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Camden Camden this month

Your guide to council services | August 2017 |

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Improving fire safety for residents @camdentalking

Children staying in temporary accommodation during the evacuation of the Chalcots Estate enjoyed learning circus skills on 1 and 2 July with Splat Entertainment at Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre. Read more about how the community supported residents on page 8.

The Camden magazine is distributed free to all homes in Camden to give you information about our services. It costs 15 pence a copy to produce, and is printed on paper that is 50% recycled and 50% from sustainable sources. Cover image: Sam Byers


Published by Camden Council Editorial, advertising and distribution: Communications team, Camden Council, Camden Town Hall, Judd Street WC1H 9JE 020 7974 5717 Distribution from 1 August 2017

You can receive your copy of the Camden magazine in large print, on audio tape or in another language by phoning 020 7974 5717. 2

Camden this month Film director Gurinder Chadha spoke at a launch event for the STEAM Commission report, which sets out plans to help Camden young people benefit from the global organisations based in our borough.


22 Beginning with the Leader of the Council, Councillor Georgia Gould’s message, you can read all about the Chalcots evacuation, information about the work that has taken place at Chalcots since, Page and our fire safety plans for the future.




It’s time to start thinking about what secondary school you want your child to attend. Learn more about schools at upcoming open events.

We’ve installed new play equipment and plants to attract wildlife at some of our parks as part of a fund for improving our green spaces.





Our summer recycling tips offer ways to get rid of old garden furniture or clothes you’re replacing for the sunny season.



Introduction from the Leader of the Council 4

Summer activities for the whole family 14 Girls Get Moving week 16 Apprenticeships on offer in Camden 20 Grants for youth projects 21 New strategy for Camden charities 23 Recycling tips for summer 24 Ask Jenny: your recycling questions answered 25 Keeping libraries open 27 Edith Neville school rebuild begins 30 My Camden - Peter Lush, Training Link director 31

News Chalcots response Swim for free in Camden Free nursery education Apply for secondary school STEAM: supporting our young people Improvements to parks Camden Business Awards Camden’s new Local Plan Adult social care decisions

6 17 18 19 22 26 28 28 29


Welcome to the August edition of Camden magazine The unimaginable tragedy of Grenfell has changed everything. Here in Camden it set in motion a hard look at our own tower blocks. This resulted in the difficult decision to evacuate 3,000 Chalcots estate residents so that vital works could be carried out to ensure the safety of the blocks. Every possible option was considered to avoid the evacuation but the fire brigade were clear that there was no alternative so we had to proceed to keep our residents safe.

It has been a very difficult month, but the borough pulled together in the most amazing way. I want to express my deepest thanks to everyone involved in the operation, especially Chalcots residents who have shown extraordinary resilience and patience. I would also very much like to offer a warm thank you to ward councillors. As I have said to Councillor Claire-Louise Leyland, thank you for standing with us and reassuring residents. Growing up in Camden, you’ll often hear me talk about how special Camden is. When your

community is tested the way ours has been in recent weeks, you see what it is really made of and I am very proud of how the people of Camden have come together. The events over these past weeks have raised huge questions about fire regulations and fire safety. I want to reassure you that no one is more determined to get answers to these questions than me. I never want residents to have to go through something like this again and I’ll be making sure that every single issue raised is reviewed independently and reported transparently. In time, we will look back, take stock and closely examine everything that has happened, from decisions made over the years, to the Chalcots evacuation, and the ongoing works to raise fire safety standards in all our tower blocks. There have also clearly been national systemic issues, and we stand ready to add Camden’s evidence to a national conversation.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Georgia Gould, at Chalcots Estate. Read about the new fire safety measures at Chalcots on page 12.


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We’re committed to leading a new era in resident safety in Camden and this is well under way. The recruitment process for a new director responsible



for resident safety has started and we’ll carry out enhanced fire safety checks on every councilowned tower block, and publish fire risk assessments. Together, with the support and insight of our tenants and the fire service, our new Fire Safety Panel will seek to identify and rectify fire safety concerns. We will publish all future fire risk assessments and adopt the latest guidance for safety in tower blocks. Residents of our estates have played a huge role in identifying areas of concern, but they’ve also shown a strong willingness to be a part of the solution. In Camden, we have strong partnerships with our citizens. Moving forward, that relationship will be even stronger. You can read more about this on page 13.

During the evacuation of the Chalcots Estate, businesses, and voluntary and community partners stood side-by-side with council staff to support residents. There were also countless individual acts of kindness. We are a community where we look out for each other. Camden truly lived up to its motto: not for self but for all. You can read some of these stories beginning on page 8. The second half of this magazine returns readers to the news and information we usually bring you each month, starting with our Summer Programme.

Community events are among the ways we come together in Camden, and each summer there are many events and activities for all ages and interests in the borough. Many are free or low cost and tailored for children and young people during the school holidays. Last month, you would have received Camden’s Summer Programme at your door – it is bursting Councillor Abdul Hai, Abdul Karim from Maharani with information Camden, Leader of the Council, Councillor Georgia about what you Gould, and Sabir Karim from Namaaste Kitchen at the Eid celebration at Swiss Cottage Community can do locally this Centre. Read more on page 10. summer.

If you haven’t already, get involved during the month of August. Read more beginning on page 14. With September just around the corner, it’s time to think about our young people returning to school. On page 19 you’ll find details of a range of events where you can learn about our schools. For those thinking about their first steps outside of the classroom and into the world of work, read about our apprenticeships on page 20. You can also read about the Young Camden Foundation grants (page 21), support for the community and voluntary sector (page 23), improvements to our parks (page 26) and the latest on our Community Investment Programme (page 30). This magazine highlights how special Camden is, both in difficult times and in ordinary times. I hope you are enjoying summer in Camden.

Councillor Georgia Gould Leader of the Council


Chalcots response

Chalcots residents return We have been working 24 hours a day to deliver fire safety works to get Chalcots residents back into their homes. As soon as a decision was made that residents from Dorney, Bray, Burnham and Taplow blocks on the Chalcots Estate could no longer stay in their homes, we began to work to address the fire safety issues identified by the London Fire Brigade that led to the evacuation. Hundreds of council staff, contractors and partners from the London Fire Brigade and other local authorities have worked around the clock to get the job done as quickly as possible. A specialist team has been working on the estate to install new fire boarding, upgrade entrance doors and carry out fire safety improvements in stairwells and communal areas. The safety of our residents is our number one priority and we did not ask residents to return home until our own building control officers, independent building control officers and the London Fire Brigade were confident it was absolutely safe to do so. At the time of going to press, essential works had been carried out and residents had

begun to return home on a floorby-floor basis, relocating from the ground floor up. This happened once the London Fire Brigade and independent building control officers from Redbridge, Lambeth and Westminster had confirmed and signed off the quality of improvement works, and the London Fire Brigade had visited the Chalcots Estate to agree that the list of works identified in the four blocks had been completed as they had advised. While urgent works were carried out quickly to ensure residents were safe to return to their homes, we are committed to going over and above these fire safety improvements to enhance safety measures. Residents received fire blankets when they returned home, and our fire wardens service continue patrols of the estates. We will carry out a further programme to replace doors to achieve a higher standard of safety, and we’ve been arranging to visit residents’ homes to test white goods and electrical appliances to make sure they are safe.

Turn to pages 12 and 13 for more information about the works at Chalcots and our fire safety plans for other estates in the borough


Find out more




Being a voice for tenants and residents The five Chalcots tenants and residents associations (TRAs) played a pivotal role in supporting residents during the evacuation and return, and assisting with fire safety works. Each Chalcots Estate block (Blashford, Bray, Burnham, Dorney and Taplow) have individual TRAs, and the Council would like to thank all members of these TRAs for their support for residents during the evacuation and return home, and ongoing into the future. TRAs are the official voice of tenants and residents living in the properties, and important sources of information, help and advice. They are also a vital link to council staff and councillors. The past month at Chalcots has very clearly showed the importance and value of local TRAs.

Bob O’Toole, Burnham’s TRA chair, spoke about the role the TRAs played during the evacuations. “It’s our job to get information and pass it on to residents. We have been at Chalcots every day since the evacuations. A lot of people come to us if they have problems. We are working hard to help residents.” Chalcots TRA members also acted as contacts for the fire brigade and contractors during works. Their involvement is ongoing as we raise safety standards even further at the blocks.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Georgia Gould, meeting with Chalcots’ TRA members.

Chalcots residents tell their stories Catherine Liddie and her son Joseph Liddie Catherine and Joseph were among the first residents to move back to Burnham block on 12 July. Catherine said: “We are very happy to be back. [Joseph] was amazing looking after me and we really supported each other well.” Joseph added: “I can’t tell you what a relief it is to come home. If I wasn’t asthmatic I would have run back here as soon as we got the news.”

Marie Walsh Marie lives with her brother in Burnham. They had just returned from a holiday in Torquay on the night of the evacuation. She said council staff got her a place in a hotel quickly. “They have been very helpful and are doing their best, but I’m looking forward to moving back into our flat. I can’t wait to have a bit of home-cooked food.”


Chalcots response

Camden at its best Voluntary and community groups, and businesses went above and beyond to meet the challenge of this unprecedented event. Many businesses, voluntary and community groups, and individuals emerged as an invaluable support to Chalcots residents in the immediate days and weeks after the evacuation. The fast, willing and professional response of so many different groups made a real difference to many residents during the evacuation. Leader of the Council, Councillor Georgia Gould, said: “We were inundated with offers of support and we are very grateful for everyone who has been involved. We would like to

thank all of the people and organisations that helped to support Chalcots Estate residents.” These pages share just a few of the countless stories about how groups got involved. Support for older residents Kilburn Older Voices Exchange (KOVE) ran activities for older residents, and Age UK visited many residents to check on their wellbeing and offer practical support. Members of these groups worked weekends to make sure elderly residents were supported. Gary Jones, chief executive of Age UK Camden, said:

“It was uplifting that staff and volunteers from many local community organisations rallied round to help the Chalcots residents with food, advice and practical help. This was Camden at its best.” A network of practical support Volunteer Centre Camden brought together networks of volunteers from across the borough. This ranged from helping with housing, providing food and giving out donations of practical items, such as toiletries and nappies. They also joined forces with the council to help at Swiss

Pets and their people – staying together Many Chalcots residents were naturally concerned for their pets during the evacuation, but most people were able to stay in accommodation with their pets at hotels, or make arrangements with family or friends. Joe Clarke, senior animal welfare officer with Islington Council, assisted with the effort and praised the collaboration. He said: “Overall, everything went very well. The Britannia Hotel was


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particularly accommodating, and Pets at Home Camden donated bedding, toys and food. We had many offers to temporarily accommodate pets, but they weren’t needed.”

to keep an eye on the cats. My mum is in one room with the cats and my sister and I are in another room together. It’s a nice hotel and the staff here are really great.”

Iola McCarogher, 27, from Dorney block stayed at the Britannia in July with her mum Diane, sister Shasa, 30, and two black and white cats, Pixie and Prunes. She said: “It was really important for us to be together and to be able

Evacuated pets included 20 dogs, 10 cats, 4 fish tanks, 2 terrapin tanks, 4 birds, a guinea pig, and a hedgehog.


Prunes found a comfy spot at the Britannia Hotel.


Cottage Leisure Centre and the Camden Centre. Dominic Pinkney, chief executive of Volunteer Centre Camden, said: “The response we got from Camden voluntary organisations was absolutely fantastic and inspiring. The cooperation between the council, the community sector and local people was truly heart-warming and we were very proud to be a part of that.” Community spirit Community groups supported residents during this difficult time. Swiss Cottage Community Centre ran activities for residents; The Winch community group provided free clubs and after

school classes for children; and faith groups, including World Sikh Aid, were on hand to support residents and give out supplies. Businesses such as Camden Food Market also donated generously with 1,000 vouchers for residents to eat at their stalls.

Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre – staff support for the rest centre

Chalcots Estate resident Michael Carlton said: “The volunteers were brilliant. They helped me and my family at the community centre. On the first night I saw lots of people, and was with some of my neighbours that I had never spoken with before. My son really enjoyed the donated balloons and ball pit.”

Football on show Arsenal in the Community held five free football sessions between 2-9 July at Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre with about a dozen children at each session. James Warnock, football development co-ordinator for Arsenal in the Community, said: “We felt it was important to support the local families during what has been a very difficult and unsettling time. We hope the sessions provided some release for those youngsters… The sessions were very positive. There was also some very good football on show!”

Some of the leisure ce ntre staff who helped during the ev acuation.

Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre became a temporary rest centre for residents evacuated from the Chalcots Estate. Greenwich Leisure Limited (Better) operate the councilowned facility, and we want to say a big thank you to the staff there who acted quickly to make the centre into a place providing temporary accommodation and support for residents. Staff were at the centre 24 hours a day and did a great job with the care and maintenance of the centre while it fulfilled its temporary role. The rest centre was in operation for a week, from Friday 23 June to Saturday 1 July.


Chalcots response Restaurant within Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre offers a quiet place for rest Staff at Del’Aziz restaurant were at the centre of the Chalcots evacuation as hundreds of residents arrived at the temporary rest centre set up at Swiss Cottage Leisure Centre. As well as providing food and refreshments around the clock – including fridges full of donated food and cold drinks – they offered a calm place for residents, especially for those with young families. They also acted as a

The team at Del’Aziz restaurant, with manager Nelida Zuvela (third from left).

drop-off point for other donated supplies, such as nappies. Manager Nelida Zuvela said: “We stayed open 24 hours a day for six days. My husband only saw me a couple of times during that week but it was a pleasure and honour to serve the community.”

and m evacuated children Thank-you cards fro t. ran tau Del’Aziz res families on display at

Celebrating Eid together during the evacuation An Eid celebration was held for Chalcots residents at the Swiss Cottage Community Centre following the evacuation of the blocks. About 200 people of all faiths enjoyed food provided by Mia Restaurant, Maharani Camden and Namaaste Kitchen, as well as Age UK’s Great Croft Resource Centre. There were many other groups and individuals who also made contributions to the occasion. Abdul Karim from Maharani Restaurant in Camden said: “I was able to celebrate Eid at home with my family and I wanted to give some comfort to people who were not able to celebrate in their homes due to the evacuation.”


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Sabbir Karim from Namaaste Kitchen said: “It’s such a good feeling to belong to Camden, where the community is so diverse yet so united in the crisis to help one another.”

Eid al-Fitr, or the ‘feast of breaking of the fast’, is one of the most important festivals in the Islamic calendar. It offers Muslims the chance to offer thanks for being given the strength and will to observe fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

The Mayor of Camd en, Councillor Richard Cotton (left), and Im ran Khan, Imam of the Kin g’s Cross Mosque at the Eid celebration.


Other guests at the celebration included Rabbi Neil Moss from the South Hampstead Synagogue, Father Christopher Cawrse from Holy Cross Church in King’s Cross, the Mayor of Camden, Councillor Richard Cotton, Councillor Abdul Hai, Cabinet Member for Cohesion, Equalities and Community Safety, and Leader of the Council, Councillor Georgia Gould.


Everyone coming together We would like to say a very big thank you to all of the organisations that joined together to help and support the residents of Chalcots Estate.

 ge UK Camden A Ageing Better in Camden Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families Arsenal in the Community British Red Cross British Somali Community Camden Community Law Centre Camden Food Market Camden Methodist Church Chalk Farm Foodbank Church of St Mary the Virgin Citizens Advice Camden City University Del’Aziz Doorstep Elfrida Rathbone Camden Great Croft Resource Centre Greenwich Leisure Limited (Better)

Hampstead Wells and Campden Trust The Hive Holborn Community Association Home-Start Camden Holy Trinity Swiss Cottage Kentish Town City Farm Kilburn Grange Project Kilburn Older Voices Exchange (KOVE) Laundrapp LinkUK MAC-UK Maharani Camden Maiden Lane Community Centre Manor Gardens Welfare Trust Mary Ward Legal Centre Mia Restaurant Namaaste Kitchen

Many local hotels blocked out a significant number of rooms for Chalcots residents, helped extend bookings and helped find available rooms.

 New North London Synagogue Nisa-Nashim Oscar's Den Pets at Home Camden SHAK The Roundhouse Somali Cultural Centre South Hampstead Synagogue St Paul’s School Steeles Village Swiss Cottage Community Centre SYDRC – Somali Youth Development Resource Centre Voluntary Action Camden Volunteer Centre Camden West Hampstead Women’s Centre The Winch World Sikh Aid

Examples of support continue to be shared with us. The list above are groups we were aware of at the time of print. We apologise if we missed you. If have a story you would like us to know about please email


Chalcots response

Improving fire safety in our tower blocks The safety of residents is our priority. We are working to ensure the highest standards of fire safety in tower blocks. Here are some of the things we have been doing.

Chalcots We have already completed works on the Chalcots Estate that meet standards set by building control and the London Fire Brigade so that residents can move home. The work doesn’t stop there and our contractors will remain on site to raise safety standards even further.

We will keep Chalcots residents updated on the status of cladding panel works as we know more about when this is due to happen. You can also visit our website below and follow us on Twitter for the latest news, information and advice. We are updating this information all the time.

Completed work at Chalcots • Communal area fire doors have been upgraded or replaced • Flat entrance doors have been fitted with overhead door closers and repaired or replaced as necessary • Fire retardant insulation has been installed around gas work and cable trays • Stairwell doors now have smoke seals or strips on the edges • Basement and garage areas have been assessed to ensure compartmentation and firestopping is sufficient

A contractor seals areas around an automatic opening vent window as part of the fire safety improvements at Burnham block.

• Ventilation grilles were checked to make sure automatic opening vents were working properly and we carried out any repairs.

Our other high-rise estates Following the fire at Grenfell, we immediately reviewed fire safety on all of our council tower blocks with cladding or external insulation. As part of a government programme for all councils,

we were required to submit rainscreen cladding panels for testing from all blocks that had them fitted. We submitted the Ampthill cladding panels to the Building Research Establishment, who are carrying

out the government testing. They confirmed that these panels are not the type that required testing. Bacton, Denton Tower, Snowman, Mary Green and Casterbridge do not have any rainscreen cladding panels on their buildings.

Your safety is our priority and we will do everything we can to keep you informed, provide reassurance and addr


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Fire safety at all council properties Actions we are taking to make sure you are safe in your home We have introduced a range of measures, over and above what we have always done, to check and make sure all council homes are fire safe.

Regular communal checks in blocks Council staff continue to carry out sweeps of corridors to make sure they are clear of obstructions and anything that is potentially flammable, and will do this on a regular basis.

Enhanced focus on resident safety We will carry out enhanced fire safety checks on every council-owned high-rise block in Camden, and advise and provide training opportunities on fire safety for tenants in every block in Camden.

Director of resident safety We will appoint a new director of resident safety, who will work side-by-side with residents to make sure we set new safety,

housing and building standards. The new director will focus on property safety, working to ensure that tenant and leaseholder voices are at the forefront of this innovative approach.

Camden Fire Safety Advisory Panel Councillor Pat Callaghan, Cabinet Member for Housing, will work alongside tenants from across the borough to oversee the council’s work on fire safety. Our new Fire Safety Advisory Panel will include residents, councillors, the borough Fire Brigade and council officers. The panel will receive reports about work being carried out on council-owned homes and recent fire safety concerns raised by tenants and leaseholders. It will make recommendations for action. If you would like to be involved, look out for further information on our website or through your

local tenants’ and residents’ association.

Fire risk assessments published on our website We are committed to leading a new era in resident safety in Camden and this includes being open with the information we hold. We have published the most recent fire risk assessments for towers on the Chalcots Estate, and we will publish the most recent fire risk assessments for all council tower blocks in Camden. The historic fire risk assessments will be part of the evidence we review in our independent review of safety, a process which will be open to tenant scrutiny and involvement at every stage. A fire risk assessment indicates how likely a fire is to occur in a property, and also sets out what action needs to be taken to reduce the risk of fire. Find out more at The tenants’ gu ide

Information for

Camden Council


Fire safety information in your tenants’ guide Your tenants’ guide contains detailed fire safety information, including current guidance from the London Fire Brigade on what to do in the event of a fire. You will have received this when you moved into your home, or you can find a copy online at Turn to the back cover to read fire safety tips for residents in all properties.

ress any concerns. If you wish to raise a specific issue, please contact the housing team by calling 020 7974 4444.



Summer events

The Summer Programme brings together some of the best free and low-cost events and activities taking place in Camden. There’s something for everyone, no matter what age, interest or ability. Come along to one of our many community events and festivals, where you can meet your neighbours and enjoy delicious

Our Summer Programme is here to keep your whole family entertained throughout the summer.

refreshments, free stalls and activities for all the family. With the school holidays here at last, our Summer Programme will help you keep the kids entertained with inspiring courses, live performances and hands-on activities for all ages. Summer is a great time to get out and explore more of Camden. If

you want to be more active while enjoying the fresh air, try one of our free outdoor gyms or sign up for a themed walk to learn as you stroll. Find some local fun or try something new this summer and celebrate the colour and diversity of the place you call home. Camden Summ er Programme Your guide to

July and Aug

the best free

and low-cost

ust 2017

things to do

in Camden this


Take a look at the eight-page Camden Summer Programme at There’s somethi ng Activities for young peopl e


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Don’t forget: if you’re out and about in Camden over the summer, tag us in your posts and selfies #camdensummer @camdentalking 14

Family fun

Green Gym

Camden summer

posts #Camde nSummer

for everyone Community events

Sports and physical activity

Exhibitions and performances



Camden Kalā As part of our Summer Programme, we are celebrating Indian culture in Camden and beyond with Camden Kal . Join us for one of the many events taking place all summer. Help design a unique Paisley pattern for Camden in one of our family workshops. Paisley originated in part from India and is linked with multiculturalism in the UK, so it’s perfect fit for Camden. Or why not take a walk through the streets of Bloomsbury to hear about Indian princesses and discover some of the history of the area with the Camden Tour Guides? Whichever activity you choose, Camden Kal āprovides the opportunity to explore India’s vibrant heritage through food, crafts, dance and exhibitions as part of the UK-India Year of Culture 2017.

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Camden Kal community fun days There are still two Camden Kal community fun days to get involved in. Join us for an afternoon of activities for all the family in two of our parks and open spaces. This year’s events are inspired by India, with arts and crafts, facepainting, henna, cake decorating, a bouncy castle, yoga and boxing sessions, along with folk and bhangra dance performances and the opportunity to join in yourself. There will be a selection of delicious refreshments too. The events also provide an opportunity for you to meet with housing and other council staff to find out more about local services and ask questions.

• Get tips to help you recycle better and pick up free food waste caddy liners. • Sign up to the Camden Account and be automatically entered into a prize draw to win a free cookery class or a meal at an Indian restaurant. Tuesday 15 August, 1 to 5pm Kilburn Grange Park Palmerston Road NW6 2JL (plus cricket, dodgeball and football) Wednesday 23 August, 1 to 5pm The Open Space Winchester Road, Swiss Cottage NW3 5EL


Girls Get Moving in Camden

In Camden we support women and girls all year round with a range of activities. Here are some of our favourites: Women only fitness classes – beginners welcome The Dome, Weedington Road NW5 4QQ Every Tuesday and Thursday, 11am to 1pm Women only boxercise class – suitable for all ability levels The Living Centre, 2 Ossulston St NW1 1DF Every Monday 6 to 7pm Women only dance class – suitable for all ability levels

This month Talacre Sports Centre celebrates women and girls in sport with Camden’s very own Girls Get Moving Week, a week of multi-sports for girls aged eight to 16. Activities include girls football, basketball, dodgeball, trampolining and much more. Girls Get Moving

Week is Tuesday 29 August to Friday 1 September, with each session running from 11am to 4pm each day. Cost is £3 per day. To register call 020 7974 8754 or email sportsdevelopment@

Camden Flux marks the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of same sex relationships in England and Wales. Throughout the year, Camden will host a wide range of events, screenings, exhibitions and talks to explore and reflect

Find out more 16

Samuel Lithgow Youth Centre, 69-75 Stanhope St NW1 3LD Every Wednesday, 9.45 to 10.45am Women and girls only swimming – see next page

upon the history of LGBTQ+ culture, as well as legal and cultural breakthroughs. Join LGBTQ+ heritage walks, artist Q&As and online projects to learn more about Camden’s LGBTQ+ communities over time and celebrate our diversity.


Make a splash Summer is here and what better way to cool off than to take advantage of offers at Camden swimming pools. Free swim week Kentish Town, Pancras Square and Swiss Cottage leisure centres (excluding Oasis) will be offering a free swimming week from 14 to 20 August. • Weekdays (14 to 18 August) – before 5pm • Weekend (19 and 20 August) – anytime Just turn up at reception and staff will let you straight through for a free swim. It’s a great idea for a family day out, a quick dip before work, or to take time out for yourself to relax.

Kids swim for a quid all summer The popular ‘Kids swim for a quid’ has returned this summer. For £1, children under 16 can swim during any public swimming sessions from Monday to Saturday during

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the school holidays. Children must hold a valid Better pay and play membership card to take advantage of this offer.

Regular free swims for over 60s Over 60s swim for free every weekday from 7am to 12pm. Swimming is gentle on joints, reduces the risk of osteoporosis in women and increases flexibility. Better Leisure also offer Healthwise Water Workouts for over 55s at Swiss Cottage on Tuesdays from 12-12:45pm, and at Oasis on Wednesdays from 2:30-3:30pm.

New accessible equipment Swiss Cottage and Pancras Square leisure centres have improved facilities. Camden Active was granted funding from London

Marathon Charitable Trust to install a new PoolPod at Swiss Cottage and a new Aqua-Tilt wheelchair at Pancras Square. This new equipment will help people with limited mobility access the swimming pool. Speak to leisure centre staff if you have any questions about accessibility. It is important to us that everyone can take advantage of our facilities.

Swim times for women and girls only Better Leisure’s Camden Girls Can initiative offers female-only swimming sessions across all centres. Where possible, female lifeguards are on duty and external viewing is restricted. For information on when the sessions are organised, visit the website below or visit your local leisure centre and speak to staff. 17


Free nursery education – apply now Find out if you can get 30 hours free early years education for three and four year olds. The government is changing how it supports early years education and childcare in September. All three and four year olds will continue to be entitled to 15 hours free early education. ‘Working families’ will also be able to get an additional 15 hours of support – 30 hours in total. Camden Council is also offering an extra 15 hours of early

education for three and four year olds to some families who don’t meet the government’s criteria – to bring their support up to 30 hours as well. How to apply for your three or four year olds’ support: Government funding Parents need to apply for the government’s additional support for working parents through the childcare choices website below.

Camden funding Parents who can’t get the government’s 30-hour support can get Camden’s extra 15 hours’ early years education if any of these apply: • your family qualifies for free school meals (see • your family gets working tax credits and your family income is less than £16,190 • your child is being ‘looked after’ by the local authority or is a child who has left care • your child has a current statement of special educational needs or an education, health and care plan • you get Disability Living Allowance for your child, or • you get support from the National Asylum Support Service (NASS) through part 6 of the Immigration and Asylum Act. The government’s new entitlement for working parents and Camden’s new offer will be available from September 2017. Speak to your childcare provider to get the right application forms or visit the websites below.

Find out more 18


Moving on to secondary school Parents applying for secondary school places for their child can find out more at open events beginning next month. Whether it’s a place at a top university, an excellent apprenticeship or landing a great job, the high-quality teaching and supportive environment at Camden’s secondary schools aims to help every student reach their potential.

Moving on event Thursday 14 September 3.30 to 6.30pm Camden Centre Bidborough Street WC1H 9JE Parents of pupils in years five and six can find out what’s on offer at Camden’s secondary schools at our annual event. You’ll also be able to meet headteachers, staff and student ambassadors. Our secondary schools and school admissions team will be there to help you apply. Register for your free place at the website below. You can also visit the schools on their own open days and evenings in September and October. Details are published on the website below. Find out more 

Meet the Parents, a local social enterprise, will be hosting informal discussion forums from September. Visit its website below to find out more. Application deadlines You can apply for year seven places for autumn 2018 from this September. Applications close on 31 October 2017. Some schools may also have year seven places available for September 2017. If you don’t yet have a school place for this September please contact our school admissions team or the schools directly.

Camden’s state secondary schools • Acland Burghley – mixed • Camden School for Girls – girls, mixed sixth form • Hampstead – mixed • Haverstock – mixed • La Sainte Union – Catholic girls, mixed sixth form • Maria Fidelis – Catholic, mixed • Parliament Hill – girls, mixed sixth form • Regent High School – mixed • UCL Academy – mixed • William Ellis – boys, mixed sixth form

Our schools have fantastic links with world-leading businesses, universities and cultural organisations. Find out how we’re making the most of these opportunities on page 22. 020 7974 1625 19


Hire education Apprenticeships offer an alternative to the classroom and a doorway to a career. As our young people await exam results, we caught up with a Camden success story. Over the summer many young people will be thinking about their next steps. Some will decide to go on to further study at college or university, but these options aren’t for everyone. An apprenticeship is a hands-on alternative, creating a clear path to employment whilst earning a wage. Perfect for anyone looking to maximise their potential outside of the classroom, an apprenticeship offers qualifications equivalent to vocational A-levels and degrees. Camden Apprenticeships in particular are offering more opportunities than ever before, with links to a wide range of

business sectors and jobs in the council itself. Alex Glasgow, 24, completed an NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration with Camden Council. She says, “I never really appreciated working in a classroom environment and going to university never appealed to me.” After finishing school, Alex found work in sales but became frustrated by a lack of career progression. “When it came to leaving school, I hadn’t obtained many qualifications. As I got older I realised this was preventing me from reaching my full potential.”

“Having the opportunity to gain a qualification whilst getting hands on experience is what really drew me to undertaking an apprenticeship, as well as the fact that I would be earning whilst learning, which allowed me a greater level of independence.” “The hands-on style kept me interested and occupied, and I have gained many transferable skills, which have positively affected my confidence.” Many apprentices find work with their employer soon after completing their qualification, which can make an apprenticeship a career fast-track. Towards the end of her NVQ Level 3, Alex was offered a full-time position as a fleet management support officer at Camden Council. Likewise, an apprenticeship offers the chance to undertake further study without building up university debt, giving an opportunity for people to get their foot in the door whilst earning a wage.

Alex Glasgow completed an NVQ Level 3 in Business Administration with Camden Council.

Find out more 20

A full list of apprenticeship opportunities with Camden Council and partners can be found online. Apprenticeships are all open to applicants aged 16 and over, regardless of their exam results.


Grants for local youth projects A new charity has awarded its first round of grants in Camden.

Young Camden Foundation (YCF) has approved £60,000 of ‘One Camden’ small grants. Grants have been awarded to projects that bring younger and older generations together, encourage teenagers to volunteer, or help young people to work across Camden’s different and diverse communities. The following projects were among 17 to be given grants of between £1,500 and £5,000: • Borough-wide, youth-led ‘Unity Cup’ football tournament • Youth-led project to support homeless people • International food project • Intergenerational Bollywood dance show • Arts and community project in Kilburn • Community garden regeneration project and celebration barbecue • Oral history project led by young and older members of local Somali and Congolese communities Find out more

(Left to right) Leader of the Council, Councillor Georgia Gould, with Georgia, 13, Aisha, 15, Councillor Jenny Headlam-Wells, and Lydia, 15. Young people interviewed the Council Leader as part of a documentary film to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Kentish Town Community Centre’s youth service, which has just won a YCF grant.

YCF exists to support the lives of all young people in Camden and reduce the impact of government cuts to youth services. It is a partnership of businesses, funders, community and volunteering and the public sector, including the Council and John Lyon’s charity. It achieved charitable status in March. Alice Weavers is a youth participation officer at Fitzrovia Youth in Action, one of the organisations receiving grants. She says: “It’s great to have the support of YCF. “This funding will help hundreds of young people take part in football, volunteer as a steward and create an event that will bring the community together for one of Camden’s biggest football tournaments.”

Mira Kaushik’s Indian dance academy, Akademi, also received a grant. Mira says: “Akademi has been working with young people and isolated and inactive older adults across Camden for many years, bringing South Asian dance to schools and community organisations. “This project provides an opportunity to bring these groups together to learn a new dance style and explore new cultural experiences together.” Grant applications were assessed by a panel of young people and older residents and given final approval by the YCF Board. Projects are due to be completed by the end of 2017. See the website below for a list of the 17 organisations that received grants. 21


Full STEAM ahead for Camden’s young people Google hosted the launch on 12 June of exciting new plans to help young people in Camden benefit from the global organisations based here. and, encouraging employees to volunteer as school governors or as speakers in schools to inform, inspire and connect young people with these potential employers.

We want young people in Camden to have the skills and opportunities to contribute to the thriving creative, scientific and digital economy that’s found a home in Camden. ‘Creating Camden’s 21st Century Talent’ sets out plans for how this can be achieved. These include: a new higher level apprenticeship and work experience offer with companies working in Camden’s Knowledge Quarter;

Speaking at the launch, Councillor Georgia Gould, Leader of Camden Council, said: “World-renowned institutions, including the British Library, the Francis Crick Institute and Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, alongside companies such as Google UK and ASOS, have the potential to inspire and support our young people to aim high and forge exciting careers in the 21st century economy.

Film director Gurinder Chadha joined the panel discussion at the Camden STEAM event.

“Succeeding in this economy will increasingly require young people to have a fusion of skills – creativity blended with digital and science ability. “The STEAM Commission’s ambition is to link businesses strongly with schools and further education colleges to help deliver the 21st century talent they need and, in so doing, to guarantee the best opportunities and futures for all our young people.” Amanda Timberg, Head of Staffing Programs for Google in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said:

Young people with Leader of the Council, Councillor Georgia Gould, film director Gurinder Chadha and STEAM Chair Dinah Caine.

Find out more 22

“We hope this report sets out clear ways for these young people, their parents and carers, schools and businesses to broaden these opportunities in Camden and increase their access.”


Supporting charities and volunteering In Camden, we have over 2,500 charities and community organisations, playing an important role in improving the lives of people who live here by mobilising volunteers, giving residents a voice and helping to develop local skills. Photo credit: Dragon Hall Trust

Last year we worked with them to draw up a new strategy for working together. We looked at things like: • the way we provide funding • how funding can be used most effectively, • where we can have the greatest impact, and • how our own team should be structured to best support the new strategy. Despite cuts to our budget from Government, and savings we’ve had to make as a result, we’ve set aside over £5 million a year in our new commitment to working with the voluntary and community sector. We believe this is one of the largest funds anywhere in the UK. With the help of this funding we have launched two new initiatives this year. Strategic Partners Fund Helping key local organisations to fund their core costs, so they can focus on making best possible use of their local knowledge, networks and expertise to support the community. Find out more

Dragon Hall Trust is a community centre in Holborn and Covent Garden and one of our strategic partners. They have a Tech Hub so that everyone can access technology.

Community Impact Fund Bringing together the voluntary community sector, health and private sector partners and council departments to tackle deep-rooted social problems. Our areas of focus are: • providing better mental health support, • supporting rough sleepers,

• tackling youth offending, and • supporting people in the community, with a focus on our most vulnerable residents. Our Community Partnerships team will oversee the initiatives and help the council work more closely with community organisations to tackle social issues. 23


Summer of recycling Summer is a time for picnics, BBQs and playing in the park. It can also be a great time for a clear out. If you’re not sure where to start, we can help. We now offer special recycling collections for textiles, small electrical items and household batteries.

If you’re finally getting round to clearing out your wardrobe, contact us and we’ll send you the right bag for your unwanted items such as clothes, shoes and blankets. We will take this bag with your next recycling collection.

Clear out your clutter by requesting a bag for your old hairdryer, fan, kettle or other electrical appliances. We’ll save you a journey by picking them up with your next recycling collection.

Replacing the batteries in your alarm clock, torch or remote control? Contact us to receive a household battery recycling bag, which we’ll take with your next recycling collection.

We also offer bulky waste collections for larger items, which we’ll recycle wherever possible.

t il e Tex

a ll S m ica l r t c ele ms i te

ld seho H o u r ie s e bat t

So, if your old barbeque has seen better days or you’re replacing your garden furniture, contact us to arrange a bulky waste collection.* If you have items that are in good condition, such as furniture, children’s slides or paddling pools, why not give them a new lease of life by donating to a local charity shop, or passing or selling them on to someone who could use them? *Fees may apply

Find out more 24



Summer tips

Whether you’re planning a picnic or a holiday, here are some tips for making the summer season greener:  ip it: Buy vegetables like carrots loose rather than D pre-cut. It is often better value and avoids the plastic wrap. Separate it: Take separate bags for recycling, food waste and rubbish to make cleaning up easier. Plan it: To avoid ending up with lots of leftovers, plan who will be bringing which picnic items. Eat up: If you’re going away this summer, use up perishable food before you go or give it to your neighbours. Put it out: Remember to put your containers out for collection if you’ll be away over your usual collection day.

Camden Recycling Rewards Worried about food waste? Sign up to Camden Recycling Rewards for the chance to win a £30 voucher. This month we’re offering you the chance to earn green points by recycling your food waste and using real nappies. Recycling food waste could be as simple as collecting food scraps and putting peelings in a food waste caddy instead of the bin. You can download a voucher for free real nappies worth £54 at Find out more

If you haven’t got a food waste caddy, you can order one online at the website below. Log your recycling on our website to be in with a chance to win one of five £30 vouchers every month. Join the 16,500 Camden households who have signed up to earn reward points for their recycling, and are enjoying discounts at local businesses. Have you signed up yet?



Your recycling questions answered. Can I recycle my disposable barbecue? Unfortunately disposable barbeques aren’t usually recyclable. In Camden, but you can recycle the empty foil tray in your household recycling, and the metal grill can be recycled at Regis Road recycling centre. Try to use a reusable barbecue whenever you can. How do I dispose of charcoal? Before you throw charcoal away make sure it is fully extinguished and cold. This can take up to 48 hours. Once cold, wrap it up and put it in your rubbish bin, or you can also put small amounts of cold natural charcoal in your home compost. Can I recycle clear or plastic cups? Yes you can. But why not invest in reusable cups that will last all summer or use your sports bottle?

To ask Jenny a question camdenmagazine@

We have made changes to recycling and rubbish collections to boost Camden’s recycling rates and save £5 million a year. Due to cuts to our funding from central government we have had to find new ways to do things. 25


The great outdoors

We’re busy making improvements to some of the 75 parks and open spaces we look after in Camden. Parks and open spaces in Camden are great places to get active and enjoy health benefits of being outdoors, whether you’re exercising or just relaxing and enjoying the calm. Our green space investment programme is providing £5 million to improve our green spaces and the health of Camden residents. We hope our five-year programme will attract more people to parks and open spaces. Helping people who live in Camden to enjoy the benefits of our green spaces like exercise, better fitness, reduced rates of obesity and improved mental health will help cut down on money spent on health later in

life. See our photos for examples of recent work. What’s next? We haven’t finished yet. Our future plans include: • making the playgrounds better at Kilburn Grange Park, Iverson Road, Sumatra Road and Wicklow Street, • support for a community food growing project and improvements to the open space in Elm Village, • improving the tennis courts at Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Waterlow Park and Kilburn Grange Park, and • better footpaths at St Pancras Gardens and Cumberland Market.

Our new equipment and planting at St Martin’s Gardens (above) and Rochester Terrace provide exciting environments to play in.

At the playground off Quex Road we’ve put in a basket swing that can be enjoyed by children with a range of abilities.

£5 million for open spaces: where does it come from?

We worked with volunteers at St Andrew’s Gardens to plant flowers that attract wildlife and are easy to look after.

Find out more 26

Falkland Place in Kentish Town has colourful new play equipment plus a new green area to attract wildlife.

Our budget for the programme is mainly a result of Section 106 agreements with developers, which allow us to use financial contributions to fund local improvements to benefit our communities.


Keeping libraries open We’re committed to keeping all libraries open despite government funding cuts. Open access technology has helped us make that happen.

Open access technology means you can access five of our libraries using your library card.

By 2018/19 our funding from Central Government will have been more than halved. In 2015 we asked for your ideas on how we could save £800,000 from the libraries budget. We knew we would need to change the way some of our libraries are run to keep them all open. Our response to the challenge was to introduce ‘open access technology’ to five of our libraries in January this year. Our five open access libraries are: • Camden Town • Kentish Town • Kilburn • Queens Crescent • West Hampstead

The new system is allowing library staff to prioritise customers who require more help, while other customers who can use the selfservice system are returning or borrowing books and reserving computers without the need of assistance from staff.

Open access technology makes it possible for you to get into a library using your library card during off-peak hours.

Customers have embraced the new technology at the five libraries, saying how quick and easy the new self-service facilities are to use.

Seven months later, the technology is working well.

Open access technology is just one of many ways we are

Find out more

adopting new technology and rethinking our services as we face continued cuts to our budget. It’s made it possible for us to keep all of our libraries open, which is what our residents told us they wanted. And remember, you can do more than just borrow books at our libraries. You can learn new skills, join a class, browse the internet or even just relax with the newspaper. 27


Celebrating outstanding Camden businesses Do you know a business doing great work in Camden? Nominations for the Camden Business Awards 2017 are now open.

Spotlighting a previous winner Camden Coffee House won Small business of the year in 2015 for affordabilty, sustainability, quality, innovation and support for the local community.

The Camden Business Awards showcase the best businesses and entrepreneurs in the borough. Awards are open to all Camdenbased businesses no matter what size or sector. You have until 4 September to nominate businesses for an award.

At Camden Coffee House, local staff are hired, artwork by Camden artists is sold and products such as milk and cake are locally sourced. Fairtrade ingredients are used and coffee is locally roasted. The business even has its own blends of tea.

Find out more

The Camden Local Plan was adopted in July 2017 after successfully passing a public examination by a Governmentappointed planning inspector. This is the culmination of several year’s work by the Council, which


Business Awards


From its beginnings as one coffee house in Camden, the business now has five more branches under the same name.

Neighbourhood planning

Find out more


included public consultation and engagement. The Plan is now the starting point for the Council’s planning decisions and will also help to deliver economic growth that brings benefit to Camden and its

residents; help to secure healthy, sustainable communities; and contribute towards reducing inequality. Highlights of the plan include: • setting a significantly higher housing target for the borough to meet local need, • introducing strong policies on basements, and protecting valued pubs and music venues, • promoting ‘car free’ development, with no parking provided, to help tackle air quality in the borough; and • aiming to maximise the provision of jobs, training and apprenticeships, and securing premises for growth sectors and small businesses.


Decisions on adult social care Treating people fairly and using the money we have to help people the most. We are rethinking how we deliver social care in the face of government cuts to our funding and a growing and ageing population. As part of this, we asked for residents’ views earlier in the year on proposed changes to our day centres and to the amount people pay towards the cost of their care. Paying for care Following careful consideration of all responses, we have decided to change our charging policy for those people who contribute to the cost of their care. This will mean we treat all people fairly and equally when we assess their needs, as well as bringing our policy into line with government guidance. We have also decided to drop plans to charge for individual transport journeys. Instead, we plan on assessing the amount people pay to use our transport based on their ability to pay, like we do for other forms of care and support.

Find out more

Day centres and services We will also maintain our day services, delivering them from two specialist day centres in future. These centres are part of our wider plans to change how we help people with care and support needs in the community. One centre will be for adults with disabilities and mental health needs at the new Greenwood Centre in Kentish Town when it opens next year. Services currently operating from New Shoots Day Service and Highgate Day Centre for people with mental health needs will move into the new centre (as agreed in 2012), and services from Mayford and Peperfield day centres will join them. The other specialist centre will be for older people at Kingsgate Resource Centre in Kilburn. Kingsgate, which already provides services for older people, including people with dementia, will be fully refurbished, and services currently running from Netherwood, Raglan and Charlie Ratchford centres will move in. This will allow us to bring the best of what is currently on offer at each of the individual services, to people under one roof.

Looking ahead to Camden’s future Over the past five months, local people, organisations, business owners and community groups have been talking to the Camden Commission about their experiences of the borough. We set up the Camden Commission, a group of crossparty councillors and national experts, to explore some of the challenges facing our borough and how they can be overcome. Conversations included how we can work together to make Camden even stronger, how to make sure that everyone feels supported and part of the community, and how local people can benefit from Camden’s economy. What’s next? The Commission will make recommendations to us as a council and our partners about some of the key areas they suggest we focus on between 2018 and 2025. This is just the first step in us continuing to work with our communities to develop a new vision for Camden’s future. Find out more camdencommission 29


Building a bright future The first phase of the Central Somers Town project, part of our Community Investment Programme, starts at Edith Neville Primary School this summer. First steps at Edith Neville Primary School involve construction around the current building, which will eventually be demolished to make way for a new school. Additionally, the Central Somers Town project, part of our Community Investment Programme (CIP), promises new homes, better and safer open spaces, a permanent site for St Aloysius Nursery and new facilities for the Plot 10 play project.

Esther Caplin, a governor at Edith Neville and chair of the school’s new build committee, says, “This project is about more than just construction. We have worked closely with the architects and Camden officers, contributing ideas to shape what is best for the children. “Learning, inclusiveness and forward-thinking have been considered throughout the design process. “It’s about coming into an

Sketch design of the new school building.

Community Investment Programme

environment where you feel inspired, a space for questioning minds and opportunities for every aspect of wellbeing and learning.“ Esther Caplin has been involved in the life of Somers Town for more than 17 years. She began as a volunteer helping children learn to read at Edith Neville. “At Edith Neville we are nurturing citizens of the future and trying to break the cycle of unemployment. ‘We want to build a school that Somers Town, and the whole of Camden, can be proud of.” Time capsule Students at Edith Neville plan to bury a time capsule under the foundations of their new school for future generations of children to find out who they were, what life was like in 2017 and what issues mattered to them. The school is also planning other creative projects involving local partners and neighbours.

Camden’s Community Investment Programme will deliver: 3,050

new homes, including 1,400 affordable homes Find out more 30

Invest £117 million into schools and children’s centres

9,000 square metres of improved community facilities – the equivalent

of 35 tennis courts

Feature Peter Lush is director of community learning centre, Training Link and assistant co-ordinator at Kilburn Older Voices Exchange (KOVE). What’s your Camden connection? I grew up in Cricklewood in Barnet but remember coming into Camden often. I have fond memories of Swiss Cottage Library and John Barnes department store on Finchley Road. My parents both worked in Camden.

Tell us about your work in Camden My first job was at the Council in Hampstead’s district housing office in 1975. Richard Cotton, the current Mayor of Camden, was a colleague there. It was a good stepping stone to working in housing for many years. I joined Training Link in 2007. I had always wanted to run a small charity. Training Link offers basic skills training and works well for local people because it is small and welcoming.

We run ESOL classes and many of our learners are women with young children. Our online vocational courses, especially Food Safety and Hygiene, are very popular. Because of our strong community connections, especially around Somers Town, we can signpost learners to other resources, if needed. I get to know many of our learners and it is so rewarding when we help someone into employment.

How has Camden changed over the years?

I’ve recently joined Kilburn Older Voices Exchange (KOVE). It’s very community minded and focuses on older people staying active.

It hasn’t changed that much, actually. Camden has always been diverse. There has always been pressure on housing, but more in the past 10 years.

They have successfully campaigned for new benches and other facilities in their part of Camden. They organise regular walks, which help keep me fit. By working with people in different areas of the borough, I’m getting to know Camden even better.

Favourite places in Camden? The redeveloped St Pancras station. I love the big glass roof, the statues and how the old and new parts feel as one. I also like the British Library, and enjoy researching and visiting there.

What do you love about Camden? It’s so vibrant. It has such an interesting history, great restaurants, museums and entertainment venues.

Do you know someone who has strong community connections in Camden that we should profile? Email to tell us more. Find out more 31

Fire safety in the home Here are some top tips for making your home safer: A working fire alarm could save your life Fit at least one smoke alarm on every level of your home and remember to test it once a week. Call the London Fire Brigade at the number below to arrange a free fire safety assessment, and for advice on what kinds of alarms to buy and where to place them. Plan your escape Plan an escape route and make sure everyone knows it, no matter their age. This is normally your usual way in and out your home. If possible, have a second escape route.

EXIT De-clutter Are your escape routes clear? Clutter on balconies, landings and corridors can also be a fire risk.

Be careful if you smoke Do not leave a lit cigarette unattended. Avoid smoking inside or in common areas like lobbies, and make sure cigarettes are put out completely. Never throw cigarettes out of windows. Watch out when using candles Keep candles away from curtains, furniture and clothes. Place them on stable, heat-resistant surfaces. Where are your keys? Make sure everyone knows where both the window and door keys are. Keep communal areas free Bikes, buggies, plants and furniture can block exits for you and your neighbours, and fuel a fire. 0800 028 4428 (LFB home fire safety line)

Camden magazine August 2017  
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