ONLINE SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE WITH AUTISM / LANDLORD ‘MISLEAD TENANTS OVER ILLEGAL FLAT CONVERSION’ / TAKE-AWAY OWNER HIT WITH £6,000 FINE
ONLINE SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE WITH AUTISM
Croydon council have launched dedicated web pages offering information and advice to residents with autism and their families, carers and professionals.
The new pages provide everything from advice for parents of children with autism and support group contact details to academic research and links to national charities.
Croydon’s autism champion and deputy cabinet member for families, health and social care Cllr Andrew Rendle said: “The idea is to create a one-stop shop for autism in Croydon. I want this website to bring together everyone who is touched by autism and at the same time raise awareness in the general population.
“The Facebook page is proving to be very popular as it lets everyone know about events, voluntary groups, and has videos from world-renowned experts.
Also it is starting to create an online autism community where people share experiences, help and support. I hope people will use it and give it a like.
“I have seen a number of groups in Croydon, but feel there needs to be one place that people with ASD, their families and carers can go to get the support they need.”
Cllr Rendle has also restarted the autism stakeholder group which will bring together commissioners, councillors, specialist council officers in education and social care, charities, businesses, Jobcentre Plus and the NHS to find ways to make services better for people with autism.
For more information, please visit www.croydon.gov.uk/autism and the Facebook page www.facebook.com/autismcroydon (Source: Croydon council press release.)
LANDLORD ‘MISLEAD TENANTS OVER ILLEGAL FLAT CONVERSION’
A landlord who failed to provide his tenants with adequate living conditions has been found guilty in court.
The landlord and his company had been letting out a property in Maxted Road, SE15 despite breaching both planning laws and unfair trading regulations, said Southwark council in a statement.
“The ground floor property had been illegally converted into two self containing flats which provided cramped living space for his tenants.
“The case follows a joint investigation by Southwark council’s trading standards and planning enforcement teams, and will see the landlord sentenced at Croydon magistrates court at a later date. “The council has also made an order under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
“The district judge found the landlord and his company guilty of ‘misleading omissions’ when he entered into one tenancy and renewed another. “These omissions are an offence under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
“The defendant was also found guilty of an offence under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for ignoring the council’s warning to return the two flats back into one unit.”
The maximum penalty for breaching the unfair trading regulations is £5,000 per offence in the Magistrates Court or an unlimited fine in the Crown Court.
Southwark’s cabinet member for housing Cllr Richard Livingstone said: “The landlord profited from the plight of his tenants who were forced to live in cramped and uncomfortable conditions.
“Landlords have a duty of care that they must take seriously. “Those who choose to ignore these legal requirements can expect to face legal action and where possible, we will push to recover any financial benefits of their crimes.” (Source: Southwark council press release)
TAKE-AWAY OWNER HIT WITH £6,000 FINE
Food and grease on the walls, floors and work surfaces of a Brixton take-away’s kitchen were discovered by Lambeth council during an inspection which revealed “a serious risk to customers health” say the council.
It was also found that food was not adequately refrigerated and there was a potential danger from cross contamination, a council spokesperson added.
“The grim discoveries have resulted in the business owner pleading guilty to a series of charges prior to appearing at Camberwell Green magistrates’ court.”
Lambeth’s cabinet member for neighbourhoods Cllr Jane Edbrooke said: “The place was filthy and the fact that one of the freezers used to store food on the premises had a door which had come away from its hinges and had dirty, broken seals should have obviously set alarms bells off to staff.
“It was clear that the kitchen had not been cleaned properly for far too long and was served by defective equipment., all of which suggested neglect by the business operator.
“Lambeth council works hard to support business and job creation in the borough. “But when business people act irresponsibly in this way we will not hesitate to step in and protect the public.
“I’m glad that in this case the owner acknowledged his poor practise by pleading guilty in court and has pledged to clean up his act.”
The owner pleaded guilty to a number of charges under the Food Safety and Hygiene (England) Regulations 2013, including operating an unregistered food business and failing to ensure that raw food was kept in such a way as to avoid contamination.
The bench gave him credit for his early guilty plea, but still fined him £6,000 as well as ordering him to pay a £75 victim surcharge and costs of £945, leaving him £7,020 to pay in total.
The take-away was first inspected on 6 January, 2014. Hygiene improvement notices and a schedule of work was left with an employee in the premise to improve conditions at the kitchen
Food inspectors returned on 24 February, 2014 where they found that conditions had not improved.
Lambeth council officers will continue to monitor the premises to ensure food hygiene standards are maintained, said a council spokesperson. (Source: Lambeth council press release.)