Hackney Heroine warns gentrification is destroying way of life for many

11:43 15 August 2014

'Heronine of Hackney' Pauline Pearce

Rob Baker Ashton - freelance

Hackney Heroine, Pauline Pearce, has warned the council is not doing enough to help residents in the face of spiralling gentrification.

The voice of the London riots, who stood up to youths ransacking her neighbourhood, has spoken out this week after seeing friends forced from their homes due to a mix of ever-inflating house prices, costly rents and the bedroom tax.

And while emphasising the borough’s need for more social housing, she also said the influx of hip youngsters drawn to the borough is even forcing many born and bred locals out of the high street as the numbers of pricey boutiques and cafés explodes.

Ms Pearce said: “The locals are fed up of it. There is not a lot we can do. As far as the council is concerned, they are bringing money and jobs into the area but the people working in these shops are not from Hackney.

“Hackney is a beautiful place and we are famous for diversity but that is being pushed away.”

She added: “The council need to stop sitting on their pedestal. They know it’s always going to be Labour so they do nothing and nobody says anything because nobody knows they can.

“They should also be more transparent about how people can get help. Prevention is better than the cure.”

Ms Pearce also criticised the decision to build a new luxury fashion retail outlet in Hackney Central using money put aside after the London riots – however, the council was keen to stress that it had to bid for the regeneration money which was only granted to projects to drive growth and prosperity.

Ms Pearce said: “I’d like to think that social housing, or community centres, is what they were using the riots money for, but they used it for a fashion hub that nobody can benefit from. I haven’t got Burberry money.”

She went on to add her voice to Hackney’s big race debate, highlighting the double standard she sees in the treatment of young people based on ethnicity.

“We used to go to Visions on Kingsland Road. If it was hot in the club and you came out for fresh air, we were told to move.

“Now there are hundreds of these retro trendies and nobody is moving them along – these people are peeing and puking over people’s storefronts.”

The mayor, Jules Pipe, voiced his intention to provide opportunities for youngsters in the borough.

He said: “Hackney is becoming increasingly out of reach for people on ordinary incomes, but we should be looking to those pushing housing associations to charge 80 per cent of market rents and the developers who sidestep affordable housing obligations, before looking to blame visitors who spend their money in local businesses.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hackney Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hackney Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hackney Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

54 minutes ago
Marble Arch, in central London. Photo Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

A film-maker stormed out of court after he was ordered to pay more than £1,000 for flying a drone over Hyde Park.

Chas Burns as Shaun and Ross Millward as Ed in Shaun of the Dead Live. Picture: Kim Carter

A stage show based on one of the greatest horror-comedy movies of all times, Shaun of The Dead, was axed from the Hackney Empire at the last minute because of a legal dispute.

Yesterday, 15:52
Some of the gambling machines that were seized

Seven social clubs have had 38 illegal gambling machines seized between them by Hackney Council’s licensing enforcement team, police and the Gambling Commission.

Yesterday, 14:00
The solar panels on top of Banister House

A project to generate green energy has finally come to fruition, with the last solar panels being installed and the final cables laid on the housing estate where it will help address fuel poverty.

Yesterday, 12:58
Kaylan Levy starred in a film which has been nominated for an award at the Raindance Festival

A schoolboy who swapped maths for the Mexican military is back in the limelight.

Yesterday, 11:26
Professor Green and Lily Allen

Rap star Professor Green moved the nation when he laid himself bare on television, and recounted the last conversation he had with his estranged father before he committed suicide.

Mon, 15:54
Soldiers during a patrol in Helmand Province,

A young Afghanistan veteran from Hackney has died in a parachuting accident in Germany.

Mon, 12:33
Alice Burke 
Photo:Philip Coburn

An inspirational great-grandmother has scooped a national award for her role in turning around the Nightingale Estate where she lives.

Most read news


You could be splashing the cash at Topshop!

Just imagine what you could do with £1,000 to spend at Topshop.

You won't need to fork out for groceries for a while!

Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets, prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here!

Digital Edition

Read the Hackney Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder