Page 1

Your guide to council services | April 2016

Playing out

Spring has sprung @camdentalking


6 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 | April 2016

Streets ahead for playing

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

Distribution from 7 April 2016 Published by Camden Council Editorial, advertising and distribution: 020 7974 5717 Costs 15 pence a copy to produce. Cover image: Philip Wolmuth

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 Better council homes Make your street a play street


News in brief Improving privately rented homes


Music at the Royal Albert Hall School building is listed Healthy living pharmacies Keeping Camden clean Learn something new New online health check Get a GP appointment on a Saturday Could you be a foster carer?

11-13 Feature

Tackling domestic abuse

Enjoy spring in our parks


Local content


Early years services What’s on


Feature Latest news on HS2

30 Schools get help with growing

Feature International Women’s Day celebrations 3


to the April edition of the Camden magazine important to have your say. Make sure you don’t miss out: register to vote by 18 April. For more information on how to register see page 20.

Councillor Sarah Hayward Leader of the Council


n a few weeks, on Thursday 5 May, London will elect a new Mayor and members of the London Assembly. Whether you normally favour a particular political party, or whether you make your mind up for each election, you must be registered to vote in order to have your say. The deadline for registering is Monday 18 April. With the Mayor having responsibility over areas that affect all of us: policing, transport, housing and much, much more, it’s never been more

4 | Camden | April 2016

The latest phase of our high-profile campaign about domestic abuse and violence begins this month. We aim to raise awareness of the issue, encourage people to come forward, and help friends and family members to spot the signs of abuse. Domestic violence and abuse is something that destroys lives and we are working hard to tackle it. As a council, we prioritise providing support and help for those suffering abuse. Everyone can play a part in this and you can read about it in a special feature on pages 11 to 13. It was International Women’s Day last month and I was pleased to take part in an inspirational event at Haverstock School to encourage more women to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and maths. You’ll see on page 30 that there were speakers from organisations such as Google and the Francis Crick Institute, and this was followed by a careers fair. I know from speaking to students that they were hugely encouraged by what they heard and I hope they have been given confidence

to consider a career in professions which are traditionally male dominated. Finally, as spring gets into full swing, the days get longer and the weather improves, there’s loads of information about how you can make the most of the outdoors. Whether it’s a stroll in a park, children’s play, gardening or our outdoor gyms, there’s something for everyone in our great parks and open spaces. Turn to pages 26 and 27 for more information. Argyle Primary School in King’s Cross got into the swing of spring early and hosted a celebrity visit by Chris Collins, the gardener from the TV programme Blue Peter. You can see how he gave advice to pupils on growing their own food on page 31 and this is another great example of what we can do now the winter is over. Why not be inspired by them and make the most of the great outdoors? On top of all that, there’s loads more in this edition of the magazine. We hope you enjoy it and always welcome your feedback, so we can make future editions even more useful. As ever the magazine is also available online at

News in focus

How we’re improving your homes

Better Homes is a five-year programme to improve Council owned homes with high quality work that provides value for money for our residents. The programme includes work like replacing windows, repairing or replacing roofs, updating heating systems and installing new lifts. We’ll be improving the energy efficiency of homes – for example, by installing double glazed windows and updating heating systems so that they can be fully controlled from inside people’s homes.

We’ll also be upgrading roof insulation where possible. Over the five years we will be investing £250 million in Better Homes. We’ll be making improvements that will affect 11,800 homes and we’ll be upgrading 52 communal heating systems. Work happening right now includes new windows, roofs, and heating at Maiden Lane, and a major communal heating project at Highgate New Town.

Find out more 5

News in focus

Streets ahead for fun

traffic, people living on the street will still be able to drive to and from their homes at a slow pace. Antje Saunders, who recently set up the Rousden Street scheme, said: “We had a fantastic afternoon with lots of happy children playing together, despite the sometimes cold wind.” At Asmara Road, Julia Marcuson said: “The kids had a brilliant time either playing football or cycling and scooting. It was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet new neighbours.”

Make your street a Play Street If you’d like your children to have fun playing outside, in a safe space close to your home, you can apply to make your street a Play Street. You’ll need to talk to your neighbours and get their agreement first, and then decide on the days and times that you want it to happen – for example on one day each month or year.

Children in Camden have been inventing games and making new friends at Play Streets across the borough.

The next step is to submit an application through the Council’s website. Once the application has been approved you’ll be given road closure signs to be used on play street days, and then you can invite all your neighbours out to join in the fun.

A Play Street is a street that’s closed off to traffic for a few hours on a regular basis, so that children can play out and neighbours can meet up for a chat.

set up at Albert Street in Regent’s Park, Asmara Road in Fortune Green, Rousden Street in Camden Town and Kentish Town’s Ryland Road.

Play Streets, organised and run by local residents, have already been

Although the Council organises for the street to be closed to through

6 | Camden | April 2016

Find out more c 020 7974 4444

News in brief Acland Burghley School listed as building of special architectural interest Acland Burghley School has been added to England’s official list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest. The building, considered to be a leading example of post-war architecture, has been designated as Grade II listed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Supporters of the school hope this will help efforts to continue improvements to the distinctive building with the help of a local fundraising campaign.

Lucy Amis, daughter of Acland Burghley’s lead architect Stanley Amis, was a guest of honour at a recent celebration of the building, called Light Up Burghley, when the outside of the school was lit up with a spectacular laser display.

Find out more Join the conversation #LightUpBurghley

Young singers and musicians raise the roof at Royal Albert Hall concert

Jon Snow said: “You have joined the ranks of the greatest musicians in the world who have performed in this building. Just about every child in Camden is exposed to a musical instrument during their schooling. Very few local education authorities can claim that.” The event, held every two years, is run by the Camden Music Trust, the Council’s music service and participating schools. The Mayor, Councillor Larraine Revah, who opened this year’s concert, said: “This is truly an inspiring event for all.”

More than 2,000 young singers and musicians from Camden schools and youth orchestras gave a stunning performance at the Royal Albert Hall, covering classical, pop, opera and jazz for an audience of parents, friends, school and Council staff.

The 10th Camden Music Festival was compered by Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow, with a guest appearance by Little Britain star and children’s author David Walliams, who is patron of the Camden Music Trust.

Find out more c


News in brief

Healthy Living Pharmacies All pharmacies offer advice on health conditions and dispense medicines. Healthy Living Pharmacies aim to take this a step further. They offer extra services – such as help to stop smoking, alcohol advice and flu jabs – in your local community. Each Healthy Living Pharmacy has a healthy living champion – someone trained and accredited to offer health and well-being advice, who can help patients prevent more serious illnesses and live healthier lives. All Healthy Living Pharmacies display a logo in their window. This is a mark of excellence and lets customers know they can access a wider range of services. Pharmacies have longer opening hours than many other health

services, and are available without an appointment – making them a convenient alternative to visiting your GP. Three pharmacies in Camden are already part of the scheme and the aim is to encourage more to join.

Where’s my nearest Healthy Living Pharmacy? GreenLight Pharmacy (Euston) 138 Drummond Street, NW1 2PA 020 7387 3233

GreenLight Pharmacy (Cricklewood) 6 Cricklewood Broadway, NW2 3HD 020 8452 2121 Aura Pharmacy (Kentish Town) 21 Brecknock Road, N7 0BL 020 7485 2159

Find out more healthylivingpharmacy 020 7527 2978

Keeping Camden clean

Keep your local area tidy by organising a community clean-up In Camden it costs £8.36 million a year to keep the streets clean, so your help to keep Camden clean and recycle not only helps our environment, but helps to save money which can be spent on vital services. If you would like to organise a cleanup in your neighbourhood then we can supply you with cleaning equipment, litter pickers and gloves, and help publicise your event.

8 | Camden | April 2016

Residents across the borough have been drawing attention to dog poop on the streets by spraying it fluorescent pink, to embarrass pet owners who haven’t cleaned up. Cans of pink chalk spray are available by emailing street.environment@ You can also help to keep Camden clean by continuing to report any littering, dog fouling or fly-tipping

issues in your area, using our online reporting form or by calling 020 7974 4444.

Find out more c 020 7974 4444

News in brief

Take a quiz to check your health A new NHS online test can give you personalised tips to help you take control of your health and prevent you getting ill in the future. The ‘How Are You?’ quiz looks at how well you are now and shows you some things you could change to be healthier.

Learn something new Free adult community learning courses start this month. The classes are informal and include basic computing, beginners English and ready for work courses. Courses also include our everyday computer skills workshops. Come along any week and learn useful skills, for example: •R  egister with Universal Jobmatch •S  earch for jobs online •P  ay your parking and council tax online • Open an email account. You can learn at your own pace in friendly community venues across the borough, supported by tutors experienced in teaching adult learners.

Come to our information day on Tuesday 12 April, from 9am to 4pm at either the Richard Cobden Learning Centre, Camden Street, NW1 0LJ or the Adult Learning Centre, Netley Campus, 72-76 Stanhope Street, NW1 3EX.

Find out more 020 7974 2148

It asks questions like “what stops you taking care of yourself?” and “what are your top three health priorities?” as well as about the kind of food you eat, how often you drink alcohol, whether you smoke and what type of exercise you take part in. When you’ve finished, it directs you to free online tools which could help you make healthier choices. The quiz is part of the new ‘One You’ campaign, run by Public Health England, to encourage adults to “move more, eat well, drink less and be smoke free”.

Find out more


News in focus Saturday GP appointments for south Camden patients The service is funded by Camden Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and delivered by the Camden GP Federation. Dzenana Hozic, from Bloomsbury, was one of the first patients to be seen by the Saturday service.

Patients from 14 GP surgeries in south Camden can now book to see a GP or nurse on a Saturday.

Dzenana said: “I called my surgery at 5pm on Friday and was offered an appointment the next day. It’s brilliant being able to see a GP on a Saturday – it means I’ve avoided a visit to the urgent care centre.” Patients make an appointment in the usual way through their GP surgery. All consultations take place at South Camden Centre for Health on Drummond Street between 9am and 5pm each Saturday.

Shira Rotem, from Bloomsbury, visited the service on 6 February. Shira said: “I think it’s great. My GP doesn’t do Saturday appointments and I work during the week. When you are sick you don’t want to wait a week to be seen – being able to come on a Saturday really helps.” Similar Saturday services are coming soon in north and west Camden.

Find out more saturdayappointments

Foster a Camden child Camden Council is actively recruiting foster carers, particularly for older children and teenagers. We hold monthly open information evenings for people interested in fostering. Six things you might not know about fostering: ➊ F oster carers do not need to own their home.

➋ Foster carers can be single,

married or in a civil partnership, with or without children of their own. ➌C  amden foster carers receive on-going training. ➍W  e pay our foster carers a weekly 10 | Camden | April 2016

allowance for each child or young person in placement, plus a generous weekly fee for the foster carer. Special payments are also made for birthdays, Christmas and family holidays. ➎A  ll Camden foster carers are allocated a supervising social worker who visits them frequently. We also have an out-of-hours emergency telephone line.

➏ F oster carers who live in

Camden are exempt from paying council tax.

Find out more 0800 028 1436


KNOW you’re not alone

watch the video

Together we’ll stop domestic abuse Domestic violence and abuse continues to destroy lives in the UK. One in four women and one in six men experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, and two women are killed every week in England and Wales by a current or former partner. Abuse can occur within couples, and within families and extended families too. People who experience domestic abuse may feel like they are completely alone and that there is nobody to turn to, so many incidents go unreported.

psychological, sexual, financial or emotional, or involve controlling behaviour.

of age, gender, sexual orientation or culture. We hope the examples shown will help to break the silence that can surround this issue.

Know the signs to look out for, both in your own relationships, and in those around you, whether it’s a family member, friend or neighbour. Recognising the signs is key to tackling abuse. We can all help by not tolerating damaging behaviours within our social circles or communities.

Campaign launches Our Know You’re Not Alone campaign relaunches this month with a short video that looks at six different relationships and the abuse the victim in each scene is experiencing.

Abusive behaviour can come in different forms and happens to many different types of people. We want to get the message out that there is help and support available, whatever the situation.

Domestic abuse is not just physical violence – it can also be

We currently receive

While it isn’t possible to depict every relationship or type of abuse, we recognise that domestic abuse can happen to anyone, regardless


Please turn over to see examples from our new campaign.

referrals to Camden Safety Net per month. 11

Feature This month we launch our new campaign. Here we outline the scenes that appear in the campaign video.

With the growing use of technology, its misuse means that situations and images that were intended to be private, can be made public in an instant. In this scene a teenage boy has a compromising video of a girl on his phone and threatens to share it online if she doesn’t do whatever he says. Using fear or threats to control someone, or using their trust against them is not okay. We work with individuals who may feel they have no way out to find a solution that is safe for them.

KNOW you’re not alone

For some people, abuse may have been ongoing for years, completely destroying their sense of self. Here, a woman has been so isolated and controlled by her abusive husband, she no longer even sees her children. Fear should not be a part of a loving relationship. Isolation and control are consistent forms of abusive behaviour in all of these scenarios and can leave people feeling alone and trapped. We help get people the support they need, reconnect with friends and family members and can link them with community groups to help them build new support networks.

If you, or anyone you know, is experiencing domestic violence or abuse, it is not your fault and you don’t have to go through it alone. Camden Safety Net is our dedicated helpline where you will find confidential advice and support, whatever your individual circumstance. Our friendly team will work with you to discuss your options and find a way foward that’s right for you.

12 | Camden | April 2016

Physical abuse within a relationship is never okay. In this scene a young man is violent towards his partner and threatens to ‘out’ him to his family. Domestic abuse in LGBTQ relationships can involve added complexities and using someone’s sexuality against them is unfortunately not uncommon. While abuse between female same sex couples is in line with the national female average of one in four, abuse between male same sex couples is thought to be as high as one in two. We are committed to working with the LGBT Forum and Broken Rainbow, who specialise in domestic abuse in LGBTQ relationships.

020 7974 2526 txt 07814 671 427


Domestic abuse can also happen within family relationships. Honour-based abuse and violence is often motivated by the need to restore a family’s perceived ‘honour’, which is seen as being damaged by the victim. As hinted at within this scene, family members may keep tabs on what a person is doing, reporting back to the family if they believe they have brought shame to them. This can result in extreme physical violence and worse. We work with individuals to get them the specialist help they need and, if necessary, remove them from the situation to a place of safety.

Support the campaign

This scene focuses on a male victim experiencing domestic abuse from his female partner. Feeling ashamed or embarrassed is a common reason men sometimes hesitate to report abuse, but domestic abuse can happen to anyone and it is never the victim’s fault. If there are children involved, not wanting to be separated from them is another key concern. We are here to work with people to find the best way to resolve their individual situation, and can put you in touch with legal representation if necessary.

Look out for the Know You’re Not Alone campaign in the coming weeks on Twitter (#KnowYoureNotAlone) and Facebook and help us spread the message.

Around one in five children will be exposed to domestic abuse and 30% of domestic violence either starts or intensifies during pregnancy. A young boy has seen his father being physically violent to his mother, not for the first time. He is confused and scared that next time she might not live through the abuse. We know that children who experience abuse in their childhood can be affected by it throughout their lives, but that wanting to maintain the family unit is a reason why many parents stay with their abusive partners. We provide support for parents and their children, including improving home security and exploring safe housing options if the home environment is no longer safe.

For more information

To find out more about the campaign and the ways we can help those suffering from domestic violence and abuse, visit

watch the video



Young volunteers needed at Healthwatch Camden “I saw the volunteering opportunity as a chance to make a difference,” says Healthwatch Camden volunteer, Clara Salice.

“I live locally, was born at University College Hospital (UCH) and my GP is also in Camden,” said Clara. “I saw the volunteering as a chance to make a difference on the delivery of health and social care services. I’d already set my mind to working in healthcare, but wanted to get an idea of the big picture, which I thought would stand me in good stead when applying for jobs and courses to advance my career.”

Stand out from the crowd

Twenty-four-year-old Clara Salice is one of Healthwatch Camden’s young volunteers. Healthwatch Camden welcomes the views of young people, and believes that services are better when they recognise the specific needs of children and young people.

14 | Camden | April 2016

Clara recently assisted in a mystery shopping project for Healthwatch Camden’s report on food and catering at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She spoke to patients and parents to get their honest opinions on the food and service they received. Clara said: “I found that people were very honest. I think that was partly due to me not being seen as a professional health worker. “I already had experience working

at a hospital and this time I got to see the day-to-day running of a hospital which gave me another perspective. “When I applied for medical school, my volunteering experience helped me to stand out from the other candidates. I did something different which made a difference to potentially thousands of patients. “I’d encourage other young people to volunteer, and be open to any opportunity as you may learn new skills that you will love.”

Find out more shelly.khan@ 020 7284 6585

Local news Local news and getting out and about in King’s Cross, Bloomsbury, Holborn and Covent Garden this spring

Helping you and your child to get the best start Camden Sure Start Children’s Centres provide a complete range of services designed to offer support to you and your child from before they are born until age five.

She said: “My oldest child is autistic so welfare rights have been helping me to get the support I need. My family support worker is absolutely amazing – she’s helping me to cope better with my children’s behaviour so we can play better together.”

From the moment you know you’re expecting a baby, our services are there to support you and your child’s early development.

Like our other children’s centres, 1A offers:

There are five children’s centres across Camden, which are linked to nine Council-run nurseries and a wide range of other services. In Bloomsbury, Holborn and Covent Garden and King’s Cross your nearest children’s centre is 1A Children’s Centre, in 1a Rosebery Avenue, King’s Cross. Charlotte, who lives close to 1A, has two children and is pregnant with her third. She has used the family support worker, welfare rights, jobs and training advice, as well as a drop-in play group at the centre.

• Midwifery and health visiting services • Information and support about breastfeeding, bottle-feeding and healthy eating • Stay and play drop-ins and other activities for you and your child to enjoy together • Family support team – if you need extra help • Early education and childcare and help finding childminders • Free places for two year-olds from eligible families

• Help to find training, employment and benefits advice • Local services for children with special educational needs and disabilities • One to one support if you are feeling low or anxious • Advice and play activities to support your child’s speech and language, including Terrific Talkers courses • Baby massage classes • Some parenting groups and courses, such as Little Connections, can be booked online.

Find out more Join the conversation: #camdensurestart


Local news

Choose a Camden childminder Camden’s registered childminders fulfil an important early education and childcare role in a flexible way that suits many busy parents.

Childminder Dorothy Williams

Like schools, nurseries and children’s centres, registered childminders are inspected and graded by Ofsted – with an amazing 84% in Camden rated ‘outstanding’ or ‘good’. This means you can expect excellent care, and for your children to receive the same highquality education they would at a nursery or school.

What’s more, if you’re a Camden resident with a two year-old child, you might be entitled to 15 hours of free childminding every week. Visit to see if you qualify.

Your child can learn, explore and have fun while you have more free time to study, volunteer or take on extra hours at work. Early education also helps your child’s learning and development.

Dorothy Williams – Bloomsbury childminder

Many of Camden’s 144 registered childminders are linked in with our Camden Sure Start Children’s Centres and activities for under fives in those centres and other local venues.

16 | Camden | April 2016

You can search for local childminders at childcare

Dorothy has been a childminder for three years. She is studying parttime for an early years degree and is rated ‘good’ by Ofsted. Dorothy said: “The best part is seeing children develop and grow. I create an environment for learning, following the early years curriculum and using Montessori education techniques. Because I care for

children of different ages, they learn a huge amount from each other. Working with children in the home helps them to form strong bonds with each other and with me, creating a family atmosphere in which they can flourish. “But I also believe children learn the most from being out in the real world, so our activities include trips to the British Museum and London Zoo, going to dance classes and getting out and about in parks.”

Find out more 020 7974 1679 (option 2) Join the conversation: #camdensurestart

What’s on Spring is finally here and there is lots to keep the whole family entertained in Camden, whatever your interests. Here’s a taster of what’s on in your area. You can discover even more events and activities at

Cityread London Join in London’s annual celebration of literature which aims to bring reading to life by encouraging everyone in the capital to read the same book at the same time. Borrow a copy of this year’s chosen book ‘Ten Days’ by Gillian Slovo from your local library, or pick up one of the limited free giveaway copies available during April. To complement the novel’s political themes, researcher Nick Dobson will be presenting the talk ‘London, City in Turmoil’ at Camden’s Local Studies and Archives Centre on Tuesday 12 April. The event is free and doors open at 6.45pm for a 7.15pm start.

Find out more:

Late at the Library: World Book Night celebrates Shakespeare Come along to the British Library on Saturday 23 April from 7.30 to 10.30pm for a night of festivities to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The price of £15 / £12 (senior citizens) / £10 (concessions) includes special guests, performances, music, and food and drink, along with entry to the Shakespeare in Ten Acts exhibition.

Find out more: 01937 546546 17

What’s on Camden in the Age of Shakespeare

Basketball for young people Every Wednesday at 6.30pm you can receive free professional basketball coaching at the Samuel Lithgow Youth Centre. The sessions are suitable for ages 16+ of all abilities.

Find out more: 020 7383 4382

Explore this historical exhibition which marks the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death. The exhibition is free and runs from Monday 25 April to Friday 29 July at Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre. The Centre is open Mondays and Tuesdays 10am to 6pm, Thursdays

Spinning Tales On Saturday 23 April explore characters from the exhibition Drawing on Childhood at the Foundling Museum and create an optical toy that brings the story of these child heroes to life. The sessions are led by artist Jan Cullen and run from 10.30am to 12pm, 1 to 2.30pm and 3 to 4.30pm. Suitable for ages five and up, and free for children and up to two accompanying adults. Sign up on the day.

Find out more: 020 7841 3600 18 | Camden | April 2016

10am to 7pm, Fridays 10am to 5pm and alternate Saturdays 11am to 5pm.

Find out more: 020 7974 6342


Volunteer to make history at Olympic qualification event Join a team of exceptional volunteers to support a major sporting event in Camden

The Night of the 10,000m PBs (personal bests) offers runners a chance to compete to achieve their personal best times for this distance. If competitors achieve Olympic qualifying times, the first two British athletes past the post in both the men’s and women’s elite races will go on to represent the UK at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. You can get involved by joining our team of volunteers, who will play a vital role by welcoming and guiding visitors on the day. There are roles for team members and team leaders, who will have a more supervisory role. You must be 16+ to be a team member and 18+ to be a team leader and you will receive full training.

Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and expand your skills, so what better time to give it a go? The event is being hosted by the Highgate Harriers athletics club at Parliament Hill athletics track on Saturday 21 May. The afternoon will also incorporate the England Athletics 10,000m championships and include junior races involving London borough schools. There will be a variety of entertainment for all ages on the day, along with food and drink stalls. Entrance to the event is free.

Deadline for volunteering The deadline to register your interest for volunteering is Friday 6 May 2016. Find full details of what’s involved and sign up by going to and following the link to ‘events’.

Volunteering in sport Whether you want to be hands-on or behind the scenes, prefer a long-term or short-term commitment, there’s a volunteering opportunity for you. For more information, contact Volunteer Centre Camden on 0114 253 6611, or visit and select ‘Sports & Outdoor Activities’ from the interests list.



Register to vote by 18 April The Mayor of London and London Assembly elections are now just a few weeks away. Although the poll takes place on 5 May, you must be registered to vote by 18 April or you will lose your chance to vote. On the day you’ll be voting for the Mayor and the London Assembly members, who hold the Mayor to account, examine their decisions and make sure they deliver their promises to Londoners.

How to register to vote It’s quick and easy to register online at – you just need your national insurance number and date of birth. If you do not have access to the internet, or need help to register online, you can attend one of the drop-in sessions available at locations across the borough. To find your nearest drop-in session, please go to digitalsessions. Alternatively, you can contact the elections team on 020 7974 6000.

20 | Camden | April 2016

Apply for a postal vote If you cannot or do not wish to attend your polling station, you can apply for a postal vote once you have registered. You will need to download and complete the form available on our website at electionsandvoting. The deadline for returning this form to Camden’s elections team is 19 April.

Polling stations The location of your polling station will be on the poll card that will be delivered to you before polling day. You can also find the location of your nearest polling station online at pollingstations

Find out more

020 7974 6000


Join the campaign to tackle child abuse

Camden is supporting a national campaign to highlight the role everyone has to play in protecting children and young people. According to government figures, a third of people who suspect child abuse or neglect do nothing sometimes because they’re worried about being wrong. You don’t have to be absolutely certain about your suspicions - if you have a feeling that something is not right, talk to your local children’s social care team who can look into it. Information is usually gathered from many sources, and your report would form one part of a bigger picture.

In 2014/15, more than 400,000 children in England were supported because someone noticed they needed help.

What to do if you’re worried about a child or young person • If you’re worried about a child living in Camden, or suspect child abuse or neglect, contact Camden’s multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH) on 020 7974 3317 (9am to 5pm) or 020 7974 4444 (out of hours) • If you think a child is in immediate danger, you should call the police on 999 • If you’re worried about a child living in another local authority, or suspect child abuse or neglect, visit to get the correct contact number

• For advice and resources for parents who may be worried about their child’s safety or wellbeing visit, or you can contact Camden’s Early Help services for advice – call 020 7974 3317 or visit

Parents’ film warns of child sexual exploitation risks Members of Camden Parent Council have scripted, edited and produced a short animated film warning families of the dangers of child sexual exploitation. The film, What All Parents Should Know, is available on the Camden Safeguarding Children Board website at or, for more information about this issue, you can visit sexualexploitation



New community centre at Highgate Newtown gets the go ahead Camden’s Cabinet has given the go ahead to proposals to redevelop the Highgate Newtown Community Centre in Bertram Street, Highgate. The project will include a new sports hall and premises for the Fresh Youth Academy service. The rebuilding of the community centre and the new facilities for young people have been supported by many local residents during an extensive consultation period. The proposals provide modern, purpose-built facilities to help ensure a sustainable future for the organisations based there. The community buildings will be funded by the sale of new housing which will also be built on the site.

What happens next? The next step is a series of engagement events to give residents the chance to have their say on the design and layout of the proposals. Drop-ins are being held between 2pm and 7pm in the community centre café on: • Wednesday 20 April • Saturday 7 May.

22 | Camden | April 2016

Local resident Lizzie Smith is a Project Champion for the proposals. She is working closely with us and architects RCKa. Lizzie said: “I live close to HNCC and being a Project Champion means I can question the architects about the design of the housing and community facilities and hopefully contribute ideas to make the design better for everyone.”

The redevelopment of HNCC is part of the Council’s Community Investment Programme, a 15-year plan to invest money in schools, homes and community facilities.

Find out more c


HS2 Bill enters House of Lords

Council’s focus remains on getting the best deal for Camden.

Camden Council wants a funded comprehensive approach to redesigning Euston Station to create affordable homes and new jobs around it.

Plans for High Speed 2 (HS2) have moved a step forward after the House of Commons voted in favour of the scheme at the Bill’s third reading in March.

Commons HS2 Select Committee, Camden Council secured over 100 assurances to mitigate impacts of the scheme on residents and businesses.

The Bill has now moved to the House of Lords for further scrutiny, triggering a brief new petitioning period.

Key assurances included HS2 Ltd’s commitment to develop a package of noise protection and ventilation improvement measures to reduce impacts on the most seriously affected homes in Camden. HS2 Ltd also committed to producing a study to establish how they can maximise the amount of construction waste and materials that could be transported by rail, which is due to be ready by May 2016. HS2 Ltd have indicated they will engage with residents on this plan in the spring.

Petitioning the Lords Camden Council intends to petition the House of Lords to get a better deal for the borough. The petitioning period, which started immediately prior to the Easter weekend, is extremely short. If you are directly affected by HS2, the deadline for submitting your petition is 5pm on Monday, 18 April 2016. Take a look at our website for petitioning support and information. Through petitioning the House of

Key concerns We remain unhappy with the lack of compensation available

to Camden’s residents and businesses. The Government is currently reviewing the Need to Sell scheme. We are also frustrated by the lack of commitment to progressing comprehensive redevelopment of the current Euston station along with the proposed HS2 and Crossrail 2 stations. A funded comprehensive approach to redesigning Euston station could reduce the disruption Camden residents and businesses face and is vital to guarantee the affordable homes and new jobs the borough needs.

Find out more c



Help for tenants

Improving privately rented homes One in three Camden residents rent their home privately – either through a letting agency, or directly from a landlord. That’s a huge number of people relying on the private rental market for a roof over their heads.

We want to make sure that everyone in Camden has a decent and secure place to live. One of the Council’s top priorities is to make sure that people who rent privately are treated fairly and have good homes to live in.

Checking up on agents Being so close to the centre of London, homes in Camden are in high demand. This not only pushes prices up, but it also means that some letting agents can take advantage of tenants who are keen to find a home. Many letting agencies in Camden are highly reputable, but some are not – and they may charge unreasonable fees, or fail to comply with other government regulations. Our trading standards team have been working hard to make sure that all letting agents in Camden treat their customers fairly. We issue penalty charges to agents who don’t do this – for example by not displaying their fees and charges clearly, or not having joined a redress scheme so that customers can complain to a third party if something goes wrong.

24 | Camden | April 2016

Before you rent a home it’s also a good idea to check that the place you’re renting isn’t an illegally sublet Council property. You can do this quickly and simply online at

Working with landlords We’re working with landlords across Camden to improve the standard of rented homes in the borough. Our new licensing scheme means that landlords of house shares, bedsits, and some converted flats need to have a licence. We inspect these properties and ensure that they meet certain standards before issuing a licence. Over 70 of Camden’s managing agents attended an event in March to find out more about the licensing scheme. We also encourage landlords of all types of property to join the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme (LLAS). LLAS was founded in Camden, and has more than 13,000 accredited members across London. LLAS offers training and professional development for landlords, and members must adhere to a code of conduct.


If you own a rental property in Camden you may want to consider using our lettings agency, Camden Lettings, which provides a speedy and hassle-free service finding tenants for Camden landlords.

Bringing empty properties back into use With housing in Camden in such short supply, we want to make sure that we make the best use of all available homes in the borough. Empty properties can also attract vandalism. We work with the owners of properties that have been empty for more than a month to bring those homes back into use. If you spot a privately owned property that looks unused, let us know.

What you can do: All Camden residents Report an empty home if you spot one: uk/emptyhomes

Find out more c privatesectorhousing

If you’re a tenant Make sure your letting agent obeys the law: camden.

Report an agent who breaks the rules: reportalettingagent Check before you rent that the property doesn’t belong to the council:

If you’re a landlord Check whether

you need a licence: hmolicensing Join LLAS: londonlandlords. Rent out your property through Camden Lettings: camdenlettings



Spring is in the air in Camden’s green spaces

Enjoy the spring flowers in Camden’s parks and green spaces

With 75 parks and open spaces managed by the Council across Camden, you’re never far from a green space where you can get out into the fresh air this spring. Our parks and open spaces provide facilities for you to get more active and enjoy the health benefits of the great outdoors on your doorstep. These spaces are also focal points for our communities, offering tranquil spots to escape the city’s hustle and bustle, and venues for community celebrations. They support biodiversity by providing habitats for wildlife, and tackle the impacts of climate change.

26 | Camden | April 2016

Green Space Investment Programme We recently launched our new Green Space Investment Programme. This uses £5 million of Section 106 funding, alongside other sources of funding, to improve parks and open spaces over the next five years and build on previous successes, such as the award-winning regenerated St Giles Churchyard in the West End.

Section 106 agreements establish legal obligations for developers to carry out on-site works or pay money to the Council to reduce the impact of developments, including investing in open space provision.

Feature • A  t St Andrew’s Gardens in Holborn, we restored centuriesold memorials that were in poor condition, which successfully took the site off Historic England’s Heritage At Risk Register last year.

Camden Green Gyms Green Gyms offer the chance to increase your physical activity and meet new people while volunteering to improve local spaces. We now have sessions running five days a week across Camden, including communityrun Green Gyms based in Belsize Wood and Adelaide Road Nature Reserves, and Oasis Sports Centre. Camden Green Gyms are free and open to all. Find out more at

Outdoor gyms You can use new outdoor gym facilities for free across Camden from this summer. Using public health funding, we’re redeveloping seven of our outdoor gyms to make them more inclusive. As well as equipment you would find in an indoor gym, there will be a wider range of equipment, including features suitable for older adults and people with disabilities. The scheme will also encourage greater use of the rest of our parks, such as running trails.

Improvements coming soon

Some recent projects we’ve funded •  Working with the Friends of Fortune Green, we installed a trim trail (wooden assault course) to give visitors a new way to get active in Fortune Green. • We’ve spruced up Brunswick Square Gardens in King’s Cross in the last few months, including new planting, bins and noticeboards providing visitors with information about the area’s history. • We worked in partnership with Fitzrovia Youth in Action to help them provide a ‘3G’ astroturf sports pitch at The Warren in Bloomsbury, helping the community to get moving more all year round.

We have many improvement projects coming up. For example, this spring we’re installing an exciting new playground in St Martin’s Gardens in Camden Town to encourage more imaginative active play in an area of high need. The design includes wildlifethemed play features, challenging climbing nets and a grassy mound. We’re also improving play opportunities at Falkland Place in Kentish Town, alongside greening the site to provide more habitats for wildlife and a more natural environment to play and relax in. Keep an eye out for more projects across the borough, including new play equipment, wildlifefriendly planting, and changes to make spaces more accessible and feel safer.

Camden in Bloom2016

Business and residential competition

Why not enter your own green space into Camden in Bloom? The business and residential competition is now open for entries at camden.

Find out more



An update on our financial challenge

Each month we’re giving you the latest news on our financial challenge. We’ve reduced our budget by £123 million between 2011 and 2015, 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. We will therefore need to reduce our budget by a further £48 million over the next two years, as part of our 2015-18 savings programme totalling £78 million.

Youth support services We recently consulted on changes to make reductions in funding of £1.6 million to our youth support services budget as part of the 28 | Camden | April 2016

Council’s overall £78 million savings programme. We had a fantastic response, with more than 400 people taking part – testimony to how valued our youth workers and services are in Camden. We are proposing to focus our youth support services on those young people who need and will benefit most from our help, redeveloping three of our youth centres to better support them. These are Somers Town Youth Centre, Fresh Youth Academy in Highgate and Kilburn Youth Station. This will mean a reduction in some universal services (those available to all young people), though we are committed to keeping open successful borough-

wide projects, such as Camden Summer University. A Cabinet decision on our proposals was due to be made on Wednesday 6 April 2016. We have thought hard about what young people and residents who responded had to say and our final proposals will seek to provide targeted services as well as maintain and sustain services for all our young people, as far as possible, now and in the future.

Find out more


The big thank you

Sharmela Majumder, Aaron Long, Elton Dsane, Diane James-McFee, Maisie Kerrigan and Angel Pedersen

Our apprenticeships service celebrated the achievements of Camden apprentices at its annual big thank you event on Friday 18 March. The winner of the ‘Apprentice of the year’ award was Aaron Long, who is a horticultural operative for Willerby Landscapes. His manager, Des Smith, said: “Aaron fitted in well and last summer started dropping in for extra work at the weekends with our company’s planting gangs. He is now a key member of staff.”

The other category winners are: Most improved apprentice Elton Dsane, who works for InMidTown Most reliable apprentice Maisie Kerrigan, who works for Swiss Cottage Nursery

in March, but the work of our apprenticeships team is yearround. We have apprenticeships in a huge range of areas including IT, electrical, business administration, plastering, catering and plumbing. New vacancies are published on our website every week. If you are trying to decide on a career or know someone who is, why not take a look or get in touch? If you’re an employer who would like to take on an apprentice and wants to know more, please do give us a call on 020 7974 6474 or email apprenticeships@ and find out about the support we offer employers.

Best team player Sharmela Majumder, who works for Camden Council Best progression by an apprentice Angel Pedersen, who works for HGV Training Supervisor of the year Diane James-McFee, who works for Camden Council Councillor Georgia Gould, Cabinet Member for Young People and Economic Growth, who presented the prizes, said: “Camden’s apprentices are Camden’s future. It was great to be able to meet so many of them this evening, and know that with their support, the borough has a bright future.” The event marked the end of National Apprenticeships Week

Aaron Long, winner of the Apprentice of the year award

Find out more apprenticeships



High-flying women inspire students to consider science and tech careers Marjan Gholamalipour, senior Arup project manager for the Garden Bridge, said: “If you follow your passion, you will be successful and achieve what you want to achieve.” Emma Burrows, a software engineer at Google, urged students considering a profession where women were in a minority to “build confidence in yourselves so you can keep going”.

The panel at the Haverstock School event

An all-female panel of science, technology and engineering experts helped inspire more than 220 Camden students at an event to mark International Women’s Day. Successful scientists, engineers and project managers from Google, the Francis Crick Institute, University College London and engineering firm Arup each spoke about the excitement and challenges of their chosen careers. Held at Haverstock School, the Question Time-style panel discussion and careers fair

30 | Camden | April 2016

was attended by students from Camden secondary schools and colleges, as well as two schools from neighbouring boroughs. The Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths event was organised by Camden Council in partnership with the Crick and Haverstock School. The aims were to: • inspire and enable women and girls to work in the fields of science, technology and engineering • encourage students to take an interest in technology and innovation •  celebrate the achievements of female scientists and technologists.

Councillor Sarah Hayward, Leader of the Council, opened the event. She said the representation of women in sciences was probably even worse than in politics. “There have been 640 men who have won Nobel Prizes for science and economic sciences but only 18 women, including Marie Curie who won two Nobel Prizes.” But Councillor Hayward told students that things were slowly changing: “It’s really important that you understand that there are no ‘no go’ areas for women.” The panel discussion was followed by a Mini Careers Fair with interactive stalls staffed by professionals from the Crick, UCL, Cancer Research UK and Laing O’Rourke engineering.

Find out more See photos on


TV gardener Chris Collins helps schools to get growing

their school gardens thrive and pupils get the most out of growing and nurturing plants and flowers. He was also given a tour of Argyle’s award-winning garden by pupils and the primary school’s own gardener Jo Reuben, as well as helping to run a workshop for the teachers and other school gardeners at the event. Chris said: “What an amazing garden you have got here, right in the middle of one of the busiest parts of London. Kids have a fantastic appetite for school gardening. The more interaction you can have with them in designing your gardens, the more fun they will have. When you are a kid everything is an adventure – and outdoors should be the biggest adventure.”

Argyle pupils with school gardener Jo Reuben (left) and guests, including TV gardener Chris Collins

Schools in Camden are leading the way in growing vegetables, herbs and other plants - teaching pupils vital lessons about nature and healthy eating. BBC Blue Peter gardener Chris Collins was the special guest at Argyle Primary School, in King’s Cross, where he met staff from Argyle and schools across London who want to revolutionise outdoor

learning and food growing in the city. Argyle Primary was the first of only two schools in London to host a conference for teachers and school gardeners, organised by Food Growing Schools: London – a partnership of London’s food growing experts who aim to inspire and equip every school in the capital to grow their own food.

Tips for better growing Chris was at Argyle Primary to give some inspiring tips to help ensure

Argyle headteacher Jemima Wade said: “We have tried to make the most of our school grounds to create a little oasis here in the middle of London. We want everyone at Argyle to get the gardening bug.” The school won a Camden in Bloom award for biodiversity last year and is now a finalist in the prestigious 2015-16 Rolls Royce Science Prize, thanks to their gardening and outdoor learning activities. Argyle now plans to set up an outdoor kitchen so children can cook the food they grow.

Find out more 31

A&E is for serious and life-threatening emergencies only Call NHS 111 for immediate health advice from a highly trained advisor. It’s open 24 hours a day and is free to call. Find out more:

Cheril Sowell, Nurse

32 | Camden | April 2016

Camden magazine April 2016  
Camden magazine April 2016