‘LANDLORD BROTHERS PUT TENANTS LIVES AT RISK’ / FUN DAY TO LAUNCH CROYDON’S OUTDOOR EXPLORER NETWORK / REGISTER FOR THE LEWISHAM JOB FAIR / FREE SWIM AND GYM FOR SOUTHWARK’S UNDER-18’S AND OVER 60’S / TRADER GETS SUSPENDED JAIL TERM FOR RIPPING OFF ELDERLY BROMLEY COUPLE
‘LANDLORD BROTHERS PUT TENANTS LIVES AT RISK’
Two landlords who put the lives of their tenants at risk have been fined £2,800 each following a prosecution brought by Southwark council.
The brothers, owners of a Walworth premises and two floors of bedsits above, pleaded guilty to two offences under the Management of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO) Regulations 2006 at Croydon magistrates court. They were both found guilty and fined £2,800 each and £280 in costs.
The case was brought to trial following “damning inspections” by Southwark council said a council statement.
“Officers found several alarming HMO regulations breaches including: failure to provide adequate fire alarm systems and substandard conditions in the communal areas where officers found mould and damp in the bathrooms.
“Despite numerous warnings from the council about the poor housing conditions, the brothers failed to make adequate improvements. “The council was then faced with no other option but to opt for court action.”
Southwark’s cabinet member for housing Cllr Richard Livingstone said: “People living in HMOs, for instance bed-sits, tend to have the least ability to choose their housing and often have no choice but to put up with substandard living conditions.
“This is absolutely unacceptable and is why, as a council, we will work hard to advise and support our most vulnerable residents.
“The brothers failed in their responsibility as a landlord and have rightfully been made to pay for this. “This case signals our commitment to improving residents’ housing situation, irrespective of who their landlord is.”
In a bid to improve housing condition across the private rented sector, Southwark council say it has recently completed a consultation into proposals to introduce a discretionary licensing scheme and new HMO standards. The council’s current HMO standards were brought in in 1990 and have been adapted regularly to take into account new legislation, a spokesperson added.
(Source: Southwark council press release)
FUN DAY TO LAUNCH CROYDON’S OUTDOOR EXPLORER NETWORK
A scheme designed to get families and young people into Croydon’s parks to take part in fun, healthy activities is to be launched at a scout camp open day on Sunday.
The Croydon Outdoor Explorer Network will pull together the range of outdoor and nature activities provided across the borough’s parks and green spaces, and ties in with the Croydon Heart Town initiative, jointly run by the council and the British Heart Foundation.
The network’s launch will be on Sunday (24), between 10am and 4.30pm, at Pinewood Scout Camp, Shirley Church Road.
The event is aimed at families and young people, and will showcase the variety of providers of outdoor activities, forest school, and nature play in Croydon’s parks and green spaces.
“An exciting timetable of fun activities has been drawn up, and will include something for everybody aged four and over” said a council spokesman.
Activities include archery, nature arts and craft, campfire cooking, kayaking, a climbing wall, face painting, woodland theatre, mud play sessions, and more.
“While some have a small charge, age restrictions, and need to be pre-booked, most will be free and accessible on the day without booking.
“Visitors to Sunday’s event should also be mindful that Pinewood is a wild woodland with tree stumps, prickly bushes, a stream and a small lake. “There will be open fires and hand tools in use, although these will always be very carefully looked after by the day’s facilitators.
“It might also be a little muddy in places, so care should be taken when walking – or running – around the site.”
Croydon’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and sport Cllr Timothy Godfrey said: “Sunday promises to be a really enjoyable day, with plenty for everybody to get involved with, while being out in the open air and exerting themselves in healthy pursuits.
“Additionally, of course, it will be the launch of the Croydon Outdoor Explorer Network, designed to convince more people that they should take advantage of the many great parks we’re lucky to have in Croydon.
“The council organises a number of events, walks and activities throughout the year and they’ll all come under the network’s umbrella, providing an easy point from which residents and visitors can find out what’s going on – and get involved.”
For more information about the day, email the council’s community partnership officer, at [email protected] or call 07766 421236.
To learn more about the Croydon Outdoor Explorer Network, go to www.croydon.gov.uk/outdoorexplorer (Source: Croydon council press release)
REGISTER FOR THE LEWISHAM JOB FAIR
Job seekers in Lewisham are being invited to register for the 2015 Lewisham Job Fair taking place on Thursday 11 June, 12 noon–8pm and Friday 12 June 11am–4pm at the Civic Suite in Catford.
The Job Fair will provide a one-stop shop for a wide range of Lewisham residents aged 16 and over looking for employment, apprenticeships and work experience as well as advice on careers, training, development and education.
National exhibitors at the Job Fair will include the National Apprenticeships Service and the National Careers Service.
Over the two days visitors will be able to:
speak directly to employers such as Waitrose, Babcock International, Compass Group, Virgin Media and Stage Coach
visit the dedicated construction employers zone
book one-to-one CV clinic and benefit calculation appointments
find out about current apprenticeship vacancies throughout the borough for young people between 16 and 24
attend workshops including: how to prepare a professional CV, interview techniques, using social networking profiles effectively and starting your own business.
To register go to: Lewisham.gov news Lewisham Job FairTel: 020 8314 6423 Email: [email protected]
FREE SWIM AND GYM FOR SOUTHWARK’S UNDER-18’S AND OVER 60’S
From this weekend Southwark residents aged 18 and under, and over 60s will be able to swim and use the gym for free in all council leisure centres, as a new free swim and gym pilot begins.
Dr Zoe Williams, a local GP and local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) lead for childhood obesity who is endorsing the scheme said; “As a GP in Southwark I am absolutely delighted that young people and older adults will be able to take advantage of the free gym and swim offer. “Being physically active has huge health benefits, but is also crucial for wellbeing.”
Dr Williams, who is also known for her prime time role on TV show ‘Gladiators’, wants to inspire young people especially about the importance of good health and fitness habits and finding what works for you.
“I hope that that as many people as possible, and especially those that are currently inactive, will take advantage of this great opportunity and find out for themselves how great a gym or swim session can make you feel. “Why not just give it a try?”
A Southwark council spokesperson said: “Young people need to do at least 60 minutes of physical activity that increases heart rate every day, and each week three different types of activity (aerobic, muscle-strengthening and bone-strengthening) to stay healthy.
“Older adults aged 65 or older, who are generally fit and have no mobility related health conditions, should try to be active daily and aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as cycling or fast walking every week, as well as muscle strengthening, for example body weight resistance exercises such as push-ups or sit-ups, or yoga.
“Exercise can reduce the risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50 per cent. “Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing the risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“To date 1,642 residents have signed up to the free swim and gym pilot.
“37 per cent of 16 and overs now signed up to the pilot programme will have never been into a Southwark leisure centre before the start of this scheme. Cost is acknowledged as the biggest barrier to physical activity in the borough” the spokesperson added. (Source: Southwark council press release)
TRADER GETS SUSPENDED JAIL TERM FOR RIPPING OFF ELDERLY BROMLEY COUPLE
An Essex trader has pleaded guilty to an offence of fraud by false representation at Bexley magistrates court.
In April 2014 the trader, trading as Elite Tree Services, distributed advertising flyers in the Petts Wood area of Bromley. A local couple then aged 84 and 76 contacted the trader and arranged for him to visit and quote for some gardening work.
The trader attended and provided a verbal estimate of £2500 to tidy the garden and lay some Astroturf. He told the couple that a deposit of £1500 was required to buy materials.
The couple withdrew the cash from the bank and gave it to one of his workmen. The workman never returned to carry out the work and no materials were provided.
“The flyers delivered displayed a false address and the telephone numbers shown were unregistered” said a Bromley council spokeswoman.
“Trading Standards investigated the case following a referral by Bromley police. “Council officers were able to put together evidence using intuitive investigative techniques which led to the eventual identification of the trader through telephone numbers and other trading names.
“The trader was arrested by police at the request of trading standards and was later picked out from an id parade by both victims.
“The district judge noted that the trader had seen the opportunity to take advantage of an elderly couple and sentenced him to 26 weeks imprisonment suspended for two years. “He was ordered to pay compensation of £1500 to the victims, prosecution costs and a victim surcharge. “A restraining order was also imposed.” (Source: Bromley council press release)