There is only one week left for residents to apply to the council to hold a street party, to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Over the extended bank holiday, June 2-5, millions of people across the country will be celebrating 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II on the throne. But if residents in Hammersmith & Fulham want to join in with a Diamond Jubilee street party of their own, they will need to have applied to the council for permission by this Friday. There are currently 30 applications for jubilee parties.
The council has made it easier than ever for people to organise their festivities by cutting the amount of red tape they once had to trawl through to plan a community event.
Following successful street parties last year for the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton – now known as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – and positive feedback from residents, the council is once more looking forward to helping neighbours and friends get together without trudging through reams of red tape.
Last year, the council made it easier for small parties and fetes to be arranged, by cutting the number of forms that needed to be completed by hand to just one simple online form. Residents without a computer can ask to be sent a paper version of the form, which is only four pages long instead of the previous lengthy forms that often amounted to around 20 A4 pages.
Cllr Harry Phibbs, cabinet member for community engagement, says he hopes more people will set up parties this summer for the Diamond Jubilee and for the London 2012 Games, starting on July 27. The deadline for applications for parties is May 4 if it is for the Queen’s Jubilee and June 29 for the Olympics. Residents requiring a premises licence to sell alcohol at their events will need to apply at least six weeks before their planned event.
Cllr Phibbs says:
“Last year’s parties were an incredible sight and everyone had a fantastic time. This year, we are hoping that even more parties will be held, exceeding the 34 for the royal wedding. We are thrilled that by cutting bureaucracy and red tape, we have helped make it as easy as possible for local communities to gather, enjoy themselves and get to know each other, and celebrate these fantastic events happening right on our doorstep.
“We have stripped away all the drudgery and hours of completing tiresome bureaucratic forms that used to be necessary when organising a small event, and instead local people have more flexibility and time to concentrate on the fun side of these parties – after all, enjoying yourself is the most important thing about having a party!”
Under previous time-consuming central Government regulations, community groups were asked to apply for up to five separate licences and found it difficult to navigate through the numerous layers of bureaucracy and paperwork. The process could also be tedious which often led to delays or cancellations to community events.
Thames Water and the council's own highways contractor, Conways, have both agreed to supply barriers where street parties are taking place, free of charge.
If you would like to apply to have a small local event, such as a street party, visit www.lbhf.gov.uk/streetparties or contact the council on 020 8753 2480. For a list of all confirmed events taking place in the borough for the Queen’s Jubilee, visit: www.lbhf.gov.uk/diamondjubilee
Cllr Andrew Johnson, Hammersmith & Fulham Cabinet Member for Housing, says:
"The government’s policy to reduce the benefits cap, to a level nearer the market price, aims to stop private landlords overcharging taxpayers to house tenants on benefits and we support that.
"In H&F alone just 69 households were costing over £2million a year. Ten households received more than £46,800 in rent alone.
"But in H&F we do not want to see anyone having to leave the area because of the cap. In Hammersmith & Fulham 63% of landlords we house people with have reduced their rents to below the cap and tenants have therefore not had to move. Only seven of the households for which we are responsible have been housed outside London, all of them close to London and generally because their own circumstances made it possible.
"We have set up a special fund of £400,000 to help bridge the gap for our most vulnerable families. While we are looking at a range of options, we have not signed up to any scheme to move large numbers of people outside London."
A proposed agreement that could pave the way for thousands of new homes and jobs around Earls Court ‘is suitable for recommendation to council subject to no major issues arising' - councillors agreed on Monday night.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s Cabinet agreed that a Conditional Land Sale Agreement (CLSA) to include West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates in wider plans for the area would go to a future Cabinet meeting, subjected to no major issues emerging in remaining negotiations between the council and developer Capital & Counties.
If the CLSA is agreed all 760 homes on the two estates would be rebuilt in the redevelopment area.
Council tenants, resident leaseholders and freeholders would be compensated and only have to move once their new home is ready.
The progress report to Cabinet follows a consultation on the two estates and the wider area in which 1,427 responses were considered.
The consultation revealed that the majority of people who responded to the consultation on the estates were opposed to redevelopment, while the majority of people in the wider area were in favour.
In terms of the statutory consultation on the estate itself:
Hammersmith & Fulham Council is asking for your help to track down this filthy yob who has a nasty habit of urinating in lifts at Bush Court.
The time is shortly after 1.15am on Wednesday February 22 and this hooligan can clearly be seen relieving himself in the lift of the Shepherds Bush block.
Do you know who this person is, or were you the man who unfortunately had to share a lift with him? If so, contact the council now so that we can track down the culprit.
This disgusting act was captured by Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s state-of-the-art CCTV surveillance system which is linked in to numerous estates across the borough.
All images are relayed back to the council's main CCTV control room at Hammersmith Town Hall where trained operatives scour the footage looking for incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour.
Councillor Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for housing said:
A new survey by the Taxpayers Alliance reports that there were 3,097 council staff who earned over £100,000 in 2010-11. This was up 13% on 2009-10. The report is timed to increase accountability as many voters go to the polls next week. For instance Labour's chances of wommomg in Glasgow will not be helped by the following point:
Moves to save taxpayers’ cash and improve council services by combining them across three local authority areas have been overwhelmingly backed by residents.
73% of west London residents, who were asked whether they backed the sharing of some council services between Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster, said they support the integration in a recent poll of 1,500 people.
The results of the ‘Tri-borough’ survey also reveal that nearly four in five (79%) of residents are satisfied with the way their council is running the area, up from 77% at the start of 2011.
The news comes as the legal agreements that formally create the combined departments in major areas - such as Adult’s, Children’s and Libraries services - were signed. The arrangements are expected to deliver savings to taxpayers of around £40million a year by 2015/16.
Much of the saving comes from stripping out duplicated senior and middle management posts. 50% of management jobs have been shed in the Tri-borough departments - dramatically reducing the overheads incurred in delivering services.
Work to transform a derelict former health clinic in Shepherds Bush into two contemporary one bedroom flats is almost complete.
Three months ago, the Becklow Gardens clinic was nothing but a derelict shell of a building.
Since then, builders have been working tirelessly to convert the space into two flats complete with spacious kitchens and modern bathrooms.
In addition to these homes at Becklow Gardens, 23 new properties will be built across six other sites in the borough.
The construction follows a council announcement last year that it would be establishing its own housing development company in order to directly provide new affordable homes for the first time in 30 years to help local people living or working in the borough to get onto the property ladder and help create a Borough of Opportunity.
H&F has the fourth highest house prices in the UK, and the scheme aims to give local people on low to middle incomes a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own their own home at a discounted market rate.
The council has been inundated with interest since marketing the two properties which will be sold at discounted market rate to people with a household income of up to £60,000.
Each property comprises a contemporary fully-fitted kitchen including a dishwasher and washing machine, central heating, double glazed windows, off-street parking and communal gardens.
Cllr Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for housing, said:
“We’re committed to creating ladders of housing opportunity in Hammersmith & Fulham and I’m delighted to see the completion of the first of our local housing company’s new homes at Becklow Gardens. When I came to see this derelict building at the start of the year, it was hard to envisage it being converted into such stylish and modern homes, yet we’ve done it.
"This borough has some of the highest house prices in Britain, which is why creating low cost home ownership opportunities for our residents on low to middle incomes is one of our top priorities. Schemes like this show that there is light at the end of the tunnel as we strive to create a low cost home ownership Borough of Opportunity.”
Through the housing development company structure the council will be able to maximise its financial return, retain the benefit of any affordable housing that is developed and maintain greater control over the design of the new housing schemes.
The housing development company will initially be funded by money the council has saved from selling off void properties that are too expensive to repair but in the longer term is intended to become self-financing. Any profit made in the early years could be used to pay for estate improvements, such as better open spaces, and improved security for residents, as well as more new homes.
H&F Home Buy will undertake the process of identifying suitable applicants from the Home Buy register. To register with Home Buy call 020 8753 6464 or email h&fHomefirstname.lastname@example.org.