Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Brian has recently taken over as the permanent Chair of Audit – which really is more interesting than it sounds. It’s responsibilities include
o Managing our relationship with the Audit Commission, who inspect us and give us our star rating
o Approving the accounts, at our late June meeting
o Directing audit and anti-fraud activity
o Promoting risk management throughout the council
This year for the first time, we are a billion pound organisation, spending a total of £1,090,395,000 on providing services. The end of year position showed an underspend of 0.69% against gross budgeted expenditure.
The council’s assets are valued at over £1,560 million, while the pension fund is worth over £542 million. Both have been adjusted downwards significantly this year to reflect economic circumstances. This should correct itself in future years.
Safer Brownswood newsletter
The second edition of the newsletter went round with the last edition of Hackney Today.
The estate hall refurbishment is almost complete. The stepped access is improved with a disabled lift to be installed.
One of Hackney Homes’ maintenance contractors, Crispin & Borst, will now have it local headquarters in the basement of the hall.
We all attended the estate steering group again last Wednesday with the Deputy Mayor Karen Alcock.
Our aim is to conclude the strategy for the regeneration in a report to cabinet end July or early September.
We considered a number of options in relation to the future of the largely decanted blocks – Lemsford and Weston. The preferred one maximises the amount of land available for redevelopment providing 316 new homes, for a reasonable further cost. It seems almost certain that the front part of Lemsford and the east-west leg of Weston will be cleared. The remaining residents will primarily be rehoused in the refurbished frontage of Weston with views over the park.
The start of building new homes will be dependant on the outcome of our bids to the government’s Homes & Communities Agency. The announcement this week of additional resources to kickstart the construction industry can only be good news. They are actively looking for cleared sites with existing plans and permissions which can begin as soon as possible.
Clissold Leisure Centre
The reopened leisure centre was recently inspected for it QUEST accreditation. It achieved an excellent rating; the only one in London and among the top 30 in the country. Long-term residents will remember when this was black mark on Hackney’s record.
Parkwood recently celebrated it 40th anniversary with a concert and parade through the local streets.
Each class picked a year from that period, and made a papier mache figure to represent it. Year 6 made a giant Barack Obama.
The school has benefited throughout all that period from the extraordinary dedication of Pat Cardis first as a teacher, then Deputy and now Head. She has made an outstanding contribution to this ward and area over that period.
Look out for the photos of the parade in the next edition of Hackney Today.