Your guide to council services | November 2015
Colourful and wonderful 50 years of Camden borough @camdentalking
13 The Camden magazine is distributed free to all homes in Camden to give you information about our services. It is printed on paper that is 50% recycled and 50% from sustainable sources.
Digital edition Go to camden.gov.uk/ camden to find out how to access our digital magazine 2 | Camden | November 2015
One of the winners of our Camden 50 photo competition
Website: camden.gov.uk Email: email@example.com Twitter: @camdentalking Communications team Camden Council Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, WC1H 9JE
Distribution from 6 November 2015 Published by Camden Council Editorial, advertising and distribution: 020 7974 5717 Costs 15 pence a copy to produce. Cover image: Anne Clements, photography competition winner.
You can receive your copy of the Camden magazine in large print, on audio tape or in another language by phoning 020 7974 5717.
News in focus Are you sure you’re registered to vote? Landlord licensing launches
News in brief Preparing Camden for winter weather
HS2: support ahead of Select Committee The Camden Plan update West End’s first walking and cycling street Young people’s sexual health network launched Section 106 support for the community
Feature Camden in Bloom winners
Feature Access council services online
Capturing Camden: photo competition
Feature An easier way to move home
New school opens
The next phase of our financial challenge 3
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4 | Camden | November 2015 File name: HIV004_Camden Magazine_AW1 Publication: Camden Mgazine
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10 Great Pulteney Street, London W1F 9NB. Tel: 020 7278 6655
to the November edition of the Camden magazine
watch the video
Councillor Sarah Hayward Leader of the Council
his month we await publication from Government of their Spending Review. Although we don’t get the full local government financial settlement details until December, this will give us an indication about what the future cuts to our budgets could look like. We expect the worst but in Camden we’ve already got a savings programme in place taking us to 2018 which anticipated further reductions in Government funding; so we’re prepared. This is going to be incredibly hard but we are prioritising the money we do have on supporting vulnerable people and where we can make the biggest difference. It’s even more important with decreasing funding that we consider how we are performing against the priorities we set out in our Camden Plan in 2012. Three years in, we have published a stocktake to look at what we said we would do, what we’ve done and what we will do next. You can read more about this on page 9 or visit camden.gov.uk/camdenplan One of those commitments we made was to support residents with the increasingly challenging housing situation in London. In this issue you can read about some of the many ways we are doing that such as the launch of a landlord licensing scheme in the borough. This means all landlords who own properties used for shared
housing will have to comply with standards to drive up quality in private rented homes. On page 20 you can read about new council homes in Gospel Oak. Having been there from the start of this process, working with residents and the TRA at Bacton Low Rise to get them out of the frankly unsuitable homes they were living in, I am very proud to see the first people are moving into these beautiful new council homes. In the last month the Government published its Housing and Planning Bill, which on initial reading undermines social housing and does nothing to address affordability in the private market. We are incredibly concerned about the impacts on Camden and are currently involved in discussions across London about the concerns we share and what, if anything, we can do about it. This month also brings to a close a fabulous year of activities to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Camden. From 1 to 5pm on Monday 30 November we are throwing open the doors of the Town Hall for a final look back at the last 50 years of innovation and democracy in Camden. This is a free event open to all so I hope some of you will come along. As this is such a special point in Camden’s history alongside this magazine you will find a commemorative guide to 50 years of Camden. 5
News in focus
Make sure you’re registered to vote? appears on the electoral register for those living at your address is correct, as part of our annual voter registration canvass. With elections for London Mayor and the London Assembly taking place in May 2016, this is a great opportunity for you to make sure you’re on the electoral register.
Last year the electoral registration system changed to Individual Electoral Registration (IER) – which means you need to register yourself, rather than the ‘head of household’ being responsible. Most registered voters transferred over but some had to give additional details. If you didn’t respond to letters about this, you will have stayed on the register but on 1 December 2015 your details will be deleted, so it is important to check you’re registered to vote.
6 | Camden | November 2015
People who have moved house and those who rent privately are far less likely to be registered than those that have lived at the same address for a long time. However, many of these people may be unaware that they are not on the register. In fact, 44% of people who aren’t registered to vote incorrectly believe that they are.
How to register You should have recently received a form asking you to check whether the information that
You will have received a Household Enquiry Form in the post telling you who is currently registered to vote, as part of our annual voter registration canvass. Those properties that have no registered voters will have received a blank form. To make sure you are able to have your say at the elections next year, simply add any names to the form that are missing, delete those of people who no longer live at your address and return the form to us as promptly as possible. We’ll then send you information explaining how to register, or you can just go online and register at gov.uk/register-to-vote – you’ll just need your national insurance number and date of birth. If you’re not sure whether you’re registered to vote, you can find out by contacting the elections team at electoral.services@camden. gov.uk or by phone on 020 7974 6000.
News in focus
Landlord licensing launches for shared housing After private renters called on us to do more to improve their living conditions – over 20,000 residents are set to benefit from our new licensing scheme. We’re helping to improve the lives of private renters in shared housing with landlord licensing. The scheme applies to house shares, converted flats, student homes and bedsits - also known as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
To ensure better living conditions for residents our licensing scheme will include property inspections and advice for landlords on any improvements they need to make to their property.
Security for tenants More than 20,000 residents privately rent shared housing in Camden – and this number is growing. When we surveyed these homes we found health and safety issues, fire hazards, poor security and excess cold, which can cause mould and damp. Licensing will help to put a stop to these problems, provide better standards and give tenants stronger rights to challenge bad landlords. Councillor Patricia Callaghan, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We’re improving living conditions for residents through licensing.
“Over 1,000 people support our plans, including many tenants who told us we can do more to help with their living standards. “Our scheme will also enable landlords to run better businesses and provide a higher quality service.” Around 8,000 shared homes in Camden need a licence. Landlords have to apply for a five-year licence and pay a fee.
You can help If you rent shared housing ask your landlord about getting a licence, or contact us so we can advise them directly about applying. Landlords face an unlimited fine it they do not apply to get a licence.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/hmolicensing 020 7974 2543
News in brief
HS2: Camden’s support for you ahead of Select Committee that have already appeared have focused on how HS2 will affect their personal circumstances. Our top tips are: Form groups: Petitioners who form groups to share issues between them will avoid repetition, keep credibility and enhance their case. You may be put into a group by the Select Committee but if not, you can group with your neighbours.
Camden petitioners are preparing to present their case on aspects of the HS2 scheme before a Select Committee of MPs.
Committee workshop and hear advice from our Parliamentary agent and a Hillingdon resident with experience of the process.
We’re expecting Camden issues to be considered between December 2015 and January 2016 with the Council presenting evidence first.
The workshop is on Wednesday 11 November, 5.30-8.30pm, at the Surma Centre, 1 Robert Street, London NW1 3JU.
The order in which petitioners will speak will appear on the Select Committee website and we will advise you when these have been made public.
Come to our workshop If you petitioned on the original Bill in 2014, or the recent Additional Provision (AP3), you have the chance to speak before the Select Committee. Come to our Select
8 | Camden | November 2015
Make a good impression Camden Council will present issues at Select Committee as they affect the whole borough. We will argue strategically on issues including the design of Euston Station, traffic impacts on our road network and mitigating the impacts of noise and air pollution caused by the scheme. The Select Committee has responded well when residents
Describe the problem, suggest a solution: Begin with your list of asks of the Committee, so they know where your argument is heading. Then structure your argument as follows, with a small number of carefully selected slides: • What is the problem? • Why is it a problem? • What do you want done to solve the problem? Keep your case concise and interesting: The Committee can understand your points quickly. Include visuals in your presentation, such as photos or maps to support your case.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/hs2 firstname.lastname@example.org
News in brief Section 106 support for the community You may never have heard of Section 106 (s106) agreements, but you’ll probably have benefited from them. That’s because they sometimes provide money from new property developments, which can be used for projects such as
improved community facilities in local areas.
s106 money to benefit Camden communities.
We can ask for s106 payments under planning legislation to address the impact of new developments. In 2014/15 we got more than £30 million in
Some of the projects s106 money is spent on are very large. Others are smaller. In the current financial year, for example, we’ve awarded: •£ 73,600 to help King’s Cross Brunswick Community Association to repair and refurbish three centres, providing equipment ranging from sewing machines to computers •£ 11,500 to improve the Helios Foundation’s Judd Street premises to create better facilities for the charity’s service users •£ 45,700 to create extra meeting space in Covent Garden Community Centre.
Section 106 money has benefited Covent Garden’s community centre
Find out more camden.gov.uk/s106
Camden plan comes a long way In June 2012, we launched the Camden Plan – an ambitious roadmap to make Camden a better borough, despite the challenging financial climate. Looking back over the last three years, it is clear we are making significant in-roads. We are tackling inequality by focusing our efforts on where our resources can make the most difference through improvements to housing, health and employment. For example, we have: • become the country’s first
Timewise council – championing flexible and part-time working • worked with developers to create 700 apprenticeship and work experience opportunities • secured £9 million of investment to make cycling improvements • introduced a scheme so residents can make council payments at any post office, benefiting our most vulnerable customers. But this is just a snapshot. We have now published an update packed with further examples of what we’ve achieved and what we plan to do next.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/camdenplan 9
News in brief
Have your say on planning We are consulting on our Statement of Community Involvement, which sets out how we will involve local people when we prepare our planning policies and consider planning applications. The consultation also sets out our proposal to stop sending adjoining occupier letters for planning applications from 1 April 2016. This means that you would no longer receive a letter about a neighbour’s
planning application. This change would save the Council £200,000 a year. Information about planning applications would continue to be available on our website, in weekly adverts in the local paper and through new-look posters on lampposts. We are improving our planning email alerts system, to make it even easier for residents to engage in the planning process.
The consultation runs until 20 January 2016 and comments can be made online at camden.gov.uk/planning. We will then consider all comments and an amended Statement of Community Involvement should be available in April 2016.
Find out more c amden.gov.uk/planning
New young people’s sexual health network
Camden and Islington councils have launched a new joint young people’s sexual health network to support sex and relationship education in schools and offer youth-friendly contraceptive and sexual health services across the two boroughs. 10 | Camden | November 2015
The Camden and Islington Young People’s Sexual Health Network offers contraceptive and sexual health services for young people up to the age of 25, as well as counselling and sex and relationships education support for schools. The three main services are: • The Brandon Centre - sex and relationships training for staff working with young people in both boroughs and coordination of the condom card scheme (C-Card) • Brook - targeted outreach to vulnerable young people • Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Pulse clinic - clinical outreach for young people up to age 25 and co-ordination of the network.
launch event recently took place, A featuring performances by young musicians and an appearance by zine publishers Ladies of the Press*.
Find out more u rlife.org.uk/relationships/ sexual_health
News in focus
Camden 50 volunteering awards Many thanks to everyone who submitted nominations for the Camden 50 Volunteering Awards. We have received some fantastic nominations from a wide range of groups and organisations, including charities as well as schools and faith groups.
Trial of West Endâ€™s first walking and cycling street We are introducing a trial that will temporarily change the traffic routes through the Bloomsbury area. The aim is to make more space for cyclists and safer and more attractive streets for everyone. Changes will take place on Torrington Place /Byng Place/ Gordon Square/Tavistock Square between Tottenham Court Road and Judd Street from early November and will introduce changes to where loading is allowed. As well as being home to a number of residents, students and businesses these streets make up one of Londonâ€™s busiest cycling routes.
The trial responds to feedback and concerns about too much traffic which we received during the West End project consultation. After the trial has started, and once the new arrangements are established, we will ask people to formally tell us what they think.
We would also like to thank our panel of judges, which included The Mayor of Camden Councillor Larraine Revah, Tulip Siddiq MP, Keir Starmer MP and members of the Camden Youth Panel, who gave a tremendous amount of thought and consideration to the entries. Winners will be announced shortly, so keep an eye out for updates. The awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 19 November 2015 at 6pm in Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, WC1H 9JE.
The trial will be in place for a year, during which time we will make a decision on whether to make the changes permanent.
Find out more c amden.gov.uk/ torringtontavistocktrial
Find out more camden.gov.uk/ camden50volunteeringawards
A blooming marvellous year for Camden in Bloom
Schools competition winners Greenest school
1st place: Devonshire House Preparatory School
1st place: Devonshire House Preparatory School 2nd place: La Sainte Union
Health and wellbeing
1st place: Swiss Cottage School 2nd place: St Paul’s CE Primary School Angela Wong, winner of best balcony
Prize winners Gloria Farrelly, winner of best individual garden
This year’s annual Camden in Bloom competition, run in partnership with Project Dirt, once again brought our local communities together in the common goal of making our borough more beautiful and sustainable. From balconies and gardens to extensive community projects, green spaces were transformed, updated and improved as our schools, residents and businesses all got in on the action to get ‘Greener Together’. Entries were assessed not only on their visual impact, but also on the overall effort taken, the benefit to the local community and the impact on the local environment.
12 | Camden | November 2015
An awards ceremony took place at the Town Hall on Tuesday 29 September, where the Mayor of Camden was joined by judges Chris Collins and Councillor Meric Apak, Cabinet Member for Sustainability and Environment, to give out the prizes to winners across 10 categories. Councillor Apak said: “I want to thank everyone who was involved in a fantastic example of uniting our community to make Camden a greener and more beautiful place to live and work. 2015 has most definitely been the year of getting ‘Greener Together’ and I look forward to another successful competition in 2016.”
Find out more camden.gov.uk/camdeninbloom www.projectdirt.com
1st place: Argyle Primary School 2nd place: La Sainte Union
Litter and waste minimisation
1st place: Fitzjohn’s Primary School 2nd place: Devonshire House Preparatory School
Business and residential competition winners Best balcony
1st: Angela Wong (pictured) 2nd: Ulrike Coxhill-Scholz 3rd: Louise Prideaux
Best community growing project 1st: Highgate Day Centre 2nd: Kentish Town Health Centre 3rd: Transition Kentish Town
Best individual garden 1st: Gloria Farrelly (pictured) 2nd:Caro Shrives 3rd: Sorcha Jones
Best business entrance
1st: Alara Wholefoods 2nd: Cecil Sharp House 3rd: Shaw Healthcare
Best environmental project 1st: Grow Lissenden 2nd: Highgate Day Centre 3rd: Netherwood Green Space
Capturing Camden Hundreds of Camden residents share what the borough means to them.
Regent’s Canal by Graham Smith, a winner in ‘Portraits of Camden’
As part of Camden’s 50th birthday celebrations, we invited our residents to enter a competition – we asked them to share photos that they felt summed up the borough. The National Portrait Gallery worked with us, and also invited their social media followers to share Camden-related images on Twitter and Instagram. We had hundreds of entries, and they paint a fascinating picture of Camden in its 50th year – from street art at Camden Lock, via iconic social housing estates, to public buildings that are internationally renowned. The photos we received really captured the breadth and variety of our borough.
We managed to narrow the entries down to a shortlist of 50, and a judging panel of artists Elly Clarke and Kate Peters, Councillor Larraine Revah, Mayor of Camden, and Councillor Patricia Callaghan, Cabinet Member for Housing, chose the nine competition winners. Cllr Callaghan said: “I was really pleased that so many people were inspired to share their views of Camden with us, including many of our council tenants and leaseholders. The quantity and quality of the entries is a tribute to the enthusiasm of our residents and the diversity and strength of our communities.”
The overall winner of the competition is Anne Clements, of Camden Town, whose photo is on the cover of this magazine. Anne said: “I’ve lived in Camden for 22 years, and for me Camden is about its people.” Anne’s entry features Ann HydeHarrison and David Harrison, her neighbours and fellow Camden residents. The couple are retired architects, and are pictured standing outside their home – which they designed and built themselves in the 1960s. All the competition winners have received tickets to the Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, and they will be presented with a framed print of their winning entry at an event at the Town Hall on 9 November. To arrange to view the winning photographs, please call 020 7974 3265. To see the 50 shortlisted entries, including the nine winners, visit the Council’s Instagram feed: instagram.com/camdentalking
Find out more c amden.gov.uk/camden50 @camdentalking 13
An easier way to move home Last year almost 200 Camden households moved by swapping their homes through a mutual exchange.
A mutual exchange is a fast and easy way to swap homes between two or more council and housing association tenants.
to swap homes through mutual exchange and now both have a new home that better meets their needs.
You could be in a new home of your choice in less than nine weeks, whereas you’re likely to be waiting far longer to bid successfully for a more suitable home through Camden’s housing register. From January 2016 the allocation scheme will change and you may not qualify to bid at all.
Andreia said: “Without mutual exchange as an option it would be unlikely that we would have been rehoused. My mum is really happy in her new home, and my daughter now has her own room.”
You can exchange your property with another council or housing association tenant in Camden, or anywhere in London or the rest of country; perhaps to be closer to family or friends or nearer work. You really don’t have to be looking to move far. Over 100 tenants from Camden and our neighboring borough Islington recently attended an event to try and find a swap partner.
Successful Camden swapper Andreia Moreira was living with her husband and young daughter in a one bedroom home on Wellesley Road. Her mother was living alone in a two bedroom property. Andreia and her mother were able 14 | Camden | November 2015
Want to swap your home? Advertising your property on homeswapper.co.uk is a great way to find people to swap homes with. Top tip: including well thought out photos will increase your chance of success. We also hold regular home swap events around the borough. You can advertise your homes and can have the chance to meet someone that you want to swap with.
Free help and support You can get help using a computer, getting online, and making your advert at one of our free home swap help sessions:
Queen’s Crescent library Drop in any time from 11am-1pm. Friday 13 November, Friday 20 November, Friday 27 November, Friday 4 December, Friday 11 December 2015.
Pancras Square library Drop in any time from 1pm-3pm. Tuesday 10 November, Tuesday 17 November, Tuesday 24 November, Tuesday 1 December, Tuesday 8 December, and Tuesday 15 December 2015. Sessions at Pancras Square library are held in the adults library on the first floor. Go to the enquiry desk and they will show you to the right area. If you’re currently applying for a council or housing association home remember to update your application, as we’re changing who gets priority. Visit camden.gov.uk/ housingapplication. Feature requested by residents. If readers have any more ideas, please get in touch.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/mutualexchange 020 7974 5913
Local news Getting out and about in King’s Cross, Bloomsbury, and Holborn and Covent Garden this winter
UR YA VE
We will be working alongside Transport for London (TfL) to keep routes clear - the routes they have responsibility for are marked in red on the map. Together we’ll ensure bus routes and transport hubs, including the areas surrounding Euston, King’s Cross and
Our priority gritting routes are shown in green on the map and include Tottenham Court Road and Gray’s Inn Road. As well as these we’ll also grit the roads around schools, Holborn Police Station and Great Ormond Street Hospital.
This winter, we have access to up to 1,000 tonnes of grit to keep roads and footpaths clear of snow and ice. But because we can’t be everywhere at once and cannot grit every road, we prioritise which roads and areas are gritted first.
We’re prepared – are you?
T DS NAR T DS FOR
D G N R EIGH L STO EU ENDS
ST ON INT SW ON ST ACT ST
N TO US
This map shows you the routes our gritting trucks will be taking in King’s Cross, Bloomsbury, and Holborn and Covent Garden wards.
’S AY GR
Our plans for the winter weather
TfL grit route Camden Council grit route
St Pancras stations are kept clear, so you continue to have a choice of travel options to access important services in the capital. With a fleet of five gritting lorries to cover our main roads and 100 sweepers on hand to manually grit throughout the day, we’re well prepared to meet the challenge winter weather brings. However, because of our reduced budget and limited resources, we
may not be able to grit side roads and footpaths immediately. Which is why we need your help to tackle any icy patches you may spot first.
For more information about our winter weather plans, visit camden.gov.uk/winterweather
Can you dig it? Get your free shovels
Your help in keeping Camden moving in difficult weather conditions really is invaluable and we’re offering 1,000 free shovels to local community groups to help clear snow and ice from footpaths.
020 7974 4444 in advance to arrange collection.
Every year, residents associations, volunteers and business groups are ready to rally to help shift snow, allowing Camden’s residents to continue to get out and about. Since we have to prioritise our efforts and gritting of our main roads, the community help really makes a big difference.
Find your local grit bin
Each group can collect up to six shovels from 211 Arlington Road, NW1 7HD, from 10am to 3pm, Monday to Friday. Please call 16 | Camden | November 2015
You will need to leave contact details and information on where you intend to use the shovels.
There are over 170 grit bins in Camden, which residents are welcome to use to grit public roads and footpaths. Remember, please don’t remove grit for use on private land as we have a limited supply. If you do need to grit your own drive or footpath, table or dishwasher salt should do the trick.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/winterweather
What’s on Discover fantastic local events and activities on your doorstep for all ages and interests at lovecamden.org There’s so much to get involved in this autumn and winter. Here’s a taster of what’s on in your area.
Camden 50 closing event To round off Camden’s 50th anniversary celebrations we are holding an open afternoon at the Town Hall on Monday 30 November from 1 to 5pm. Join us to take a look back at all the community projects who were involved in commemorating this important milestone. The artists, participants and partners will be on hand to talk you through, and show you, what they’ve been up to.
Find out more: camden.gov.uk/ camden50closingevent
Fancy brushing up on your waltz, tango, jive or foxtrot? Come for a Sunday afternoon of dance at the Camden Centre on 15 November between 12.30 and 4pm. Your £4.50 entry will also include a raffle ticket.
Find out more: camden.gov.uk/camdencentre
© BBC/Robert MacKenzie
Camden tea dance
Best-selling author and illustrator Lauren Child is putting her own dolls house, which she has been working on for 30 years, on display for the first time in this exhibition at the House of Illustration. The exhibition is on now until 7 February 2016 and entry is included in the price of general admission (£7 adults, £4 children). See the website for full details.
Find out more:
Camden: The first 50 years
The Imperial Hotel
Head to Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre from 10 November to 26 January for an illustrated historical exhibition looking at Camdenâ€™s first 50 years.
The free exhibition will be open Mondays and Tuesdays 10am to 6pm; Thursdays 10am to 7pm; Fridays 10am to 5pm and alternate Saturdays 11am to 5pm.
Find out more: camden.gov.uk/libraries
Fitzrovia Festive pop-up Christmas is coming! Whitfield Gardens is hosting a free festive pop-up for all the family on Thursday 12 November between 11am and 8pm. Come down to watch the Christmas lights being switched on and explore the festive market.
Find out more: 18 | Camden | November 2015
Worried about your drinking? We can help.
watch the video
Our new alcohol support service can help anyone experiencing difficulty with alcohol use. We’ve worked with people who use alcohol services to rethink the way support is provided – focusing on helping people to recover and stay independent for as long as possible. Kate Dallas, support specialist: “We can help anyone - from someone who wants to drink a bit less to someone who is completely dependent on alcohol and needs medical help. We can also support you if you are affected by someone else’s alcohol use. “We can help in different ways depending on your needs. This can include counselling, medical treatment and family sessions.” By offering support from a variety of different locations, the new service will ensure even more people are able to get support when, where and how they need it. “You can get help at your GP surgery, hospital or community centre as well as at our fixed site in Early Mews,” said Kate. “This means you can be seen in a place where you feel comfortable that is close to your home.”
Journey to recovery Gareth* had lost friends and family as a result of his drinking. After reaching out to our alcohol support service his life is back on track. “I was given alcohol to drink from a very early age and I started drinking regularly as a teenager. “Then as an adult I got into a difficult relationship and began drinking alone as a way of coping. I lost touch with friends and family. I became depressed, irritable and anxious. “I finally decided to do something after the results of a blood test suggested my liver was badly damaged. “I had huge reservations about seeking help. I was expecting to have to stand up in a room and say, ‘I am an alcoholic’, and feel lots of shame. “But my key worker encouraged me to feel compassion for myself, not shame. I have never been somewhere where there is so much compassion. Everyone who works there really cares.
goals and I learned how to manage my cravings and emotions. “Nowadays I am training in a new profession, and I am happy. I think for my family it has been like welcoming back someone they thought was lost forever.” *Name changed to preserve anonymity.
Find out more icascamden.org.uk 0300 303 2420 (24-hour freephone) 7-8 Early Mews, Arlington Road, Camden Town NW1 7HG
“We worked together to set realistic
Community Investment Programme – new homes at Gospel Oak The redevelopment of the Gospel Oak district housing office, Bacton Low Rise estate and Vicars Road commercial workshops is a project within the Community Investment Programme (CIP). This is a huge step in the regeneration of Gospel Oak, as this is the first time we have been able to build new council homes in Gospel Oak for over 20 years.
We’ve come a long way
Before: Gospel Oak district housing office in 2013 before it was replaced by housing
Residents from the Bacton Low Rise estate have started to move into the newly built homes on the former Gospel Oak district housing office site – as part of the Bacton Low Rise redevelopment project. 20 | Camden | November 2015
As part of the Bacton Low Rise redevelopment, we’ve created 67 new homes on Vicars Road, and on the site of the former district housing office. This is phase one of the redevelopment project. The Bacton Low Rise Tenants and Residents Association (TRA) has been a key part of this project and we are really grateful for all their help. After: New homes at Gospel Oak
The TRA worked in partnership with the Council, based on their
need to address the poor condition and problems of energy inefficiency on their estate. Together they chose an architect to produce the initial designs on how the new estate will look.
Mr Grayham had been living on the Bacton Low Rise estate for 20 years. His flat had problems with damp and mould, and was very cold. He was one of the first residents to move into the new flats.
A number of fun days were also arranged to consult with residents on the estate, and gain feedback on redeveloping the estate.
He said: “l am so happy with my new flat – this place is quality. It’s been great moving with my neighbours from Bacton to the new development, and most of all, to be able to stay in the area.”
New homes The redevelopment will ultimately provide 294 new homes – 177 for private sale, 107 council homes for rent and 10 shared ownership homes. Three employment units will be created as well. The work will be undertaken over three phases. The next phase will involve demolishing the original Bacton Low Rise estate in summer 2016 and building 226 new homes on the site.
Improving the area The redevelopment will provide high quality, energy efficient housing and improved living spaces. Redesigning our estates can bring benefits such as investment funding and opportunities for open spaces, better lighting, crime reduction, safety improvements, improving the look and feel of the area, as well as providing much needed new homes in London.
“l am so happy with my new flat – this place is quality.” Mr Grayham, resident
Find out more camden.gov.uk/blr
Keep warm W
Keep well and warm this winter With winter almost upon us it’s good to prepare for the colder months to help keep you well and warm in your home.
Keeping your home warm over the winter months can be difficult, especially if you are worried about high energy bills. Living in a cold home is not only uncomfortable but it can also badly affect your health. The good news is that there are many ways Camden can help you to improve the warmth and comfort of your home and save money on your energy bills. Your first step to a warmer home is to call our freephone Green Camden Helpline on 0800 801 738. Our team of friendly advisors are on hand to give free energy advice such as no-cost and low cost tips, how to switch energy tariff or supplier and what to do if you are in fuel debt. You can also
22 | Camden | November 2015
find out if you qualify for one of Camden’s free Well and Warm home energy advice visits or an energy efficiency grant for insulation or heating improvements. Call the Green Camden Helpline for free, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm on
0800 801 738 Or visit camden.gov.uk/energy
Top tips to save money and keep warm ➊ Switching your energy
supplier could save you around £198 a year.
➋ Installing room thermostats, programmers and thermostatic radiator valves can save up to £165 a year.
➌ Turning off lights and
appliances when not needed can save around £40 a year.
➍ Draught-proofing can
reduce your energy bills by up to £30 a year.
➎ Investing in thermal lining
for your curtains can reduce heat loss through the windows by up to 15%.
➏ Use reflective radiator
panels or tin foil behind radiators to reflect the heat back into your room.
watch the video
Stay well this winter If you’re eligible, get your free vaccination now before flu strikes this winter. Flu occurs every winter. It’s a highly infectious disease and symptoms come on very quickly. Dr Caz Sayer is a GP at Adelaide Medical Centre in Hampstead and Chair of Camden Clinical Commissioning Group. Caz said: “Most people recover from flu in around a week but some people, due to their age or a health condition, can become seriously ill if they catch it. “In the worst cases it can result in hospitalisation and even death. That’s why we offer free flu jabs to people at higher risk. “Please don’t put off getting the flu vaccination; if you’re eligible contact your GP now. It’s free because you need it.”
Flu jabs myths There are lots of myths about flu vaccination – here we set the record straight. Myth: It doesn’t work. Truth: It reduces the risk from flu of serious illness, hospitalisation, and even death. Myth: Children can’t have it. Truth: Children aged two to four or in school years 1 and 2 are now eligible for free flu vaccination by nasal spray - it’s quick, painless and effective.
Saturday walk-in flu jab clinics If you’re eligible for a free flu jab and can’t make it to your GP come along to any of these Saturday walk-in clinics between 9am and 12pm. • 7 November – Parliament Hill Medical Centre, 113-117 Highgate Road, NW5 1TR • 14 and 21 November – West Hampstead Medical Centre, 9 Solent Rd, NW6 1TP • 28 November – Swiss Cottage Surgery, 2 Winchester Road, NW3 3NP
Feature Myth: It gives you flu. Truth: It can’t – injections don’t even contain the live flu virus. Myth: If you’ve had a jab in the past you’re already covered. Truth: You should have the flu vaccination every year so you stay protected. The antibodies that protect you from flu decline over time and the viruses that cause flu can change every year.
Free flu vaccination: are you eligible? Those eligible include: • 65 year olds and older • people with a long term health condition (even if you feel well) • pregnant women • children aged two, three and four or in school years 1 and 2 (via nasal spray) • carers (paid or unpaid). If in doubt, ask your GP surgery.
Find out more nhs.uk/staywell
Workplace successes Our apprenticeships service, comprising Camden Apprenticeships and King’s Cross Construction Skills Centre have had a lot to celebrate recently. They’re delighted at winning the ‘Best work with supply chains and local businesses’ award at the London Boroughs Apprenticeship Awards on 23 September. They were also shortlisted for the other three award categories: Best manager or mentor, Best new apprentice and Best progression by an apprentice. The judges were impressed with the variety of new contractors Camden Apprenticeships and KCCSC worked with and the
support offered to our local residents with additional barriers to work. As well as placing 253 people in apprenticeships in the past year, they’ve successfully set up ways to support people who were finding it hard to get into work.
Mentoring One aspect of the apprenticeships service support is mentoring that we fund Fitzrovia Youth in Action (FYA) to provide. The aim is to give young people a little extra support at an important time. Claudia Alder, 28, is a government press officer who volunteers for the mentoring service. Mentoring
Sylwester Sobolewski – runner-up for best progression by an apprentice Sylwester 21, whose apprenticeship was with the Council, gained an NVQ level 3 in business administration. He now has a permanent post in our agile support team.
24 | Camden | November 2015
Sylwester says: “I didn’t want to go to university because of the cost. I thought that if I could get myself into work early, I could gain some good experience and possibly
work my way up into a decent position in the time I would have otherwise spent at university.’ My job is great, because it’s very varied and I meet lots of different people.
important to feel connected to as many different people as possible. “Rima was clearly very motivated and working hard to find the right job, so it was great to be able to give her advice.” Rima, 19, is a business support apprentice working with our special educational needs team.
Yllsen Chavez Gomez
was something she had been thinking about for a while, but the right opportunity hadn’t come up. An internet search led her to FYA and she mentored Rima Begum, a council apprentice. Claudia says: “I was keen to share ideas. I’ve worked in lots of different areas and I’ve had a lot of help from other people in my career, so it was about passing that on. I think it’s
Rima says: “I signed up to the mentoring service because I was trying to decide what to do next. I had an educational mentor at school so I knew how helpful a mentor could be. I needed guidance – although I’d done A-levels, it’s hard to be sure how they will fit in with your career path.
want to get back into paid work. Yllsen Chavez Gomez got help from Women Like Us to change her career. Yllsen says: “It was three or four years since my last proper job and I needed to work. I wanted to build on my existing skills to develop a future career so I started looking for admin jobs. It was difficult, because my first language is Spanish and if I got nervous in interviews, I forgot my English. Support from Women Like Us increased my confidence a lot. I’ve now got a job I love as an office administrator.”
“Claudia gave me guidance about being in a work environment and it was good to be able to talk to her informally. I enjoy my job because it’s about helping people – I’ve developed a passion for that.”
Support for mums Returning to work can be hard, especially if you have to juggle work and childcare. We offer support through Women Like Us and Hopscotch to mums who
Find out more camden.gov.uk/apprenticeships camden.gov.uk/kxcsc
Access council services online Patrick shows Connie how to pay her council tax online
Camden Account user Idil
repair online until a member of the communications team showed her how to do this with her Camden Account.
watch the video
This month we meet three women who have been trying out their Camden Account, which provides access to key services in one place with one login. Your Camden Account is personalised so that you only see the features relevant to you, whether that’s your council tax bill, bin collection day or parking permit. If you’re a tenant or leaseholder you’ll be able to view housing benefit claims, your housing rent or leaseholder charges.
Use your smartphone, tablet or laptop Our online services are designed so that they work 26 | Camden | November 2015
just as well on a smartphone or tablet too, which means you can access council services anytime and anywhere.
Idil, from Kilburn Idil is a busy working mum of three children. As a nurse she often works nightshifts and regularly uses the internet for shopping on ebay, accessing social media and paying bills. She was daunted by the prospect of reporting a housing
Idil told us that normally she would report a housing repair over the phone, but would be restricted to when she can raise the repair. She was impressed with the ability to raise a repair day or night and told us: “Things go wrong after 9 to 5, don’t they?” With her Camden Account she can flag a problem when it happens and get it resolved more quickly.
Connie, also from Kilburn Connie has recently been trying to improve her IT skills and regularly uses the internet to send emails and keep in contact with her family in South Africa. She was thrilled when our customer insight and improvement officer Patrick visited her to show her how to pay her council tax online. It was much easier than she expected and in future she plans to pay her council tax through her
online Camden Account which she says will be much better than going out to the pay point. She said: “Once I do it online, I can check up and also see what I owe for the rest of the year, so it’s much easier for me. I’ve got a much better rein on what is going on.”
She told us: “I’ve been using my Camden account for over a year now. I’ve used it for reporting repairs, I’ve used it to buy visitor parking permits. I also use it to pay my council tax. I have a very busy life, so time is very important, and being able to use it on my smartphone has been great.
Macarena, from Holborn
“It makes life easier, and you don’t have to be on the phone for 10, 20 minutes. You do it from the comfort of your home, or on the train, or wherever you like. It saves time.”
Camden Account user Macarena
She told us that she finds it much easier to use her smartphone to access services and finds it especially useful to be able to carry out transactions while on the train.
Find out more c amden.gov.uk/ camdenaccount
As well as being a Camden resident, Macarena is an environmental services support officer at Camden Council. Macarena relies on the internet for many aspects of her life, including accessing emails, finding directions, banking and shopping online as well as staying connected through social media and finding local events and activities.
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The next phase of our challenge We’re giving you regular updates on our financial challenge. As a result of cuts to government funding, alongside other social factors, we have to make significant savings. We’ve already made good progress – saving over £93 million in the last four years, and by the end of financial year 2015/16 this will be £123 million. Over the last few months we’ve been asking you to contribute your views before Camden’s Cabinet makes some key decisions in December. See right for the latest.
Thank you for taking part in the future libraries consultation The future libraries consultation closed on Tuesday 6 October. Over 2,000 people took part in the consultation, available online and on printed copies available in all libraries. This included over 300 children and young people who also took part in a consultation specifically aimed at finding out what they thought about proposed changes to the library service. We are currently reviewing the responses and considering all of the information available to us on future library trends, community needs and the impact any changes might have on our most vulnerable customers. A new library strategy will be presented to Camden’s Cabinet in December.
28 | Camden | November 2015
Subject to the changes being approved, we plan to start implementing the new library strategy from April next year. The proposals presented in the formal consultation documents were informed by the feedback received during a period of initial engagement that asked residents what they thought a modern library should look like. This ran from March to June this year and included an open debate at the British Library. Over 700 people shared their views via the future libraries ideas hub on voXup.
Find out more c amden.gov.uk/ futurelibraries
Enhancing mobile and broadband connectivity in Camden We are launching an initiative to enhance digital connectivity and tackle mobile phone ‘blackspots’ across the borough.
Reshaping youth support services – have your say Camden Council is consulting on changes to the youth support services we provide.
The proposal, which was agreed at Camden’s Cabinet on 21 October, involves leasing rooftop spaces on council-owned buildings to telecommunications companies, generating much needed income of up to £600,000 per year.
To balance our budgets in the face of central government cuts, we have a £75 million savings programme in Camden – and our proposals for youth support services would contribute £1.6 million of the total.
This will mean that mobile and wireless broadband masts will be installed on more than 50 Council-owned rooftops, increasing telecoms capacity and coverage for residents and businesses across Camden.
Under our proposals, we plan to develop a more targeted service, focusing on those young people who need and will benefit most from our support. We also plan
As part of the initiative, we will also be providing free wi-fi access for 74 tenants’ halls on council estates, digital skills training and refurbished PCs for use by the community. This will enable tenants’ halls to be used for a wider range of activities, including homework clubs, and help to tackle the digital divide. The plans will also promote economic growth by supporting local businesses and services which rely on high speed, low cost internet to be competitive in the modern world. The income generated will be reinvested back into public services and used to maintain Camden’s housing. Residents and businesses were asked to share their thoughts on the proposal in October and this invaluable feedback was used to inform discussion at the Cabinet meeting in October.
to retain some of our most popular activities - such as our successful Camden Summer University programme, which is open to all young people as well as continuing to fund voluntary organisations to help them run services that are open to all young people. However, to make the savings we have to make, we unfortunately will have to make reductions to our overall youth services, including universal youth work provision, so we are consulting on plans to reduce or close some services and activities.
Find out more and have your say • Our eight-week consultation began on Monday 2 November. • A final decision on any changes is due to be made by the Cabinet in February 2016. • You can read the consultation and respond online here: camden. gov.uk/ youthservices
The Spending Review: keeping you informed In October we told you we had spoken out on your behalf in our response to the government’s Spending Review. The review will be published at the end of November, and we’ll update you in our next issue about what this means for our savings targets.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/ camdenchallenge 29
Acland Burghley students enjoying their new dining hall Students at Acland Burghley School are taking advantage of the better facilities and greater range of school meal options in their revamped dining hall. Headteacher Nicholas John, who took up his post in September, wants all students to enjoy a healthy school meal with their classmates, rather than using local takeaways or skipping lunch altogether. Mr John and school business manager Kat Miller have also led a drive to increase free school meal uptake at the Tufnell Park secondary school – leading to a quarter more Acland Burghley students claiming free school meals in the first few weeks of term. The overall increase in students having school dinners in the revamped canteen is 26% at the beginning of this term too. Mr John said the Year 11 students, who were previously allowed to leave at lunchtime, can now join the first sitting for school meals with children from Year 7 and Year 8. He said: “Hardly any of them have complained and most are enjoying
30 | Camden | November 2015
Acland Burghley head, Nicholas John, with students in the dining hall.
having lunch in the new canteen. It means they are getting a healthy meal which also helps their learning in the afternoon.” Teachers are also encouraged to use the dining hall, recently revamped with money from the Council’s Community Investment Programme, and many sit with the students. A wider range of hot meals and sandwiches are also on offer - with bagels available as well as baguettes on the sandwich counter. Mr John insists children have metal cutlery and proper plates to eat
with instead of polystyrene boxes and plastic knives and forks. Fizzy drinks are also banned in school and Acland Burghley operates a ‘no sugary drinks’ policy all times. The dining hall also hosts a daily breakfast club for about 80 children a day, ensuring Acland Burghley students are well set up for a day of learning.
Find out more aclandburghley.camden.sch.uk camden.gov.uk/fsm
New Torriano Primary School A new Torriano Primary School has been formed for children aged three to 11. The new school enables greater continuity for pupils, with no need for infants to move to a separate junior school, better planning across all key stages and greater sharing of best practice, curriculum and other resources by staff. The new primary school, which admits 420 pupils, will remain on the site of the old infant and junior schools with an executive headteacher, Bavaani Nanthabalan, a head of school, Helen Bruckdorfer, and a governing body comprising members of the previous infant and junior governing bodies as well as newly elected parent governors.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/schools
llustrator Quentin Blake opens new King’s Cross Academy and Frank Barnes School Illustrator Quentin Blake, bestknown for his work with author Roald Dahl, was the special guest during a day of celebrations to mark the opening of the new King’s Cross Academy primary school and Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children. The two schools, co-located in the heart of the King’s Cross development, have forged a close partnership where mainstream primary pupils and deaf children share facilities such as their library, playground and dining hall. Children and staff at both schools learn British Sign Language, allowing pupils to communicate with each other. The schools’ move to the Plimsoll Building provides much-needed community and educational facilities in the heart of the new King’s Cross development. The Academy and Frank Barnes can tap
Quentin Blake with pupils in their new co-located school.
into the many learning opportunities in the area and work with local organisations, such as Central Saint Martins College and businesses. The new Academy is sponsored by the King’s Cross Academy Trust, formed by the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP), the owner and developer of the King’s Cross regeneration project, which has worked closely with Camden Council, Frank Barnes School and other partners to make the project happen. Other guests at the opening celebrations included the Leader of the Council, Councillor Sarah Hayward, and Councillor Angela Mason CBE, Cabinet Member for Children.
Find out more camden.gov.uk/schools
It’s quicker to access council services online than over the phone or in person.
Idil, from Kilburn, has a Camden Account. Over 50% of households 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 • Report a housing repair • Pay leaseholder service charges • View housing rent • View housing benefit claims and payments
camden.gov.uk/camdenaccount 32 | Camden | November 2015