News Update – February 2019

Topics in this Update

Forum Meetings
Leaseholder Services Advice Surgery
New CCTV Service
Caretaking Service Review
Chalcots Replacement Cladding and Curtain Wall
Retro-fitting Sprinklers
Camden Resident Account
New Landlord Structure for Council Owned Properties
Other Concerns

Forum Meetings
The next Forum meeting is on Tuesday 19 February at 7pm in the Council Chamber at Crowndale Centre, 218 Eversholt St, London NW1 1BD (around the corner from Mornington Crescent Underground Station). A full list of Forum Members can be found here. To contact a member representing your district please email camden@leaseholdersforum.org.uk with “FAO [Member Name]” at the top of the message.

The Agenda pack and the draft minutes of the last meeting are now posted here on the Council website.

Please note that whilst leaseholders and other observers are welcome to attend, only Members have a right to speak. To address the meeting on an Agenda item, known as a deputation, it is necessary to send in a written request no later than 5pm on Friday 15 February, to the Committee Support Officer outlining the points you wish to make. More information on making a deputation is available here on the Council website.

Leaseholder Services Advice Surgery
Just before the Forum meeting there is also the Leaseholder Services Advice Surgery running from 5.30pm to 7pm. You can arrange to meet with a member of the Leaseholder Services team who will help to explain bills and resolve outstanding issues. You must make an appointment – email leaseholderservices@camden.gov.uk or call 020 7974 4444.

New CCTV Service
The Council is developing proposals for a new CCTV system, with a high bandwidth wireless ring network. This would replace existing cameras with new state of the art CCTV cameras and the inclusion of ‘Rapidly Deployable Cameras’ that can be deployable strategically to cover high risk areas. The new CCTV system will be ring-fenced for housing residents only and could be funded from a new service charge to tenants and leaseholders receiving this service in order to recover the capital cost of this upgrade.

Caretaking Service Review
The Council’s Caretaking Service is currently undergoing a review. A proposals paper is to be considered by the Council’s Housing Scrutiny Committee on 28 March 2019.

Chalcots Replacement Cladding and Curtain Wall
The Council resolved at a meeting on 8 January 2019 that the Chalcots contract be awarded to Wates Living Space Limited, as set out in the published report. The report is here.

In response to questions, officers made the following additional remarks:-
– The cladding system would have the highest A1 fire protection rating throughout.
– The anodised panels selected looked as similar as possible to the previous panels.
– The regular meetings with tenants would continue throughout the installation process.

The Director of Property Management remarked that the co-location of contractors and council staff on the estate would continue and that mitigation measures for disruption would be regularly reviewed with residents and compensation for heat loss would continue until the new cladding was in place.

Retro-fitting Sprinklers
Camden’s Housing Scrutiny Committee is monitoring the outcome of proposals by Wandsworth Council to retro-fit sprinklers in all of its blocks of flats with ten plus storeys.

Wandsworth Council has applied to the First Tier Property Tribunal seeking a determination that they are entitled to recover, as part of the service charge payable by the leaseholders, costs relating to the expense of fitting (and maintaining) sprinkler systems within the leaseholders’ flats. The latest information posted by Wandsworth on its website is here.

Wandsworth leaseholders’ options are to respond by 5 February 2019, for an application to strike-out or transfer the case to the Upper Tribunal, or alternatively to lodge a statement of case by 19 February.

Camden Resident Account
A report to the Housing Scrutiny Committee notes that the number of leaseholders signing up for the Camden Account (Now called a Resident Account) continues to rise with 6,451 (over 66%) registered and using the services at 18/19 Q2.

New Landlord Structure for Council Owned Properties
Restructuring of Camden’s Landlord service, which manages council owned residential properties, will be introduced in two stages in June and September 2019. The aim is to put the resident at the heart of the service, creating a new neighbourhood role that seeks to understand and address the context in which a resident is living and providing one trusted point of contact for residents.

The restructure will have an impact on the front line and management structures across the following services: tenancy management, voids and lettings, rent collection, outreach support to vulnerable residents (Floating Support).

There will be 10 new Neighbourhood teams, each with between 6-9 Neighbourhood Officers and a Neighbourhood Manager. The new Neighbourhood Officer will now have a patch size of 400 instead of 800 properties. There will also be up to 4 staff from other teams based in each Neighbourhood, providing more specialist support such as welfare rights, debt management, and complex repairs. Two Senior Neighbourhood Managers will provide management and support.

The new Neighbourhood teams will replace the previous structures of the Ward Housing teams, Rent teams and the Void Homes team, bringing them into one Neighbourhood team.

The consultation report and Council decision can be found here.

Other Concerns
If there is a particular matter of concern to you, please post details on the website Discussion Board or email your suggestion to camden@leaseholdersforum.org.uk

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