A SCOUT GROUP joined forces with the Safer Bromley Partnership to help an elderly man fleeced of more than £10,000 by rogue traders.
Members of the 2nd Orpington Scout Group and their parents helped to clear a very overgrown garden for the 86-year-old after he was burgled, his windows broken and he was targeted by rogue traders.
Bromley council’s community safety team and local police Safer Neighbourhood Team stepped in to ensure that he had new windows fitted. Neighbours and the scout team got involved in cleaning, painting the outside of the house and clearing the forest of a garden.
A Bromley council spokeswoman said: “The work of the partnership with the kind attention of neighbours and the children has given the man a new lease of life. “Criminals are always on the lookout for unkempt properties as they can signify that the occupant could be vulnerable.
“These unscrupulous people think nothing of targeting such people by delivering overpriced shoddy work or breaking in.”
The man, who cannot be named for fear of becoming a further target for criminals, lost a significant amount of money – more than £10,000 – and had almost lost the will to live.
Trading standards are now investigating and hope that they will be able to track down the perpetrators, added the spokeswoman.
Cllr Tim Stevens, executive member for public protection and safety said “It‘s marvellous to see young people getting involved in helping people in their community to lead a better, safer life. “I want to thank everyone involved for doing such a fantastic job for this gentleman.
“This is a fine example of exactly the kind of project I envisaged when I launched my priority around helping vulnerable residents to feel safer in the borough. “But it is outrageous that despicable people took advantage of this elderly gentleman. “I know that the council’s trading standards department will do all they can to bring to justice those involved.”
Heart-warming footnote: “At the end of the mammoth garden clearing session, one of the eight year old scouts gave the elderly gentleman his very last biscuit as a sign of his affection for someone who can now count many among his new friends” said the spokeswoman. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!”
“If you want to get involved in your local community, why not think about volunteering? It doesn’t matter how much free time you can spare or what skills you have, there will be something on offer. “You too can make a real difference in your neighbourhood.” For some ideas visit www.bromley.gov.uk/
Bromley council have launched an education covenant to further clarify its role in a rapidly changing education landscape.
The covenant outlines the responsibilities of the council along with its expectations of parents, pupils, governors and school leaders as well as residents and businesses in relation to ensuring our young people get the best possible start in life through their education.
The covenant complements the 17 education commitments approved by a full meeting of Bromley council in January. In the new covenant, the Council states its policies such as supporting schools to become academies and the creation of new ‘free schools’, while outlining its major responsibilities regarding education.
The council retains some 200 statutory duties including ensuring sufficient schools places; that the quality of the education provided is of the highest standard; that our children leave school prepared for a successful and fulfilled adult life and are able to play their part as citizens in a democratic, economically prosperous Britain.
The covenant also states that the council believes that everyone has an obligation to our children and young people. In addition to the expected high standards of teaching, an active involvement from governors and a commitment from pupils themselves to attend regularly and work hard, there is an understanding that parents should take responsibility for the conduct of their children.
In addition, the covenant outlines wider expectations for communities to support their local schools and for businesses to provide input into education and training by offering work experience placements to students.
Cllr Stephen Wells, executive member for education said: “The community has a right to expect that their children are taught by well qualified and highly able teachers guided by outstanding leaders. “We want our schools to be among the best in London and in the country as a whole. In order to fulfil this aspiration, as community leaders, we need to be clear about the responsibilities and expectations of everyone involved in the process of educating our young people and turning them into good citizens for the future.”
Cllr Nicholas Bennett JP, chairman of the education policy development and scrutiny committee said: “We have developed these education commitments to define a clear set of principles for the future direction of education in Bromley. “Our covenant with the people of Bromley is that the council, together with the local community, will work to ensure the highest possible standards of education and achievement for our children and young people.’’
Education commitments agreed at full council on January 21st 2013: http://cds.bromley.gov.uk/
Education covenant agreed at full council on July 1st 2013: http://cds.bromley.gov.uk/