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Comment by Jon Clarke yesterday

Mayor’s charities benefit from fund-raising dinner

The Mayor of Bromley’s charities benefited from £2,490 from a fund-raising dinner at Tamasha Indian Restaurant in Widmore Road on Thursday 24 July. The entire amount collected from ticket sales and donations will go to the two good causes, thanks to the generosity of restaurant owner, Mr Shekor Tarat who provided the enjoyable meal for 70 dignitaries and guests free of charge.

The two charities are:Bromley Community Fund, an exciting charitable venture set up to give grants to local charities and voluntary organisations to help them support communities and local people, and Connect, which helps people with Aphasia, a disability affecting all ages caused by damage to the communication centre of the brain, usually by a stroke but also from a brain haemorrhage, head injury or tumour.

Bromley Mayor, Councillor Julian Benington said: “It’s thanks to the generosity of people – in this case the owner of Tamasha and everyone who attended the evening - that the Mayoralty raises so much for charity each year. This was an extremely enjoyable way to secure funds for the two good causes I have chosen to support this year. I want to thank everyone involved.”

Picture shows: Bromley’s Mayor, Cllr Julian Benington (left) with other London Mayors and Tamasha restaurant owner Mr Shekor Tarat (standing).

ends

For media enquiries, please contact Susie Clark in Corporate Communications, on 020 8461 7911 or email susie.clark@bromley.gov.uk

Comment by Jon Clarke on June 6, 2014 at 9:13
@LPBSFriends: Lots going on in #Beckenham to mark #WW1 Centenary. Open to all. Take a look: http://t.co/TietsWFlbU
Comment by Jon Clarke on December 20, 2013 at 15:13

Community Group warned about unlicensed loan sharks

Lively debate followed a presentation on illegal money lending at a special outreach meeting organised by the Bromley Community Engagement Forum (BCEF) and
hosted by the Pineapple Club in Anerley Town Hall.

Around one hundred people attended the BCEF’s first new style combined public meeting and community outreach day which featured updates from members of the Safer Bromley Partnership as well as the talk organised by Bromley Trading Standards to raise awareness of the pitfalls of dealing with unlicensed money lenders. These are unscrupulous people who not only overcharge for credit, but use intimidating methods when agreements are not honoured in full.

Cllr Tim Stevens, Executive Member for Public Protection and Safety said: “We are not talking about high street names here but loan sharks who operate outside the law without licenses and who use violence and intimidation to get payments on loans offered at extortionate rates. If anyone has concerns about unlicensed money lenders operating in their area, they can get advice by getting in touch with the Illegal Money Lending Team in confidence on 0300 555 2222.

To report a loan shark:

Call the 24/7 confidential hotline 0300 555 2222
Text ‘loan shark + your message’ to 60003
E-mail reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk
Private message us on www.facebook.com/stoploansharksproject

Comment by Jon Clarke on December 20, 2013 at 15:05

Landlords fined again for failing to carry out necessary repairs
Landlords have been re-prosecuted for continued failure to carry out necessary repair work to a house which was rented to a mother and her children and were fined £5000 plus £240 victim surcharge and ordered to pay £949.50 in costs at Bromley Magistrates' Court on 18 December 2013.
Afzal Ahmed and Rashma Ahmed did not carry out the required work to their property in Mosul Way, Bromley which resulted in Bromley Council having to issue an Improvement Notice detailing several defects and deficiencies which needed addressing. Mr and Mrs Ahmed were initially fined £1000 and ordered to pay £922 plus £100 victim surcharge in costs at Bromley Magistrates' Court on 19 June 2013 for failure to comply with Bromley Council's Improvement Notice after submitting a guilty plea but continued to breach the notice.
Executive Member for Public Protection and Safety Cllr. Tim Stevens said: "Bromley Council believes that all landlords should meet their statutory obligations and ensure their properties are let in a reasonable condition. We will take firm action if they do not comply with Improvement Notices in the first instance to make sure that rented properties do not present a hazard to the health and safety of their tenants."

Comment by Jon Clarke on December 19, 2013 at 10:24

Get involved in a healthy Bromley
As the temperature drops Bromley Council’s volunteer community health champions will be working hard to look out for friends and family who might need a little extra help to stay healthy, well and warm particularly during these winter months. The volunteers, who come from a range of backgrounds, have all been trained to work in the heart of their communities supporting people to reduce their health risks through healthier lifestyles and promoting better health. Health champions also raise awareness about the right NHS or other service to use when they have a health issue to prevent unnecessary visits to A&E. By supporting people to take better care of themselves community health champions are also helping to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and demands on other services.

Said Councillor Peter Fortune, Chairman of the Health and Wellbeing Board:

“As a Council we’ve embraced the government’s health reforms and our new responsibilities to work with partners to improve health and wellbeing for the people of Bromley. A key priority for us is achieving ‘A Healthy Bromley’ and this initiative to ‘champion’ good health in the heart of our communities is a very practical way we can support our residents to reduce the risks of poor health, promote better health and wellbeing and help us all live healthier, longer lives.”

Bromley community health champions will be organising ‘Health Talks’, signposting friends and neighbours to the right NHS and other local services, checking on vulnerable older people in the neighbourhood to make sure they are well and sharing messages about how to stay healthy.

If you’re interested in becoming a Bromley health champion and are over 18 please contact healthchampions@bromley.gov.uk for further information.

And for advice and information on how to keep warm, safe and well this winter visit www.bromley.gov.uk or the NHS Choices website.

Comment by Jon Clarke on November 20, 2013 at 11:16

Victims of doorstep crime compensated

Ten victims of doorstep crime, aged between 76 and 87, received good news that they will be getting back a large portion of money they lost to rogue builders, as a result of confiscation order obtained by Bromley Trading Standards at Croydon Crown Court.

The confiscation order was granted to Bromley Council on 11 November against Mr Michael Anthony Joyce for £350,000. Mr Joyce was found to have £141,229 of assets, and following an application by the Council’s legal representation that sum is to be compensated to the ten victims, four of whom live in the borough.

Between July and August 2010, officers from Trading Standards received a number of complaints from older residents of ‘rogue traders’ operating in the area. Consumers were being persuaded to have work done as a result of a false statement by the trader. Work was being done unnecessarily and the customers were being grossly overcharged.

An investigation revealed that a cheque from one of the victims was paid into the account of Mr Joyce’s company, Cheque Change Ltd, a money service bureau based in Leamington Spa. Interrogation of the company accounts found that a series of transactions totalling £224,656.79 had taken place, and Mr Joyce was unable to provide a plausible explanation. Mr Joyce indicated he had been introduced to two men via a customer, who owed him £28,000 following bad cheque deposits. He met those men at a service station and agreed to put cheques from their building business through his company, and once cleared he would then provide them cash.

Joyce was charged with money laundering offences and found guilty in November 2011 and sentenced to 30 months imprisonment.

Rob Vale, Head of Trading Standards said “One of our officers is an accredited financial investigator and their work is vital in tracing the money handed over to these rogue traders. We placed a restraining order on his assets to prevent Joyce from using any funds other than by our agreement.”

Mr Joyce was given 6 months to pay the £141,229 in full or face a further term of 28 months imprisonment. Funds recovered will be paid to Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service, and distributed to the victims of the rogue builders.

Cllr Tim Stevens, Executive Member for Public Protection and Safety said: “This is another excellent case brought by our Trading Standards team and their accredited financial investigator. We have prosecuted a number of money launderers in recent years and to get compensation for the victims is a fantastic achievement.”

For media enquiries, please contact Susie Clark in Corporate Communications, on 020 8461 7911 or email susie.clark@bromley.gov.uk

Susie Clark

Corporate Communications | Chief Executive's

London Borough of Bromley

Tel: 0208 461 7911 | Mob: 07889 607080

www.bromley.gov.uk

Comment by Jon Clarke on November 18, 2013 at 14:21

Tough measures to combat crime and ASB launched in Penge
Bromley Council together with other key members of the Safer Bromley Partnership took strong action against crime, antisocial behaviour and environmental issues on the Groves Estate in Penge on Monday 11 November 2013.

This was the start of a new initiative driven by the Council and Police in partnership with Affinity Sutton and other housing associations around the borough to tackle crime, fly-tipping and criminal damage. Plans for more such multi-agency exercises in identified ‘hotspots’ are well underway following a successful bid for funds to the Mayor’s Office for Policing And Crime (MOPAC).

Executive Member for Public Protection and Safety Cllr Tim Stevens said: “We want residents to play their part in helping to keep Bromley a pleasant place for everyone to enjoy. We hope that by stepping up enforcement action in identified crime and ASB hotspots in the borough, we will kick-start the process, so that residents will be inspired to look out for their neighbourhoods, keep them clean and tidy and report any issues as they occur.

The Council’s Public Protection Team and the Street Services Team were joined by personnel from Affinity Sutton, the local Police Safer Neighbourhoods Team, Safer Transport Team and officials from the Department of Work and Pensions.

Around 1.9 tons of rubbish were cleared, 44 sq metres of graffiti cleaned away, three untaxed vehicles were found and a nuisance moped was dealt with. Police conducted arrest enquiries on people involved in antisocial behaviour, conducted weapons sweeps of public areas and joint visits to problem tenants in conjunction with Affinity Sutton.

The Safer Bromley Partnership is committed to continuously improving safety in Bromley. We want a borough where people can live, work, play and learn safely. Our members include Bromley Council, Bromley Police, Health, Probation, Fire and London Ambulance Services, Affinity Sutton and other Housing Associations.

For media enquiries, please contact Susie Clark in Corporate Communications, on 020 8461 7911 or email susie.clark@bromley.gov.uk

Comment by Jon Clarke on November 18, 2013 at 14:16

Views sought on Bromley Short Breaks

Bromley Council has launched a consultation to seek views on the borough’s Short Break Service for disabled children and young people.

The Council is reviewing what is currently on offer in order to offer a better range of services to give children and parents more choice to suit people’s needs and help to improve their lives. Families want to choose services that suit their individual lifestyles and this consultation gives them a chance to tell the Council their views.

Short Breaks are a lifeline for parents and carers of disabled children who use them to take a little time off from their caring responsibilities in order to recharge their batteries, or take part in activities with other family members that would not always be possible under normal circumstances. The breaks are also extremely important to offer social opportunities to disabled children who have a chance to join in with safe, fun and interesting activities.

Executive Member for Care Services Cllr Robert Evans said: “Against a background of increasing numbers of disabled children and young people both nationally and locally, many with more complex needs, plus growing budget pressures for the Council and other key public services such as health, it is important that there is efficient and sustainable support with regard to Short Breaks. These prove valuable to both carers and children and we want to hear what people think before we make any firm decisions about the future.”

The Council is asking as many people as possible who use Short Breaks to answer a short questionnaire so that the findings can be built into the planning of these services into the future. The consultation runs until Friday 31 January 2014.

You can find further information at http://bromley.mylifeportal.co.uk/short-breaks-review.aspx, where there will be details of consultation meetings and how to access the online questionnaire.

ends
For media enquiries, please contact Susie Clark in Corporate Communications, on 020 8461 7911 or email Susie.clark@bromley.gov.uk

Susie Clark

Corporate Communications | Chief Executive's

Comment by Jon Clarke on November 8, 2013 at 9:29

London Borough of Bromley News Release

Warning over hire equipment scam
Bromley Trading Standards and Bromley Police are warning residents to be vigilant following a series of bogus builder scams over the past few weeks. In one case the resident, a 75-year-old man from Biggin Hill, was conned into handing over £16,000, which included deposits for the hire of specialist equipment.

Trading Standards are warning of the hire equipment scam after receiving complaints from four victims. Head of Trading Standards Rob Vale warns: “In each case the resident has been cold called and persuaded to have minor guttering or roofing repairs. Once this has been agreed additional ‘faults’ have been identified leading to the builder asking for returnable deposits for the hire of specialist equipment. For example, one victim was told equipment was needed to raise roof joists which needed replacing. Another was told they needed to hire industrial dehumidifiers to dry out damp rooms. In both these cases the work was unnecessary.”

Rob Vale added: “We are investigating a number of cases, outlined below, and would ask anyone who is cold called and offered roofing, guttering or other property repairs to say no but also alert us on our rapid response number 07903 852090.

Cases being investigated include:
A victim from West Wickham was asked to pay £3,500 for roofing equipment which he was told would be returned to him the following day. His bank became suspicious when he went to withdraw the cash and alerted Trading Standards. He described the man as white with an Irish accent and he drove a white van. The man had cold called him earlier and carried out repairs to his roof at a cost of £400, which then escalated to £1,600 before being told the machine was needed to support a dangerous chimney stack.

A Penge woman was cold called by two men in a white van who gained access to her house and told her there was a leak in her loft. They asked for £800 to place a deposit on equipment needed to dry out the damp. She refused and called her family who alerted Trading Standards. The men were described as white and had Irish accents.

A further case involved an 84-year-old from Orpington who was asked for £3,000 for hire and insurance costs of a dehumidifier following a cold call from a man claiming to be from a damp proofing company. Following payment the trader asked for a further £1,500 which was refused. The victim alerted Trading Standards.

Executive Member for Public Protection and Safety Cllr Tim Stevens said: “These criminals are organised and professional and we are doing all we can to identify them and bring them to justice. However, we need the help of residents and banks to alert us of any suspicious activity. If you see work being carried out on your neighbour’s property which was not planned - even if it looks legitimate, for example with scaffolding, - please call the Trading Standards Rapid Response Team so they can check it out. Honest builders will not mind us checking up on them. Too many of our most vulnerable residents are being targeted by these despicable people. We must stop them!”

For media enquiries, please contact Susie Clark in Corporate Communications, on 020 8461 7911 or email susie.clark@bromley.gov.uk

Comment by Jon Clarke on October 23, 2013 at 17:24

Youth Council gets people talking about mental wellbeing

Bromley Youth Council has launched its manifesto campaign to encourage young people to talk about mental health issues by manning an information stand in Intu Bromley.

Research for the campaign highlighted that young people recognised adolescence can be a confusing, pressurised time with many finding themselves in difficult and stressful family situations as well as coping with the pressures that all teenagers face such as exams, relationships, growing up and moving on in life. They were keen to examine issues which can affect mental health and wellbeing in young people and to raise the profile of these ‘life events’ and the possible impact they may have.

Many myths and misinformation about mental health exist and young people did not necessarily know where to go for advice or help. In addition, they were concerned that by speaking out, they might be judged and people would make assumptions about them.

Bromley Youth Council have made a video to address these points, working in liaison with Oxleas, Bromley’s child and mental health services’ provider, and Bromley Y which offers counselling for young people and their families in the borough. This will available to secondary schools to use as part of their PSHE sessions. A handy wallet-size leaflet called ‘Open your mind’, also masterminded by the young people themselves and handed out on the day, contains tips on how to achieve mental wellbeing.

Experts from both organisations echoed the young people’s findings that there is now more discussion around mental health. They acknowledged that though treatment is largely private, it is much more acceptable for concerned young people and their parents to speak out or contact their GP in the first place. Though there is uncertainty whether young people suffer more mental health angst than in the past, the experts agreed that we are undoubtedly more aware of the issues and better prepared to tackle them. The internet could be seen as a double edged-sword perhaps contributing to more insidious bullying, while being a really positive force by offering easy access to good information, help and guidance.

At the launch of the campaign, Youth Councillor Ross Stanford said: “Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of who you are communicating with, so taking time to see people face-to-face in this way is very valuable.”

“We’ve been very successful in getting people talking such a taboo subject - they have been surprisingly open,” added Youth Councillor Sarah Bakare.

Cllr Stephen Wells and Cllr Tim Stevens, Executive Councillors for Education and Young People respectively were extremely impressed by the maturity of thought exhibited by Bromley’s Youth Council’s campaign.

“We believe that it is imperative that we take the views of our next generation very seriously when we make decisions on their behalf. That is why we are here today to listen, understand and support the work of the Youth Council,” said Cllr Stevens.

More information and help is available at:

www.bromley-y.org.uk (Bromley Y website)

www.youngminds.org.uk Young Minds is a charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing of young people. The site has a section for young people and a section for parents with plenty of useful advice on what to do if people are worried about themselves or someone else, as well as useful tips on staying well and general information about mental health services.

www.mindfull.org MindFull is a new online wellbeing service for 11-17 year olds offering mentoring, counselling and self help - all online.

http://www.getselfhelp.co.uk/ This website is aimed at a wider audience but contains useful resources on downloadable worksheets and info sheets. These are designed using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) theory/techniques.

 

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