STOP Hackney Council attempting to close down Centerprise Trust Ltd

(November 01, 2011)
Hackney Council is attempting to use the power of its legal purse to close down Centerprise Community and Arts Centre in Dalston. Centerprise Trust Ltd, the Dalston-based, Community and Arts Centre is in imminent danger of closure, after Hackney Council gave the 41-year old centre two weeks to cease operations and hand over the keys to the property.
Although involved in lease negotiations the Council have disingeniously resorted to legal action to close the Centre.
The premises at 136-138 Kingsland High Street, Dalston, Hackney, London E8 2NS was originally bought by Hackney Council for the sole use of Centerprise by a capital grant awarded to Centerprise in 1984 under the Inner City Partnership Fund.
The Council's legal director, Gifty Edila has refused all entreaties to settle the matter through negotiation and mediation. Hackney Council have filed papers at Clerkenwell and Shoreditch County Court, 29-41 Gee Street, London EC1V 3RE to have the building repossessed by the Council. The hearing is expected to be held on 11 November 2011 at 3.00pm.
'We are astonished that the Council is using the law to enforce an illegitimate act' says Michael Daniel, a Stoke Newington resident, who is also a Trustee and long time volunteer at the Centre. Michael Daniel continued ‘in taking such a drastic action, Hackney Council has failed in its statutory duty to undertake an Equality Impact Assessment under the Equality Impact Act of 2010, which enjoins all public bodies to undertake such assessments before taking any such action’.
‘Our clientele are mainly, minorities such as women, children and black and other ethnic minority communities’, he further stated.
Emmanuel Amevor, Chief Executive of Centerprise and founder of Word Power, International Black Literature Festival and Book Fair commented:
'We are calling on the wider local, national and international community to come to our aid to fight this gross injustice, which flies in the face of natural justice, equity and fairness'.
As the only book shop in Hackney dedicated to radical thought there will be a democratic deficit should the Centre close, coupled with the loss of vital services to the most vulnerable in the community.
To date officers of Hackney Council have refused any form of mediation on this matter, further calling into question Hackney Council's commitment to Lord Justice Jackson's Review of Civil Litigation Costs.
The Centre is calling a meeting of all its members, supporters, users and the general public on Thursday, 3 November 2011 at 7pm, at Centerprise, 136-138 Kingsland High Street, London E8 2NS to find ways of stopping this officer-driven policy which has no basis with visions and aspirations of local people.
We will also be launching a defence fund to help with this ugly and unnecessary action by Hackney Council.
For more information please contact, Emmanuel Amevor on 020 7254 9632 or
[email protected]
Centerprise Trust Ltd. Registered Charity no. 266393

Click here to return to the News page