Sutton is supporting an ever increasing number of homeless people, in common with councils across the country, especially in London. In April 2015, Sutton Council accommodated 280 homeless households. By April 2016, that figure stood at 411 and, as of this week, it has risen to 577 households.
A Sutton Council spokesman said: “Sutton Council was made aware of a potential data breach involving the inadvertent publication of the names of individuals in receipt of payments from the Council. No other personal information has been released.
“We immediately removed the data in question upon discovering this breach. As part of our agreed internal policies we are carrying out an investigation and are in contact with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). We will of course do everything we can to help the ICO should they wish to make further enquiries.
“We are sorry this has happened and want to reassure residents we take matters such as these seriously. We are reviewing our processes to take all steps necessary to avoid any instance such as this happening again.”
On Monday 26th June cladding samples were taken from Chaucer and Balaam Houses and sent for testing with the Department for Communities and Local Government’s (DCLG) approved organisation, the Building Research Establishment (BRE). The removal of the samples was overseen by representatives from Sutton Council, Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP) and the London Fire Brigade (LFB).
On Monday night we were informed of the results which revealed that the cladding on Chaucer House had failed the test. This is in common with all of the blocks that have been tested to date across the UK. Results are categorised between 1 (being the best) and 3 (being the worst). The cladding at Chaucer House was placed in Category 2.
Two Council-owned properties are fitted with cladding – Chaucer and Balaam Houses. The cladding is made of a different material than that reported to have been used at Grenfell Tower. The cladding specified at Chaucer House is mineral fibre based ACM (Aluminium Composite Material) and is in the lower risk category identified. Galvanised steel cladding was used at Balaam House. Vertical and horizontal fire breaks were incorporated into the design of these systems.
The safety of our residents is a priority for the Council and we understand that there may be concerns and questions in the wake of this incident. We would like to reassure residents that quarterly fire safety inspections are carried out by Sutton Housing Partnership at the Council’s high rise properties, in accordance with current legislation. An independent approved contractor also carries out an annual fire risk assessment.
A reporter for Newsquest's North London titles has resigned after being “threatened with disciplinary procedures” for taking a terminally ill relative to hospital on company time.
John Toner, a reporter in Haringey, north London for the Newsquest/Gannett group, has released his resignation letter on Twitter (see here) in which he accuses his former bosses of an “inhuman and uncaring approach”.
Newsquest is cutting photographic staffers at its north London papers by half, from six to three, hard on the heels of news that photographers Richard Doughty and Andy Lamb have left the Northern Echo in Darlington, but will continue to work on a freelance basis.
But for me the debate about whether councils should be free to publish newspapers, something the communities secretary Eric Pickles has described as local authorities "peddling propaganda", isn't simply about commercial interests.