News / 10 February, 2016

Titbits – Sporting Hackney FC and Simche Steinberger’s shot at goal

An embattled month for local ‘treehuggers’ and ‘Corbyn the clown’

Hackney Marshes, the current home of Sporting Hackney FC.

Hackney Marshes, the current home of Sporting Hackney FC. Photograph: Paul Flannery via Flickr

• Sporting Hackney FC, the borough’s top football club, brought a deputation to the Town Hall last month asking for help finding a site on which to build a new stadium. Mayor Jules Pipe was eager to support them. He said it would be ideal if such a facility could be built on the Marshes – a strange assertion, perhaps, given the the relative closeness of the Olympic Park. At very least, he said, an existing pitch could be fenced off. “There would be a howl of protest by a bunch of tree-huggers,” he opined, “who think that all those acres out there, rather than being enjoyed by thousands of young people to play football, they think it should be reserved for a couple of dozen dog-walkers. Because apparently it’s the middle of the countryside!” Subsequent to this outburst, he was quick to add that he respected the opinions of “environmentalists”.

• Later on, Mayor Pipe used his statement during the full council meeting to explain why the Town Hall is considering raising council tax for first time in a decade. He bemoaned the fact that government is cutting the grant it gave to local councils in return for them freezing council tax. Up shot Councillor Simche Steinberger from the Conservative group, who protested: “You moan about Tory cuts, but the fact is that the people of England voted for us! Not for Corbyn the clown!” Muddling an analogy somewhat, he added: “It’s the same as in football – the first person past the post gets in.”


Cllr Steinberger would like us to clarify that his “Corbyn the clown” remarks were made in a discussion about Hackney Homes and not about the council budget, which he criticised on behalf of residents. We are happy to clarify this. 

/ 10 February, 2016
  • Councillor Barry Buitekant

    In response to a question as to where Sporting Hackney FC would like a football stadium to be sited they said East Marsh, Millfields or Mabley Green. i dont know whether any of the relevant Park Users Groups were aware that some of their Metropolitan Open Land was being sought for a football stadium.

  • damianrafferty

    As the chair of Mabley Green Users Group I can confirm that absolutely no mention of this was made to us. We have already lost a huge area of Metropolitan Open Land to a fenced in artificial football pitch for hire (£130 an hour). If the council want to build a stadium, they must do it after buying some land like everyone else and not robbing the open spaces of London for a few quid in fees. After hearing of this and the appalling remarks of the Mayor I have resigned my membership of the Labour Party in protest.

  • Some of the people of England voted for the Tories. But the fact is the first past the post electoral system disenfranchises multitudes of people, many of whom end up voting for one of the two old dinosaurs by default. I’m proud to live in one of the few areas where the people voted to change this system, even if the change offered was not ideal.

  • Yevod

    Once again Mayor Jules Pipe proves how little he cares about open spaces in Hackney. To dismiss anyone who disagrees with him as a ‘tree huger’ shows his contempt for local people who care about the environment they live in. The very fact that these “acres out there” are being enjoyed by young and old alike to play not just football, but a whole host of sports and other recreational activities (including dog walking) should be protected as a valuable community asset, not fenced off for single use sport for people who can afford it. Surely we lost enough to the Olympic Park. The very fact that Hackney isn’t “in the middle of the countryside!” means that the green space we have is treasured that much more by the people who live by and use the Marshes.
    Just like many other London Boroughs at the moment it seems that Jules Pipe and LBH want to make money out of their green spaces rather than protect them. It’s time to think not just of the councils bank balance but the mental and physical health of residents both current and future. The people you serve Mayor, want their green spaces to remain, because once they’re gone, there’s no getting them back.

  • Councillor Barry Buitekant

    Sorry to hear that Damian Rafferty has resigned from the Labour party. This is the time people should be joining rather than resigning!

  • There is a ground available nearby, the old Leyton FC ground on the Lea Bridge Road has been empty since 2012. I believe it currently has restrictions on the use of the land (has to be used for Sporting purposes) I know Sporting Hackney want to stay in Hackney but if West Ham can leave a borough , surely Sporting Hackney can consider a short trip down the Lea Bridge Road.


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