Hackney Downs unauthorised encampment - group evicted
An unauthorised encampment on Hackney Downs has been evicted today (Friday) after the Council successfully obtained a High Court injunction to protect our green spaces across the borough. This follows the Council successfully securing a possession order at the Royal Courts of Justice yesterday afternoon (Thursday).
High Court Bailiffs evicted the group this afternoon supported by the police and Council Enforcement Officers. Our Parks and Green Spaces staff are in the process of clearing the park of any debris.
I am pleased to see that an unauthorised encampment that has continued to occupy and spread its anti-vaccination message on Hackney Downs has now been removed. This is in no small part due to the tireless efforts of Council staff, working to answer the concerns of residents and remove the group from one of our much-loved green spaces.
The group had made a number of demands on our resources, as our Parks and Green Spaces team and Enforcement teams joined the police in regularly patrolling the area. We know that many residents have been disappointed and upset by the group’s continued presence on Hackney Downs, and I’d like to thank them for their patience as we worked through the legal process to secure both a possession order and an injunction. I am especially grateful to those who took the time to write to me personally regarding the matter, and who took care not to inflate the profile of the group on social media.
To be clear, the position of Hackney Council is that we continue to proceed with great caution in relation to the coronavirus pandemic. We want to protect those who haven’t been fully vaccinated yet, and we can do this in a number of ways: by wearing masks on public transport, encouraging everyone to visit the nine vaccination sites we have set up in Hackney, or to take up the walk-in appointments available in local pharmacies, clinics and community venues.
Evidence to date demonstrates that two doses of a vaccine provides effective protection from serious illness, hospitalisations and deaths. It is vital, especially in light of recent central Government policy to remove restrictions on how and where people meet, that the Council, Clinical Commissioning Group and stakeholders can continue to deliver equal, free access to vaccinations and that the public are not misled by scientifically and factually incorrect information at this crucial time.
Cllr Caroline Woodley, Cabinet Member for Families, Early Years, Parks and Play