Archive for June, 2012

by Natalie Bennett

Some interesting, if disturbing, figures from today’s Camden housing summit. Across England and Wales the average house sale price is £160,000, but in Camden it is £596,000.

Camden council is the landlord for about 100,000 homes, and with other social landlords in total more than a third of the borough’s housing is owned by social landlords.

Private rentals provide about a quarter of the homes in the borough. In South Camden the average rental is £550/week, in the North £350.

Camden council has insulated about 70% of its cavity wall properties and aims to have completed work on 95% by the end of this year. Around 2,000 lofts have been insulted and 1,000 further identified for the treatment.

Officers say that given the age of homes, the best average energy efficiency standard may be C, although new homes should be “near A”. The biggest challenge by far is solid wall installation. The current average is Band D, 65.4.

A workshop debate on priorities for spending put decoration and repairs to communal areas highly, and downgraded from its current priorities work on kitchens and bathrooms.

Camden Council is currently conducting a consultation entitled Is  A Council Home for Life? We’d urge all Camden residents to have their say – and answer in the affirmative.


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by Natalie Bennett

I didn’t manage to make it to the London Green Fair until late today, so no doubt missed lots of good things, including what sounds like an interesting talk on the London Orchard Project, and our own Alexis Rowell speaking about balcony foodgrowing – which had inspired several of the people I met.

I also only caught a little of the debate involving London Green MEP Jean Lambert on business and climate change – although I did hear her strong proclaiming the need for rapid, strong regulatory action, which certainly went down well in the big tent debate.

Many of the stalls were regulars who I know well (with quite a few Camden Green Party members staffing them), but there were some new ones that I found intriguing, including The Scythe Association of Britain and Ireland, formed only last year. Sounds a lot more fun, and better exercise, then a noisy, smelly petrol mower.

There was also a big focus on bees – I picked up a leaflet from the Natural Beekeeping Trust, another from the Bumblebee Conservation Trust, and had a chat with a cheery man dressed as a bumblee representing the Friends of the Earth Bee Cause.

From Healthy Planet I collected some basil seeds, which should definitely enliven thecusines over the summer, and I also picked up a leaflet for the London Permaculture Festival, which I missed last year but hope to make this.

There were lots of stalls selling various products; the one that impressed we was the Katcha Bilek stall, with handbags, purses and belts made from recycled tyres. Clever and stylish.

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