Five more former Met Police buildings go on the market

Further to my post a few days ago, five more former Met Police buildings have been put up for sale with Knight Frank.

The buildings – four former police stations and one residential site – don’t appear on Zoopla yet (as the others did), but the sale brochures can be found here:

Bidding for all sites closes on 18 October.

UPDATE, 28 February 2014:

Slow to post this, but a number of other police stations went on sale with a bid date of 25 October last year. The sites were as follows:

I’ll be updating once more is known about the sales.

Former Met Police buildings go on sale across London

Former Hackney Central police station. Photo: Knight Frank
Former Hackney Central police station – one of a number of sites currently being marketed. Photo: Knight Frank

In March this year the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) announced that they would be closing a number of police stations as part of moves to save a forecast £60m, with 29 of the buildings to be sold off.

A few days ago I noticed that one of the sites earmarked for disposal – the former Hackney Central police station – had gone on the market with estate agents Knight Frank, resulting in this story for the Hackney Citizen.

The turnaround between the police leaving the building and the site being listed for sale has been quick – less than a month between it closing its doors as a police station and the site being put up for sale.

And a quick browse on property site Zoopla turns up listings for a number of other former police stations which have been listed with similar speed:

Latest cuttings: Full Fact and Hackney Citizen

A short post, just to link to a few things I’ve done recently.

Firstly, a couple of articles which I wrote for factchecking website Full Fact:

Full Fact logoAre only 1% of illegal immigrants deported?

Getting higher: has mephedrone use increased by 300% since it was banned?

I’m a big fan of what Full Fact do – calling out media organisations and politicians over dubious claims they’ve made and misleading use of statistics. Although a small organisation, they have an impressive track record of getting dodgy claims corrected.

I also wrote an article for the Hackney Citizen on a police request for a review of the licence of The Dolphin on Mare Street – a move which has led to howls of despair from the pub’s large fanbase.

Hackney Council in school offer letters mix-up

A number of Hackney families were sent primary school offer letters containing details about other people’s children, as I report in a story for the Hackney Citizen:

Hackney Council has apologised after “a very small number” of families received details of other people’s children in primary school place offer letters sent out last week.

Sarah Miller, who lives in Homerton, contacted the council after receiving a pack that contained the name, date of birth and school offer details of another child.

The main letter in the offer pack related to Ms Miller’s daughter but a second document, which gave details of how to decline a place that had been offered, contained details of another child who shared the same surname.

Speaking to the Hackney Citizen, Ms Miller said that the incident was “pretty worrying”. She had been left wondering where the second part of her family’s offer pack had gone. “I don’t know who’s got the details of my child”, she said.

You can read the full story here. After I filed the story, Hackney Council confirmed that they were aware of seven offer letters that had been sent out containing details of someone else’s child.

Efes Snooker Club fights loss of licence

Efes in Dalston can carry on serving alcohol – for now – as I report in the Hackney Citizen:

A popular Dalston bar and community centre is fighting a decision to strip it of its alcohol licence.

Efes Snooker Club, on Stoke Newington Road, has submitted an appeal to Thames magistrates’ court after the bar’s licence was revoked in a council licensing hearing in February.

The hearing was prompted by a police request, which cited multiple alleged breaches of licence conditions.

Among the incidents cited by the police was an occasion where an undercover police officer was able to bring a weapon into the bar unchallenged.

Efes was given 21 days in which to lodge an appeal, and by doing so the bar is now able to carry on serving alcohol until its hearing.

You can read the full story here.

Stamford Hill planning dispute: some quick facts

One of the most interesting stories in Hackney at the minute is the attempt by a group of residents in the north of the borough to take on planning powers, setting up a neighbourhood planning forum by which to do this.

The proposal – which, to put it mildly, has split opinion – covers Stamford Hill and surrounding areas, and those involved have argued that changes to planning responsibilities are needed to reflect the rapid growth of the local population, including the ultra-orthodox Haredi Jewish community.

Details of the proposed Stamford Hill Neighbourhood Forum – and a rival forum proposal – can be found here. The Guardian also had a great analysis of the situation the other day, which drew out the back-story to some of the claims and counter-claims being made.

But what are the facts of the matter? Are the wards that would be covered by the Stamford Hill forum – Springfield, New River, Lordship, Cazenove – different to others in the borough? (Complicating the picture slightly, the rival North Hackney Neighbourhood Forum proposal covers Brownswood as well as these four wards).

Hackney Council data breach: which licensing applications were affected?

My recent story for the Hackney Citizen gave details of how Hackney Council had unwittingly made a number of residents’ personal data available on their website. The data breach affected more than 30 people who had contacted the council recently about licensing decisions, with details published including names, home addresses, mobile phone numbers and email addresses.

Space limitations meant my article couldn’t list all of the licensing decisions affected, so below I’ve published the full list, together with some details of the personal data found in each case:

  • New Premises Licence – Unit A, Gaumont Tower, Dalston Square, E8
    • Sub-committee meeting: 3 January 2013
    • Personal details published included the mobile phone numbers of three residents who had expressed views on the licence application

Hackney Council in personal data breach

Council in personal data breach
Council in personal data breach

A number of Hackney residents have had their personal details – including email addresses and mobile phone numbers in some cases – inadvertently published on the council’s website, as I reveal in a story for the Hackney Citizen:

Papers published on Hackney Council’s website have inadvertently revealed the personal data of a number of residents, an investigation by the Hackney Citizen has found.

Among the personal details discovered were the names, addresses, email addresses and mobile phone numbers of more than thirty residents who had been in touch with the council recently about licensing decisions.

The data featured in documents which had been partially redacted, but redaction had not always been done correctly, allowing personal details to be accessed by anyone who viewed the papers.

You can read the full story here.

Antidepressant prescriptions on the increase in Hackney

Antidepressant prescriptions in Hackney have increased by more than a fifth in four years, analysis of NHS figures shows.

The number of prescriptions went up from 92,082 in 2008-9 to 112,569 in 2011-12, according to NHS Information Centre data, an increase of 22.3 per cent.

The data, covering prescriptions by City and Hackney PCT GPs, may reflect growing levels of mental ill-health brought on by job insecurity and money worries caused by the recession.

Salaries for those who work in Hackney up, salaries for those who live in Hackney down

The ONS released data the other day giving an update on the hours we all work and the salaries we receive in return (their Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings, to give it its proper title).

The data is broken down by age group, occupation and whether employment is in the public or private sector, amongst other factors, though figures for individual local authorities provide perhaps the most interesting findings.

As has been noted elsewhere, women living in Hackney who work full-time now earn more than the borough’s men in the same position on average – a characteristic reportedly shared with only three other areas around the country.