Thursday, 7 April 2011

National Grid and the masterplan

Hackney Council has finally responded to a Freedom of Information request submitted on 28 January regarding its contract with National Grid for its substation on Millfields. How's that for a lack of commitment by Hackney to the FOI legislation which requires them to respond within 20 working days?

The response confirmed, as was previously known, that National Grid pay £34k per annum for 7 years from 1 October 2007 and that  Hackney has so far received received payments totally £119k. What was not disclosed previously was that National Grid also paid Hackney £71k in 2009-10 for easement to lay electric cable within Millfields. Hackney have therefore confirmed that there is £190k available for spending on Millfields masterplan projects - not the £120k figure previously circulated by the Millfields User Group (MUG) Committee.

Interesting that the papers for next week's MUG  meeting (Monday 11 April @ 7 for 7.30 at Nye Bevan Comunity Hall, Overbury Street E5 0AH) suggest the masterplan projects are not going to be discussed (the focus is just to be on the biodiversity work), despite some of the projects getting ready to go - such as the pathway through the orchard on south Millfields.


  1. Well done for using the FOI act to get this information. I suspect that there are also section 106 monies to be spent on Millfields hidden somewhere in the Council's coffers. Did you ask about them?
    The orchard path should be funded from the transport budget though. And, since nobody liked the masterplan much, and getting it amended was such a pain, I'm pushing for MUG to make its own lottery bid and put local people at the front of improving Millfields, rather than a half hearted, and sometimes secretive and ill informed Hackney Council.

  2. all of the information we have on s106 monies is posted here. if you click on the s106 cloud tag you'll see their response to the latham yard's monies. Even that wasn't right - they'd indicated some of the funds had already been spent which clearly hadn't (e.g. the money for the play area). the mug committee needs to get a grip of this. it's role is to hold the council to account on this, but to date it's been more than happy to help hackney keep fundings hidden. it should be a straightforward question: how much money is available from national grid and s106 to spend on the park this year? why is it so difficult to get a definitive response?

  3. Surely any National Grid money available should initially be used to remove the hideous wide tarmac road , layby and railings which currently bisect South Millfields rather than frittering it on the pet projects of a few select members of the MUG "committee".

    NG, enabled by Hackney Council, constructed this "temporary access" 5 years ago with a blithe disregard for affected residents, park users and planning legislation.

    It would be good if the FOI could cast some light on this "behind the scene" scenario....


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