Gazette letters: Taxidermy on screen, domestic violence and MP’s vote


Film fans will be in for a shock at the Hackney Attic Film Festival next month, writes Tony Hickson, director, Captain Ratty Intergalactic.

I have used stuffed animals for puppets, a style of animation called Hicksymation.

I don’t know what the fuss is about.

The film is 100 per cent green, the sets are cardboard and even the cast is recycled as well.

The star of the show, Captain Ratty, even manages to pull off an Oscar-winning performance – despite the fact he’s dead.

• The festival runs from August 15 to 31 at the Hackney Picturehouse.

We take our duty to survivors of domestic violence extremely seriously, and do everything we can to make sure they get the right support and appropriate accommodation, writes Cllr Philip Glanville, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Housing.

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I look forward to meeting Sisters Uncut to discuss their concerns [Gazette, July 14] and how together we can press the government for better help and funding in tackling the housing crisis.

Despite government cuts, we increased spending on domestic violence support last year, as well as funding the third highest number of refuge spaces in London. We work closely with charities and other organisations to provide a safe place for anyone suffering domestic abuse, as well as training professionals to help more victims obtain court injunctions against violent partners.

When council homes become available, we use them to home those most in need as quickly as possible, with only a handful of properties with complex problems left empty for any long period.

Hackney has one of the most ambitious regeneration schemes in London, which will see thousands of properties that are uneconomical to repair replaced with modern new council homes. Wherever we can, we will use homes set for demolition in the future as temporary housing – and we’ve already housed more than 260 families in this way. The only reason we wouldn’t do this if the homes are due to be imminently knocked down or in a dangerous condition.

It’s untrue to suggest we are reducing the number of council homes in Hackney through regeneration. Hackney has actually built the second highest number of council homes in the country, and where we are demolishing council homes, we are actually replacing them with more than we started with – alongside hundreds of additional homes for shared ownership.

We have been extremely vocal in our anger and opposition to the government’s housing reforms, including the Housing and Planning Act, which only serves to exacerbate London’s housing crisis and make it even harder for councils like Hackney to ensure local people can find an affordable place to live. I have personally given evidence in Parliament about the devastating impact these changes will have on families in our borough and joined three national marches, as well as writing to ministers, the Mayor of London and housing associations to outline why this legislation is wrong.

I look forward to a debate about how we continue to fight the government’s damaging cuts to services in Hackney.

The battle lines are drawn for the Labour Party leadership, writes Bob Faulkes, Amhurst Road, Hackney.

Some 172 MPs have passed a vote of no confidence in Jeremy Corbyn; this have been added to MEPs and various councillors.

In Hackney North, Diane Abbott, to her credit, has stood by Corbyn and not deserted. But where does Meg Hillier stand in the South?

The 172, as far as I am aware, have never been published. What was Meg Hiller’s vote? Maybe she could oblige and tell us in the Hackney Gazette.

Let us remind ourselves that last summer Corbyn was elected against all the odds with a vote of 60 per cent – the biggest vote any Labour leader has received in its history. Now we have this lie and nonsense by 172 MPs that he didn’t try hard enough to bring out the Labour vote in the EU referendum and that he is unelectable. But to the contrary, their fear along with the establishment is that he is entirely electable. Over 10 months he has helped to win all the live elections – London and other cities’ Mayors, and the council elections – except in Scotland, where Blairites paid the penalties for their betrayals.

Since last year Corbyn has had everything and the kitchen sink thrown at him. Any lies and abuse, not least from his PLP and these Blairites in their isolation in Westminster, are perpetuating a comfortable club full of Tory ideas and attitudes to whom someone like Corbyn – with the vast majority of the membership behind – represents a danger with his talk of ending austerity, nationalisation, stopping the privatisation of the NHS etc, which New Labour have either totally abandoned or helped the Tories in their aims.

The possibility of a Corbyn Government with the ideas and language he talks is the real reason for the all-out attacks he’s facing from the Tories within our ranks.