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Hackney mayor demands Pickles apology

The mayor of Hackney council has called on communities secretary Eric Pickles to apologise for his comments that the council was the worst performing local planning authority in the country.

Mr Pickles was asked by shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn to name “one example of a so-called failing planning authority” yesterday during a second reading of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill in the House of Commons.

Mr Pickles responded by stating that he was happy to name the ‘worst’ and cited Hackney.

The comments were immediately seized upon by Mr Benn who commented that the government had yet to set out how it intended to judge local authorities.

Hacnkey council issued a statement today in which its mayor called for a retraction of the comments.

Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe said: “By almost all of the measures laid down by Government, Hackney is a high performing planning authority.

“By the DCLG’s own, most recently published data, Hackney has exceeded all targets set by government. We will be writing to Mr Pickles to demand an apology and retraction of his misleading statement in the House.”

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