|The following letter was sent to all the residents of the Curnock Street Estate. The original document can be found on this link.
London Borough of Camden
Town Hall Judd Street,
Phone: 0207 974 4444
Textphone: 0207 974 4444
Enquiries to: HASCcommunications(g)camden.gov.uk
Local housing news from your area
You may have noticed building sites and scaffolding appearing across Camden in the last year, in particular on our housing estates. I wanted to write to explain how and why we are investing money in our estates. Enclosed you will find a newsletter which explains what’s happened so far in your area and plans we’ve agreed for the next five years.
You, or someone you know, may have recently had a new kitchen or bathroom fitted or work done to your roof, windows or heating system as part of our Better Homes programme. We will be investing a further £178 million into improving 13,000 more Camden Council homes and buildings between now and 2017.
Talking to tenants and leaseholders over the years I know that often it’s the communal areas like the entrance to your block which has the biggest impact on how you feel about your home. As a result we are starting a spring clean over the coming months to redecorate a number of buildings in each area that need priority work, which we agreed with your local district management committee (DMC). We are also appointing seven new gardeners to improve the grassed areas on our estates.
The money to pay for all this work comes both from rents and service charges, but primarily from funding created by the Council’s Community Investment Programme (CIP). This programme is our solution to continue to invest in community facilities despite the funding cuts we received from centra! government. By selling or redeveloping old or underused buildings and land we can then use that money to repair and build new council and shared ownership homes, schools and community facilities; at a time when they are so vitally needed.
I hope that you will start to see the results in your area. If you want to find out more about when Better Homes is coming to your area or share your experience visit wearecamden.org/betterhomes.
Cllr Julian Fulbrook
Cabinet member for Housing, Camden Council
You told us to look at how we could improve the communal areas where you live.
One of the ways we are doing this is with our new spring clean.
We worked with our District Management Committees (DMCs) to identify which buildings we should focus on first. We are now looking at how the appearance of the block entrances can be improved.
Work will focus on the decoration of communal areas and issues such as the type of flooring or surfaces, which can be difficult for caretakers to clean and maintain. Work is due to start in summer 2013. Turn to the back cover to see where in your area will be getting a spring clean.
A safer path
Coopers Lane Tenants and Residents Association (TRA) in St Pancras have made it easier for local people to access the play areas behind their TRA hall and improved the disabled access to the hall’s garden. Funding from their District Management Committee (DMC) allowed them to put in a new path and gate that is accessible for wheelchair users and parents with pushchairs. Lil Scott from the TRA said: “The garden was first landscaped in 2006. It has been maintained by the Association and we grow a range of flowers and vegetables. The new path means wheelchair users can now access the garden easily and it has also provided a quicker route for people with buggies to get to the play areas behind our hall.”
If you would like to find out more about how to apply for funding or get involved with groups in your area please contact our tenant engagement team on 020 7974 2377 or visit our website camden.gov.uk
What’s a DMC?
District Management Committees (DMCs) are made up of representatives from tenants’ groups, councillors, and our housing services team. They meet four times a year to discuss local issues.
Community Investment Programme – building a bright future for Camden
You’ll be seeing more construction work springing up around Camden as part of our Community Investment Programme (CIP). The CIP is our solution to how we can continue investing in schools, homes and community facilities in Camden despite government spending cuts. We’re doing this by redeveloping or selling buildings and land that are underused or expensive to maintain and reinvesting the money created into community facilities and homes.
What does the CIP mean for you?
The CIP has helped pay for work, including new kitchens and bathrooms, in almost 3,000 homes as part of the Better Homes programme (see opposite page). A further £178 million will be invested in over 13,000 other homes by 2017. The programme will also build around 1,100 new and replacement council or shared ownership homes in Camden.
This financial year (2013/14) we’ll also be spending £10 million on local schools, with a total of £117 million planned to make vital repairs to 58 schools and children’s centres. Some 17 schools across Camden have already benefitted from improvement works including new heating systems, new windows, new roofs and brickwork repairs.
The CIP is not just about improving buildings – it’s about making sure our communities have a bright future. We have created a number of work placements on sites in Camden so far. Future CIP projects will continue to provide new job opportunities for Camden residents.
For more information please visit www.camden.gov.uk/cip
CASE STUDY: Netley School – Camden Town
Building work started on site in November to redevelop the Netley school site. This development will provide new council homes on the site of the current Woodhall Garages, a new primary school building, a new Primary Learning Support Service including Robson House primary pupil referral unit, a redesigned community learning centre, new playgrounds, private, council and shared ownership homes, and improved pathways and public space.
Camden repairs -right first time
Right first time includes some big changes to our repairs service and our call centre. The benefits of the new service include a more flexible appointment system and an easier way to report repairs.
In 2012 we piloted the new way of working in the Gospel Oak and Camden Town districts which were a big success with up to 90% of our customers rating our service four (good) or five (excellent) out of five. We are now rolling out the right first time repairs service across the borough from early April 2013.
Where we have already trialled right first time we have seen improved repairs completion times, a reduction in missed appointments and an improvement in repairs completed in a single visit. To find out more visit www.camden.gov.uk/rft
Better Homes for you
We will be investing a further £178m in repairs work to over 13,000 homes between now and 2017 as part of our Better Homes programme. We recently consulted with tenants about how we could get the the best value for this money; prioritising repair work in each area.
We have already carried out work on almost 3,000 homes and are now working to identify what is needed in the remaining homes and properties that are part of the programme. For example, work is planned to take place in the next year in your local area which could include upgrading lifts and heating systems, re-wiring homes, repairing or renewing kitchens and bathrooms. We will also be repairing or renewing windows, and roofs and providing essential upgrades to the outside of our properties where needed.
If you haven’t already had Better Homes work done to your home we will be in touch when it reaches your area if you are in one of the buildings which has been identified to need priority work. You can find out more by visiting www.wearecamden.org.uk/betterhomes
Between 2013-2015 the following will happen in your area:
197 homes will receive internal works, 316 homes will receive external works, 654 homes will benefit from new lifts and 508 homes will benefit from improved communal heating.