Planning Changes – be alert! Forum survey; Open meeting this month; Lots happening!!

Welcome to October’s newsletter. Suddenly, there are loads of things to keep you informed about.

Camden planning notices: significant changes (a genuine “must” read!)
Forum survey: your input required
Open meeting this month on Major Works: have your say
The lowdown on gas/heating pricing in Camden
Update on the Leaseholder Surgeries: need questions answered?, this may help
National Tenant Engagement Standards launched
Our Autumn newsletter
Meetings dates for 2017
Self-promotion: Our discussion boards are going from strength to strength!
 

Camden planning notices: significant changes
From 1st October 2016 Camden Council has stopped sending letters to neighbouring properties about planning applications. They have replaced them with the following:
– Site notices;
– Email alerts (perhaps the best option) and covering planning applications within 500 metres of your property, or for specific wards. Alerts cover new applications, decisions, and appeals with direct links to the application details, documents and drawings. You can set them up at http://camden.gov.uk/ccm/content/environment/planning-and-built-environment/planning—email-alerts/;
– the planning section on your Camden Account
– press adverts in the Camden New Journal and the Ham & High;
– an online map showing all applications received in the last 7 days: http://gis.camden.gov.uk/geoserver/PlanningApplication.html
 

Forum survey: your input required
If we are to improve how Camden runs its works contracts, we need to be able to demonstrate that you think significant issues need to be changed. If you have had Major or Capital Works to your property IN THE LAST 3 YEARS, please complete the survey at http://tinyurl.com/clf-survey2016 by 30th November. Forward the survey on to fellow Camden Council leaseholders you know.
 

Open meeting: have your say
Our meeting scheduled on Tuesday, 18th October at 6.45pm in the Town Hall will be about the new Major Works consultation process, with a presentation from the relevant officer. Want to have your say? Please come and we will adopt an open meeting structure to allow more discussion. Councillor Pat Callaghan (Cabinet Member for Housing and Deputy Leader) will also be present.

The Forum retains the right to call open meetings notably in November; given all the issues around savings, we may well call one to discuss that issue.
 

The lowdown on gas/heating pricing in Camden
We get a number of queries about gas pricing, and Camden is about to re-tender its gas contract. It will need to apply for a new dispensation from the LVT to do so.

We will be arranging Forum meetings, but it is a complex area and there is little information easily accessible, so we’ve decided to delve into a little bit of history to provide some background about the causes of the current situation. Want to know more? Here’s the guide: https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk/guides/gas-pricing/

Keep an eye on our agenda for any updates. n.b. the previous dispensation was LON/00AG/LDC/2010/0104.
 

Update on the Leaseholder Surgeries: need questions answered?… this may help
Some people dislike the Contact Camden call centre, and others are confused by paperwork in the post, so surgeries help explain bills and resolve outstanding issues with members of Camden’s Leaseholder Services.

The sessions have proved very successful and will now be scheduled from 6pm to 7.15pm on the same evening as Leaseholders’ Forum meetings for the foreseeable future. The only significant change is that they are no longer being billed as “drop-in” and you need to book in advance (even if only a day or two prior), so that Leaseholder Services can ensure that enough staff and time are available to answer your queries. Check out the dates later in this newsletter and book your appointment via leaseholderservices@camden.gov.uk.
 

National Tenant Engagement Standards launched
New national tenant engagement standards have been launched at http://www.tpas.org.uk/tpas-news/tpas-launch-new-national-standards. Camden Council contributed, so do feel free to check that they are following their own recommended best practice!
 

Our Autumn newsletter
Our Autumn newsletter recently went out to all 10,000 leaseholders. Missed your copy within the bundles of paper? You can have a read here.
 

Meetings for 2017
Our meetings for the rest of this year and next year have now been confirmed as follows:
– Tuesday, 18th October 2016
– Tuesday, 29th November 2016
– Tuesday, 17th January 2017
– Tuesday, 21st March 2017
– Tuesday, 23rd May 2017
– Tuesday, 27th June 2017
– Tuesday, 12th September 2017
– Tuesday, 24th October 2017
– Tuesday, 28th November 2017

As ever, do check nearer the time as occasionally meetings have to be re-arranged due to member or room availability issues.
 

Self-promotion: Discussion Boards
Our discussion boards are going from strength to strength. People have been asking questions about subletting, seeking out the real world experience on making alterations to their homes and querying how to challenge major work bills – and getting answers! If you want to ask questions, join in the discussion or just have a daily or weekly digest of the collective wisdom, then sign up here: https://www.leaseholdersforum.org.uk/sign-up/
 

p.s. For all the news straight away (and other stories from other stories that we think might be of interest), follow us on Twitter! @CLForum
 

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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