About this blog

Ramblings, thoughts, facts and opinions about political things - starting point council tenant participation with my land-lord Camden council and council tenant reps plus other housing issues, and whatever.


Sunday, 6 November 2016

Noise Nuisance - How wide spread is it?

I know of a camden council tenant in another Camden council street property conversion - same as me stuck in the middle of 3 flats - who transferred to the flat about 4 years ago and has had to put up with horrendous noise nuisance from the flat above.

The rent paying tenant is between 2 leasehold flats, the one above causing the problem. The previous rent paying tenant gave up the flat and it was empty for 5 years - same as mine. Did the council know about the existing problem and didn't tell tenant before tenant moved in? 

The leaseholder moved out and lets the flat out on a short term basis - which is a breach of the leaseholders contract with landlord plus the unlawful sub tenants are a cause of constant nuisance but the council has been really dragging their feet about it.

The tenant has recently been signed off sick by his GP due to the GP's concerns about his heart, and general health, which he has to go for tests. The tenant is generally run down. I understand this.

I despair sometimes at the landlord Camden council.

Monday, 17 October 2016

CycleGate

 Around 9 months ago the below cycles appeared on the scene - visitors to the property occupied by myself and 2 other tenants, but owned by Camden council.

They where left there for hours and kept causing an obstruction. 




5 April 2016




15 April 2016



19 May 2016



This was becoming a regular thing.

A few other times and in Aug 2016 I decided to put up a polite notice in the hallway where the cycles where being put : Please don't leave cycles in the communal hallway that obstructs residents coming in and out of the property. Thank you

When tenant came in one day - there was some mouthing off about the notice and then later on the notice was gone. Then I put it up again and then it gone again.

I left it at that.


30 Aug 2016






7 Sept 2016
the above
happened again - ive lost the pic




10 Sept 2016





25 Sept 2016  - big bags sneaking in 



26 Sept 2016 - chained to my cycle and when I rang doorbell and called up for it to be removed I was ignored. I didn't need to use cycle at the time otherwise I would have had to call the police to come assist me.



2 Oct 2016 - chained to my cycle again. again I rang on bell and called up for it to me removed but no answer. Again I didn't need to use it at the time but (same as above).



2 oct 2016 - polite notice to not chain things to cycle that obstructs it from being used




6 Oct 2016 cycle isn't chained to my cycle this time but look at how the wheel is positioned. Was there for hours.

17 Oct 2016



It started of as 2 different cycles, one all black, one with a red strip on saddle. The all black one keeps coming back and keeps being left where it is causing an obstruction and annoyance.

Wonder how visitor would feel if someone kept coming to where he lived and kept being disrespectful? I suspect there would be a lot trouble.

I did speak to the owner of this cycle once - to thank him for not putting it where it was causing an obstruction - i wasn't taking the P - he had parked it up against the wall in front garden and though it could have been causing an obstruction as it was put in front of the electric gas meters, its not that often that the meters need to be got to. I happened to see him (he was with tenant) coming back into the property and when I thanked him he grunted at me and tenant said "I wouldn't speak to her".

Its not that there isn't anywhere for visitors to the property to chain cycles - there is a metal sign pole across the road (no sign on it that says you can't chain cycles to it) that could be used, as many people do myself included, but for some reason  this and other visitors aren't encouraged by tenant to use it.

This HERE is the tenancy agreement all tenants in the property (and most council tenants) have with the landlord Camden council. The landlord is aware of the breaches of tenancy agreement.

30 Nov 2016
Cycle wasn't seen for a few weeks then in 2 week period cycle (looks like a different  cycle) has been parked there 3 times for hours. Can't close the gate.




Saturday, 10 September 2016

Parliament and Tenant Participation in Camden

In relation to another story about Keith Vaz MP (L) HERE  a line says in relation to speaker of the commons John Bercow MP (C) that he  "warned Mr Bridgen not to use Parliamentary privilege to raise the matter in a Commons debate.".(my emphasis)

This rang a bell with me in regards to how the dmc's and casp operate maybe other groups as well.

No raising of issues that are deemed 'personal' at meetings and if they are they pretty much fall on deaf ears. Great problem solvers eh?

As an aside, the story in the local rag HERE from Jan 2016 "'Town Hall in housing fraud probe" got me thinking about a situation that occurred not long before the story was printed where tenant had bloke in who painted flat but which tenant hadn't paid for -  in money - and it hadn't been recorded as works carried out by housing repairs.

It may be totally innocent I really don't know and I ain't accusing anyone of anything illegal just saying what the above linked story brought to mind as things do.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Star Report Survey on Tenant Satisfaction


A recent DMC report by Graeham Beedham who is head of the councils Tenant and Leasehold Engagement unit in the newly formed Supporting Communities Directorate goes like this:

"This report provides an update on the progress of the Tenants and Residents Survey (STAR) carried out during May and June. Draft results were received by Camden just prior to the September DMC round. Having given initial consideration to the draft, we are providing the DMC's with a summary of highlights in this report. The final STAR reports will be made available in order for detailed discussion to take place at a local level in the November round of the DMC's. DMC's members views will contribute to actions taken in response to the surevey results"


Click Here for report.

So how will the dmcs play this? squeeze in ten minute slots on their ever increasing agenda's where nothing really gets sorted but they do like their 'stick their noses in everywhere' agendas?

What will they say? how will they react to the top priorities of tenants who took part in the survey - tenants who directly gave their voice on an individual level as opposed to so called representatives on the dmcs.Who exactly do they represent? Not me and I'm guessing not lots of tenants.

 Some of these tenant groups really seem to hate and won't be open to scrutiny even though in receipt of public money. How can that be?



Thursday 1 September 2016
Though no one seems to do much about it (and the labour party may well claim they didn't see it coming - like a lot of things i guess) I am again repeating my concerns about the hard left who have taken over the tenant participation (TP) scene in Camden. This may also be the case in other boroughs in London and across the country.

They are extremists and dangerous I think, not only because of some of the policies they want implemented (some policies I agree with) but also how they behave - how they go about things. Though in the past I have not always gone about things in the right manner, I have learned from being forcibly restrained and have adjusted my behaviour. The same cannot be said about others. It is not in my nature other than the admittedly 'mad' phase I went through to behave time and again like they do.


 Though I haven't been directly (via tenant groups and council meetings) involved in the TP scene for years I have no reason to believe they/things have changed. These people are supposedly really tough and in some ways they are in their determination and success at taking over and throwing their wait around in order to push forward their political ideologies - but will often go crying to the police and council if anyone challenges them by making complaints and playing the innocent victim.

Examples  
How to deal with committee members who they have befriended and 'promise' like they do, to help out but who after a while become concerned about their behaviour and want the committee to be aware of it. In order the stop the person the following tactic is used:

Phone up police and make all sorts of accusations about the person - play the victim and have coppers turn up at your home and intimidate you into keeping away from the committee. As simple and effective as that and it works.

How to deal with councillors who they can't control - make complaints about them to their parties or the council. Don't know if they have made complaints to the police about them but it wouldn't surprise me. They have though pulled this stunt with the police on people who wanted to run as candidates for membership of the council.

I would like to say that at times they may well have a point but they are extreme in how they go about making their points, over the top and they add lies to make things look worse than it is. Dirty tactics.

If someone dares to call them out in public say on a website, they don't ask the person to stop what they are doing if indeed it does distress the delicate flowers as they pretend to be, they go to the council and the police. They are I think really bad problem solvers more problem creators.

They don't do talking, resolving issues others may have with them, they get others in authority to sort the person out by making complaints that may well have a point but which lies are added to make things look worse then they are. They may well add that the person was violent towards them when they weren't or issued serious threats to them and others, when they hadn't.

They are successful in some ways I think because they know how to manipulate, intimidate, play the victim and attract other like minded people to be in their gang. I suspect some cllrs/tenant reps and MP's go along with them because they know how they operate and don't want the hassle of them setting upon them.

They will also as a sign of their displeasure, turn their backs at public meetings to others of the left who don't want to join in with a group they are setting up. They will give dirty looks to those who displease them. They will try and isolate people and generally spread lies to keep people away from the person and not question what is really going on.

They will get others to pass on that if people they don't like turn up at meetings they will phone the police.

They will turn up with the mob at the town hall and demand that cabinet do as they say, accuse them of not being proper socialists or whatever, and bang their closed fists down on hard surfaces. Filling the town hall or other places with supporters is what they do I guess to try and intimidate others.

They will come round to where you live to try and stir up trouble with your neighbours by telling them lies.

They will join other political parties to gain access to and influence various people in those parties. Some I suspect are double agents (I guess you can call them) who get involved with the 'cause' and put themselves up as leaders.

I don't support or am a member of any political party though I may agree with some policies from both left and right. Am I picking on the hard left for no good reason? No i don't believe I am.

They are from what I have experienced, read and heard, the most extreme group on the TP scene - I don't think the extreme right would stand a chance in establishing themselves in Camden via the TP scene but the extreme left have been allowed to.

This I guess must be JC's - you know the beardy bloke who seems for many to be the messiah - the new gentler, polite (honest?) way of doing things - sorry but I have to laugh at that one.

 I nearly forgot the phone calls they make to peoples homes - how they get the numbers and access to other peoples confidential info the council holds can only be because they have their people on the inside - that relay confidential info to you (so that you know they have people on the inside?) as well as threatening " we're out to get you bitch".  Classy people eh? No big surprise really( though still shocking) about the recent report about vulnerable people targeted HERE 



Saturday, 27 August 2016

Vulnerable people targeted in Town Hall scam

taken from the local rag Camden New Journal HERE

Four arrests after private details of vulnerable residents are 'stolen' from Camden Council.


Published: 25 August, 2016
EXCLUSIVE by RICHARD OSLEY


FOUR people have been arrested after the private details of some of Camden’s most vulnerable residents were “stolen” from Town Hall computer systems – raising fears that personal information has already been passed to cold-call scammers, the New Journal has learned.

Detectives were called in by Camden Council after the names, dates of birth and addresses of elderly residents were allegedly plundered from confidential databases.

One line of inquiry for investigators is that information taken by an insider working for the council was passed to accomplices on the
outside looking for prime targets who would be most vulnerable to door-to-door con tricks and telephone scams ultimately aimed at obtaining bank details.

A member of council staff is understood to have been removed from a position as the probe continues. Town Hall chiefs have made a series of home visits to elderly residents to apologise for the data breach and to advise on how they can now protect themselves.

They are telling residents to check the credentials of people who call at the door unannounced and to be wary of so-called “vishing”, or voice phishing, rackets in which bogus callers insist bank information must be provided.

Martin Pratt, executive director of supporting people directorate, has written to residents explaining the council’s response. He has told those affected: “I am deeply sorry that your personal information was stolen from us and I want to assure you that we have taken steps to ensure that this does not happen again.”

The Information Commissioner, the independent watchdog that investigates data breaches of private information, has been alerted by the council.

In his letter – seen by the New Journal – Mr Pratt added: “We are strengthening our systems to protect the information held on our systems... However, the police have told us that a number of people across London have recently been contacted by ‘scammers’ who try to steal money from them.

“They use stolen information to make contact with people and then try to get hold of bank account and PIN number details.

“People have also been called by someone pretending to be a police officer. The fake police officer calls and asks the person to go immediately to their bank to withdraw money and then hand it over to another fake police officer who will call at their home address. The police or your bank will never call you and ask for your PIN number or bank account details. They will never send someone to your home to pick up your bank cards or your money.”

While arrests have been made, so far nobody has been charged.

A council spokesman said: “We are supporting police as they investigate and we have taken urgent steps to warn vulnerable residents of the dangers of scammers. This includes providing direct support to those whose information has been taken. A criminal investigation is under way and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.”

SCAM ADVICE
In the wake of the alleged theft of data from council systems, Camden residents worried they may be affected by bogus calls are advised to:
l Never give bank account details to someone you don’t know;
l Never give out any personal information, such as bank and credit card details, or copies of documents such as a passport or driving licence, unless you know who you are dealing with and why they need it; and
l Never email your financial information, even if you know the person you are emailing.
                                   

                        -------------------------------------

Sunday, 31 July 2016

High Court challenge over housing allocations policy

The below has been taken from the local rag, its an interesting case I think for various reasons. I hope the case (judicial review) does get to be heard in court and the judgement made public for others to refer to. I was going to search out the available relevant judgements within the last few years but for some reason I can't access the site I was previously on. Will try again another time.

As an aside, I haven't heard anything about the issue of the landlord camden council possibly over-charging its tenants for water as reported in an earlier post HERE. Whether the dmc's etc say or do anything about is is anyone's quess but I suspect they won't. I have enquired about the ruling to my land-lord Camden council but they haven't got back to me.

Disabled couple challenges Camden Council in High Court over new housing allocations policy http://www.camdennewjournal.com/high-court-housing-points#comment-97384

Council housing allocations has for a long time been a very emotive and political issue for various reasons including perceived fairness/unfairness of decisions made by the landlord, about the deserving/undeserving as prescribed/proscribed by law, and corruption.  People are eligible for council/social housing for a variety of reasons including, homelessness, having a local connection, working for the council, having children, disabled, vulnerable, wanting to live near to relatives, being a committee member of a council tenants group. Can't think of all the categories, and yes it can be seen as pitting tenants against tenants particularly when the balance between supply and demand is weighted heavily on the demand side.

By "demand" i mean the supply of decent, suitable, affordable homes and the improvement of existing ones to bring them up to the legal standards of new builds. I wonder how England and the UK in general compares to other countries on this issue?

2016 Cases 
  • Georgia Woolfe v London Borough of Islington  HERE  July
The claim is that: 
"(1) an aspect of Islington's scheme is unlawful in that it prevents applicants to whom reasonable preference must be given, but who have fewer than 120 points, from bidding at all for available properties; (2) additionally or alternatively, that points threshold for bidding is unlawful, being in breach of section 11 of the Children Act 2004 (I will call these two heads of claim collectively the "points threshold claim"); and
(3) in relation to herself, Islington in any event misapplied their own policy and failed to award her the 90 "New Generation" points to which she says she is entitled under Islington's own policy and scheme."

1 and 2 dismissed but 3 upheld.


  • Hassan Jalal v Royal Borough of  Greenwich HERE
 a) refusing to provide accommodation under section 17 Children Act 1989
b) continuing to refuse accommodation when further information provided

Not upheld

 - Material change in circumstances - upheld "It is not for the court to determine the issue of vulnerability or to decide whether the claimant is in priority need"  Ms Amanda Yip QC HERE
10 Sept 2016
Not seen any updates on this case in local rag (there may be some that I'm not aware of) - possibly the reason of putting it in the press in the first place wasn't a public interest one where its does get to court and a ruling is made that others can refer to as a point of law, but rather a tactic to force the council to concede, which is a shame i think as it would i'm sure have been helpful for many others to at least no where they stood on this issue.

                         




















Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Voter Registration Fraud Risks

I'd forgotten about this one. The scope for voter registration fraud is immense i think. Its from April 2015.


http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/apr/16/do-i-need-my-national-insurance-number-to-register-to-vote


It is not essential to provide your national insurance (NI) number when registering to vote.

If you don’t know your NI number – which can usually be found on payslips or official letters about benefits, tax or pensions – you can just say soby giving a simple explanation.

It is then up to your local council to verify your identity.

Although online registration closes for the majority of voters on 7 June, local electoral registration offices have longer to verify your identity.

Whatever you do make sure you register to vote. You can think about who to vote for later.

“Under the new online registration system it’s just one of the ways you can have your identity verified,” says Oliver Sidorczuk, director of Bite the Ballot. “If you fill in the application, without your national insurance number, it’s your local council’s duty to verify you.”

According to the Cabinet Office, electoral registration officials will then contact you if they are unable to verify the application using other local data sources.



Such sources include cross-referencing your information with data from the Department for Work and Pensions and the Student Loans Company.

If they cannot verify you, the local electoral registration office will contact you to request further identification. (my emphasis)

This will likely be a photograph of your passport, or driving licence.

Most progressive councils should, and I would suggest must, allow you to email in smartphone photos of your passport and driving licence,” (my emphasis) says Sidorczuk.

 Less than 25% of the population know their NI number, estimates Ben Page, head of polling organisation Ipsos Mori. If you are one of them, all you have to do when filling in the online form is explain why don’t know it. You can simply write: “I don’t know where it is.”


                  -------------------------------


what to say?

Bite The Ballot HERE

Friday, 24 June 2016

UK EU In or Out Results

Vote details taken from the BBC website HERE

UK to leave membership of the EU.

Very close call. A nation divided on this one.

Am still taking it in as its a bit of a shock (and a bit scary as to the unknown of what it really means) even though I voted out for various reasons. Some people already saying they want a second vote which isn't going to happen in my view. The end isn't nigh and it wouldn't hurt for more people to have faith in the UK being capable of running its own affairs.

Leave 51.9%
Votes 17,410,742
Remain 48.1%
Votes 16,141,241
Overall turnout 72.2% 
Rejected votes 26.033

 Update 12 midnight
some people are trying to unnerve leave voters by the doom and gloom they are forecasting will happen.

Hold your nerve,  ride the storm and have faith in positive outcomes.

Maybe now the real battle begins.

Update 27 June 2016
The hounds of hell have been unleashed and we are all doomed - you'd think according to some folk who to me are just agitators and fear mongers and some banks are claiming to be moving abroad (close the door on your way out) . Go all those who want to, that is your choice, it won't be the end of the world. The small pockets of violent racists have come out and are causing trouble - who is pulling their strings?

The "Prime" Minster of the UK has had a cry (in public) and has ran away and his bruv Boris is taking the P and trying to backtrack on things.

And another bruv George osborne has come out from hiding to say he will be making a speech .......... to calm the markets.  Not calm the people but the markets because that is what its really all about.

Deep breaths.

Someone/s with a backbone, intelligence and integrity (who isn't going to try and fcuk us over) please step toward.

Update 29 June 2016

The fabians  and the swp communists (labour party and government opposition) are having a big bust up as the fabians are trying to oust the swp leader JC (for a fabian leader) . The labour party is theirs shout the swp as the fabians (have a wolf in sheeps clothing crest) really show them who have the real power (the brains over the brawn).
The Iraqi report is out next week. 

A protest group from the Inners are protesting about the democratic vote the majority ( England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as a Union) voted for but because a majority in London voted In, they want to stay. Sorry I really do have to laugh at that one. Think some are saying the Leave campaign was based on a lie. Isn't everything? Am not buying it.

Yes they do have the right to protest but please lets no longer be of any doubt they are only in favour of democracy when things go their way.

JC (the beardy bloke who some say is the messiah) ) by all accounts was for leaving the EU but apparently lead the In campaign - I am confused.

And i only recently found out George Galloway is all for leaving the EU.
May forgive him for going into BB and the cat impression (shudders)....

People eh.

Update 30 June 2016
My experience of the hard left in Camden (via tenant participation with the council) is the complete opposite of this: 
 


JC may well believe and stick to what he preaches, but some of his most pushy and vocal supporters (in camden at least) are nasty thugs (in my view and experience ) who are most intolerant of others views (some of the most aggressive, hostile people I have come across) lie a lot, intimidate others, devious, etc etc. Even some other socialists don't like them.

How does one explain that?

They will I believe turn on JC if he lets them down.  A kinder politics is not for them.

On saying that Camden council has been allowing the far left (casp) to bully and intimidate, manipulate and lie about others for years and haven't done a thing about it as far as I can see. Only when it suits the 'party' do they take action on things it seems.

Don't think much is going to change anytime soon. Its the same old same old with these political groups and why some people thing the leave campaign was won because of what politicians said (whether they be lies or not) is beyond me - give some of us more credit please. Lots of people stopped believing (in) them years ago.

Update 3 July 2016
The Labour Party Rule Book 2013 HERE
The Conservative [and Unionist] Party Constitution 2009 HERE



Update 4 July 2016
Apparently its okay for the leavers to change their minds ...... well yes people change their minds all the time but I know my mind over voting leave hasn't changed. Bigot me. 

Another tactic being that only 72% of those eligible to vote did so, making the leave vote only roughly 37% of voters so a second referendum should be held.  That's how things work until and unless the rules are changed before a vote - not after.

One can say the same about cllrs, MPs, etc who are elected into office usually on a less than 50% vote or say the Neighbourhood Plans which in Camden the turnout has so far been very low but they where passed. That's how it works.

Apparently some folk are about to start a legal challenge to stop the UK from leaving the EU before parliament has a debate and vote on it (the referendum vote isn't legally binding apparently so parliament can block it, but whether they will or not in our so-called democracy is another thing) That should fun. Plenty of time from 24 June 2016 till new PM is elected by the Con party in Oct 2016 for the remainers to try various tactics to get their own way.

The process of formally leaving membership of the  EU  has to be triggered by following the rules in Article 50 HERE of the Lisbon Treaty signed by 27 heads of states in 2007 but finalised in 2009, which UK citizens didn't have a say on when the Labour party was in government. Ireland held a referendum on the treaty and the majority rejected it but a second referendum was held and the powers that be got the yes vote they wanted.

The full Lisbon Treaty HERE

Update 5 July 2016
On the chance of their being a second referendum i think the remain vote would win - what with all the doom and gloom and wailing and a crying by some remainers. It would i'm sure influence some leavers to change their minds or even not voting again - who wants to go through that again except the pushy remainers?

On the other hand who knows what if any shenanigans went on in local government with voter registration and the counting of votes.

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Bribery at the Town Hall

http://www.camdennewjournal.com/bribe-camden-council#.V2L80Z3321M.twitter

'Bribe' allegation at Town Hall has been substantiated, say council investigators

Published: 16 June, 2016
By RICHARD OSLEY


CAMDEN Council says a “bribery” allegation relating to the work of one of its own members of staff has been “substantiated”.

The case was revealed after a colleague reportedly blew the whistle at the Town Hall.

Information on an internal investigation was sent to councillors this week, although the full details of the case are understood to have been reserved for a small number of people at the council.

A report on fraud-busting is now due to be discussed at the Town Hall this evening (Thursday) by members of Camden’s cross-party Audit Committee. It reveals that there had been an allegation that an “employee is being bribed, ie that he has been ordering and receiving goods from a contractor in exchange for favourable treatment”.

The file goes on to simply state: “Allegation substantiated.” It says that the human resources department is “currently conducting disciplinary action”. It is understood police will not be involved. The allegation relates to a breach of staff rules rather than criminal behaviour.

Camden’s communications department said last night (Wednesday) that it could not comment on specific details of the case.

It is the most striking in a list of reports which came through to a confidential whistle­blowing hotline set up for staff to privately report suspicious behaviour. Several of the allegations received through this method have not been substantiated, including a claim that a member of staff was involved in funding terrorism and that another was illegally sub-letting their own council home.

Allegations still under investigation include reports of cash theft from a library, however.

Internal fraud-busters are also reporting to the committee that over the past year Camden has found substance in 18 allegations against its staff for “fraud or malpractice”.

The outcomes of the cases included 12 dismissals, two resignations and a written warning. The numbers of staff involved are, however, a tiny minority of the council workforce as a whole.

Meanwhile, Camden is set to take further action against staff found to be misusing a loan system supposed to be in place to help them buy travel season tickets. The money cannot be used for other purposes and the council said that “it is anticipated that disciplinary action will be taken against employees who failed to comply with the scheme”.

A council spokesman said: “We conduct a series of internal audits each year to ensure our staff comply with our policies and procedures.”
                                       -------------
Bribery Act 2010 HERE 

Update 19 June 2016
The council report about the above and other such things is  an officer report to the Audit and Corporate Governance committee HERE agenda item 13 - Annual Counter Fraud Report 2015 -2016 HERE

Friday, 10 June 2016

London Council Overcharged Tenants for Water

The below excerpts only came to light recently via the localgovernmentlawyer.co.uk  website HERE of a ruling in March 2016.


Council to refund tenants £28.6m after High Court water overcharging ruling 
 Thursday, 09 June 2016 07:00


The London Borough of Southwark has decided to repay 48,000 current and former tenants £28.6m following a High Court ruling earlier this year that it had overcharged for water and sewerage for 12 years.

In March this year Mr Justice Newey ruled that:
1. Unless and until a 2013 Deed (stating that the council was not a water reseller under the relevant regulations) took effect, the relationship between Thames Water and Southwark was not one of principal and agent but involved Southwark buying water and sewerage services from Thames Water and re-selling them to its tenants;
2. As a result, the Water Resale Order 2006 applied and served to limit what tenants could be charged; and
3. The amounts that Southwark charged the claimant, Kim Jones, (and other tenants with unmetered water supplies) exceeded the "maximum charge" allowed under the 2006 Order.

                                                                  ......................

 “However, there are approximately 330,000 other tenants in the Thames Water region entitled to claim refunds. Any tenant in the Thames Water region who is liable to pay a water charge to a local authority landlord or to a housing association landlord is likely to be able to make a claim. Tenants in this positon should seek legal advice as soon as possible.”









 

Friday, 3 June 2016

Kentish Town Neighbourhood Plan Referendum 9 June 2016

There's a vote on 9 June 2016 for eligible residents of Kentish Town to vote (or not) yes or no to the Kentish Town Forum (designated group) HERE putting forward a Plan for the ward/neighbourhood.

I wish them good luck as they have put in a lot of effort into getting things set up etc.

I do intend to vote as its not for a candidate but an issue (can't bring myself to vote for candidates anymore) but i've not made my mind up whether to vote yes or no.

I must admit I am wary of all these platforms for people to get involved in running things, I guess due too my experience of council tenant participation with the landlord and how some groups behave and dominant things and all the shenanigans that surround it.

Personally speaking I am for less people (but the right people) being involved in running things and if I am accused of being  anti-democratic by some than so be it, its my view and different views are allowed even in the 'communist republic' of Camden where capitalism thrives but say something controversial and its like its the end of the world - for some.

There are good and bad on all sides, but please no more of the 'bad' ones.

I will decide on the day.

Update 10 June 2016
Apparently most residents who voted said yes to the Plan.

Yes 1717 = 90.9 %
No 158 = 8.3%

Turnout -  13.75%.

I voted yes - thought I'd give it a go to see how the KT Forum and the Plan works in practice (not that I thought anything rested on my vote, but I figured it would be passed)
 
 


Thursday, 2 June 2016

Kentish Town DMC

 The dmc that covers the ward I live in.


16 June 2015  HERE they agreed the following Grants:
  •  Camden Square TRA be granted £3,600 for improvement works and £950 for Camden New Town community festival
  • Lissenden Gardens TRA be granted £1,000 for tennis coaching and tournament
  • St. Pancras Way TRA be granted £3,140 for football equipment, Zumba classes, coffee mornings and a summer trip.
  • Kenbrook House TRA be granted £1,517.96 for TA hall equipment
  • CASP be granted £3000 to continue their gardening works
  • Maiden Lane TRA be granted £9,999 for works to their TA hall’s kitchen
  • Una House be granted £2,062.40 for their summer trip 

 Dec 2015 HERE dmc agreed:
  • St Pancras Way Estate TRA be granted £2823 for equipment for the community hall, a Christmas party and a head message session for International Women’s Day
  • Camden Square Area TRA be granted £1490 for work on the estate garden at St Paul’s Crescent;
  • £10,000 be allocated for community safety initiatives to be drawn up by officers in consultation with the Chair of the DMC; (this seems to be the money casp was given )

 1 March 2016 the dmc agreed :
  • Maiden Lane TRA be granted £2,600 for cultural suppers;
  • Maiden Lane TRA be granted £300 for A3 printer equipment;
  • Maiden Lane TRA be granted £1,000 for events for senior citizens;
  • £1040 be granted for the Deaf Group to use a TA hall, precise venue to be confirmed, and that any change in the amount requested be decided upon by officers in consultation with the Chair of the DMC;
  • Torriano Estate TRA be granted £4,999 for gardening works;
  • Camden Square TRA be granted £1,200 for improvements to green space;
  •  Camden Square TRA be granted £1,500 for improvements to the TRA hall;
  • St Pancras Way Estate TRA be granted £4,550 for a photocopier;
  • St Pancras Way Estate TRA be granted £1400 for additional notice boards.
Dmc's are also after money the council collects from charges on building developments via the Community Infrastructure Levy(CIL) HERE

"There was a short discussion about bidding in secret, as there was concern that if you don't support one TRA they won't support you"

They go along with things because they are frightened not to.

I have heard that from someone else, in relation to some tenant reps who bully and intimidate others into doing what they want, maybe turn their back on others at meetings, stop speaking to them who have displeased them, maybe turn others against them - cause trouble for them or their tra?

And the upcoming 14 June 2016 dmc meeting they will again 'elect' the right chair and vice chair.

Sunday, 29 May 2016

DMC's Annual AGM's

Its that time of year when the 5 council tenant groups collectively called the District (Housing) Management Committees (DMC's) - Holborn, Camden Town, Kentish Town, Gospel Oak and Hampstead, re-elect the groups 2 'officers' chair and vice chair, who though are voluntary roles (council volunteers) are paid more than out of pocket expenses to perform 'duties'. I guess this is how properly elected council members first started out but being paid a nominal sum then over the years (cos they are volunteering not for monetary gain but out of the goodness of their hearts..... ) the sum increasing to what we have now but who are still as far as I am aware classed as volunteers and not council employees.

Anyhow, on paper at least housing management seems to be 'cracking down' on rules governing how the dmcs bid and spend the Grant funding they receive from the council (on top of the administrative support/funding) to carry out works/goods/services on behalf Camden council: Draft District Management Committee Funding Guidelines 2015 HERE. 


However, there still is no sight of the formal written agreement the council has with dmcs, who despite their Constitutions (which contain uniform basics dictated by the council, but who have a  little scope for dmc members to add to ) claiming they are advisory bodies to the council, have been carrying out housing management roles without having to apply the Housing (Right To Manage) Regulations 1994 HERE.

Housing ward managers agree (with the councils business support HERE)
a bid before it is passed onto the dmc's to agree.

These newly emerging minuted and put up on the councils website meetings. ..... on top of the added meetings chairs and vice chairs have plus other meetings dmc's have. All adds up to cost quite a bit. 

Apparently there has been lots of criticism of dmc bids to do with social activities. No word though about the cost of some of the other bids, which to me are quite eye raising.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Neighbourhood Planning

 "What is neighbourhood planning?

Communities can influence the future of their neighbourhood by preparing a neighbourhood plan [my emphasis] that sets out the vision for their area and general planning policies to guide developments"
Taken from Camden councils website HERE

This is done under statutory powers contained with the Localism Act 2011 HERE. A Plan English Guide to the Localism Act HERE

 A Neighbour Plan can only be put foward if a group is recognised as a designated Neighbourhood Forum.

Anyway, for now just the basics but will put more information up on the legalities etc of Neighbourhood Planning.

In relation to the above word is but yet to be confirmed that 'dodgy casp people' who don't live or work in the Belize ward of Camden have gotten involved in the very early stages of ambitions of some in the ward lead by ward cllrs, to become an official designated Neighbourhood (planning) Forum.

Rumour has it that at least 4 casp people are trying it on over Belsize ward way by trying to get others to agree to either
a) extend the plan to include area's of at least 2 other wards so that these casp people can legitimately be included or
b) hope people are dumb enough to buy that a council flat of one casp person is the 'registered' business address of casp and so can legitimately be included.

An example of how  'dodgy casp' wreak things for others HERE and how easy it is for them at times and that despite a council meeting about their antics HERE, they are able to still carry on with support and funding from Camden council and the support of various council members. From what I can make of things, they even join political parties just to try and manipulate/intimidate other members into doing what they want.They don't seem to change.

NB how some political groups operate in trying to take over things is to get their people onto a committee (say 4 casp members plus others who are cronies, who may be cllrs or others but ultimately are in the casp 'gang' and who go along with what the main casp gang want ) so that they are the majority and thus have the final say on matters. They are extremists I think and not in a good way. 

Local politics eh.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

When is a sub committee not a sub committee?

When its called a panel - apparently.

Camden councils head of legal Andrew Maughan wrote in a recent council report HERE for the upcoming 11 May 2016 annual general meeting HERE - in regards to the councils scrutiny committee's not setting up sub committees as per the councils Constitution, which for some odd reason (in my view) council members have never gotten round to changing. Its not illegal to set the sub committtees/panels/groups up but the full council decided they weren't to be set up and this hasn't been changed:  The clause was introduced when the lib-dems/conservatives formed a coalition in 2006 on Camden council. The latest version of the Constitution from April 2016 HERE in particular Part 4 - Procedure Rules and Standing Orders HERE
C Scrutiny Rules - 8. Sub-committees
"Scrutiny Committees shall not establish sub committees"


For years AM had mentioned the clause in reports and which seemed to be ignored by council members. Don't have the various reports at hand but recall the mention of the clause about the sub committees went something like 'Council determined at its meeting on 19th June 2006 that scrutiny committees would be the exception, and would not be able to establish sub - committees' and didn't expand on that but this year - according to the head of legal "panels are not sub committees as such"

 "Council determined at its meeting on 19th June 2006 that scrutiny committees would be the exception, and would not be able to establish sub - committees. Scrutiny Committees do however run panels which are not committees as such but report back to the Scrutiny Committee."

If I remember correctly some years back when Labour got back into power on the council (around 2010) a Labour council member (a former tenant rep) said something along the lines of 'not being bound by previous administrations rules' or something like that in relation to the councils Constitution.

So what is the lawful or legal position of the above Labour cllr stance (Constitution or at least a particular clause in it, not binding) and is the councils legal officer statement about panels(not being sub - committees as such)  lawfully or legally correct?


Update 13 May 2016
Had a quick skim through the councils AGM via webcast - was painful to say the least but near end of the meeting starting at item 5 Communications HERE where business was conducted as opposed to the annual love in centered around the position of Mayor and the part in report mentioned above about sub committees, wasn't mentioned. No surprise there.


Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Camden Housing Resident Scrutiny Group

The group of council tenants called the Camden Housing Resident Scrutiny Group[CHRSG] are meeting this evening HERE at the town hall, but haven't put the minutes of their 15 March 2016  meeting up on the councils website.

 Meetings
12 Nov 2013 here  
14 Jan 2014 here   presentation on 6 week new tenancy visits
11 March 2014 here  presentation on the initial STAR survey results
13 May 2014 here   presentation on complaints.  72% of complaints the Council received related to HASC and most of these related to repairs and improvements.
10 June 2014 here
8 July 2014 here   the cost of the group was mentioned with officers saying it would be difficult to provide accurate data until the end of the 2014-15 financial year.
12 Aug 2014 here self-assessment forms circulated. members advised to complete and return by the end of the week. Sept for assessment interviews. Members to return their signed Code of Conduct forms by the end of the week. Introduction to the council complaints
process
9 Sept 2014 here  further information about complaints. Communications strategy.
14 Oct 2014 here   extent of the groups influence
11 Nov 2014 here  info on complaints.  request to have further training on the councils finances
9 Dec 2014 here information from the last STAR survey. complaints info

13 Jan 2015 here   election of chair and vice-chair .  finance training.
10 Feb 2015 here leaseholders forum. more complaints info
10 March 2015 here 
14 April 2015 here  review of groups documents and ways of working. complaints report.
19 May 2015 here repairs 
9 June 2015 here better homes presentation. Review of Camden Housing Resident Scrutiny Group. The issue of member’s conduct outside of group activities was felt by many members to be beyond the remit of the group and its Code of Conduct.
14 July 2015 here complaints report.  references to members’ behaviour outside of the group’s activities will be removed from the group’s Code of Conduct. better homes.
11 Aug 2015 here complaints report.  better homes. a member shouldn't use the name of the group when persuing foi
8 Sept 2015 here freedom of information applications. better homes. discussions were also had around conduct in meetings.
13 Oct 2015 here Andrew Pierce (casp member) discussed with the group feedback about CHRSG from casp
10 Nov 2015 here better homes. tenant survey. 
 8 Dec 2015 here feedback on the Croydon Learning Exchange Event. better homes external works. tenant surveys. group review.
12 Jan 2016 here   Election of chair and vice-Chair. better homes. Recruitment Plan 2016
9 Feb 2016 here Overview of anti-social behaviour
15 March 2016 here Code of Conduct. Noise nuisance. better homes.
12 April 2016 here (march minutes not included) 
Mention of members of group being unpaid volunteers. Think whats on its way is remuneration of members.  Had to happen I guess, as volunteering with the council seems to be a whole different ballgame than say volunteering in the local charity shop. I guess any principles of giving their time free of charge fly out the window when volunteers take on more and 'duties'.
10 May 2016 here



Please note the only problem I have with the CHRSG  is CASP people and cronies. They don't deserve (imo) to be in any public funded group let alone any group who wishes to be known as professional and ethical.

Stay well clear is my advice.

Update 18 April 2016 
In regards to the minutes: I'm sure some of this years minutes put up have been amended as I remember reading where the mention of members or a member not to tell others what to do was minuted or words to that effect and the last minutes where one of the groups members threatened staff re to make a complaint but can't find them now.

Any relation to why March's minutes haven't been put up on councils website?

I wonder who the person/s are who tell others what to and who issue threats. Thats a hard one to guess .......

Update 11 July 2016
The group are meeting tomorrow 12 July 2016 HERE  but they haven't put the agenda or minutes of their 14 June 2016 meeting HERE 
up on the councils website. 

I wonder which 'delightful' casp people will be turning up on the group next? 

Update 12 August 2016
Another meeting ( 9 Aug 2016) HERE but no documents or agenda. Something amiss going on but not being made public i suspect.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Admitting when you get something wrong

Realised I got the Building Regulations thing wrong. Have been ranting about Camden council as land-lord not putting the required by Building Regulations sound proofing in when the property was converted in late 1970's when they weren't required by law to do so.

The regulations HERE didn't apply to inner London - only part of country they didn't apply to - which in itself I think is wrong but that's another matter.

Anyway, could give excuses as to my confusion over the BR's but won't.

The sun is shining today and for that I am grateful.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

DIY Sound Proofing

Am in the process of [trying] some DIY soundproofing on ceilings and part of wall in my flat. May work, may not. Worth a try though I think.

I won't for now say what I'll be using as the sound proofing (hopefully), but if it works it may prove to be a cheap but maybe odd way of doing it.

            -------------------
Tuesday 5 April 2016
Has been mostly noise free tonight as neighbour has been out most of night. Neighbour came in and now theres lots of banging about above. Let cat in - can hear neighours 'love making' noises in the street - its 1am. Turn my radio up to drown out the noise which i don't like doing as its late and prefer music to be on low. Lots of noise yesterday as well ranging from banging about to loud pressure noises on and off for hrs from the water pipes.

Positive thoughts, deep breaths - at least the banging from the pipes has been sorted.

Not sure when it will be safe to turn music down as the noises start then stop then start then stop. Feeling anxious now.

Update 9 April 2016
Noise I can hear from above my bedroom when in bed, trying to sleep or being woken up by:
Impact noise - Heavy footsteps in bedroom and hallway area of flat above, doors being closed, things like cups being put down on hard surfaces, sounds like heavy draws being opened and closed. Door of toilet being closed, toilet seat being put/slammed down. These noises are very clear. Noises from bathroom.

Airborne noise - loud voices at times, loud love making noises at times.
 Hoovering.

Pressure noise in pipes (no insulation as far as I am aware) in living room. Tank situated in kitchen makes a racket - no insulation.

Noise I can hear above my living room: loud voices at times which can be heard outside as well.
Heavy footsteps, banging about in kitchen when doing washing up etc, dragging of chair along floor, opening of draw. Noises from bathroom. Hoovering. Washing machine spin cycle which makes my windows rattle at times. Pipes above creak at times,  and the constant pressure noise.

Really fed up with it and having to keep contacting housing department about the problems.

Still haven't got around to reporting leaking pipe in toilet (plastic jug under leak to catch water). Not got around to reporting badly creaking floorboards in living room.  Not essential to me that they get fixed right now as am fed up with repairs people in and out of here over last year.

The only noise problems that have been sorted are the loud TV after 11pm and the banging from the pipes.  

In regards to the lack of sound proofing - the landlord has been aware of the noise problem in some of its rented dwellings for quite some years.

As far back as 1999 when a tenant from area I live in had a court case joined with other tenants from another London borough in
London Borough of Southwark and Another v Mills and Others, Baxter v Mayor etc of the London Borough of Camden HERE

 "The lack of privacy causes tension and distress."[my emphasis]

The tenants lost the case.

Camden council does not want to fix the problem for all/most tenants - even back then when money was a plenty.  Still plenty of money around, but not spent on specific problems.

That's not to say the landlord doesn't install sound proofing in some cases ie say they want a formal borough wide council tenants group set up and the tenant gang who say they will do it, get housing transfers from estates to street properties plus sound proofing put in flat below and who are allowed by the landlord council to behave as badly as they like.

I'm beginning to think that the reason the landlord was so keen to get the borough wide tenants group set up was to keep a lid on some of the problems to do with street properties - this tenants group make a fuss about things when need be and may put on a public show of doing something - sometimes, but imo its only done for them to look good, like they have done something - but nothing effective of course.

Update 18 March 2016
Process of DIY sound proofing going slowly, as decided against firstly nailing, then changed mind to pinning (using stapler gun) of materials to areas needed so instead will buy some adhesive - will get there eventually. Am as slow as a tortoise at times. Have informed landlords agent of my DIY plans and what materials I'll be using. No objection so far.

Update 20 April 2016
Change of plan regarding the DIY materials. How did I get into this - oh yes its the constant noise intrusion even late at night. Crap housing eh.

Update 23 April 2016
Tenant above is having an all night 'love'  making session  - started about 12mid night above my living room with mainly very heavy footsteps then moved above my bedroom with lots of banging about and moaning noises - still going on at 6am. I'm guessing 'energy enhancements' are prolonging things - to my dismay. Deep breaths, positive thoughts.

You know you're tired and up past your bedtime when you look out the window see that its day break, hear the birds tweeting, see the garden blooming, then find yourself singing  "morning has broken" then "morning has broken like the first morning".

update
The noise went on until around 8.30am. Only when bloke had gone, was I able to settle down to sleep.

Update 25 April 2016
Tenant in flat above woke me up around 5.30am with lots of banging about - heavy footsteps, sounded like heavy things being put down on heavy surfaces, heavy draws being opened, heavy boxes being dragged out from somewhere and just dropped, that sort of noise - this went on for about 40 minutes with tenant coming and going from room, coming and going, coming and going. Couldn't get back to sleep so got up made a cuppa and came on here.

Update 27 April 2016
noise nuisance above my bedroom from around 1.30am - 3.00am:  heavy footsteps, hard things put down on hard surfaces, dragging of heavy boxes/draws sounds, dropping things down - on and off  -  might be a single noise or might be a bang, drag, thump - sort of thing.

Good news  though that the pieces of carpet pinned  to the panel running down the wall area where the pipes run through, seems to have dampened the water pressure noise from that area. Pipes still make a noise across the ceiling at the party wall side of wall but its quieter now. Getting there. Really creaky floorboard in living room fixed (area still creaks a bit but not as bad) - carpet taken up and used else where.

Hope to get the flat in shape to be suitable for a out of borough housing transfer - don't know where yet. Couldn't swap this flat in the state its in re no sound insulation at all -  none, zero, never put any in - when landlord converted the property plus 'noisy inconsiderate neighbour'. Must be millions of dwellings in such a state i reckon.

Decided the material to be used on the ceilings as a sound barrier will have to be a adhesive sheet/tile directly onto ceilings like HERE 
or HERE. 

I can't afford to pay for it so will put it to the landlord, to at least pay for the bedroom and hallway ceilings to be done, at either of the above linked products or similar prices. 

Update 11 May 2016
Neighbour upstairs has been reasonably quiet (in the eve's and after 11pm) the last few weeks but has started again with the loud TV after 11pm that can be heard outside in the street and in my living room. In my experience quiet periods don't last long with neighbour. Waiting now for all the other noise particularly after 11pm to start again as usual.

Update 22 May 2016
Housing officer not got back to be yet about my request for landlord to pay for sound barrier tiles on some ceilings in flat.

I think I can't get out of here unless this property is at least half decent in order to swap it, which includes I think sound proofing and re-decorating in order to 'sell' it to another tenant to swap. Some may and have said I shouldn't mention the lack of sound proofing but I think its such a big problem in many such properties that I have to mention it as its not fair to not do so and inflict this property on any other person who may be vulnerable and be deeply affected by the noise. I know how badly its affected me over the years and I really don't want to inflict it on another.

Update 24 May 2016










landlord computer says NO (with the face on maybe?) to my request for sound proofing ....


Update 19 June 2016
Things have improved a bit re the 'love' making noises late at night/early morn have quietened down and I am grateful for that.

There is still a problem though with the constant heavy sounding footsteps I can hear day and night when neighbour is in.

Update 21 July 2016
There is still a problem with the banging about from kitchen area late at night (and the pressure noise from the pipes late at night) and from the tenants bathroom area, which I could hear the other night when at the front door of the building - thats right on the ground floor you can sometimes hear the tenant on the second floor. has been bad the last week.

Like I have said before when money was a plenty Camden council ignored the problem and continues to ignore (low priority) it but have added the caveat of costs and no guarentee sounding proofing will work.

 To me thats not good enough.

They can find money for other housing improvements but not on much needed sound proofing, which can cause a lot of mental distress to people on top of causing frictions between neighbours.

The "no garentee" is a weak argument I think because the landlord doesn't present it with evidence to back it up - could be there is little data collected on this issue because its such a low priority for Camden council and has been through out its mainly Labour run administration.

Even when presented with a compromise (the landlord pays to have sound barrier tiles part installed (the main areas where noise is as opposed to all of flat) they say no.

Update 24 July 2016
I don't usually phone the councils noise patrol service,  but I really felt the need to do so quite recently due to the noise level above me for the last 2/3 hours.

Neighbour is doing something on the patio - cleaning I think and the banging about and scrapping noise is to me horrendous - 2/3 hrs constant plus at one point soaky water coming down my kitchen window from above.

In isolation the noise from the patio isn't really an on going problem but add it to the overall noise problem from other areas and its just one big never ending noise nuisance.

Person from the councils environmental protection phoned me back quite quickly and we had a chat and I appreciate the support given. Noise has quietened down now and I hope I don't feel the need to phone them again as advised. Not sure though why they don't automatically come out to assess the situation, maybe a new council money saving policy? Or even a fob off, I don't know but person did sound supportive, so who knows.

16 August 2016
The noise from flat above has been bad this week - TV loud now most nights even after 11pm and can be heard outside as well in my living room - lots of banging about from kitchen and bedroom area. I hear every heavy foot stepp the tenant makes - for instance when I'm in bed ans still wake and  when tenant is in bed and she gets up to use the loo all I hear is thump thump thump  footsteps and banging about of using the toilet. How does any one make so much noise getting out of bed to go toilet?

The only noise that has stopped is the loud 'love making' noises and the water pipes banging. Maybe i'm expecting too much?

2 Oct 2016
lots of noise tonight - banging about above my bedroom, on and off for the last 2hrs its 3.25am.

heavy footsteps, on and off, back and forth like with shoes on its 3.55am

10 Oct 2016
have been in my bedroom trying to relax since 11.30pm - its 1.30am now and my window has rattled 4 times because of heavy footsteps above, plus banging about in toilet area toilet 2 times and heavy footsteps in hall area. There will be more to come.

Am always on edge anticipating the noise.

2.10am more window rattling, heavy footsteps. 

But one must be resilient whilst being under constant attack - apparently.
I have asked the landlord camden council about mediation with neighbour in finding a remedy to the noise problem - it used to be offered to tenants but I recently heard that this service is no longer available, so i don't know as yet if I can access this service elsewhere or even if neighbour would agree to it.

Patience and lots of deep breaths and positive thoughts and whatnot.

13 Oct 2016
Found out from the camden councils website that the mediation service still exists HERE 

31 Oct 2016
Landlords agent not got back to me about the mediation - maybe a heavy workload or something.

Was quiet most of the day until after 10.30pm when the noise started on and off and on and off and on and off and ........... blah blah blah. 

 Just how much is considered substantial?

6 Nov 2016
Was coming up to 2am, i'm trying to settle down to sleep and above i hear a really loud bang like something heavy  was dropped, this was followed by 2/3 more loud banging noises then the usual heavy footsteps and more banging about. I think ffs its 2am, why do I have to keep hearing this night after night. I can't sleep now so get up and leave bedroom and go into living room then I hear banging about in kitchen above. The noise follows me.

3am i'm back in b/r I can hear what sounds like draws on those noisy casters being opened  and shut and footsteps.

3.30am heavy footsteps, banging about above on and off

8 Nov 2016
Emailed housing ward manager and cabinet member for housing about a  reply to my email in June 2016 about the water overcharging.

19 Nov 2016
Was woken up 3 times this morning at various times by tenant above heavy impact footsteps when going to the toilet, plus I can hear water from toilet flush (pipe situated outside my bedroom window) even when my bedroom window is closed.

Sometimes if I'm really lucky I can hear above me the sound of actual 'water being deposited' and then the flushing then water going down outside pipe.

27 Nov 2016
Has been a bad day/night today noise wise. Say from around 5pm until now 11.30pm has been constant banging about from tenants kitchen area - one bang then 5 minutes later another bang  that sort of thing, spinning washing machine, heavy footsteps, at times voices on and off for hours. Can even hear it above my music on 13. More heavy footsteps.

Tenant above would have a break down i reckon if tenant was in my place - tenant bangs on wall and shouts at neighbours next door if they make noises even for a few seconds that wake her up or annoy her. Tenant above woke me up 3 times in the morning the other week - on top of all the other usual noise. 

Think i'll bill my landlord for all the electricity i use (old small music system in living room with speakers on walls) in trying to drown out one of their tenants constant noise. haha - i no how thats going to go - computer says no. Watch Camden council land-lord try and wriggle out of refunding all the tenants they have been overcharging for water - for years. Tut tut London councils.

29 Nov 2016
4am tenant seems clumsy tonight - dropped things at least 5 times above my bedroom.

I reckon I know why Camden council noise patrol doesn't come out to these properties (or at least this property) when called by a tenant in distress, a plea of help, of assistance.

Tenants are told by housing staff they need evidence other than your word of the nuisance and unless you have someone there with you all the time or can afford noise recording equipment ones word is not good enough (even if repeated by many others in the same properties?) unless it suits.

How longer can they keep ignoring what I think is a massive problem with some/many converted street properties because it impacts adversely on many tenants, tenants who in many cases moved into the properties without being informed of   the defect and then can spend years and years trying to get the landlord to fix the problem or give you a transfer to another place and all plea's to council people for help is largely met with deaf ears. How can that be right?

positive energy, thoughts, feelings.

1 Dec 2016
2.50am banging about and heavy footsteps noise above my bedroom on and off for last hour.






Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Dodgy Phone Calls

I remember back in the days when I received at home 2 phone calls from a woman I believe was a  crony of a well known liar and bully. She didn't leave a name but mentioned something to do with a bid I had put in with the council via Home Connections - she obviously had inside information. The second call same woman threatened "We're out to get you bitch". Turned out the phone call was made from a public phone box up Highgate Newtown way.

I reported the threatening and illegal phone call (Malicious Communications Act 1988 here )  to police and received a phone call back from a rather gruff copper who basically didn't want to know and quickly got me of the phone. Turns out the known liar had called the police up prior to the phone calls to me, to make a false complaint about me but police didn't do anything about it, only noted it and didn't contact me so I wasn't aware of it at the time.

The false complaint to police about me was made about 6 months after the same liar made another false complaint to police about someone they had befriended who after a while of knowing them wasn't happy with this liars behaviour. 2 coppers from Holborn CID turned up at his door and accused him of  all sorts of things and basically told him to keep away. A complaint was made about this to police and council but as usual nothing was done about the known liar and cronies.

Ten years later things are still much the same with known liar and cronies still using the police (and council) to threaten and subdue (or at least try to) any one who poses a threat to them or who they don't like.

I reckon if police looked up how many complaints this liar (and cronies) has made to them over the last 15  or so years they'd see a pattern. Maybe the vexatious one would even win an award for the number of phone calls to police.

Seems to be the case that anyone can repeatedly make vexatious/malicious complaints  to the police (and just about anyone who will listen) over a number of years and police don't clock on to this pattern. So much for crime prevention.

I guess a vexatious litigant and a vexatious complainant to police and just about anyone they can complain to, have much in common. 

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill

The Homes [Fitness for Human Habitation] Bill Here started its journey through parliament on 24 June 2015 (a private members bill) at its first reading in the HofC Here
2nd reading Here 

Next reading this week  11 March 2016. For anyone interested.

The Bill will if passed amend the Tenant and Landlord Act 1985 Here

Update 14 March  2016.
Looks like the next reading has been moved to 22 April 2016 HERE.

 "When I announced that I was introducing this Bill, there was some surprise that homes could be let that were not fit for human habitation, but, extraordinarily, that is the case in 2015. As long ago as 1885, when the Housing of the Working Classes Act was passed, Parliament first decided that residential rented accommodation should be fit for human habitation."

"The great weakness of those provisions is that they tie the repairing obligation to rent limits."

 "The law as it stands applies only when the annual rent is less than £80 in London and £52 elsewhere in the country."


Friday, 19 February 2016

DMC Funding Guidelines

 District Management Committee's Funding Guidelines 2015 HERE

"Annually each District Management Committee (DMC) is given a budget to spend in their area" I think this is linked to the Participatory Budgeting  HERE. Draft Strategy 2008 HERE ,  
Possibly even State Aid

The DMC's (there are 5 of them) used to be sub-committees of the councils then Housing Committee who had council tenant reps on as non voting members, but who used to vote. When the council changed its governance structure back in 2001/2 to the executive (now called cabinet) model the dmc's should have been abolished but cllrs allowed them to continue as tenant groups, still funded and administrated by the council.

Dmc's are business ventures whose members carry out works/goods/services on behalf of Camden council. In effect dmc's have taken on Housing Management roles but without having to apply the Housing [Right to Manage] rules HERE.