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, 13 June 2021

Local government legislation: byelaws

When the council property I live in was converted (in the late 1970's) from a single house into 3 separate flats, building regulations in London where the responsibility of the local council in the form of Byelaws [Local Acts]

Statutory Instruments [secondary legislation] such as the Building Regulations 1976 HERE, did not apply to London as elsewhere in the country until the Building Act 1984. 

Some information about Local Acts HERE

HoL 1999 Housing, Quiet Enjoyment, Nuisance HERE 

"But they did not contravene the bye-laws in force at the time"

The Building Act 1984 replaced the previous system of local bye-laws with nationally applicable regulations made by the Secretary of State for the Environment.

The Building Regulations 1985 (SI 1985/1065) contained for the first time a requirement that walls and floors which separate one dwelling from another should resist the transmission of airborne and impact sound: see Part E of Schedule 1 to the Regulations.

Similar provisions are now contained in the Building Regulations 1991 (SI 1991/2768). But the regulations apply only to buildings erected or converted after they came into force."

" Byelaws are local laws made by a local council under an enabling power contained in a public general act or a local act requiring something to be done – or not done – in a specified area. They are accompanied by some sanction or penalty for their non-observance."

If validly made, byelaws have the force of law within the areas to which they apply. Generally byelaws are overseen by the relevant government department or confirming authority who has policy responsibility for the subject matter." HERE 

The Local Government Act 1972 HERE gives instructions about the making of local government bye laws [also called Local Acts]

Part XI [11]  General Provisions as to Local Authorities HERE, under the cross heading Byelaws are sections 235-238 HERE 

Sections 262 Local Acts and instruments HERE 

Going back in time 40 years or so, the London Building Act 1930 HERE came about 12 years after the end of world war 1 [1914-18] 

The whole Act came into force 1 October 1930.

        Part VI [6] Construction of Buildings sections 57 - 88

London Building Acts [Amendment] Act 1939 HERE

London County Council [General Powers] Act 1948 HERE 

Local Government Act 1972 HERE

Greater London Council [General Powers] Act 1974 HERE

Building Control Act 1966 HERE

Housing and Building Control Act 1984 HERE 
Building Act 1984 HERE

March 2018

 2.17 approval under the London Building Acts and the associated bye laws was the responsibility of the Greater London Council [GLC]. 

4.1.13 The London Building Acts 1930 - 1939 gave powers for secondary legislation to be produced in the form the London Building [Constructional] Bye laws. The BLs would have comprised:

The Public Health Act 1936 HERE
section 61

Statutory Instrument 1057  HERE
1972 No 317

The Building Regulations 1972

 The below Act exempted some buildings from building by-laws.

Public Health Act 1936 HERE

NB I have tried to track down the relevant local London by-laws that where supposed to be in place but no-one seems to have them: locally, [London] county hall [Mayor of London ] national archives. 

Saturday, 12 June 2021

Housing Priority for Infamous Gangster

"All of which begs a question: how exactly did Britain’s most infamous gangster end up being granted his plum tenancy?"

"Camden Council this week refused to comment, insisting that its housing system ‘prioritises people in accordance with legislation’." 


8 February 2019 

Saturday, 5 June 2021

£6m Overspend by Housing Department - 2010


22 March 2012 

Hanging Death on Council Estate - 2012


Swiss Cottage basketball hoop hanging death

Wednesday, January 11, 2012
A man was found hanged from the frame of a basketball hoop at a Swiss Cottage sports court on this morning (Wednesday, January 11).

The man, believed to be in his 30s, was discovered shortly before 6.30am in Dobson Close estate, off Hilgrove Road, by a woman walking her dog. The body, which has not been identified, was hanging yards from a children’s playground.

Police said they requested a tent to shield the body from children.

Clearly shaken up, Natasha Ullah, 29, who discovered the body, said: “I was walking the dog this morning, I went through the park and I noticed a guy hanging on the pitch. “All I remember is seeing the guy hanging there. I was quite shocked at that. “I rang up to call the police. I didn’t really want to get any nearer to him.”

There was no sign of how the man climbed the 10 feet to the top of the hoop.
Residents of the estate said they were shocked and saddened at the death.

Muna Salaad, 34, of Hillgrave Estate, who saw the body covered in a white cloth, said: “I feel sad. It was a bit weird when I saw it. It took me a few seconds, I thought ‘Oh God there’s a body there’. It’s really sad.”

Pensioner Norma Boyle, whose flat in Farjeon House, Dobson Close, overlooks the basketball court, said: “It is dreadful. We’ve never had anything like this before. We have lived here for 51 years and never known anything like it.”

Police sealed off the area for several hours, but are not treating the death as suspicious.

The area was reopened shortly before 11am the same morning.
An inquest will be opened and adjourned at St Pancras Coroners’ Court.

Fall Death at Camden Council HQ

Thursday 18 Feb 2020 


18 February, 2021 — By Harry Taylor


26 February, 2021 — By Richard Osley

Darryn Van Vuuren had worked for the council since 2013

A review of safety in the building has already been carried out, she said, and “rigorous tests” have been passed.

Dozens of colleagues have already signed tributes to Mr Van Vuuren, who had worked for the council since 2013, most recently in the procurement team but before that in children’s centres  – including Agar Grove – and libraries.

He was described as a dedicated and passionate member of staff, a “top bloke” who was full of fascinating facts and equipped with a dry wit.

“He was a gentleman, very clever and always very helpful,” said one of the many tributes. “I was very proud of what he achieved in Camden.”

Another said: “You [Mr Van Vuuren] were amazing to work with, always finding clever ways to do things better and brilliant to chat to about anything. How did you know so much about everything? I remember in those conversations you were always smiling – that’s how I will remember you.”

Ms Rowlands’ message said: “Darryn’s connection to our organisation spreads across many teams, and we know that many colleagues knew him and will miss him greatly.”

Counselling and one-to-one conversations have been offered to Mr Van Vuuren’s close colleagues and those who were in the building at the time, and a team of external trauma experts has also been made available with those affected urged to reach out for help.

Some questions about the incident would not be possible to answer at this stage due to the ongoing investigation, Ms Rowlands said, but added “the police have now confirmed that they are not treating the circumstances of this tragic death as suspicious”.

A police statement earlier had confirmed a man had died after “falling from height”. The circumstances are also expected to be reviewed at coroner’s inquest.

Wednesday, 2 June 2021

Council fined £40,000 over death - 2009

http://www.thecnj.co.uk/camden/2009/032609/news032609_02.html Camden News - by RICHARD OSLEY Published: 26 March 2009

Barney’s death: council fined £40k at Old Bailey

‘No amount of money can represent the value of life’ – Judge

AFTER two and half years which have seen a police investigation, an inquiry by safety inspectors, a coroner’s inquest, and an appearance at Britain’s most famous criminal court, Camden Council has been ordered to pay a £40,000 fine over failings connected to the death of a scaffolder electrocuted on one of its estates. 

 The Town Hall was sentenced over a breach in health and safety legislation at the Old Bailey on Monday, admitting that it had failed to make proper checks on a defective lamp which was so faulty it had become a deathtrap. 

 Father-of-three Ralph Kennedy, 24 – better known by his boyhood nickname Barney – died almost instantly when he touched the lamp on the Mayford estate in Somers Town in September 2006. 

 The case was brought by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), which investigated his death. Judge 

Richard Hone QC said deciding on the size of the fine was a “difficult task” but warned the technicalities of the breach had to be considered ahead of emotions. 

 The judge received victim statements from Mr Kennedy’s father – also called Ralph – and his girlfriend, Kelly Ivory, the mother of two of his children and with whom he shared a flat in Camden Town. Judge Hone QC said: “The impact statements are very moderate. The father of the deceased acknowledges that what is important is that there is no repetition of the failings in this case.” He added: 

“No amount of money can possibly represent the value of life.” Camden, which pleaded guilty to the breach, was ordered to pay £16,000 in legal costs in addition to the fine. Housing department director Michael Scorer was in court to hear the penalty and his appearance and public apology was praised by the judge. Camden has reviewed all of its light fittings in the wake of the case and spent more than £2million on inspections and improvements. But it is not the end of the case as Camden must still resolve compensation claims from Mr Kennedy’s loved ones. 

 The Old Bailey’s court number eight heard how the council did not have full records of work done to the lamp and could not say why the brown safety earth wire inside was cut. Other lights in the series of external wall lamps – only reachable by ladders and scaffolding – were also found to be faulty. Valerie Charbit, prosecuting, said: 

“There was no evidence of five-year tests as recommended by British Standard and Wiring regulations.” The earth wire, if intact, would normally remove the danger of electrocution by diverting the hazard to a fuse. Inspections showed a clear cut rather than a worn out wire, but a coroner’s inquest failed to establish why or when it had been snipped. “It has been said that it might have been done to stop the light flickering – that is the speculation,” said John Williams, defending the council. 

 Mr Williams said Camden had previously had a “good safety record” and had complied with all orders from the HSE. Mr Scorer said afterwards: “We are extremely sorry for Mr Kennedy’s tragic death. We again offer our sincere condolence to his family for their loss. 

 “The council takes the issue of health and safety extremely seriously and accepts the £40,000 fine.” He added: “Following the incident, we have worked very closely with the HSE to make the improvements recommended. In spring 2007, the council put in place a rigorous programme of electrical testing and inspection.” 

  Lawyer who won’t give up ONE of Camden’s leading lawyers has investigated the Ralph Kennedy case and believes there is still unfinished business that the council needs to address. 

 Patrick Allen, one of the founders of Hodge, Jones and Allen, now based in Euston, represents Mr Kennedy’s partner Kelly Ivory. While the council has admitted liability, the amount due in compensation is still being negotiated. 

 As revealed by the New Journal in November, those discussions took a new twist late last year when Mr Allen passed a new dossier of evidence to the council, police, a coroner and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). It contained a meticulous record compiled by a former works inspector who, while working for the council, repeatedly flagged up warnings about amateurish electrical repairs, allegedly carried out on council estates during the 1990s. 

The patch included the Mayford estate where Mr Kennedy was electrocuted. The former council employee, Edward Whelan, said his concerns were never properly addressed by his bosses, even when he warned that somebody could be killed. He also sent his file to the HSE but no action was taken. 

 Mr Allen believes all past investigations should be reopened and a second inquest should be held in the light of the emergence of the file, claiming the documents have not been properly considered and that the council’s historic lack of action exacerbated the failings in the case. At the emergence of the file, Camden said it was reviewing the documents but it has not commented on the progress of negotiations.

Monday, 25 January 2021

Vacant Council Housing

 2021 - was great seeing the snow coming down yesterday and it settling for a few hours, enough time for people/animals to have fun in the snow for a few hours. 

The below photo is what I captured from my kitchen window as the snow came down. I think it looks lovely when the snow first come down, and later on the garden even had a visitor; I noticed small footprints coming from the top end of the garden wall [to the right of where the round table and 2 chairs are]  and along the footpath what I'm guessing was a fox in the freshly fallen snow on the ground.  

Theres still no sign of anyone living in flat [A] below me [which has the only door access to the above pictured garden] and as previously reported the woman who holds the tenancy with landlord Camden Council, hasn't lived in the flat since 23  March 2020 [bar 4 nights leading up to 2 July incident with housing people].

I had come back to live at the property on 21 March 2020 after spending 5 days/nights at the hospital after having a Heart Attack on 16 March 2020. 

Mon 23  March 2020 post about HA HERE 
Tues 3 March 2020 Communal Lights Saga post HERE 

Someone was in flat A today as around 2.30pm today i heard the flat door being closed and the usual slamming of the front door. I missed a phone call to my land line [no message as no answer machine attached due to problems with connection] - which occurred around the same time as flat A. 

Its been over 6 months now since the 2 July 2020 incident with tenant Moira Hogan and people from Camden Council housing - there have been other stuff with of course the other tenant in flat C above me Petra "Hurry up and fucking die" Hind. I sensed that they where starting their harassment of me again #councilscan - they being a law unto themselves that even the local police wouldn't touch, not much anyway, though the decent copper did help me a bit by going into flat A and having a look for himself and coming back out and telling me he believed me that there hadn't been a leak - words to that effect, i recorded it. 

13 Feb 2021
Earlier on I happen to look out the windows of my living room and I noticed 3 coppers standing across the road and they kept looking over here, so I got a bit worried and started recording them, and one saw me and waved [yes i recorded that as well] and then they shifted about a bit and then left - this was after i heard tenant upstairs go down and open the front door, and then go back upstairs with who ever she let in. 

Ah I thought, did someone phone the local police [Kentish Town] and tell them they are too afraid to come to the property on their own because of me and 3 local coppers quickly came out and assisted them? 

I found the number of the ward police [Kentish Town] phoned but no answer so left my name and a message] 

As it turns out it was a copper who the tenant let in and went upstairs. I saw him go out and  i knocked on my window and I went out to him. I asked if tenant above had made a complaint about me but he wouldn't say, I told him there is history between us etc etc, we had a chat and he went away - he seemed pleasant enough [he and the 3 others are the local ward team] anyway I will email him later as he suggested and try and sort this out. I had thought of making another formal complaint about tenant for causing me distress and upset again but for now I shall see what the ward police have to say.  I'm fed up with this, its never ending. 

update 8 March 2021
FYI the gardening work that the [vacant] tenant in flat A below me had done when she first moved in here was not as far as I am aware carried out by the Camden Association of Street Properties [CASP] - my post from 2014 about the CASP Gardening Project which includes a list of Roads/Streets CASP claimed they had done works in HERE
Falkland Road isn't included. 

13 April 2021
The flat below me is still vacant, though the tenant still continues to come here to pick up her post and occasionally do a little bit of gardening [i guess to put on a show someone is still living there and tending to the garden?]

I wonder how long this will continue until Camden council takes the flat of her and gives in to someone in actual need as opposed to someone who obviously hasn't the need for a flat as in living somewhere else. 

I think what is happening is the housing officer [it is still Marlene James?] knows she isn't living there, knows the flat is vacant and has for unknown reasons granted the tenant a dispensation [from the tenancy rules] but without good cause?

29 April 2021
Ive just come in from taking a bag of rubbish outside [around 10.10pm] and putting in big wheelie bin and who happens to appear but the vacant tenant in flat A - talk about me feeling like she is rubbing my nose it in so to speak - teflon coated Moira Hogan seems to be. She went into flat A and I heard talking, maybe she on phone. Anyway I came in and left my cat outside having a munch on the grass etc out from, i'll see if he wants to come back in a bit later. 

Im trying to calm down now as it still upsets me very much see/hearing MH or the tenant above PH - i won't be forgetting the heart attack I had and how they and some people in camden council housing have behaved these last years towards me. 'Hurry up and fucking die' says the tenant in flat C.  

4 May 2021
The tenant from flat A stayed overnight in flat A thurs/fri [last week] but not sat/sun then turned up yesterday [lunchtime then went about an hour later]. It upset me a lot. 

For years now, on and off ive had this 'OCD' i guess it might be called, where I pick at the skin on my fingers, around my finger nails - its very difficult to stop doing it, and im in one of the periods where I've been doing it again for a while and my fingers are sore, dry [i do use moisturier but sometimes forget] its like something more powerful than me just takes over and i may say to myself 'stop picking at your fingers' but its like i have no real control but i keep trying. ive taken pics on my phone but for some unknown reason it won't turn on now - even with charger in. 

update  5 May 2021

Thurs 6 May 2021
I missed BTU [checkers of gas applicances on behalf of Camden Council] again.

First time I was in and didn't hear them phone 2nd time today I was in, didnt hear them ring but checked phoned and someone had phoned so im guessing its them - i didn't hear. 

Anyway a few hours later and the vacant tenant appears [she only spent 2 nights - in flat see above] and goes into flat A below, and that makes me thing ah I wonder how she gets around the yearly gas inspections - one is given 6 or 3 hourly slots for when the aplicance checker is supposed to turn up. I don't suppose it matters really, if she can get anyway with what she has gotten away with so far, this gas check should a doddle?. 

22 May 2021
The vacant tenant in flat A keeps coming up here - its like she keeps rubbing my face in it - so to speak - how she got away with her lies etc. 

Something I haven't mentioned before is that through her job she has access to vulnerable people, at times dying people - i remember her telling me once, years ago when we did speak, that she had to go to a funeral. This was when the former b/f was living here. One time he came out to chat with me [me letting my cats in and out through-out day/night -  i used to foster up to 4 cats, but usually it was 2/3 at a time]  i remember him saying he didnt like the police  - something about her relative being a copper, i don't know if thats still the case. 

I also remember the time, not that long after I had gotten in trouble with the police/courts over the 'dodgy' camden council tenant reps, that I was outside in the front garden area and these 2 local coppers appeared and they said a name, that I though was mine - i invited them up to my flat - turns out it wasn't to do with me but flat A vacant tenant, some minor recorded stuff i think. I remember they then went and knocked on flat A's door and the then b/f [english John] answered the door - she wasn't in. I think they asked him to describe her as I remember him saying the colour of her hair. She wasn't in, they went off, I don't know what happened with that. 

Thursday 27 May 2021
Someone from camden councils housing repairs phoned me up yesterday and said something about a leak, and about the housing officer for Kentish Town had told them - she had in effect put them up to phoning me about a leak that didn't exist. I told the person this and he didnt sound very pleased, neither was I and I felt this was 'them' again causing me distress etc. 

How odd is that for the HO to get the repairs team to do that - odd and unprofessional in my view. 

Anyhow I reported it to the police as when I spoke with an officer the other week he said to phone 101 every time something happened, something about the environment I live in not being nice, sort of thing. Im sort of expecting them though at some point to tell me to stop reporting this stuff - i no of someone who had bad experience's with an employee of the council and reported things to the police but she was told by the police to stop reporting things to them. We shall see. 

Vacant tenant in flat A is still coming up here - usually thursdays and sometimes other days on and off. I think the white car she sometimes uses is the b/f's. 

The council/landlord may well ask to see the last 12/15 months of  gas/electric/water bills of vacant tenant in flat A - which should prove she hasn't been living there. They won't though as she is well in with them by the looks of it. 

How this started- back 2017
This all started back in 2017, yes that long ago, on and off - with the vacant tenant from flat A reporting to the landlord camden council that a water leak from my bathroom was coming through her kitchen ceiling, down the wall tiles and onto the kitchen work top. She had before hand told me and let me see in her kitchen and I didnt see any sign of a leak anywhere. 

A plumber from the council turns up here, first goes into flat A then comes up here flat B and blags his way [lies about he can here a leak] into getting me to let him take the board of the bath so he can have a look under it. 

He saw no leak, I saw no leak - i was there the whole time watching him. There was however some work to be done on some damp wood, which was later done. 
I asked the plumber who was in downstairs - it was the current b/f wth the white car - he had showed the plumber a small reddish towel that was on the kitchen top, and it water on it. I laughed, little did I know how long this would drag out and how in with each other the tenant and housing people where/are. 

The next time he came up because she again reported a leak it was a different story: according to plumber water has been gushing down under my bath, they had a video of the water coming through her ceiling sort of thing - it was bs and I made a complaint and it was investigated internally and no leak was found - [this is all on record with the council and I have a record of it] but months later its started/continued and went on and on and on  and is still going on. 

Thursday 10 June 2021
BTU person was supposed to as arranged call here this afternoon 1-3 but didnt, no note no phone call nothing. However the vacant tenant from flat A has been up to the flat 3 times today - 1 time this morning around the same time flat A tenant was banging around above my bedroom, and the second after 1pm [when if the BTU had turned up at that time would have heard/seen her] and then just recently around 4.10pm. 

I went downstairs earlier around 2.30pm to check if any notes from BTU had been left - none, I opened front door and went out into front shared garden area and was about to take a photo of the plant/grass that this year had bloomed/come up really lovely - long stalks that went outwards and have barley like points. 

Someone though had pulled up the longer stalks and thrown them on top of the other wild plants. I can guess who did it but i didn't see so don't know for sure, but it really upset me.

As well as this I received a letter than happens to be from a neighbourhood housing officer, new name on the block, who ironically mentions something about the communal area - a wooden cabinet and a leaflet - huh i though - photo's on other page, oh i see - something about "you should remove immediately" blah blah blah. Not guilty your honour. Anway will email her later. I had to laugh though at the leaflet thing, I think someone was a bit tiddly or something. 

Gas fitter bloke turns up here around 4.30pm or so - 1-6pm not 1-3pm as i was told.hmm. thats that now until next year. 


the below photo is one i took not so long ago [the date thing on my camera isn't working properly and mostly tells the wrong date] 

as you can see the grass/wild plants area of the front/communal garden. Look where the light blue arrow is pointed on the left side: the grass/plant had already started to grow taller these last few days and spread out a bit more and even had the barley/wheat like points at the end. It was lovely. I should of taken a photo yesterday but didn't think think would happen. 

The above photo is how I found the grass plant earlier today - notice the longer stems pulled up and throw across the other plants. Not a big thing to to some but it upset me as the plant was really turning into something to behold - I thought anyway, i really appreciated it. 

Tenant above came in earlier slammed both doors and banged and stomped about a bit above me. She's in a bad mood I thought - i think she also got a letter from housing and she blames me for making a complaint about her bookcase in the downstairs hallway. Nope wasn't me, but i guess that won't stop her thinking it was - maybe that was the plan. 

Friday 25 June 2021
The vacant tenant came up yesterday and made herself more seen and heard than the last 2 weeks. I decided I would phone up the new housing officer Dionne Cole [MJ is on leave apparently] but I kept being cut of - i tried 2x. 

I phoned again today and managed to get through to housing ward manager for another part of Camden - DC wasn't in until next week - she will phone me when she comes back. 

Wed 14 July 2021

Tenant is still not living in flat but still comes up here. The new housing officer is aware of her not living there.  The HO didn't seem concerned/interested in the housing repairs issue re the absent key holder below repeatedly making false reports of leak from my flat to her kitchen, and the housing lot going along with it. 

The letter that she sent out to me and flat C above me - but i didn't see a letter to flat A but as she said it could have been sent later - was to do with council workers doing stuff in the downstairs halway reporting to her about the bookcase and wasn't as i suspected [according the HO] the absent tenant from flat A who was trying to stir things up with me and tenant from flat C, who I think from how she went about banging doors etc that she thought I had made the complaint when I hadn't. 

Confused? yeah that's how they like it I suspect - muddy things up. 

I said I didn't like camden council as my landlord and I wanted to move - she seemed to know i wanted to move out of borough. A bungalow near the coast,  all amenities nearby sounds nice I think. 

22 July 2021
Vacant tenant in flat A came up today and mowed the lawn. I suspect this sort of thing goes on a lot through-out the borough ie people being given council tenancies but not living in the properties and the housing department is aware of this and allows it. 

Monday 2 August 2021
I was up early this morning as I had an appointment at the hospital for some checks. I came back 'home' a few hours later and was greeted with having to hear tenant in C from outside - she stands at her living window and talks loudly at times - just so happens she was doing this when I reached the house - then the vacant tenant in flat  A is about downstairs banging doors and she's out in the garden , doing some weeding. How wonderful. 

The 2 xxxx in at the same time and im sandwiched between them. The poison I can feel it.