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Your guide to council services | October 2015

Bin there done that? Recycling champion


26 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 to find out how to access our digital magazine 2 | Camden | October 2015

Actors Rupert Everett and Freddie Fox on stage at the Hampstead Theatre

Website: Email: Twitter: @camdentalking Communications team Camden Council Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, WC1H 9JE

Distribution from 5 October 2015 Published by Camden Council Editorial, advertising and distribution: 020 7974 5717 Costs 15 pence a copy to produce. Cover image: Luke O’Reilly

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



News in focus New school in King’s Cross Renting out your home


News in brief Magic moments at school breakfast time


Fun for parents Starting school Volunteering awards Get a shed New planning alerts Help with building work Get a flu jab Helping refugees

14-15 Feature

Recycling champion

18-19 Rebwar Mohammad captures the action at Mount Pleasant Studios



Making it easier for our customers

24-25 Feature

HS2: The latest news

30-31 Feature

Help with stopping smoking

Khalid Abdulahi, book review winner


Beware of bad letting agents To L


Looking for a flat? Don’t get ripped off by the small print By law, letting agents must clearly display the fees they charge to landlords and tenants. Find out more #fairlettings

4 | Camden | October 2015


to the October edition of the Camden magazine

watch the video

Councillor Sarah Hayward Leader of the Council

Like most of the country last month I was shocked to witness the humanitarian crisis of the Syrian refugees in Europe. I was proud to be one of the first councils to pledge to give sanctuary and refuge to families and we are now working with Citizens UK, the Refugee Council and local organisations to offer help to families in desperate situations rebuild their lives. I was also really proud of the response from the Camden community. I’ve been contacted by so many people wanting to offer help in some way, and was really pleased to join residents on the national march of solidarity. It won’t be easy and many families will need specialist support. We are liaising with central government over what the financial cost to Camden will be, to ensure we can get as much financial support as possible to cover costs. There are lots of really practical ways that you can help, there is more information on page 11 or go to our facebook page ‘Camden supports Syrian refugees’. We will keep our website updated with news on this.

Investment Programme (CIP) latest news on pages 22-23. You can read about how the CIP has built new homes in Regent’s Park and provided a brand new refurbished hostel for homeless people in Holborn. I met some of the people at Mount Pleasant earlier this year and I’m so pleased that despite the financial challenges we face we’re still finding ways to improve the homes and services we provide for the people who need it most. The new studios have really changed the quality of support we can give people to help them get back into more permanent homes. Finally an announcement this week showed more confusion from HS2 about their plans for Euston station with a suggestion that the train may have a temporary terminus at Old Oak Common – something we as a community have been asking for for years. We will keep you updated as the situation develops but in the meantime we are working hard to support the communities who are going to be affected by the years of blight which HS2 will bring to our borough. Find out more on pages 24 and 25.

Communities coming together to support each other is a subject you’ll read about throughout the magazine, from Janet Gompertz, our cover star, who is inspiring her local area to improve their recycling (pages 14-15) to our Community


News in focus New primary school for King’s Cross – and a new building for Frank Barnes pupils

Teacher Rachel Gillingham with Frank Barnes pupils in their new school

A new primary school in Camden - King’s Cross Academy - has opened in a brand new building shared with Frank Barnes School for Deaf Children.

provide a new school after children and staff moved to make way for UCL Academy.

The two schools, co-located in the heart of the King’s Cross development, are forging a close partnership where mainstream primary pupils and deaf children will share facilities such as their library, playground and dining hall.

The primary school has two reception classes for 60 children and will expand to serve 420 primary pupils, alongside its 26-place nursery.

The schools’ move to the Plimsoll Building, beside the soon-to-open Gasholder Park, provides muchneeded community and educational facilities in the heart of the new King’s Cross development.

Children and staff at both schools will learn British Sign Language, allowing pupils to communicate with each other. The new classrooms all have a specialist soundfield system to enhance teaching and learning.

The Academy and Frank Barnes will be able to broaden children’s experiences by tapping into the many learning opportunities in the area and working with local organisations, such as Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design and businesses.

For Frank Barnes, this marks the culmination of a long-standing commitment by Camden Council to

The new Academy is sponsored by the King’s Cross Academy Trust, formed by the King’s Cross Central

6 | Camden | October 2015

Limited Partnership (KCCLP), the owner and developer of the King’s Cross regeneration project, and Michael and Clara Freeman, who support schools, educational charities and universities. They have worked closely with Camden Council, Frank Barnes School and other partners to make the project happen. Councillor Angela Mason CBE, Cabinet Member for Children, said: “This is a great example of how our strong partnerships are helping to deliver community facilities for the people of Camden. “The new King’s Cross Academy and Frank Barnes School are in a wonderful new building offering two high quality new schools, co-located and designed to meet the needs of a wide range of pupils.”

Find out more

News in focus

Letting your home short term? If you’re renting out your home for short periods using sites like Airbnb then you need to make sure you know the rules. A new ruling by government now limits how often people can rent out their home for short-term letting. It means that if you let the whole of your property on sites like Air bnb for more than 90 days a year you will be breaking the law and risk prosecution. It’s important to speak to your landlord and also check whether there are restrictions in your lease, tenancy agreement, insurance or mortgage that would prevent you letting out your property.

can cause anti-social behaviour in local neighbourhoods. Research released by website Inside Airbnb shows how private rented housing is being reduced by sites like Air bnb. When over a third of people in Camden are reliant on private rented housing, the site shows over 750 listings are entire homes or apartments.

The rise in short-term lets has led to higher rents for people trying to afford to live in the borough, and

Report to us We’ve investigated 50 cases of short-term lets this year and we’re now monitoring sites like Airbnb. If you’re concerned about a home being let short-term for more than 90 days, or a council home being illegally sublet, or about anti-social behaviour caused by these lets, please contact us.

Camden tenants cannot let the whole of their council property at all, as this is against the terms of their tenancy conditions and is illegal.

Longer term problems

With less housing and rents being driven up, this creates pressure on our council housing waiting list too, since people who can’t afford to rent often apply for council housing.

And there are cases of private companies renting out homes permanently, which takes away potential family homes to use them as hotels.

For more information search ‘short term lettings’ on our website or call 020 7974 4444.

Find out more 7

News in brief

Celebrating parents and carers at free fun event

Melanie Corpus with daughter Caeli Malijan

Parents, carers and their children from across Camden are invited to attend the annual Celebrating Parents family fun and information extravaganza at Haverstock School.

The event, at Haverstock School in Chalk Farm, is organised and run by Camden Parent Council, parent volunteers and young people. More than 1,000 parents and their children came last year.

Attractions at the free event, from 1 to 5pm on Saturday 24 October, will include music, dance, crafts, bouncy castles, table tennis, football, climbing wall, performances, face-painting, clowns, fun bike skills sessions, baby massage, reflexology and massage for parents, soft play and storytelling in early years room and much more.

The theme this year is ‘Bouncing Back - Resilience in Camden’, helping families to face challenges in their lives with confidence.

Find out more

Applying for primary schools in Camden If your child is starting reception class in Camden primary schools in September 2016 you need to apply by 15 January. You can now apply online at www. and name up to six primary schools in your preferences. A higher percentage of children an amazing 96.1% - attend good or outstanding primary schools in Camden than almost anywhere else in the country, according to Ofsted. 8 | Camden | October 2015

Primary pupils in Camden also perform consistently above the national average in test results for 11 year-olds. In 2015 provisional results show that 86% of pupils achieved the required level in reading, writing and maths in Camden, compared with 80% nationally.

Find out more

News in brief

Volunteering awards –

nominate someone exceptional As part of Camden’s 50th anniversary celebrations, we would like to acknowledge the fantastic contributions made by so many of our residents who give their time every day to help others. To show our appreciation, nominations are now open to find ten exceptional volunteers who will receive a special certificate and thanks from the Mayor of Camden.

So, if you know an individual or group who volunteers in Camden and who you think deserves some extra recognition, submit your nomination by completing an online form or telephoning us. The closing date is 5pm on Wednesday 21 October 2015.

Find out more c camden50volunteeringawards 020 7974 4158

Discover and celebrate 50 years of Camden

Do you need a shed, garage or parking space? We have spaces available to rent all over Camden, and it’s now really easy to find available sheds, garages and parking spaces close to you with our new interactive map. Anybody can apply to rent a car space, garage or shed, but we prioritise applications from people living on that estate, and tenants and leaseholders can rent spaces at a reduced rate.

Garages and sheds are a cheap and convenient place to use for extra storage space and are located on convenient estates around the borough.

Find out more


News in brief

Sign up for planning e-alerts You can now get the latest information about planning applications in your area by signing up to our planning e-alerts system. You can specify a distance around your property to find out about planning applications in your area. By signing up, you will then be alerted by email to any planning activity in that area, such as new applications, decisions and appeals. For example, you could choose to receive alerts on all applications within 100 metres of your house. If you are already a Camden Account holder you will soon see current planning applications near you in the planning section of your account. We are improving the planning e-alerts system to provide even

clearer, useful and complete information. Residents who used planning alerts before October 2015 will be automatically switched to the new system. We are proposing to stop sending letters to neighbours about planning applications, and will be

consulting residents about this in late October.

Find out more

Get a quote for our building control service Did you know that you can get a quote for our building control services online? Our building control team can help you to ensure that your building work meets current building codes and regulation requirements. You can get a quote quickly and simply by filling out our online form. 10 | Camden | October 2015

The form takes less than two minutes to complete and you’ll be asked a small number of questions about yourself, your property and the work you are undertaking. Once submitted you’ll get a no obligation quote in less than four working hours and a member of the team will contact you to discuss your work.

Please note that the request-aquote service is for building control work only and does not cover any planning approvals you may require for making alterations to your property.

Find out more

News in brief

Free flu vaccination:

You’re eligible for a free vaccination if you: • are aged 65 and older • have a long-term health condition (even if you feel well)

have you had yours?

• are pregnant (it’s safe at all stages of pregnancy)

Don’t put off getting the flu vaccination – if you’re eligible, get it now. It’s free because you need it. GPs in Camden are urging local people at risk of complications from flu to get their free flu vaccination this winter. Some people, due to age or a medical condition, are at greater risk of severe illness if they catch flu. This can result in hospitalisation and, in the most serious cases, even death.

How you can help to support Syrian refugees in Camden Camden has a long history of helping refugees and lots of residents and organisations have been in touch with us to offer support. If you want to join them here are some of the things you can do.

• children aged two, three and four or in school years 1 and 2 (vaccination is by nasal spray – it’s quick, painless and effective) • are a carer (paid and unpaid)

If you’re at greater risk you can get a free flu vaccination at your GP surgery. It’s safe, effective and the best possible protection against an unpredictable virus.

• are a health and social care professional. Contact your GP surgery to find out more and to arrange your flu vaccination.

Find out more

Private landlords


Get in touch with us if you would be interested in helping house a family.

You could make a donation of money or useful items to one of the many organisations that are doing humanitarian work locally and overseas, including the Refugee Council, Save the Children and the Red Cross.

Interested in fostering? If you could help to offer a home to a child or young person please contact us at fostering

Local organisations If you think your organisation could provide support to refugees please let us know how you think you could help.

Find out more c 020 7974 4444 facebook ‘Camden supports Syrian refugees’


Hampstead School is first secondary school in London to receive top Unicef award Hampstead School, in Camden, has become the first secondary school in London to be awarded a Level 2 Rights Respecting School Award by Unicef UK. Seven Camden primary schools and one local special school have the Level 1 Award and Camden Council supports schools in their work to gain the Level 1 and Level 2 Awards.

Head teacher Jacques Szemalikowski with students

Unicef is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights. The Rights Respecting Schools Award is granted to schools that show commitment to promoting and realising children’s rights and encouraging adults, children and young people to respect the rights of others in school. Level 2 is Unicef UK’s top award for schools and recognises a thorough commitment to children’s rights at all levels of school life. Five primary schools in Camden have the Level 2 Award but Hampstead School is the first secondary school in the borough and the first in London to gain it. 12 | Camden | October 2015

Headteacher Jacques Szemalikowski said: “We are delighted to be the first secondary school in London to be awarded the Rights Respecting School Award at Level 2 - the highest possible recognition by Unicef UK. This reflects the hard work of staff, our student leadership group elected to represent their peers, and students generally.”

the wider world. The school has a positive and empowering learning environment for all and we are very pleased to be awarding them this Level 2 Award.” The Unicef UK Rights Respecting Schools initiative involves over 3,700 primary and secondary schools in the UK who have reported a positive impact on pupil behaviour, relationships and wellbeing, leading to better learning and attainment. Over 250 schools in the UK have received the Level 2 Award.

United Nations Convention The award means Hampstead School is putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child at the heart of school life, ensuring children’s rights are learned, taught, practised, respected, protected and promoted. Unicef UK Rights Respecting Schools Programme Director, Frances Bestley, said: “Children at Hampstead School understand and are strongly committed to children’s rights. They are listened to, participate fully in school life and have a strong understanding of

Find out more

Film show celebrates Camden Summer Uni success Almost 800 young people enjoyed 100 fantastic free courses during Camden Summer University, which culminated in the films they made being shown at the British Museum. The 13 to 19 year-olds studied drama at RADA, got inside tips from professional artists and learned skills ranging from journalism, photography and music production to cookery, fashion design and self-defence. About 70% of the courses were accredited, so young people also had something to put on their CV for work, university or an apprenticeship. This year’s Camden Summer University culminated in a screening of films made by young people on a wide range of courses, including digital animation, documentary film-making and a

course aimed at young people with Asperger’s syndrome and autism spectrum disorder. The screenings at the British Museum included a documentary called ‘Young People, Relationships and the Law’, which featured interviews with Youth Health Champions and a Camden Police inspector and covered issues such as the legal pitfalls of ‘sexting’. The film show, which also included work shot on location at the British Museum, was attended by more than 150 people, including young people and their families. Among the guests was Councillor Georgia Gould, Camden’s Cabinet

Camden Summer Uni documentary film-making (L-R) Daniel Majer, Carolina Students film-making Heppe, Haben Araya and Harun Osman.

Summer Uni film tutor Suzanne Cohen (centre) with Youth Health Champions from Central YMCA at the British Museum screenings

Member for Young People and Economic Growth, who said: “The films were thought-provoking and educational as well as creative, funny and imaginative - and they showed what makes Camden Summer University so special. “We teamed up with major names on our doorstep, such as RADA, the British Museum, Central Saint Martins College and the Wellcome Collection to give local young people an outstanding range of free activities.” Artwork produced by Camden Summer University students during a life drawing course at Central Saint Martins was also put on display at the college.

Find out more c 13


An individual approach to recycling Janet Gompertz hates waste. Like many of us she is concerned about the environment and is enthusiastic about recycling, but wanted to do more to help tackle Camden’s waste challenge. Janet says “I’m quite a tidy person and can’t stand litter or waste. If I see litter anywhere I pick it up and put it in a bin. I recycle because it just it makes sense to.” Now Janet, who lives in Hampstead, has taken her interest in recycling to the next level by becoming a recycling champion for her neighbourhood and is helping her neighbours to recycle more and keep the area clean. Janet came up with the idea at a meeting about Camden’s waste challenge to help meet our target of recycling at least 40% of all waste by 2020. Janet says: “We discussed ways to increase the amount of recycling in the borough as at present we only recycle around 26% of our waste annually. “I thought that to make it easier for people and to help them recycle more, one person in each area could act as a key contact for recycling advice and information.” 14 | Camden | October 2015

Janet Gompertz is passionate about recycling

Feature Saving time “My idea was that I could make a large order for any recycling equipment needed on behalf of people in our neighbourhood, have it all delivered to me and then I could give it out to them – saving everybody time. “I now just order via the website every couple of weeks on behalf of everyone and the deliveries happen quickly. Everything is so easy and it takes all the hassle out for everybody in our neighbourhood.”

Offering advice As well as helping neighbours with equipment orders, Janet is also providing advice on recycling and is particularly keen to tackle food waste. “I do encourage people to recycle as much as possible. It’s so much easier than people think and the best thing is the kitchen caddy for food waste.” On average 70% of the contents of a rubbish bag are recyclable with over 30% being food and garden waste. Wasting this food costs the average household £470 per year. Janet says: “It’s good to plan your meals to try to completely reduce food waste, although some waste is inevitable and that’s where the food caddies help. “They don’t take up a lot of space in the kitchen and are odour proof and rodent proof. Once they are full I simply transfer it to my outdoor caddy – my other bins now are clean and we are now free of foxes, rats and maggots.”

Janet also aims to help residents identify and address any issues or difficulties they might have with recycling. “I try to find out why people are resistant to recycling – for instance some people might be new to the area and not know how the system works, or are concerned that the kitchen caddy may spoil the harmony of their kitchen. If people can talk me through their issues I can try to help and offer solutions.”

Getting results Janet worked with her neighbourhood association to make people aware that she could help, and she now provides advice to any residents of the three streets in the association.

Getting involved Janet believes that everyone should be recycling and suggests that more people should get involved. Every tonne of waste recycled saves the Council £50, which can be spent on other vital areas, but there is a long way to go to reach the target of recycling 40% of all waste. Janet says: “I think it’s really important that more people get involved. Even if people just remembered to recycle the main items – food waste, paper, plastic and card – it would make a huge difference, not just to the environment but to their kitchens too.”

“We put flyers up for people who are interested to contact me and the reaction has been positive. I think that I’ve managed to persuade quite a few people in our neighbourhood to recycle who weren’t previously. “I have encouraged all eight flats in our building – we’ve made it a house rule that everybody recycles. I’ve provided them with all the equipment and in the old days we used to fill up about seven dustbins of rubbish – now we fill up three quarters of one, everything else is recycled. “Once people start recycling they realise that it’s sensible and easy and they stick with it – it’s just starting that can be the difficult bit.”

Find out more 15

where can you take these items?

unwanted large household appliances? these could be reused.

The reuse trial is happening in your area at these reuse and recycling centres (RRCs):









D . R Prim Sch OL






































frid freezceoroskers electricmachines washinbgle dryers tum washers dish owaves micr



t we acgceesp


Regis Road RRC, Regis Road, Kentish Town NW5 3EW

We offer free collections of large appliances from your doorstep if you cannot bring them to a reuse and recycling centre. Email or phone 020 3457 5681. North London Waste Authority (NLWA) is working with ReStore Community Projects. All items are repaired, safety tested and made available to your community, giving them a second life.

2565.50 - NLWA half page advert_CM.indd 1

Coming to your borough soon! Do you know a reputable trader? If so tell us and we will do the necessary checks • Age UK receive hundreds of enquiries every month from older people and their loved ones asking for traders and businesses that they can trust. • Age UK refers these callers to reputable traders and businesses that have been checked by Age UK London staff.


07/09/2015 17:24

We want to make it easier for you to access information about the Council online and as part of this have created a new digital version of this magazine that you can read on any device – smartphone, tablet or PC without having to download an app. Our new digital version provides you with quick links to more information and extra video footage based on the items in the magazine so you can find out more about topics that interest you.

Help us connect you to more great services and businesses you can trust!

To recommend a trader call us free on

0800 334 5056

email or visit our website

16 | Camden | October 2015


New digital magazine


Age UK London’s Registered Charity Number 1092198

For more information, visit

Age UK Camden’s Registered Charity Number 293446

Find out more c


Charlie says

Charlie Pizzey is an apprentice electrician

You may never have heard of Section 106 agreements, but you’ll probably have benefited from them, because they provide money from new developments that we can put back into the community. In fact, if you see a large new building development in Camden, the chances are that we will have secured some Section 106 (s106) money with it. We can ask for Section 106 payments under the Planning Act to address the impact of new developments. The community benefits not only from new homes and jobs but from any s106 contributions, such as payments to provide apprenticeships for Camden residents. One such apprentice is Charlie Pizzey, (18), who is working at King’s Cross, he said: “I’m training to be an electrician. While I was at school, I did a oneweek work experience placement with an electrician, and I loved it and knew that was what I wanted to do. Then people from King’s Cross Construction Skills Centre came to my school to talk about apprenticeships and I asked if they did electrician’s apprenticeships

and they said they did. There weren’t many available though, so when I finished school I was really looking around for the right opening. “My job with LMOB is great – I absolutely love it. I finish my college study next year and after that I have another year on the site

before I get my level 3 NVQ. Then I’m planning to do a testing and inspection course which will mean I’ll be checking other people’s work.”

Find out more 17


Have you signed up for a Camden Account yet? Save time

do it


Over 50% of Camden households have already registered to access council services online. Our online services provide a quicker and easier way to interact with us than over the phone.

With a Camden Account you can: - Pay and manage council tax bills, set up a direct debit and sign up for paperless billing - Apply for parking permits and purchase eVisitor parking permits - Check bin collection days, report a missed collection and order new recycling equipment - Report and book a housing repair

Macarena, from Holborn, has a Camden Account. “Being able to use it on my phone has been great.�

- View housing benefit claims and payments, and report a change of circumstance - View and pay leaseholder charges and view housing rent.

18 | Camden | October 2015

watch the video

Feature Here’s just a few of the benefits of using a Camden Account:

You only need one login You don’t have to remember multiple passwords and you only need to give us your details once to access key services.

Your Account is personalised You will only see the features relevant to you. Pay your council tax after viewing your statement or report a housing repair in a few short clicks to tell us exactly what needs fixing in your home.

No need to stand in line You can access your Camden Account any time and anywhere, whether you use a laptop, smartphone, tablet or desktop computer. It’s just as secure as online shopping and banking.

To sign up, visit You’ll need to give us your email address, name and address and contact telephone number. We’ll immediately send you an email to validate your account. To access council tax, you will need your council tax reference number. To access housing services you will need your customer or payment reference number.

Save money You can save £10 when purchasing or renewing your resident parking permit through your Camden Account. You can also help us save money at a time when we face tough financial challenges, and preserve face-to-face channels for residents that need to use them the most.

Find out more



Could it be magic?

watch the video

Children at Camden primary schools are tucking into a healthy breakfast each day – thanks to a partnership with the national charity Magic Breakfast. 20 | Camden | October 2015

Gospel Oak pupils enjoying their magic breakfasts

Of the borough’s 43 primary schools, 37 have breakfast clubs – 17 of which are supported by Magic Breakfast. The charity provides free, healthy food and fruit juice for schools where more than 35% of pupils are eligible for free school meals. The

schools can order as many bagels and as much cereal and porridge as they need so all pupils start their day with a healthy meal and can make the most of classes.

Feature Parent Annie Scott-Horne said: “I work full-time so it’s a lifeline for me because I don’t get very much time. The staff are all brilliant - they’re all really caring and they make sure the children have had their breakfast. The children like the range of breakfasts that they get. They’re allowed to choose, which I think is really important.”

Eating well and going to class happy Headteachers say that eating a healthy ‘magic’ breakfast helps to improve pupils’ concentration, behaviour, attendance, punctuality and educational attainment. A Magic Breakfast school leader works with each school to develop their breakfast club, offered at minimal or no cost to parents. Camden schools offer healthy Magic Breakfast food to 1,051 children - a rise of 712 children since the charity started in the borough. More breakfast clubs are due to open and schools which want to set one up are encouraged to contact the charity. The Council’s aim is for all Camden schools to have a breakfast club. Schools with under 35% of pupils eligible for free school meals can also contact the charity to ask for their support and free training for breakfast club staff, as well as a free cross-age reading scheme, offered as part of the Magic

Breakfast scheme with books donated by Give a Book Charity. Tracy Storey, co-ordinator for Gospel Oak Primary School’s Magic Breakfast club, said: “We started two years ago and now have 45 to 50 children registered, with 20 to 45 kids coming through at any one time. “There’s a very nice atmosphere – the children all know each other and it’s great to see different year groups mixing. They can also read, draw and play here so it’s very relaxed. The parents know their children are being well lookedafter and are going to get a good breakfast. Since the breakfast club began, the children are coming in on time, eating well and going to class happy – and that’s what we aimed for.” Gospel Oak pupil Frankie, aged 10, said: “I like it that there are other kids here, there are loads of things to do and you can choose different things to eat each time.”

Councillor Sally Gimson, Camden’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “It was really lovely seeing so many children at Gospel Oak Primary School having a healthy breakfast. I am very pleased it is happening here and I hope more of our primary schools will take advantage of this fantastic scheme.” Councillor Gimson recently visited the Gospel Oak Magic Breakfast Club along with Councillor Angela Mason CBE, Camden’s Cabinet Member for Children.

To help support our aim for all primary schools in Camden to have breakfast provision and ensure no children are too hungry to learn, schools are encouraged to contact Magic Breakfast to become part of this project.

Find out more



New doors open for residents The CIP is our 15 year programme to invest money in schools, homes and community facilities. We are building 3,050 new homes, including new council rented homes, and investing £117m in 53 schools and children’s centres. This will help create much needed social housing for local people and much needed new school places. Residents told us about the impact of two recently completed developments.

Residents move into brand new homes watch the video

Mount Pleasant Studios

watch the video

22 | Camden | October 2015

The Netley development in Regent’s Park

As our Community Investment Programme (CIP) progresses, it is making a real difference to the lives of our residents.

This summer proved to be an exciting one for two local families after collecting keys to their new council home at Everton Mews in the Netley development, Regent’s Park. The brand new development funded through CIP has 10 new council houses including two adaptable properties for residents with disabilities and eight four-bed properties. For the two families we spoke to, the new homes mean they are no longer living in overcrowded homes. “I’m so happy with our new home. It’s a lovely house and we have so much more space. I felt suffocated and depressed in our old home. It was a bit damp, which was not good for my son who has asthma,” said Sharifa Jalicka Ahmed, who previously shared her bedroom with her seven-year-old son.

Feature has been funded by building private homes on the site. They have been sold to HS2 and will become available as replacement housing for roughly half of the council tenants living in the blocks that will be demolished in the Regent’s Park estate if HS2 goes ahead.

Single homeless people are also benefiting through the CIP Rebwar Mohammad

Gulam Isdani is especially impressed with his ground-floor bedroom. “I have back problems, which makes it extremely difficult to climb the stairs, so having my bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor makes it a lot easier,” said Gulam. The Netley development also includes a new school building, improved outdoor play spaces and new teaching and crèche premises for the Camden Adult Community Learning Service. The development

Residents took part in the official opening of Mount Pleasant Studios, a state of the art facility for single homeless people who need support.

“I love it here, the staff are fantastic,” she said. “It’s made me push myself to get a lot better. I’ve gone back to part-time work and just want to move forward.” Former resident Rebwar Mohammad returned to the studios as photographer for the opening event. He has now moved on to another Adult Pathway Service and is looking to pursue a career in photography.

Through CIP the buildings in Holborn that were originally part of a workhouse have been transformed into a modern service. As part of the Council’s Adult Pathway service, the Studios provide safe accommodation and training for vulnerable people, and help them move on to independent living and get into work. Francis Meert had worked as a chef for many years, but after serious ill health he lost his job and became homeless. With support from staff he has improved his own skills as well as helping other residents improve theirs. He even managed the catering for the opening event and received lots of compliments. “The staff were really supportive in finding an appropriate course to get the tools that I needed to finally push my career further,” said Francis, who now wants to rebuild his life with a job and his own flat.

Francis Meert

progress towards independence.

Resident Stacey Crump

Find out more

Stacey Crump became homeless and with the help of her support worker, she has made steady 23


HS2: Petitioning on Euston

The Government’s revised plans for Euston Station are of deep concern for Camden, bringing years of blight to the borough while missing a huge opportunity to provide significant benefits. Changes to plans for Euston Station include the construction of the High Speed 2 (HS2) tracks in two phases until 2033 and leave the majority of the existing station untouched. Changes include but are not limited to the station’s ‘throat’ requiring additional land for ground anchors at Park Village East, the formal removal of the HS1-HS2 link and use of London Zoo car park for a lorry holding area. By not committing to comprehensive development of the station in partnership with Network

24 | Camden | October 2015

Rail and Transport for London, if HS2 goes ahead, the plans create a disjointed station with tracks on different levels. This would prevent easy access through the station in all directions to the surrounding areas. Instead, we believe a comprehensive approach to the station, fulfilling the vision of the Euston Area Plan, could create up to 3,800 homes, up to 14,100 new jobs and new open space in the area. Without comprehensive redevelopment of the station, it

is unclear how major transport projects, such as Crossrail 2, would integrate with Euston, meaning Camden residents could face more disruption on top on HS2 construction works. Transport Minister Robert Goodwill MP recently suggested that HS2 could temporarily terminate at Old Oak Common, rather than Euston. Camden Council has consistently called for this to allow time to get plans for Euston Station right and to minimise the disruption residents and businesses will face. However,

the Department for Transport deny a temporary terminus is part of plans, adding to the uncertainty Camden faces. You can view the Government’s Euston plans via our website.

Still time to petition If you are ‘directly and specially affected’ by plans for Euston Station you have until Friday, 23 October 2015 to formally petition. This is the way you can set out any objections to the changes and what you would like Parliament to do about it. You can petition regardless of whether you petitioned on the HS2 Bill in 2014. The proposed changes at Euston are accompanied by an Environmental Statement. This includes all the impacts construction will have on the area, which you can use to inform your petition. You are also able to comment on the Environmental Statement in its own right by responding to the consultation on it by Friday, 6 November 2015. Camden Council is not allowed to help write the content of an individual’s or group’s petition.

However, we are holding petitioning workshops to give you practical support on completing your petition and drop-in surgeries where you will be able to speak one-to-one with a council officer about your petition and view maps.

Advice and support: Petitioning workshops: Monday, 12 October 2015, 4-8pm and Tuesday, 13 October 2015, 12noon-4pm, at the Surma Centre, 1 Robert Street, London, NW1 3JU. Petitioning surgeries (appointment only): Monday, 19 October, 3-5pm and Tuesday, 20 October, 3-5pm at Camden Council offices, 5 Pancras Square, N1C 4AG. Please email highspeed2@ to book an appointment to see a council officer in person to ask specific questions about your petition. We are also keen to support petitioners in preparing to speak before the Select Committee of MPs. The Select Committee will be hearing evidence from Camden

petitioners at the end of this year - probably in December 2015 and January 2016.

HS2 replacement homes Council tenants and resident leaseholders set to lose their homes to HS2 are a step closer to having a new home to move into after our Development Control Committee issued a resolution to grant planning permission to build replacement homes, subject to conditions. The application is for 116 homes on eight sites on the Regents Park Estate which will provide 90 replacement homes, an additional 16 affordable homes and ten homes for sale. We will undertake preparatory and utility works this autumn ahead of starting the construction of the replacement homes in the New Year. A second linked application for five private units above the Camden People’s Theatre was submitted in June and will be heard at a future Development Control Committee.

Artist’s impression of replacement housing on Robert Street

Artist’s impression of replacement housing on Varndell Street corner

Find out more h 25


Top quality theatre on your doorstep In his five years at Hampstead Theatre, artistic director Edward Hall has many artistic achievements to be proud of – ranging from West End transfers to national theatre awards. But Mr Hall, son of theatre legend Sir Peter Hall, is also hugely proud of the Hampstead Theatre’s wide reach as one of the most accessible theatres in London, offering affordable tickets for top quality productions. As well as £10 tickets for students and under 30s, Hampstead Theatre also offers £5 tickets for the first five performances of any production in its ‘downstairs’ studio theatre – while the theatre also pioneered free live streaming of selected performances on the internet. Senior citizens can see a matinee in the main theatre for £15 and a production in the studio theatre for £10.

26 | Camden | October 2015

Edward Hall, Hampstead Theartre artistic director

“We are one of the most accessible theatres in London,” said Mr Hall, who directed the current studio production Firebird, as well as Hampstead’s hit musical about The Kinks, Sunny Afternoon, still enjoying a successful run in the West End. “I want Camden residents to know how easy it is to see fantastic productions at Hampstead Theatre. If you think we are that expensive place by Swiss Cottage that you can’t get into, think again - because you can easily get a cheap ticket to see a great play here first before it moves to the West End or New York. “You can also come into our newlyrefurbished foyer and have a drink,

something to eat and use our wifi.” Mr Hall is also excited about bringing topical issues and the stories of exceptional north London residents to a wider audience. Ray Davies of The Kinks grew up in Muswell Hill, while the theatre has also featured productions about former Hampstead resident Sigmund Freud and poet Stevie Smith, who grew up in Palmers Green.

Find out more


Summer Reading Challenge - book review awards ceremony Claire Niumata (aged 8) a book review prize winner

Alongside this year’s Summer Reading Challenge, libraries across the borough held a competition for children to review the books they read as part of the Challenge. Divided into categories of under 8s and over 8s, each library selected one winner from each category every week, with a total of 12 winners per library chosen over the course of the summer. On Saturday 5 September the competition winners and their families were invited down to Swiss Cottage Library to collect their prizes and join in a day of celebrations. The day was attended by around 200 residents, made up of around 65 winners and their families. In keeping with the theme of this year’s Challenge, ‘Record Breakers’, the winners were each awarded with a certificate and

prize goody bag, which included a Record Breakers activity booklet, wristband and selection of small party gifts.

The lucky winners Winners of the competition included Claire Niumata, 8, from West Hampstead Library, who read and reviewed Sea Horse Stars, along with Khalid Abdulahi, 7, from Swiss Cottage Library who chose to review Martha in the Middle. Maya Mishura, 7, from Highgate Library selected The Boy in the Dress for her review. Swiss Cottage Library also hosted a range of activities to entertain the families on the day, which continued after the prize-giving had ended. The main atrium where the children collected their prizes was

host to a craft activity table and a calligraphy stall run by the Huahsia Chinese school, where children could learn to write their name in Chinese. On the ground floor were face painting by Charles from the Maxim Workshop, table tennis sessions and t-shirt printing. The event marked a fitting conclusion to yet another successful year of the Summer Reading Challenge in Camden. We hope everyone had as much fun as we did and will continue to break their own reading records all year round!

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An update on our financial challenge Each month we’re giving you the latest on our financial challenge. We’ve saved £93 million over the last four years, but additional cuts to government funding alongside other social pressures – such as increases to the cost of living – have left us with further budget pressures. To address this we have agreed savings of £75 million, to be delivered by 2017/18.

Camden future libraries consultation The future libraries consultation has now closed. Thank you to everyone who took part and had their say on how future library spending should be prioritised. We are currently analysing the results from the consultation survey and will use the feedback to develop a new library strategy. A decision on how our libraries will be provided in the future is expected to be made at the

28 | Camden | October 2015

Council’s Cabinet meeting in December.

Find out more c

We want your views on green spaces We know you’re passionate about our borough’s green spaces, and nearly 40% of you have told us that you rank parks and open space as the most important thing in making Camden a good place to live. We have 75 parks and green spaces across the borough, ranging from the historic squares of Bloomsbury and former churchyard sites, to neighbourhood parks and local play spaces. We also manage 323 areas of green space around Camden’s housing estates, including play areas and ball courts.

The contract that looks after these areas costs £2.5 million a year and comes to an end in 2017, presenting a good opportunity to save money while maintaining high standards. We now want your views to help inform our future priorities.

Find out more The survey will be open until 30 October and we will then use the feedback to help design the new way of delivering the service. This will be presented to the Council’s Cabinet early next year.

Responding to the Government’s spending review In September we sent our response to the Government’s Spending Review consultation. This review, which will be published in November, will set out how the government will deliver £20 billion further savings by 2019/2020. In our response we spoke out on your behalf, warning that basic services could be jeopardised if the cuts continue. We said the scale of cuts over the previous parliament means that there is now little room to find further efficiencies without putting front-line services and vulnerable people at risk. We also offered practical steps to reduce the unfair burden on local services. To read our full response, visit camdenchallenge

Share your views on Voluntary and Community Sector support

how to deliver support to VCS organisations. Earlier this year we worked with these organisations to arrive at a proposal for future support. We’re grateful to the 106 people from 84 organisations who responded to our engagement paper. You can see an overview of their responses at vcsengagement. We believe that the proposed package of investment and support that was developed through this process will be one of the largest anywhere in the UK. But we still want your feedback.

Consultation We are now consulting on the proposal. If agreed, the new package will run for seven years, providing security that is usually unheard of in the voluntary sector. The consultation will close on 4 November. Following this, recommendations will be taken to the council’s Cabinet for a final decision in December.

Find out more VCSconsultation

Letters about planning applications We are proposing 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 lamp posts. We are making improvements to our planning email alerts system, to make it even easier for residents to engage in the planning process. From late October we will be 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.

Find out more

We know that the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) plays a vital role in improving the lives of local people in the borough. However, funding cuts mean we are having to look carefully at



A smokefree life

watch the video

Smoking is the main cause of illness and preventable death in the UK, killing around 450 people a year in Camden alone. What’s more the average smoker spends around £1,500 a year on cigarettes.

30 | Camden | October 2015

Commedians supporting Stoptober

Around three-quarters of smokers want to give up, but quitting can be hard. But with support from our team of specialists, you’re four times more likely to quit the habit.

Getting support Donna Harrison, manager of Smokefreelife Camden, says: “The reason quitting is so hard is that it is an addiction to nicotine. If smokers are deprived of nicotine, they get withdrawal symptoms. Luckily, there is help. We provide

nicotine replacement therapy which works very well. “We can usually see people very quickly for an assessment. We’ll discuss coping strategies and then we encourage them to set a quit date. “Some people find stopping smoking can be quite isolating. Often they don’t tell anyone just in case they fail, so they do it alone. “Talking about any problems you might be facing works really well.”

Feature Achieving your goal Meet Steve Brennan, father of two from Kings Cross. With the help of our stop smoking service he’s finally managed to quit after years of trying. Steve Brennan had wanted to quit smoking for years when he came across our stop smoking service. Steve said: “I’ve been smoking on and off since I was about 15. When I was young and with the lads it was just the thing to do. “I have asthma and found that I was getting very wheezy in the chest. And it’s really expensive. I was spending about £300 to £400 on cigarettes every month. “I’ve tried giving up a few times over the years. I managed for nine months once – but when my flight was delayed for nine hours on a trip to America I started smoking again. “I first heard about the stop smoking service when I went for an NHS Health Check. I’d been considering trying to quit again, so I thought I’ll give it a go and see what happens. “I went along every week for 10 weeks. My advisor was brilliant. We set a quit date and she kept me going and pushed me to reach my goals. Within three days I had smoked my last cigarette. “Now I haven’t had a cigarette for 12 weeks. I feel grand. I still get the odd craving of course, but I’m sticking it out.

“If you want to quit smoking definitely give the stop smoking service a go. It’s a brilliant service.”

Stoptober Launched in 2012, Stoptober is the 28-day stop smoking challenge from Public Health that encourages smokers across England towards quitting for good. If you are thinking of getting help to quit, Stoptober is the perfect time to do it. You will be joining thousands of other people across the UK who are also trying to give up this month. More than 250,000 people signed up to Stoptober last year - and over half of them made it to the full 28 days. By stopping smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to quit for good. Along with proven advice and support, you will also get encouragement from some of the UK’s best known comedians. Al Murray, Rhod Gilbert, Shappi Khorsandi and Bill Bailey will provide support along the way.

Steve Brennan has given up smoking

And as of 1 October 2015 it is illegal to smoke in vehicles with someone under 18 present. So with one less place to smoke, there is one more reason to quit.

Find out more




Report fly-tipping offenders and hotspots 020 7974 4444

32 | Camden | October 2015

Camden magazine October 2015  
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