SHARE YOUR CONCERNS WITH THE SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD BOARD / WHY SOUTHWARK ARE FLYING THE SCOTTISH FLAG / NEW DISPERSAL ZONE FOR VAUXHALL’S NIGHTCLUB SCENE / COUNCIL LEADER SLAMS ‘SUPER SEWER’ DECISION / SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS REFORMS SET TO IMPROVE SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS / FARNBOROUGH WOMAN’S £14,855 BENEFIT FRAUD
SHARE YOUR CONCERNS WITH THE SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD BOARD
The first public meeting of Croydon’s Safer Neighbourhood Board will be held at the Lives not Knives base, on the first floor of Centrale shopping centre this Wednesday (17 September) from 4 to 6pm.
This new group, funded by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (Mopac), aims to give borough residents a voice on safety and policing issues, and to hold the police and its partners to account.
Teenagers from Croydon’s Youth Council will also attend the event to promote the new Stop and Search leaflet they have produced to help them explain to other young people why the police have powers to stop and search, and what rights young people have.
Cllr Mark Watson, cabinet member for safety and justice, said: “The event will feature a question and answer session to a panel which includes the police, council and community representatives, and we would encourage everyone to come along and share their safety concerns.”
Attendees will be invited to browse stalls showing the work of various local agencies and community groups involved in reducing crime.
For more information, call Ilona Kytomaa on 020 8726 6000, extension 62683, or email [email protected] (Source: Croydon council press release)
WHY SOUTHWARK ARE FLYING THE SCOTTISH FLAG
Southwark council are flying the Scottish flag over the Tooley St office to support the ‘Better Together’ campaign.
Southwark council leader Cllr Peter John said: “Breaking up the UK will not only be bad for Scotland, but will be bad for London and Southwark.
“We are delivering a fairer future for all in Southwark, based on our values of fairness, equality and social justice. “People across the UK care about building a fairer future.
“Whether in Dulwich or Dundee, in Peckham or Perth, in the Elephant to Edinburgh people care about the same things – a safe and secure community, a job, their family supported and a place to call home.
“We are flying the flag, to let people in Scotland know that we want to stay united. “Their success and our success rely on each other – from the people of Southwark to the people of Scotland we are better together.” (Source: Southwark council press release)
NEW DISPERSAL ZONE FOR VAUXHALL’S NIGHTCLUB SCENE
Anti-social behaviour powers are being put in place by Lambeth council and Lambeth police to tackle problems around Vauxhall’s busy nightclub scene, including groups gathering through the night and using the legal high nitrous oxide.
The dispersal zone is being put used to boost police powers to break up the groups of partyers who have been causing a disturbance and in some cases committing crime in the area, say Lambeth council.
Cllr Jane Edbrooke, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “We are acting to tackle this persistent problem at the request of local residents and businesses.
“We are seeing groups of people leaving nightclubs and then congregating in the area, around spots that include the Vauxhall pleasure gardens.
“Many appear to be taking the legal high nitrous oxide, and then have their own little parties around cars with the stereos turned up to play loud music.
“We are working closely with Lambeth police on discouraging this anti-social behaviour. “We want Vauxhall to be a safe place for residents and visitors.”
It is hoped the dispersal zone will also help reduce all crime in Vauxhall, including incidents of robbery and theft.
Inspector Neil Cochlin, from Lambeth North neighbourhood policing team, said: “This new power will be a very useful addition to our legal tools in tackling local crime and anti-social behaviour.
“It is worth noting that during the consultation process there was overwhelming support from residents and businesses for a dispersal zone.
“Officers will also have the discretionary power to return young people home who are under 16 years of age and are on the streets not under the control of an adult after 9pm.
“We will be monitoring the use of the dispersal zone over the next six months to ensure it remains effective. “Vauxhall is a great place to live, work and travel through. “It is the intention the police and all our partners that this remains the case.”
When in place officers can move on groups of two or more people whose presence has, or is likely to cause, harassment, alarm or distress to disperse. People from outside the affected area will be banned from returning for up to 24 hours.
Refusing to follow police directions to disperse can result in a fine of up to £2,500 or up to three months in prison.
People being affected anti-social behaviour in Vauxhall and those with information can contact Lambeth council’s anti-social behaviour reporting line on 020 7926 4000 or report issues to the police.
The council and police have also been working closely with the Safer Lambeth Business Partnership, and Vauxhall One, to help reduce crime and aid detection. Businesses in Vauxhall who want to join the initiative should visit http://www.saferlambeth.co.uk.
The dispersal zone is authorised under Section 30 of the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. It will be applied to Vauxhall from September 5, 2014 until March 5, 2015. (Source: Lambeth council press release)
COUNCIL LEADER SLAMS ‘SUPER SEWER’ DECISION
Southwark council leader Cllr Peter John, has condemned the Secretaries of State’s decision to permit the super sewer drive site at Chamber’s Wharf, Southwark.
“This is a ludicrous and evil decision by the Secretaries of State as the Planning Inspectorate clearly found that Chamber’s Wharf was not a suitable drive site for this super sewer” said Cllr John.
“I am appalled the Secretaries of State have so utterly failed to take into account the significant impacts this super sewer work will have on the residents who live, work and go to school in this area, and gone against the Planning Inspectorate’s own findings.
“It is a small comfort to us that through this process Southwark council has been able to secure a raft of measures to mitigate the impact of the super sewer work such as ensuring no night time barge movements, increased noise protection and securing £6 million that will go towards enhancements that will benefit the community, local schools and environment around Chambers Wharf.
“We will continue to fight this decision and look at all our options including a judicial review, and ensure Thames Water is held to account along every step of the planning process and get the best possible outcome for our residents.” (Source: Southwark council press release)
SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEEDS REFORMS SET TO IMPROVE SERVICES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG ADULTS
Children and young adults with special educational needs and disabilities in Croydon can now benefit from easier access to information across a wide range of support services, say Croydon council.
Changes to the way services are offered were brought in from 1 September 2014 as a result of the new Children and Families Act. One of the biggest changes is that services will cover all ages from birth to 25 years of age.
Statements of special educational needs and learning difficulty assessments will be replaced by an education, health and care plan. Personal budgets will be an option as part of this plan.
The range of services on offer for children and young adults with special educational needs and disabilities has been published on the council website www.croydon.gov.uk/sendoffer. This is referred to as the ‘local offer’.
The local offer is the central source of information about services and has been developed through work with young people, parents and voluntary organisations. Further partnership working will continue to improve and shape Croydon’s range of support services.
Cllr Alisa Flemming, cabinet member for children, families and learners, said: “These reforms are the biggest seen in a generation.
“Croydon is ambitious for all of the young people and young adults in the borough, and we are determined to ensure those with special educational needs have the help they need to achieve their life goals.
“We have put young people at the heart of any decisions we make about how services are delivered and we want to help families to make informed choices about the range of opportunities on offer to see that needs are properly met.
“All of our service providers will work more closely together so that people get the support they need, when they need it.” (Source: Croydon council press release)
FARNBOROUGH WOMAN’S £14,855 BENEFIT FRAUD
A 69 year-old woman from Farnborough, Kent pleaded guilty at Bromley magistrates court to defrauding Bromley council out of housing and council tax benefits totalling £14,855 over a period of four years.
A proactive exercise by the council’s fraud team showed the woman had failed to declare she was in receipt of a private pension and that her daughter was living with her.
She was sentenced to an eight week prison term suspended for 12 months, a 12 week curfew from10pm to 6am and was ordered to pay £575 costs. She also has to pay all the money back to Bromley council. (Source: Bromley council press release)