Council stuffs controversial freesheet Hackney Today into time capsule – but ditches Gazette page due to 'lack of space'
PUBLISHED: 17:37 13 July 2017 | UPDATED: 09:18 14 July 2017
Hackney Council included pages from its controversial freesheet Hackney Today in a time capsule – but ditched a cutting from the Hackney Gazette at the last minute due to “lack of space”.
It was buried last week to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the building of Hackney Town Hall in Mare Street. Alongside it was an original time capsule buried in 1937, unearthed during the Mare Street building’s £16million renovation works and opened by then mayor Jules Pipe.
The ceremony commemorated the end of the refurb, which went £3.4m over budget.
The council asked Gazette editor Ramzy Alwakeel in October if it was possible to include the front page of this newspaper from the last week of December in the capsule. He was enthusiastic about the idea and the issue went to press with a story about a council refuse worker being run over by an impatient driver.
But it has now emerged the front page was not included because there was “no space” for it. Despite this, there was room for the “front couple of pages” of Hackney Today as a “date marker”. The date is printed on every page of the Gazette.
There was also room for seeds from the London Fields wildflower meadow, a letter from Hackney Mayor Phil Glanville to the future mayor of Hackney, and letters and drawings from school children at Petchey Academy and Millfields Primary School.
The council is three years into a legal wrangle with the Department for Communities and Local Government over publication of its fortnightly newspaper, which is distributed to 108,000 households. In January the DCLG once again warned the council it would take legal action if it did not start publishing less frequently.
Youngsters from Millfields joined the speaker of Hackney, Cllr Soraya Adejare, and Mr Glanville to set the time capsules behind two foundation stones in the lobby of the town hall. They will be opened in 100 years.
Eshall Husain, eight, said: “It was really fun. When someone important opens it in the future they can see what we wrote and it can help them to change the world and make it better.”
Cllr Adejare said: “It’s great to share a bit of what our borough was like in 2017 with residents in 100 years, while getting children to think about how the world can change in that time, and how they can be the ones to help change it for the better.”