Stockport at home Stockport Homes’ Customer Newsletter Issue 21: Summer 2010 Stockport Homes ‘one of the best housing services in the country’ SEE PAGES 4-5 TO FIND OUT MORE 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 Question 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) Hotline 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 www.stockporthomes.org 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 Accreditation. 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 customers.” motivated. 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. www.stockporthomes.org 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 Directorate 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 www.stockporthomes.org Customer news ne of the best ntry’* • 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 schemes. • 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 www.stockporthomes.org • 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. www.stockporthomes.org 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 www.stockporthomes.org Customer news Free football event for 8-14 year olds 2 free Stockport County tickets for everyone who attends 25 August 2010 FREE FR EE 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, email firstname.lastname@example.org or book on-line at www.stockporthomes.org Transport provided www.stockporthomes.org Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21 7 Customer news Your chance to to me r Appr o ✓ ve s Cu d approve our Ja r g o n F re e literature! 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. email@example.com 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. customers. 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 www.stockporthomes.org Customer news Storage of electric mobility scooters 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. firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 www.stockporthomes.org 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. www.stockporthomes.org Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21 9 Customer Involvement news Calling all young people! 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 at www.stockporthomes.org 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. email@example.com 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 nicola.green@ The group are planning more activities such as hair stockporthomes.org who can provide and beauty sessions, cooking, dancing and drama support and advice. classes. 10 Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21 www.stockporthomes.org Customer Involvement news Stockport Tenants’ Federation 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 firstname.lastname@example.org www.stockporthomes.org 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 email@example.com customers.” 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 stockporthomes.org 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Stockport at home. 12 Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21 www.stockporthomes.org 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 stockporthomes.org 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 Board 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 www.stockporthomes.org 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 www.stockporthomes.org 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 www.stockport.gov.uk/benefits 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 www.gmp.police.uk www.stockporthomes.org 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 stockporthomes.org www.hse.gov.uk 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 www.stockporthomes.org 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 Square 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: email@example.com www.stockporthomes.org 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 www.stockporthomes.org 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 firstname.lastname@example.org do if you report domestic abuse? 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 www.stockportwomensaid.org.uk 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 www.endthefear.co.uk 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@ stockporthomes.org www.stockporthomes.org 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 Possession Postponed Possession 1 1 2 1 1 5 Orders Outright Possession 6 1 1 4 0 6 Orders 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 Notices Closure Orders 1 0 0 1 0 1 Total 90 31 29 35 26 121 20 Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21 www.stockporthomes.org Anti-Social Behaviour news CASE STUDY Legal action to tackle racist behaviour 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, Stockport; 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; www.stockporthomes.org 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 future.” 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 Homes. 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 said, 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 stockporthomes.org 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 stockporthomes.org 22 Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21 www.stockporthomes.org Sustainability news Stockport Homes’ kp o rt Ho m c es St o Community Fund d un Co m 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 www.stockporthomes.org 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. www.stockporthomes.org 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 email@example.com of gardening equipment and plants, was obtained through Stockport Homes. 24 Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21 www.stockporthomes.org Housing Management news Improving local communities 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 Council. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. abandoned trolleys by calling Streetscene on 0161 217 6111. www.stockporthomes.org 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 www.stockport.gov.uk 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 www.stockportcu.com for 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 www.stockporthomes.org 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 www.stockporthomes.org • using your washing machine on a low temperature; 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. www.energysavingtrust.org.uk www.stockporthomes.org 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 kept. Repairs satisfaction % customer satisfaction with the repairs 96% service. 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% procedure. = performing well (compared to our target) = under target 28 Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21 www.stockporthomes.org 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 @stockporthomes.org 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. www.stockporthomes.org 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. stockporthomes.org 30 Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21 www.stockporthomes.org 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 www.stockporthomes.org www.stockporthomes.org 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 stockporthomes.org 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 inclusion. 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. email@example.com. 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 www.stockporthomes.org 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 education. firstname.lastname@example.org 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 www.stockporthomes.org any changes to the Policy, which community. If you do not have access to will be implemented in 2011. www.stockporthomes.org Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21 33 Resettlement news Teenage Parent Resettlement Officer 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 nurseries; 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 Scheme. 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@ stockporthomes.org 34 Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21 www.stockporthomes.org 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. www.manchesterfire.gov.uk www.stockporthomes.org 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 www.stockporthomes.org 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 stockporthomes.org 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.gov.uk www.stockporthomes.org 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 www.stockport.gov.uk/waste 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 www.stockport.gov.uk/waste or call 0161 217 6111. 38 Stockport at home - Summer 2010 Issue 21 www.stockporthomes.org 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. org.uk). Alternatively, please email info@ The Stockport FLAG Team stockportflag.org.uk 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, www.stockport.gov.uk (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). www.stockporthomes.org 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: email@example.com other documents from Stockport Homes on audiotape or CD, or in large print free of charge. For more information, please contact Phil Rhodes on telephone 0161 474 2860 text 07891 949 399 email phil.rhodes@ stockporthomes.org 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.
Pages to are hidden for
"Stockport at home"Please download to view full document