Your guide to council services | June 2016
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News in focus Foster Carers Awards Camden’s new mayor
News in brief Regeneration in Gospel Oak
Planning controls for basements Booking tennis courts online Parking charges for diesel vehicles Your views on irresponsible dog ownership
Community Investment Programme Regeneration in Gospel Oak
Local content Twelve weeks to a healthier you
What’s on in your area Camden Summer University Local play schemes
Living well with dementia
Financial challenge Ways we’re saving money Primary Careers Conference
It’s quicker to access council services online than over the phone or in person.
Idil, from Kilburn, has a Camden Account. Over 75,000 residents have already signed up. Activate your online Camden Account today. • Pay and view your council tax bill • Purchase parking permits • Order recycling equipment • Check bin collection days • View planning applications near your home • Book a housing repair • Manage leaseholder service charges • View housing rent • View housing benefit claims and payments
camden.gov.uk/camdenaccount 4 | Camden | June 2016
to the June edition of the Camden magazine and included other councils, parents, teachers, and education experts. The Government has now withdrawn this plan – which goes to show that we can make a difference. We know that there may be other proposed changes in future – such as on school funding – and we will continue to raise our voice on behalf of Camden’s schools.
Councillor Sarah Hayward Leader of the Council
ast month, the people of London elected Sadiq Khan to be their new Mayor of London. The new Mayor has said that he will make tackling the housing crisis in London his top priority. I welcome this commitment and I look forward to working in partnership with him and his team on this and on other issues affecting Camden. Also last month, Camden joined voices from across the country in opposing the Government’s plan to force all state schools to become academies. The opposition to this plan came from many directions,
Given our assessment of the likely impacts in Camden, it is disappointing that the Housing and Planning Act has become law. We do not think the Government has listened to the tenants, housing experts, housing associations and councils like Camden who opposed provisions in the law that we think will make our housing crisis worse. We will continue to explain to you why we oppose measures in the Act, including the proposed levy on the value of our council homes. Sadly, we must also begin thinking about how we assist residents who may be forced to move from Camden as a result. More information can be found on page 11. Investing in housing emerged as a top concern when we asked the residents of Gospel Oak what their priorities were for improving their neighbourhood. Our consultation on plans to regenerate the area received one of the largest responses that we’ve ever had. We’ve already built new
homes in Gospel Oak, as part of our Community Investment Programme, and we’re now looking at ways to improve the area further. You can read more about what residents have told us, and what we plan to do next, on pages 12 and 13. I recently had the pleasure of meeting Camden’s newly elected Youth MP, Esther Joy Boadu and her deputies, and hearing their ideas. Esther was elected in a record turnout – over 40% of the borough’s teenagers voted in the election. I’m delighted to see our enthusiastic young people getting involved in this way, and I will follow Esther’s tenure as our Youth MP with interest. You can see our meeting on page 15. Also for young people, our excellent Summer University launches again this month. The programme offers a host of free courses for 13 to 19 year olds, and is a great opportunity to gain new skills and broaden horizons. Find out more on page 18. There are lots more activities happening throughout the borough for residents of all ages – and we’ve listed some local to you on pages 16 and 17. I hope that you’re able to get out and enjoy everything that Camden has to offer this June. As ever, you can access an online version of this magazine at camden.gov.uk/camden 5
News in focus
EastEnders meets TOWIE at Foster Carers Awards
dedicated long service of between five and twenty years.
© Jenny-Lee Martins
Music on the night was provided by Raff, who has performed alongside the likes of Lily Allen and Ed Sheeran. Local businesses donated free restaurant meals, cinema tickets and a tour of the Arsenal stadium to the foster carers. The annual event, part of national Foster Care Fortnight, is a chance for the Council to celebrate our foster carers’ dedication, as well as to highlight the urgent need for more foster carers to come forward. Anita Dobson said: “I am touched by the hard work and commitment of Camden foster carers. Looking after a child takes real energy and a very warm heart. “Foster carers really do go above and beyond to give children and young people a safe and secure home, making a big difference to their lives. Foster carers bring a sense of family and inclusion to vulnerable children and their dedication shouldn’t go unnoticed.”
Anita Dobson (right) and Ellen Thomas (left) present Camden foster carers Paul and Jane Head with a 10-year long service award
The fantastic work of Camden’s longest-serving foster carers was celebrated at a special awards ceremony in Camden on Friday 13 May, attended by former and current cast members of both EastEnders and The Only Way Is Essex. Actress Anita Dobson, most famous as Angie in EastEnders, Ellen Thomas, currently playing Claudette in EastEnders, and TOWIE’s Lydia Bright with her mum 6 | Camden | June 2016
Debbie Douglas, who has been a foster carer for over two decades, were among the celebrity guests. Actor Joe Swash, best-known as Mickey Miller in EastEnders and whose mum is a foster carer, was also there and spoke about his experience of growing up in a fostering household. A total of 13 awards were presented, recognising and rewarding foster carers for their
Debbie Douglas, a foster carer for 24 years, said: “I truly look back and feel enriched by sharing so many children’s journeys. I know I have made a difference and there is nothing quite as uplifting as that.”
Find out more camden.gov.uk/fostering email@example.com 0800 0281 436
News in focus
Meet the new Mayor of Camden Councillor Nadia Shah is Camden’s new Mayor. She will be promoting awareness of child poverty during her year in office. Councillor Shah, who represents Regent’s Park ward, became the Mayor of Camden at a ceremony on 11 May. A new Mayor is elected annually by Camden’s councillors. The Mayor is officially the borough’s first citizen, and will represent Camden at around 500 engagements during the year, in addition to chairing council meetings. Councillor Shah succeeds outgoing Mayor, Councillor Larraine Revah. Councillor Shah was born in Camden and grew up here. “I went to school in Camden, and I’ve worked here for all of my working life. I am very proud to be part of our borough.” As a teenager she volunteered with young people in the borough, and as an adult she has managed projects helping people with drug issues, run a community centre, and been a social worker. “My work has given me an insight into the struggles which people face in their lives, and the support needed for them to flourish. I have worked with a number of organisations in Camden to improve access
to services for the less able, disadvantaged and vulnerable.” Councillor Shah’s theme for her year as Mayor is child poverty. “I cannot emphasise enough the number of parents I have met who are facing the helplessness and indignity of being unable to provide basic necessities for their children. It is unacceptable for one of the richest countries in the world to be facing these problems.” During her time in office, Councillor Shah will also be raising money for the Anna Freud Centre charity, which works to improve the lives of children and young people with mental health problems. “I am looking forward to the year ahead. I will strive to work with all sections of the community to work together and be inclusive, by bridging cultural, religious and social divides.”
Find out more c amden.gov.uk/mayor
News in brief Basement developments face new planning controls be assessed against our current planning policies. Residents applying to develop basements would need to demonstrate that the development would not harm neighbouring properties, or cause flooding or ground instability. The new controls would also mean that we had greater powers to manage the impact of construction – like noise, vibration, and construction traffic.
We’re proposing new controls to address residents’ concerns over the development of basements. Currently, under national legislation, planning permission is not needed
School of rock Event helps to shape the future for children and young people with special needs. The AutistiX rock group were among the attractions at a recent day-long event at Swiss Cottage School. The Camden-based band, whose members include musicians 8 | Camden | June 2016
for a basement that is built entirely underneath a property and does not extend beyond it – for example underneath the garden or surrounding land. Under the proposed new controls, all basement excavations would need planning permission and would
If the proposal is passed, the changes will come into force in a year’s time.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/planningpolicy
with autism, performed in the undercroft of the school building at the Roadmap for Life event. The day included presentations, workshops and discussions to explore issues facing children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities, including developing life skills, finding work and getting involved in their community. Leaders in the fields of disability and psychiatry attended the event, as well as parents and professionals from across London with an interest in special educational needs and disabilities. Swiss Cottage School, one of the few in the country to be rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted five times in
Camden-based band The AutistiX
a row, caters for up to 232 children with a range of special educational needs including autism.
Find out more s wisscottage.camden.sch.uk
News in brief
A reminder Don’t forget to arrange a postal or proxy vote for the EU referendum if you are going to be away. The referendum takes place on 23 June. If you cannot attend your polling station on the day, you can apply for a postal or proxy vote. You can do this by downloading and completing the form available on the Camden website. The deadline for applying for a postal vote is 8 June and the deadline for appointing a proxy is 15 June.
If you have applied for a postal vote, you will receive your ballot paper by post. If you have not received your ballot paper by Friday 17 June, please contact Camden’s electoral services team.
Find your polling station online Everyone registered and eligible to vote in the EU referendum, unless they have opted to vote by post, will be sent a poll card. This card provides information on where your polling station is located and its opening hours. Don’t worry if you have misplaced your poll card – you can find your polling station using our online polling station finder. You do not need your poll card in order to vote, simply state your name and address at your
assigned polling station and, as long as you have registered and are eligible for this poll, you can cast your vote. Message from Mike Cooke, Counting Officer on behalf of the Electoral Commission.
Find out more camden.gov.uk electionsandvoting camden.gov.uk/pollingstations electoral.services@camden. gov.uk 020 7974 6000
Sign up for planning e-alerts Planning e-alerts are emails sent to you about planning applications in your area. After you’ve signed up, you’ll be alerted by email to any planning activity in your area, such as new applications, decisions and appeals. For example, you can choose to receive alerts on all applications within 500 metres of your property or for a specific council ward. If you already have a Camden Account or a Camden Business Account you can now see current planning applications, decisions
and appeals near you and sign up for alerts through the planning section of your account. Pre-application advice given will also become publicly available on our website once the related application has been submitted. Pre-application advice is based on our planning policies and guidance. It provides applicants with an advance opinion from planning officers as to the likelihood of a
scheme being granted planning permission or what would be needed for a successful application.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/planningalerts camden.gov.uk/planning
News in brief
Book tennis sessions online We’ve introduced a new way to book and pay for tennis courts.
are weekly drop-in sessions where we’ll show you how to use the internet and our online services: Kentish Town Library, 262–266 Kentish Town Road NW5 2AA Tuesdays and Fridays from 2pm to 5pm.
Our online booking system will replace cash payments in parks from 6 June 2016. To book a court or find out more about the new system please visit our website. If you need help using the internet or making online bookings, there
Pancras Square Library, 5 Pancras Square N1C 4AG Wednesdays from 10am to 1pm.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/active firstname.lastname@example.org
We want your views on dogs Tell us how best to tackle irresponsible dog ownership in Camden. Most dog owners are responsible, and take care of their pets. However, a minority of irresponsible dog owners don’t. We’re currently inviting residents to give us their views on how best to tackle irresponsible dog ownership in the borough. We are considering introducing a public spaces protection order (PSPO) to replace the current dog control orders in Camden. PSPOs allow local authorities to restrict behaviour that has a detrimental effect on people in public spaces. Questions we would like your views on include: 10 | Camden | June 2016
• when and where should dogs be on a lead? • how should we deal with owners who do not clear up after their dogs? • should dogs be restricted from entering certain places, such as children’s play, sports and picnic areas? The consultation will be open until Wednesday 3 August at 5pm.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/ dogcontrolconsultation
Parking charges for diesel vehicles We’re encouraging Camden drivers to travel in more sustainable ways. We we want to improve the air quality in Camden. One way we plan to do this is to discourage the use of diesel vehicles in the borough. In spring this year, we increased the parking charge for diesel vehicles for resident permit holders. We also introduced an additional charge for diesel vehicles used by business, doctor and market trader permit holders. We aim to encourage drivers who are based in Camden to switch to more sustainable ways of travelling, or use vehicles that pollute less. We hope that this will help us to improve air quality and reduce the health impact of diesel emissions.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/parking
Housing Act becomes law The Housing and Planning Act has now become law. But we are still waiting for the Government to announce much of the detail. Camden Council shares with many of our residents the ongoing concern about the possible impact of this legislation. On the basis of expert assessment of the law’s proposals, we believe that the Housing and Planning Act could make London’s housing crisis worse.
Increased rents The Act will mean that rents will increase for some council tenants – those with a combined income of over £40,000 a year. The Council has opposed this policy since it was first suggested. The Government argues that these tenants are high earners. But we do not think that a combined household income of £40,000 should be considered high in Camden and it could make
it harder for ordinary working Londoners to remain living in areas like Camden.
Levy on council homes The new law says Camden Council will have to pay a levy to Government each year based on the value of council housing in our area. Initial calculations by the Council indicate that we could be forced to sell up to 300 homes each year in order to pay this tax – which would reduce the amount of council housing at a time when demand is rising
Affordable housing We think that the Housing and Planning Act will make it harder for the Council to deliver genuinely affordable new homes. The Act promotes the building of new starter homes. In Camden, these will cost £450,000, which we
consider will be unaffordable for all but the highest earning first time buyers. Starter homes will not help those most in housing need, which is why we continue to oppose this policy change.
Much of the detail still to come We are still waiting for much of the important detail from Government about how they propose to put these policies into practice. We will continue to listen to residents’ views and explain why we oppose different measures in the Act. We will be working with the new Mayor of London to persuade the Government to make changes that will relieve Camden and London’s housing crisis.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/housingact
Feature Improved playground in Gospel Oak
Regenerating Gospel Oak
Weâ€™re making Gospel Oak a better place to live, work and visit.
12 | Camden | June 2016
Feature Gospel Oak is one of our priority areas for investment. Our regeneration of the area is part of our Community Investment Programme (CIP), a 15-year plan to invest money in schools, homes and community facilities. We’ve already developed the new Wellesley Road Care Home and built new homes at Cherry Court. We want to build on this and make Gospel Oak an even better place to live, work and visit. We’ve recently consulted residents, local businesses and community groups in the Gospel Oak area. The consultation was based on a set of priorities that were agreed with the community in 2013. These priorities included building new homes, making the area safer and more welcoming, improving open spaces, and improving community facilities and opportunities for businesses. We’ve received more than 1,000 comments from residents. These include 927 formal consultation responses, notes from 13 public meetings and 323 conversations with residents and stakeholders. This is one of the largest responses we’ve had to a consultation and we’re pleased so many people got involved.
What residents told us • Most people agreed with the seven priorities set out in the consultation. The top three were: improving Queen’s Crescent, investing in housing, and community safety. • The importance and value youth and sports provision has for the community came through strongly. The top three priorities for open spaces were: children’s play, multi-use games areas and quiet areas for sitting. • Nearly half of the respondents liked the idea of a partnership approach that provides more affordable housing. Some of the areas identified for potential new housing included Gospel Oak Open Space, Ashdown Crescent, Weedington South and Wendling Estate. • Sixty per cent of respondents wanted to see the paving and shopfronts improved on Queen’s Crescent. We got many comments on improving the quality and variety of the Queen’s Crescent shops and market stalls. • Most respondents believed better use could be made of the library as a community resource. • Gospel Oak open space came out as the top site for new housing development but is also well regarded as an open space and is the community’s top priority for improvement. • Improving links to Kentish Town (for example, via Arctic Street) was seen as important for more than half of the respondents. • There was a strong response from the Muslim community, whose main priority was for more worship facilities to cater for local needs. • Respondents also suggested ideas to improve community safety, which included better lighting, more police, community officers and private security, and increased CCTV. People also thought more activity on the street would make them feel safer. A full independent report on the consultation, including a summary of the main findings, is on our website.
Next steps Over the coming months we’ll be developing a plan which can be used to bring about change in the Gospel Oak area. The plan will be based on the seven agreed priorities, and ensure that individual projects benefit the area and its communities. We will then consult the local community on our plan before going ahead with projects.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/gospeloak email@example.com
Improving living standards for private tenants make sure they are meeting their legal duties, and we regularly visit properties to ensure they are safe and meet required standards. We encourage landlords of all types of property to join the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme (LLAS). LLAS was founded in Camden and has more than 13,000 accredited landlords across London. LLAS offers training and professional development for landlords, and members adhere to a code of conduct. In addition, LLAS accredited private landlords are eligible for a discount on the licence for any HMO properties in Camden that they own, and where they are the proposed licence holder.
Around 20,000 residents privately rent shared housing in Camden. By making sure landlords have a licence, weâ€™re improving standards and giving tenants stronger rights to challenge poor conditions. Our landlord licensing scheme started in November last year and applies to house or flat shares, student homes, bedsits and some buildings converted into flats â€“ also known as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). Landlords
14 | Camden | June 2016
who rent out any HMO in Camden must have a licence or risk prosecution, an unlimited fine and paying a rent refund. Weâ€™re working with private landlords across Camden to
To check if your property is an HMO and to apply for a licence please visit our website, or call us for more information.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/hmolicensing londonlandlords.org.uk 020 7974 5969
Local news Local news and getting out and about in King’s Cross, Bloomsbury, Holborn and Covent Garden this summer
Camden student takes on her new role as Youth MP Camden sixth-former Esther Joy Boadu, 17, has taken up her new role as the borough’s Youth MP – and one of her first meetings was with the Leader of the Council. Esther and her Deputy Youth MPs Eden Lunghy, 17, and Saba Asif, 15, met Councillor Sarah Hayward at Camden town hall, in King’s Cross, to discuss their ideas for improving services foryoung people. Councillor Hayward hosted the meeting for the newly elected young people, to hear their proposals for introducing homework clubs in libraries, combating racism and protecting youth services from future funding cuts.
Youth MP Esther (second from left) with Councillor Hayward and deputies Eden (left) and Saba (right)
Also joining the discussion were senior Camden Councillors Patricia Callaghan and Jenny Headlam-Wells. Esther, a volunteer army cadet as well as a sixth-former at Haverstock School, was elected with a record overall turnout of over 40% of the borough’s 13 to 19 year-olds and she polled a total of 1,045 votes. She said: “It’s an honour and a privilege to be elected to represent young people in Camden and get everyone’s voices heard. I’d like to say a big thank you to staff at the 213 Haverstock Detachment Army Cadets and Haverstock School for all their help and support over the years. I am very grateful.”
The Youth MP and Deputy Youth MPs are elected for two years as the voice for young people in Camden. They will also put forward the views and interests of local young people through the UK Youth Parliament. Councillor Hayward said: “I really enjoyed meeting these brilliant young women who are determined to make a difference as Camden’s Youth MP and deputies.” The Youth MP election was run by Camden’s youth support service at secondary schools and youth projects across the borough.
Find out more: camden.gov.uk/youthcouncil
What’s on This month, we’re warming up for Camden’s summer programme. To reflect the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics, as well as the São Paulo Art Biennal, we’ve taken the theme ‘sentido’ – Portuguese for
‘senses’. With warm weather and long days, there’s more time to be out and about, discovering all the sights, sounds, tastes and scents that Camden has to offer.
Little Green Fingers children’s gardening
Just For Laughs London
Gardening and environmental activities for children under five, mums, dads and carers. Activities range from a ladybird hunt to planting pumpkins and courgettes and making a wildlife-friendly pond. Mondays, 11am to 1pm at the Calthorpe Project, 258–274 Gray’s Inn Road WC1X 8LH. £1.50.
Find out more: calthorpeproject.org.uk 020 7837 8019
Visit lovecamden.org to see even more events and activities and click on the ‘Camden Sentido’ tab for information about the summer programme.
This brand new comedy festival is being organised by the creators of the world’s largest comedy festival, Just For Laughs, held each year in Montreal. Russell Square will host a daily festival of street food, bar and cafe areas from 14 to 24 July. The Paradiso Spiegeltent, The Mix Studio, Logan Hall and the Camden Centre will be holding ticketed events daily.
Find out more: justforlaughslondon.com
Visit a garden This year’s Open Garden Squares weekend is 18 to 19 June and over 200 London gardens are taking part, including more than 20 in Camden, such as Bedford Square and the Calthorpe Project Community Garden. Many of the participating gardens are not normally open to the public, so this is a great opportunity to see them. The £12 ticket gives you access to all of them.
Find out more: opensquares.org 16 | Camden | May June2016 2016
Queen Square Fair Come and enjoy an exciting afternoon at the fair, with live music, dancing, gym displays, singing, children’s activities and a wide variety of stalls selling bric-a-brac, food, crafts and a lot more besides. 2 July, 12 to 5pm.
Find out more: 020 7269 6088
Bloomsbury Bake Off Scones, cookies, chocolate muffins and birthday cupcakes are just some of the sweet treats that seven to eleven year-olds attending the bake-off bake each week. Children learn how to follow recipes and measure ingredients in a fun environment and take something home to enjoy. £2.50 per session. Thursdays at 4.15pm at Millman Street Resource Centre, 50 Millman Street WC1N 3EW.
Find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7405 2370 option 3 (Thursdays and Fridays)
Camden Summer University is back Camden Summer University offers young people aged 13 to 19 free courses hosted by some of London’s biggest names. You could study drama at RADA, drawing at Central Saint Martins, or have the films you make screened at the British Museum, all for free. And Camden Summer University offers you courses on your doorstep. Many of the courses are accredited, which means that as well as having a great time you’ll have something to put on your CV when applying for work or university. Courses fill up fast, so visit the website now to see which you might want to sign up for before bookings go live on 15 June. Camden Summer University, which runs from 25 July to 26 August
18 | Camden | June 2016
2016, has nearly 60 courses on offer, including: • filmmaking, animation, painting and pottery • photography, journalism and fashion • drama, dance and music • gym training and football • motorcycle mechanics and off-road riding. Councillor Georgia Gould, Cabinet Member for Young People, Adults and Health, said: “Despite government funding cuts, Camden still offers one of the country’s best summer youth programmes and I hope as many young people as possible will take advantage of the fantastic free courses on offer.”
Find out more: camden.gov.uk/ summeruniversity 020 7619 3903
Summer play schemes for four to thirteen year-olds Holiday play schemes in Camden are run by community organisations, including several which are funded by the Council. These include activities for children with varying needs. Messy play is encouraged so children should wear comfortable clothes, not their best outfits. Try your local play scheme at Coram’s Fields, 93 Guilford Street WC1N 1DN.
Find out more: camden.gov.uk/play
A modern library service Camdenâ€™s Cabinet has agreed to keep all of our libraries open, despite cuts to the service. We had a huge challenge on our hands: to reduce the library service budget by ÂŁ800,000. With your help we were able to find a solution that will keep all libraries open, with broadly the same opening hours. We will be investing the money we do have in delivering a modern library service which will work for both existing and future customers.
Introducing open access technology From September this year we are introducing technology which will allow residents to get into some of our libraries using their library card during off-peak hours. At these times there will be a reduced number of staff available. Some library branches will be closed temporarily over the summer, so that we can install the new technology and also redecorate, renovate and make general improvements to library buildings and furniture. We will stagger these temporary library closures to ensure that there is an open library nearby, and customers will be told about the closures in advance. A timetable of
the temporary closures will also be available on our website. The new technology will allow customers to use the vast majority of library services without needing help from staff. Weâ€™ll be encouraging customers to take responsibility for issuing books themselves, printing and using other library services, where possible. Library staff will be on hand at busier times to support people who are less able to use the new open access service.
Library stock In order to keep all libraries open, we have had to make savings in other areas. As a result there has been a reduction in our library stock budget and we will no longer
provide some of the less popular magazines and newspapers. However, the online resource, PressReader, has digital versions of hundreds of newspapers which customers can read free of charge.
Donations We are happy to accept book donations at all library branches, subject to our stock policy. Please speak to a member of our library staff if you would like to make a book donation.
Find out more c amden.gov.uk/futurelibraries p ressreader.com 19
Rethinking the nine to five
Meet mum-of-one Emma, who works for us on a flexible basis as a financial adviser – helping her to strike the balance between work and family life.
As a council we’re committed to ensuring that every job we recruit to is available on a flexible basis, unless there’s a good business reason why not – and we’re encouraging other local employers to do the same.
flexible hours and remote working will help us to tackle some of our biggest longstanding problems – such as child poverty and family worklessness.
Our commitment to flexibility means that we benefit from the skills and experience of a wider group of individuals – who may not have felt able to apply for full time work with us.
Emma joined us as a financial adviser in October 2015. She works 18 hours a week, split over three days.
We believe that giving employees options like part time working, 20 | Camden | June 2016
The right balance
“There are three of us with the same role – one working full time and two working part time,” says Emma. “We each support
individual projects, but work as one team. It works really well.” After having her daughter in 2012, Emma returned to work for a large private company four days a week. Three years later, Emma found she wanted to spend more time with her family and reduce her commute – so she started looking for a job closer to home, with flexible working hours. “I was job hunting for six months in total. My role at Camden was one of only two suitable jobs I saw advertised on a flexible basis,” says Emma. “That’s a huge issue. I have a strong background and solid experience – it simply shouldn’t have been the case that only two jobs were suitable for me to apply for in that time. “I’m sure there are countless men and women like me who are in a similar predicament right now.”
Making an impact Of all jobs advertised in the UK, just 8.7% mention flexible working options. “Having the role advertised as flexible made the world of difference throughout the application process,” says Emma. “I felt so relaxed discussing the potential options and never felt uncomfortable asking questions. “Everyone has been so openminded to different working
arrangements. It’s embedded in the culture of the Council – and that has a really positive impact on your day-to-day life.”
Maximising opportunities The Timewise Foundation is a community interest company that supports the growth of flexible hiring across the country. We became the first Timewise council in the country in March 2014 – formalising our pledge to help our employees to better balance work and family life and encouraging our partners, suppliers and contractors to do the same. Our Timewise status has been renewed each year since then – acknowledging our continued progress in increasing flexible working practices across the borough. “Being open-minded to flexible working and what it can offer, both for the business and the employee, really does get the best results,” says Emma. “I know so many talented people who would love more flexibility in their roles. It’s fantastic that Timewise and Camden are taking action to increase the number of flexible roles to meet that demand.”
Hire Me My Way Last month Timewise launched their Hire Me My Way campaign – a national initiative to unlock one
million quality job vacancies to part time and flexible working. We’re proud to be one of the employers supporting this campaign. The campaign website showcases a range of employers who have made a firm commitment to flexible hiring, and offers free career advice for job seekers – whether you’re looking for a flexible role, or seeking internal promotion while working part time or flexibly. “Now I’m at home two days a week and work shorter days too,” says Emma. “I get to pick my daughter up from nursery, and take her to ballet and swimming classes. We spend much more time together – so she’s happier, and so am I. “Having the right work-life balance means I come to work motivated and I don’t have to worry about home while I’m here. My friends say I’m really lucky, and I am.”
Find out more hirememyway.org.uk hirememyway @hirememyway
Rebalance: 12 week Want to lose weight and get fit? Apply for our free 12-week programme today. If you are concerned about your weight and feel ready to make a change, you may be eligible for Rebalance, our 12-week weight and lifestyle programme.
What is Rebalance? Rebalance is a free programme that aims to help you lose weight, grow in confidence and take control of your lifestyle. It includes a programme of indoor and outdoor exercise classes, as well as one-to-one and group advice about your diet and nutrition. It’s held at a range of local 22 | Camden | June 2016
leisure and community centres across Camden and Islington.
At the end of the 12-week course you can receive nine months of free support to help you stick to your new lifestyle, including monthly catch-up sessions and motivational texts. You will also be eligible for more than 50% off gym membership at any GLL leisure centre in Camden or Islington. Three participants from our recent similar programme share the positive impact it has had on their lives:
Alan Alan was referred by his GP. “I had been out of regular work for a long time due to caring for my father, and had become very overweight,” he says.
“I thoroughly enjoyed every session. From the beginning I decided to focus on increasing my physical activity. I made an effort to walk to the programme every week, which motivated me even more for the classes. I used to struggle to swim 20 lengths and now I can manage 40 in one go.”
Dorothe Dorothe was referred to the programme after receiving a free NHS health check at a local community fair. “I had been trying to get to a healthy weight since the birth of my children. I have never managed to lose so much weight with any other programme,” she says. “I loved the clear and effective
ks to a healthier you strategies and motivational support from the tutor. I was coached step-by-step to form life-changing new habits and I now have a much healthier lifestyle and make better food choices.”
“Sessions are held in a friendly, non-intimidating environment with people from all walks of life who are interested in improving their health.”
Claudine Claudine feels much healthier and has more energy since participating in the programme. “I liked the fact that the classes were in manageable segments rather than trying to cover everything at once. I loved the group and looked forward to seeing them every week.”
“I now have the knowledge and tools to make better choices, not just for me, but for my family. My husband has lost a lot of weight too. It has had a domino effect.”
“I would definitely recommend the programme. It gives you the tools you need to make the changes you want in your life. It has the power to change your relationship with food and exercise and help you to be a healthier, slimmer and more active person.”
How do I sign up? Visit our website to find out whether you are eligible for Rebalance, and to apply.
Find out more c amden.gov.uk/rebalance email@example.com 020 7974 1741
Feature Kate and Lily - dementia friends
We want Camden to be a place where everyone can live well, and we have a range of services to support people living with dementia.
We have a growing population of older residents in Camden and an increasing number of people who are living with dementia. We want to make sure these people can stay as independent and active as possible. We have lots of services and other support for people living with dementia, and their families and carers.
Practical and emotional support Sally* was diagnosed with an advanced stage of dementia in March 2015. Her daughter contacted the dementia adviser service asking for support and advice. 24 | Camden | June 2016
ÂŠ Jo Bartlett-Hubbard
Living well with dementia A dementia adviser met with the family to listen to their concerns and help them get support for Sally and themselves. Sally was visited in her home and provided with emotional support and practical advice. Her family were directed towards online learning for carers, information and advice about benefits, and help with setting up lasting power of attorney. Sallyâ€™s husband, who was experiencing a lot of stress, was referred for counselling. Peter Gill, the dementia adviser service coordinator, at Age UK Camden, says, â€œEvery case is different. Sometimes it is
Feature “I like Kate coming to visit me,” says Lily. “She’s nice and we have such a laugh. It’s good to have someone keep an eye on me.”
things in perspective and reminds me what’s important in life.”
Become a befriender If you are interested in becoming a volunteer befriender, please email Age UK at the address opposite.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/dementiahelp v olunteer@ageukcamden. org.uk
*Name changed to preserve anonymity
practical help that is needed and in other cases it is emotional support. It is our job to advise and direct people, families and carers towards the support that is most helpful for them.”
Social contact Lily is a very sociable person and was missing meeting people, having previously worked as a tea lady at the British Medical Association. Her daughter got in touch with the befriending service at Age UK Camden and Lily was matched with a volunteer befriender called Kate, who now comes to visit her every week. “I like Kate coming to visit me,” says Lily. “She’s nice and we have such a laugh. It’s good to have someone keep an eye on me.” “As someone who doesn’t live around the corner,” says Lily’s daughter, Brenda, “it’s really reassuring for me to know that in between my visits there is someone else visiting Mum for a cup of tea and a chat.” Lily’s befriender, Kate, says she gains as much from the experience as Lily does. “It makes my week going to see Lily,” she says. “We’re very similar characters and we always have something to talk about. I find it helps me to put
Help for people with dementia Camden memory service 020 3317 6700 Advice and support for people who are worried about their memory. Includes an assessment and potential treatment options after an initial discussion with a GP. Great Camden Minds 020 7428 8950 A group for people with dementia, set up so they can have a say in services that affect them, reduce the stigma of dementia and get support from people in the same situation. Day centres camden.gov.uk/dementiahelp Specialist day centres which provide a range of activities for people with dementia in a stimulating and social environment. Dementia cafes 020 7561 4820 Informal and friendly places for people with dementia, family members and carers to meet regularly and talk about living
with dementia. Provides the chance to ask questions of professionals, learn from the experiences of others and get information about dementia, local services and practical tips about living well with dementia. Dementia adviser service 020 3317 6655 A central point of contact for people in the early stages of dementia and their families and carers. Provides information, advice, support, help with local services and signposting to other services. Delivered by Age UK Camden. Dementia befriending service 020 7239 0400 Works with trained volunteer befrienders who visit socially isolated older people with dementia or memory impairment. Volunteers are matched with people they are likely to have the most in common with and introduced slowly before being left to meet up independently. Delivered by Age UK Camden.
Financial challenge: making a difference Cuts to our funding from Government mean that we have a difficult task â€“ to carry on providing important services with less money. Weâ€™ve already made ÂŁ123 million of budget reductions between 2010/11 and 2015/16. Our innovative savings programme prioritises initiatives that protect frontline services and make the most difference, rather than reducing budgets arbitrarily across the board. These pages provide updates on some of the key decisions connected to our financial challenge.
26 | Camden | June 2016
Community safety review: public consultation We need to reduce the money we spend on community safety and crime reduction services by 25%. This is part of a package of proposals developed following consultation with residents to meet our tough financial challenge. This reduction will mean that we cannot continue to deliver services in the same way and we need to rethink the way we provide community safety services. We are proposing to prioritise the use of these reduced resources in areas where we can make the greatest
difference, by providing support and interventions for those who are most vulnerable and at the highest risk of harm in our communities, for example from domestic violence. We are proposing these changes because we want to make sure that our funding continues to have a positive impact on the most vulnerable people in our community. Get involved: The community safety service review consultation is open until Tuesday 12 July at 5pm. We would like to hear your views.
Find out more: c amden.gov.uk/ communitysafetyreview 020 7974 2915
Feature Parks unlocking pilot to run until 26 June 2016 We are considering how we can reduce the cost of parks and grounds maintenance. We currently pay a contractor to open and lock the gates of our council-managed parks manually each day, and we think this money could be better spent on providing essential frontline services. In April 2017 our current contract for parks and grounds maintenance will come to an end, and as part of planning the new contract we have been exploring a new approach to when parks are locked. We ran an initial trial of keeping parks unlocked in December 2015. This small trial suggested that, when properly managed, we can prevent an increase in out-of-hours antisocial behaviour. Now that we are coming into the summer months when the parks are open for longer and have the most visitors, we are running a second trial of keeping parks across the borough unlocked. The pilot began on 30 May 2016 and will run until 26 June 2016.
Find out more c amden.gov.uk/parksandopenspaces
Changes to public toilets Earlier this year you commented on our proposed changes to public toilets. Changes are needed in order to reduce the money we spend on public toilets by £260,000 a year. In line with your feedback, we are looking at ways to keep all attended public toilets open at no cost to the Council. We are now working with external suppliers, residents, community groups and businesses on the following possibilities: • a new service for all attended toilet sites, which could include shared or mobile cleaning crews, ‘pay to use’ options, advertising and sponsorship • the closure of all automatic public conveniences at the end of their current contract in March 2017, and looking at how we can replace some of these facilities • introducing our community toilet scheme to other areas of the borough. A new public toilets service is due to be up and running in autumn 2016. Until then, all our toilets will stay open.
Find out more c amden.gov.uk/publictoilets
Aiming high More than 200 pupils enjoyed a day of inspirational speakers and fun workshops during the borough’s third Primary Careers Conference. Pupils from seventeen Camden primary schools and nine Islington primary schools came to the event at the British Library, where they were encouraged to think about future careers, learn about job skills and raise their aspirations.
Crafts Council workshop
Among the high-profile speakers who helped to inspire the nine and ten year-olds was Richard Jacques, a composer of music for the hit Sonic the Hedgehog video games. He said: “I think I have the coolest job in the world. Gaming is now a really positive career, whether you are interested in music, art and design or coding.” Ken Lim, digital development manager for The Guardian, urged the children to “become technology creatives and help build the future”, while Kenneth Tharp OBE, chief executive of The Place dance venue in King’s Cross, advised pupils to “be curious, be adventurous and work really, really hard”. Other high-profile organisations in attendance included the Royal Veterinary College, Wellcome Trust, Crafts Council, House of Illustration and the Francis Crick Institute,
28 | Camden | June 2016
many of which ran activities and workshops on the day. The event was organised by the Knowledge Quarter, in partnership with Netley Primary School. In addition to inspiring the borough’s children, the event aims to strengthen links between schools and local businesses. Bavaani Nanthabalan, executive headteacher of Netley and Torriano Primary Schools, said: “This year’s collaboration with the Knowledge Quarter gave children from Camden and Islington schools access to new knowledge about dynamic and exciting careers right on their doorstep.” The Knowledge Quarter is a partnership of 66 academic, cultural, research, scientific and media organisations located within a one-mile radius of King’s Cross, Euston Road and Bloomsbury.
Find out more knowledgequarter.london
Architecture awards for two Camden schools Two recently opened Camden school buildings are among the 2016 winners of the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) London architecture awards. Regent High School’s new building, designed by Walters & Cohen and built by our contractors BAM, is among this year’s 36 RIBA regional winners and also won a special RIBA London award for sustainability. Headteacher Rosemary Leeke said: “We are thrilled that our new building has won one of the prestigious RIBA London regional
prizes and delighted that our architects, Walters & Cohen, have been acknowledged for their vision and dedication in creating our stunning new school.” Among the other London award winners is the Plimsoll Building, an innovative mixed housing development which also houses the new Frank Barnes School for
Deaf Children and King’s Cross Academy primary school. The new co-located schools and housing were built by developers Argent and Carillion construction, and were jointly designed by architects David Morley and Weedon, as part of a partnership between Argent and Camden Council.
Find out more architecture.com/awards
Regent High School’s award-winning building
HS2: Update on key agreements
The proposed High Speed 2 (HS2) rail link would cause significant disruption in Camden. HS2 Ltd have begun delivering over 100 measures that will help to mitigate the impact that HS2 will have on Camden residents if it goes ahead. We are continuing to hold HS2 Ltd to account on delivering the key agreements, known as assurances, that we secured in December. 30 | Camden | June 2016
Transporting materials by rail HS2 Ltd agreed to work with the Council, Transport for London and the Greater London Authority to produce a plan to maximise the use of rail to move excavation and construction materials. This would reduce the number of lorries on our roads – improving air quality, relieving impacts on local residential areas and protecting pedestrians’ and cyclists’ safety. Since February work has been underway to consider different options to achieve this. In May HS2 Ltd held events to find out the views of local residents on the final
options. HS2 Ltd has committed to including these views in the plan when it is submitted to the Euston Station Strategic Redevelopment Board. The plan is currently due to be submitted to this board in June.
Air quality We have engaged with HS2 Ltd and Transport for London on a study to minimise the impact that the remaining construction traffic will have on Camden’s air quality. With community input we have negotiated with HS2 Ltd to develop a list of locations where they will undertake preconstruction monitoring of air
Taking our case to the House of Lords
concerns that the increased bridge height would have a negative impact on residents living in the surrounding area, particularly at Ampthill Estate. HS2 Ltd will discuss progress on the study with residents in the summer. We continue to push HS2 Ltd to ensure the Euston Design Panel reviews the options for the bridge as early as possible.
Reducing the impact on homes
Hampstead Road Bridge
HS2 Ltd has begun work on delivering this key assurance to do more to manage the impacts of construction on all residential properties significantly impacted by HS2 in Camden. They have written to 1,300 of the homes around Euston that they consider will qualify for noise insulation. This represents an increase of almost 300 homes in addition to those HS2 Ltd originally identified in their Environmental Statement. The Council’s long-held view is that the impacts of HS2 construction would be greater than HS2 Ltd initially reported.
Camden Council and Transport for London have been holding HS2 Ltd to account on its work to assess design options for minimising the height increase of Hampstead Road Bridge needed as a result of HS2 works. We have raised
HS2 Ltd has committed to appointing an independent assessor to survey a representative sample of homes to assess the impacts of HS2 construction. More information about this study will be provided over the summer.
quality. In May HS2 Ltd hosted engagement events to present options to residents. Monitoring at the locations agreed with residents is due to start in summer 2016. Data collected will help the Council to identify areas where HS2 Ltd will need to take action to minimise air quality impacts.
Camden Council remains opposed to HS2 because of the decades of disruption it will bring to Camden. Our petition to the House of Lords in April covers issues including unfair compensation, HS2 Ltd’s poor community engagement and the need for a full redevelopment of the Euston mainline station. Our House of Lords petition also enables the Council to appear before the Select Committee if the outcome of the studies on Hampstead Road Bridge, materials by rail or air quality fail to address our original petition’s concerns. Over 70 Camden residents and businesses submitted a petition to the House of Lords HS2 Hybrid Bill Select Committee, which will be chaired by Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe.
National Temperance Hospital In May, HS2 Ltd held engagement events on its proposal to start demolishing the National Temperance Hospital under permitted development legislation in advance of the HS2 Bill becoming law.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/hs2 firstname.lastname@example.org
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32 | Camden | June 2016