HGS Library Re Launch

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the re launch of HGS library.

Below are a few picture of the day.

Many thanks to Jonathan Seres for the pictures and organising a great launch.

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Response from First Capital Connect

Last week I tweeted whilst waiting at Mill Hill Broadway station about the state of the rubbish outside the station. I wrote to them to complain and below is a copy of the response I received.

 They clearly claim to be doing something about it – but this was not evident when I visited.

Customer Relations
First Capital Connect
PO Box 443
Plymouth
PL4 6WP
Tel: 0845 0264700
Fax: 0845 6769904
Website: www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk

Ref: 6593747

Dear Counsellor Rams

Thank you for contacting us about your experience outside the Mill Hill Broadway station on 8 June 2012. I am sorry that the standards of cleanliness did not meet your expectation and I apologise for this.

I understand that the area outside the station was not clean. Please be advised that we have invested heavily in improving the customer experience. All of our areas have a regular cleaning programme, with dedicated cleaning teams. However, I am sorry that we have let you down on this occasion.  I was very disappointed to learn of the conditions that you have described and your comments have been forwarded to the Station Manager for his attention. Your feedback is important to us and highlights those areas we need to focus our attention.

Thank you once again for contacting us to bring this matter to our attention.

Yours sincerely

Manish Molasi
Customer Relations Advisor

feed the birds tuppence a bag

I have never seen this poster before in Barnet!

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Social Housing Fraud – Cllr Davey writes to Grant Shapps MP

Below is the contents of a letter Cllr Davey has today sent to Grant Shapps MP on the issue of Social Housing fraud.

Dear Mr Shapps MP,

In Barnet there are a limited number of council and housing association homes with which to provide homes for those who are in the highest housing need. In common with the rest of London, the borough has seen an increase in the number of people needing accommodation as the population grows.

We have already implemented some radical changes to our allocations policy to ensure that we target social housing on those most in need, whilst recognising the contribution that people who work or volunteer make to the community. We are also implementing a new tenancy strategy that will help ensure that more people will benefit from being in a subsidised council or housing association home whilst they need it; with encouragement to release the property for someone else once their circumstances have improved.

Against this background, it is not acceptable that some people secure a social home through fraudulent means by deliberately making false claims about their circumstances, whilst others illegally let council homes they no longer need for themselves privately for a substantial profit at tax payers expense. It is indefensible that with the scarcity of social housing some people should abuse the system and profit in this way.

At Barnet we take social housing fraud very seriously, and have successfully recovered 20 properties over the last 12 months. However, we believe that we could be more effective if there were tougher powers in place to punish the perpetrators, and financial penalties for fraudulently obtaining a social tenancy and to recover any profits made through illegal sub-letting a council or housing association home.
Currently, only obtaining a tenancy through making a false statement and exercising right to buy by providing misleading information can be dealt with in the criminal courts but in order to combat social housing fraud, it is essential to strengthen existing legislation so that all instances of such fraud attract custodial sentences and / or fines. Measures to allow for profits to be confiscated and for costs incurred by local authorities to be recovered would also be welcome. This would provide not only a punitive response to social housing fraud but would also act as a deterrent.

Cllr Tom Davey
Cabinet Member for Housing