Hackney Heart: Gentrification, Narrow Way, social cleansing and lies

How one local Hackney resident has benefited most

 

Proters outside Hackney Heart.

Protersters outside Hackney Heart.

Less than two months after Jane Egginton-McIntyre was handed the keys to the rent and council tax free shop on the Narrow Way, she jetted off to a luxury beach resort in Portugal. She made everyone know this by posting a photo of her bikini clad self,  lounging in the sun on Hackney Heart’s Facebook page.

jane-portugalThis at a time when many traders along the Narrow Way and Hackney are struggling to make their rent and council taxes, many wondering if they will survive another year. Nothing wrong with a vacation, but I found it a little perverse considering the fate of other traders in the area who were better placed to receive the benevolence shown to her by Hackney Council.  Not that I believe she paid for her vacation, Egginton is amongst other things a travel writer, who is adept at getting freebies, is frequently sunning herself at resorts and spas across the world.

With her various projects and businesses cross pollinating in Hackney, she is the last person Hackney Council should be giving a leg up to, but that is what they did last September.  It’s hard to tell where her Hackney Homemade Market begins and Hackney Heart ends – they all blend in together. Apparently Hackney Council believe selling second hand trinkets, belly dancing and basket weaving is going to help revitalise The Narroway or benefit the community at large? Really Belly Dancing??

See Jane Grow

The person who benefits most is Jane Egginton-Mcintyre, as 411 Mare St, primarily serves as a shop front for her other businesses. Call it the trickle down effect, it allows her to network and promote her toilet project (or whatever it’s called),on Brooksby Walk and her Homemade Market.  In fact since Hackney Heart’s debut on The Narrow Way, Eggington-McIntyres’s  Homemade Market is now exclusively artisan grub and cheeses with Hackney Heart becoming the new home for some of her arts and crafts stall holders from her market. So much for free and discounted stalls to “local charities” and “poor people”.

If that doesn’t show how well she’s done from her leg up from her buddys at Hackney Council, Egginton recently announced Hackney Homemade Market has changed it’s name to Hackney Heart. All this made possible by Labour led Hackney Council. You at the back pay attention!

 

After a protest was held in February outside Hackney Heart, Hackney Council released a statement on their site.  It explained:  “Through the Hackney Central Town Centre Partnership, local traders were asked if anyone would step forward to run Hackney Heart on a not for profit basis. It was made clear that the manager would have to work voluntarily and would not receive any personal financial reward for running the project. Local businesswoman Jane MacIntyre was the only person who volunteered for this position. Her experience in running successful businesses in Hackney is an advantage for this role and her passion for the local community and high street made her the ideal candidate.

In my opinion the only thing Jane McIntye has a passion for is for herself and her interests.  Nothing wrong with that, just don’t try and pull the wool over our eyes. I know this because in 2011  a year after I started this site, I asked her if she would like to contribute occasionally.  She was happy to do, but would only do so for a fee. This is after I told her that I had no budget, it was a labour of love and something I did in my spare time. She wanted to write articles that promoted her projects, those of her friends and was willing to throw me a “free bone” (my phrase not hers) if I could include a review for a spa in Spain that gave her a free trip. This from the same woman who claims she is community minded.  Where was her community spirit back then?

Intimidation

When I emailed Egginton in February regarding her cozy arrangement, all I got was the obligatory Hackney Council issued statement and most of the email she sent me, was peppered with Portas-like sound bites and buzz words such as “sick high streets” along with boasts of her (Jane Eddington-McIntyre not Mary Portas) being named one of Time Out’s People of the Year 2011. No great feat in my humble opinion. The medias end of year lists are tiresome and meaningless, but hey, Jane is a lucky gal, she has fellow writer friends on the editorial staff of Time Out.

When I pressed for more answers she tried to scare me off: 

I think you should know that I have now involved the police due to the harassment and abuse that I have been subjected to.

I have answered all of your questions that I am able to. I cannot answer for CIS as you suggest as I have not been involved for some time, but did pass on your queries to Jon Aldendon who is.

I told her she was having a laugh and she responded with:

Remi

The police don’t think racist abuse, harassment, anti social behaviour and malicious communication is ‘having a laugh’ and I will be forwarding your comment, including the one about ‘you people’ to them.

Jane

Abuse, harassment, anti social behaviour and malicious communication????? All because of this short email response:

You’re having a laugh right? Well, that’s an easy way of getting out of answering a question. What is it with you people and crying to the police the moment you don’t like questions being asked or opinions being made?  Oh well gotta finish it up tonight.

A privileged white middle class woman accusing a black broad of racism, abuse and harassment? She needs to walk in my shoes every god damn day.

Social Cleansing in Hackney

Traders on the Narrow Way I spoke to back in February were not aware of any tendering”, but to be honest, even if Hackney Council did make the offer to other traders, it was just a ruse, this “hub” was hand made for Jane Egginton-McIntyre. I mean seriously, which Narrow Way trader has the luxury of time or money or share the same dream as Egginton-McIntyre and Hackney Council to see the Narrow Way turned into yet another gentrified and over priced alcove of Hackney, where like minded people can sit and sip more expensive coffee made by some bloke with a bushy beard and drink cocktails “curated” by another bloke dressed in 1920’s attire. Give me strength.

You telling me the council couldn’t find a struggling grass roots non profit or a new start up that could have done with the help? What’s wrong with giving them the leg up Egginton-McIntyre recieved? Two years ago Centerprise, an African Caribbean Centre, book shop, publishers, educational supplement school and restaurant, were evicted from their premises in Dalston by Hackney Council because Hackney Council wanted the property to rent out at a higher rate. Centerprise had been paying a peppercorn rent agreed on in the 1980’s. Personally I feel Hackney needs an organization like Centerprise more than a waste of space such as Hackney Heart.

This paring is one to watch and I mean watch! A few years back, there was talk about her opening a boutique Bed and Breakfast in Hackney. That seems to be on the back burner, no doubt because Hackney has 2 fairly new boutique B&B’s and because of her growing successful financial interests in Hackney, which Hackney Council has given a boost. There’s just no telling how beneficial this partnership could be for further Egginton-McIntyre endeavors.

 

 

 

 

 

About Remi Makinde

Remi Makinde Hackney Hive founder, publisher and contributor. Hackneyite and all round Girl Friday, who couldn't wait to leave Hackney and London behind her. After hitching her wagon in California, Texas, New Orleans for 18 years, and with a brief spell in Mexico, the prodigal daughter returned happy to put an unconventional past behind her. She runs a London based pet care business. The big smoke is home for the moment, but she desperately yearns wide open spaces.

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