SELBY DISTRICT COUNCIL Open Door THE NEWSLETTER FOR ALL TENANTS OF SELBY DISTRICT COUNCIL SUMMER 2002 CHANGES TO THE AMOUNT OF RENT YOU PAY 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 out? 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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. H 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 factor 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 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 email@example.com 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 And 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 And Thursday 19th September between 12pm - 2pm South Milford Grove House, Sand Lane, South Milford 20th – 23rd September Monday 23rd September between 11.30am - 12.30pm 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 And 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 SERVICES FOR OLDER PEOPLE FACE THE BEST VALUE CHALLENGE 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 . . . SUPPORTING PEOPLE 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. community. 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. including:- 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. Hello, Hello, 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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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 LIGHT YOUR HOME FOR ONE FIXED 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.