Homelife April 2004

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					Wandsworth Council’s housing newsletter www.wandsworth.gov.uk

Issue 23 April 2004

Home life
an excellent council Managing your housing
page 3

Anti-social behaviour special
centre pages

Hidden homes
page 6

£9.5m makeover
St James’ Grove estate is to benefit from major improvement works over the next eighteen months.
The £9.5 million investment package will see Castlemaine Tower and surrounding blocks vastly improved both internally and externally. The renovations which started in March will include new windows and lifts refurbishment as well as overcladding of the Castlemaine Tower and new pitched roofs for the low rise buildings. continued on page two

Architect’s impression of the entrance to Castlemaine Tower.

Council closes down ‘crack house’
The police and council have acted swiftly to close a ‘crack house’ on a local estate using new powers.
Housing chiefs in Wandsworth have repeated their warning to council tenants and leaseholders to steer clear of the drugs trade if they wish to keep their homes. The warning follows a police raid at Ashley Crescent, Battersea, in which the unlawful supply of class ‘A’ controlled drugs is believed to have taken place. The ‘crack house’ was raided in April using new powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003. Over the last year residents have had to put up with the misery of drug related crime due to alleged drug dealing from the property. Anyone who lives in a council or council leasehold flat who is convicted of supplying drugs from their home will face swift eviction proceedings. Cabinet member for housing Cllr Martin D Johnson said: “We will be taking the strongest possible action against people who get involved in selling drugs on our estates and will not hesitate to take legal action against them.”

Chelsea Bridge Wharf provides affordable homes

Wandsworth Council, Threshold Key Homes and Berkeley Homes are working together to provide up to 166 affordable homes for key workers.
These new homes available through shared ownership, at Chelsea Bridge Wharf, is part of a scheme of over 700 apartments overlooking Battersea Park. Under the shared ownership scheme key workers will pay a below market rent to Threshold for a portion of their new home with a mortgage covering the remainder. Diana Crump, a 31-year old health visitor, is one of the many key workers moving into Chelsea Bridge Wharf. She has acquired a one-bedroom apartment which overlooks the river. Diana said: “Finally I have a place I can call my own. Before this I was not able to purchase a property in central London.” The homes at Chelsea Bridge Wharf will provide one and two-bedroom apartments for key workers such as health workers, teachers and police officers. For further information contact Threshold Housing on (020) 8875 5578.

The photograph shows Diana Crump with the Mayor Cllr Colin Dawe Mayoress, Dawn Dawe, Paul Vallone and Alisdair Chant from Berkeley Homes, Chelsea Bridge Wharf and Richard Hards from Threshold Housing.

Flats for local people!
Forty-five apartments in a new riverside development at Albion Wharf are going on sale to local people and key workers.
The shared ownership flats, designed by architect Norman Foster, are being marketed by the council’s home ownership team in partnership with Peabody Trust. The scheme will provide 25 one-bedroom and 20 two-bedroom apartments. Purchasers with a household income of £31,000 and above can buy a share of between 40 and 75 per cent of the property. Unlike other shared ownership schemes, buyers do not have to pay rent on the remaining unpurchased share. Interested purchasers can register by calling the council’s Home Ownership Unit. Home Ownership Unit Phone: (020) 8871 6016 Email: housesales@wandsworth.gov.uk Minicom: (020) 8871 6079
Forms can be downloaded from: www.wandsworth.gov.uk/homeownership

St. James’ Grove makeover
continued from page 1

The renovations will also see the number of affordable homes increased on the estate. There will be 14 ‘hidden homes’ as well as new apartments that will face on the main road. The major works were approved at a signing ceremony in March 2004 which was attended by resident representatives, contractors – the Buxton Group, consultants – Baily Garner as well as councillors and senior housing officers. Cabinet member for housing Cllr Martin D Johnson said: “ This is a major investment programme which I am sure will improve the quality of life for the people living on St James’ Grove estate.” The works are due to be completed in around 18 months.

Pat Murphy pictured with Cllr Johnson and Martin Davies MD-Buxton Group at the signing ceremony.

Housing services survey a success!
Over 75 per cent of residents are satisfied with housing services. A survey of the Housing Link panel was carried out recently to find your views of the different housing services. The survey found that overall you found services provided by the council were very good or quite good. Over 75 per cent of residents were satisfied with lighting (both on streets and estates), servicing of heating and hot-water, rent collection, graffiti removal and refuge collection. There was a significant increase in how happy residents were with particular services. For example, estate cleaning improved from 37% to 64%, gardening services from 42% to 69% and the emergency response service from 48% to 74%. These improvements have mainly been the result of changes in working arrangements and contracts in these areas - and we’re pleased to see that residents are feeling the benefit!


For more information visit: www.wandsworth.gov.uk/yourhousing

This issue briefly explains the housing management options and how residents will be involved in the consultation process throughout the year.

Housing options
The Government has introduced a Decent Homes Standard to make sure that all homes owned by councils or housing associations are in a reasonable state of repair and have modern facilities by 2010.
The council has fewer than 1,000 properties which do not currently meet this standard. Funding to undertake the necessary works has been set aside, which are scheduled for completion in 2007. Community Links (your independent tenants’ advisors) along with residents representative, will look at the housing options and all the information available over the next six months – to help you come to a decision about the future management of your housing. There are several ways in which funding for works could be raised. The council would prefer to do the work through its own resources and keep managing your homes in the way it has in the past. However there are other options you may want to consider, these are: • • • • setting up an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) through a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) transferring property to a housing association (LSVT) Or a combination of the above These options may have advantages and disadvantages – we want you to have all of the information, so that you can tell us how you want your homes to be owned, managed and funded in the future. A brief explanation of the four options was given in the last edition of Home life. If you would like a further copy please call (020) 8871 6800.

Consultation – getting involved!
During the next months, we will be talking to as many residents as we can about these housing options, so that you can form an opinion.
As well as having discussions at residents’ meetings, including the Borough Residents’ Forum and the Area Panels, we will be having various travelling road-shows in your area during the summer. Meanwhile the Residents’ Steering Group chaired by tenant Marlene Price, will be looking in detail at each of the options. If you want to get more involved at this stage please ring Community Links, your Independent Tenant Advisor, who has been appointed by residents to give impartial advice.
Freephone 0800 085 61 73. Or the council’s ‘Managing Your Housing’ hotline (020) 8871 6556. A programme for the road-shows will be available next month at: www.wandsworth.gov.uk/your housing

Resident participation round up
New compact for Southfields estate

Chairman of the Edgecombe Hall Residents’ Association George McKenzie, signed the new compact along with chief executive of Wandsworth Council Gerald Jones and Cllr Martin D Johnson.

A new document outlining resident participation was given the official seal of approval by residents of the Edgecombe Hall estate recently. The new compact covers the estate based in Southfields, which consists of 390 properties. The agreement sets out aims and goals that the council and residents have agreed to, including how residents can influence the delivery of council services to the area.
Marlene Price, chairman of the residents steering group

Cabinet member for housing Cllr Martin D Johnson commented: “Residents’ compacts are local agreements which are intended to provide a baseline for resident participation with the aim of bringing the quality of resident participation up to the standards of the best.” The compact was drawn up in line with the Government’s National Framework for Tenant Participation Compacts.


Council strategy gets tough
Council chiefs have joined with the police, residents’ groups and other agencies to draw up tough new measures to tackle “yob culture” in Wandsworth.
The borough’s new anti-social behaviour strategy promises a much quicker, more co-ordinated and tougher response to people who make their neighbours’ lives a misery. The strategy sets out a policy framework for the police, the council, the courts and other key organisations to tackle anti-social behaviour across the borough in a more joined up way than has been previously possible. A new Anti-Social Behaviour Unit (ASB unit), staffed by the council and police officers, will provide colleagues with speedy and effective solutions to anti-social behaviour problems and ensure that resources are targeted to cases where action is urgently needed. The unit will co-ordinate enquiries, conduct audits and provide better links with all the agencies involved in efforts to crack down on “yob culture”. Cabinet member for housing Cllr Martin D Johnson said: “ We are determined to tackle and root out those people who make their neighbours lives a misery and residents must realise that they face the real prospect of losing their homes or face criminal proceedings.” Finally, the council will not hesitate to enforce new more stringent powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 when appropriate.
The council’s state-of-the-art control room.

Residents vote f

Installing more CCTV camera residents in five areas plague

95 per cent of residents voted overwhelmingly in favo installed in their area during 2003.

Crime experts from the council and police visited each would go. This formed part of the information given to r an overall yes vote.

Cabinet member for environment and public services be an effective deterrent to the mugger and the vandal. in high quality, state of the art camera systems is evid the borough a safer place.”

The new installations will mean that the council opera estates, this is the highest total for any London boroug offices in the council’s state-of-the art control room.

Cracking do ‘crack-hous
The Winstanley drugs project has proven to be a great success for local residents on the Winstanley and nearby estates.
Since October 2002 the housing department has investigated 295 cases of drug realted incidents across the borough. This has led to the closures of 35 crack houses (19 of which are in SW11 area in which the Winstanley drugs team operate), one suspended possession order and two anti-social behaviour order (ASBO). Of the 295 cases investigated, 148 have been undertaken by the Winstanley team.
PC Matthew Shalders, Ashley Brandon and Tony Bernard-Grout the new ASB team

A further 21 cases are currently going through the court process, of which 16 are being dealt with by the Winstanley team.


Zero tolerance for anti-social behaviour
The council has a ‘zero-tolerance’ policy towards anti-social and nuisance behaviour.
This year the council has used various tough actions to deal with unsocial residents and stop nuisance and crime in its tracks. The council’s ASB Unit, in partnership with the local police and other local agencies and have implemented a range of initiatives to stop anti-social behaviour. These include tough policies to crackdown the more serious offenders and strict tenancy conditions to curb this behaviour. Cabinet member for housing Cllr Martin D Johnson said: “ When the council has evidence it will not hesitate to take action against those residents who cause trouble for their neighbours or community as a result of nuisance behaviour.”

for more CCTV

as will bring crime relief to ed by anti-social behaviour.

our of council proposals for security cameras to be

site and drew up a draft plan for where the cameras residents during the consultation process and led to

Cllr Guy Senior said: “Used properly cameras can The council’s willingness to invest substantial sums dence of a determination to play our part in making

Notice Seeking Possession (NSP) which may lead to eviction.
As a landlord, we have a duty to take ‘tenancy’ action against council tenants, if they and/or their children, cause damage to our property. Throughout 2002/2003 there has been a total of 44 NSP served to stop anti-social behaviour and crime in the borough. Of these, 13 households have been evicted.

Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC)
An NSP will often go hand in hand with an Acceptable Behaviour Contract (ABC), where the offender agrees to abide by conditions that ensure that he/she will not re-offend. A breach of the contract could mean that a possession order is granted by the court, leaving the family in danger of losing their home and risk of eviction. The council and agencies aims to work with the offender and their parents to avoid any further problems.

ates almost 500 CCTV systems on local streets and gh. CCTV cameras are monitored 24-hours a day by

own on ses’
Wandsworth Council works particularly closely with the Winstanley Drugs Team however, a duty of care is given to all residents across the borough. Therefore we also fully liaise with other police officers from different sectors. New powers under the Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003 (part 1) now enables the swift closure of ‘crack houses’ – these are properties taken over by drug dealers and users. The arrival of a ‘crack house’ is taken seriously by the council and police and they will act quickly to close them and keep them closed. Drug reporting hotline (020) 8871 7373 email: drugsreporting@wandsworth.gov.uk Information will be dealt with in confidence and anonymously.

Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO)
This is obtained from either the county court or from the magistrates’ court acting in their civil capacity. It lays down strict rules for the future behaviour of offenders and lasts a minimum of two years. A breach of an ASBO could lead to a criminal prosecution and possible imprisonment. An ASBO can be made against anyone who causes anti-social behaviour, not just council tenants. Over the last year, 11 ASBOs have been put in place to deal with drug related offences, aggressive and intimidating behaviour, as well as vandalisim.

Criminal prosecution
If anyone causing damage to council property is caught by the police, the council will, in most cases, ask the police to prosecute. If under 18, the offender will be referred to Wandsworth Youth Offending Team for the appropriate action to be taken. When criminal damage is caused, then the council will in most cases recover the cost of the damage to council-owned property and if necessary take legal action in the County Court to recover payment. If you or someone you are responsible for is in breach of an ABC or ASBO, then you may be liable to lose your home and/or face conviction and /or costs.


Hidden Homes team shortlisted for national awards
The housing team responsible for the success of the hidden homes initiative was recently shortlisted for the Local Government Chronicle Awards.
Wandsworth housing staff was one of five national councils recently shortlisted for the housing team of the year award. At the ceremony in central London, the officers were commended for their teamwork and innovative approach to creating homes in the capital.

The picture shows housing officer Martina Smith collecting the LGC Award

More keyworker homes
Disused buildings at Springfield Hospital will be transformed to provide 36 new affordable flats for nurses and other NHS staff.
The hospital’s Orchid Wing at the southern end of the site is in poor repair and has been closed for a number of years. It will now be converted into a mix of rented accommodation ranging from one to fourbedrooms. Planning applications chairman Ravi Govindia said:“It’s like an NHS version of the council’s hidden homes programme which is turning redundant space into good quality housing. “The council has long wanted to see the Orchid Wing brought back into use…it will provide much needed accommodation for key workers.” The properties will be managed by a local housing association. Springfield Hospital is a Grade II listed building.

Wynter street in brief
• Wynter Street – two new homes at Wynter Street Battersea have been completed. This brings the total of ‘hidden homes’ completed to around a dozen. • Work has just started on two of our hidden homes projects at York Road and Surrey Lane, Battersea – we’ll keep you up-to-date on developments.

Improved lift monitoring system
Getting trapped in a lift will be a less worrying experience thanks to recent improvements
New signs have been installed both inside and outside the council lifts, giving details of the Wandsworth Emergency Control contact number (the council’s rapid response unit). Also, direct voice contact can now be made by the WEC staff and passengers who may become trapped in any of the council’s 600 estate lifts. These improvements aim to provide a more speedy response.

Four new homes have been created at Connor Court for local people by the successful hidden homes programme. The ground floor flats with gardens to the front property were created from disused storage and parking space under the blocks.

To report a lift trapping or breakdown call (020) 8871 7490.


Congratulations Carey Gardens
Carey Gardens Co-op celebrated their 10th anniversary recently with a party for all residents.
A wonderful time was had by all, with a splendid buffet and music which kept residents dancing till late into the evening. The chair of the Carey Gardens Co-op Omar Jallow, paid tribute to all the hard work of the committee members and workers since they took over the management of the estate in1993.

Graffiti shop shut down
A shop in Clapham Junction which glamorised graffiti and sold spray paints and marker pens favoured by graffiti vandals has been shut down following a long running local campaign. Graphotism which occupied retail commercial premises owned by Network Rail at Clapham Junction station was been shut down after its lease was terminated. The shop, on St John’s Hill, had been the subject of long-standing complaints from councillors, traders, shoppers and residents in the area. The shop sold magazines, posters, books and photographs which promoted graffiti vandalism. It also stocked the kind of aerosol paints and permanent markers popular with vandals. The shop’s exterior was also daubed with graffiti style tags and “artwork”. As soon as the shop was vacated, staff from the council’s graffiti squad moved in and cleaned up its frontage. The brick and tilework has now been restored to its original Victorian state.

A good time was had by all at Carey Gardens 10th anniversary celebrations

Spring leisure activites
Tuesday 27 April and Tuesday 18 May 2pm

Mondays 7.15 - 9.15pm.

Keep on Moving
Phone (020) 8870 2020. Exercise classes for older people run by Age Concern Wandsworth and Wandsworth PCT. Each session is followed by a social hour which includes refreshments. Cost £2.50.

Tea Dance
Wandsworth Civic Suite, Wandsworth High Street SW18. Phone (020) 8871 8711 for information. Join Mr Wonderful for an afternoon of music, dancing and laughter. Costs £3, including refreshments. Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 2-5pm

Tennis Coaching
Phone Keith 07905 769230 www.smart-tennis.co.uk Group and individual tennis coaching at King George’s Park and Furzedown Recreation Centre. Keith is a borough licensed and LTA professional tennis coach. Thursdays 7.30-9pm

Wandsworth Museum
The Court House, 11 Garratt Lane SW18. Phone (020) 8871 7074 for details of current exhibition.

Lavender Park Netball Club
Phone 07968 012352 for further details. We want new players and play matches on alternate Saturdays.

Open Door Community Centre
Keevil Drive, Beaumont Road SW19. Phone (020) 8871 8174. Activities for all ages including aikido, moves fitness, old time dancing, indoor bowls, apple yoga, church groups, nursery, children’s theatre workshop and new for 2004 – culture kids music lessons and pilates.

Wandsworth in Bloom Competition
For more details contact Mandy Dwyer (020) 8871 6363 or email: mdwyer@wandsworth.gov.uk You don’t need to have a garden to enter. Categories include Best Blooming ‘Hanging Baskets’, ‘Window Boxes’ or ‘Tubs’ and ‘Best Blooming Community’. You can pick up a form from your local library or leisure centre. There’s also a children’s’ painting competition.


Domestic violence
You don’t have to leave home!
The council has a new scheme to help people suffering from domestic violence stay in their own homes!
One in four women will experience domestic violence at some time in their lives. Sometimes people feel they have no choice but to leave their home in order to escape the violence. This often means becoming homeless or going to live in refuge with your children. The initiative aims to prevent this kind of homelessness! The scheme will make your home safer by installing security measures, such as new doors and locks, toughened glass, emergency panic buttons, and even a safe room in more serious cases. In addition the scheme aims to offer access to other support services. To find out further information about this service please call: (020) 8871 6840 Each case will be dealt with on merit. You can also be referred by agencies such as the police, Wandsworth Women’s Aid and other support agencies.

Tony, Samantha and their three daughters Sophie, Kayleigh and Stacey

Hidden homes create a new family flat
There were celebrations at Aubyn Square, Roehampton recently when Tony, his partner Samantha and their children moved into a new hidden home.
The three-bedroom ground floor flat which was completed in February was converted from two disused shop units which in the past had been difficult to lease. Samantha Thornton told Homelife: “It’s a lovely new flat, we’ve moved from a two-bedroom flat which was too small for us, to this three-bedroom flat which has a big garden for the children, and two toilets, which is always handy – we’re really delighted.” This is another success for the hidden homes initiative which aims to create hundreds of homes across the borough for people in housing need.

Exchanges made easy
Residents can now benefit from a new quick and simple touchscreen ‘mutual exchange’ system.
If you are interested in mutual exchange, where you can swap your property with another tenant in different part of the country, then you can use one of the two new touchscreen computers in the housing reception points. The Mutual Exchange database is regularly updated and holds details of all exchange properties across the country. You can find the system in the main housing office in Garratt Lane and also in the Western Housing office (formerly Alton Neighbourhood Office), Holybourne Avenue Roehampton.
Local residents are shown how the new computer system works by Cllr MD Johnson

Large print version
Copies of this issue of Homelife are available in large print format or on tape. To obtain your copy please call (020) 8871 6800 or email: homelife@wandsworth.gov.uk

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