Question submitted to Full Council by Cllr Money – 11th September 2014

QUESTION SUBMITTED BY COUNCILLOR MONEY TO THE CABINET MEMBER FOR SOCIAL SERVICES, HEALTH AND HOUSING –
COUNCILLOR CORTHORNE.

“Under the Homelessness Suitability of Accommodation (England Order 2003), it is illegal to place families with children or pregnant women in B&B accommodation for more than 6 weeks in any circumstances. According to data published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, 51 families in Hillingdon have been in B&B for more than 6 weeks at the end of March this year. Can the Cabinet Member please assure us that this will not occur again in Hillingdon?” 

“Councillor Corthorne advised that considerable effort was being made to reduce the number of people in bed and breakfast accommodation but that this was a constant challenge. However, progress was being made through the application of new criteria and by taking preventative action. This had resulted in a decrease of 50% between 31 March 2014 and 10 September 2014. The number of people in bed and breakfast accommodation fluctuated and each case needed to be looked at in detail to ensure that only genuine cases were progressed. Furthermore, as the current housing market was proving challenging, the Council had been working with landlords to identify properties and was offering finder’s fees. However, as all councils were aware, it was still hard to locate suitable properties as landlords wanted to maximise their income so would rent properties for the best price that they could achieve. As part of the planning process, the Council was negotiating with developers to include affordable housing in their developments. The Council would use its best endeavours to prevent residents from being on the street and only used bed and breakfast accommodation as a last resort. To this end, the Cabinet Member thanked officers for their efforts in these difficult circumstances”

Councillor Money, by way of a supplementary question, asked whether or not the Council had been putting aside money to cover compensation payments and whether or not this would affect the Council’s budget plans?

“Councillor Corthorne advised that the Council would deal with any issues as they arose and noted that he would rather talk about the work that was being undertaken by the Council to address the issues”.

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The Great Barn – Progress

Dear All

I was invited at the last Harmondsworth Residents meeting by Justine Bayley (The Secretary, Friends of The Great Barn) to visit the Great Barn on Sunday 10th August 2014. 

“The Great Barn was rescued by English Heritage after years of neglect, this Grade l listed barn ranks alongside the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey for its exceptional architectural and historical interest and was dubbed the “Cathedral of Middlesex”. 

Built in 1426 by Winchester College as part of its manor farm at Harmondsworth, the Oak-framed barn is an outstanding example of medieval carpentry and contains one of the most intact interiors of its era. At nearly 60 meters long, 12 meters wide and 11 meters tall with 13 massive oak trusses holding up the roof, both its size and aisles evoke the space and shape of a cathedral. 

Having remained an agricultural barn for almost 600 years, the building continues to feature strongly in the life of the Harmondsworth community. Now under the managment of the Friends of the Great Barn at Harmondsworth, visitors to the barn will be able to absorb the awe-inspiring scale of the barn and enjoy this superb example of medieval architecture (Extract taken from The English Heritage)”.

Whilst on site I met with Veronica Rumsey, organiser for the recent WW1 Centenary Event and a volunteer for Freinds of the Great Barn who showed me the exterior of the Great Barn. I was then given a tour of the Great Barn by Justine Bayley and also also Dominic Barrington-Groves who is the site manager for the recent resoration project that is being under taken.

He said the following: “Work here is progressing well as we have been so lucky with the weather. We have started to strip the final third of the roof tiles which will enable us to survey this third and commence with the secondary remedial repairs to the common rafters etc. We are a third of the way through the primary timber frame repairs and shortly going to make a start on the vertical boarding. We have completed a third of the roof tiling and two thirds of the battening.The only difficulties we have come across is the un coving of the un foreseen timber primary and secondary frame repairs but this is to be expected to a certain extent”. The only difficulties we have come across is the un coving of the un foreseen timber primary and secondary frame repairs but this is to be expected to a certain extent”.

Below are some pictures that I took. The first picture is the exterior of the Great Barn with the roof tiles currently being replaced and the second picture is showing Roman numerals that were uncovered by the team which are 600 years old and shows where the two beams were joined togather. 

You still have a chance to visit the Great Barn this year, dont miss this opportunity to see the local history in your Village, it was a great experience and one I reccomend to everyone. 

  • Sunday 14th September 2014
  • Sunday 12th October 2014
Regards
 
Cllr Peter Money