Merry Christmas!

We would like to wish everyone a merry Christmas.

Although Christmas celebrations are a bit subdued this year, you can still go outside and enjoy the local Christmas lights wherever you are.

Like these for example in Granary Square, Kings Cross:

Christmas Lights, Granary Square, Kings Cross, London, 2020
Christmas Lights, Granary Square, Kings Cross, London, 2020
Christmas Lights, Granary Square, Kings Cross, London, 2020
Christmas Lights, Granary Square, Kings Cross, London, 2020
Christmas Lights, Granary Square, Kings Cross, London, 2020
Christmas Lights, Granary Square, Kings Cross, London, 2020

Also, if you can, please check up on those who may be celebrating Christmas alone this year. A quick phone call can go a long way.

There are also groups on social media for those who want a bit of online company. for example, on Twitter use #JoinIn on Christmas Day. This hashtag has been going every Christmas for 10 years (as an aside, it was originally started by comedian Sarah Millican).

Happy Hanukkah

Happy Hanukkah Candelabra
Happy Hanukkah

From Thursday evening, we have been in the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, also known as the Festival of Lights. It commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in 164 BCE by Judah Maccabee, whose family ruled an autonomous Jewish kingdom for about 100 years, until they were conquered by the Romans. It is said that a lamp was required to burn through the night to help purify the Temple. Only a small amount of olive oil could be found, but miraculously it burned for eight nights.

Each night during the eight-day festival, a candle is lit on on the menorah, with the numbers of candles increasing each night until all eight are lit. The candles are placed where they can be seen from outside. Prayers are said over the candles.

Families give each other gifts, eat special fried foods (remembering the oil), and sing Hanukkah songs. Children also spin the dreidel.

So Hanukkah sameach, or Happy Hanukkah! And be safe!

Share your views: funding your Camden housing services

A message from Camden Council:

Funding your housing services

The Covid-19 pandemic has been hard for everyone. While we are so proud of how our communities have supported each other, we know that many have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced and that families are struggling to manage.

Some tenants and some of the businesses and organisations that rent other properties from us have been struggling to pay their rent, and some have stopped trading.

We expect to lose an estimated £5 million this year in rent and charges because of the pandemic, and that we will need to find another £4.9 million next year to keep your housing services running as they are. We expect that the coming years will be tough financially too.

We have asked the government for help but so far they haven’t offered any funding.

Share your views

Officers from your housing services have been there on the front line to keep you safe and well throughout the pandemic. We want to keep it that way. I will be taking a report to the Council’s Cabinet in January to recommend that we do this by increasing rents and charges from April 2021.

Please note that we propose keeping average weekly increases to rent and charges under £2 and that if you receive universal credit or housing benefit, your benefit will be adjusted to pay for any increase.

You can read more about our financial challenge, the proposals for increasing rents and charges and the help available for tenants in the leaflet which you can download below.

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Although this is not a formal consultation, you know your housing services best and we’d like to hear about any ideas you have for how we can make savings or be more efficient. Your views and ideas will feed into the report I will take to Cabinet in January. Cabinet will consider the report and make a decision about whether to increase rents and by how much.

If you have any comments about the proposed rent increase or ideas for where we could make savings locally please let us know at camden.gov.uk/housing-funding by Monday 4 January 2021.

Thank you in advance for sharing your views.

Cllr Apak's eSignature

Cllr Meric Apak

Cabinet Member for Better Homes

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKLBC/bulletins/2affa8f

New COVID-19 test site in Camden

An announcement from Camden Council:

A new COVID-19 test centre opened in Camden [last] week, with plenty of appointments available should you, your friends or family members have coronavirus symptoms and need to book a test.

The centre is located at UCL’s Ramsay Hall on Maple Street, near Euston Road, W1T 5HB. The site is open seven days a week, with appointments from 8am to 8pm.

There are COVID-safe measures in place throughout to help protect you and our NHS frontline staff. Please note, that bookings are essential and you should not just show up.

The test site is not step-free so if you have mobility access needs please request an at-home test kit. To book either an at-home or in-person test today, go online via nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119.