Your guide to council services | March 2016
Dog days are over Cleaner Camden @camdentalking
29 The Camden magazine is distributed free to all homes in Camden to give you information about our services. It is printed on paper that is 50% recycled and 50% from sustainable sources.
Digital edition Go to camden.gov.uk/ camden to find out how to access our digital magazine 2 | Camden | March 2016
Schools get dancing
Website: camden.gov.uk Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @camdentalking Communications team Camden Council Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, WC1H 9JE
Distribution from 7 March 2016 Published by Camden Council Editorial, advertising and distribution: 020 7974 5717 Costs 15 pence a copy to produce. Cover image: Luke Oâ€™Reilly
You can receive your copy of the Camden magazine in large print, on audio tape or in another language by phoning 020 7974 5717.
News in brief New policy on removing vehicles Consulting on air quality Check your tenancy Find out about Universal Credit How to swap your home Remember to vote Important changes to our parking service
Advertisement Easter recycling dates
19 Homes for independent living
Feature Tackling rough sleeping
Latest HS2 news
Feature Be safer in your city Acland Burghley School lights up 3
Harryâ€™s mates always get him to pay the bill. They say thatâ€™s what friends do.* No one has to suffer in silence Put a stop to abuse Call in confidence any time 020 7974 4000 and select option 1
There were 21,935 cases of adult financial abuse in 2014/15 * Any resemblance to real people, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust
Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust
Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust
The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Camden Clinical Commissioning Group
camden.gov.uk/asg 4 | Camden | March 2016
to ab us
to the March edition of the Camden magazine reached a point where we need to raise more funds to provide vital services. To do this we need to increase the Camden element of your council tax by 1.99%. This will enable us to balance our budget and pay for services you value most. The increase will provide £1.82 million per year from April 2016, which cannot be cut by government and so will help protect services in the future. At the same time as government cuts our overall funding, services for vulnerable adults and older people face increasing pressure as our population ages.
Councillor Sarah Hayward Leader of the Council
he new financial year, starting on 1 April, will be another tough one for our borough but we will continue to focus our resources on the issues and services that matter most to our residents. By 2018/19 our funding from the government will have been cut in half and, as a result, we’ve had to make huge savings across the services we provide. Making decisions about how to allocate shrinking budgets is extremely difficult and we’ve now
The government funding to Camden doesn’t adequately address this pressure and, for this reason, your council tax also includes a 2% social care precept. The government expects this to be added to bills to help plug some of this gap, but it still doesn’t fully address the full pressures we face. There is more information on page 22, part of our regular update on our financial challenge. We know that some residents are in very difficult circumstances, so please remember that there’s help if you are unable to pay your bill. Please get in touch with us if you need help and advice and there is information at camden.gov.uk/ counciltax.
Despite our challenges, we are still determined to make a difference for our residents. On page 6 you can read about our major step forward to improve pay levels in our borough, when last week over 1,000 homecare workers started to receive the London Living Wage, increasing their pay by more than £2.50 per hour. We have one of the largest house building programmes in London and on pages 20 and 21 you can read about how we are making Camden’s case to the Government, on your behalf, on the implications for Camden of the Housing and Planning Bill. We want to influence Government decision-making on this issue and demonstrate the huge impact it will have on Camden. It is clear to most that London is facing an unprecedented housing crisis and we think the Bill will make this situation worse in Camden. Camden has some of the best primary and secondary schools in the country and you can catch up on the news from some of our schools on pages 24, 25 and 29, including a visit from one of the country’s best known actors. I hope you enjoy reading the Camden Magazine.
News in focus
London Living Wage for care staff Last month over 1,000 homecare workers across the borough started receiving the London Living Wage (LLW)– and some saw their pay increase by more than £2.50 an hour. We have taken another major step forward in our bid to improve pay across the borough. Despite facing some of the biggest central government cuts in the country, we’re increasing the amount we spend on homecare workers’ wages – making sure that some of the lowest paid workers in our community get a pay rise, and by doing this improving the quality of care they provide to some of our most vulnerable residents. Local homecarer Ishraw-Muse Yasin said: “This is a dream come true. “It’s a double motivation for me, knowing that I am able to provide care to my clients and also provide for my family. I am really happy.”
Improving standards From February 2017 we will drive up standards for our homecare workforce even further by introducing a series of additional benefits, including: 6 | Camden | March 2016
• pay for travel time between visits • the offer of guaranteed hours in place of zero hours contracts • occupational sick schemes.
it’s important to ensure that the people who support our most vulnerable residents benefit from the increase.”
From July 2016, 20 of Shaw healthcare’s lowest paid care home staff at Wellesley Road and Maitland Park care homes and Gospel Oak extra care facility will also receive the LLW – and a pay increase of over £2.50 an hour. Other Shaw healthcare staff, including care workers, will see their pay increase even further as a result too – with the majority of staff set to benefit from an increase of around £2 an hour.
Councillor Sally Gimson, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health said:
The Council considers that the value we and our residents will receive from these contracts will improve with a better rewarded workforce. Councillor Sarah Hayward, Leader of Camden Council said: “As a Living Wage borough we see first-hand the impact that fair pay can have and that’s why
“The investment we’re making is another demonstration of our continued commitment to our social care workforce – and every penny we spend on this deal will go directly into the wage packets of care staff.” We became accredited as a Living Wage employer in 2012. Since then around 97% of contracts have been awarded with LLW, and we have committed to fully implement the LLW wherever it is shown to provide best value by 2017.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/livingwage
News in focus
Love your neighbour Lots of older people can feel lonely and isolated over the winter months – so we’ve teamed up with an army of young volunteers to pay them a visit and make sure they get the support they need. Councillor Gimson and Alex at work
Recent studies have found that loneliness can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day – and increases the threat of dementia, high blood pressure and depression.
They’re also providing information on how to access the huge variety of advice and support available right across the borough – from flu jabs and lunch clubs to home improvements and healthy eating.
What’s more, with the cost of living in London continuing to grow, many of our older neighbours can find themselves in fuel poverty – and at risk of health issues caused or made worse by cold weather.
“London is a really fast-moving city,” said North London Cares Chief Executive, Alex Smith.
A helping hand We’ve joined forces with local charity, North London Cares – who have recruited a team of young volunteers to knock on thousands of doors to hand out free blankets, warm clothes, and fuel grants of up to £100 for those most in need.
“It’s an amazing place to be, but it can also be very lonely. “This project is all about finding people who might benefit from extra support, and helping them to manage what can be a very isolating time of year.”
Warm, active, healthy and connected In 2012/13 there were 65 excess winter deaths and more than 500 avoidable hospital admissions in Camden.
“With a growing population of older people it’s really important we focus on early intervention of health and general wellbeing issues, which actually costs the NHS and Council health services more to treat in the long term,” said Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, Councillor Sally Gimson. “Many people are too proud to reach out for help, and some are too scared to turn the heating on as they fear they won’t be able to pay the bills. This project is designed to tackle that.”
Find out more northlondoncares.org.uk
News in brief
We want your views on cleaner air for Camden Clean air is important for all of us. Air pollution has serious health impacts and is linked to nearly 9,500 premature deaths every year in London.
sets out how we will reduce air pollution from road traffic, construction sites, gas boilers, and other sources.
Air pollution particularly affects the most vulnerable, children and older people, and people with pre-existing heart and lung conditions.
• raise awareness of how people can adapt their lifestyle and reduce their exposure to poor air quality
Better air quality not only benefits health, it enhances the environment and quality of life for everyone.
• use planning policy and regulation to reduce air pollution
We would like your views on our draft Clean Air Action Plan, which
We aim to: • minimise emissions from our own estates and operations
• use our influence to lobby for better policies and support from
national government and the Mayor of London. Our last Clean Air Action Plan helped to significantly reduce car use and to increase walking and cycling in Camden. The plan also helped to reduce gas consumption in council buildings and schools by 26.5% since 2009. To have your say visit our website.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/airquality camden.gov.uk/consultations
Vehicle removal changes From 31 March 2016, we’re making changes to our vehicle removal policy. We have reduced the number of parking contraventions that could lead to immediate removal by around 30% so that we can prioritise the most dangerous and inconsiderate parking. 8 | Camden | March 2016
These include where vehicles are obstructing a bay suspension or disabled person’s parking space and where a vehicle is a repeat offender or there is evidence of Blue Badge fraud. For residents, we have increased the grace period for permit renewals to be made from seven to
14 days. During this time residents whose permits have expired will not get a parking ticket and their vehicle will not be removed.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/parking
News in brief Single jobseekers in Camden can now apply for Universal Credit If you are a single jobseeker making a new claim for benefit support in Camden, you need to apply for Universal Credit. This is a new monthly payment for people who are either unemployed or working but on a low income. It will eventually replace all of the following benefits and tax credits: • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance • Income Support • Child Tax Credit • Working Tax Credit • Housing Benefit. Universal Credit is being introduced in stages across the country and will start in Camden on 14 March for a limited group of single people who make a new claim. Couples, families and claimants
with disabilities will be introduced at a later date. Anyone currently claiming benefits or tax credits will not be affected at this stage.
This is the only application you will need to complete as it covers claims for all six of the above benefits, including housing benefit.
How is it different from current benefits?
Help with Universal Credit
At the moment, most benefits are paid weekly or fortnightly, however, Universal Credit is a single, monthly payment which is paid directly into your bank account and includes the money you need to pay your rent. This means that you will be responsible for making your own rent payments and budgeting for the month.
How to claim Universal Credit If you are eligible, you can claim and manage your Universal Credit application online at gov.uk/apply-universal-credit
If you need help to make your application online, you can attend one of the drop-in sessions available at locations across the borough. To find your nearest drop-in session, please go to camden.gov.uk/digitalsessions Alternatively, you can contact the Universal Credit Service Centre on 0345 6000 723 to make a claim.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/benefits
Check before you rent privately A new online tool for private renters means that you can check whether properties belong to the council before you rent them. When you’re renting a home through a letting agency or private landlord, it’s important that you don’t accidentally rent a flat or house that belongs to the council. Council tenants are not allowed to sublet their homes without
permission, and if you rent a property that’s being illegally sublet you could find yourself having to look for somewhere else to live at short notice. The ilatch tenancy checker is a web based anti-fraud tool. You simply input a postcode and select a property. The tool will then tell you whether the property is owned by the council, or whether it’s privately owned. If you’re looking for a flat to rent in Camden, protect yourself from risk and make sure that you check ilatch before you sign the lease.
Find out more ilatch.co.uk 9
News in brief
If you are a tenant of the council or a housing association, if your family has grown and you need a bigger home, or if you have an extra room that you no longer need, why not consider a mutual exchange? A mutual exchange is a swap of homes between two or more council tenants and can be a fast way to move into a different home. Since April 2015, we’ve helped more than 100 families and individuals to move via mutual exchange. We hold regular events for tenants looking to swap their
home, where you can meet a potential swap partner and arrange to view each other’s homes. If the move is approved you could be in a new home of your choice in less than nine weeks. However, you don’t have to wait for one of our events to look for a swap – you can register your home
online at homeswapper.co.uk to start looking for a potential swap partner from all across the country, not just in Camden. If you need help to use computers and access online services then come to one of our weekly digital drop-in sessions, where we will be happy to help you set up your Homeswapper account.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/homeswap
Three minute challenge If you’ve been keeping an eye on our Twitter account (@camdentalking) you may have noticed us setting various challenges to highlight how fast it is to register to vote. It takes just
three minutes to make sure you can have your say: quicker than you could eat an Easter egg. And with the election to decide who gets London’s biggest job just around the corner, there’s no better time to
check whether we’re correct. Visit gov.uk/register-to-vote and see how long it takes you. The poll for the new Mayor of London takes place on 5 May, but you must be registered to vote by 18 April or you will lose your chance to vote. On the day you’ll be voting not only for the Mayor, but also the London Assembly members. These are the people who hold the Mayor to account, examine their decisions and make sure they deliver their promises to Londoners.
Find out more gov.uk/register-to-vote 10 | Camden | March 2016
Rubbish and recycling collections over Easter 2016 Collections will take place one day later than usual in the week beginning Monday 28 March. There will not be a rubbish and recycling collection on 28 March (Easter Monday). Rubbish and recycling collections will take place as usual on 25 March (Good Friday). Thank you for helping to keep Camden Clean.
Normal collection day
Revised collection day
Monday 28 March
Tuesday 29 March
Tuesday 29 March
Wednesday 30 March
Wednesday 30 March
Thursday 31 March
Thursday 31 March
Friday 1 April
Friday 1 April
Saturday 2 April
For more information visit camden.gov.uk/waste
camden.gov.uk/recycling THE CAMDEN COLLEGE 2016
FULL & PART-TIME COURSES FOR ADULTS ENROLLING NOW FOR:
• Hair, Nails and Make-up • Health and Social Care • Business • Accounting • Languages • Music, Acting & Exercise • Teaching • Computing • English, Maths and ESOL • Creative Writing • Art & Design • Etching, Print Relief & Printmaking (in Kentish Town). We also offer an exciting Art & Design Foundation Diploma with specialist pathways in Fashion, Media, 3D, Visual Communications & Fine Art.
Enrol NOW! www.wmcollege.ac.uk Call: 020 7255 4700 - email@example.com
Easy to get to! WMC 44 Crowndale Road London NW1 1TR -
Tube: Mornington Crescent 2mins / Camden Town, Euston & St Pancras 10 mins And 7 Leighton Place NW5 2QL - Tube: Kentish Town (Northern line) 5 mins
WMC - The Camden College graded Outstanding Overall by Ofsted in 2013
What will your next career move be? At this time of year, a lot of people who are at school or college are thinking about their futures. If that’s you, have you thought about an apprenticeship? A Camden apprenticeship might be the answer to your future, with opportunities to suit most people. Currently apprentices work in areas that include carpentry, information management, plumbing, IT, bricklaying, pharmacy, electrical, care work and business administration.
Qualifications Apprentices usually start at NVQ level 2 and may go up to level 4 – equal to a degree. An apprenticeship means the chance of career training and money in your pocket, rather than a debt. Councillor Georgia Gould, Cabinet Member for Young People and Economic Growth, says: “We believe it’s crucial to invest in Camden’s young people. I would urge anyone who’s leaving school or college this summer and not sure what they want to do next to consider a Camden apprenticeship.” We talked to two Camden apprentices about their experiences. Angel is studying for an NVQ level 2 in business administration.
12 | Camden | March 2016
Feature Billy Rallison (17) says:
Billy is building his career
“When I was still at Acland Burghley School, someone from King’s Cross Construction Skills Centre came to talk to us about the council’s schools programme. It was fantastic because I had the opportunity to ask them questions about the programme in a lot of detail. I already knew that sitting at a desk wasn’t for me, and with the schools programme, I had the chance to do three or four weeks each of carpentry, plastering, drylining and groundworks. It was carpentry that I enjoyed most. You get to create something and you have to use your judgement a lot – it’s a job for a perfectionist. So when I finished school, I applied for a carpentry apprenticeship and got it. I’ll have finished my NVQ level 2 by the summer and hope to get a job then, to broaden my experience.”
Angel Pedersen (21) says: “When I left sixth form college, I was job-hunting and trying to decide what to do next. I did six months’ voluntary work, which was really good experience. I found out about the apprenticeships team online, and they suggested I might be interested in an apprenticeship with HGV Training, which I applied for and got. I’m now the training co-ordinator. I’m doing NVQ level 2 in business administration, and will be moving on to Level 3. My boss is very supportive, always encouraging me and it’s great experience – we work nationally and it’s all about customer service. I’m glad to have the chance to get qualifications now and work my way up, rather than going to university and being in debt.”
National Apprenticeships Week is from 14 to 18 March. Watch our websites or follow @camdentalking on Twitter to see what we are doing to mark the week. Find out more camden.gov.uk/apprenticeships camden.gov.uk/kxcsc
Budding scientist? If you’re a Camden resident who is looking for a chance to start a career in the science and technology fields, here’s an exciting opportunity. We are working with our Knowledge Quarter partners to develop paid science, technology and creative apprenticeships with the first opportunities due to start in late 2016.
Who can apply? The initial apprenticeships will be open to people aged 18 or over and have no upper age limit. They will provide opportunities for Camden residents who already have A-levels, BTECs or NVQ level 3 in science subjects. The placements will be with our Knowledge Quarter partners. As well as being paid, they will be fully funded for four and a half
14 | Camden | March 2016
years, leading to a foundation or biological science qualification from the University of Westminster. We want to make sure that Camden residents can benefit from and contribute to the exciting new opportunities being created by the Knowledge Quarter. We’re aiming for an education and skills programme that will offer career paths and is ambitious, flexible and able to adapt to changing employment markets.
More information about the apprenticeships will be available later this year, so if you might be interested, now’s the time to start planning.
Find out more firstname.lastname@example.org
Members’ Allowances Scheme Payments 2014/15 In accordance with the Local Authorities (Members’ Allowances) Regulations 2003, notice is hereby given that the London Borough of Camden, during the financial period 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015, made total payments to each of the following Members as set out. Payments were made in accordance with the published Members’ Allowances Scheme for the same period. Payments to Members
Allowances Allowance Total
Ali N Apak M Baillie S Beales D Beattie D A Berry S Blackwell T W Bokth R M Braithwaite P N Brayshaw P Bryant J W Bucknell J M Callaghan P A Chung L Cotton R S Currie T W De Souza M H Eagling R D Eslamdoust M Francis S Fraser J E Freeman R J Fulbrook J G Gardiner T Gimson S Gould G A Hai A Harrison A D Hayward S L Headlam-Wells J Jirira N Johnson H M Jones P D Katz M D Kelly A Khatoon S Knight C W Leach V Lewis O Leyland C
9,654.00 9,654.00 8,200.70 8,200.71 8,200.70 8,200.71 9,654.00 1,609.00 1,609.00 8,045.00 1,609.00 9,654.00 9,654.00 1,609.00 8,200.70 8,200.70 1,609.00 1,609.00 9,654.00 8,200.71 1,609.00 9,654.00 9,654.00 9,654.00 9,654.00 9,654.00 9,654.00 9,654.00 9,654.00 9,654.00 1,609.00 9,654.00 9,654.00 1,609.00 8,200.71 9,654.00 1,609.00 1,609.00 8,200.71 9,654.00
2,659.00 5,319.00 15,954.00 3,989.25 886.50 15,954.00 886.50 5,319.00 15,954.00 5,319.00 12,851.83 12,851.83 15,954.00 4,432.50 28,716.00 5,319.00 4,284.75 15,954.00 4,284.75 2,659.00 14,624.33
180.96 30.16 30.16 -
12,313.00 15,153.96 8,200.70 8,200.71 8,200.70 8,200.71 25,608.00 1,609.00 1,639.16 12,034.25 2,495.50 9,654.00 25,608.00 1,609.00 8,200.70 8,200.70 1,639.16 2,495.50 14,973.00 8,200.71 1,609.00 9,654.00 25,608.00 14,973.00 22,505.83 22,505.83 25,608.00 14,086.50 38,370.00 14,973.00 1,609.00 13,938.75 25,608.00 1,609.00 12,485.46 9,836.00 1,609.00 4,268.00 8,200.71 24,278.33
Madlani R Marcus S J Marshall A Mason A M McCormack M E Mennear K A Moffitt K Naylor C J Nuti M Olad A Olszewski R Pietragnoli L Pober A Quadir A Rea F M Revah L P Risso-Gill G Robinson R L Rosenberg P R Roy L Russell L J Sanders M H Shah N Siddiq T Simon T H Simpson J A Spinella G Stark S Trott L Vincent S Williams D W Wood A Yarde J A
8,200.71 9,654.00 9,654.00 9,654.00 9,654.00 9,654.00 1,609.00 1,609.00 1,609.00 9,654.00 8,200.71 9,654.00 8,200.71 9,654.00 9,654.00 9,654.00 1,609.00 9,654.00 8,200.71 8,200.70 8,200.71 1,609.00 8,200.70 1,609.00 1,609.00 9,654.00 9,654.00 8,200.71 1,609.00 9,654.00 9,654.00 8,200.71 8,200.70
15,954.00 4,801.77 2,659.00 5,319.00 943.69 13,117.33 1,038.00 10,635.00 2,659.00 886.50 15,954.00 4,801.77 1,329.75 5,319.00 -
132.00 172.20 -
8,200.71 9,654.00 9,654.00 25,608.00 9,654.00 14,455.77 4,268.00 1,639.16 1,609.00 14,973.00 9,144.40 22,771.33 8,200.71 9,654.00 9,654.00 10,692.00 1,611.00 20,289.00 8,200.71 8,332.70 8,200.71 1,609.00 8,200.70 4,268.00 2,495.50 25,608.00 14,455.77 8,372.91 1,609.00 10,983.75 14,973.00 8,200.71 8,200.70
Payments to Independent Persons
Special Responsibility Cycle
Redfern M A Terry S D Total of all
1,038.00 1,038.00 2,076.00
1,038.00 1,038.00 2,076.00
Allowances Allowance Total
If you require any further information, please contact the Committee Services Manager, Anne Rasmussen, by phone on 020 7974 2360, email at email@example.com, or by post at Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, London, WC1H 9JE.
Is extra care housing right for you? You may have heard about care homes, nursing homes and sheltered housing. But you may not have heard about extra care housing.
Allan at home
If you are considering moving out of the place you live now because of health problems or other changes in your life, extra care housing could be right for you.
What is extra care housing? Extra care housing gives you support and security without taking away your independence. You have a home of your own, your own front 16 | Camden | March 2016
door and a range of activities to take part in right on your doorstep. It is designed to support you to live an active, independent and fulfilling life.
Support Care staff are on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help support you if and when you need them.
Cost If you have care needs you might be able to get help with the cost. You might also be able to get housing benefit and council tax exemption. We can help you fill out a financial assessment to see if you are eligible.
Resident stories Allan needed a place to call home after his sister passed away. His children helped him to apply for an assessment and found that he was entitled to a place in extra care housing. Allan said: “I have been happy since the day I first came here. It’s nice and quiet and a wonderful location. The staff help me with the things I cannot do and leave me to do the things that I can and want to do for myself. It’s reassuring to know they are always here if I need them. If someone was thinking of moving to a place like this I’d tell them, go for it.” Marlene’s Mum, Hazel, has Alzheimer’s disease. Marlene wanted to find a place for her where she had access to 24-hour care but could be supported to live independently. Marlene said: “Before she moved Mum was isolated and didn’t have any independence. Now she has her own flat, her own unit, her own space. “As her family, we’ve got our own lives and can’t be there for her all the time but here there is support available 24 hours a day. The staff are very friendly, they communicate very well. Mum adores everyone here.”
Mary has been in extra care housing for two years. She loves the peace and quiet and visiting her friends during the day. Mary said: “I can do some things for myself but I also need help with some things. I can wash dishes and make my bed. Sometimes I clean half the flat and the carers come and finish it off for me. I like going to the day centre during the day and I have lots of friends there. It’s nice having a bit of entertainment and then coming back to the peace and quiet of the flat at the end of the day. I would recommend extra care housing to anyone if they’re not able to stay at home.”
Apply If you wish to apply for extra care housing, speak to your social worker or care manager. We will carry out an assessment of your needs and eligibility for extra care housing. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact us.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/extracarehousing firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7974 4000 17
Keeping streets clean Our officers continued to chip away at foul behaviour in February as part of our Clean Camden campaign. As well as dog fouling, our environmental education and enforcement team focussed on the problems caused by fly-tipping and rubbish being left out outside collection times and days. Your continued reporting of issues helped our officers to target their patrols and, over a two week period, saw the team take action in 191 cases of residential and business waste fly-tipping. Officers also issued 13 fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping, littering and dog fouling.
Dog days As part of our ongoing efforts to tackle dog fouling we held a ‘Love your dog, love your neighbourhood’ event in Gospel Oak for dog owners to get free training, find out about Camden’s dog fouling laws and get their dogs microchipped for free. 18 | Camden | March 2016
From April 2016 it becomes compulsory for all dogs in England to be fitted with microchips coded with owners’ contact details, in a move by the government to reduce the number of strays and dogs being put into shelters. Working in partnership with the Dog Hub and the Mayhew Animal Home, Camden officers were on hand to confidentially discuss dog nuisance issues and hand out free dog mess bags.
Starting young Officers also visited schools to give an educational talk and book reading to 120 children about litter and the importance of recycling, which featured a visit by the main character from the book, Munch – a recycling truck from our waste contractor Veolia.
Our Clean Camden campaign was launched in November 2013 and is proving successful in tackling littering, fly-tipping and dog fouling issues and is reducing the impact of these across Camden. In 2015 we issued 466 fixed penalty notices to offenders. Your reporting of hotspots has allowed us to take action and since the campaign started we have seen a decrease in problems at these locations. Thank you to everyone who is reporting issues to us. Please continue to let us know about littering, fly-tipping or dog fouling in your area, using our online reporting form or by calling 020 7974 4444.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/cleancamden
Tackling rough sleeping Camden Council commissions the Camden Safer Streets Team (SST) to work with some of the borough’s most vulnerable people to get them off the streets and provide access to support so they stay safe. To find out more about their work, we met with Ian Bangay, Project Manager at the SST. Understanding needs and providing support Understanding that the reasons people end up rough sleeping are as individual as the people themselves is vital to providing the right support. Mr Bangay says: “If someone is not responding to our approach, it’s not their fault. We need to reflect and find a solution that’s right for them. It doesn’t cost money, just thought.” The SST are out seven days a week, meeting and working with individuals to find out how they can best help.
The dangers of rough sleeping Shockingly, the life expectancy for a rough sleeper in Camden is 48 for a man and 39 for a woman, so the need to act fast is essential. After three to four weeks the chances of people accepting help decreases dramatically. “They begin to believe they can survive on their own and the perception of who they are can change dramatically. Shame is the single biggest emotion we work with. We have to boost people’s self-esteem”, explains Mr Bangay.
To tackle this, the London-wide No Second Night Scheme focuses on removing people from the streets as quickly as possible, ideally so noone spends a second night without accommodation. The team can then begin to help them to lead a safer life.
How you can help The SST rely on information from the public to help them find rough sleepers. If you are worried about someone sleeping rough, please get in touch, giving the exact time, location and date you saw them. An SST team member will contact you within 72 hours to let you know what action has been taken and the outcome.
Find out more camdensst.com email@example.com 020 7833 7970 / 0808 8000 005 Download the Camden StreetSafe app (see the website for details)
Last year the SST worked with partner organisations to support rough sleepers, including: • Camden housing schemes: Booked 52 people into accommodation. • Local hostels: Re-housed 35 people to avoid them being evicted from hostel accommodation. • UK and international governments: Supported safe reconnections for 70 people to their home town or country. • Rehabilitation and support schemes: Referred 112 people to health services. • Local and international businesses: Training schemes offered to help people back into work. 19
Full house at housing meeting Hundreds of people packed into the town hall to discuss the Government’s housing changes. On Thursday 11 February we held a meeting in the town hall to discuss the Government’s housing changes. The event included a panel discussion and consultations, during which Councillor Sarah Hayward, Leader of the Council, was joined by guests from the London School of Economics (LSE), Shelter, Generation Rent, and Innisfree Housing Association.
20 | Camden | March 2016
Standing room only Around 200 people attended to talk about the ways that the proposals will affect our borough, and Cllr Patricia Callaghan, Cabinet Member for Housing, and Cllr Phil Jones, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning, also joined the event. An additional 200 people followed the meeting via webcast. Attendees found out about the Government’s proposed housing changes, how they’ll be affected, the action the council has taken so far, and what they can do in response to the changes.
The Bill, which sets out Central Government’s plans for housing, is currently progressing through the House of Lords. We’re concerned that the proposals will reduce the supply of affordable rented housing in Camden, and have an impact on council tenants, private renters and people trying to get onto the property ladder. Cllr Hayward chaired the event, and said afterwards: “The Housing Bill will affect thousands of residents across Camden, and will impact our mixed communities. It’s by working together in this way that we can make our voice heard by
Feature the Government and encourage Ministers to change their housing proposals. This Bill will affect all but the very wealthy in our borough, when everyone – no matter their income – has a right to a secure, safe and affordable home.”
Reduction of social housing One of the primary concerns for all of the speakers at the event was the potential loss of social housing. Policies in the Bill include requiring councils to sell off high value council homes if they become vacant, and allowing housing association tenants to buy their homes at a discount. Steve Akehurst, of Shelter, said: “We’ve done some research which suggests that Camden Council could lose up to 50% of their council homes – and they’re going to have to sell those homes on the open market and pass the money to central government.” Kath Scanlon, of LSE, said: “These policies are going to result in a loss of social housing in Camden. The units that are lost should be replaced, but it’s pretty clear that they won’t be replaced in Camden. They’ll probably be replaced somewhere else in London.” The Government’s proposals include changes to future council tenancies. New council tenancies will be limited to two to five years, and in future those with a
household income of more than £40,000 will be asked to pay market rents for their council home. Camden tenant, Lynn Geddes, said: “My husband and I would just be over the £40,000. I have been renting my council home for over 35 years, I’ve always worked and I’ve always paid my rent, but I won’t be able to at market prices – they are so unaffordable.”
Fewer affordable homes The Bill introduces new ‘Starter Homes’ – properties for sale to first time buyers under the age of 40, at a 20% discount on the market rate. However, in Camden, Starter Homes will cost up to £450,000 – and they will potentially replace other types of affordable housing in new developments, such as council homes. Camden resident Constantine Louis commented on the Starter Homes proposals: “There is no need for this type of housing. What Londoners need is more council accommodation. I cannot see how anyone could afford to buy a home at almost half a million pounds.”
Pressure on the private rented sector The consensus from the panel was that the majority of people who will no longer be able to access social housing as a result of the changes will have to rent homes privately – which will potentially raise the cost
of privately rented homes in the borough. Betsy Dillner, of Generation Rent, said: “All of those people are going to be moving into the private rented sector. It’s going to create higher demand for fewer homes, which means prices are going to go up.” Kath Scanlon, of LSE, added: “It’s hard to see how many of the people affected would be able stay in Camden, because Camden market rents are very high. They would move to outer London boroughs where rents are cheaper – or out of London altogether.”
What next? There are still opportunities to influence the Bill. You can write to your MP, and ask them to make your views known to Members of the House of Lords. Camden’s MPs are: Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead & Kilburn) firstname.lastname@example.org Keir Starmer (Holborn & St Pancras) email@example.com Tulip Siddiq / Keir Starmer, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/housingbill
Our financial challenge – latest news As you receive this magazine, we will fast be approaching the new financial year, which begins in April. This is an important time for the Council as we set our budget for the next 12 months, including any changes to council tax bills. We again face a tough financial challenge this year, with our budget being continually squeezed. Since 2011/12 we’ve had to reduce our budget by an average of £24 million every year, and by 2018/19 our funding from government will have been cut in half. This means we’ve had to make some tough choices about where cuts must unfortunately be made.
80p council tax rise will help protect frontline services In order to balance our budget and pay for the services you value most, we are increasing the Camden element of your council tax by 1.99%. This will provide £1.82 million per year from April 2016 which cannot be cut by government and will help protect services. We are also facing huge social care pressures which the government has not addressed in the funding it provides to us, so we need to make difficult choices. It is for this reason that your bill also includes a 2% government social care precept: something the government said could be added to bills and spent only on plugging some of the gap in adult social care funding. This will raise another £1.83 million. The rise in council tax is vital if we are to continue to look after the most vulnerable in our communities. It is only the third council tax rise in Camden in a decade, representing an additional 80p a week for a Band D property. Also, had the Camden element of council tax been increased in line with inflation over the last 10 years, your bill this year would be 23% higher.
22 | Camden | March 2016
Letters about planning applications Thank you to everyone who took part in our Statement of Community Involvement consultation, which set out how we will involve local people when we prepare our planning policies and consider planning applications. We received over 300 responses. The consultation also set out our proposal to stop sending adjoining occupier letters for planning applications from April 2016. We are proposing as an alternative to use our new look posters on lampposts, adverts in the local paper and redesigned planning email alerts to notify people about planning applications. Residents will also be able to find out about planning applications through a new section in the Camden Find out more Account. This change would save the Council ÂŁ200,000 a year. The consultation report is due to be presented to Cabinet in April when a camden.gov.uk/sci decision will be made.
Camdenâ€™s Cabinet agrees recommendations for new grounds maintenance contract We have been exploring how we can maintain Camdenâ€™s parks and open spaces differently in order to achieve cost reductions due to the substantial budget pressures we face across the Council. Towards the end of last year we engaged with residents on the maintenance of our parks and open spaces to help inform our future priorities. The engagement period ran for six weeks from 17 September to 30 October 2015. In total, we received 690 responses to our survey and, in general, had positive feedback from residents. The findings are available at camden. gov.uk/greenspaces. We carefully considered all of the feedback and used it to inform options for reducing grounds maintenance costs that were included in the report to Cabinet in February, when the procurement strategy for the new contract was agreed. We will now begin the procurement process for the contract which, once awarded, will come into effect from April 2017.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/greenspaces
Homeland star Damian Lewis helps light up Acland Burghley Homeland actor and local resident Damian Lewis helped Light Up Burghley when he led the countdown to a spectacular laser light show at the school. More than 1,000 former and current students and teachers, parents, local residents and guests turned up to see the amazing display, which Acland Burghley students helped to design. The breathtaking show and celebration, organised by volunteer parents, staff and students, marked the school’s 50th anniversary. It was made possible with free equipment and expertise from Urban Electric lighting consultant Jon Hose, whose son Harry is a student there.
24 | Camden | March 2016
Actor Damian Lewis with Headteacher Nicholas John
Lighting up the school Acland Burghley students also designed lighting around the school grounds in workshops with Dr Elettra Bordonaro, visiting professor at the London School of Economics, using lights donated by iGuzzini. Acland Burghley is the first school to work with ‘lighting sociologists’ from the LSE’s Configuring Light / Staging the Social project. The aim of the event was to celebrate the school’s creativity, as well as its distinctive and recently refurbished 1960s building, and welcome the whole community into the school. Headteacher Nicholas John said: “We wanted to celebrate our past and future and the school’s place at the heart of the community. Arts and creativity has always been important here so we wanted to showcase our excellence in this area and the way it supports overall educational achievement.”
Acland Burghley student Chester Clapham, 12, said: “I really like the school and I think I’m doing well here. One of my favourite subjects is design and technology. There are loads of after-school clubs and activities too. I’m doing dance and playing in a band and my friends are in the football team.” Damian Lewis said: “I have been a proud member of the Tufnell Park community for 10 years and there is more creativity, independence and support in this neighbourhood than anywhere I have lived in London. These are exactly the qualities they teach the students here at Acland Burghley and why it is recognised for performing arts and creative studies.”
Find out more a clandburghley.camden.sch.uk
Candidates for Youth MP want your votes Eighteen hopeful candidates to be Camden’s next Youth MP, or one of two Deputy Youth MPs, are standing for election from 14 to 23 March. If you are of secondary school age and live, go to school, college, a youth project or work in Camden you can vote in the election, which is taking place at schools and youth centres across the borough. The Youth MP, and two Deputy Youth MPs, are elected for two years and will be the voice for young people in Camden, representing their interests in local decisionmaking. They will also put forward the views and interests of local young people at regional and national level through their participation in the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP).
Hannah Morris, Camden’s Youth MP for 2014-16, has twice spoken in the House of Commons during national UKYP debates, as well as meeting local and national decision-makers, writing a column for the local press, chairing Youth Council meetings and working on campaigns such as UKYP’s Make Your Mark. Councillor Georgia Gould, Camden’s Cabinet Member for Young People and Economic Growth, said: “I am thrilled that so many strong candidates have put themselves forward to be Camden’s next Youth MP. I hope as many young people as possible will vote in this important election. “The Youth MP and their deputies are listened to and respected by me and other decision-makers – this really is a great chance for young people to have their say and make a difference.”
The candidates standing in this year’s Camden Youth MP election are: • Daniel Mohammadian; Farzana Ahmed; Ranya Lamani; Eden Lunghy • Nabil Zeggaf; Ahmad Sadallah; Lillie Maguire; Oliver Szczepanski • Dona Rimanishta; Bluebelle Wednesday Carroll; Maisie HonJacobs • Elizabeth Hamilton; Saba Asif; Kingtong Choo; Aaliyah Begum • Gresa Madjuni; Albert Wright; Esther Joy Boadu
Find out more camden.gov.uk/youthcouncil Join the conversation
Camden holding HS2 Ltd to account We secured over 100 key commitments from HS2 Ltd in December to help mitigate the impact of the High Speed 2 rail scheme on Camden. We’re now keeping up the pressure on HS2 Ltd to ensure they have clear action plans to deliver these. Meetings have already begun with HS2 Ltd to set out delivery arrangements for assurances including: • commitments to replace open space lost from the scheme and invest in improvements to existing open spaces • modifications to properties close to the construction works so that residents can continue to live in their homes • a study to find ways of moving construction material by rail to minimise the number of lorries on our roads • plans for a Construction Skills Centre to provide training and apprenticeship opportunities for residents
26 | Camden | March 2016
• development of a community engagement framework to ensure local stakeholders and residents are informed and listened to by HS2 Ltd. Delivery plans will set out key actions and milestones to ensure, where necessary, mitigations are implemented before construction starts. A detailed legal agreement is also being drawn up to secure assurances with a financial commitment.
Euston Station Strategic Redevelopment Board Camden will play an active role in the new Euston Station Strategic Redevelopment Board, which will provide advice to Government on the integration and delivery
of Euston station as a whole. The Board will meet for the first time in March. Council officers will also join a Euston Integrated Programme Board to agree delivery arrangements for the scheme. We will monitor progress on the development of all the assurances closely and will provide information and advertise engagement opportunities on these plans as they develop via our website and public meetings.
The need for better engagement We recently responded to the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s call for evidence on the quality of HS2 Ltd’s communication and engagement. Our submission expressed concerns about HS2
Council tenants and resident leaseholders on Regent’s Park Estate losing their flats to HS2 will get replacement homes
Ltd’s previous lack of commitment to two-way engagement and transparency. We are pressing HS2 Ltd to develop a community engagement framework, to demonstrate how they intend to inform and engage with Camden residents and businesses on HS2 matters.
HS2 works before Royal Assent Construction of HS2 cannot begin until the HS2 Bill gains Royal Assent, which we expect to happen in late 2016. However, HS2 Ltd, Network Rail and their contractors are able to do certain works before then including ground investigation and above ground surveys to establish the precise position of utilities equipment.
To mitigate disturbance for residents and businesses as far as possible, we have applied the strictest conditions we are able to in granting Section 61 consent for these works. These include a requirement for noise levels to be monitored near homes during night-time work and action to be taken if levels become unacceptable. HS2 Ltd must also distribute notices to each home that may be affected a fortnight ahead of works starting.
Replacement homes on track
We would encourage you to report any issues you experience with these works. For works carried out by HS2 Ltd, report issues to 020 7944 4908, while for works carried out by Network Rail, report issues to 034 5711 4141.
Our plan to bring together Maria Fidelis School onto one site has drawn closer after approval of the initial notice needed to demolish the former police garages in Drummond Crescent.
We’ve begun building the homes for council tenants and resident leaseholders who will lose their homes to HS2 on Regent’s Park Estate. These are set to be completed in 2017, so that residents can move in before HS2 demolition starts. If you have any questions about the working practice on the replacement homes sites, contact our contractors Lovell on 020 8731 3800.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/hs2 27
Camden businesses open Safe Havens We have been working with a group of trained young Camden volunteers to successfully bring the national CitySafe scheme to Camden. Working with Citizens UK, the police and local businesses, the group young volunteers approached local business owners in Camden Town to ask them to offer their premises as ‘Safe Havens’ – places of safety where anyone who feels vulnerable, at risk or in immediate danger can go to seek refuge. Mariam Shahid is one of the 14 young people from across six different schools who volunteered to help lead the scheme. She said: “I wanted to join CitySafe because I want young people to feel safe. If I was feeling unsafe I would want to know of places where I can seek refuge in my local community.”
Local businesses help out Thanks to the efforts of Mariam and the other volunteers, eight Camden businesses have now opened their doors to the scheme. Patel Bharat from Camden News explains that he got involved to help the youngsters out. He said: "I have kids of my own, and if they were unsafe I would hope that a shop keeper or business would look after them. It’s just the right thing to do.” 28 | Camden | March 2016
On Saturday 13 February, the young volunteers, a member of Citizens UK and Camden staff were joined by Cabinet Member for Community Safety, Councillor Jonathan Simpson, and Cabinet Member for Young People and Economic Growth, Councillor Georgia Gould, along with a representative from the Metropolitan Police, as they visited the businesses who have signed up, to officially welcome them to the CitySafe scheme.
How to identify a Safe Haven Each Safe Haven can be identified by a purple CitySafe logo in their window. The businesses will receive specialist training and pledge to work with the police to report 100% of crime and antisocial behaviour. CitySafe is a national community-led campaign from Citizens UK which focuses on building relationships between young people, the police and local businesses. The scheme works with thousands of young people and adults in schools, colleges, charities, churches, mosques, synagogues, and community groups.
For more information, or if you could offer your business, shop or public building as a place of safety during opening hours, visit citysafe.org.uk
Camden CitySafe Havens: • Office, 210 Camden High Street • Poundland, 52 Camden High Street • Eye Contacts Optical, 10 Chalk Farm Road • Inspiral, 250 Camden High Street • Book Warehouse, 155 Camden High Street • Camden Gift, 12 Chalk Farm Road • Camden News, 227 Camden High Street • Shop Point, 52 Chalk Farm Road
Find out more citysafe.org.uk
Dancing the night away
Eighteen local schools and one youth group showed off their dance moves at the seventh annual Camden Schools Dance Festival. Last month’s event featured 375 young people aged 11 to 18 and was hosted at The Place dance centre in Kings Cross. The pupils’ performances were the culmination of months of working with
professional dance artists using South Asian, contemporary, folk and street styles to create a mix of dance representing the rich culture of the borough. The Festival was funded by London Sport and run by Camden Dance Development Group, which includes Akademi, B-Better, the English Folk Dance and Song Society, the charity icandance, Camden Council, The Place and the Surma Centre.
All proceeds went to the Iris Tomlinson Fund, which helps cover the cost of dance classes for young people at The Place. Councillor Larraine Revah, Mayor of Camden, who attended the event, said: “It was a pleasure to see the talented performers from Camden’s schools.”
Find out more theplace.org.uk/dance-young-people 29
Beware bad letting agents Are you looking for a home to rent privately, or did you rent your current home through a letting agency?
Kylie Smith benefited from help and advice
30 | Camden | March 2016
Looking for a flat?
Feature New letting agency laws If you’re looking for a privately rented home in Camden, make sure your letting agent obeys the law. New regulations mean that agents must clearly display their fees and charges up front, and they have to be a member of a redress scheme – so that you can complain if something goes wrong.
Tackling bad agents Camden resident Kylie Smith rented a flat through a letting agent in Camden. The agent misled Kylie by telling her that he was the owner of the flat that she was renting. Kylie said: “The agent produced what I thought was a good legal contract. Everything seemed legitimate and I was reassured by the official documentation, the office, his website, and the fact that
he had other properties advertised online.” Shortly after Kylie moved into the flat with her husband and children, she discovered that the agent was not the owner of the flat, and was in fact being taken to court by the real owner for illegally subletting the property. Kylie went to another, reputable, agent for advice, and they put her in touch with Camden’s trading standards team. Kylie had actually signed an invalid licence agreement. Fortunately, the real owner of the flat was sympathetic to Kylie’s situation, and, once the owner had recovered the property from the unscrupulous agent, Kylie was able to sign an assured shorthold tenancy agreement so that she and her family could stay in the flat.
When renting a property:
he agent must clearly explain all their fees and T charges upfront
Check that the letting agency is a member of a property redress scheme Only sign an assured shorthold tenancy agreement, not a licence, or other type of contract
“After I contacted trading standards I really felt like I had a team of people supporting me and my family. They were genuinely concerned, and they also told me how to use the tenancy ombudsman scheme as a way of redress, which was very helpful.”
Working with good agents Whilst some letting agents may try to avoid complying with government regulations, there are many agencies in the borough who welcome our work. Jo Walker, of Goldschmidt & Howland, said: “Compliance is hugely important to us and something that we take very seriously. The trading standards team have been extremely helpful and have provided some really useful guidance on various areas of consumer protection law. The team helps agents to understand their responsibilities, which raises the general lettings standards in the area.”
Report it If you think something isn’t right you can get free help and advice from the Citizens Advice Consumer Service, at citizensadvice.org.uk/ consumer or 03454 040506.
You must be shown an energy performance certificate, a gas safety certificate, and a record of electrical inspections Your deposit must be placed in a Government approved deposit protection scheme within 30 days.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/fairlettings
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camden.gov.uk/asg 32 | Camden | March 2016
to ab use