Your new Forum, TRA websites, planning applications and lots more!

As ever, we’re pleased to say that there’s a lot going on at the Forum right now. Welcome to the November newsletter!

Introducing your new Forum
Next meeting (important update)
Draft minutes from September’s meeting
Councillor Pat’s open surgery kicks off!
Want a TRA website?
Our archives are now online
Planning applications
Houses of Multiple Occupation (and flats too!) – an update
Have a small maintenance job?
Resident participation consultation (response required by 20th November)
Scholarship?
 

Introducing your new Forum
Following elections over the Summer, the Forum members met informally in October. Peter Wright, chair of the 2012-2015 Forum notes: “Of the 19 positions, we have 10 new members, 9 who have been members before. 15 live on estates or in a large block; 4 live in a street property (‘converted house split into flats’). One is a buy-to-let landlord, and one is a freeholder paying service charges. Every type of leaseholder in fair proportion to the total is there, which is a really good place to start from.” As another member noted at our last meeting “We’re all here to represent our fellow leaseholders and do the best we can.”

To see who our current Forum are, we’ve now uploaded member elections statements to our website: https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk/core/biographies
 

Next meeting (important update)
As the 2015-2018 Forum is still in the process of settling in and establishing itself, the Open Meeting scheduled for 24th November has been postponed. Instead there will be a regular Forum meeting with observers welcome on the same date (Tuesday, 24th November) at 6.45pm at Camden Town Hall, Judd Street, Kings Cross, WC1H 9JE.

If you want to receive an agenda in advance of the meeting, make sure your preferences are up to date by clicking on the “preferences” link at the end of this newsletter.
 

Draft minutes from September’s meeting
The draft minutes from our meeting of 15th September are now available online.
 

Councillor Pat’s open surgery kicks off!
Councillor Pat (Deputy Leader and Camden’s Cabinet Member for Housing) will now host “surgeries” in the Council Chamber from 6pm on days when there is a Leaseholders’ Forum meeting, to discuss individual issues related to housing. The first surgery will be on 24th November. No need for pre-booking.
 

Want a TRA website?
Camden Council now have a facility to support TRAs in setting up their own websites. It’s the same service that we used when we moved from “We are Camden” over to our own website.

We’re not going to claim it’s the speediest service, but it’s free and it deals with all the hassles of get websites registered and organised in the first place. One particularly excellent example is Kilburn Vale Estate: http://www.kilburnvaleestate.org.uk/ – as ever the more work that goes into thinking about what you want your website to have, the better the result will be.

For more details about this scheme (which doesn’t extend to Leaseholders’ Associations/RTAs), please contact Tenants Participation: tp@camden.gov.uk
 

Our archives are now online
The final Forum-specific announcement is that all the Forum’s papers from its foundation in 1996 are now online: http://tinyurl.com/forumpapers
 

Planning applications
There is a new e-mail alert system for planning applications to Camden from your neighbourhood. You can sign up for alerts at http://camden.gov.uk/ccm/content/environment/planning-and-built-environment/planning—email-alerts/
 

Houses of Multiple Occupation (and flats too!) – an update
Camden Council have recently introduced new licensing arrangements properties that are classed as “HMOs” – where three or more persons (including children) live in one property. These licensing arrangements will have a great impact on some landlords/properties.

The HMO licensing team is now up and running. If you have any queries (or referrals) regarding the new arrangements, the team can now be contacted on hmolicensing@camden.gov.uk or 020 7974 5969. There is also more information on the Camden Council website: https://camden.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/housing/private-rented-housing/landlords/houses-in-multiple-occupation/
 
Have a small maintenance job?
The Forum have in the past asked Camden Council about the possibility of extending the whole portfolio of repairs services to leaseholders as well as tenants. We continue to ask to see if this is feasible but in the meantime Camden bought the following to our attention which may be of benefit to leaseholders:

Origin Housing have recently launched a Handyperson service, called Handy Heroes. It’s a handy person service for residents of Camden and is aimed at professional residents. Origin Housing already provide a handyperson service for over 55’s and disabled residents but this is a new service to help those who do not meet those criteria. More information can be found here: https://www.originhousing.org.uk/customers/repairs-and-maintenance/handyperson/handy-heroes
 

Resident participation consultation (response required by 20th November)
Every 3 years Camden Council needs to agree their approach to tenant participation and there are consultation exercises around this. They have produced a Draft Resident Participation Strategy 2016-19 and asking people to look at this and then fill out a survey. The survey closes on 20th November.
 

Scholarship?
Camden Council’s Economic Development team has negotiated a range of part and fully-funded scholarships with Hult International Business School and Anglia Ruskin University London for Camden residents of all ages. The Scholarships give Camden residents the opportunity to study at vastly reduced rates or in some cases for free – the Hult Bachelor of Business Administration degree is worth £90,000.

The closing date is 4th April 2016. For more information and how to apply please see http://www.camden.gov.uk/camdenscholarships
 

That’s all for now!
Paul Ginsberg
on behalf of Camden Leaseholders’ Forum
More information available at: https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk

If you know of anyone who would like to receive updates from Camden Leaseholders’ Forum please direct them to https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk/mailing-list where they can sign up.

The Leaseholders’ Forum is a volunteer group representing all leaseholders in Camden Council properties and freeholders paying service charges to Camden Council. We scrutinise Camden Council proposals, examine working practices and lobby on behalf of leaseholders to Camden Council.

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About Camden Leaseholders' Forum

This is the official Camden Leaseholders' Forum account. Why not come along to one of our meetings to see us in the flesh? Alternatively email camden@leaseholdersforum.org.uk if you want to get in contact or, best yet, post to the Discussion Board and then you will not only hear from us, but also you fellow residents too, who have their own stories to tell and answers to give...