Anger after Hackney charity march is cancelled

Naiola, Christianah, Chyna

Naiola, Christianah, Chyna - Credit: Archant

A woman has been left feeling “hurt” by the council after being refused permission to stage a celebrity-studded charity march in memory of lost loved ones.

Naiola Oye, 30, of Homerton High Street, organised the Miss You in March parade, along with friend Christianah Boyade.

When the pair announced the open event hundreds of people confirmed attendance, including the police, charities such as Cancer Trust and the McKenzie family, whose famous members include musician, Labrinth.

But Miss Oye said she spent weeks trying to contact Hackney Council for permission for the event, getting shunted around different departments.

Then, two days before the event was scheduled – on March 28 – she said council officials told her the event could not go ahead due to the “short notice given.”

She said: “I wanted to do everything above board. We did everything on the council website and submitted forms and left voicemails – only to get an email saying it is too short notice and apologising for any confusion.

“I try and get involved because of a personal bereavement and this is what I get – this hurts a lot.

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“They moan about people not trying enough to bring other people together when their own residents are crying out for a chance to make a difference.

“It hurts that we can be disregarded so much – I don’t think it is good enough.”

Miss Oye added: “We love the community and wanted to involve them. Everyone was on social media posting about people they have lost – and it’s my council that have actually let me down.”

A council spokesman said the council needed two to six weeks notice to organise adequate public safety. He added: “As Ms Oye requested use of the Hackney Town Hall Square, we would need to ensure her event does not interrupt weddings or other events taking place.”

But the spokesman told the Gazette that the march could have still gone ahead.

He added: “The council is not responsible for giving permission for marches, so this could still have taken place with support from the police.”