Labour launches manifesto and pledges improvements in housing and environment

Hackney Labour has launched its manifesto ahead of next month's election.

Hackney Labour has launched its manifesto ahead of next month's election. - Credit: Archant

Hackney Labour has launched its manifesto ahead of next month’s council election, saying it is for “those who still feel excluded” and are worried about changes in the borough.

Some 250 party members packed into the Old School Room in Clapton to hear mayor Phil Glanville launch the manifesto ahead of polling day on May 3.

Big guns were brought in for the event, with speeches from MPs Meg Hillier and Diane Abbott, as well as Sadiq Khan.

Presenting it, Mr Glanville said: “This manifesto is on the side of those who still feel excluded, for those who are worried about how the borough is changing and where they fit in.

“This is a manifesto infused with hope and municipal socialism at its heart that will maintain that diverse and tolerant Hackney we love.”

A new “culture strategy” has been promised, as has a “space bank” to allow locals and community groups to use spaces free or at low cost.

Environmentally, the party will install more water fountains to stop people buying bottled water and create an energy company, covering half of Hackney’s residential roof space in solar panels and offering cheaper, clean, energy.

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Private renting is also a key area. The party said it would expand the licensing of private rented homes and campaign for more power to regulate the sector, including three-year tenancies and rent control.

A review of the lettings scheme for council homes will also take place, while estate cleanliness and communication with tenants will be improved. An older person’s strategy will be created to give the borough’s elders more of a say over how services are run.

All outsourced services, such as agency use in adult social care and estate repairs, will be reviewed with a view to bringing them back in house.

Employee ownership and co-ops will be explored as alternatives.

Labour says it will fight to protect the Eastern Curve Garden and Ridley Road market as the transformation of Dalston arrives with Crossrail 2. Last year the garden feared it was under threat from the council’s own proposed “Dalston quarter” development.

With cycling another key issue, the Quietway network will be improved so everyone lives within 400 metres of a route.

The London Fields Lido will also get a new learner pool and an “object lender library” will be opened so people can borrow a range of appliances.