Monday, 27 April 2009

Diane Abbott's muddled crusade for the unemployed

According to Third Sector magazine Diane Abbott joined a line of bigwigs barking up the wrong tree by claiming that jobless people are losing their benefits if they do volunteering work for charities. Last week Abbott tabled a parliamentary motion on the issue.

So how bad is unemployment in Hackney and is it the same as "worklessness" which was "revealed as a key challenge the borough continues to face" by a council review of the borough's economic and business prospects in January? Witnesses who gave evidence for the same report (mentioned in 19 April blog: Hackney's entrepreneurs are disappearing) said that regeneration could pose a threat to low-end earners because it forced up costs for manufacturing industries.

But the people of Hackney will be glad to know that their MP is worried that they might be prevented form working too long in charity shops. Whether or not she made a gaff in the premise of this issue - that jobless people can work longer for charities - the fact that she championed this issue at all doesn't bode well either for her view of what's going on in the borough, or what she thinks the prospects for her unemployed constituents might be.

East London Advertiser reports a man stabbed to death on Amhurst Road at 9.30am on Monday 27th April 2009.

Hackney man jailed as a member of a gang robbing stores across South East England.

Designs for the Olympic media centre have been called extremely weak: Paul Finch, chair of the London 2012 design review panel, said: "Unless there is a fundamental rethink, then people could be forgiven for wondering why sheds have been removed from the Lower Lea Valley in the name of high quality urban regeneration, only to be reinstated at a much larger scale.

Jobs for three site managers for Hackney social housing refurbishment on a mixture of low rise traditional construction, to 17 stories on contracts on a three £29m contract, here marked "urgent".

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