Hackney: democracy in crisis
In December, 23% of Hackney voters will lose their right to vote
This is happening is because the Government is bringing forward the full implementation of Individual Electoral Registration (IER) – whereby everyone has to register individually using a National Insurance number – by 12 months and against the advice of its own Electoral Commission.
The Government is bringing forward IER so the new electoral register, out on 1 December, can be used for next year’s Boundary Review, which will decide the constituency boundaries at the next election.
Hackney, long a thorn in the government’s side, will see one of the biggest voter drop offs in the country.
Hackney and democracy will lose out as the Boundary Review will reduce the numbers of MPs representing areas that are under represented (under Boundary Commission rules seats will be reallocated towards those with the most complete electoral registers).
Conversely, the more stable, affluent communities in the suburbs and small towns will get increased representation as they have a far lower drop-off.
The new register will also have a dramatic impact on Hackney’s voice in next May’s London Mayor and Assembly elections. Indeed, given it is expected to be a tight contest, denying 23% of Hackney voters their civil right to a vote, could effect the overall outcome as to which Mayor ‘represents’ this city next year.
We want your help to change, this, and your ideas about how we can.
Don’t let them drown
In recent weeks 200 refugees have died off the coast of Libya washed ashore after their overcrowded boat sank on its way to Europe. A total of 71 refugees including a baby girl were found dead in a truck in Austria. Hundreds have drowned in the Mediterranean. Others are stranded in Hungary, prohibited from moving around the EU. Those in Calais struggle to find sanctuary. Refugees are fleeing war, persecution, torture and poverty, losing their lives or struggling to find a safe haven. Yet our government seems incapable of opening its heart, or complying with our long-standing international obligations to refugees. As citizens we have an obligation to hold our politicians to account, and only by raising our voices and demanding change will we be able to turn around these catastrophic realities. Equally, we have an obligation to ensure that those refugees who do come to Hackney are supported and helped to readjust.
Hackney has long been enriched by migrant communities, let’s ensure that the tradition continues.
Over the next few days, we will be meeting with key organisations across the borough with a commitment to supporting refugees. We hope to ensure a co-ordinated response that will help channel the public shock at recent events into contributing towards a long term solution. What do you think we should be doing?
Let us know your views.
You can also drop us an email firstname.lastname@example.org and lets ensure Hackney retains its tradition of welcome, and our communities retain thier rights to vote..
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Who we are Hackney unites is a coalition for social justice, and trains local people in the skills necessary to organise their communities.
Hackney Unites is grateful for financial support from Trust for London as well as our many individual donors.