school site for a secondary school. They have identified Benthal School as a site that is both large enough and near enough to other vacant or existing primary sites that can be used to relocate Benthal primary. 

So, the proposal is likely to be that a secondary school is proposed for Benthal, Benthal primary school moves to the Nightingale primary school site and that Nightingale primary school moves to the vacant Tiger Way site.

The timetable (very rough) is likely to be:
- planning application for the Tiger Way site (to be the new Nightingale primary) July/August 2015. NB financially this is happening independently of the other proposals, which is why its first.
- consultation on the basic idea of putting a new secondary on the Benthal site in September 2015 lasting for six weeks.
- planning application  for the secondary and new Benthal schools in mid 2016
- two-three year construction period, meaning the new schools will be open by 2019.

As a Benthal governor Rick attended a meeting of the Friends of Benthal group this month and lots of questions were asked which Benthal governors have now put to the Learning Trust. The Learning Trust and the governors will be in contact with parents directly before the end of term with a ‘Question and Answer’ briefing. 

Importantly the Learning Trust told us their aim is that Benthal school will stay on its current site while construction takes place and that they will aim to keep the decant into temporary buildings to a 2 year period. They have said there will be outside space provided for the children during the decant period. 

Please note there is a separate planning process regarding the Tiger Way site and we know many people have strong views about the proposed residential accommodation that is proposed to finance this (two roughly ten storey blocks facing Hackney Downs). We are also very concerned about the height of these blocks and will be organising a residents meeting soon to discuss this.  We have been told that the plans are being revised in light of residents comments so far, but they are still going to aim for the same number of units. Please email us if you have any questions about this process.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Hackney Downs Big Picnic 12th July 11am-2pm

On Sunday 12th July the Hackney Downs User Group is holding a big picnic in the bowling green between 11am and 2pm - there will be boule and baby plants given away and it will be an opportunity to hear proposals for a new community garden and let the group know what you think could be improved in the park. See the group website here http://www.hackneydowns.org/event/big-hug-picnic/

Friday, 3 July 2015

Clapton Methodist Church celebrates 150th anniversary

Last month Clapton Methodist Church celebrated its 150th anniversary and Councillor Michael Desmond (far left) spoke at the celebration.

Hackney Downs Ward Forum at 7pm on Thursday 23rd July at BSix College

Come along to our Ward Forum at 7pm on Thursday 23rd July at BSix College

We have now combined our councillor-led ward forum with our neighbourhood police meetings. This is so we have one regular big meeting in the ward roughly every quarter.

At 7pm we will hear from our Sergeant Rob Wardrop and his team and choose crime and anti-social behaviour priorities for our area.

At 8pm we will discuss how the large number of new developments in our area (hundreds of new homes, new schools, changes to traffic) overlap and what the overall impact will be on road safety, public amenities, parking and other matters.

Do come along and have your say!