No fan of Camden Council

I have had the most terrible five years of noise and vibration coming from a pub's extractor fan that runs throughout the night. I have been trying to get Camden Council to stop it but it is still going on and they refuse to do anything, telling me that I am imagining it or that it must be some other noise than I originally thought. In fact anything so that they do not have to take action, even though the premises that is keeping me awake night after night has had a noise abatement order. The Pub has again turned this thing on at night and broken the order but now they (Camden) are telling me that it is turned off at 11:30 pm every night when of course it is not.

Even though neither people who stay with me nor I can sleep, whenever Camden Council come to listen they say they cannot hear it or it is not loud enough to take any action and it is not a Statutory Noise Nuisance, even though I can hear it humming, and that I should take the pub to court myself. I am now on Incapacity Benefit and have had to leave my job because I have been kept awake by this for five years. As well as other nervous things I have developed a tremor which is soley due to the pitch of this vibration and noise that I have to endure all the time. Sometimes it goes on right through the night and I get no sleep at all.

Of course it went all through the complaints procedure and I delivered by hand a huge pile of papers to the Ombudsman thinking that he might at least help me but it took the Ombudsman literally five minutes to write back to tell me that of course there was nothing wrong with Camden's behaviour and, sorry, nothing he could do. I got the impression he couldn't give a damn. He did not even tell me there were any "Recommendations of the Ombudsman". I only found this out last Christmas when I telephoned to demand that the pub turn this noise off over Christmas day, night and Boxing day (which it did). During Christmas, a junior at Camden answered the telephone as all the staff were either on holiday or away sick. After looking me up on the computer he said - "Of course we will do as per the 'Recommendation of the Ombudsman'". Both parties told me for many months that there were no recommendations and now I had a junior telling me that there were some, so through the Freedom of Information Act I got the Recommendations which said that Camden were to help me.

To this day I am still having no luck with Camden helping me. One of the officers said to me the other morning, "I am in no mood to talk to you this morning", and I have written many a letter to the Camden Journal about all sorts of things they have said to me like - "Christine if you cannot stand the smoke get out of the kitchen" - meaning that I should sell up and move away if I don't like the noise. I have been in this place since 1953.

Another one of the officers asked me if the noise I hear is maybe a train passing through in the middle of the night. He knows I live nowhere near trains and it must be a pretty long one to be passing all through the night right down to 7 and 8 o'clock in the morning.

I am not a whiz on the computer and I have opened up this e.mail at Kentish Town Library just so that I could tell you about my story. If you need more of an account or I could join the "club" to do something about this outrageous conduct by Camden Council, the council's Complaints Officer Peter Swingler and the Ombudsman, please let me know.

Christine Williams.

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