Autistic people can face discrimination and often feel left out, but in Hackney local services are trying to change that by working with autistic people to develop an autism strategy for the borough.
Hackney Council and local health services are working with a group of autistic residents, carers and the Hackney Autism Alliance to draft the bough’s first ever autism strategy which will make Hackney more autism friendly.
Hackney Autism Alliance is urging more autistic Hackney residents to get involved as World Autism Acceptance Day approaches on Sunday 2 April.
Panda Mery, an autistic resident, said: “There are simple changes organisations and people can make to improve the lives of autistic people. Celebrating differences, designing new services with autistics, tackling bullying, offering mentoring, improving the environment and staff attitudes can all help. Although the strategy will be for residents in City and Hackney, an autism-friendly Hackney will also benefit people who work here and visitors.”
Amanda Elliot, Intelligence and Signposting Manager at Healthwatch Hackney and a parent of young autistic man said: “We have five great autistic representatives on the board who are already getting managers in Hackney to view autism differently.”
New planning rules will stop private developers changing businesses, warehouses and launderettes into unaffordable homes.
Called an Article 4 Direction, the borough’s start-up light industrial spaces, including small breweries, design studios and its 14 remaining launderettes, will be protected by forcing developers to apply for planning permission first before they can change the use of a business premises.
The new planning rules, approved at Cabinet on Monday (27 March), will help retain new and established businesses, vital for local communities, jobs, the maker economy and the borough’s reputation as the centre for entrepreneurs.
The measures also recognise the important role launderettes play for local communities, used by residents on a low income, those living in temporary accommodation, or small bedsits, and students studying in the borough.
Launderettes are disappearing from the high street, from a national peak of 12,500 in the 1980’s to just 3,000 today, 450 of which are in London.
The Article 4 Direction will remove Permitted Development Rights that were brought in by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and allow developers to convert from various uses including offices, warehouses or shops into private housing without planning permission.
There will be a consultation open to all residents and businesses before the new plans are put in place. The Article 4 Direction will be effective 12 months after the notice of the decision is formally given and will be reviewed after three years.
For more information about the plans, see the Cabinet meeting agenda from Monday 27 March.
Hackney Council is looking for market traders to run stalls at Hoxton Street Market.
Established in 1687, Hoxton is the oldest street market in Hackney. Packed with East End spirit, and just a short stroll from Shoreditch, the 336 year-old market has recently been transformed and now boasts new-look market stalls.Trial pitch scheme
Whether you’re experienced or have no market trading experience at all, we welcome all keen traders interested in starting up their own market trading business.
Our aim is to help regenerate Hoxton Street Market and run the market in partnership with traders, local businesses and residents. The benefits on offer to new traders include:
- Four days FREE trading within the first month of your licence being granted. This can be taken as four consecutive days or four consecutive weekends
- A high quality 3m x 3m gazebo for Saturday traders which is set up and dismantled for you by Hackney’s experienced market team.
Saturday is the market’s busiest trading day and suitable for all traders. The general market is open 9am-4pm.
During weekdays, the market is more suitable for street food traders wanting to capture lunch-time workers stepping out for a bite to eat. The peak trading hours on weekdays are between 11am and 3pm.Refer a trader and get a discount
Once you become a licenced trader and you refer a new trader to one of Hackney’s markets, you’ll both be eligible to receive a credit equal to a single day’s pitch fee. The credit can be claimed when the new trader fills out the required section on their application form.How to apply
Applying for a stall at Hoxton Street Market couldn't be simpler!
All you need to do is download an application form and email it back to us or post it to our market office.
Once successful, you’ll be given a licence to trade and access to our dedicated team to help you get settled in.
You must be 16 or over to apply.Fees
Compared to other markets across London, Hackney offers very competitive fees and charges. The following fees and charges apply to Hoxton Street Market:
Six month temporary trading licence - £50.00
Monday - Thursday (per day)
Monday - Thursday (per day - Fruit & Vegetable)
Friday or Saturday (fee per day)
Friday or Saturday (fee per day – Fruit & Vegetable)
*Fees are inclusive of stall hire on SaturdaysContact us and find out more
- 020 8356 1019
Following yesterday's Pensions Committee meeting (29 March), Councillor Robert Chapman, Chair of Hackney's Pensions Committee, provides an update about the ongoing work to make the Hackney Pension Fund ultimately fossil free.
There are also questions and answers below about the Hackney Pension Fund and the investment in fossil fuels.
Questions and Answers
Is the 50% reduction target in line with the Paris agreement’s 2°C scenario?
Yes. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that scenarios likely to maintain warming at below 2°C are characterised by a 40 - 70% reduction in Green House Gas emissions by 2050, relative to 2010 levels, and emission levels near zero or below in 2100. The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Transition Pathways suggest that meeting this target will require fossil fuels to halve as a proportion of primary energy demand by 2050 (reducing from 81% to 39%).
The Fund is targeting a 50% reduction over the next six years, this is measured by the Fund’s absolute exposure to future CO2 emissions rather than the carbon footprint of the companies it holds. Exposure to potential future emissions is a better measure of the risk the Fund faces from stranded assets, which makes it a better target for us to use as financial risk has to be our first consideration. The Fund plans to measure its exposure, and assess progress in-line with the Paris agreement’s 2°C scenario, on a three yearly basis to align with valuation cycles.
Why don’t you divest altogether?
As at present, we feel it would increase the overall risk to the Fund. The IEA has projected the most rational global demand response for fossil fuels in the case of the transition to a 2°C pathway; demand for coal is projected to fall immediately, while oil demand peaks by 2020 before declining. Gas demand continues to increase, albeit at reduced rates. Although the level of investment required is lower under a 2°C scenario, fossil fuels are projected to remain in use for the next four decades.
As such, clean energy technology is still a relatively small proportion of the energy sector, and offers a smaller range of suitable investment opportunities. Complete divestment in the short term (i.e. five years) would mean a greater concentration of the Fund’s assets in other sectors of the economy – some of which currently look overpriced. It would also significantly limit the range of investment products available to the Fund, which is likely to impact on its returns. Over the longer term, as fossil fuels reduce as a proportion of the economy, complete divestment may become a more realistic option.
By not fully divesting, is the Fund ignoring climate change?
No. Climate change driven by human activity poses a significant threat to the planet and the integrity of the Fund, which we take very seriously. The Fund’s primary purpose is paying pensions to its members; meeting our fiduciary duty means first and foremost considering the financial health of the Fund. We therefore consider climate change from the perspective of financial risk, and are satisfied that our policy addresses this at present. We will keep the policy under review and update it as required.
Divesting cannot prevent the emission of CO2 – it simply means that somebody else owns the assets. It can therefore help reduce climate risk for individual investors but is unlikely to impact greenhouse gas emissions.
What will help to reduce carbon emissions?
Low carbon power generation on a larger scale, and more efficient energy usage. These are sectors that the Fund has made a positive commitment to invest in, and we are exploring possible options with the London Pension Collective Investment Vehicle (CIV). At present, clean energy technology is a relatively small proportion of the energy sector but it is growing rapidly, increasing investment opportunities.
But other pension funds have divested?
We have set a clear and measurable target for reducing our fossil fuel exposure and have a realistic implementation plan in place to help achieve it – we are therefore satisfied that we are in-line with, or ahead of other London council pension funds in tackling the issues that climate change presents to us.
We can only consider the risks and benefits of divestment as they apply to the Hackney Fund – funds have different histories, and therefore different funding positions and investment strategies. The Hackney Fund has a significant allocation to equities and uses passive management for a proportion of this allocation to help reduce fees; we therefore think it's important to maintain as a wide a choice of strategies as possible. We also need to ensure that we can meet the Government’s requirements to pool assets with other London funds, maintaining a degree of flexibility helps us to do this.
If you are pooling assets with the rest of London, how can you achieve the target anyway?
Prior to setting the target, we carefully considered what action we could take within a
pooled structure to help reduce the financial risks of climate change. Firstly, the Fund will still make decisions about its investment strategy; therefore, where it is financially appropriate to do so, the Fund can choose to invest in strategies through the pool that may help to reduce its risk. Secondly, pooling assets could give London funds much greater influence when it comes to engaging with Fund Managers and investee companies. As part of the CIV structure we, and similar minded councils, are working to make sure that an appropriate range of investment vehicles will be available within the pool.
Will you work together with (and learn from) funds that are divesting?
Yes. We are already working with Waltham Forest and Southwark to help ensure that suitable strategies are available through the London CIV. We still need to ensure that any strategy we use is financially appropriate for the Hackney Fund, but we believe it’s essential for funds to work together on this to maximise our impact and help make new strategies available at a reasonable cost.
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