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.

Monday, 17 November 2014

CASP Sabotage in Gospel Oak ward

To reiterate on how some public funded council tenant groups in Camden such as  the Camden Association of Street Properties (CASP)  behave and why because of this sort of behaviour I believe they don't deserve support or acceptance from the general public, whether they be other council tenants or not. I strongly denounce them.

The following is just an example - a rather big and in your face, one I think, of how they behave. Its not a one off, I could give loads of examples of how badly they have behaved over the years. Their behaviour never seems to change.

The "plan of action" happened in the Gospel Oak ward of Camden, and centres around the public funded council tenant group the Gospel Oak District Management Committee (GODMC), which  CASP took over when Labour party member Larraine Revah was elected onto the council in 2010. It involves the council housing estate regeneration planned in the area and getting their hand on lots of public money. 

What Happened

CASP committee members and  cronies set out to and managed to sabotage the setting up of what appears if had been successful, an inclusive community partnership for the Gospel Oak area, to replace it with a 'fake' exclusive group they set up. 

Despite cabinet member cllr Sarah Hayward giving the go ahead on 30 March 2012 HERE  for the partnership to be set up they later managed to get the council to support them - under the guise of being the  "Real Deal Community Partnership" (RDCP) and not the other group of residents who had approached the council. Cllr Hayward agreed to help establish "a Gospel Oak community partnership ..... that
 be involved in decisions about the following:

·                the local economy

·                community safety, policing and community cohesion;

·                leisure and community activities;

·                public and open spaces;

·                age related issues

·                health

·                housing and well being

They somehow managed to get the council to stop supporting the setting up of an inclusive community partnership to benefit the wider community, into supporting them (council tenant reps - chums of old) to set up the RDCP ( an exclusive group) with the same remit. Plus they wanted to get their hands on some of the section 106 money the council would be handing out due to the estate redevelopment in the Gospel Oak area. My post HERE about the council meeting held on 21 March 2013 about the RDCP.

Leila Roy, the Tory cllr for the Belize ward who was at the time a casp committee member is credited as  being a founding member of the RDCP. Other CASP committee members with strong links to the Socialist Worker Party where also involved. Interesting partnership eh?

How did they manage to get the council to change their mind and support them instead of the other group, who they could have got involved with and helped but who they choose to sabotage because it wasn't what they wanted - and they weren't totally in charge? Not the suspected 'lifted from other petitions without them knowing' names added to their petition of a few hundred surely?

Could it be the case that casp used threats of litigation over the Bacton Low Rise redevelopment? Maybe the CASP vexatious litigants made threats to the council? Was the casp gardening project also part of the deal?

Maybe casp(swp)  had a deal with the Camden tories - casp help get tory candidate elected onto council, tories help casp and chums get the community partnership gig?

The RDCP (a registered company) is in the process of being dissolved, according to Companies House website.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

CASP Gardening Project

 Click Here for original council document of below information.


February 2014 

The CASP Pilot Gardening Project was established in June 2011 with  financial assistance from the Gospel Oak DMC. 

The Association set up and somewhat manages the project which has now been extended to include Gospel Oak, Kentish Town and Hampstead. 

Funding to date includes: Gospel Oak £7000, Hampstead £6000 & Kentish Town £10.000

The aim of the project is to provide gardening assistance to older, vulnerable or disabled tenants who live in Camden owned street properties. 

Historically, this type of service was never provided by Camden Council despite many ground floor LBC street properties being allocated to disabled tenants, etc. 

Initial discussions during the setting up of the project were extensive and covered area's such as insurance, suitability of the gardening team to work with vulnerable adults (CRB checks, etc), references and related housing management issues, etc. 

The Association set up and manages the project which has now been extended to include Gospel Oak, Kentish Town and Hampstead, although we remain in close contact with senior housing staff to discuss different aspects of the scheme such as funding and its management, etc. 

CASP meets regularly with the gardening team overseeing the works and any special requests such as input from OT's are passed to housing staff, etc. 
Many of the gardens have been left unattended for years and pretty extensive works have been required in some of the gardens in order to make these areas usable - before and after photographs are available on request. 

Over the years, some of these unattended areas have also attracted high levels of ASB and funding was used in some instances to revamp these areas - groups of individual gardens - into usable and attractive areas. 
For example, one of the areas (consisting of four individual gardens) was cleared and made attractive by sowing wild flowers, etc. 

GO, KT and Hampstead housing staff have also been proactive in identifying street property tenants who meet the criteria to receive assistance from the scheme. 

Our team of gardeners have extensive experience of working with vulnerable tenants in the community and the Association is already receiving excellent feedback. 

Since funding was first allocated in June 2011, funding used or is already committed to funding works taking place in the following Gospel Oak, Kentish Town and Hampstead streets: 

1. Malden Road NW5
2. Queens Crescent NW5
3. St Leonard's Square NW5
4. Russell Nurseries Estate NW5
5. Savernake Road NW5
6. Basset Street NW5
7. Grafton Road NW5
8. Marsden Street NW5 
9. Herbert Street NW5
10. St Baptist Gardens NW5
11. Maitland Park Road NW5
12. Grafton Terrace NW5
13. Hawley Road NW5 
14. Chetwynd Road NW5
15. Brecknock Road NW5
16. Caversham Road NW5
17. Gaisford Street NW5
18. Patshull Road NW5
19. Lawford Road NW5
20. St Alban's Road NW5
21. Chester Road NW5
22. Leighton Grove NW5 
23. Kingsgate Road NW6
24. Maresfield Gardens NW3
25. South Hill Park Gardens NW3
26. Goldhurst Terrace
27. Woodchurch Road NW6
28. Lady Margaret Road NW5 (New Referral) 
29. Ingestre Road NW5 (New Referral)
30. Croftdown Road NW5 (New Referral)

My questions about the above gardening project:
1. Due to casp representing registered street property tenants only, is this gardening service available to non casp council street property tenants - if not, why isn't it?

2. Are all tenants who have received this service registered casp members? 

3. Is there a service charge for tenants who use this service? 

4. Is the project a one off service or a continued service of maintenance of the gardens?  
5.  If casp are doing up dwelling gardens only, where does the ASB come into it?

6. Are casp committee members being paid by the council to provide these management services? 

7. Does any official written management contract exist between casp and the council for the provision of these services? If yes lets have a look at the contract. If no then why not? 

8. Its good to hear that gardening staff who attend the properties of the vulnerable group of tenants have been properly vetted but does the same vetting apply to casp committee members who have access to these tenants?  

9. Is the casp committee ensuring value for money when procuring these gardening services? 

10. Do casp and their enablers/ colluders in the council ever do anything 'above board'?


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