Hackney Council hosts Friends of the Earth sustainability conference

Hackney and Tower Hamlets Friends of the Earth (FoE) and Hackney Council are pleased to announce their free, half-day conference Practical Solutions: financing sustainability in London , on Thursday 8th December at Hackney Town Hall.

Chairing the conference will be Hackney Council s Assistant Chief Executive (Policy & Partnership) Ian Lewis. Ian will lead members of local authority sustainability and finance teams and other guests in discussion on the practical solutions to funding environmental sustainability. The conference will feature: current challenges around financing local authority sustainability, how to secure buy-in, case studies from London councils and a troubleshooting surgery.

Speakers at the conference include: Cllr Sophie Linden, Hackney Council lead member for sustainability, Ray Morgan, Woking Borough Council; writer and strategist Philip Monaghan; Bob Gilbert, former Director of Sustainability at Islington Council; Cllr Joe Goldberg, Haringey Council; Afsheen Rashid, Lambeth Council; and Bevan Jones, Islington Council.

Cllr Linden said: "With local authority budgets in all areas being reduced, making sure that councils are able to continue delivering effective sustainability programmes is going present a huge challenge in the next few years. I am looking forward to hosting what should prove to be a very thought-provoking discussion."

Hackney and Tower Hamlets FoE plan to use the conference to support local authorities share good practice and learn from each other in order to boost their sustainability offering.

Kate Hand, from Hackney and Tower Hamlets FoE said: “We believe that this conference demonstrates the wealth of innovative opportunities that councils have to finance critical sustainability work in their local areas.”


1) Conference Speakers

* Councillor Sophie Linden, Hackney Council. Sophie is Hackney s Acting Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Sustainability, Crime, Anti-social behaviour, and Customer Services. Sophie has lived in Hackney for over 20 years; has represented Dalston ward since 2006 and has been a Cabinet Member since 2008.

* Ray Morgan is the CEO, and formerly Director of Financial Services at Woking Council. Ray started his career in local government in 1973. He joined Woking Borough Council as Director of Financial Services in April 1989 and was appointed an Executive Director in May 2000. He is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and was awarded an OBE in 2007 for his services to local government. Ray will be outlining the current situation and challenges around financing sustainability.

* Philip Monaghan, is a writer and strategist in the fields of economic development and environmental sustainability. He is the acclaimed author of the books How Local Resilience Creates Sustainable Societies (out in February 2012) and Sustainability in Austerity (2010). Over the past 17 years he has worked with an array of clients and partners including Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council, North East Lincolnshire Council, the European Commission and the UN. Philip is Founder & CEO of Infrangilis. Philip will be looking at securing buy-in for sustainability.

*Councillor Joe Goldberg is Haringey Council s Cabinet Member for Finance and Carbon Reduction. Joe started his career in the union movement before moving into business. He joined the council in 2010. There he has focussed on mitigating the substantial cuts to the borough s budget and is leading the charge to make Haringey London s Greenest Borough. It s anticipated that Haringey s carbon-reducing plans could lead to the creation of a green economy in north London that will create up to 15,000 jobs.

* Bevan Jones, is Low Carbon Partnerships officer with the Islington Climate Change Partnership. He has worked in sustainability in the public sector for over 6 years. He has expertise in climate risk assessment and adaptation as well as sustainability advice and action planning and has worked with a number of private and public sector organisations to develop environmental policy, action plans and strategies.

2) Hackney and Tower Hamlets Friends of the Earth is a group of volunteers, who campaign to tackle climate change and other pressing environmental problems in the inner London Boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets. In pursuit of these goals, they work with a number of other local campaigning groups in their area. They re currently working with Friends of the Earth groups around the country on the Get Serious campaign to cut emissions in all areas of the country by at least 40 per cent by 2020:

3) Current Hackney Council sustainability programmes include:
• Visits to 1,300 homes in Leabridge ward to offer energy efficiency advice, small interventions and referrals to schemes for larger interventions.

• Construction of a Combined Heat and Power Network, set to go live in September 2012; exploring the expansion of the network across Hackney and neighbouring boroughs to make best use of the heat and power, to reduce CO2.

• Hosting public events to give residents the opportunity to hear about our big pieces of work, overarching objectives, targets for the future and give residents a sense of what other environmental/sustainability activity is

Media contact:

Friends of the Earth - Kate Hand, email:, telephone: 07703 129344.