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Hackney Mayor promises ‘council-owned energy company’ if re-elected

Philip Glanville.

Mayor Glanville pledged to empower residents. Photograph: Hackney Council

Mayor Philip Glanville would set up a “council-owned energy company” if re-elected on 3 May so residents have more control over their energy.

In an interview with the Hackney Citizen, Mayor Glanville said his manifesto released this weekend will include a public energy company “co-owned with the people of Hackney”.

“We’re going to be very ambitious on green energy”, he said, speaking at Barrel Boulangerie on Mare Street opposite the Town Hall.

“So, plans to develop a municipal energy company that would be a community interest company, so it would be co-owned with the people of Hackney to own the energy assets of the borough.

“We want to increase the amount of solar panels on our buildings and roofs, we’ve got a lot of energy centres coming forward in our new housing scheme, and rather than see those run by the big energy companies we want to lock those in.

“As previous generations of councils had energy production, [we would] reinvest that money in more green infrastructure and also create a community fund that can support community projects in the borough.”

Other manifesto previews include expanding “volunteering and community action in the borough”, building on the Volunteering for Hackney pilot scheme, and Hackney Space Bank, where the council, businesses and voluntary sector groups provide spaces for community events.

The Mayor promised “ambitious plans to increase our house-building and build more council homes”, and a range of green policies, including on “air pollution and greening, 1,000 more trees, tackling plastic pollution, water fountains, [and] creating a more livable borough for everybody”.

“I’m seeking re-election because I think it’s a job where in 18 months you can only do so much”, he said. “In terms of what I wanted to achieve, I think we can do so much more.”

He described his first 18 months in post since being elected mayor in September 2016 as building on the work of previous mayor Jules Pipe and listening to what people want.

But if re-elected he wants to strike out on his own and “set out something far more bold that we can do over the next four years”.

He also spoke of “empowering residents to have more influence over everything, from their data to getting engaged on their estates, to volunteering more, to just being more open and democratic. I think that’s really important.”

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