TRADING STANDARDS RAID SKUNKWORKS ORPINGTON / CROYDON RECOMMEND COUNCIL TAX FREEZE / “WE TURN AROUND EVERY ONE OF OUR TROUBLED FAMILIES” – LAMBETH /
ANOTHER BOGUS BUSINESS WARNING / CROYDON TENANTS’ RENT RISE ONE OF THE LOWEST IN LONDON
TRADING STANDARDS RAID SKUNKWORKS ORPINGTON
Bromley police and local authority officers have raided the premises of Skunkworks in Orpington High Street following complaints of antisocial behaviour in the surrounding area.
“Trading standards officers seized a considerable quantity of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), commonly referred to as ‘legal highs’ as part of an on-going investigation into the safety of NPS” said a Bromley council spokeswoman.
“A suspected prohibited breed of pit bull terrier was also seized for further examination by police.
“Local police teams had raised concerns about the number of young people found in possession of NPS and the number of medical emergencies relating to the use of NPS.
“Working in partnership, the police and council have issued a warning to the business under new legislation to stop selling NPS in an effort to protect the local community and restrict young people in the area having access to the product.”
Bromley police deputy borough commander Parm Sandhu said: “This sends a clear message to these types of establishments that we will not tolerate the issues they bring to our communities.
“The recreational use of NPS represents a danger to public health and can also render people vulnerable to becoming victims of crime and the Metropolitan Police service strongly advise the public that these should not be experimented with.
“We will continue working with trading standards and the council to tackle this issue”
Cllr Tim Stevens, Bromley’s executive member for public protection and safety said: “This was in response to many complaints from the community about antisocial behaviour which has been linked to the use of these products.
“They are not safe, they are dangerous and can cause serious harm to those using them, especially young people. “The term legal high is completely misleading.”
The legislation used during this raid was: Antisocial Behaviour Crime and Policing Act 2014. Part 4 Chapter 1
The Act empowers police and local authority to serve a Community Protection Notice on a person or business if their conduct is having a detrimental effect on the quality of life in the community, is unreasonable and is persistent.
The General Product Safety Regulations 2005 place a general obligation on producers to supply only products that are safe.
This includes a requirement to provide consumers with the relevant information to enable them to assess the risks inherent in a product throughout the normal or reasonably foreseeable period of use, where such risks are not immediately obvious without adequate warnings and to take precautions against those risks.(Source: Bromley council press release.)
CROYDON RECOMMEND COUNCIL TAX FREEZE
Croydon council say it is set to deliver on a key promise with its cabinet recommending that council tax is frozen “as part of a budget that protects key services.” despite facing tough financial challenges in the years ahead.
In a statement Croydon say they anticipate a reduction in government funding over the next four years and continued pressure on services due to the increase in the borough’s population.
Yet subject to approval by full council later this month, there will be no change to council tax for 2015/16.
“The council has to make around £100m in savings by 2018, and has already come up with proposals to address this through the Croydon Challenge, a programme that will transform and make the services provided to residents more efficient and effective” said a spokesman.
“For example, more services than ever are now accessible online, which provides residents with a quicker service that saves the council money.
“The council has also developed a financial programme that ensures its limited resources are spent on vital services such as street cleaning and tackling fly-tipping, education, looking after the vulnerable and elderly, and on making local neighbourhoods safer.”
Croydon council leader Cllr Tony Newman. said: “These are extremely tough and demanding times for local government, and Croydon like all other local authorities, faces big financial pressures over the next four years.
“Despite this, I am pleased to confirm we have the council’s finances under control, which is why we are able to deliver a balanced budget and a freeze in council tax and improvements to key frontline services such as street cleaning, investment in schools and putting more police officers on the beat.
“We will continue to argue for a fair share of funding for Croydon residents.
“The funding system currently in place by the government means that even though we are seeing a rapidly rising population and more demand for our services, this is not reflected in how resources are allocated to local government.” (Source: Croydon council press release.)
“WE TURN AROUND EVERY ONE OF OUR TROUBLED FAMILIES” – LAMBETH
More than a thousand “troubled families” have been put back on track with the help of a special Lambeth council team set up to tackle unemployment, crime and social problems across the borough.
The national Troubled Families initiative, targeting 120,000 households across England “that have problems and cause problems to the community around them”, was launched in 2011.
The scheme, which also targets households with children who truant or who are excluded from school, identified 1,080 Lambeth families that needed to be turned around by the end of May this year.
In a statement Lambeth say the Aspirational Lambeth Families team has hit the target ahead of schedule.
“Lambeth are one of only a handful of London councils to achieve the milestone so early.
“Official figures released by the Department for Communities and Local Government last summer showed Lambeth’s performance was the best in London on things like getting adults back into work and improving school attendance – and among the best of more than 150 local authorities taking part in the Troubled Families programme across the country
“The team’s success will also earn Lambeth more Government money, on a payment-by-result basis, to spend on other vital services to support families with the most complex needs.
“The unit’s performance has led to Lambeth being chosen as one of 51 councils which will enter the second phase of the national programme ahead of the rest of the country.
“The team will now work with a further 551 families, helping them overcome critical problems that affect their households – and often the rest of their community.”
“Members of the Aspirational Lambeth Families partnership are assigned to individual families and work with them to make improvements across a range of problems – including school attendance and achievement, anti-social behaviour and unemployment.
The team includes two full time employment advisers seconded from JobCentre Plus.
Staff also address wider health issues, family dynamics, domestic violence, debts and other complexities. The team aims to support families to build resilience, confidence and empower them to sustain the improvements they have made.
Jane Pickard, Lambeth’s acting cabinet member for children, young people and families, said: “We have seized the opportunities presented by the Troubled Families initiative to support those who need extra help to escape from some of the most complex problems.
“Intervening with parents and children to prevent problems happening in the first place is the key to how we approach all our services for children and young people.
“The Troubled Families programme is enabling us to expand that work. The end result is a transformation for the families themselves, a saving for taxpayers on a range of services from health to prisons, and a benefit to communities who see a fall in crime and anti-social behaviour.
“Helping parents back into work, and their children back into school, and moving them away from crime, benefits everyone in Lambeth.
“Lambeth’s outstanding performance on this programme is a testament to our staff, who have worked so hard to reach out to people and help them make the changes to get back on track.”
Officials estimate that the cost to public services of dealing with some families’ problems is an average of £75,000 per year. The scheme offers councils £4,000 for each family if they meet targets such as children returning to school for three consecutive terms, “significant” reductions in youth crime and anti-social behaviour, and adults getting off benefits and into work for three months or more. (Source: Lambeth council press release.)
ANOTHER BOGUS BUSINESS WARNING
Trading Standards in Lewisham are advising residents not to deal with any businesses who knock on their door offering tree surgery and/or gardening work after a series of complaints.
“The trading practices of some businesses have led to a number of complaints including falsely claiming to be working on behalf of the council, having incomplete addresses on promotional flyers, and the failure to provide required paperwork to residents” said a Lewisham council spokesperson..
“Residents should follow these simple rules if someone offers work on trees or gardens:
do not agree to work as a result of a knock at your door
obtain written quotes from three different businesses before agreeing to any work
find a trader using www.trustmark.org.uk
Residents who want advice about work they may have had carried out should contact Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506. (Source: Lewisham council press release.)
CROYDON TENANTS’ RENT RISE ONE OF THE LOWEST IN LONDON
Council tenants in Croydon are set to see one of the lowest increases to their rent in London.
.The average rent in the borough’s council properties will rise by £2.40 per week from £109.26 to £111.66.
The 2.2 per cent increase on council rents for 2014/15, which would start from April, means Croydon is proposing one of the lowest rises in London, said a council spokesman.
“The rise is as low as a threshold set by government that takes account of estimated private rent increases and inflation.
“Other London boroughs, many of whom have yet to officially release their planned increases via cabinet meeting papers, are proposing to increase the average council rent from 2.9pc to as much as 9pc.”
Based on announcements made to date the council expects Croydon’s increase to be the lowest percentage rise in London.
Croydon council leader Cllr Tony Newman. said: “Although this council has to find £100m savings by 2018, it’s also important to limit rent increases for our council tenants.
“This is thanks to shrewd management of our housing revenue account.” (Source: Croydon council press release.)