Blog from the Speaker of Hackney: Building on Hackney’s successes

In the first installment of his new monthly blog, the Speaker of Hackney Cllr Michael Desmond writes about what it means to be successful and how this relates to our borough: 

“Hackney is a flagship London local authority, which was awarded the title, “Best Council of the past 20 years” by the Local Government Chronicle. Hackney, they said, “had redefined the standards for what councils can achieve. It believes that great local government can transform places and change lives.”

“Within the past two decades, Hackney has gone from one of the worst-performing local authorities in the country to one of the best – wow, what a success! This achievement in turning it around is remarkable – especially after the austerity that we have faced. But despite our successes over the years, these are difficult times, and many of our residents are experiencing stress, hardship and financial pressure.

“When unexpected and challenging problems beset us, it’s sometimes useful to take stock; Have we made a success of our lives, what is success, how can we become more successful? 

Being successful doesn’t mean you’re better than anyone – or even that you’re better than others in the thing you’re supposed to be successful at! It does mean, however, that you do your best, you are goal-oriented and you find fulfilment and satisfaction in using your talents. A visiting teacher at my primary school for the Harvest Festival pointed out that everyone has some special talent; it’s worth discovering what it may be and making the most of it. 

“In Hackney, we have a number of young councillors who have achieved a great deal. The Deputy Speaker, Cllr Humaira Garasia is in her early 20’s and was a former member of Hackney’s Youth Parliament; Cllr Mete Coban, MBE is Hackney Council’s Cabinet Member for Energy, Waste, Transport and Public Realm; and Cllr Clare Joseph, who has a young baby, has shown energy, commitment and determination helping and supporting her constituents.

“During my term in office, I will be raising much-needed funds for St Joseph’s Hospice and the Hackney Empire – both well loved and successful organisations. You can get involved by raising funds through a sponsored event, Facebook appeal, attending and participating in events we arrange later in the year (subject to Covid regulations) or making a donation. Follow my official Twitter and Facebook pages to stay posted on upcoming events and find out more about how you can get involved.

“In the months and years ahead, more change is on its way as we work to rebuild a fairer, greener and healthier Hackney. Together, we can make Hackney even more successful, dynamic and inclusive, as we emerge from the pandemic. Let’s also try to make the most of all of our lives, as individuals, in our families and communities. As the old saying goes, nothing succeeds like success.”