New budget: more council homes; greener neighbourhoods; new pool

Here's what the budget promises for the borough


Last night, the Council agreed its budget for 2023/24. Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville gives his investment highlights of the past 12 months; what the Council will invest in for the benefit of residents this financial year; and why we need to raise council tax to  pay for the essential services we all rely on. 

"Agreeing how and where we spend the Council's budget for the next 12 months is one of the biggest democratic decisions any of us in Hackney takes, and as Mayor, it is a moment where I get to set out how we are funding our key priorities, but  it's never easy to balance that ambition against the challenges we face as a borough.

"The escalation in the cost of living is impacting every one of us, driving some into hardship for the first time and others deeper into poverty.  It means more people than ever are in need of our help, our services and our financial support. This is the very human backdrop to this year’s Council budget-making process.

"Protecting our most vulnerable residents is at the heart of the Council’s and my values, but it’s an evermore challenging and expensive task. 

"Over the past 12 months, we have provided millions of pounds to residents in need; supported warm hubs across the borough; invested more in tackling food poverty and independent advice; and created a brand-new team - called the Money Hub - to help residents access national and local benefits.

"This all comes on the back of the devastating impacts of the pandemic and criminal cyberattack, at a time when the Council - like everyone else - is having to pay more for less. And against a backdrop of a 41% central Government funding loss since 2010. 

"This means that, like most other councils, we will have to raise Council Tax this year - by 4.99% (2.99% for all services and 2% to help fund care for vulnerable adults). 

"For most people, the increase is less than £1 extra a week, but it means we will be able to raise £5m to continue to fund the vital services upon which we all rely. 

"We know any rise will have an impact on residents, but it is absolutely necessary. 

"Our most vulnerable will be protected with even more Council Tax discounts, and up to £50 reduction on bills this year. And we are, this year, exempting Hackney foster carers. We are also pledging millions in ongoing poverty support; and funding local organisations to help harder-to-reach communities. 

"Despite the financial strains, we remain innovative, ambitious and forward-thinking for the borough and our residents. In the past year, we have used your Council Tax to fund life-changing improvements and initiatives for the borough.

 “I am so proud of what we’ve achieved for residents in the most challenging of circumstances. Here’s just a small selection of our investments over the past 12 months:

  • Apprenticeships

Continued our multi-award winning apprenticeships programme, bringing our total apprentices to nearly 300, and creating 168 local placements for 18-24 year olds. 

  • Dalston and Ridley Road 

Invested more than £1m to improve the much-loved Ridley Road Market, with new stalls, street trees, seating, free public wifi and cashless payment machines. 

  • ‘Living Rent’ homes

Transformed 16 outdated bedsits into modern Hackney ‘Living Rent’ homes for local residents priced out of private renting and home-ownership. 

  • Homelessness

Refurbished two temporary accommodation buildings, including a bespoke building for homeless women and their new families, pregnant women and women with babies.

  • ‘Warm spaces’ 

Made our libraries ‘warm spaces’, and supported 14 other venues to become warm spaces, for local people. 

  • Overground Refurb Overground 

Opened a new entrance at Hackney Central Overground Station. 

  • Windrush

Unveiled the second public artwork to honour the Windrush Generation in Hackney, the first of which went on to win the Turner Prize.

  • Culture activities 

Funded 1,190 cultural activities for 40,000 participants and audiences.

  • Britannia

Won multiple awards for the incredible new Britannia Leisure Centre, and tripled membership to more than 6,500.

“The Council will work together with our communities to ensure the borough is fairer, safer, greener, healthier, and one that works for every child.

"Here’s just some of where we are investing this financial year:

Fairer and, safer 

  • Homes 

Build hundreds of new council homes, as part of our commitment to create 1,000 homes by 2026; invest £400k - the biggest investment in a generation - to ensure landlords are tackling damp and mould in privately rented homes; and invest £1m more into tackling damp and mould in council homes.

  • Low-cost spaces 

Make council owned buildings and spaces available at low cost to local businesses, social enterprises, and the voluntary and community sector.

  • Leisure 

Start building London Fields Lido learning pool; start the work to refurbish King’s Hall and complete our multi-million pound Shoreditch Park and Adventure Playground refurbishment. 

  • Libraries 

Refurbish Stoke Newington Library.

  • Community safety 

Install better and more sustainable street and estate lighting and CCTV - where women and girls told us they wanted to feel more safe.

  • Public toilets 

Ensure all our public toilets are free to use from this summer.

Greener and healthier 

  • Neighbourhoods 

Expand our School Streets programme and make more of Hackney low traffic.

  • Cycle hangars 

Install hundreds more cycle hangars as part of our plan to create 4,000 in total.

  • Electric vehicles

Start the biggest electric vehicle charging point roll-out in the country, with the aim to have 3,000 by 2030.

For every child 

  • Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) school places

Create nearly 100 more local SEND places. 

  • Free School Meals 

Deliver the Mayor of London’s free school meal plan and fight child food poverty in schools in the long-term via a special new task force. 

  • Activities for children 

Launch a new programme to ensure every child in Hackney has access to at least 10 different activities by the age of 10. 

“You can also get a fuller breakdown of investments here.”