New Year, New Era: Eastlondonlines catches you up on all you missed over the holidays, from Hackney to Croydon

Russel Brand and Lindsey Garrett at a previous New Era protest. Pic: James Benge.

Russel Brand and Lindsey Garrett at a previous New Era protest. Pic: James Benge.

Now that the last of the Christmas crackers have been pulled and the New Year festivities have been and gone, Eastlondonlines is back to tell you what you missed over the holiday season.


New Era Estate enjoy a final victory

Lindsey Garrett, the chair of the tenant’s campaign group “New Era 4 All”, has pledged:  “In the New Year we’ll give our time and energy to helping others in similar situations. Seeing as our campaign was so successful we should probably share that.”

As we reported on December 22,  a hard-fought battle by the residents of Hoxton’s New Era estate finally triumphed as real estate company Westbrook Partners agreed to sell to an affordable housing firm.

The result follows months of protests after Westbrook’s threat to triple rent, forcing out current residents.

New buyers, the Dolphin Square Charitable Foundation, have agreed to stick to existing rents and tenants until at least 2016.


Medical heroes make Queen’s New Year honour list

The chair of Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Anthony Everington and a chief nurse from Stoke Newington, Eileen Sills, both made it onto Her Majesty’s New Year Honour list.

Everington was knighted for his pioneering work with the Bromley-by-Bow  medical centre, whilst Sills from Guy’s and St Thomas’, was made a dame for work maximising the time chief nurses spend with patients on the frontline.

Everington said: “What a lovely surprise. I feel tremendously lucky to work with a wonderful group of partners and colleagues in the Bromley by Bow Centre, Tower Hamlets, and nationally who are so inspirational and committed to delivering high quality health care to patients in the community.”


New Cross man dies from electric shock

A man, who police believe died from an electric shock, was found after a block of New Cross flats were evacuated due to chemical fumes on New Year’s Day.

Emergency services have speculated that the man, who is a plumber, was using a drain cleaning fluid to unblock a sink in his fourth floor flat when the tragedy occurred.

Around 100 people were forced to leave the flats due to gases caused by the incident.

The man, who has not been named, was pronounced dead at the scene. Details of the death will be confirmed once an inquest has been arranged.

Another man, a woman and three children from the same residence were also taken to hospital suffering from the effects of the fumes.

Fire crews confirmed that the building was safe before the evacuees returned to their homes.


Anti-Semitic vandalism occurs in Stoke Newington

Four men, aged between 32 and 43, have been arrested in connection with an incident of anti-Semitic vandalism on December 30.

Swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans were scrawled onto more than 20 homes and vehicles in the orthodox Jewish community of Cazenove Ward on the night of December 28.

The vandalism follows the slashing of more than 100 tyres in the same area last month, in what police believe was also a racially motivated crime.

Hackney Police Inspector Jeoff Bull told the Hackney Citizen: “We will not tolerate anti-Semitism or racism of any kind. We are doing our utmost to trace and bring to justice the suspects involved in this racist graffiti as well as reassure all of our communities”.


Father and daughter die in Boxing Day crash

A 15-year-old girl and her father were both killed when their Renault Megane crashed into a Kia Cee’d in Purley Way on December 26.

The pair were identified as John McGuire, 53, from Streatham and his daughter Enya, who was from Surrey.

The unnamed driver of the colliding car stopped at the scene. He was uninjured and has not been arrested.

A friend of the younger victim wrote on Facebook: “Let everyone remember her for what a young, talented, stunning, funny, kind, caring girl she was.”


Crystal Palace manager gets the boot

Eagles manager Neil Warnock became the first of the season to be sacked following a crushing defeat by Southampton on Boxing Day.

The 66-year-old, who was appointed in August 2014, left his former team in the relegation zone on his departure.

The ousted manager has now been replaced by Alan Pardew. Read the full report here.


Two killed in Deptford house fire

A man and his elderly mother died in a blaze at their home in Deptford on New Year’s Eve.

The victims have been identified as 86-year-old Doreen Nicholl and son John, 61 who lived in Ashmead Road.

Neighbours attempted the rescue of the pair but were unsuccessful. Fire crews, including four fire engines from Greenwich, Lee Green, New Cross and Lewisham stations arrived at the scene shortly after 9:30pm but were too late to save the mother and son.

Police are still investigating the cause of the fire.


Wood wharf site regeneration plans given the go-ahead

Canary Wharf sees its first move into residential development as Tower Hamlets council have approved the building of more than 3,600 homes on the eastern edge of the commercial site.

The regeneration of the formerly named “Wood Wharf”, which has remained semi-derelict for decades, will include a range of new residences, 25 per cent of which will be affordable housing, and a variety of commercial units.

Mayor of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, said: “The planning permission granted will see Wood Wharf become yet another flagship regeneration project in the borough and will help us to make Tower Hamlets an incredible place to live, work, and visit.”


Children in care benefit from donated Christmas gifts

More than 250 children in foster care in Croydon received Christmas gifts as part of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s “Give a Gift” Christmas Tree Campaign last month.

Almost 600 presents were donated by members of the public in the run-up to the festive period.

The appeal formed part of a campaign stretching across all London boroughs in which almost 7,000 gifts have been given and was supported by Croydon Council and Centrale Shopping Centre.

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