Gazette letters: 24-hour lighting, Well Street, anti-hate and Britannia Leisure Centre


On my walk every day I can’t help but notice the massive waste of money by Hackney Council, writes Mr M Micalef, by e-mail.

I see many lights are on 24 hours a day at the Beckers Estate in Rectory Road. Outside lights along the paths on the side of main blocks, playground, etc, which should only come on at night, are always on during the day as well.

What a waste! It must be costing Hackney Council hundreds (if not thousands) of pounds extra.

I’m surprised it hasn’t been brought to the council’s attention. Did the estate manager and staff not notice? They have been on for over a year now!

I thought it worth mentioning the street party in Well Street (p12-13) held under the banner “anti-racism”, which in the final analysis was for the benefit of the new bars and cafes on the street, writes Moritz Steiger, Hackney (full address supplied).

It’s all well and good to attract footfall, but what good is it if the landlords and council will just up rents and rates?

And under the banner of anti-racism, why was no mention made of what is going on with Jusus’ bike workshop where he offers free servicing for kids? The bars in the area cause far more noise nuisance. [Cycle Pitstop was shut by the council after complaints about anti-social behaviour as reported in the Gazette, July 7 – ed]

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This all smacks of what happened in Broadway Market where gentrification pushed out “unsightly” businesses in favour of cafes and overpriced pubs. These bars and pubs cause more anti-social behaviour than the bike workshop ever did but it’s done by white hipsters and so doesn’t count.

I’m not bashing what they’re doing as I am in favour of a market and Well Street improvements – what is needed is a more grassroots market giving locals with a genuine skill or product an opportunity to sell directly to the public.

I’m just concerned that a lot of lip service is being paid in order to get the project going and that in the end it’ll be for the well-off in the area, as happened in Broadway Market.

The North London Muslim Community Centre (NLMCC) condemns the cowardly and horrific murder that took place in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray in the strongest possible way, write Munaf Zeena and Mohammed Amejee, chairman and director of the NLMCC, Cazenove ward, Hackney.

Father Jacques Hamel was a man of faith and peace who dedicated his life to serving those that were most in need of support and healing.

His murder symbolises an attack, not just on his innocent being, but also on the very human ideals that he lived and strived for which are such a positive force for unity and change across the world. This was not the murder of just one man; this was the murder of all humanity.

Islam does not encourage or condone such acts of brutality.

This crime does not represent Islam or Muslims in any part of the world. As an organisation that promotes the virtues of peaceful co-existence and the rule of law, and cherishes the huge benefits that faith communities bring to all people within our democracy, the NLMCC expresses our complete solidarity with Christians, and people of all religions, faiths and none in denouncing the slaughter of this selfless, loving man.

We urge all of Hackney’s residents and community not to allow this act to divide us by committing any acts against individuals, groups, communities or institutions that are fuelled by ignorance, prejudice and discrimination. We must continue to remain united.

In response to Pat Turnbull’s letter (“Call Britannia meeting!”, August 4), I’d like to reassure residents the council has no plans remove leisure facilities from the Britannia site – in fact, we want to improve them, writes Kim Wright, group director, neighbourhoods and housing, Hackney Council.

It’s true we are considering building a school – and some housing to fund it – on this site.

But as we recently explained in a letter to local residents, the proposals are at an early stage and we’re currently carrying out a feasibility study to examine them further. The proposals being considered all include a new, improved leisure centre, with up-to-date facilities which better suit the needs of the community.

At the moment, Britannia costs a significant amount of money to operate and maintain. We have specified improved minimum standards we would expect from the new leisure centre. When we have the results of the feasibility study, we will share them with residents and leisure centre users, and hold open drop-in sessions for people to find out more and feed back their initial thoughts. There would be further opportunities for people to have their say if plans progress.

Residents can find out more about the proposals at