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We have had the message below from the council regarding heating problems on the St. Silas estate.
We are putting pressure on the council to resolve this as soon as possible, and to get heaters out to all residents affected – it just isn’t acceptable to leave residents without heating or hot water in weather as cold as this. We’re also asking for the cause to be properly investigated – as this is the second time this year that St. Silas residents have been hit by heating problems, and both in the middle of Winter.
If you live on the estate and are not on our email list please do get in touch so we can get quick updates out to you.
Regrettably earlier this evening I was informed that the heating and hot water has been shut down to the whole of the St Silas estate. This was because of a leak / burst on the estates system pipework and unable to hold pressures.
Engineers from Apollo have recently been able to isolate the area that has the burst and restored the pressure within the system, whereby returned the heating and hot water to the blocks: Southfleet; Burmarsh; Headcorn; Lenham; Halstow; Cheirton; Fordcombe.
Engineers are remaining on site and doing what they can to restore the heating and hot water to the remaining blocks that are still off, thus have no heating or hot water. These are: Penshurst; Westwell; Wingham; Leysdown; Chislet; Stonegate.
Once Apollo have done all they can to restore the heating services to the remaining blocks off and have a clear-cut idea on what is required to repair, then any properties that are remaining off, a letter and temporary heaters will be delivered informing residents on what we are doing to restore the heating and hot water.
In Steele’s Village, popular actress and local resident Helena Bonham-Carter will switch on the Christmas tree lights on Friday 6th December.
Local businesses will be going all out to make Haverstock Hill sparkle – we are promised carols, cupcakes, chocolates, chestnuts, canapes and mulled wine. A children’s choir will perform at 3:30pm, with the adult choir following at 5pm and the big switch on at 5:15pm.
Meanwhile, Queen’s Crescent will hold their Christmas Market from 10am on Saturday 7th December. Alongside the traditional stalls will be visiting traders selling Christmas goods and specialist food – ideal for stocking up on gifts while supporting the local economy.
Hope to see you there!
A number of local residents have recently reported problems with Camden’s recycling service.
Since the council brought in new, larger wheelie bins (which have themselves been the subject of controversy, with unwanted bins costing taxpayers £67,000), recycling collections appear to have become less reliable. One block on Weedington Road didn’t get a single recycling collection for months, while addresses around Quadrant Grove have reported sporadic collections with no service every couple of weeks.
This is a real nuisance, and no one likes rubbish piling up in their driveway.
We are trying to get to the bottom of what is going on and have reported the service failure to the council. Please contact us if you are experiencing similar problems – it will help us build up a fuller picture and hold the council to account.
Queen’s Crescent Market is offering business training to first time entrepreneurs who want to set up their own market stall.
The free two week traning course in Retail Business, accredited by City & Guilds, is aimed specifically at Camden residents who have been unemployed for three months or more. Those taking part will then be offered a rent free stall on Queen’s Crescent to kickstart their new business.
As local councillors we are passionate supporters of Queen’s Crescent Market – one of London’s oldest street markets and still going strong. This new scheme will help the Market go on thriving while giving a real opportunity to local familes looking for work. Liberal Democrats in government have already created a million new jobs, and we want to do our bit here in Camden as well.
If you are interested in taking part, please call 020 7267 6635 (extension 225) or email the market management.
While most of Haverstock has survived the gale force winds that hit London last night, residents on Malden Place woke up to find a tree had been ripped out of the ground.
Fortunately no one was hurt, though there has been serious damage to cars on the street. We have been in touch with the council and can report that the tree will be chopped up and placed at the side of the road, for collection by the council’s contractors at the end of the week.
Residents with any other damage to report should get in touch as soon as possible so we can press the council for speedy repairs.
We attended their launch reception at the Roundhouse, and heard directly from the project’s organiser and supporters, BuildOn and GE Capital, and the students themselves. They are aiming to riase £45,000, which will allow a group of students and teachers to travel to Senegal next year to help build the new community school.
BuildOn is a US based charity who say they break the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations through service and education. They organise student volunteers into overseas project teams to build schools in developing nations. In its 20 year history, BuildOn has built 543 schools and is currently building in Haiti, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, Nicaragua and Senegal.
The energy and enthusiasm of the Haverstock students is infectious – and they spoke passionately about wanting to give children in the developing world the same opportunities to transform their life through education. If you want to support them in this fantastic endeavour, you can donate here.
The South Hampstead Synagogue have listened to the concerns of residents and taken their redevelopment plans back to the drawing board.
The Synagogue say that they have outgrown the existing building on the corner of Eton Villas and Eton Road, and that it needs updating and modernising. They are planning new community facilities and a larger hall for
worship. However, in a series of meetings chaired by local councillors, Steele’s Village residents have expressed concerns about the bulk and mass of the new development and the impact of additional traffic on local streets.
The Synagogue have now appointed a new architect, the widely respected Allies and Morrison, and will be presenting revised designs to us on 10th October. A formal planning application could be presented to Camden Council before the end of the year.
Please get in touch if you would like us to keep you up to date on the plans as they develop.
Vital lift repairs at Aspen House on Maitland Park have been indefinitely suspended by Labour councillors.
After local Liberal Democrat councillors raised concerns about damaged and frequently faulty lifts in the block, Camden Council wrote to residents at the end of 2012 promising that the lifts would finally be replaced. Now, however, residents have received a further letter saying that the plans have been withdrawn.
The council are considering redeveloping the whole Aspen House site in the future, which could include demolition of the block.
While it clearly wouldn’t make sense to splash out on new facilities only to dismantle them a few months later, as yet there are no firm plans for redevelopment and no public timescale. Other Camden developments, like the Abbey Estate in Kilburn, have been under discussion for almost seven years without a single brick being laid despite numerous planning applications. It cannot be right to withhold basic repairs from residents for years on end while the council deliberates over the future of an estate.
I raised the Aspen House lifts and the wider development plans in the council chamber in a debate on housing last night at a Full Council meeting, and will continue to challenge the council to set out their plans more clearly. You can watch the debate here.
Local residents have been invited to view South Hampstead Synagogue’s plans for a major expansion on their Eton Villas site.
The current synagogue building was completed in 1964 and serves the Jewish community in Steele’s Village, Belsize Park and beyond. The Synagogue tell me they want to create a modern facility catering for the same number of people as now, but with more space to act as a community hub. To do this, they intend to demolish the existing building and erect a new one.
There will be a public exhibition of the initial plans on Sunday 12th May, 11am to 3pm, and Monday 13th May, 4:30pm to 8:30pm, at the South Hampstead Synagogue. The proposals will then be developed through the Spring with a planning application submitted later this year.
Six local estates are stuck without heating and hot water for the third day running. The heating failure couldn’t have come at a worse time – with outside temperatures plunging into the minuses last night.
I have been in constant contact with the council on this critical issue. The burst pipe causing the problem was identified on the underground heating mains pipe work yesterday. The council’s contractors, Apollo, need to cut out and replace pipe work 1 meter either side of the burst. These works will continue from 6.30am today, when welders will begin the replacement of the pipe work.
After that, Apollo need to refill and vent any air to each of the blocks – this work is unfortunately expected to continue into Friday evening.
I will keep up the pressure on the council to have the work complete before the weekend – and am also urging them to provide extra electric heaters and open up the hot showers at Kentish Town Baths for affected residents.
The estates are Penshurst, Leysdown, Stonegate, Wingham, Westwell, and Chislet. If you are a resident in one of these blocks please do get in touch and I can keep you updated.
Update 9:30am Friday 22nd February: Camden have agreed to my request to allow residents of the affected blocks a free shower/swim at Kentish Town Baths. If you live in one of the blocks above you just need to report to the reception with proof of your address. This will apply today and tomorrow, when the works should be complete and the heating restored.
Update 9pm Friday 22nd February: The leak is now fixed and Camden are firing up the boilers again. It will take a few hours for heat to make its way through the system, but normal service will be resumed in the next couple of hours.