Stockport at home by hedongchenchen


at home
Stockport Homes’ Customer Newsletter                     Issue 21: Summer 2010

 Stockport Homes ‘one of the best housing
 services in the country’

                    To take part in the Tenants’ Federation BIG Question simply
 The                complete the enclosed survey. If you complete the survey
                    you could win up to £75 of High Street Vouchers.
                    SEE PAGE 11 FOR DETAILS
Welcome to our    Save with        Homeless Strategy /
new Board         Stockport        Allocations Policy
Members           Credit Union     review

PAGE 14           PAGE 26          PAGE 33
                   Useful telephone numbers

Stockport Homes’ contacts
Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)        0161 217 6111        Stockport East                   0161 856 9973
Out of hours number
                                                        Stockport North                  0161 856 9786
ASB Team                           0161 218 1498
(Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)                                      Stockport West                   0161 856 9770

Carecall                           0161 218 1655
Customer Feedback                  0161 474 2600        Other useful contacts

Customer Finance                   0161 474 4050        Animal Warden Service            0161 474 4207
Automated Payment Line                                  (out-of-hours)

Customer Finance                   0161 474 2677        Citizens Advice Bureau           0844 826 9800
Team (East Area)                                        (Stockport)

Customer Finance                   0161 474 2668        Credit Union                     0161 430 5808
Team (West Area)                                        (Stockport)
Customer                           0161 474 2862        Crimestoppers                    0800 555 111
Involvement Team
                                                        Derelict properties              0161 474 4268
East Area                          0161 474 4372        (non-Council)
Housing Office
                                                        Environmental Services           0161 217 6111
Governance Team                    0161 474 2850
                                                        External Water leaks             0800 33 00 33
Homechoice                         0161 474 4567        (United Utilities)
(Bidding Line)
                                                        Furniture Station                0161 456 0717
Homechoice (Enquiries)             0161 474 2975
Homechoice Support                 0161 474 3788        Procure Plus                     0303 030 0030
Assistant                                               Greater Manchester Police        0161 872 5050
Housing Options Team               0161 474 4237        Groundwork                       0161 237 3200
Housing Support Point              0161 474 3719
                                                        National Grid                    0800 111 999
Investment Programme               0161 474 4407        (gas emergency)
                                                        RSPCA                            0300 1234 999
Leasehold Officer                  0161 218 1364
                                                        Samaritans                       08457 909090
Repairs                            0161 217 6016
                                                        Stray dogs                       0845 241 7253
Resettlement Team                  0161 474 3772        (office hours)
West Area Housing Office           0161 474 4371        Vandalised bus shelters          0161 873 8800
                                                        (JC Decaux)

Neighbourhood Policing                                  Vandalised telephone             0800 66 16 10
Teams                                                   (BT Payphones Security)

Stockport Central                  0161 856 5902        Welfare Rights                   0161 474 3093

2                Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21                 
Customer news

Stockport Homes is one of
the best places to work!
It’s official! Stockport Homes is one of the top 20 public sector organisations to
work for in the UK.

The organisation is at number
19 in The Sunday Times 75 Best
Places to Work in the Public
Sector list, which surveyed
45,000 employees nationwide.
Stockport Homes were also
awarded with a ‘One to Watch’
status in the Best Companies

Its top 20 position reflects
its dedication to making the
organisation a place where       Roger Phillips, Chair of Stockport Homes’ Board said,
people want to work. Employees
who were surveyed praised        “This is great news for staff and customers alike,
the organisation for having a    reflecting our commitment to attracting and retaining
positive, friendly environment   the best resources to drive services forward for our
where employees feel happy and

Brinnington Lantern Parade
On a beautiful Saturday          hypnotic rhythm of Brinnington’s
evening in late March,           own Samba band who led the
Brinnington’s streets filled     parade.
with candlelight and
laughter for the annual                     For more about
lantern parade.                             Brinnington’s
                                            lantern parade or
Residents created lanterns         to find out about helping
out of willow and tissue paper     out next year, please
in workshops led by artists        contact Stockport Art
and a team of dedicated local
                                   Gallery on 0161 474
volunteers. Over 250 people
joined in the fun and followed the 4454.                          Stockport home - - Spring            20
                                               Stockport atat home Summer 2010 Issue 21   3
Customer news

Stockport Homes delivers ‘on
housing services in the coun
* Audit Commission, May 2010
Stockport Homes has achieved a rating of ‘Excellent Services (three stars) with
Excellent Prospects for Improvement’ from the Audit Commission for the second time
in the organisation’s short history, following a comprehensive inspection in February 2010.

The Audit Commission is an independent body              •   Publicity on services is strongly influenced by
responsible for ensuring that public money is spent          tenants and is a high standard.
economically, efficiently and effectively and delivers   •   Efficiency savings are extensive and are being
high quality local services for the public. Stockport        invested in services that matter to tenants.
Homes are one of only a handful of Housing               •   Stockport Homes is one of the best performing
Organisations in the country to achieve a three star         ALMOs for tenant satisfaction with the overall
rating on consecutive inspections. The inspection            service at 83 percent, 2008/09.
result has also secured the final £16.6m of Decent
Homes funding from Communities and Local
Government (CLG).                                        Housing Need and Support Service
Highlights from the inspection report included:

Quality Directorate

                                                               •   Aids and adaptations are completed
                                                                   within appropriate timescales and tenant
                                                                   satisfaction is high.
• Tenants have extensive options to have a
  say about Stockport Homes in ways that
  are accessible and convenient.                         •   Vulnerable people are supported to have
                                                             meaningful lives, maintain their homes in
                                                             reasonable condition and comply with tenancy
• The Board demonstrates effective leadership,               conditions.
  and there is robust planning of finance, IT            •   Homechoice is easy to access, with clear
  and human resources, value for money and                   information leading to high levels of customer
  procurement.                                               satisfaction.

4               Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21                  
  Customer news

ne of the best
  •   Wide range of homeless prevention initiatives,      Technical Services Directorate
      including mediation, rent deposit schemes and
      homeless prevention fund.
  •   High standard of temporary accommodation
      with no use of bed and breakfast, with
      Government targets to reduce use achieved.

  Housing Management Directorate

                                                                • Stockport Homes is improving tenants’
                                                                  homes to a high standard with a focus
                                                                  on climate change and fuel poverty and
                                                                  all tenants will live in decent homes within
                                                                  the Government deadline.

  •   Support is given to address worklessness            • Tenants report high satisfaction with the quality
      through a range of training and                       of improvement works.
      employment schemes.                                 • Environmental improvements are making
                                                            neighbourhoods safer and more attractive
                                                            places to live.
  • Stockport Homes understands demand for                • Stockport Homes is tackling climate change
    services and uses this to improve access                and fuel poverty and outcomes are helping
    and deliver services more efficiently.                  poorer neighbourhoods.
  • Support is given to address worklessness              • Stockport Homes effectively manages assets.
    through a range of training and employment
  • Arrangements to deal with Anti-Social                         For more information about
    Behaviour, domestic abuse, hate crime and                     our inspection please contact
    racial harassment are effective.                              Samantha Donigan, Performance
  • Empty properties are let quickly and to a high        and Improvement Manager on 0161 474
    standard.                                             3279 or visit
  • Stockport Homes is one of the best performers
    nationally for rent collection and delivers a
                                                          to read the full inspection report.
    range of financial inclusion initiatives.                               Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21             5
Customer news

Easter Eggstravaganza at
Brindale House
Brindale House held a day of Easter Fun on 1 April for residents at the scheme and
in the local area.

Costume and mask making sessions were held
at Brindale House in the weeks leading up to
this; where residents were provided with all the
materials and equipment needed to make outfits
for the event.

Easter eggs were kindly donated by Sainsburys in
Stockport, Morrisons in Bredbury, Aspinal Primary
School in Gorton, Repair 1st and Stockport
Homes’ employees.

The party was a huge success and enjoyed by all
those who attended.

Repair 1st Easter
egg donation
This year Repair 1st (Stockport Homes’
Repairs Service) collected a grand total
of 327 Easter eggs; their best collection
by far!

Easter eggs were donated to the children and
families at Stepping Hill Hospital and Brindale
House, and to Parks and Recreation for Easter
egg hunts across local parks.

With the generosity of all the Repair 1st                  Mark Halstead, Repair 1st and Jeanette
subcontractors, suppliers and staff this has made          Burden, Hospital Play Specialist with the
a real difference to the charitable organisations that     children at Stepping Hill Tree House Ward
we have supported.

6               Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21             
Customer news

      Free football event
      for 8-14 year olds
                   2 free Stockport County
                     tickets for everyone
                         who attends

                         25 August 2010
      FR EE

                               9.30am to 3.00pm
                               The Power League,
 Organised by:                 off Didsbury Road, Heaton Mersey
                               To book your child’s place, please contact
                               Dave Fletcher on 0161 474 2811,
                               or book on-line at

                                                    Transport provided          Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21   7
Customer news

Your chance to                                                                                                        to
                                                                                                                          r Appr



approve our                                                                                                          Ja
                                                                                                                          r g o n F re e

You can join our Readers’ Group, who approve all Stockport Homes’ new leaflets
or our Editorial Group who approve this newsletter.

The groups check to make sure the literature                         For more information, or to
is jargon free and is easy for customers to                          join one of these groups,
understand.                                                          please contact Nicola Poulter,
All literature that has been approved by these
                                                              Marketing and Communications Officer
groups will display the customer approved stamp               on 0161 474 3768 or email nicola.
that is shown here.                                 

Do you have an idea for an
article for this newsletter?
Or is there a topic you would like covered in this newsletter? If so, we want to hear
from you.

This is your newsletter               If you have a suggestion for an article that could be included in a
and we want to make sure              future customer newsletter, please complete this tear off slip and
we cover the issues that              send it back to Nicola Poulter, Marketing and Communications
are important to you, our             Officer in the freepost envelope provided.
                                      Name: ............................................................................................
You can choose to write an
                                      Address: ........................................................................................

article yourself and send
it to us or you can simply            Telephone number: ........................................................................
provide a suggestion for
an article that you would             Suggestion for an article: ...............................................................
like including – it’s up to
you!                                  I am interested in writing an article on: ...........................................


8              Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21                                      
Customer news

Storage of electric mobility
Stockport Homes                    a fire or trip hazard if they are              If you have
recognises that some               not stored correctly. If you live in           concerns about fire
customers have mobility            sheltered accommodation, your                  safety within your
                                   Scheme Manager can advise
issues which require them          you on the best place to store
                                                                          home, please call Greater
to use electric mobility           your scooter if it will not fit into   Manchester Fire and
scooters.                          your property. If you do not live      Rescue Service on 0800
                                   in sheltered accommodation,            555 815 for a free home
However, scooters can be           please contact your Area               fire risk assessment.
expensive and prone to threat      Housing Office (see page 2 for
of damage. They can also pose      contact details).

          HELP STOP
                  HO US ING
                            CH EATS
What is housing fraud?                                 3. Wrongly claimed succession - this is when
Here are the most common types of housing              someone, who is not entitled, tries to take over the
fraud:                                                 tenancy from a tenant who has died.
1. Unlawful sub-letting - when a tenant lets out
their Council or Housing Association (HA) home         If you suspect someone of housing fraud,
without the knowledge or permission of their l         please contact us on 0161 218 1364 or email
andlord.                                      Or
                                                       you can report housing fraud on-line on our
2. Obtaining housing by deception - when
someone gets a Council or HA home by giving            website under
false information in their application.                ‘Our Services / Housing Fraud’.

Anything you tell us will be held in the strictest confidence. All reports can be made anonymously.                             Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21              9
Customer Involvement news

                                 Calling all young
                                                      We want to know what is important to you and
                                                      how you want to get involved in shaping Stockport
                                                      Homes’ services.

                                                      You can give us your views by filling in the survey
                                                      on-line in the Young Persons’ Zone of our website

                                                      All fully completed surveys will be entered into a
                                                      prize draw to win £50, £25 or £10 of High Street
If you are aged 18 to 25 you could                    Vouchers (terms and conditions apply).
win up to £50 of High Street
Vouchers just by filling in a                         For more information, please contact
short survey!                                         the Customer Involvement Team
                                                      on 0161 474 3642 or email customer.

Introducing the Lancashire
Hill Family Activities Group!
Local people from Lancashire Hill have come           If you fancy finding out more about the group drop
together to improve social opportunities in their     in to the Lancashire Hill Community Centre
community. The group were recently successful in      between 9.30am and 11.00am on Tuesday
accessing funding for a trip to Camelot which was     mornings.
a big success!
                                                           If you are thinking about
“The whole family enjoyed a day out being                  starting a group in your area,
with other people from the area and the kids
                                                           please contact Nicola Green,
don’t get to go to places like this too often. It
was a brilliant day!” Sasha, Customer               Customer Involvement Assistant on
                                                    0161 474 5811 or email
The group are planning more activities such as hair who can provide
and beauty sessions, cooking, dancing and drama support and advice.

10             Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21                
Customer Involvement news


What c an the Federation do
for you?
The Federation are getting out and about to speak to Stockport Homes’ customers
to find out what they can do for you, and what services you would like to see
provided from the Customer Resource Centre.

What are the main issues in your area?                  for a member of the Federation to visit you at a
                                                        local venue or just have a chat with someone on
Would you like to learn more about the
                                                        the phone.
Federation and the work it does for
customers?                                                Everyone who fills out a BIG Question
Are you interested in joining the Federation?             survey will be entered into a free prize
                                                          draw. You could win up to £75 of High
To take part in the Federation’s BIG Question             Street Vouchers (terms and conditions
simply complete the enclosed survey and return it         apply).
in the reply paid envelope provided. Alternatively
look out for members of the Federation at                      For more information, please
forthcoming events, tenant and resident group                  contact Rebecca Horton, Acting
meetings and sheltered schemes.
                                                               Customer Involvement Team
If you can’t get to a meeting or there are no local     on 0161 218 1368 or email rebecca.
groups in your area you can make an appointment                               Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21          11
Customer Involvement news

Partnerships producing
improvements for you!
Stockport Homes are members of the CIRCLE group, a partnership of six housing
providers from the North West who meet regularly to share ideas and information
and carry out independent reality checks
of each other’s services.

Recently customer inspectors from Bolton at
Home and Salix Homes have carried out ‘mystery
shops’ of our Customer Involvement service and
Sheltered Housing schemes. A feedback event
was held on 25 March with staff and customer
inspectors from all six organisations coming
together to share what they had learnt and
improved as a result of the checks.

Stockport Homes’ Customer Inspector Julie
McDonald said of the event: “In my opinion it               To get involved or find out
was a thoroughly enjoyable day, purposeful
                                                            more about the Quality Panel or
and positive. The collective results can be
developed into new cost effective working                   CIRCLE Group, please contact
practices which should not only represent            the Customer Involvement Team
excellent value for money but also genuinely         on 0161 474 2862 or email customer.
improve the quality of life for many       

New Stockport Homes'
Partnership Agreement
Recently we have                   The new partnership agreement        For more information on the
undertaken a review of the         will show all of the ways            new Partnership Agreement
Partnership Agreement and          customers can get involved           see our website www.
you have been telling us           in influencing and shaping the under
what we can do to continue         decisions taken by Stockport         ‘Our services / Getting
                                   Homes. The new Partnership           involved’ or contact Rebecca
to enable all customers to
                                   Agreement will be launched in        Horton, Acting Customer
get involved and be at the
                                   autumn 2010 and a summary            Involvement Manager on 0161
heart of driving service           document will be available for all   218 1368 or email rebecca.
improvements.                      customers in the next issue of
                                   Stockport at home.

12            Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21               
Board news

The heart of decision-making
- Stockport Homes' Board

Board column
I joined Stockport Homes             and I would encourage any
as an independent Board              interested customers to come        To find out more about
Member in October                    along and see how all the           Stockport Homes’ Board,
                                     money is spent! I particularly      please visit our website
2007, and although my                enjoy the challenge of ensuring     www.stockporthomes.
current three year term is           that officers are continually       org under ‘About us/Our
coming to an end, I have             questioned in order that the        Board’.
decided to remain on the             Board can further improve the
Board having enjoyed                 services that are delivered to      The Board pages of the
my time so far with the              you.                                website include a ‘meet the
                                                                         Board’ section and details
organisation.                        Another part of my role as a        about the decisions that
                                     Board Member is as the Finance      Stockport Homes’ Board
As well as sitting on the Board, I
                                     Board Champion, which enables       make. You can also find
am the Head of Finance at City
                                     me to advise and inform the         out what is discussed at
West Housing Trust, a Housing
                                     Board in this specialist area       Board meetings. Don’t
Association which owns and
                                     whilst also contributing to the     forget – Board meetings
manages stock in West Salford.
                                     development strategy and the        are open to the public,
I have worked in a financial
                                     decision-making process. I          but you must let us know
environment for nearly thirty
                                     am looking forward to serving       in advance if you plan
years, with over ten of those
                                     another term with Stockport         to attend. Please contact
being in the social housing
                                     Homes and contributing to           Jeremy Beatty, Governance
sector. As a qualified accountant,
                                     the future success of the           Manager on 0161 474 2850
I have the necessary skills and
                                     organisation.                       or email jeremy.beatty@
experience required to chair the
Finance and Audit Sub-Group
here at Stockport Homes, which       Kind regards,
meets four times a year.             David Wright,
The role of the Finance and
Audit Sub-Group is to monitor        Member
and make decisions around
Stockport Homes’ finance
and risk management. It also
monitors and promotes the
delivery of value for money
across the business. All
meetings are open to the public                             Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21         13
Board news

Welcome to our new
Board Members!
Colin Lennard                                              Jane Clayton
I have lived in Cheadle for nearly                         I am delighted to take my place on
twenty years and have been a Stockport                     Stockport Homes’ Board. I have been a
Homes’ tenant since 2005. Before                           Stockport Homes’ tenant for two years
retiring in the same year, I ran the local                 and have lived in social housing for
laundrette, a successful small business,                   many years. I worked as a Housing
and have always lived and worked at                        Officer for eight years before moving to
the heart of the community, playing an                     Stockport. At Stockport Homes I worked
active role in the Borough.                                as a Customer Involvement Officer
                                                           before my retirement in 2008.
My keen interest in local issues led me to join the
Quality Panel at Stockport Homes at the start of           I joined the Board of Adactus Housing
2009. This has given me an excellent insight not           Association in 2002 and have been chair for
only into how the organisation is run, but how             over three years, which also gives me a seat on
active customers can shape and improve the                 the Adactus Group Board. It is hugely rewarding
services that they receive, with the ultimate aim of       to play such an important role in shaping an
increasing customer satisfaction.                          organisation to provide the best possible service
                                                           for tenants, with a strong emphasis on customer
Becoming a Tenant Board Member is the next                 care and achieving value for money, whilst also
stage in furthering the development of my                  building more properties to house even more
commitment to local issues. I am pleased to                people in housing need.
be able to represent the views of all Stockport
Homes’ customers through my new role, which                Since January 2009, I have been involved as a
puts me in a better position to support customers          customer by attending Customer Action Groups
and influence the way in which our services are            and the Sheltered Housing Working Group. I
provided.                                                  have also been involved in the New Build Design
                                                           Guide working group and the Building Cleaning
I also feel that, as a disabled member of the              Procurement Group. Although I live in sheltered
community, I can offer the Board a different               housing, I can draw on my experience of bringing
perspective on issues, and am committed to                 up a family in a Council house
making sure that all customers receive equally             to understand the needs of
              high standards of service.                   tenants of all ages and to
                                                           consider those needs when
                                                           making decisions as
                 Best Wishes, Colin                        a Board Member.

                                                           Best Wishes, Jane

14              Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21                  
Customer Finance news

Are you paying too much
rent or Council Tax?
Housing Benefit is not just for people who are sick, unemployed, or over 60. It is also
payable to those in employment. It is seen by the government, along with Council
Tax Benefit as a key in-work benefit.

Changes to the rules for families with children and    Apply today! You may be surprised at how
the over 60’s mean that more people than ever will     much you can get.
now be entitled to help with their rent and Council    Have a look at our benefits calculator and apply
Tax.                                                   online at You
• Families - Child Benefit is no longer counted        can also ring the helpline on 0161 217 6015 or call
    as income when we work out your Housing            into any Stockport Direct Local Centre for a form
    Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.                   or a benefits check. To find out the location and
• Over 60s - If you have savings, the first            opening times of your nearest centre, please call
    £10,000 is now ignored.                            0161 217 6009.

Police Service news

Top tips to keep your
property safe
1. Remove temptation - remove anything in              5. Valuables - make sure that valuables and car
   your garden that could be used to smash a              keys cannot be seen from outside. Also don’t
   window such as bricks or planks of wood.               leave keys hidden outside.
2. Fences - most burglars break into a house           6. Windows and doors - one in three burglaries
   from the back. Good rear garden fences or              are down to insecurities so remember to shut
   hedges, coupled with a side gate will help             and lock all of your windows and doors.
   protect your home.                                  7. Natural barbed wire - planting prickly plants
3. Lighting - external lighting is an excellent           next to fences and walls can act as a deterrent
   deterrent as burglars prefer dark gardens that         to trespassers and thieves.
   they can hide in.                                   8. Wheelie bins - wheelie bins are sometimes
4. Alarm - always set your alarm, even if you             used as a climbing aid or as a means of
   are only going to be out of the house for five         transporting property. Secure them if you can
   minutes or are in bed.                                 and store them away from doors and windows.
For more crime prevention tips please visit                              Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21           15
Leaseholder news

Do you have a gas appliance
in your property?
To ensure the safety of all our residents, the        repaired why not contact Repair 1st who work in
lease requires Leaseholders to ensure that gas        partnership with Stockport Homes to provide a
equipment is kept in a good condition and the         complete all trade repairs service. You are under
Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends          no obligation to use Repair 1st but you may wish
an annual service of all gas appliances by a          to compare our quote with other contractors. If
qualified tradesman with Gas Safe Registration        you are interested in this service, please contact
(formally Corgi). For more information ask your       Lynda Moore, Operations Manager’s Assistant
Leasehold Officer to send you a HSE Gas Safety        on 0161 218 1375 or email lynda.moore@
Advice leaflet or you can visit their website
                                                      If your gas boiler or fire has not been
If you sublet the property there are additional       serviced in the last twelve months, for
regulations you, as a landlord, must comply with.
                                                      your own safety and the safety of others,
If your gas appliance needs to be serviced or
                                                      you need to act now!

16             Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21                
Leaseholder news

You Said, We did
 You said...                                           We did...
 Following major works Leaseholders were               We have now produced a leaflet giving
 unsure how they could meet large invoices.            information on payment methods and details of
                                                       support agencies, which will be included with all
                                                       consultation works.

 Information about how Leaseholders can pay            We included this information along with other
 for large invoices and how service charges are        useful infomation and issued the Leaseholder
 calculated was not included in the Leaseholder        Handbook to Leaseholders in January 2010,
 Handbook.                                             following consultation with Leaseholders on our
                                                       email database.

Leaseholder Forum
At the next forum Maria Shaw from Stockport         As the forums are popular with Leaseholders
Council’s Insurance Team is attending to answer     please book your place with Tracy Nield.
questions about the policy and cover. Other
topics that will be covered include the Home        If you don’t have time to attend
Contents Insurance Scheme and accessing the         meetings but still like to get involved,
gas and repairs service.
                                                    please contact Tracy Nield, using the
Time: 6.30pm (refreshments from 6.00pm)             contact details below.
Date: 14 September 2010
Venue: Conference Room, 1 St. Peter’s

Contacting your
Leasehold Officer

                                                           Tracy Nield
Please cut out Tracy’s business card opposite and          Leasehold Officer
keep it in a safe place just in case you have any          T: 0161 218 1364
Leasholder questions. You can also contact Tracy           M: 07800 617810
to book an appointment to speak to her in person.          E:
                                                                                                              Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21            17
Anti-Social Behaviour news

Focus on Domestic abuse

Domestic abuse is a pattern of controlling and aggressive behaviours used
by perpetrators to maintain power and exert control on persons experiencing
domestic abuse.

Stockport Homes is committed to delivering the          strangulation, choking, honour based violence,
best possible services for people experiencing          refusal to administer prescriptive medication.
domestic abuse. Stockport Homes believes that
no one should live in fear of domestic abuse and        Sexual abuse – rape, coerced sex, forcing a
will take whatever steps possible to advise, assist     person experiencing domestic abuse to take part
and support any person suffering from or being          in unwanted sexual acts, refusal to practice safe
threatened with domestic abuse.                         sex or use contraception, threatened or actual
                                                        sexual abuse of children.
Abuse can be actual or threatened and can
happen every so often or on a regular basis.            Emotional abuse – creating isolation, using
People don’t have to be physically abused to            threats, putting a person down, humiliating,
experience domestic abuse. Domestic abuse can           undermining them, verbal abuse, forced marriages.
manifest itself in the following forms:
                                                        Financial abuse – controlling bank accounts or
Physical abuse – hitting, punching, kicking,            benefits, making a person experiencing domestic
slapping, hitting with objects, pulling hair, pushing   abuse account for all their spending, running-up
or shoving, cutting or stabbing, restraining,           debts in a person’s name.

18              Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21                
Anti-Social Behaviour news
Stockport Homes defines Domestic Abuse as:
  “any violence between family members, current or former partners in an intimate
  relationship, whenever or wherever the violence occurs. This may be physical,
  sexual, emotional or financial.”

Domestic abuse – the facts                             We will ensure that persons experiencing domestic
                                                       abuse are given accurate advice and support to
                                                       assist them in making informed decisions of what
In reality over 90% of domestic abuse
                                                       to do next. We will work in partnership with other
cases are committed by men against                     agencies to protect and support anyone who has
women, however domestic abuse can                      been a victim of domestic abuse.
also affect men. It is estimated that one
in four women and one in six men will                  If you are experiencing domestic abuse from
experience domestic abuse at some                      a current or former partner or another family
                                                       member, your Neighbourhood Housing Officer
point in their life.
                                                       (see page 2 for contact details) and the Anti-Social
                                                       Behaviour Team can support you. You can contact
One in four violent crimes involves people in
                                                       the ASB Team on 0161 218 1498.
domestic relationships and more than half of all
persons experiencing domestic abuse are involved
                                                       The Housing Options Team can also provide
in more than one incident. No other type of crime
                                                       you with advice and interviews on the measures
has such a high rate of repeat victimisation.
                                                       you can take to safeguard your home, your
                                                       housing options and, if necessary, help you seek
                                                       refuge. You can contact the Housing Options
What will Stockport Homes                              Team on 0161 474 4237 or email
do if you report domestic
                                                       There are also other
Stockport Homes will take all reports of
domestic abuse seriously and will take
                                                       organisations that can
legal action against any person where                  support and advise you
we have evidence that domestic abuse
                                                       Stockport Women’s Aid - call 0161 477 4271
has occurred.                                          or visit
This could include taking out an injunction or         National Domestic Violence Helpline
Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) to stop the         - call 0808 2000 247
abuse repeating.
                                                       Greater Manchester Domestic Abuse
We can also help you find alternative                  Helpline - call 0161 636 7525 or visit
accommodation if you wished to do so or      
assist you to remain in your home by installing a
Sanctuary Scheme. A Sanctuary Scheme is when                   For more information please
security measures are installed to allow those                 contact Liz Ellis, ASB and
experiencing domestic abuse to remain in their                 Caretaking Services Manager
own home if they wish to do so.
                                                       on 0161 218 1381 or email liz.ellis@
                                                                           Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21            19
Anti-Social Behaviour news

Positive action against
Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)
In each issue of Stockport at home we provide you with a breakdown of the different
types of legal action against perpetrators of ASB.

Stockport Homes has continued to drive forward           Here is a breakdown of the number of legal actions
taking legal action against perpetrators of ASB and      we have taken during 2009/10 compared to
has taken even more legal action over the last year.     2008/09.

 Type of                   Total         Qtr 1             Qtr 2          Qtr 3       Qtr 4          Total
 Legal Action              Year End      (April - June     (July - Sept   (Oct -Dec   (Jan - March   09/10
                           (08/09)       09/10)            09/10)          09/10)     09/10)
 Notice of Seeking         8             3                 3              0           5              11
 Postponed Possession 1                  1                 2              1           1              5
 Outright Possession       6             1                 1              4           0              6
 Evictions                 7             1                 0              1           0              2
 Notice to Terminate       4             1                 1              1           2              5
 (Introductory Tenants)
 Notice to Extend          10            1                 3              2           0              6
 (Introductory Tenants)
 Demotion Notices          5             4                 2              0           0              6
 Injunctions               40            11                13             21          12             57
 Undertakings              4             3                 2              2           3              10
 Anti-Social Behaviour     3             0                 1              2           1              4
 Orders (ASBOs)
 including interims
 Demotion Orders           1             0                 1              0           0              1
 Committal                 0             1                 0              0           2              3
 Noise Abatement           0             4                 0              0           0              4
 Closure Orders            1             0                 0              1           0              1
 Total                      90           31                29             35           26            121

20              Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21                    
Anti-Social Behaviour news
Legal action to tackle racist
In August 2009 Stockport Homes received a complaint from a customer in Adswood
that they had been the victim of a racist incident.

The ASB Officer discovered that        The Court specifically ordered      • congregate in a group
the family had been suffering          that Louie shall not:                 numbering greater than three
racist and hate related abuse                                                persons in the front garden
                                       • act in an anti-social manner
since 2008 from a youth and his                                              of any property on Melrose
                                         in the Metropolitan Borough
friends who lived nearby. The                                                Crescent and Otley Grove,
                                         of Stockport;
family had been too frightened of                                            Stockport; or
reprisals to report it to the police   • use abusive, insulting,
                                                                           • contact or approach the
or Stockport Homes. They and             offensive, threatening or
                                                                             witnesses in the case or their
their children had been called           intimidating language or
                                                                             children, whether directly,
racist names, bricks had been            behaviour in a public place
                                                                             indirectly or via a third party.
thrown through their windows             or in any place the public has
and they had been assaulted.             access to in the Borough of
                                                                           If Louie breaks these conditions,
                                                                           he will be arrested and placed
In August 2009 the behaviour
                                       • intimidate, threaten, make        before the courts and could face
towards the family had escalated
                                         racist threats to or racially     a five year prison sentence.
and Stockport Homes made an
                                         abuse any person;
application for an emergency
interim Anti-Social Behaviour          • put any person in fear of
Order (ASBO) against Louie               being subjected to personal          ATTENTION!
James Platt aka Conlon. Louie            violence or engage in any
contested the application and            activity which could cause
the case went to trial.                  any person to fear for their
                                         personal safety or that of
On 25 March 2010 after hearing           their property or personal
evidence from the witnesses and          possessions;
officers from Stockport Homes,
                                       • congregate in the Borough
the Magistrates Court ordered
                                         of Stockport in a group
that a full ASBO be imposed for
                                         numbering greater than three         If you see Louie Platt and
two years. The Magistrates were
                                         persons on the highway or in         you believe he may be in
satisfied that Louie had acted
                                         any public place to which the        breach of the conditions
in a manner which caused or
                                         public has access to with the        of his ASBO please
was likely to cause harassment,
                                         exception of the Probation           contact the police on
alarm or distress and felt that the
                                         Service or Youth Offending           0161 872 5050 or
ASBO was necessary to prevent
                                         Team or Police Officers or           Stockport Homes’ ASB
the people of Stockport from
                                         when attending on college            Team on 0161 218 1498.
further acts of ASB.
                                         premises;                                Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21             21
Sustainability news

Play time for children
across the Borough
Children and residents have been celebrating across the Borough with the opening
of seven new play areas over the last few months, with innovative equipment
including aerial runways, activity trails, embankment tube slides, basket swings and
overhead rotators.

                                                      in order that the children can play safely.
                                                      I am certain that Moat Walk play area will
Moat Walk Park                                        be enjoyed by many local families in the

                                                      Stockport Homes has been working with
                                                      Stockport Play Partnership to provide these new
                                                      spaces, with funding secured by the Department
                                                      for Children, Schools and Families Playbuilder
                                                      programme, Procure Plus (formerly GM Procure),
                                                      Big Lottery, Stockport Council and Stockport

The openings have seen face painters, balloon
artists, a samba band, krypton factor challenges,
arts and crafts, cakes and strawberries.

The new play areas are located on Walnut Tree
estate, Cheadle Heath; Marbury Road, Heaton
Chapel; Hollywood Park, Edgeley; Moat Walk,
Brinnington; Unity Park, Reddish; Peak Street, and
Bradshaw Hall, Cheadle Hulme.                                                  Heaton Norris Park

Maureen Rowles, Vice-Chair of Stockport Homes’
Board attended Moat Walk opening event and
                                                             Further improvements will be
“Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the Moat                        taking place this year and you
Walk Opening on such a sunny day in                   can find out more in future issues
Brinnington. It was wonderful to see the              of this newsletter, by visiting www.
enthusiasm on the children’s faces, and the  or by telephoning
parents were also very impressed with the             Jo Cole, Sustainability Manager on 0161
play area. I am very pleased that the tenants
                                                      474 2918 or emailing joanne.cole@
now have such a wonderful communal area,
and that another camera is being installed  

22             Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21              
Sustainability news

Stockport Homes’                                                                          kp
                                                                                               o rt Ho m


                                                                                   St o
Community Fund

                                                                                              m u n it y F

Your chance to access funds to help
improve your neighbourhood

Residents are already benefitting from Stockport Homes’ Community Fund; so
far residents living on Mottram Street Estate and Millbrook Community Centre
have secured £500 each to deliver a programme of events and trips out and 13th
Stockport Cubs group have received £1,000 for a new mess tent.

What can the funds be used for?                        How much can I apply for?
Do you want to organise a sports programme             You can apply for up to £1,000 per project. The
or project to improve the lives of young people,       amount awarded will depend on the project.
create a wildlife garden or carry out some tree
planting to help improve the environment or hold       Where can I find out more?
a community event in your neighbourhood, for           Complete an on-line application form by going
example, fun day or sports day?                        to our website
                                                       under ‘Our services / Getting involved /
How can I apply?
                                                       Community Fund’.
Any person or group can apply, as long as they
make a commitment to:
                                                       Help is available for customers who may need
• having a plan for how the funding will be used;
                                                       help / assistance completing the application form
• publicising the project as much as possible
                                                       – please contact your Area Housing Office (see
   within the community; and
                                                       page 2 for contact details). Alternatively, you can
• having the support of a least two Stockport
                                                       pick up a paper form from one of the Area Housing
   Homes’ customers.
                                                       Offices or the Housing Information Centre at 1
                                                       St. Peter’s Square.                              Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21                 23
Housing Management news

Green fingers
in Edgeley                                                       Yo r k S t r e e t E s t a t e

A new gardening club funded by Stockport Homes’ Community fund, has been set
up with the local residents on the York Street Estate, Edgeley.

The club brings the local community together and         Jackson and Jackson Contractors have been
gives the avid gardeners on the estate a chance of       working on the York Street Estate carrying out
sharing their skills with others.                        kitchen and bathroom replacement work since
                                                         January 2010. As an acknowledgement of how
Eight residents have been meeting with staff             welcoming and community minded local residents
from Stockport Homes and Glendale (Stockport             have been, Jackson and Jackson have recently
Homes’ Grounds Maintenance contractors) to               presented the group with a £50 garden centre
create a gardening club. They undertake weeding,         voucher to enable them to continue with their
re-planting and cultivating of the plants, making it a   good work.
nicer place for people to enjoy.
                                                                 Any residents on the York Street
The volunteers have been involved in all aspects                 Estate wishing to join the club,
of decision-making, choosing anything from plants
                                                                 please contact Adele Keating,
to tools. The group have also worked closely
with Stockport Homes’ Greenspace Manager to              Acting Local Housing Manager (West
develop an annual calendar of gardening tasks.           Area) on 0161 474 4371 or email
Funding to start the club, including the provision
of gardening equipment and plants, was obtained
through Stockport Homes.

24              Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21               
Housing Management news

Improving local
Following a doorstep survey on the Walnut Tree Estate, Cheadle Heath in May 2009,
Stockport Homes set up a working group to take forward outcomes. This includes
Greater Manchester Police, SK Solutions and Stockport Council services
including Leisure, Play Development and Environmental.

                                                       Other key issues raised by residents included
                                                       littering, dog fouling, nuisance caused by off road
                                                       bikes, recycling and lack of facilities for children
                                                       and young people. As a result, newsletters have
                                                       gone to local residents advising them how to
                                                       report specific issues. Recycling facilities have now
                                                       been introduced across the estate by Stockport

                                                       During summer 2009, Greater Manchester Police
                                                       had a high presence on the estate to tackle mini
                                                       motorbike nuisance. Police Community Support
                                                       Officers and Police took immediate action to
                                                       remove the motorbikes. This sent a clear message
The purpose of the group was to respond to the
                                                       to perpetrators of this nuisance. There have been
issues residents raised in the survey and provide
                                                       no further reports of this problem. Similar events
real and visible outcomes.
                                                       are planned for summer 2010, but if you see any
                                                       vehicle nuisance on any estate, please contact
The group worked to develop a jointly funded
                                                       Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
new play area, which was officially opened on 22
May 2010. There is also a calendar of scheduled
                                                       Stockport Homes will be carrying out a final
events for local young people aiming to improve
                                                       perception survey in early 2011 on the Walnut Tree
fitness and physical activity and give young
                                                       estate. The findings from this survey will measure
people something to do during free time. This is
                                                       the impact on the local community following
something many parents felt strongly about.
                                                       the many activities, events and ongoing general
                                                       physical improvements.
One of the main priority issues raised by residents
was the negative appearance of abandoned
shopping trolleys from the local Morrisons store.             For more information, please
Stockport Homes and Stockport Council are                     contact Adele Keating, Acting
working closely with Morrisons to support them in             Local Housing Manager (West
recovering abandoned trolleys. Recent visits to the
                                                       Area) on 0161 474 4371 or email adele.
estate and feedback from residents indicate that
the problem has reduced. Residents can report
abandoned trolleys by calling Streetscene on
0161 217 6111.                              Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21             25
Social Inclusion news

Early education
and childcare
From September 2010, the amount of free nursery
time available for eligible three and four year olds
will increase from 12.5 hours to 15 hours a week
for 38 weeks of the year.

The 15 hours can now be spread over three days
(or more). This enables the family to access a
variety of times and days when the hours can be
“spent”. The free entitlement is not restricted to
morning or afternoon only sessions.
                                                              For more information, please call
                                                              Family Info Link on 0808 800 0606
From September 2010, free hours can be claimed                or see the leaflet “15 Hours Early
over a minimum of three and maximum of five            Education and Childcare for 3 and 4 Year
days, subject to agreement with the provider(s). In    Olds” available online at
Stockport, up to six hours can be claimed for any
one day.

Save with Stockport
Credit Union
Do you want:                                           Those in the
                                                       know realise that
• easy and flexible ways to save;                      Stockport Credit
• free life insurance on savings and loans (subject    Union offer the
  to age limits);                                      lowest rate loans to
• pay into your account at a local collection point    Credit Union savers.
  or by standing order; and                            A loan of £100 only costs £107 to repay.
• know your money is in safe hands.                    Borrowing the same amount from other lenders
                                                       could result in anything up to £171 being repaid.
Then why not join Stockport Credit Union?

To join Stockport Credit Union, complete the                   Please call Stockport Credit
enclosed Stockport Credit Union application form               Union on 0161 430 5808 or go to
and take it to a local collection point with proof
of your ID, joining fee of £1.20 and a minimum
deposit of £1.00.                                      details of your nearest collection point.

26             Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21                
Social Inclusion news

How to lower your gas
and electricity bills
We are all now paying more for our gas and electricity compared to five years ago.
Therefore, being more energy efficient and shopping around for energy is more
important than ever in helping to lower your gas and electricity bills.

Energy price comparison service                      Energy saving tips

Energy companies offer a confusing range of deals    You can reduce your energy bills further by:
so it’s often hard to see what’s on offer. To make
things easier, from August 2010 there will be an     •    switching off lights that you don’t need;
energy price comparison website linked to                               •    using your washing machine on a low
There will be a simple guide on how to use the
service, making it clear what information you need   •    not leaving laptops and mobile phones on
to hand before you start. You can compare and             charge unnecessarily; and
switch providers with confidence as the website is
fully accredited by Consumer Focus. There is also    •    using energy saving lightbulbs.
a freephone number for customers who do not
have internet access. Further publicity regarding
the comparison website will feature on our website
                                                         More energy saving tips can be found at
and at Area Housing Offices nearer the launch.                            Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21             27
Performance news

Spotlight on... performance a
A customer-driven update, giving you information that you want to know.

In each issue of Stockport at home, we will            when it comes to our performance – we’re always
be providing you with updates on how we’re             putting it in the “spotlight”. Here is an update on
performing in your top ten areas, whether we’re        Customer’s Top Ten performance indicators for
really pleased with how we’re doing, or are still      Quarter Four (January - March 2010).
striving to get better. So you can be sure that

 Customer                 Performance                                    How we are         On
 priority                 indicator                                      performing         target?

 Decent Homes             % properties which meet the Decent             95.4%
                          Homes standard.

 Repairs quality          % of responsive repairs (non-emergency)        94.8%
 (service)                where an appointment was made and

 Repairs satisfaction     % customer satisfaction with the repairs       96%

 Repairs speed            % of urgent repairs completed on time.         98.10%

 Households in hostel     Number of households in hostel                 23
 accommodation            accommodation.

 ASB – action taken       Number of legal actions taken against          26
                          ASB perpetrators so far this year.

 ASB – satisfaction       % of customers satisfied that they were        95.19%
                          kept up-to-date with the progress of their
                          ASB case.

 Empty property           Average number of days taken to re-let         21 days
 management               vacant properties.

 Investment               % customers satisfied with investment          94.6%
 satisfaction             works.

 Customer feedback        % customers satisfied with the complaints      92.5%

     = performing well (compared to our target)             = under target

28              Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21                
  Performance news

at Stockport Homes
  As at year end, Stockport Homes has performed exceptionally. Positive performance
  can be seen in the Repairs and Investment Service, ASB Service, Homelessness
  Service and Customer Finance.

  Customer satisfaction with the complaints              2009/10 which shows improvements are being
  procedure fell below year end target by 3.5%           made to estates. Gas servicing has also shown
  despite 100% customer satisfaction in March. In        positive performance during 2009/10 with all of
  order to improve satisfaction levels the Customer      Stockport Homes’ properties having been serviced
  Feedback Policy is being modified to focus on          by the end of the year.
  customer satisfaction with the outcome of a
  complaint.                                          For more information please
                                                      contact Samantha Donigan,
  The Decent Homes Programme continues to make
                                                      Performance and Improvement
  significant improvements to many of Stockport
  Homes’ properties. The programme is due to be Manager on 0161 474 3279 or email
  completed on schedule by July 2010.           samantha.donigan
  The percentage of estate inspections rated at least
  good, has also shown strong performance during

                                                         The Decent Homes Programme
                                                         continues to make significant
                                                         improvements to many of Stockport
                                                         Homes’ properties.                              Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21        29
 Performance news

Happy at Home
Customer Satisfaction and Stockport Homes

In order to make sure that we learn                        Satisfaction at a glance:
from our customers, we regularly ask
you for your opinions on our services.                     Through The Roof

                                                           An amazing 98.9% of customers
This may be through questionnaires we send you             surveyed were satisfied or
through the post, conversations we have with               very satisfied with the
you on the phone, or by asking you to come to              training opportunities
our offices to tell us what you think. We use this         offered by Customer
information to improve services and make sure              Involvement. This is above
that our customers are satisfied. In addition, we          the target of 96% set for
take this information to the Performance Customer          2010. If you have any comments
Action Group and Tenants’ Federation every year,           on our Customer Involvement service, please
and publish information on our website.                    contact the Acting Customer Involvement
                                                           Manager, Rebecca Horton on 0161 218 1368.
‘Happy at Home’ will also be a regular article
in Stockport at home. We’ll use it to highlight
services you’ve told us you’re happy with, as
                                                           Room for Improvement
well as services you’ve asked us to improve. We
hope that this will help us show that we take your         64.8% of customers were satisfied
opinions seriously.                                        or very satisfied with the
                                                           maintenance of the hedges,
                                                           shrubs, rose and
        If you have any questions
                                                           flowerbeds on our
        about this, please contact the                     properties. This is a vast
        Performance and Value for                          improvement on the figures
Money Team at Stockport Homes via                          from the year before, with an
Samantha Donigan, Performance and                          increase of 37.8%. If you have any comments
Improvement Manager on 0161 474                            about the grounds maintenance service,
                                                           please contact the Greenspace Manager,
3279 or email samantha.donigan@
                                                           Tony de Beaufort on 0161 474 2953.

 30             Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21               
Performance news

  You Said... We Did...
 You were unhappy with the amount       We investigated and discovered the repair had been
 of time you were told to wait until    categorised incorrectly. We apologised to the customer and
 your sink could be unblocked.          unblocked the sink.
 You suggested (via the Customer        This has been implemented on all invitations.
 Involvement CAG) that a ‘question’
 section for customers is included
 on Area Forum invites.
 You wanted crèche facilities or        We can hold a crèche at 1 St. Peter’s Square. We can also
 childcare at meetings so that you      assist in the organisation of a child minder and cover the
 could concentrate on the exercises.    cost.
 You were unhappy with the              We arranged for a deep clean to be carried out at The
 standard of cleaning in one block.     Bentleys. We increased the frequency of how often we
                                        monitor the cleanliness of this block.
 You were spoken to by a member         We informed the member of staff’s Manager. They
 of staff in a way you did not like.    apologised in writing and arranged for the member of staff to
                                        attend a coaching session in customer care.
 You were unhappy with a repair         We arranged for an operative to visit. They identified further
 which kept coming back despite         work was required to resolve the situation and we arranged
 efforts to sort it out.                for that work to take place.We also changed our system to
                                        flag up reoccurring repairs to assist staff.
 You wanted all customers to have       The Performance CAG is now open to all customers and
 the opportunity to attend the          meeting dates are publicised in ‘Dates for Your Diary’. As a
 Performance Customer Action            result the last Performance CAG had a huge attendance.
 Group (CAG).
 You were unhappy as you believed       We identified an error had been made with an application for
 you were eligible for a property you   re-housing. The customer did not meet the age criteria for
 were interested in only to be told     an age restricted property. We updated our IT systems to
 you were ineligible.                   make it easier to process age restricted bids and reduce the
                                        chance of this occurring again.
 You requested that there are follow    There are now level 2 (word processing) and level 3 (excel)
 on courses incorporated into the       courses to follow on from the ‘Living with Computers at
 Skills for Life programme.             Home’ course. There has also been a food hygiene level 2
                                        course to follow on from the Credit Crunch Cooking course
                                        that incorporated the food hygiene level 1 qualification.

         To pay us a compliment, make a complaint or comment on our services, please call our
         Customer Feedback Officer on 0161 474 2600, or click on the ‘Make a complaint’ link
         on the homepage of our website                          Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21               31
Performance news

Service Improvement Plan
At Stockport Homes, we are always trying to do things better, and to improve our
services to keep on meeting the needs and aspirations of our customers.

To do this, we produce a three year Service           Customers have been consulted on the SIP
Improvement Plan (SIP), which is reviewed each        through Customer Action Groups (CAGs), where
year. This plan is structured around nine Corporate   they have been asked to suggest actions to help
Strategic Objectives, which demonstrate clear links   achieve the overall objectives. This has given
to Stockport Homes’ Mission and Aims. Delivery        customers a real say in how Stockport Homes
of the SIP will ensure continuous improvement         can keep improving its services for customers.
for you, our customers, and help ensure ongoing       At the highest level, there are five customers on
achievement of the mission and aims.                  Stockport Homes’ Board, which sets the Strategic
                                                      Objectives. Progress against the SIP is monitored
The SIP has currently been developed for 2010/13,     monthly by the Chief Executive and the Directors,
and our nine Corporate Strategic Objectives are as    and quarterly by the Performance Sub-Group
follows:                                              of the Board. Updates are also taken to the
                                                      Performance CAG, so that customers can keep
1. Secure and maintain the long-term viability of
                                                      an eye on the progress that is being made. The
   Stockport Homes.
                                                      Performance CAG has recently changed its terms
2. Ensure customers continue to lead, drive and       of reference, and now all customers are welcome
   shape service direction.                           to attend the meetings.
3. Build on the investment in stock to deliver
                                                      A copy of the Strategic SIP can be found
   sustainable homes and communities.
                                                      on the Stockport Homes website www.
4. Ensure all stakeholders understand the benefits under ‘How are we
   and achievements of Stockport Homes.               performing / Service Improvement Plan’.
5. Champion sustainable practices.
6. Maximise access and our contribution to social             If you are interested in coming
                                                              to this CAG and receiving
7. Stretch the boundaries for excellence by                   regular updates on the SIP, and
   delivering a culture of continuous improvement.    how Stockport Homes is performing,
8. Ensure staff feel empowered, well trained and      please contact Samantha Donigan,
   an integral part of the organisation.              Performance and Improvement Manager
9. Ensure Value for Money is integral to everything   on 0161 474 3279 or email samantha.
   we do.                                   

The SIP then lays out how we plan to achieve          Alternatively, by attending any CAG
these objectives, right down to specific actions
                                                      you can influence the services, please
that managers promise to deliver in their services.
                                                      contact the Customer Involvement Team
These include projects like developing a customer     on 0161 474 2862 for more information.
scrutiny panel for the organisation, implementing a
youth engagement strategy, and delivering actions
from Neighbourhood Action Plans.

32             Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21              
Housing Options and Homechoice news

Have your say on the new
Homelessness Strategy
The Housing Options Team is currently developing the new Homelessness
Strategy for the Borough, due for release in early 2011.

We want to hear your views about what should be       Our aim is to prevent homelessness and promote
included, and the key issues you feel are important   planned moves with the help of our partners;
in Stockport. During our 2007-2010 strategy the       where we cannot do this we strive to provide
Housing Options Team introduced several new           appropriate support, and a good standard of
services, such as:                                    temporary accommodation.
• the Housing Support Point, a one stop referral
    for all housing related support services;                  Keep an eye on our website and
• a dedicated officer working with offenders;                  the Going Places newsletter
• a mortgage worker offering help and advice to
                                                               for details of forthcoming
    homeowners struggling to keep up with their
    repayments; and                                   events, or you can contact Fiona Carr,
• an Employment Support Officer to help               Homelessness Strategy Development
    customers look for work, training and             Officer on 0161 474 3726 or email

Have your say about
how Homechoice works
The Council policy that explains how Homechoice allocates properties is being
reviewed this year.

The current points system that      The views of Stockport Homes’      the internet, or would prefer to
decides how much priority a         customers are vital in helping     speak to someone in person,
Homechoice applicant receives       shape the new Policy, and          please contact the Homechoice
is being looked at, along with      consultation is being undertaken   Team on 0161 474 2975 who
other issues such as what size      through Area Forums, Customer      will be happy to call you back
and type of property different      Action Groups and the Stockport    and complete a questionnaire
households can apply for, and       Tenants’ Federation.               with you by telephone.
even whether some additional
help in finding a home should be    You can also complete our on-      All our customers will be
given to people who are in work,    line questionnaire at              contacted well in advance about
training or volunteering in their             any changes to the Policy, which
community.                          If you do not have access to       will be implemented in 2011.                            Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21           33
Resettlement news

Teenage Parent
My name is Yvonne Morris and I am a
Resettlement Officer working in the Young
Parents Housing Advice and Support Service.

Many people know of the Resettlement Team –             •   healthcare services and parenting classes;
visiting new customers in their homes and helping
them set-up all their bills and obtaining furniture
                                                        •   mother and baby groups, playgroups and
and white goods and all those other things that go
towards making a house a home.

We also offer a service to young people who still
live at home either with parents or friends, and
are either young parents or are due to become
parents. I visit young people who are at home
to discuss housing options and I can help
with completing applications for Homechoice
and Housing Associations, contacting private
landlords with a view to privately renting and
with applications to Stockport Homes’ Deposit
                                                        •   education and training, accessing free child
                                                            care where relevant; and
Once you have been allocated a property or you          •   other agencies who can help with any issues or
have found somewhere privately, we will work                problems you may have.
through a plan of support together and we can
access:                                                 We will work together to ensure that you maintain
                                                        your tenancy successfully and that you are aware
•    furniture and benefits;                            of all the other services that are around to help with
                                                        this. The service also takes referrals from a variety
                                                        of agencies including Family Nurses, Midwives,
                                                        Connexions and MOSAIC.

                                                              If you are a young parent or
                                                              are pregnant, contact me at the
                                                              Resettlement Team on 0161
                                                        474 3772 or email yvonne.morris@

34               Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21                 
Fire Service news

Fire deaths kept low – but
even one is too many
We’re making ‘Greater                as a result of accidental fires in   Assistant County Fire Officer
Manchester Safer’, but there’s       the home between 1 April 2009        (Fire Safety) Jim Owen said, “We
still more to do. That’s the         and 31 March 2010 (Stockport         have now fitted over 250,000
stark message from Greater           had one fatality).                   free smoke alarms in homes
Manchester Fire and Rescue                                                across Greater Manchester
Service as the latest figures        The majority of these tragic         as part of the free home fire
highlight the continuing success     accidents had contributing           risk assessment service.”
of the services drive to reduce      factors such as alcohol,
the number of fire deaths in         smoking, or drugs. This should       You can arrange for a
Greater Manchester.                  remind people to take extra care,    free home fire safety risk
                                     particularly when smoking or         assessment by calling free on
Despite fatalities being kept at a   drinking, and to make sure they      0800 555 815 or by visiting
low level, there were 12 deaths      have a working smoke alarm.                              Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21           35
Technical Services news

                                                                          Thanks to Jeff Wilton from the Dodd Group for this illustration.

Don’t forget your abc - call
0161 217 6016 and make your
angry boiler smile!
36    Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21
Technical Services news

Stockport Homes aims for
a new ‘horizon’
On 1 April 2010 the Department of Energy and Climate Change launched the new
Feed-in tariff initiative.

This allows electricity to be generated by               Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) in the Greater
individuals or communities at a local level using        Manchester region. Together the Horizon Energy
renewable technologies (for example solar panels)        Cooperative is seeking to raise around £5 million
and any extra electricity produced by the solar          of external funding from Europe and the UK.
panel can be exported to the National Grid. The          This funding will help to deliver a three year pilot
Government have announced that they will pay             scheme that will see the development of over
41.3p for every kWh (Kilowatt hour) of electricity       800 solar photovoltaic panels installs along with
that is generated from solar photovoltaic cells and      Combined Heat and Power units across the three
a further 3p per kWh for energy exported to the          districts of Stockport, Bury and Oldham.
National Grid.
                                                                For more information, please
To take advantage of the new opportunities                      contact Louise Whan,
that are available under this scheme, Stockport
                                                                Environmental Officer on 0161
Homes are co-founders of the Horizon Energy
Cooperative along with other partnering Arms             474 2401 or email louise.whan@
Length Management Organisations (ALMOs) and    

Partner Agency news

Stockport Libraries - Home
Library Service
Does age, disability or caring prevent you,
or someone you know, from visiting the
library? If so, the Home Library Service will deliver
your choice of books, music and films direct to
your door all free of charge.

To join the service, simply call 0161 474
5600 or email homelibraryservice@                                Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21             37
Partner Agency news

Recycling in Stockport
Stockport Homes in partnership with Stockport Council is committed to improving
the environment on our estates and ensuring customers have the opportunity and
facilities available to recycle.

You can now recycle more of your waste at              Top Tips:
recycling sites at supermarkets and Council car
                                                       1. Try composting your garden waste at home to
parks. The Recycling Team are also reviewing
                                                          make a free soil improver you can use on your
all the recycling and waste bins at flats so you
                                                          garden. For bargain compost bins, visit
can recycle plastic bottles, glass, food tins and
drink cans, empty aerosols, aluminium foil, paper,
cardboard and drinks cartons from your home.           2. All types of plastic bottles can be recycled –
                                                          don’t forget the ones in the bathroom such as
They are also reassessing Stockport Homes’                shampoo and shower gel bottles.
estates to see if properties are suitable for the
blue and brown wheelie bins and are looking for        3. Don’t worry about removing labels from bottles
alternative recycling facilities where wheelie bins       and jars, labels will come off in the recycling
are not appropriate.                                      process - just give them a quick rinse in your
                                                          left over dishwashing water and recycle them.
Items that can be recycled from your home.

 Items for the                                                            Items for the
 Blue recycling                                                           Brown recycling
 bin.                                                                     bin.

        To find out more visit the Council’s website or
        call 0161 217 6111.

38              Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21               
Partner Agency news

Stockport FLAG
Since January, there has been a new independent service helping people to find out
about all the adult health and social care services in the Borough.

For Local Advice and Guidance (FLAG) ensures
that local people have easy access to information
and advice about the services available to help
individuals and families maintain healthy and active
lives. FLAG has trained, impartial advisors who
provide one-to-one support, signposting people to
the services or specialist information they need.

To use this free service, you can either call in or
make an appointment at the Town Centre base
on Chestergate or meet with a FLAG advisor at
one of the outreach sessions (see details of these
sessions on our website www.stockportflag. Alternatively, please email info@                               The Stockport FLAG Team or call the helpline number
0161 474 1042.

Stockport Boost
– At your service
Stockport Council provides over 600 value for money services to help you, your
family, neighbours and friends.

From FREE advice on benefits, to information             Watch out for a new film from Stockport Boost
on childcare, to renewing a library book online,         on the Council website or You Tube, in which
applying for residents’ parking or even getting your     resident Charlene Parr and her five year old
old fridge collected - the Council is your first port    daughter, Jasmine, take a tour of the Borough
of call for help, support and advice.                    showing us how services are helping to create a
                                                         safer, stronger, healthier, greener and more thriving
As part of the Stockport Boost campaign,                 Stockport.
Stockport people are helping by putting their faces
to some of the key services that make Stockport                To find out what Stockport
a good place to live. Improving parks, play areas,             Council can do for you visit
roads and footpaths, supporting businesses,
                                                (free internet
young people, the vulnerable and older people are
just some of the services residents are helping to       access is available at all Stockport
promote.                                                 libraries).                                Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21             39
Directors column
Hello, I hope you                           your priorities – not ours, so get
enjoyed this issue of your                  involved and make a difference!
newsletter.                                 A key document that has
                                            been recently reviewed is the
It’s an exciting time here at               Partnership Agreement. This
Stockport Homes and we                      Agreement highlights all the
were pleased to inform you                  various ways you can get
about our successful Audit                  involved and influence the
Commission inspection in                    services we provide. Over 700
February that concluded                     customers provided feedback
we were providing excellent                 and customers continue
services. However, this doesn’t             to monitor whether we are
mean we stop striving to get                meeting our commitments
better.                                     through the various involvement
                                            methods, for example                   – so as highlighted on page 8, if
                                            Customer Action Groups, the            you do have an idea for
Each year we develop a plan
                                            Quality Panel or Tenant and            an article or would like to
called a Service Improvement
                                            Resident Groups. For more              contribute please let us know –
Plan, which details the
                                            information please see the             we look forward to hearing from
improvements we want to
                                            article on page 12.                    you!
make. These are discussed at
Customer Action Groups on an
ongoing basis (see page 32 for              Finally, we continue to look at        Best wishes,
details). We want to continue to            ways of making the articles in         Sandra Coleing
ensure these improvements are               this newsletter more interesting       Director of Quality

Diversity and accessibility
 A free interpreting service is available if you need help with   You can get copies of newsletters and
this newsletter. Please telephone Stockport Interpreting Unit
  on 0161 477 9000. Email:             other documents from Stockport Homes
                                                                  on audiotape or CD, or in large print free of

                                                                  For more information, please contact Phil
                                                                  Rhodes on telephone 0161 474 2860
                                                                  text 07891 949 399 email phil.rhodes@
                                                         or write to Social
                                                                  Inclusion Team, Directorate of Housing
                                                                  Management, 2nd Floor, 1 St. Peter’s
                                                                  Square, Stockport SK1 1NZ

                                                                                 The paper which is used for this
                                                                                 newsletter is from a sustainable
                                                                                 source. Please recycle it in an
                                                                                 appropriate way.

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