Document Sample

Open Door
                                                                      SUMMER 2002

 Mark Steward, Housing Manager, explains that alterations to the amount of rent
    you pay is just one of the changes taking place over the next few years.

Welcome to the latest issue of Open Door, the             Here Sarah tells you about another big change taking
newsletter for all the customers of the Housing           place, which will affect people who receive support
Services Unit. As the above title suggests there are      services, for example, people living in sheltered
many changes happening over the next few years            accommodation.
which will affect you.We hope that the articles within       With all of these changes we will endeavour to
this newsletter will help keep you informed of what is    keep you as informed as possible through the
happening and provide you with the relevant contact       newsletter.We will also be consulting as many of you
details in case you want to ask any more questions.       as we can. I would suggest it is in your interest to try
Inside the newsletter I have tried to give you a bit of   and keep yourself informed about the changes that
detail about the complicated process called Rent          are taking place by taking the time to read the
Restructuring, which may ultimately affect the            newsletter and attending any consultation events
amount of the rent you pay. (page 4)                      taking place near you.
    Another change which will be of great interest to        If you have any queries about the newsletter
all of you I’m sure is the proposed improvements to       generally, you can contact our new member of staff,
your home as part of the Decent Homes standards.          Kate Robinson. See page 7 for details.
You can read about this on page 2.                           I hope you enjoy the rest of the newsletter.
    I would also encourage you to read the article on     Mark Steward
page 6 by Sarah Purves on Supporting People.              Housing Manager
Is your home up to scratch?
 Council to upgrade kitchens and bathrooms as necessary over
                     the next eight years

 The Decent Homes Standard – What is it?                  Do I have any say in the work to be carried
 Over the next eight years the Council will be
 looking at all the properties in the Selby District to   Yes, we also want to ask your opinion about the
 see if they are in need of some modernisation work.      work.We have already held consultation meetings
                                                          with people who will have the work done this
 This is because by the year 2010 all Council homes       financial year and they gave us some really useful
 in the area must reach a standard set by                 feedback. For example they told us that they would
 Government called the ‘Decent Homes’ standard.           rather have the work done all at the same time
 We recently did a survey on 10% of the housing           rather than in stages.
 stock owned by the Council and found that half the
 properties, some 1850, do not reach the Decent           It makes good sense to involve you in all stages of
 Homes standard at the moment.Therefore, we have           the work being carried out.We are trying to take
 a lot of work to do over the next few years.              your involvement one step further than just giving
                                                           you information. For example, we are trying to set
                                                           up a panel of tenants who can also assist in the
 Which elements of my home could be                        selection of prospective contractors and hopefully
 updated?                                                  this will take us one step further to getting the
                                                           right contractors in to do the work.
 As well as looking at kitchens and bathrooms we
 will be looking at all aspects of the property which
 need updating, including windows, doors, loft
 insulation, and possibly re-wiring.

 Which areas will the work take place in first?

 The initial survey identified that certain homes in
 the Tadcaster area were not reaching the Decent
 Homes standards and were also in need of some
 urgent re-wiring work.Therefore, those areas in
 Tadcaster will receive the modernisation work first.     Should I do any decorating before the work
                                                          takes place?
 After the work has been completed in the these
 areas, we will be moving onto some properties in         We would advise that you do not do any decorating
 s Woodville Terrace in Selby, and                        in your home until you know more about when the
 s Little Smeaton, Kirk Smeaton and Womersley.            modernisation work is due to take place. Again, we
                                                          will keep you informed through the newsletter of
                                                          the timetable for the rest of the work and you will
 When will I know when my property will be                be given plenty of notice before any work starts.
 due for the work?

 We are currently working with a company called           Who can I contact for further information?
 Penningtons to establish a timetable for where the
 work will take place next year and beyond.
 Therefore, we will be keeping you informed through       If you have any questions about the Decent Homes
 ‘Open Door’ of the proposed timetable for the            work, please contact Brian Richardson, Senior
 work.                                                    Planned Maintenance Officer either by:
                                                          Telephoning: 01757 292272
 In addition to keeping you informed through the          E-mailing:
 newsletter, when your property is due for the            Writing to: Brian Richardson
 modernisation work we will arrange a meeting well                     Senior Planned Maintenance Officer
 in advance to answer any questions you may have                       Housing Services Unit
 about the work and show you the sample kitchen                        Selby District Council, Civic Centre
Centre Receives Facelift
As part of the Council’s ongoing commitment to        Centre said: “Users of the centre can now benefit
improve the social environment for Community          from warm and inviting surrounding. We have also
Centre users, the Lady Popplewell Centre in           found that enquires to hire the centre have
Sherburn-in-Elmet received a mini refurbishment       increased.”
recently. Following suggestions put forward by
the Community Centre Committee, the                   The next centre to be re-furbished will be
furniture, carpets, curtains were replaced and the    Westfield Court in Eggborough and we will be
walls received a fresh coat of paint. In order to     talking to users of the centre for suggestions
achieve this, and for the comfort and safety of       soon.
users, the centre was closed for four days.
                                                      Please contact Barbara Patterson on 01757
Sue Senior, warden at the Lady Popplewell             292121 if you would like further details.

The Lady Popplewell Centre as it used to be            The new look Centre now ‘warm and inviting’

 It’s Handy to have a Handbook
It’s been a long while since the last Tenants’                     We have already consulted the district-
Handbook was produced, so we thought it’s about                  wide Tenants’ Forum about the handbook
time we re-visited the information that you                        and members of the group advised us
receive from us.                                                     that the handbook should contain
     The Tenants’ Handbook is pretty                                   contact numbers in an easy reference
much what it sounds like, a handbook                            S       style.They also told us that the
which contains useful information for                       N T’ K         handbook should be designed in a
                                                        NA BOO
people who rent a Council property.                  TE ND                  way which makes it easy and
     The handbook we’re working on will                A                      inexpensive to update.
contain information on a range of things                                            In order to ensure that
including:                                                                        you have a handbook which
     s Your Tenancy                                                            is really useful, we will be
     s Home Improvements                                                  asking some of you to help us
     s How to complain                                              design it and check that the content
     s Rent and Housing Benefit                                makes sense and is easy to read. If you would
     s Repairs and Maintenance                           like to become a member of this editorial group,
     s How you can get involved                       please contact Kate Robinson, Assistant Policy and
 Rent Restructuring – What’s its all
                                   Mark Steward, Housing Manager, takes the opportunity to i
As we mentioned on the front page, there are some               Bearing this in mind, below is the actual formula that will
changes that will be taking place over the next ten years       be used:
that will affect the amount of the rent you are currently
paying.The changes taking place will be referred to as rent     Weekly rent is equal to:    70% of the average rent for the
restructuring. We are at the early stages of learning                                       sector
about this ourselves, but we wanted to take this                                            multiplied by relative county
opportunity to tell you about the changes that will be                                      earnings
taking place, so please read on.                                                            multiplied by the bedroom
A bit of background information
    In March 2001, the Government put forward the idea                              Plus    multiplied by relative property
that the rent paid on similar properties in the same area                                   value
should be the same, no matter who the landlord is.
Therefore, they proposed that both Councils and Housing
Associations should calculate the amount of rent to be          So what will this mean for you?
paid in the same way.                                                Using the formula set out in the box above we can
                                                                calculate the amount of rent you should be paying by the
 Plain English – what do we mean by relative                    year 2012, called your target rent.Your target rent could
 property value?                                                be, for example, £50 per week
 The relative property value compares the estimated                  There are various ways your current rent could change
 value of your house to the national council house value.       in order to meet the target rent, but we want to consult
                                                                with you on how this will be done. It’s worth pointing out
                                                                that there is a limit to which we can put your rent up each
    In looking at how the new rent levels will be calculated,   year.We can’t increase your rent by more than the rate of
local earnings, the value of relative property values and the   inflation plus half percent plus £2 per week.
size of the property you are renting will be taken into              It’s also worth noting that those of you on housing
account.                                                        benefit are not likely to be affected by these changes.
                   The formula that will be used to calculate
               the new rent levels is fairly complicated,
 technical                                                       “Your rent could go up, it could go down, or it could
               however, for those of you who are
     bit                                                         stay the same”
               interested, this is how it will be worked out.
s 30% of the rent will be based on relative property            What does this mean for the Council?
  values                                                        We have to ensure that the rent does catch up with the
s 70% will be based on relative local earnings                  target rents by 2012. Although not yet decided, there are
s a bedroom factor will be taken into account so that           various ways we can do this. However, before any decision
  smaller properties should generally have a lower rent         is made we want to find out what you think.

 Are you interested in the state of the area?

                            Councillor Dean                      underway and the Tenants Forum, the
                       Howson, Leader of the                     Abbots Road Estate Residents and Tenants
                       Council recently gave his                 Association and the Flaxley Road Residents
                       first State of the Area                   and Tenants Association have been asked for
                       Address.The purpose of                    their views.
                       his Address is to set out                     If you would like a copy of the State of
                       what he feels are the                     the Area Address or to put your views
                       major issues to be                        forward, please contact the state of the area
                       tackled to improve the                    information line on 01757 292102. Leave
 quality of life for those living and working in                 your name, address and phone number and
 the district.                                                   we will get back to you as soon as possible. If
     It is an important first indicator of how                   you prefer to send an e-mail, contact
 the next budget will be formed and of the             
 services that will be provided.                                     The consultation will finish on
     A major consultation exercise is now                        16 September 2002.
l about and how will it affect you?
inform you of changes ahead to the amount of rent you pay
      Keeping you informed of what’s happening                          in villages in the North of Selby, we are trying to establish
          We will be keeping you informed about the progress            an appropriate venue and we will inform you by letter
      on the changes to your rent through ‘Open Door’, so               when this has been confirmed.
      please try and read the updates. In addition, we will be              If any one would like transport to get to any of the
      putting up displays in your local community centres and           centres to give their opinions on the changes taking place,
      coming to talk to you about the changes.                          please contact Kate Robinson on 01757 292146.
          The displays will be at the community centres all day on
      dates shown below and someone will be available to                Who should you contact if you have any questions?
      answer your questions at the times specified. There will              If you have got any questions or queries about the rent
      also be a display up at the Civic Centre in Selby during the      restructuring you can contact me, Mark Steward on 01757
      whole of September and October. For those of you living           292048.

                                                     The Consultation Diary
      Place          Centre                                    Date of display        Time someone will be at the centre
      Sherburn-in-   Harold Mills House, North Crescent        9th September          Monday 9th September between 10.30am – 12pm
      Elmet          Sherburn-in-Elmet
                     Lady Popplewell Centre, Beechwood Close 10th – 13th September Tuesday 10th September 7.30pm at the
                     Sherburn-in-Elmet                                             Highfields’Area Residents Association meeting
                                                                                   Friday 13th September between 12pm - 2pm
      Selby         Coultish Centre, Charles Street,Selby    17th – 19th September Tuesday 17th September 7pm at the Flaxley Road
                                                                                   Residents and Tenants’ Association meeting
                                                                                   Thursday 19th September between 12pm - 2pm
      South Milford Grove House, Sand Lane, South Milford    20th – 23rd September Monday 23rd September between 11.30am -
      Brayton       St.Wilfred’s Court, Brayton              25th – 26th September Thursday 26th September between 10am - 12pm
      Kellington    Manor Garth, Kellington                  27th - 30th September Monday 30th between 12pm – 2pm
      Eggborough    Westfield Court, Eggborough              1st – 2nd October     Wednesday 2nd October between 12pm – 2pm
      Tadcaster     Calcaria House,Windmill Rise,Tadcaster   4th – 7th October     Monday 7th October between 12pm – 2pm
                    Rosemary House, Rosemary Court,Tadcaster 8th October           Tuesday 8th October between 12pm – 2pm
                    Kelcbar Community Centre,Tadcaster       9th – 10th October    Thursday 10pm October between 12pm – 2pm
      Selby         Cunliffe Centre, Petre Avenue, Selby     17th – 21st October   Thursday 17th October between 12pm – 2pm
                                                                                   Monday 21st October, 7pm at the Abbots Road
                                                                                   Residents and Tenants Association
      Byram         Anne Sharpe Court – Byram                22nd – 23rd October   Wednesday 23rd October between 12pm - 2pm
      Womersley     Northfield Close,Womersley               28th – 29th October   Tuesday 29th October between 12pm and 2pm
      Selby         Laurie Backhouse – Selby                 30th – 31st October   Wednesday 30th October between 12pm and 2pm

      It is predicted that there will be a 40% increase in the number of people in the District aged over 55 by the year
      2020.The numbers of people aged under 55 is projected to remain about the same. As a result of this, Selby District
      Council is reviewing its services for older people to make sure it is prepared for increased future demands.
          The Council provides a wide range of services including concessionary fares, home improvements, the warden
      service, energy conservation, disabled and stay put schemes, back door refuse
      collections, leisure services, benefits and housing.
          Over the next few months we will be consulting older people about these
      services and will be asking younger people what they would like in their old age.
      We will be issuing postal questionnaires, meeting with community groups and
      asking individuals for their opinions.
          If you want to have your say on any of the services that we provide for older
      people, please contact Kate Taylor, Marilyn Summers or Tim Williams of the Best
          MORE CHANGES AHEAD . . .

Sarah Purves, Policy and Partnership Officer, explains about
the new funding framework for the support tenants receive

What is Supporting People?                                  available to older people and are flexible and
    The Supporting People Programme is a                    responsive to needs.
Government Policy that will go live on the 1st April            Money, to help with the cost of support in
2003.                                                       providing for example, help from sheltered housing
    The Programme will offer vulnerable people the          wardens, is going to be transferred from Housing
opportunity to improve their quality of life by             Benefit and other funding streams into one local pot
enabling them to live a more independent life in the        called “The Supporting People” pot.
    It will offer a new system of planning, monitoring      I live in sheltered accommodation, what will
and funding for housing related support services, such      happen in April 2003?
as the Council’s Warden Service.                                If you pay part or all of your rent and support
    The Supporting People Services will provide             charges you should continue doing so as normal. You
housing related support to people who live in               will not need to pass any new tests in order to
specialist supported housing and in their own homes         remain living in your supported accommodation.
    x Older people                                          Will people be better off or worse off?
    x People with mental health problems                       As with any change in services or charges, people
    x Refuge and move on support for those fleeing          can be better off or worse off, or maybe pay more
       domestic violence                                    for better services. The charging for the support you
    x Support for young homeless people who may             receive will be decided by a system that will be
       never have had a tenancy                             adopted by the whole of North Yorkshire. As this will
    x Tenancy support services for those people             be directed by National guidelines, at this stage we
       struggling with their current accommodation.         are unsure what system will be adopted.

Why is sheltered accommodation part of                      Want to know more?
Supporting People?                                             We will be holding consultation events on these
   The Government recognises the value of sheltered         changes and also keeping you informed through the
housing, especially in its role to prevent vulnerable       newsletter, so please keep your eyes on future issues
people entering long term care.                             for more information.
   The new Supporting People grant will ensure that            If you have any initial questions you can call Sarah
the provision of high quality support services are          Purves on 01757 292145.

   Important Health and Safety Notice
   All homes with gas and central heating and/or gas appliances will be fitted with
   flues which assist the safe operation of an appliance by removing the products of
   combustion to the atmosphere – normally via your roof.
       The depressurising effects of air extract fans in the same or adjoining rooms
   can adversely influence the performance of a flue. It is therefore important that
   you do not fit a ceiling fan in the same room or adjoining room to a gas fire.
       It you are in any doubt about a ceiling fan that you already have fitted or are
   thinking about such a fitting in the future, please contact Barry Thomason in the
   Maintenance Unit on 01757 292131.
                     N E W FAC E S I N TOW N
                             Kate Honeyman introduces her        Kate Robinson joins department
                                                                 to ensure tenants have a say on
                             new role as Community Link          the way Housing services are
                             Officer.                            run.

                                                                     I have recently joined the
                                 I would like to introduce       Council’s Housing Department
                              myself and the work I am           with the lengthy title of
                              expected to undertake.             Assistant Policy and Partnership
                                                                 Officer. One of the most
   I am the newly appointed Community Link Officer,              important parts of my job is to try and make sure that
   with a brief to work across Selby District to enable,         you can have a say in what we are doing in the Housing
   inform and support individuals and groups who                 department, that’s if you want to.
                                                                     Since I started a couple of months ago, I’ve realised
   want to be actively involved with Action Plans for the
                                                                 there is a lot going on in the district and local residents
   area.These Action Plans are grandly known as                  are playing a really active role in improving the area
   Community Investment Prospectuses (CIP’s). In other           they live in. Part of my role is to work with residents
   words they are a way of ‘giving communities a greater         and tenants associations by providing support in the
                                                                 way of organising training, administrative support,
   say in the regeneration of their areas’. It is also a way     helping identify funding opportunities and linking up the
   for communities to identify what these needs are, and         group members to the right people in order to try and
   suggest how they could be met through the                     get things done.There are several Residents
                                                                 Associations starting up all over the district, as well as
   development of local projects.                                those ones which have been established over a period
        I intend to work closely with voluntary oganisations     of time. See the back page for details of a residents
   and community groups to help set-up projects, advise          association or a discussion forum near to you. If you
   on ways of accessing some of the pots of money that           can’t see one, perhaps you would like to start one up
                                                                 yourself – you really can make a difference if you try!
   are coming to the area, and also support the                      I am also responsible for making sure you are
   production of Action Plans (CIP’s) for the Selby District     consulted on a whole range of issues, for example on
   within the next 2 years.                                      the decent homes work which is discussed in this
                                                                 newsletter.This could include asking you to answer
        I am hoping that rural communities will grasp the        questionnaires, be interviewed or take part in group
   mettle and become fully involved in developing their          discussions - generally trying to make it as easy as
   own localised ‘plans for action’, as distinct from a ‘wish-   possible for you to have a say in how we run things.
                                                                     If you would like to contact me about any of the
   lists of things we would like’, so that quality of life can
                                                                 things mentioned above, you can…
   be improved for those who live and work in the area.          E-mail me:
        Please contact me on 01757 292139 or write to            Telephone me: 01757 292146
   Kate Honeyman, Economic Development Department,               or write to me: Selby District Council, Civic Centre,
                                                                 Portholme Road, Selby, North Yorkshire,YO8 4SB
   Selby District Council, Portholme Road, Selby if you          I look forward to hearing from as many of you as
   wish to be involved, or if you want further information.      possible.

                     Introducing                                 Selby will deliver a range of environmental projects
                                                                 across the District. Our work is varied, ranging from
                                                                 creating and improving play areas and open spaces,
                     Groundwork                                  through to resolving car parking issues, addressing
                                                                 security fears and creating leisure walks.We develop
                     Selby                                       our projects in consultation with local people, taking
                                                                 care to involve young and old alike; we help with
                                                                 fundraising; we produce landscape designs and we
Groundwork Selby is a newly created environmental                manage contractors to implement work.
organisation that will improve the quality of life for the           If you live or work in the Selby District and would
people of Selby District.                                        like some help with an environmental project in the
   Working in partnership with local communities and             area, please contact Peter Murphy on 01757 703758 or
with support from the local authorities, Government              write to him at Groundwork Selby, Selby Civic Centre,
     Abbots Road Estate Residents Raise the Flag
   On Saturday 29th June over 60 residents from the                      issues. By the end of the day over 280 comments had
Abbots Road Estate took part in a community                              been made.
planning event facilitated by Groundwork Selby in                            Peter Murphy from Groundwork Selby, who
partnership with Selby District AVS and the Abbots                       promoted this approach to community consultation
Road Tenants and Residents Association.                                  and produced the model of the Estate, has now
   Central to the event was a large scale model of the                   recorded the location and nature of every comment
Estate into which comments flags were placed during                      flag. He will be working with the Tenants and
the day.The pre-prepared flags, spanning subjects as                     Residents Association and partner agencies to develop
diverse as leisure, traffic, crime and safety, green                     these comments into an Action Plan which will be
environment and health, allowed people to ‘flag up’                      used to guide project delivery and support funding
trouble spots and put forward ideas for tackling the                     applications for the estate over the next few years.

 Young people give their opinion on what they                               The model of the Abbots Road Estate used
       would like to see on the Estate                                         during the ‘Planning for Real ®’ Event

                                                      What’s happening near you?
                                                      Dates for your diary
                                                      RESIDENTS AND TENANTS ASSOCIATIONS
 IF YOU ARE AGE 60 OR OVER                            Flaxley Road Estate Residents and Tenants Association
OR IF SOMEONE IN YOUR HOME IS                         The Association meet every third Tuesday of the month, 7pm at the Coultish
AGED 60 OR OVER THERE IS A                            Centre. The next meeting will be held on: Tuesday 17th September 2002.
UNIQUE NEW WAY TO HEAT AND                            See below for contact details
LOW PRICE.                                            Abbots Road Residents and Tenants Association
Staywarm lets you use all the gas and                 The Association meet every third Monday of the month, 7pm at the Cunliffe
electricity for normal domestic use that you          Centre. The next meetings will be held on: 16th September 2002.
need for one regular fixed payment – weekly,          See below for contact details
fortnightly or monthly (cash/cheque at the
post office or by DD) regardless of how much          Highfields Area Residents Association, Sherburn-in-Elmet
you use in order to Staywarm.                         The Highfields Area Association meet at the Lady Popplewell Centre at 7.30pm.
       NO BILLS NO FRILLS NO WORRIES!                 See below for contact details
 England/Wales* Weekly pricing plan
 No of people             1 Bed   2 Bed      3 Bed    NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH
 1                        £7.00      £8.00   £10.00   The next Neighbourhood Watch meeting for Denison Road, Carr Street and
 2                        £8.50   £10.50     £12.00   Harold Street will be held shortly. See below for contact details
 3                        £9.00   £11.50     £13.00
 4                        £9.50   £12.50     £14.00   TRAINING
For more information phone free on
                                                      Being a local representative on a Committee,Wednesday 11th September,
                                                      10am – 2pm, Methodist Hall,Tadcaster
0800 1 694 694                                        For further information please contact Miranda Parrot, Information/ Training
                         please quote reference R1
•Scotland prices available on request                 Officer at Selby District AVS, on 01757 291111.

  Want to know more . . .
  For further details of any of these meetings, please contact Kate Robinson on 01977 292146 and she will put you in
  contact with the relevant organisation.
  If you would like to advertise details of any event or meeting taking place, please contact Kate on the above number.

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