Around 250 local Labour Party members packed into the Old School Room in Clapton on Saturday afternoon to hear Mayor Philip Glanville launch Hackney Labour's local election manifesto. And there were rousing speeches to help launch the manifesto from local MPs Meg Hillier and Diane Abbott, joined by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who also went out on the doorstep in Springfield ward afterwards.
Sadiq Khan said the Hackney manifesto was ‘arguably the most ambitious manifesto in London for these elections’. He added: ‘I am inspired by the hard work of candidates and teams like those in Springfield ward. The more London Labour councillors are elected, the better we can protect Londoners from the worst of Tory austerity.’
Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington, said it was important to get proper representation for the entire community in the North part of Hackney. She pointed out that these local elections will be the first step to putting Jeremy Corbyn in Number 10.
Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, said it was a manifesto with vision and opportunity. 'We really need this mayor and councillors back in power and show what Labour can do'. She highlighted some of the achievements of Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney, and councillors, with excellent schools - 'some of the best in the country'.
She spoke with concern about the serious housing crisis caused by the Tory Government which is now costing Hackney Council £11m more a year in temporary accommodation costs. Hackney Council needs more financial freedoms to build new homes to meet the demand.
Philip Glanville, Labour’s candidate for Mayor of Hackney for the next four years, presented the manifesto.
He said he was proud of the achievements and progress of improving services and facilities so that Hackney is now 'one of the best Labour Councils in the country'.
He added that there was still more to do, adding: ‘I said we would be a campaigning Labour Council led by a campaigning Labour Mayor and that's what we have been.’
He emphasised: ‘We have been at the forefront of the fight against police cuts, we've stood alongside families in the community against knife crime, and we’ve fought the deepest education cuts for a generation.’
He said that ‘as a campaigning council, we have stood up for our fellow European citizens and continue to fight a hard Brexit, fought for proper investment in public services, fought for the Dubs Amendment supporting refugees and settling families’.
He added that the Labour Council has campaigned for the Living Wage, and also pay it; ‘we created a bursary for childminders, we created more than 100 apprenticeships, we're building new schools’.
On housing, he said that the Council is building council houses - 3000 new homes, half of which will be at council rent or shared ownership - and private renters will be better protected and landlords of HMOs will be on a warning.
He underlined – ‘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. That's why we'll create the Mayor's Hackney Future Commission, to give young people a real voice in the future of their borough.
‘This is a manifesto infused with hope and municipal socialism at its heart that will maintain that diverse and tolerant Hackney we love.’
Our full manifesto can be downloaded here.