Archive for March 1, 2012


By Court Reporter

21 cases  of landlords failing to license

21  landlords have been prosecuted for failing to license their properties in Swansea.

Abdul Muhith, of Hatherleigh Drive, Newton, Swansea, and Dean Ricketts, of Turnpike Lane, Redditch in Worcestershire are the latest to be prosecuted.

Both failed to license houses they let out in multiple occupation (HMOs) despite warnings from Swansea Council and visits to the properties by council officers.

Mr Ricketts pleaded guilty at Swansea Magistrates Court on February 23 to charges of failing to license two properties he rents out in Carlton Terrace in Mount Pleasant and Brynmill Avenue in Brynmill.

He was fined £2,000 and a victim surcharge of £15 for each property, with costs of £548 being awarded to the council.

Expired

Mr Muhith also pleaded guilty when he attended Swansea Magistrates Court the same day on charges of failing to license his house in multiple occupation in Willows Place in Mount Pleasant.

The property had previously been licensed, but Mr Muhith failed to apply to relicense it when his licence expired in May 2011.

He was fined £1,600 with a victim surcharge of £15 and made to pay the council’s costs of £274.

Both landlords are now working with the council to license the properties and to bring the properties up to the required standards.

John Hague, cabinet member of environment in Swansea Council, said: “Swansea Council has now successfully prosecuted 21 cases of landlords failing to license their HMOs since licensing was introduced in 2006, nine of those being since April 2011.

“We want to ensure that HMOs are of a good standard and well-managed so they provide safe and secure homes for tenants.”

There are around 2,000 HMOs in Swansea and a large majority of them are in the Castle and Uplands areas of the city. The council introduced an additional HMO licensing scheme in January 2009 to cover both these wards.

Mr Hague added: “We know that there are lots of good landlords in Swansea who manage their properties well and comply with legal requirements.

“We want to encourage those landlords and assure them and tenants living in HMOs that we will take appropriate legal action, including prosecution, for those who fail to comply with the law.”

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By Newsdesk

Ken Livingstone prepares for the London Mayoral election

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Global Radio’s LBC 97.3 has announced that the former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith will be joining David Mellor to present the station’s Saturday morning programme from 10am, starting on Saturday 3rd March.

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Over the last year, Jacqui has presented a number of programmes on LBC 97.3 and will be taking over from Ken Livingstone as he prepares for the London Mayoral election. Ken has been co-presenting Saturday mornings with David Mellor since 2010.

In the latest official radio industry figures released by RAJAR, 1.15 million people* are tuning into LBC 97.3 each week.

Jacqui Smith said: “I’m very excited to be joining the great team at LBC 97.3 and hearing what listeners have to say about the big issues of the day. Although David Mellor and I come from opposite sides in the House of Commons, I’m looking forward to us being on the same side of the mic on Saturday mornings – even if not usually on the same side of the argument!”

LBC 97.3’s Managing Editor James Rea said: “Jacqui Smith has brought her unique insight and experience to LBC 97.3 and quickly established herself as a popular presenter. Now with David Mellor, the pair will be a straight-talking, must-listen double-act for Saturdays mornings.”

I did listen on Saturday and i think it works having them both on. It’s not often i say well done to Jacqui Smith but credit where credit is due.

David Mellor and Jacqui Smith can be found on the airwaves Saturday mornings on LBC 97.3 from 10am.

If you don’t live in the London area you can listen live online here http://ukrp.musicradio.com/lbc973/live

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BY NEWSDESK

Redditch MP Karen Lumley,Mayor Anita Clayton and the Leader of Redditch Borough Council Carole Gandy fall over themselves to have picture taken with ” The sculpture” made by prisoners from HMP Hewell.  They claim Residents, including victims of crime, were consulted on the original idea .

A new piece of public art created by offenders seeking to give something back to the community has been unveiled in a popular Redditch park.

The sculpture in Overdale Park, Astwood Bank, was produced by prisoners of HMP Hewell in nearby Tardebigge, in a partnership project between Redditch Borough Council and prison staff. Its official unveiling puts the finishing touch to the park which has won the Green Flag award for the last two years.

Residents, including victims of crime, were consulted on the original idea and an appropriate shortlist of design ideas was drawn up. Residents again chose the final option to be approved by the Borough Council which is responsible for the park.

The sculpture was then fabricated by prisoners working with prison staff and supported by local businesses, without whose help the project would not have been possible.

Mayor of Redditch Cllr Anita Clayton said: “This sculpture is a symbol of prisoners trying to pay something back to the community, and we commend their efforts. It makes a pleasant focal point for residents visiting the award-winning Overdale Park.”

The statue was erected in November 2011 and formally unveiled by Cllr Clayton, the Leader of Redditch Borough Council Cllr Carole Gandy and Redditch MP Karen Lumley on Friday February 3.

Using the Freedom of Information Act, it found councils in Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire owned 40,506 artworks worth more than £48m in total – with 79% currently in storage.

The £48m does not include the value of 18,000 items owned by Bristol City Council, which refused to reveal any figures.

It is thought that Local Councils across the UK own Art worth over £1.5 Billion