Members of the East End Trades Guild will meet the Hackney and Tower Hamlets mayors on Tuesday 13 March and ask them to commit to their agenda for affordable workspace and a London Living Rent.

The manifesto calls on councils across the capital to:

  • Recognise Community Value of small and micro business to boroughs’ prosperity and reflect this in economic and planning policy decisions
  • Identify at least one Empty Asset in their borough and convert into affordable workspace before the end of 2018
  • Create a Small Business Community Land Trust to support small and micro businesses in perpetuity
  • Create a Register of Landlords to allow small businesses to compare rents
  • Support the development of an Affordable Rent Formula for small and micro businesses.

East End Trades Guild represents more than 230 businesses.  The meeting will be held at Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, London E1 4UJ at 10.30 - 12 noon.

The call for a London working rent and affordable workspace chimes well with Sustainable Hackney's submission to Hackney's Mayor for the local Labour Party's manifesto for the local elections and with the 'Manifesto for a cultural democracy' published in February/March Red Pepper. While much is free access on the Red Pepper site, the manifesto seems to be behind the paywall - but you can subscribe and support RP for just £3 a month or £29 a year

Sustainable Hackney's submission to Hackney Mayor on the Built Environment, Transport and Local Economy is here: "It is difficult to cover the issues involved in the failure to move from our continuing ‘hypermodern’ city towards an ecocity in a short contribution. Perhaps the best way forward is to call for comprehensive public discussions on the way forward for Hackney’s development and consideration of how we can build pressure for the changes Londoners need. Opposition to development in its current form is long-standing and continues, as we can see from local opposition to the Britannia and Northwold proposals.

Sustainable Hackney supports the work of Just Space, the policy directions and proposals in their “Towards a Community-led Plan for London”, the new draft chapters to continue this work and the formative work for the next London Plan. We urge the Labour Group to rethink on these lines and to consider a local Regeneration Rights Charter.

We recognise that Hackney Council is bound by national and London planning policy but, as we say in our Greenprint on the Built Environment, we want “Planning which serves our needs – our council’s Planning Committee should serve the needs and preferences of local people rather than developers and investors.”

We also recognise the chronic housing shortage and the real commitment of Hackney Council to increasing supply. We also recognise that Labour Group would probably prefer to be building Council housing if only the funds were available. We are concerned about the use of public land to build housing for sale/lease as it is needed for public housing. We are not just being purist about this. The creation of housing for sale at the rate of some £0.5m for a small flat will not meet housing need as it is out of reach of most Londoners. Increasing the supply will not bring the price down as it is held high by various other policies that we oppose: failure to restrict foreign investment in housing as other key cities have done and the plentiful supply of investors with money to buy to let at exorbitant rents; the various ‘help to buy’ schemes and London’s global money-laundering role for example. We oppose the marketing abroad of housing developed by or in conjunction with Hackney Council.

We are also concerned about the deliberate development of new Town Centres as these also push up the cost of housing and employment space.

We wish to see the Eastern Curve Garden remain in situ.

Raising job density is crucial to building a sustainable Hackney and we are concerned that the growth in population in London is to be unevenly distributed across London, anticipated employment growth is inadequate for the population growth and in different locations ‘resulting in a 25% increase in trips’ in Hackney. Hackney’s transport strategy is a good document but it has no answer for this deteriorating situation. We oppose any loss of employment land/space and are concerned about the loss/increasing cost of employment space that results from development. “Shabby” spaces have an important role in building and maintaining a dynamic economy.

We are deeply concerned about the social cleansing of the working class from central and inner London. Co-location of living, working, socialising, shopping in a tapestry of mixed use is the only way to achieve sustainability and the necessary reductions in energy use. This is the type of development we wish to see. We oppose the expensive development of Crossrail 2 and call for investment in upgrading and accessibility of local transport.

London has long been ‘marketed’ as a ‘global city’. Sadiq Khan’s “A City for All Londoners” continues this approach. We would like to see Hackney Council focus on development of economic links within the UK so that the regions can draw on London’s dynamism. Development of the regions is necessary to reduce inward domestic migration. You can read our response the ‘A City for All Londoners’ here. As we said in the response, the proposals will not lead to a city for all Londoners and the participation, inclusion, fairness and justice this requires.

As we said at the beginning of this paragraph, perhaps the best way forward is comprehensive public discussion."

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