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The last 12 months have seen heartening tales of community action interspersed with trauma, tragedy and political intrigue. Harry Taylor and Sam Volpe take a look back at the biggest stories we’ve brought you in 2018 – and a couple of the weirdest, too.

Barnet Council has opened a public consultation about its controversial Capita contracts.

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Ham&High readers this week.

Barnet Council rejected calls to cut ties with controversial contractor Capita last night.

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Ham&High readers this week.

A fractious meeting of Barnet Council’s audit committee saw a top internal auditor admit that the council did not spot fraudulent CPO orders made by disgraced worker Trishul Shah because the audit process was not detailed enough.

Under-fire contractors Capita have agreed to pay Barnet Council £4.12m to compensate for outsourced services which have been “not up to scratch”.

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Ham&High readers this week.

Families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley on November 7 have spoken of the midnight terror of fleeing their burning homes.

The families left homeless by the fire that destroyed the upper floors of Willow House in East Finchley last week said Barnet Council treated them “like ants to be squashed” in the immediate aftermath of the fire.

Barnet Council has apologised to residents after bungled changes to bin collections saw households going nearly two weeks without having them emptied

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell slammed Barnet Council’s controversial Capita contracts as “a really good example of the iniquities of outsourcing” – but Barnet leader Cllr Richard Cornelius hit back and appeared to rule out bringing the outsourced services back in-house under his administration.

A long-term tenant in Golders Green has said her landlords are “bullying and harassing” her after they have dragged their heels over a catalogue of problems in her flat.

Barnet Council’s pension scheme has a £2.387m hole in it thanks to beleaguered contractors Capita – who have failed to make contributions required on behalf of the council’s Capita Re and Capita CSG contracts despite actually managing the pension scheme for the council itself.

Barnet Council’s finances came under scrutiny last week as the fallout continued from the fraud that saw a Capita employee swindle £2m from council coffers.

Tulip Siddiq’s Hampstead and Kilburn seat could be under threat as the final boundary commission proposals see the new Hampstead seat take in a number of Conservative areas.

A former staffer who worked on the contract between Capita and Barnet Council has been jailed for five years over a £2million fraud.

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Ham&High readers this week.

Families marched on Whitehall yesterday in protest against Barnet’s cuts to library services.

Angry Barnet parents and children will be campaigning outside the government’s offices on Monday against the borough’s “staff-less” libraries.

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Ham&High readers this week.

A man accused of defrauding more than £2million from Barnet Council and contracting giant Capita appeared in Willesden Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Ham&High readers this week.

Council tenants in Childs Hill are “panicked and scared” after being told their homes could be demolished to make way for new flats.

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Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

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