Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Liverpool Kensington & New Brighton house and flat 2 let in great location 2 people in need

The Community project i am working on has homes in Liverpool to rent. A one bedroom ground for flat in Kensington  is next to the Hospital with separate kitchen  and separate bedroom fully double glazed and takes people on benefits  at £400 per month   . In New Brighton area ,the project has a wonderful end of terrace Victorian house with reception ground floor dinning room. separate Kitchen and a ground floor shower room with small patio. Upstairs are 2 bedrooms double and a large family bathroom.
These are to let to people in urgent housing need , you do not need to get a Council referral  ideally you would be or have at some time been active  in your local community. been a volunteer at a project or have been offering care to someone. .
This Project is about supporting people who have helped others and due to crises are themselves in need of support and a home. 

Friday, 17 February 2017

Huffington Post Article part #fuelpovertyawarenessday a must read and share

Article for February Fuel Awareness Day.

In 2015 it seemed shocking that over the past 6 years the number of households forced to install key meters owing to debt for their gas and electric supply had exceeded 500,000. The utility regulator OFGEM, under pressure from the public, launched an investigation into the reasons for this and, as such, dissenting voices went quiet.  However, the outrage of 2015 has been replaced with an acceptance that fuel poverty is part of the so called “Third Sector” and that it is just something we have to get used to. But in the 6th richest economy in the world, is it acceptable to just ignore this when 50% of these households have children?

You may feel that fuel poverty is someone else’s problem but whilst researching this article I became aware of the danger it poses and the impact it has on the lives of millions of people caught up in it.  Not only do those who are directly affected suffer but also households that adjoin the homes of people in fuel poverty can be put in danger too.   These facts should see us all demanding an end to talk and a real policy agenda put in place to address and tackle the causes of this very real concern.

In December 2016 ,the BBC reported that 37% of all households would be turning off their heating over the winter as they simply could not afford it.

Barbara Raymond, an 80 year-old People Before Profit activist and co-founder of We Care food bank in Deptford, south London reported that when the We Care food bank opened in 2014 they would regularly assist families in fuel crisis and top up elderly members’ energy cards.  However, by 2016 there had been a huge drop in demand because more and more people just stopped using gas and electricity altogether.   The reasons for this were not just the high cost of use, but also the monthly standing charges.  Barbara said ,“With 2 million people sanctioned in 2016 alone, according  to the government’s  own figures, increasing numbers of people just stopped using the supply altogether, choosing  to use sinks as BBQs, candles for light ,and plug sockets in communal stairways to boil kettles.”  This led me to raise a fresh freedom of information request to the London Fire Brigade who confirmed that in 2015 the Fire Brigade was called out 277 times to deal with fires caused as a direct result of people being forced to resort to the actions outlined above.  As a consequence, these fires left 95 people injured and 4 dead.   In addition to these tragedies, there is a clear risk to people living in flats and houses adjoining a household forced into desperate measures due to fuel poverty and this is of equal concern. Fuel poverty can no longer be regarded as just a concern for the poor but an issue that can impact on us all if we fail to address it quickly and adequately.  The only comfort from my Freedom of Information request to the Fire Brigade was that in 2016 there were only 2 deaths and 75 injuries.  However, the number of call outs had risen from 277 to 281.

A further freedom of Information request for this article discovered that since 2015 the number of homes in debt and forced to install key meters (the most expensive form of energy supply, costing an average household £60 a year more) was at 180,000 in 2015 and 190,000 in 2016, a staggering increase of 90% in just one year and yet why no outrage or concern? Gillian Guy from the CAB says that 50% of households in fuel poverty with meters have children.  Ms Guy, like Barbara Raymond, confirm that their own research shows that 1 in 6 pre-payment meter customers cuts off their own energy supply due to its high cost. Additional factors for terminating the supply included difficulty in topping up the meter and faulty meters.   Unfortunately, I found it impossible to discover the number of households in the UK which are no longer connected to the national grid because they are unable to pay their energy bills.  This was because all state bodies to whom I sent freedom of information requests,  had either not seen the relevant figures or been aware of the issues.   However, I have been told that due to my work for this article the figures for 2017 will be collected.

What can be done? One of the most inspiring ways in which fuel poverty has and is being tackled is by the We Care food bank.  The team held a public meeting on how to deal with this crisis and in 2012 launched a green, not-for-profit energy company. The company have installed solar panels on the roofs of churches, schools and community centres and use the Government feed in tariff to bring down the fuel costs of the buildings.  The resulting profit is used to tackle fuel poverty in South East London.   This model deserves to be rolled out nationwide because it tackles the problem head on. It does not take cash away from front line services, is good for the environment and, most importantly, it addresses the scandal of fuel poverty.

Given the scale of the number of UK homes with key meters paying up front for fuel, together with the rapid advances in technology, this must mean that energy for the poorest with key meters and regular consumers paying upon receipt of a bill should be reduced by substantially more than the £80 differential a year, suggested by the government, who appear clueless about the devastating impact this is having on the vulnerable and life chances of the children impacted.

Ray Barron-Woolford is author * Food Bank Britain *
Author  *Food Bank Britain * 
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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Lewisham Council gripped by Millwall foot ball Development scandal

This morning Sunday , i was interviewed by Police following on from the growing scandal around public funds the development company * Renewal*  involving a former leader of Labour Lewisham Council, and the present labour Mayor Steve Bullock, this is fast moving even though Lewisham People Before Profit got active in this campaign more than 10 years ago , but as this £1 billion pound development deal has got closer to reality the concerns raised by LPB4P have become of global concern , just 2 weeks ago i tabled a Question to full council calling for an Independent Investigation into how this deal has come about and to restore confidence in our borough, days later the latest local labour council;or elected in Blockley ward tweeted that the whole deal had a *Stink * about it and this week the story grew wings with Guardian exposing the fact £500,000 of Lewisham tax payers cash was funnelled via a dodgy charity set up with much of what was going on rubber stamped by the Councils own Labour scrutiny committee .
Lewisham People Before Profit have campaigned long on hard in seeking to expose the cosy relationship  between the Developers in our borough and a council lead by the all powerful Sir Steve Bullock  who has been able until this week to give jobs in his cabinet to like minded fellow Labour Councillors.
This Week after the Guardian blew the roof of the scandal, The Charity Commission has launched an investigation  and this has kicked of a police investigation, although at todays interview i was told at present police are investigating allegations to see if a fraud investigation should be launched, in light of the huge about of paper work on this, much tweeted via my twitter feed Ray Woolford this is almost certain to happen this week.
Today in a further twist a senior Labour party official contacted me in private to state Sir Steve Bullock would be standing down, whilst many using the hash tags Millwall and LEWISHAM4 are demanding the heads of all the top people in Lewisham including The Chief Executive .
Councillor Alan Hall has been extremely brave in writing the letter attached to this blog copy

Charity Commission opens case into charity at heart of Millwall FC controversy

The regulator will not confirm the issues behind its probe of the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation

The New Den: Millwall FC's ground
The New Den: Millwall FC's ground

The Charity Commission has opened a case into the sports charity at the heart of a controversial £1bn development scheme involving a compulsory purchase order of land around Millwall Football Club’s ground in London.
The sports charity the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation has claimed it received a £2m funding pledge from Sport England for a sports facility on the proposed development, but this has been denied by the funder itself.

According to Lewisham Council’s website, planning permission was granted in 2012 for the New Bermondsey regeneration scheme. The developer Renewal, which set up the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation in 2011, said this would provide 2,400 homes and an improved setting for Millwall FC’s stadium.
The council website says Renewal has been purchasing land at the site since 2004, and in a meeting on 7 September 2016 the council decided that a compulsory purchase order should be made for the rest of the land needed for the development.
Earlier this month, a council meeting to discuss the compulsory purchase order was adjourned, with a new meeting expected in February, according to the football club.
Council discussions about the development have cited the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation’s claim that it has a £2m funding pledge from Sport England towards a £40m sports complex on the New Bermondsey site.
But a spokeswoman for Sport England said: "In 2010 we received a funding application from the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation, but this was subsequently withdrawn in 2013. We therefore have no funding agreement, of any kind, in place with them."
In a statement from Steve Norris, chair of the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation, the charity said it approached Sport England in 2011 to seek a £2m funding commitment for the sports facility in New Bermondsey.
"In October 2013 we received a formal letter from Sport England which referenced their ongoing support for the project and that the application was now being moved onto the strategic facilities fund," the statement said.
"While the SCSF has made significant progress over the past four years, we have not progressed a more formal application since October 2013 due to the inordinate length of the compulsory purchase order process and ongoing land assembly led by Renewal. 
"We are still awaiting the outcome of the CPO process, but following this we intend to re-engage Sport England and will be making a formal application for funding in the coming weeks."
The Charity Commission spokesman said its case on the Surrey Canal Sports Foundation was opened at the start of January and concerned a number of issues, but he was unable to confirm what these were.
According to the Charity Commission’s website, Surrey Canal Sports Foundation had no stated income in 2015/16, 2014/15 and 2013/14, with a £5,000 income in the year to 28 February 2013, meaning the charity did not have to file accounts with the regulator in any of those years.
The charity spent £97,080 in 2012/13, £232,200 in 2013/14, £236,074 in 2014/15 and £198,112 in 2015/16, the Charity Commission website says.
The most recent accounts available on the commission’s website, which are for the year to 29 February 2012, show the charity had net assets of £901, a total income of £48,269 and spending of £47,368.
Lewisham Council has faced criticism about the development from local residents and politicians, including the Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, and has been warned that the proposals could force Millwall FC to leave the area.
At the football club’s annual general meeting last month, its chairman, John Berylson, said that although the club would welcome the redevelopment of the area around the stadium, it wanted to "be able to develop our own land within the wider scheme for the benefit of the club and its fans and neighbours".
following on from my Question to Council demanding exactly this , but Labour Lewisham is changing although the present Leadership is almost all totally opposed to Corbyn and even went as far as to write to the South London Press urging Labour members not to vote for him many new members have joined who are pro Corbyn including large number of former PBP members, Greens, Socialist Party etc  but as yet are not in a position  or been members long enough  to ditch the old guard , the fact that Labour Councillors are breaking ranks is something that is welcome but Lewisham voters must insure at local level we have opposition councillors elected who can ask questions and carry out due diligence , is it really acceptable that our Labour Council is in power with just 17% of the electorate?
Postcard from an earlier Lewisham People Before profit campaign action.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Tapi carpets Banbury Stay well clear take your cash and don't deliver as agreed when cash taken

Sometimes using small companies it can go so terrible wrong, i used this company  after they promised to deliver within a week , after i chased . i was sent an email saying it would be 7-10 days after i again chased having been told in store.  the delivery for the carpet i had chosen would be only 2-3 days , when i again called to find out 2 weeks later i was told they had no idea when the carpet would arrive, they hope this week , as i had chosen this company above the big boys who could deliver and fit at a better time , it was a clear mistake using this company who clearly will say and promising anything to get your cash and will certainly  with  customer service as bad as this will not be around long.
I have made official complaint to trading standards and i have made  complaint to my credit card  company who because i paid by card will insure i get my money back, which i should point out was paid up front and in full based on what was clearly a lie to secure my cash.
No shortage of carpet companies around , stay clear of these cowboys, how ever smart the office looks. 

Monday, 9 January 2017

Lewisham Council and the stink of the Millwall football club regeneration deal

I have today raised a fresh question for Lewisham Labour council as the Millwall foot ball land grab deal continues to raise national interest and concern since the people behind the land deal include  former leading Labour party Councillor and senior Council staff and with the offshore link it is increasingly looking like a deal that is in all but name a can of worms. Lewisham People Before Profit had some years ago at the start of the plans launched a broads community campaign and collected thousands of signatures in protest at Lewisham Council support for these plans as reality comes ever closer more people are asking questions and i intend to cover this in depth on my * Talk radio Europe show *  in February  . This is my latest Question to full council .

* In light of a Labour Councillor stating her concern that the Millwall planning applications have a *Stink* about them. and widespread community concern. what is Lewisham doing to insure that these planning proposals by former senior Labour party and Council employees are open and above board?
And would it not be better for public confidence for an independent body to review these plans?*

Ray Barron-Woolford and Barbara Raymond

Lewisham Council campaign for Deptford school safety signs

After launching the Lewisham People Before Profit campaign to insure every lorry and truck driver working on the increasing number of developments in the area are made aware that we have 6 primary schools, 4 children centres and 3 care homes in Deptford . i am shocked that the welfare of local residents can be ignored  by our Labour Council, when i raised this as an issue with Lewisham Council as a question, they replied that they would look into it..and yet Deptford schools are probable the only ones in the UK that have no school awareness signs or basic road markings to warn the many truck drivers using  our residential roads.
Since my last Question and after our campaign was reported in the South London Press at least two local residents have been hospitalised  and yet still no signs, but Labour Lewisham have put up new signs on the entrances to Brookmill Park Deptford , to remind local dog owners the park does not allow dogs , but cannot erect a basic school safety sign..I have therefore today raised a further question to Council that reads.

* Brook mill park has just received new signage to highlight ban on dogs, and yet Deptford Schools are still without a single sign to highlight school awareness to increasing number of lorries pouring into the areas developments and since Lewisham People Before Profit launched the campaign reported in the South London Press, 2 local residents have been hospitalised.
As we have made the council aware of the risk to local residents, does the council have an idea as to how many more local residents must be hit by lorries and trucks before basic school safety signs outside almost every school in the UK , will be displayed in Deptford Schools?*

I will post Council responses once i have it.

Ray Barron-Woolford and Babara Raymond

Lewisham People Before Profit  . See attached image of what most schools have.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Ray Woolford & Pippa Jones Talk Radio Europe 6 June

Just a huge Happy New Year to everyone in the hope that 2017 could not be possibly worse than 2016, as the New Year kicks of, i have my monthly  * Talk Radio Europe * spot on Friday 6 January 12-2pm UK time with the fantastic Pippa Jones in which we are joined by the wit and wisdom of Mr Steve Topple and other interesting guests from across the globe that have something interesting to say, and as you would expect NOT on our show pump out PR or Spin..
2017 for me is looking great, i start work on a play and a book about the Life of 1930s Activist Kath Duncan , a book on living through the not so Gay 70s and thanks to free up of my time , my writer work joining the Huffington post team to i hope give me a voice to reach a greater listener base with the news and issues i care about that mainly go unreported..i would also like to thank the ever increasing number of people that have joined my Face book page and twitter account, and the  so many  people who allowed us to feed so many at my We Care Food Bank project by buying my book Food Bank Britain  and my Local Radicle history book * Deptford *  i wish you every success and good fortune in 2017 and hope i will see you on the next big demo marching for a better world.