◆ As Hackney’s cabinet approves a revamp of Stoke Newington Town Hall, the council is keen to trumpet its engagement with residents. A cabinet report for the meeting notes that public consultation on the plans “commenced with a questionnaire placed in Stoke Newington Library as well as online [and] advertised in Hackney Today”. How many people responded to the consultation, plugged in the council’s 100,000-print run freesheet, which it defends as a way to get information to residents? “The questionnaire was completed by 159 people in total.”
◆ Mayor Philip Glanville’s evidence to the Public Accounts Committee on housing (27 November) was plugged on the council’s website with the headline, “Hackney tells MPs: ‘Let us build homes, not hostels'”. When the Citizen asked where this Julius Caesar-like quote appears in the Mayor’s testimony, a council spokesperson said: “It’s not a direct quote – it’s just paraphrasing the quotes below to give a quick summary of the statement (hence the inverted commas rather than speech marks).” The release was also tweeted by the council with, er, speech marks.