Christmas message from the Mayor and Speaker of Hackney

We would like to wish all Hackney residents a very happy and peaceful Christmas, Chanukah and festive season.

Over the last few months, both of us have visited many Hackney schools, community organisations and local businesses and met hundreds of residents. It is amazing to see such a high level of energy, enthusiasm, initiative and creative talent in our borough. This festive season has shown that Hackney has an abundance of community spirit, with all the public events that have been locally organised. The re-opening of Well Street Market is a brilliant example of this. After many years of closure, local people came together, crowd funded and organised to get the market open in time for Christmas. The man himself, Santa Claus, was even spotted getting in some last minute shopping!

Well Street Market launch

There is much to celebrate from the past year as we come to the end of 2016. From the sight of thousands of local people running through the streets for the Run Hackney half marathon, to council staff, councillors and residents marching together in central London with the LGBT+ Pride banner created by local resident and world-renowned artist Stik. There has also been outstanding results in education, with our secondary schools producing the highest level of progress for pupils of any local authority in the country, and increased house building and improvements in services for our most vulnerable residents.

2016 has seen its fair share of challenges, including continued central government cuts, uncertainty after the Brexit vote, anti-Semitic and other racist attacks and negative perceptions of immigrants in the media. However, we are proud of the Council’s record of overcoming these challenges and working hard for residents. We are also glad that over the past year Hackney has been a place of sanctuary, welcoming refugees who are escaping conflict.

We hope that in 2017 we will continue to build on our strong communities. Dates for the diary already include Friday 27 January, when we will be hosting an event for Holocaust Memorial Day at the Town Hall, an annual commemoration and a chance to stand together in opposition to all ideologies that seek to divide us.

Part of what makes Hackney such a brilliant place to live is the incredible diversity of its people and whilst we might not all celebrate Christmas we can still all get involved to spread cheer, charity and good will this winter.

Season’s greetings to all, and here’s to an even better year in 2017.

Cllr Rosemary Sales, Speaker of Hackney

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney