TARA Roundtable Minutes
The Octagon, Wednesday 11 March 2011, 6.30pm
Chair: James Russell (STAR) Minutes: Rosemary Turner (STAR)
Attendance: Ann Hodges, Alice Dent (Denaby Court); David Fowlie (Thorpes);
David Rust, Alan McPhee (Endike Lane Bungalows); Elsie Allman, Irene
Garnham, Joseph Wilkinson (Gatwick House); Tony Scholes (Lindsey Place and
Arcon Drive); Penny Rodmell, Rita Butler (Preston Rd Community Association).
Guests: Carl Newsam (Hull City Council Tenant Participation Officer)
Apologies: Lou Duffy Howard, Neighbourhood Network; Val Moore (BERG)
1. Introductions and apologies Action
1.01 Introductions were made and apologies noted.
2. Minutes of previous meeting
2.01 David Rust (DR) proposed that the minutes of the meeting held on
Saturday 19 March 2011 were a true and accurate record, seconded
by Alan McPhee (AMcP). All agreed.
3. Matters arising
3.01 Re: 6.03 Denaby Court age restriction
Ann Hodges (AH) asked what progress had been made on looking
into this matter. Carl Newsam (CN) assured AH that Sherilee
Jepmond of the Tenant Participation Team had raised the issue with
HCC officers as agreed at the last meeting and would report back as
soon as a response has been received. Steve Wyatt (SW) expressed
concern that there had to be the right form of question asked to
make sure the correct information was obtained.
AH also mentioned that Denaby Court flats are being advertised on
the Homesearch website as suitable for parental access. As a result
young children are staying in the flats for over four days a week on
many occasions. What is the acceptable time for parental access?
When do they become residents? Some of the tenants in Denaby
Court, who have parental access, are housed in floors 10 and 11
well above the designated 3rd floor limit for young children.
Penny Rodmell (PR) queried how long the legal department would
take to respond, as in her experience they are exceedingly slow.
Elsie Allman (EA) said that they had also had a long struggle to
obtain an age restriction on their block of flats. SW said he
understood that Padstow House’s restriction was in place but due
JR emphasised that the question of age restrictions was a difficult
legal area and that it was important that HCC did not rush to an
answer but made sure the information given was correct. CN stated
that HCC will be undertaking a consultation exercise to look at the
impact of age restriction policies across the city with a view to
making it consistent across all blocks, and encouraged all who were ALL
concerned to join the Tenant Participation Team’s high rise block
benchmarking group to ensure their opinion would be taken into
4. Network Neighbourhood
4.01 In the absence of Lou Duffy-Howard, JR gave a brief explanation of
what the Neighbourhood Network was, based on information made
available to us, which can be read as Appendix 1 to these minutes.
4.02 A discussion followed in which a number of points, questions and
concerns about the Neighbourhood Network were raised. These
were collated by STAR and sent to Lou Duffy-Howard after the
meeting for her to respond to. These points, and the responses, can
be read as Appendix 2 to these minutes.
5. TARA updates
5.01 Lindsey Place and Arcon Drive TARA
Tony Scholes (TS) was pleased to announce that they have a brand
new committee and their first meeting will be held on 27 May 2011.
5.02 Padstow House TARA
Cleaners are now expected to clean landings but have been given
no additional resources to do so. The Association has agreed with
HCC that the cleaners should only clean a few landings each week
on a rota basis rather than attempt to clean all the landings every
When compensation is made for the disruption caused by the
Decent Homes, often two cheques are sent. The Association has
suggested that in future all payments are combined into a single
payment to increase efficiency and take-up.
5.03 Gatwick House TARA
Thanks to the help of the ASB Team and all the services involved,
their high rise block has been quiet, the perpetrators have not
caused problems over the last two months.
Held a BBQ on the Bank Holiday weekend in May. It was a
successful event with no disturbances, bad language etc.
5.04 Preston Road Community Association
Penny Rodmell (PR) mentioned the Preston Road Street Champions,
a group of local volunteers who monitor and report problems on
areas such as environmental and crime issues. It is successful
incorporated into the Community Safety Action Partnership and so is
taken seriously by a wide range of agencies such as the police and
5.05 Endike Bungalows TARA
DR confirmed that Active at 60 grant is being used by the group to
fund day trips to Mablethorpe, Whitby and the North York Moors, as
well as a barbecue.
DR reported that Places for People have lost huge amounts of
funding for their sheltered homes scheme, which has impacted on
the lifeline service they are able to offer. Residents want to have
the option to use the Hull City Council service but Places for People
have refused this. The Association have enquired with the
Community Legal Advice Centre who has indicated that residents
should have the freedom to choose their service provider, and the
Association are considering what further action to take on this.
5.06 Denaby Court TARA
Pleased to announce that the new car park for their block is nearly
complete enabling a much better system for access for both family
Both AH and Alice Dent (AD) meet monthly with the HCC Estate
Manager the Thursday before their Friday meeting, which gives
them the opportunity to obtain up to date information on any of the
issues that we have brought to their attention previously. This is
working well thanks to support from officers, and the Association is
increasingly influential with senior HCC officers as well; they are
hoping to arrange a meeting with Angela Dearing to discuss issues
around age restrictions and other problems. They have been told
that the subject is due to be reviewed, as advised by CN earlier in
the meeting. They also have a meeting coming up with the
antisocial behaviour team leader, although they emphasised that
they hope this is not going to be just about ‘how to fill in diary
sheets’ They will update the Roundtable further on this at the next AH
meeting. They also receive good support from their councillors. AD
AH said she was proud to say that they have arranged a ‘meet and
greet’ policy with HCC officers, so new tenants are given a leaflet
about the Association and given the opportunity to be introduced to
AH and AD when they move in. It is in its first stages and is being
monitored at present.
Finally, AH reported that they have not heard more from Karl
Turner on the subject of smoke alarms that he was going to pursue
on their behalf. JR said STAR would bring this to his attention. STAR
5.07 The Thorpes TARA
Dave Fowlie (DF) reported that one of the committee had recently
lost their wife, which resulted in any constructive actions being
curtailed for a while. However, they continued to be active by doing
Patch Walks regularly, working closely with the local councillors.
The Resource Centre was still run by volunteers and organising
children events etc. Guttering was falling down on some of the shop
buildings which HCC have said won’t be fixed until early June.
Many of the high rise blocks are scheduled to be demolished, and it
is understood that one may remain and offered as Sheltered
Housing. Decanting of the tenants is a slow process but should be
done with decorum and efficiency and to take into account the
security of those that are left. Gothorpe flats were not included in
the Decent Homes programme so they must be knocked down. In
addition, a new NHS facility is being constructed in the area.
6. STAR Update
6.01 JR reminded the group that STAR was looking for volunteers to be
involved in the Tenant Inspection project. Tenant Inspectors
investigate an area of the Council’s Housing Service, and this year’s
subject is Income Management, including rent collection and debt
advice. Please spread the word amongst your members and ask any
interested parties to contact STAR directly.
Last year’s inspection on Value for Money has been getting excellent
feedback from HCC officers, and the Council are putting together an
action plan in response to the report that was submitted. JR will
report back to the Roundtable once this action plan has been
6.02 Effective Minute Taking training is being organised on 23 May and
24 June. The course is usually £40 per person but TARA reps will
have their place paid for by STAR. Please call STAR to book a place
or make further enquiries. Other dates and venues may be available
depending on demand.
6.03 JR brought the meeting’s attention to the new home contents
insurance cover for Council tenants from JLT and promoted by
National Housing Federation and HCC. Brochures are available from
STAR or from HCC.
7. HCC Tenant Participation Team update
7.01 Carl Newsam spoke about the benchmarking group for high-rise
blocks, which involves residents visiting other blocks to report on
how standards differ across the city in an effort to create more
consistency. Members of the TP Team are now qualified to drive a
minibus and so can provide volunteers with transport. Enquiries
direct to TP Team or via STAR. AH queried the speed of the
process, and PR said she would be interested to see what results it
has had. CN said that the initial programme had been a pilot and
was now being rolled out across the city. There had been some
difficulties in scheduling meetings to suit everyone but hopefully
these have now been resolved, so things should be moving soon.
7.02 HCC Funding for TARAs is currently still available.
7.03 Tenant Inspectors Focus Group is now ongoing and looking for
volunteers. JR clarified that this differed from STAR’s Tenant
Inspection in that the HCC project is ongoing and open-ended,
while the STAR programme was a one-off in-depth investigation.
7.04 Library Plus workshop has been postponed. Calvert Lane CSC may
be closing, not sure as yet the final decisions. Will know more after
19 May 2011. PR agreed that with a new party in power in the
Council a lot of issues are subject to change.
8. Future meetings
8.01 JR said that the September Roundtable will be a repeat of the
successful ‘Question Time’ with the city’s three MPs invited. JR
asked for suggestions for a speaker for the July meeting. PR
proposed an officer from the HCC Legal team, and AH proposed a
senior manger from HCC Housing such as Angela Dearing. JR
pointed out that the Roundtable was not meant to duplicate what
could be done elsewhere, and HCC officers can be invited to Tenant
Forum and SIGs / Performance Panels. However, STAR will STAR
approach the suggested people, but would welcome additional ideas ALL
for non-HCC officers to be invited to the July meeting.
8.02 The next meeting will be held on
Wednesday 13th July, 6.30pm,
at the Octagon on Walker Street.
A light buffet will be served.
All are welcome. If you wish to attend, please call STAR to book a
place to ensure that correct arrangements are made for seating and
catering. New telephone number: 01482 620740.