What a wonderful afternoon was had by all who attended. The workshop was engaging for all ages and abilities and saw residents of all ages and backgrounds come together to share some creative spirit.
A huge thank you to Maria Grazia Savito (our treasurer) for organising and to Rosso Crimson for leading the way.
Get a copy of the letter to residents about Rashan Charles situation and circulate via website/email (LL)
Find out about electric car charging points on estates (CU)
Investigate possibility of Community Payback team doing playground decoration (CU)
Organise list of people who want panto tickets + purchase tickets (LL + NG)
Investigate Poole Court water damage on balconies and gutters (CU)
Report ASB and drug dealing north end of Dorset Court (CU)
Investigate Poole Court bin chutes (CU)
Circulate Shared Lives flyer (LL)
Reschedule drawing event (MG)
Update on meeting with Mayor and police about shootings at Yours Locally (LL)
After we discussed the ongoing problems with violence and intimidation around Yours Locally at the last TRA meeting, we requested a meeting with the Mayor about this serious and very sensitive situation.
We were pleased that our request was taken seriously, and the Mayor convened a meeting including senior LB Hackney and Police representatives, and the owner of the shop.
We were told that they now have ongoing CCTV coverage of the area which is being carefully monitored, there is an increased plain clothes presence, and they are keen to ensure that things are calmed down. Rashan Charles’ mother has helped to move his shrine to another location, and they are hoping that things will be much calmer.
Police are going to send round a letter to local residents to clarify what actions they are taking and reassure residents.
Electric car charging (LL)
Those present agreed that it might be of interest to get an electric car charging point installed in the Lockner parking area. CU agreed to find out how this might work, and whether there would be any cost attached.
Cost of repainting playground railings
This has been re-estimated and is still being quoted as costing around £9000 to repaint the railings on 3 playgrounds. Those present still felt this was a very high cost and would like to more seriously investigate the possibility of getting a community payback team to do the work, as they have on De Beauvoir Square in the past. CU agreed to look into this.
NG suggested postponing this work to spring/summer in any case, when the playgrounds will be more heavily used, rather than redecorating just before they may be damaged by winter weather.
In previous years we’ve spent £1000-3000 on panto tickets, but it’s hard to judge in advance how many to buy.
This year we agreed to collect a list of names ahead of time, then purchase tickets once we know exact numbers. Other than that we’ll follow the same rules as last year (e.g. 4 tickets per household, residents only, priority given to those who’ve volunteered for TRA or estate jobs over the past year and first come first served otherwise). NG and LL will organise this.
Meet new Estate Manager
Celestine Udenze is our new estate manager and joined the meeting to introduce himself. He is available at firstname.lastname@example.org or at the neighbourhood office in person.
Any other business
Poole Court are still having frequent trouble with balconies and gutters overflowing and causing water damage inside flats (CU to report)
Dorset Court continues to have issues with antisocial behaviour and residents and their friends drug dealing at the north end of the block around the stairwell (CU to report)
Poole Court bin chambers and chutes are dirty and need jetting (CU to review)
RP gave an update on the Shared Lives scheme, where those with a spare room can be paid to have a lodger who needs some extra support (LL to circulate flyer)
Drawing event had to be cancelled due to bad weather – to be rescheduled for a Sunday some time soon (MG to reschedule)
This year rather than buy a set number of tickets to be given on a first come first served basis – we are registering people who would like to come, and if we can afford it, buy for everyone interested. As usual tickets are for Lockner Residents only (not guests of Lockner residents), limited at 4 per household and will cost £5 each.
Dick Whittington, Friday 20th December 2019 at 7pm, Hackney Empire.
If you would like to come, please email email@example.com with your name, address and number of tickets you would like by the 25th of October. After 25th October we will get in touch with everyone we have heard from with details about how to collect and pay for your tickets. If we run out of money we will prioritise people according to what date/time their email was sent – so please do get yours in early.
If you do not have access to email, don’t worry, please pop a note through the letterbox of the community flat at 23 Blandford Court.
A few residents attended the meeting mentioned below at the Mayors office with representatives from the council, the police and local counsellors. It was a really positive meeting and we felt our concerns were taken seriously and heard.
The outcome was that we learned just how much the police have been doing and continue to do to address the problems across the road.
They have installed CCTV to cover this area, and this is monitored 24 hours a day. They have engaged a specialist team who specialise in dealing with issues rising from gangs, they engaged this specialist team two months before the drive by shooting, a representative from this team was at the meeting and was very impressive. On the night of the shooting they had lots of surveillance, police on standby positioned near by and plain clothes police officers around, but unfortunately stood them down half an hour before the event due to resource allocation issues they couldn’t go into. We got the impression they felt pretty silly about that.
So, in summary – a lot has been going on behind the scenes, that we have not been aware of, this lack of communication appears to be the problem. We asked them to make contact with Lockner residents affected by all the goings on across the road at Yours Locally over recent years. We asked them to explain to residents what measures have been taken, and to reassure us that the right people are aware of the right problems and are working hard to keep us all safe and looked after. A letter to this effect should hit your doormat soon, if it hasn’t already. There is also some information on who to contact and how if you have any concerns.
We would like to thank Philip Glanville and his teams for meeting with us so productively.
We have had a reply from the mayor’s office who would like to meet with local residents in the Town Hall this coming Wednesday 18th September at 17.45 along with the cabinet member for community safety and police representatives. We are hoping to hear what is being done, express concerns and think about solutions.
If you have been worried about shootings, stabbings, violence and events around Yours Locally please come along. And please feel free to pass onto other local residents who may be affected.
If you are likely to make it please email and let us know so we can tell them how many to expect: firstname.lastname@example.org
———- Forwarded message ———
From: Lockner TRA <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2019 at 10:50
Subject: Lockner Estate/Safety concerns
To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Phillip Glanville, Meg Hillier, Dianne Abbott, Cllr Polly Billington, Cllr James Peters
We are writing from the Residents Association on the Lockner Estate to express our concerns over recent events at Yours Locally, our nearest local shop on Kingsland Road. The Lockner Estate is located directly across the road from the Kingsland waste and has 210 properties, we have a strong community and active residents association.
As we are sure you are aware, in 2017 there was an incident following an arrest by a police officer of a 20-year-old black man and Hackney resident, Rashan Charles, which resulted in Mrs Charles’ death. Following his death, the local store has become a space of mourning and anger for members of Mr Charles’ family, friends and extended community.
Outside the Yours Locally store there is a shrine to Mr Charles that is frequently visited and congregated around.
On dates of significant events since; the anniversary of his death, IOPC verdict and his birthday, large groups of mourners gather outside the store. Unfortunately, these have escalated into public displays of violence. In the immediate aftermath of Mr Charles’ death, a group of mourners blocked the traffic across Kingsland Road. Wheelie bins and abandoned mattresses from our estate were set alight and turned into barricades. Windows of local businesses were smashed. And most recently, on the two-year anniversary of his death on 22nd July this year, there was a drive by shooting. This resulted in three people being shot and one stabbed. Lockner residents who had gone to bed were woken to the sound of gunfire and screaming. Participants of the vigil who fled the scene ran into our estate, some banging on doors, the injured dripping blood. The police later raided an address on the estate on the hunt for suspects.
We have several concerns that we would like to highlight and ask for some assistance to see how these concerns may be best addressed.
- Safety. We do not feel safe visiting our much-loved local shop. There are often large numbers of young men around the shrine in the evenings. The atmosphere does not feel like one of remembrance or mourning, but of anger and angst. The people we see there often look restless and intimidating. We do not feel safe living across the road from a site that has seen so much violence, and we are worried and scared that in addition to what has already happened here, there will certainly be more to follow in the future. We do not feel safe knowing that people could be running into our estate, into our homes, fleeing someone with a gun or knife.
- Community. Yours Locally is our local shop, it is much loved by residents on Lockner estate, and relied upon by the community, especially those elderly or disabled residents for which reaching more distant shops proves difficult. Hassan, the owner of Yours Locally, is a wonderful man who we appreciate fondly. The shop is no longer open 24/7 as Hassan does not feel safe to keep it open late at night, it now closes at midnight. Hassan has had to lay off three members of staff for this reason and is feeling the financial consequences deeply. He is feeling unsupported and alone with this, and along with other shops along the Kingsland waste, we want to support them.
- The bigger picture that must not be lost is that young men are dying and rioting and being shot and stabbed across the road from where we live. Although we understand and appreciate that, given the context, a police presence around anniversaries or when large groups congregate around the site would not be the way to manage this situation, we feel that there must be another way that this could be better managed. We can anticipate problems around anniversaries and birthdays.
We would like to extend a hand of friendship and solidarity to members of our local community, particularly Rashan’s immediate friends and family and the wider local black community, who are still mourning the loss of a young man and father. We understand the sensitive nature of the shrine outside the Yours Locally store, and that on a daily basis Rashan’s community live with the ongoing trauma of his death and take comfort in mourning at this site.
We are hopeful for a solution to de-escalate the feelings of tension we are experiencing as local residents. We do not profess to have the immediate answers to this problem, but would like to work with local agencies and community groups to reduce the feelings of malcontent and friction that we are experiencing. We would like to feel confident and safe about going to the shop across the road for a pint of milk again, and we do not want to feel nervous about people fleeing gunmen banging onto our doors as we put out children to bed.
We are writing to ask for a meeting to discuss this further, to see how future incidents and violence can be avoided. We believe there are professionals who have expertise and knowledge in this field who could guide us to a resolution, and we are asking for your help and guidance to engage with them.
Lisa Linpower on behalf of the Lockner Residents Association