Mayor Philip Glanville has given out 1,000 ‘I love Hackney’ badges as part of his campaign to make EU nationals feel welcome during Brexit.
The mayor launched his #HackneyLovesYou drive on 26 September ahead of running for re-election in May 2018, in a borough with the third highest Remain vote in the UK.
Mayor Glanville asked residents to share stories about the contribution of EU nationals to Hackney life via email and social media.
So far the mayor has received 22 emails in response to the campaign, while 33 Tweets and 2 Instagram comments have been sent to the council’s accounts.
A Hackney Council spokesperson said there were “many more residents approaching the mayor on his visits around the borough to share their stories with him directly”.
The council printed 1,000 ‘I Love Hackney’ badges designed after the EU flag for the campaign at the cost of £318.
The badges were paid for with “extra income from location filming in the last financial year” and sent out to residents or picked up from the Town Hall’s reception.
The mayor has also reached out to Hackney businesses about the impact of Brexit, and has written to Brexit Secretary David Davis about the rights of EU nationals.
Mayor Glanville said: “People in Hackney have welcomed the #HackneyLovesYou campaign and have shared many positive stories with me, but I have also heard people’s fears about the future, especially about the impact of Brexit on the NHS and care sector.
“I am pleased we can express our appreciation and support to our citizens, but there are still many challenges ahead.
“Therefore we will work to get assurances from government that local government will be engaged in the negotiations process and advocate for a Brexit that will work for our public services, businesses and local people.”
There are 20,259 EU nationals registered to vote in Hackney, roughly 12 per cent of the electoral roll. In total there are 41,500 EU nationals living in the borough.
Hackney had the third highest Remain vote in the UK after Gibraltar and Lambeth, with 78.5 per cent voting to stay in the EU./ 10 November, 2017