We Asked, You Said, We Did

Below are some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes.

We Asked

We asked residents of Cartmel for their views on HS2 Ltd’s options for Hampstead Road Bridge and information about their households.

You Said

77% of the 69 households in Cartmel responded to the survey. Key findings included:

  • 85% of residents are aware of HS2 Ltd’s original proposal to raise the level of Hampstead Road by approximately 4.7 metres.
  • Opinion is divided on whether residents would prefer to stay living in their homes if HS2 Ltd took forward their recommended proposal of a heightened bridge up to 4.2 metres – 47% stated they would prefer to stay and 43% would prefer to move.
  • 72% of residents would support an alternative option to HS2 Ltd’s current proposal that would involve the demolition of Cartmel.
  • Over half of tenants (58%) would prefer not to move at all if they had to move more than once, and most want to stay in their local area.
  • 44% of tenants indicated they would be happy to move to any part of Camden. 

We Did

These findings will be represented in any future negotiations with HS2 Ltd. At the time of writing, HS2 Ltd has made no commitment to taking forward any specific alternative to their proposed option.

However, just before the Council appeared at the House of Lords Select Committee in September, HS2 Ltd provided an assurance that it will consider a wider range of options proposed by the Council for the design of the replacement bridge, providing they do not impact on the safe and economic delivery of the works.

Discussions with HS2 Ltd about Cartmel and Hampstead Road Bridge may continue over several months. The Council will consult Cartmel residents about any alternative proposals for Hampstead Road Bridge that affect their homes before any decisions are taken by the Council. The Council also scheduled a drop in session for Cartmel residents in November 2016 to discuss HS2 Ltd’s Hampstead Road Bridge proposals.    

We Asked

What you thought of the Fair Deal for London Alliance's proposed Compensation Charter.

You Said

• Urban areas should receive fair compensation and not be disadvantaged • The Charter was broadly on the right lines but that it downplayed the scale of disruption in Camden • An independent body should be established to assess compensation, design the scheme and adjudicated on disputes and bids for compensation. • That the Property Bond should not be the focal point of the Charter. • The criteria for compensation should not be the same as for rural areas, (i.e. 120m from the line for the Rural Support zone or 120m to 300m from the line for the Homeowner payment), but should be tailored to reflect the different nature of urban areas. • Businesses should be eligible for all of the compensation that is offered to residents and also receive compensation for the costs they incur directly because of HS2, including disruption to trade, managing employees worse working conditions, costs caused by blight and uncertainty. • Home-owner payments and the Cash Offer should be available to tenants and owner-occupiers in urban areas.

We Did

• Added a foreword to the document that sets the scene and provides a sharper description of the level of disruption. • We added a request for an independent body to be established to assess compensation, design the scheme and adjudicated on disputes and bids for compensation. • We've re-ordered the Charter so that the property bond is our last request. • We've asked for the eligibility criteria to be based on the impact of construction felt by people as this is more relevant in urban areas where construction sites will be very close to residents. • Based on people's feedback we've made suggestions of changes that should be made to the compensation schemes that are currently available to make them fairer, and asked for these to be available to all tenants, owner-occupiers and businesses in urban areas.

We Asked

In June and July 2014, we consulted local people on their views of the traffic and public realm proposals of the West End Project, to transform the Tottenham Court Road area, making it safer and more attractive for residents and visitors, creating new public spaces and providing a good public realm to attract and sustain business. The project includes replacing the one-way system with two-way streets, introducing some protected cycle lanes and more trees, to reduce congestion and pollution across the area, improve road safety, widen pavements, improve pedestrian crossings and make bus journeys quicker.

You Said

The results of the public consultation showed support for the overall West End Project proposals as well as for most elements of the project including proposals for Tottenham Court Road, Gower Street and New Oxford Street, the plaza at St Giles Circus, the new public space at Princes Circus and the new park at Alfred Place. Two aspects of the project were not supported by the majority of respondents; the proposed loading hours on Tottenham Court Road and restricting taxi access on Tottenham Court Road.

We Did

In January 2015, the Council’s Cabinet agreed to implement the West End Project proposals including restricting taxis on Tottenham Court Road, but with a number of amendments, such as to loading hours in the area, in response to comments received during the consultation. The full report can be accessed at http://democracy.camden.gov.uk/mgA.aspx?M=5156 (item 16). The project will be delivered in phases and completed in 2018 in time for the opening of Crossrail.

We Asked

We asked for residents, businesses and market traders' views on 9 proposals, which amongst others include: Convert existing trader only parking bay (3 car spaces) at Gilden Crescent into permit holders’ only parking bay (Mon-Fri 9am-11am); Convert existing shared use traders/permit holders’ only parking bay (2 car spaces) on Queen’s Crescent, outside 186 Grafton Road into single yellow line.

You Said

Approximately 726 leaflets were distributed and a total of 44 responses were received, which represented a return rate of 6.06%. The responses indicate that all proposals have received majority support; however in the case of Proposal 4, the number of responses in favour is 17 compared to 16 opposed, and therefore the response is more balanced. Most of the comments have been provided are by those who have not supported the proposals. In most cases, these are from residents who have stated that their objections stem from the fact that the trader parking bays are not well used and they remain unoccupied on most days. They have suggested that the Council consider reducing the actual numbers of traders’ parking spaces by converting some of them into resident parking bays. They added that the proposal to convert these to shared use bays, which allow only traders to park for a few hours on market days would really cause inconvenience for the residents as they would have to move their parked cars during the restricted hours. Some businesses have requested for more pay and display parking bays as it will help bring customers to the markets.

We Did

Officers therefore consider that all proposals as consulted upon should be implemented as collectively they will help improve parking conditions for residents without having any detrimental effects on market traders.

We Asked

Royal Mail asked Camden and Islington residents, local people and stakeholders for their views on the proposals to regenerate Mount Pleasant.

You Said

Residents welcomed the principle of a mixed-use redevelopment of the site, the new open spaces provided, and the inclusion of affordable housing. There was some concern over the height of some of the taller elements, but this tended to be localised rather than a comment on the whole site. Broader concerns were raised about the provision of education in the south of Camden, with some attendees asking for a school to be provided on the site. Members of the team explained that contributions generated from this scheme would go to both Camden and Islington Councils who would be responsible for delivering any necessary improvements to the local infrastructure. It was also made clear that the results of the SPD did not point to education use for the site.

We Did

Following a series of consultation events, including those undertaken by Royal Mail in October 2012 and March 2013, and the Development Management Forum chaired by Camden & Islington Councils in November 2012, planning applications for the redevelopment of the land surrounding the Mount Pleasant Sorting Office were submitted in May & June this year. The applications are currently being assessed and will be determined by the London Boroughs of Camden and Islington in autumn 2013.

We Asked

During the first half of 2013 we asked residents and partners what they thought about some of the changes we could make. More than 450 people and organisations responded. We asked: - Should we restrict who can apply for social housing? - Should we apply sanctions to applicants who fail to bid or fail to show for viewings? - Who should be given priority for housing above and beyond the groups defined by law? - Should we adopt a banding scheme?

You Said

1. You support us restricting access to the housing register for some groups of people. For example, people in rent arrears, or those on a high income, or with savings. But individual circumstances should always be taken into account. 2. You support us doing our best to encourage people to bid and turn up for viewings but before imposing sanctions we should improve the way we advertise properties and arrange viewings. 3. You want us to prioritise people who have lived in Camden and been on the register for a long time. You also want us to prioritise carers for the elderly, disabled or seriously ill people and over-crowded households with children, foster carers and under-occupiers. 4.You don’t really mind whether we have a points or a banding scheme as long as the system is clear, fair and transparent. We should improve the information we give to applicants to help them understand their chances of securing housing better.

We Did

The changes we will make aim to:  bring the scheme into line with recent legislative changes;  make aspects of our scheme clearer, fairer and more robust;  improve the way we administer our scheme. In particular, we are taking steps to tackle under-occupation; going to restrict access to our register for small numbers of people; helping foster families and prospective adoptive parents and care leavers helping people move on from supported accommodation; and helping older people. We will also people who need to move due to development work; improve the applications process; and improve the lettings process. We will be continuing our review of the housing allocations process throughout the first half of 2014. If you wish to be kept informed of progress, please email hsu@camden.gov.uk or call the housing strategy unit on 020 7974 5519.

We Asked

As part of the Somers Town Community Investment Programme (CIP), we wanted to know what re-investment priorities are important to you to help us find ways to provide new homes and generate investment to improve existing council home and community facilities.

You Said

The issues that the majority of respondents (over 50%) ranked as high priorities are: Community Safety, Education and Community, Jobs and Training, Housing Issues. Comments received about Community Safety included concerns about drug taking and street drinking, and the need for more street lighting. On Education and Community, issues raised included: Education and community facilities need improvement, we need more jobs and we want more facilities for young people.

We Did

Your responses to the questionnaire will be taken on board in thinking about how we make the best of our land and buildings to continue investing in Somers Town.

We Asked

In March 2013 we produced a draft volunteering strategy for 2013-2016 and we asked residents and local people to tell us what they thought of the draft document.

You Said

Many people said it was not easy to find out what volunteering opportunities were available, and that it was especially difficult for some groups, such as mothers with young children or people with disabilities to get involved. Others said that there should be more support for volunteers who were looking for paid employment. It was also suggested that it should be made easier for smaller businesses to support community groups.

We Did

We took these views on board to refresh the volunteering strategy for Camden and we have produced an action plan that sets out what needs to be done to implement the strategy. The action plan will be reviewed next March (2014) to ensure that the actions are still the right ones to take and identify whether new actions are required.

We Asked

In February this year, we consulted local people on their views about a possible borough-wide 20mph speed limit as part of our commitment to reducing road casualties in the borough and creating more pleasant neighbourhoods for everyone.

You Said

The results of the public consultation showed overwhelming support for the proposal to implement a borough-wide 20mph speed restriction.

We Did

At the end of July 2013, Cabinet agreed that the borough-wide 20mph should be implemented and we will aim to do this by the end of March 2014.

We Asked

We asked people in Camden how mental health day opportunities can be modernised and how they should be delivered in the future. The consultation was only about the consortium day services, which are provided by a consortium of three centres; Barnes House, Crossfield centre and Holy Cross Centre Trust. The council proposed three options on how to deliver future mental health day opportunities and encouraged people to express a preference for one of them. The options were: Option one: continue to provide mental health day opportunities in the same way we do now but from one centre instead of three. Option two: mental health wellbeing centre (“the hub”). Option three: no commissioned day opportunity service.

You Said

According to what was said during meetings and in questionnaires people favoured option 2 slightly; with the existence of a centre and the offer of a 6-8 weeks targeted preventative service available regardless of eligibility as the most attractive elements within this model. However, there was also some support towards the continuation of the Support and Time Recovery (STR) model in option 1, mainly from people who are satisfied with the services currently provided by the consortium or by those who are very reluctant to change. Option 3 got a lower level of support than the other two options. Some people saw it as a good way of increasing choice and independence but there are fears that service providers may not be subject to tight monitoring and quality checks and this may impact on the safety and wellbeing of the most vulnerable service users.

We Did

On 10 April 2013, the Cabinet considered a report containing the findings of this consultation and considerations about strategic direction, finances and current service delivery of mental health day opportunities. The Cabinet approved the development of a mental health wellbeing centre providing targetted prevention services for all as well as on-going day support for eligible customers wishing to access the service (Option two).

We Asked

In October - November 2012, we distributed approximately 717 leaflets to residents and businesses within the consultation area, local groups, statutory groups, and Ward Members to ask them their views on the proposal to introduce a new signalised pedestrian crossing on Adelaide Road, between Avenue Road and Winchester Road, to help cope with the increased numbers of pedestrians needing to cross Adelaide Road once the rebuilt Swiss Cottage Schools have been opened; currently planned for January 2013.

You Said

Analysis of the feedback received from local residents living in the south side of Adelaide Road indicated support for the proposed scheme.

We Did

In January 2013, a decision was approved by the Cabinet to: - Construct a new signalised pedestrian crossing on Adelaide Road between Avenue Road and Winchester Road to aid pedestrian movements to and from the rebuilt Swiss Cottage School. - Relocate the westbound bus stop approximately six metres east to accommodate the new crossing. - Remove three Pay & Display and two Car Club bays on the north side and replace with zigzags required for the new signalised pedestrian crossing.

We Asked

This consultation ran from 20 August – 26 October 2012. We wanted to understand what issues are important to residents and the local community in relation to the sale and potential redevelopment of the Town Hall Annexe site.

You Said

The feedback that was provided by local residents and interest groups was used to develop marketing materials for the site for submission to any developer who expresses an interest in buying it.

We Did

Any bid submitted by a potential buyer will be assessed on a financial and planning risk basis and on their understanding and response to the views and key issues identified by the community concerning redevelopment of the Town Hall Annexe site which arose from the consultation.

We Asked

A public consultation took place between 16 July – 5 October 2012 where we asked for people's views on the proposals to redevelop 30 Camden Street, the Richard Cobden School changing rooms site, Bayham Place Estate garages, the playground in Bayham Place, shopping parade at 67-72 Plender Street and Richard Cobden School playground.

You Said

Most of the feedback received was positive. However, concerns were also expressed about loss of light, privacy and views and the height, character and scale of any new development.

We Did

On 24th October 2012, the Council’s redevelopment plans for 30 Camden Street, Plender Street, Bayham Place and the Richard Cobden school playground were approved by Cabinet. These plans include new shops and housing at 67-72 Plender Street, a new community centre built on the Richard Cobden School changing rooms site, new affordable homes at 30 Camden Street and a new, green open space on Plender Street.

We Asked

We asked you for your views about re-opening ‘The Terrace’ Lincolns Inn Fields as a refreshment facility and what this refreshment facility should be.

You Said

Following responses received such as from the online survey and a meeting in Holborn library in September 2012, we found the overall response was favourable.

We Did

The council went out to competitive tender in January 2013 and appointed an organisation called Benugo in March 2013. A new refreshment facility opened in Lincolns Inn Fields over the summer in 2013 and has been favourably received by the local community.

We Asked

As part of the review, we consulted widely with licence holders, local residents and many other groups or organisations that have an interest in Camden or with gambling. The consultation was carried out from 27 July 2012 to 07 September 2012.

You Said

When compared to previous consultations on the Gambling Policy, the results showed that there was increased concern in Camden about problem gambling and the harmful affect that this can have on peoples lives. This is an issue that we take very seriously and we believe that all gambling operators should act responsibly to prevent harm to their customers, which can include both residents in Camden and visitors to the borough.

We Did

Having listened to the responses of the consultation, we have strengthened the Policy to address problem gambling and the protection of vulnerable people in more detail. This includes setting out the issues that we believe can be a consequence of problem gambling, and the range of factors that we may take in to account when considering applications. We have also introduced a new appendix to the policy which gives details of organisations and services that can provide help and support to people who suffer from problem gambling. Following the review of our Gambling Policy in 2012, a revised Policy was agreed by the Council on the 12th November 2012.

We Asked

As part of the consultation we asked 'Should the school be rebuilt and enlarged as part of a move to a new site within the proposed Hawley Wharf development?' and 'Should the school raise its age limit to admit junior pupils aged seven to 11 as well as infants?'

You Said

We received feedback indicating an overwhelming majority of respondents favoured the rebuilding and enlargement of the school, as well as raising its age limit to 11.

We Did

Following a decision made by Cabinet on 24 October 2012, it was agreed to give conditional approval to expand the school as part of a relocation to a site within Hawley Wharf subject to planning permission being granted and acquiring the site.