Life in the Lakes

29 May 2012

I thought I’d write about my 2 days in the big city of Birmingham this week. Despite the fact that I live in the countryside, I also love being in a city. I travelled down on Monday night for the annual Empty Homes Network conference on Tuesday. Never been to Birmingham before and enjoyed the walk from Travelodge to “etc venues”/Maple House on Corporation Street. As I was walking and making good time on that warm sunny morning, I stopped en route to have a quick look in Birmingham Cathedral. It was very peaceful – nice stained glass too.

Insight into council tax and New Homes Bonus

Last week I had a beautiful drive up to Penrith for our quarterly Cumbria Empty Property Group meeting. Sun shining, radio on, I was thinking how many jobs have this wonderful mix of work which can be either office-based or outdoors on visits...

We had a full house at the meeting, representatives from our six local authorities. Our group has been having quarterly meetings for about 2 years, although we skip the February one as the weather can be tricky for driving around our county at that time of year.

The link with Council Tax

It's been an unusual month at work due to sporadic access to my 'read-only' council tax records and my realisation that I really do rely on regular access to this data for my empty homes work.

Like other councils, this reduced access to council tax data is due to the annual billing and the roll-over programme into the new financial year. I'm lucky to have a good relationship with my council tax colleagues. I didn't realise they have to check the bills first, starting with the business rates bills, then the council tax bills. And they have to check all the exemptions as well.

A day the life of an Empty Homes Consultant

Hi there, I will be keeping these fairly brief!

Its Monday so it must be Corby! I deal with Corby's empty homes strategy one day a week. I tackle the top 50 at any one time.

Today I am tackling a serial offender with 4 empties in Corby that we know of, and potentially some in Milton Keynes. I will be making contact with the EHO at MK to find out more.

it is one of the great things about the work we do, we tend to help each other!

Life in the Lakes

Hi, my name's Lynne Campbell and I've been Empty Homes Officer at South Lakeland District Council for over 3 years now. I feel very lucky to work in the beautiful landscape of the Lake District. Summer is particularly great here for me as I carry my collapsible canvas chair in the boot of my car to choose a scenic spot to have my lunchbreak during my empty homes visits. It definitely beats sitting in traffic jams in London (surrounded by concrete) which is where I used to live a long time ago...


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