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					                                            texting time
                                        q   Once the number is in the phone     What happens to my text
                                            compose your message                message?
                                        q   To help us deal with your           Your text or multimedia message will
                                            request effectively please follow   go directly to Winchester City
                                            the examples detailed below:        Council Customer Services Centre
                                        To report a non urgent repair at        who will then deal with the request.
                                            your property text:                 What if I don’t have a mobile
                                        q   Repairs – your surname – house      phone?
Picture the scene, it’s 9 pm and            number – postcode                   You can ring on 01962 840 222,
you have something you need to                                                  write, e-mail, fax on
                                        To report fly tipping text:
report to Winchester City Council.                                              01962 841 365 or come in to the
                                        q   Fly tipping – your surname –
It’s not an emergency but you                                                   Customer Service Centre.
                                            location of tipping
would like to know that it’s been                                               For more information or
                                        To report an abandoned
reported and will be dealt with -                                               any queries about Customer
                                        vehicle text:
what do you do?                                                                 Services please contact Customer
                                        q   Abandoned vehicle – your
Until recently you would have had                                               Services by telephoning
                                            surname – vehicle registration –
to wait until the next day to contact                                           01962 840 222, e-mailing
                                            location of vehicle
the Customer Service Team, but not                                              customerservices@winchester.gov.uk
                                        To request a member of the
any more. As part of our focus on                                               or by sending an SMS text
                                        Customer Service team to call you
improving customer service we have                                              message to 07797 877 004.
                                        back text:
introduced an SMS text service so
that customers can report repairs,
                                        q   Call back – your surname –
fly tipping, abandoned vehicles or          house number - postcode
request a callback.                     Note we will call you back on the
The benefits speak for themselves,      phone that you sent the SMS text
as you can save time and money by       from unless you specify an
texting your request to us any time     alternative number.
of the day or night. You’ll receive     How much will my SMS text               It’s OK to AS                                                  CM0813-22964 June 2006 Designed by Winchester City Council’s Design, Print & WP Unit


an auto reply message confirming        message cost me to send?                             K!
                                                                                        On a low incom
that we’ve received your message.       The cost of sending a text or                                    e?
                                                                                        Working on a
The Customer Service team will pick     multimedia message is dependant                                low wage?
                                                                                        Struggling to m
up the messages during the next         on the mobile phone tariff you                                   eet your
                                                                                         living costs?
working day and contact you by          use. (Refer to your mobile network                For advice on
                                                                                                         Housing and Co
                                                                                           Benefits ring               uncil Tax
6pm on the same day that we read        service provider for details of                       01962 848 53
your message.                           charges.) Winchester City Council                                  9
                                                                                               Tele pho ne call
                                                                                                                s may be reco
                                                                                                                              rded
                                                                                                  or visit our we
                                                                                                                 bsite
How do I text?                          Council does not make any                                  ww w. wi nc he
                                                                                                                   ste r.g ov.u k

q   Save our text number 07797 877      additional charge.                                             It doesn't cost any
                                                                                                        might be able to
                                                                                                                          thing and you
                                                                                                                          get some help.

    004 to your mobile phone - see
                                                                                                                       www.winchester.g

    your mobile phone instructions on                                                                                                  ov.uk




    how to do this.

page       16                                                                                 on the house
                           house
    housing news for Winchester City Council tenants and leaseholders



    inside                    Working Towards
    this edition:                    Decent Homes
                             The Government’s target to bring all council homes up to the Decent Homes standard is
                             progressing well in the district. Whilst many councils will not be able to achieve the target,
q    Texting Times
                              the City Council has very clear plans and is confident of bringing all your homes in line with
                               the Standard well in advance of the December 2010 deadline.
q    Hot Property
                               Whilst the housing stock in Winchester is generally in very good condition, in April 2005
     Pullout                   there were 908 houses that technically fell short of the Standard. Since then, we have
                                improved approximately 160 homes that were previously classed as ‘non decent’.
q    Recycling                    Now, less than 15% of our homes fail the Standard.
     Round up                       Much of this work involved improving loft insulation and we have been able to
                                     gain extra Government grant to help fund this, which is great news in light of
q    TACT Quiz                        current budget pressures.
     Key Staff                            In the coming year we will be bringing a further 290 properties up to the
                                            Standard, again with significant extra Government grant to help with
q    Flower Power                            insulation work.
     Competition                               Whilst the Council is committed to achieving the Standard, maintaining
                                                funding levels is increasingly difficult as the Government continues to take
q    New Portfolio                               40% of all the rent we collect for housing in other parts of the country.
     Holder for                                   We will achieve the Decent Homes targets, although our ability to
                                                   maintain current services in the long term remains uncertain.
     Housing and
     Communities



                       Cllr Tony Coates

     ...and look out for
     the latest edition
     of ConTACT

edition         4                                                                                         june 2006
dear
   tenants                                                                       language
Every year the June edition of on the house carries
essential information on the maintenance contracts                               line
that are being carried out in the coming year and I                              The City Council has access to
                                                      Glynis Cole
know that you will be avidly searching to find out if
                                                                                 Language Line, which provides
your home is in line for improvement or redecoration. We have
combined all these items into a Hot Property Pullout and in fact this            an instant interpretation
edition is crammed with information from the Property Services team,             service 24 hours a day, with a
along with a Who’s Who about them, which tells you who does what.                team of qualified interpreters
You will find that some of your Area Housing Managers are on the move            used to communicating in over
and we have two new, and very experienced, faces on the team. There is           100 languages. Language Line
a new way of contacting our Customer Service Centre – by text – in case          can set up a conference call so
you need to get in touch with us out of hours.                                   that the Council, an interpreter
Of course summer is the time when our thoughts turn to the garden and            and a non-English speaker can
our annual gardening competition is open to all tenants and leaseholders         all be on the line at the
– so why not nominate your garden, or even your neighbour’s? This year           same time for a three-way
we have added another category to include the Best Balcony as we
                                                                                 telephone conversation.
spotted some sensational balconies while judging in 2005. Looking green
                                                                                 Language Line can also
and lovely are the open spaces around Godson, Lawn and Windsor
Houses following a huge re-landscaping scheme and you will find news             provide text translation and
on their makeover inside.                                                        text to speech services.
There is more news from our hard working Neighbourhood Warden                    If you, a relative or a
team, which just goes on growing. And our evergreen TACT Chairs                  neighbour would like to talk
Alan Rickman and David Cruden have been talking turkey with                      to the City Council through
Clive Broomfield about empty properties and I think their question               the Language Line service,
and answer session gives us all an insight into how voids are handled –
                                                                                 please contact your Area
and some of the problems we face.
                                                                                 Housing Manager.
So please make the most of on the house and let us know of any subjects
you think we ought to be writing about. Don’t forget if you would like to
join TACT or a local Tenants Association, please give Seema or myself a call
on Freephone 0800 716 987.
                             Best wishes,                                      TEXTPHONE
                                                                               This facility is available for tenants
PS and thank you to everyone who sent                                          that are deaf or hard of hearing.
me cards and kind wishes when I was off                                        Please telephone 01962 878 982.
work earlier in the year.

                                                                                Winchester City Council,

get it taped                                                                    City Offices, Colebrook Street,
                                                                                Winchester, SO23 9LJ.
                                                                                telephone 01962 840 222
If you would like any of the information in                                     fax 01962 841 365
                                                                                email housing@winchester.gov.uk
on the house translated into another language, or made                          website www.winchester.gov.uk
available in large print or audio format, please call
                                                                                Telephone calls may be recorded.
Glynis Cole on Freephone 0800 716 987.
                                                                                Printed on environmentally friendly paper.


page       2                                                                                      on the house
TACT quiz key staff continued

stages, (i) before the existing tenant     £1,300, some properties are left in     provided into consideration.
leaves where access is gained, (ii)        such an appalling state that they       Allocations are always made based
whilst the property is empty – essential   require works well in excess of this    on the applicants housing need and
works to make it habitable, safety         amount. Three properties that have      in line with the Scheme of Allocation.
checks and cleaning, and (iii) once the    arisen during the last six months in    Such matters as aspirations for
new tenant has moved in. However it        Hambledon, Bishops Waltham and          schooling, public transport, proximity
must be stressed that works carried out    Wickham have cost £14,698, £17,202      to relatives and friends, etc., are all
once the new tenant has taken up           and £16,543 respectively. Much of       taken into account wherever possible.
occupation will be carried out in          this work should be rechargeable to     It is not always practical or possible
accordance with existing responsive        tenants but in reality the money is     to satisfy all of these elements and if
and planned maintenance timescales.        seldom recoverable. The photographs     this is the case the property will
Housing Associations take tenants          on these pages should give you some     sometimes be rejected. Often these
to view properties, so that                idea of the sort of thing we are up     decisions are based on a particular
potential problems can be sorted           against.                                event in a tenant’s life over which
out at the time of viewing, saving                                                 they have no control or the property
issues arriving later on. Is this the                                              does not meet the applicant’s
path we should be going along in                                                   expectations.
the future?                                                                        Should tenants be encouraged to
This is another recommendation arising                                             widen their area of choice and
from the 2003 Best Value Review.                                                   should we consider the numbers of
However it was rejected on Health &                                                offers made, or is this controlled
Safety grounds. It was thought that                                                by the Government?
officers would be put at risk when                                                 Sometimes, tenants are very exact in
taking an unknown potential tenant to                                              their areas of choice. Some types of
view an empty property. We are in the      It is important to TACT that voids      properties in popular areas only
process of making video footage of the     get turned around as soon as            become available on a very limited
property available for viewing at the      possible as the Housing Revenue         basis and this will be pointed out. It
City Offices.                              Account suffers if not, and             then becomes a matter of need versus
                                           Government cuts make every £1           choice for the tenant. It is our job to
Is completing a void turn-around
                                           vital to the HRA.                       open up all options and to empower
an expensive exercise? Because
the money involved is from the             It is equally important to officers     the individual to make informed
HRA, is all the rent money                 that voids are turned around as         choices. There is no limit on the
accounted for?                             quickly as possible.                    number of offers made but there is a
                                           Tenants are given choices of            limit on types of property offered. For
Turning around void properties is a
                                           property over a period of time, but     instance a three-bedroom house will
very costly business. We currently have
                                           turn many down. Do we gather            not be offered to a single person, nor
around 450 voids annually at a cost of
                                           information as to why and are the       would a second floor flat be offered to
£600,000 in terms of maintenance/
                                           reasons given genuine?                  a wheelchair user unless it is serviced
repair works. A further £300,000 is lost
                                                                                   by a lift and this is considered suitable.
annually in rental income. Much of the     Yes, we naturally gather information
                                                                                   In line with Government guidelines
cost of maintenance works could be         and try to use it to further our
                                                                                   we will be introducing a Choice
avoided if tenants left their properties   understanding of people’s preferences
                                                                                   Based Lettings System by 2010.
in an acceptable condition. Although       so that future offers can, where
the average cost of a void is around       possible, take the information
on the house                                                                                              page         15
TACT quiz key staff
TACT Chairmen, Alan Rickman and            q   Look after your property and leave          standards are applied to all,
David Cruden recently held an informal         it as you would expect to find it.          so exceptions should be very rare.
question and answer session with the           It is the tenant’s responsibility to     Housing Associations have a much
Head of Property & Contracts Services,         keep internal decorations up             better turn round time on Voids than
Clive Broomfield and Housing Needs             together and to report repairs as        we do currently. What can we learn
Manager, Diane Cooper. Here are some           they arise. This policy is outlined in   from them?
of the key points from their discussion:       your tenancy agreement and in the        In terms of maintenance work, the
How long does it take to turn round            Tenant’s Handbook, but sadly is          turnaround time is determined by two
a void (empty) property to be ready            often ignored.                           factors, (i) how much work is necessary
for allocation?                            q   Once you have given notice or            to bring the property up to the locally
The average maintenance period,                had your transfer approved, please       agreed Minimum Voids Standard and
including the client pre- and post             make every effort to co-operate          (ii) when this work is carried out (the
inspection times, is 3-4 weeks.                with the Voids Officer and your          Minimum Void Period – MVP). In terms
                                               Area Property Surveyor. Make             of the former, some Housing
Are you trying to improve on this?
                                               appointments with them promptly          Associations already carry out less
Yes. Now that the extent of the work           and ensure that you keep them.           work than we have agreed with you
to be carried out in each void has             If pre-termination/transfer works        in our Minimum Voids Standard.
been agreed with the tenant groups             are identified by the Voids Officer      In terms of the latter, some Housing
(Minimum Voids Standard), we are               please carry them out as quickly as      Associations already carry out much of
now looking to implement the                   possible, making sure the work is        the works with either the existing or
Minimum Void Period - as identified            of a good standard.                      new tenant in occupation.
in the 2004 Best Value Review.             q   Clear all rubbish and unwanted
How can tenants help?                          furniture/carpets from the property.
Tenants can help the Council and their         Don’t just assume that the incoming
fellow tenants/rent payers in the              tenant will want them. If in doubt
following ways:                                check with the Voids Officers.
q   Only move house when absolutely            Remember you will be liable for a
    necessary – and not just because           recharge if the Council has to do
    you fancy a change. For example,           this on your behalf.
    one particular tenant has moved        q   Take responsibility for your property
                                                                                        Some of the problems that we face with
    five times during the last five            and your actions. This way you           empty properties
    years into like properties. Of 450         will minimise the financial impact
    voids each year, over 50% of               on the Housing Revenue Account           Tenants in Housing Associations are
    these are transfers. If fewer              (HRA) and on each other as rent          prepared to move into a property that
    transfers went ahead there would           paying tenants.                          requires further work, provided that
    be more properties available           q   As tenant groups – TACT, Property        they have the promise that the work
    on the waiting list for homeless           & Contracts Forum and Rents &            will be completed shortly afterwards.
    people and genuinely more                  Business Forum – you can help us         Should we follow this system?
    needy cases such as those with ill         as officers to uphold the policies       We are already moving towards this.
    health or disabilities, or where           that have been jointly agreed.           With the introduction of the MVP the
    there is overcrowding.                     It is essential that fair and equal      work will be completed in three distinct
                                                                                                           continued on page 15 ...

page        14                                                                                        on the house
flower power
Calling all green-fingered tenants and leaseholders.         Please complete the form and return to Glynis Cole,
This summer we will again be running our Gardening           Tenant Participation Manager, at the address below.
Competition and you don’t have to be Alan Titchmarsh to      Entries should be returned no later than Friday 14th
take part. If you are proud of your plot then let us know,   July 2006. Happy Gardening and Good Luck!
or if you are impressed with your neighbour’s jungle,
then why not nominate them instead - just send in the                                            Competition judge Sandy Worth with
                                                                                                 last year’s Best Front Garden Winner,
form below. This year there will be four classes as                                                      Bernie Sheppard of Alresford.
we have added a new category, Best Balcony,
as we were so impressed with all the wonderful
balconies we saw on our travels last summer.
Sandy Worth of the Watermeadow Nursery
in Cheriton has agreed to be our judge and
she will be looking for colourful and well-
maintained gardens. Entry is free to all City
Council tenants and leaseholders with prizes
of £30 gift vouchers awarded to the winners
of the Best Front Garden and Sheltered
Scheme, with two runners-up each receiving
£20 gift vouchers. The Best Hanging Basket
winner will receive a £25 gift voucher
and the Best Balcony winner will receive a
£25 voucher.
                                                                                                                                  Ê


    I/We would like to enter/nominate* for                   Daytime Tel. No.
    (please delete as appropriate)

    THE BEST FRONT GARDEN                              u     * If you are nominating another gardener please
    THE BEST HANGING BASKET                            u     enter their details here:
    THE BEST SHELTERED HOUSING SCHEME                  u     (Please also make sure that you have their permission)

    THE BEST BALCONY                                   u     Name

    (please tick the relevant box)

    Your Name                                                Address


    Address



                                                             Please return to: Glynis Cole, Tenant Participation
                                                             Manager, Winchester City Council, FREEPOST, NAT
                                                             15377, Winchester SO23 9ZW. No stamp required.



on the house                                                                                                       page            3
housing surgeries                                                          can’t afford
Do you have any Housing Benefit or Housing Management issues               to buy?
you would like to discuss? If so, then why not come along to one
                                                                           If you would like to buy a home of your own
of our Housing Surgeries? A Benefits Officer and an Area Housing
                                                                           but you can’t quite afford it, Swaythling
Manager will also be in attendance. Here are the dates, times and
                                                                           Housing Society has just been awarded the
locations of Housing Surgeries in the south of the district for the
                                                                           funding to help council and housing association
rest of the year:
                                                                           tenants in most areas of Hampshire to buy a
Venue: Normandy Court, Wickham                                             home on the open market with the Homebuy
Area Housing Manager: Jane Hobbs - telephone 01962 848 198                 Scheme. The Open Market Homebuy scheme
Day: 1st Wednesday of the month Time: 10am to 1pm                          enables you to choose a home to buy, just
   q    Wednesday 5th July 2006                                            like any other home buyer (usually through
                                                                           an estate agent) as long as you can afford
   q    Wednesday 2nd August 2006
                                                                           75% of the purchase price yourself.
   q    Wednesday 6th September 2006
                                                                           Swaythling will provide the remaining 25%
   q    Wednesday 4th October 2006
                                                                           of the purchase price in the form of a loan.
   q    Wednesday 1st November 2006
                                                                           There is nothing to pay on this Homebuy loan
   q    Wednesday 6th December 2006                                        and no rent payable, the condition being that
Venue: White Wings House, Denmead                                          the loan must be repaid when you sell your
Area Housing Manager: Kate Mooge - telephone 01962 848 400                 home and at 25% of the value at that time.
Day: 1st Thursday of the month Time: 2pm to 5pm                            Swaythling will not expect you to pay the
                                                                           loan back unless you sell or move away from
   q    Thursday 6th July 2006
                                                                           your new home, although you could opt to
   q    Thursday 3rd August 2006
                                                                           pay it at any time
   q    Thursday 6th September 2006                                        in the future if you
   q    Thursday 2nd November 2006                                         wish. Effectively
   q    Thursday 7th December 2006                                         you will be buying
These surgeries provide a face-to-face service for those who are           your own home
unable, or who do not wish, to travel to Winchester. However, if you       for three quarters
are unable to attend these local surgeries because of ill health, please   of the real cost.
call your Area Housing Manager to arrange an appointment in your           Priority for the
own home.                                                                  scheme will be
For further information on these local surgeries, or to make               given to Housing
an appointment, please call your Area Housing Manager on                   Association or council tenants.
01962 840 222.                                                             To qualify for the Homebuy scheme, you
                                                                           usually need to be in full time work and
                                                                           have at least £2,500 savings to cover the

Wordsearch Winner                                                          cost of legal fees and other expenses.
                                                                           You can see all the details on
Congratulations to Mrs Sheila Hayward of central Winchester who            www.homesinhants.co.uk where you
won our Creepy Crawly Wordsearch in the last edition. Sheila chose         can apply on line. Or, you can phone
£20 worth of High Street vouchers.                                         02380 628 000 for an information pack.



page        4                                                                                   on the house
who’s who in property services
Who’s Who in this issue of on the house features the Property
Services Team which provides a sterling service maintaining the
Council’s extensive portfolio of both Housing and Corporate property.
The Management Team – is led by Clive Broomfield and co-ordinates all
policy and operational issues in relation to building and maintenance
projects for both corporate and housing stock. They have responsibility for
                                                        budgeting,
                                                        programming,                                 The Planned Maintenance Team (left to right)
                                                                                                     Melvin Laney, Jeff Vale, Perri Seymour, Emma
                                                        review processes
                                                                                                     Smith, Allen Smith and Keith Miles.
                                                        and taking all
                                                        projects through                             contract surveyors draw up detailed
                                                        from inception to                            specifications and documents
                                                        final account.                               outlining the scope of
                                                                      Department Management          the work. The Clerk of Works
                                                                      Team (left to right)           oversee all these projects and may
                                                                      Rod Shepherd, Clive
                                                                      Broomfield, Gaynor Bromley     be seen out and about in the district
                                                                      and Andrew Kingston.           carrying out their inspections to
                                                                                                     ensure that works are carried out to
                                                                                                     both the City Council’s and tenants’
                                                                                                     exacting standards. Also included in
                                                                                                     this team are the specialists who
                                                                                                     deal with disabled adaptations, the
                                                                                                     installation of handrails, stairlifts
                                                                                                     and level access showers, etc.

The Corporate Team (left to right)                The Property Surveyors (left to right)
                                                                                                     Customer Liaison and
Les Titheridge, Marriam Baxendale, Kevin Blake,   Neil Trenfield, Derek Parker, Les MacLachlan and   Administration – this team deals
Clive Broomfield and Rod Shepherd.                Graham Howard.
                                                                                                     with the day-to-day administration
The Corporate Team – maintains                    The Property Surveyors – this team                 of the section, offering support to
properties like Abbey House and the               acts on a responsive basis to your                 all other sections and to tenants.
Guildhall, shops and offices,                     requests for repairs, arranging work               They are also the point of contact
recreation centres and also                       and offering advice as necessary. The              between tenant and contractor
monuments like the Buttercross.                   Voids Surveyor is also part of this                during major refurbishment works.
Many of the properties                            team, making sure our empty
are historically important and listed             properties are made safe and ready
building consents from English                    for re-letting.
Heritage may be required before                   The Planned Maintenance and
any work is carried out. Specialist               Clerk of Works Team – handles cyclic
workforces such as stonemasons and                and planned maintenance work. This
iron founders are often employed on               can include such projects as external
these sorts of projects.                          repair and painting, re-roofing and
                                                  kitchen refurbishment for which the                Customer Liaison & Administration (left to right)
                                                                                                     Mike Wallbridge, Barbara Howells and Gary Job.




on the house                                                                                                                    page           13
what tenants want
Since we first brought you news of this new improvement              schedule and they must agree to carry out each task to a set
scheme, Property Services has been in consultation with the          standard, for a set price. The contractor’s performance will be
City Council’s Legal team for their comments and, after              monitored, and the prices will be reviewed regularly to ensure
detailed discussion it was concluded that this scheme should         they remain fair and competitive.
not be run directly by the Council.                                  The price list will be made available to tenants who are then
As there is a great deal of enthusiasm and demand for this           free to approach any contractor on the list. The contractor will
project, we felt that another solution had to be found to enable     deal with you direct, and you will pay them.
the scheme to proceed, whilst ensuring that a reliable and           Any scheduled works carried out at your property, by one of the
trustworthy service was still available.                             preferred contractors to our specification, will thereafter be
Therefore, instead of the Council providing the service directly,    maintained free of charge by the Council for the term of the
we will negotiate with an approved list of contractors who           tenancy. A full list of improvements will be discussed at
will deal directly with you. Many popularly requested items          Property and Contracts Forum when the final approval for
will be included and these items will be set out in a schedule       the scheme will be sought. Once approval has been given the
prepared by Property Services staff. Selected contractors will       various items will be specified and scheduled ready for pricing.
be invited to agree a rate for each job specified in the             We will bring you further updates in on the house.

rubbish costs money!
The subject of rubbish in occupied or void (empty) properties is always a thorny issue. If the Council is involved
in removing rubbish from your property - be it whilst you are in occupation or after you have left and the property
is empty - you will find yourself liable for a recharge.

It is a very costly exercise for the         You will also be charged an               q    Furniture, appliances and other
Council to undertake, usually                administration fee of 10% of the               unwanted household items.
involving either the contractor hiring       total charges to cover staff time. You    q    The contents of lofts and brick
a skip or making use of a caged              see how the bill soon mounts up!               built sheds.
vehicle to cart the rubbish away.            We do therefore recommend that            q    Timber sheds and greenhouses.
Costs for either of these services are       you take responsibility for removing
roughly similar. In both instances                                                     q    Garden rubbish and building
                                             your own rubbish at all times. If you
however an additional charge for                                                            rubble.
                                             are moving home this must include:
‘Landfill Tax’ is levied on
the contractor because he is
dumping on a commercial basis. This
cost will naturally be passed on to
the Council.
It would therefore be much cheaper
for you to take your own rubbish to
the local recycling centre as you
would not be liable for this tax.
So in calculating your recharge costs
the Council must consider the cost of
carting away, plus the Landfill Tax.


page         12                                               on the house Hot Property Pullout
NEW FACES, NEW PLACES
on the move                                 employment in private practice and
                                            the Rent Service, Jane moved into
                                                                                             “I am committed to maintaining
                                                                                             and improving housing services
Area Housing Manager Kate                   the housing field seven years ago                and standards,” says Su. “I enjoy
Mooge has worked for the City               working for a Housing Association                working with tenants to shape and
Council for 17 years, 16 of those in        based in East Hampshire. She lives               develop neighbourhoods and
Housing. During that time she has           in Southsea and enjoys cycling and               communities which we can be
covered several areas including             playing squash in her spare time.                proud of and want to live in.”
Highcliffe and Winnall and most
recently Weeke and Kings Worthy.                                                             new role for fiona
However, since the retirement of                                                             Fiona Churcher joined Winchester
Peter Roberts, Kate has been asked                                                           City Council in August 2000 as an
to take over the southern parishes                                                           Area Housing Manager, having
area with effect from this April. “I                                                         previously worked in a similar role


                                                                    Jane Hobbs
am really looking forward to taking                                                          at Southampton City Council since
on a new set of challenges within                                                            1995.
the Denmead and Bishops
                                                                                             Over the last six years, Fiona has
Waltham                                     “I am looking forward to working
                                                                                             managed several areas in the district,
parishes,”                                  with local residents,” says Jane
                                                                                             most recently the Highcliffe area and
says Kate.                                  “and maintaining and building
                                                                                             Mildmay Court in Winchester as well
                                            upon the services provided by the
                                                                                             as parts of the southern parishes.
                                            City Council.”
                                                                                             Fiona has now taken up a new
                               Kate Mooge




                                            new su                                           position as Principal Area Housing
                                                                                             Manager, still within Housing
                                            Su Morgan has joined Winchester
                                                                                             Landlord Services. She is responsible
“I would like to say thank you to           City Council as an Area Housing
                                                                                             for providing day-to-day supervision
all those residents who have                Manager and covers the areas of
                                                                                             and support to the Estate Management
helped and supported me over the            Weeke, The Worthys, Hursley and
                                                                                             team, as well as managing the team’s
years and also a special thank you          Otterbourne, previously managed
                                                                                             performance to a high standard.
to all the Tenant Association               by Kate Mooge.
members who I have enjoyed                  Su has wide housing experience
working with.”                              and previously worked for
                                            Manchester City Council and a
jane joins up                               Basingstoke-based Housing
                                                                                                                         Fiona Churcher




Jane Hobbs has recently joined              Association.
the City Council as an Area
Housing Manager covering the
Highcliffe area of Winchester and                                                            “ I will also be developing the
the southern parishes. Jane is a                                                             housing management service to
Chartered Surveyor and a                                                                     respond to the changing needs
Corporate Member of the                                                                      and demands of our customers,”
                                                                                 Su Morgan




Chartered Institute of                                                                       says Fiona, “including reviewing
Housing. Following previous                                                                  current estate management policy
                                                                                             and procedures.”
on the house                                                                                                        page                  5
warden team set to GROW
The City Council’s Neighbourhood           or on behalf of residents who may
Warden Scheme is expanding                 wish to remain anonymous.
again with the recruitment of an
                                           PROJECTS
additional two Neighbourhood
                                           As well as dealing with incidents on
Wardens. This means that the
                                           a daily basis, the Wardens have
Scheme will expand to cover
                                           been regularly attending community
Winnall as well as Highcliffe and
                                           meetings, and multi-agency meetings
Stanmore and we hope that they
                                           with key partners such as the Police.
will be in place as we go to press.
                                           The Neighbourhood Wardens have
Since March 2005 the team has              also been involved in the implementation
tackled a total of 434 incidents:          of various community related projects       The vulnerable vehicle scheme is
84 related to untaxed, abandoned or        in Highcliffe and Stanmore such as the      aimed at reducing the number of
vulnerable vehicles, 152 involved          two new teen shelters for Highcliffe.       vehicles that are broken into, therefore
litter, fly tipping, graffiti, abandoned                                               reducing vehicle crime. Unfortunately
                                           Nigel Devin arranged free football
trolleys, etc., 34 concerned lighting                                                  some drivers are still leaving property
                                           coaching for young people in
and pavements, 73 incidences of                                                        in their cars in plain view of an
                                           Highcliffe last Summer and Mark
anti-social behaviour and another                                                      opportunistic thief. During the course
                                           Bernhardt organised free basketball
89 were crime-related.                                                                 of daily patrols in Highcliffe and
                                           skills lessons in Stanmore, while Peter
                                                                                       Stanmore the Wardens keep an eye
ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR                      Elsey is currently in the process of
                                                                                       out for these ‘vulnerable’ vehicles.
As well as responding to resident          organising and delivering cycle safety
                                           training for pupils at All Saints School.   This information is then passed onto
complaints and passing on valuable                                                     the Police who trace the registered
information to the Police, the Wardens     The Wardens have already supported
                                                                                       keeper and write to them informing
have been heavily involved in the          the implementation of Crime Reduction
                                                                                       them where and when their vehicle
City’s multi-agency anti-social            Week (CREW) in Stanmore last year
                                                                                       was seen and why it was considered
behaviour panel and have already           and will be delivering another CREW
                                                                                       to be at risk.
provided key evidence for the Council      in Highcliffe during the summer.
                                                                                       Neighbourhood Warden Lesley
and Police to support the application      Thanks to the Wardens, residents in
                                                                                       Batchelor has been working with
of an anti-social behaviour injunction,    Highcliffe are now notified of dates
                                                                                       members of the Highcliffe Community
and Acceptable Behaviour Contract.         for the eight weekly street sweeps
                                                                                       Tenants Association to organise an
The Wardens have also supported            and given maps indicating which side
                                                                                       anti-dog fouling poster competition
the Police by providing them with          of the road the sweeper will be on a
                                                                                       for young people in Highcliffe. Young
statements, either as key witnesses        particular day.
                                                                                       pupils at All Saints School were asked
                                           A monthly drop in service is now            to design an anti-dog fouling poster
                                           up and running in Stanmore at Valley        to encourage dog walkers in
                                           Court the first Wednesday of every          Highcliffe to pick up after their dogs.
                                           month from 1 - 2pm and is attended          The winning poster will eventually be
                                           by both the Police and Housing staff.       made into signs to be displayed
                                           This allows residents the opportunity       throughout key locations
                                           to come and speak with the Wardens,         in Highcliffe.
                                           Police or council about any concerns,
                                                                                       For more information on the
                                           or simply to ask for advice on any
                                                                                       Neighbourhood Wardens or to
                                           community or housing-related matters.
                                                                                       contact them direct you can call
                                                                                       them on Freephone 0800 389 6274.

page        6                                                                                        on the house
NEW kitchens and bathrooms
This year’s programme focuses on homes built between                         We intend to provide modern facilities with as much
1950 and 1963 that have not previously had any kitchen                       storage space and work surface as possible, bearing in
or bathroom refurbishment work. They are at:                                 mind the size of the room and the appliances that need
q     Canon Street                 q       Pine Road                         to be included.
q    Churchill Close               q       Pound Cottages
                                                                             Gaynor Bromley or Barbara Howells will contact you to
q    Downs Road                    q       Red Leaves
                                                                             arrange an appointment to discuss the proposed work.
q    Ebden Road                    q       Roberts Close
                                                                             After consultation, if works are to be carried out,
q    Garbett Road                  q       Robertson Road
                                   q       Somers Close
                                                                             a plan will be drawn up with a copy for you. Work will
q    Groves Close
                                   q       St Leonards Road                  then start within approximately three months of the
q    Keble Close
q    Malt Lane                     q       Vale Road                         consultation.
q    Meadow View                   q       Walpole Road                      For further information, contact Gaynor Bromley,
q    Newton Road                   q       Warwick Way                       Senior Customer Liaison Officer, on 01962 848 141.



redecoration                                                                  New Portfolio
     SCHEME
As with the external repairs and painting programme,
                                                                              Holder
the internal redecoration scheme for our older tenants
                                                                              Cllr Tony Coates is the
is programmed around a five-year cycle. The




                                                                                                                                        Cllr Coates
                                                                              new Portfolio Holder for
properties listed below represent one fifth of the
housing stock and are the homes that we will be                               Housing and Communities.
approaching this year in order to decorate one room                           He has been a City Councillor
during the winter months free                                                 since May 2003 and a Parish Councillor for the
q   Abbey Passage      q   Jacklyns Lane          q     Shore Crescent
q   Ashburton Close    q   Jesty Road             q     St Martins Close
                                                                              past 15 years, serving on the Executive
q   Ashburton Road     q   Kiln Lane              q     Staple Gardens        Committee of the Hampshire Association of
q   Basingstoke Road   q   Lawn House             q     Sycamore Road
q   Bereweeke Avenue   q   Lovells Walk           q     Taplings Road
                                                                              Parish Councils. He has undertaken Rural
q   Chapel Fields      q   Lower Brook Street     q     The Brook             Housing Surveys and worked with the Strategic
q   Chapel Lane        q   Malt Lane              q     Upper Brook Street
                                                                              Housing team on the provision of Exception Site
q   Cocketts Mead      q   Meryon Road            q     Valley Court
q   Colson Close       q   Middle Brook           q     Wavell Way            housing in villages.
q   Devenish Road          Street                 q     Wayneflete Place
                       q   Mitford Road                                       He served in the Royal Navy for over 28 years and had
q   Drayton Street                                q     Westman Road
q   Elm Road           q   Moss Road              q     Westwood View         experience of living in Service Rented Accommodation
q   Fleming Road       q   Nicholson Place        q     Willow Road           both in the UK and Abroad.
q   Folly Field        q   Oak Road               q     Windsor House
q   Forder Court       q   Pemerton Road          q     Windsor Road
                                                                              For the past three years he has been the Shadow
q   Godson House       q   Penfords Paddock       q     Wolfe Close           Portfolio Holder for Housing and chaired the Housing
                       q   Pine Road
q   Grange Road                                   q     WoodLark              Scrutiny Committee for one year. He has attended
q   Green Close        q   Princes Buildings            Cottages
                       q   Robertson Road         q     Woolford Close
                                                                              many TACT meetings and hopes to continue to do that
q   Greyfriars
q   Hobbs Close        q   Rowlings Road          q     Wykeham Place         in the future. “I am committed to the provision of both
q   Hoe Road           q   Shepherds Road                                     affordable rented and owner occupied housing for local
                                                                              people,” says Tony.
For further information, contact Gaynor Bromley,
Senior Customer Liaison Officer, on 01962 848 141.

on the house Hot Property Pullout                                                                                    page       11
external repairs
The External Repairs and Painting programme operates on a five-year cycle. This means that around one
fifth of the houses owned by the Council have work carried out on them each year. This year’s addresses are
shown below:
q   Addison Close            q   Chaundler Road       q   Earle House            q    Mitford Road          q   Stratton Close
q   Ashburton Road           q   Colbourne Court      q   Gordon Avenue          q    Normandy Court        q   Tebourba Way
q   Attwoods Drove           q   Coney Green          q   Hussey Close Garages   q    Old Barn Crescent     q   The Bungalow, Gordon Av
q   Austen Close             q   Coram Close          q   Jesty Road             q    Paulet Place          q   Tower Street
q   Battery Hill, Stanmore   q   Craddock House       q   Larrymore Cottages     q    Princes Buildings     q   Trussell Crescent
q   Big Tree Cottages        q   Cromwell Road        q   Lisle Court            q    Princes Place         q   Upper Brook Street
q   Bourne Close             q   Dennett House        q   Lower Brook Street     q    Railway Cottages      q   Wayneflete Place
q   Braxton House            q   Dolphin Hill         q   Lovells Walk           q    Simmonds Court        q   Witherbed Lane
q   Brittany House           q   Drayton Street       q   Meryon Road            q    Spring Lane           q   Woolford Close
q   Canford Close            q   Drummond Close       q   Middle Brook Street    q    St Andrews Green      q   Wykeham Place
q   Charles Close            q   Dyson Drive          q   Mildmay Street         q    St Mary’s Close

During the winter months the Council’s Clerk of Works has inspected and
assessed the repairs needed to the properties on this year’s programme.
Some of these will already have had repair works carried out ahead of
                                                                                          stopcocksurvey
the painting contract. Others will have the repair works carried out just                 In the last edition of on the house we
before the painting starts, probably by the same contractor.                              asked you to take part in a stopcock
Painting will include all external elements previously painted by the City Council,       survey to find the position of stopcocks
such as gutters, fascias, and soffits, down pipes, windows, doors and frames.             within your home. We’re delighted to
                                                                                          say that the survey was a success with
Where applicable communal staircases, common rooms and corridors in
                                                                                          over 30% of you returning your cards
blocks of flats and in sheltered accommodation will be included, together
                                                                                          to date.
with any work to outbuildings belonging to each property. However this
is not a definitive list and elements will vary from property to property.                Only a very small percentage admitted
                                                                                          to not knowing where their stopcock
Please note that any element suspected of containing asbestos material will
                                                                                          is situated and around 10% reported
not be painted at this time. Winchester City Council has reviewed its asbestos
                                                                                          that their stopcock was inaccessible
policy with an independent consultant and has been advised that where such
                                                                                          or required maintenance work. These
elements are present, but they are free of any damage or defect, then these
                                                                                          tenants can expect a visit from the
may be left in position and their condition monitored on a regular basis.
                                                                                          Council’s Clerk of Works during the
However, if any elements are found to beyond economic repair, then the
                                                                                          next 3–4 months. He will ascertain the
Council will aim to replace these at a later date under a separate rolling
                                                                                          position of stopcocks and arrange for
programme of works to be undertaken by a specialist firm. This work will not
                                                                                          maintenance work where necessary.
be carried out by the decorating contractor.
                                                                                          Please be patient with us, as this is
You will be given the name of the contractor beforehand and notified when                 non-urgent work and it will take some
the work on your home will begin. The contractor will offer you a wide choice             time to get round to seeing everybody.
of paint colours for your front, back and shed doors but where your front and
                                                                                          A small tip from our technical staff!
back doors are stained, no choice will be offered. External decoration to all
                                                                                          Don’t have your stopcock fully open.
homes should be complete by October, weather permitting.
                                                                                          Always make sure you turn the tap
For further information, contact Gaynor Bromley, Senior Customer                          back a couple of turns so that you have
Liaison Officer, on 01962 848 141.                                                        some room to manoeuvre should it ever
                                                                                          become seized up.

page           10                                             on the house Hot Property Pullout
thumbs up for recycling
The pilot scheme to trial the alternate weekly collection of        Wickham, Whiteley, Upham, Durley, Curdridge, West Meon,
refuse and recyclables in the Winchester district has met           Warnford, Exton, Corhampton, Meonstoke, Hambledon, Soberton,
with a resounding thumbs up.                                        Droxford, Swanmore, Widley, Boarhunt and Denmead.
                                                                    For more information call Recycling for Winchester on
The results of the City Council’s evaluation survey found
                                                                    Freephone 0800 008 60 50.
that nearly every household who replied to the survey
                                                                    ¡   Cut out and keep
declared their support for recycling with 9 out of 10 saying
that they found it easy to follow and that their family had          what can’t I put in my
quickly adapted to the new scheme. Ninety per cent of
households who replied had used the new Green Waste
                                                                     recycling bin?
                                                                           ITEM                EXAMPLES                    REASON
service and 89% declared themselves in favour of the new
system of alternate weekly collection.                                 PLASTIC                Yoghurt pots,          At present there are
                                                                       PACKAGING               margarine             no recycling outlets
Not only are local residents happy, but councillors                                         tubs, plastic food       for these materials
                                                                                           trays, flower pots,          within the UK.
were also delighted with the volume of recycled                                               carrier bags.

materials that have been collected, which at 38% will
                                                                       DRINKS               Tetra-pak cartons          These items are
more than meet the Government’s recycling targets                      CARTONS              for orange juice,        difficult to recycle,
for Winchester.                                                                                  milk etc.              as they are a
                                                                                                                      mixture of plastic
                                                                                                                     and paper to make
What happens next?                                                                                                    them watertight.

“The success of the trial has exceeded our wildest
                                                                       POLYSTYRENE          Take-away food             At present there
expectations,” said Bob Merrett, Director of Communities.              CELLOPHANE             containers,              are no recycling
                                                                                            electrical goods           outlets for these
“This has largely been due to the role played by                                             packaging etc.            materials within
householders and the City Council’s Environment Team in                                                                     the UK.

going that extra mile to make sure that the changeover
went smoothly.”                                                        YELLOW                 Yellow Pages           The yellow dye and
                                                                       DIRECTORIES                                     ink are difficult
Now the City has plans to roll out alternate weekly                                                                   to remove at the
                                                                                                                          paper mill.
collection across the rest of the district during 2006/2007.
All householders in the district will be provided with larger
recycling bins and a sack in which to put their garden                 SHREDDED             Bank statements,        The recycling facility
waste. Extensive information will be sent out before the               PAPER                 receipts, other         relies on automatic
                                                                                                personal             sorting equipment,
scheme begins and if requested, home visits made to help                                      information.
                                                                                                                         which cannot
                                                                                                                    recognise very small
people manage the new arrangements.                                                                                  or shredded items.


Phase One - Autumn 2006                                                PLASTIC                 Supermarket             It makes it more
                                                                       CARRIER BAGS           shopping bags,             difficult to sort
Colden Common (parts), Compton & Shawford, Harestock,                                                                   contents at the
                                                                                             plastic bags used
Kings Worthy, New Alresford, Otterbourne, Twyford. Also, all of                                                       processing facility.
                                                                                               to hold fresh
Winchester City including Badger Farm, Fulflood, Highcliffe,                               foodstuffs, bin liners
                                                                                             and plastic sacks.
Hyde, Oliver's Battery, Stanmore, Teg Down, Weeke, Winnall and
St Cross.                                                              GLASS                All types of glass      These can be sorted at
                                                                                            including bottles.        different facilities.
Phase Two - Early 2007                                                                                               Please dispose of at
                                                                                                                         bottle banks.
Northington, Itchen Valley, Chilcomb, Itchen Stoke, Ovington, Old
Alresford, Bighton, Bishop’s Sutton, Bramdean, Cheriton,
Kilmeston, Beauworth, Tichborne, Owslebury, Bishop’s Waltham,

on the house                                                                                                                page              7
     street
lawn streetcomplete
The open space around Godson, Lawn
and Windsor Houses in Winchester city
centre has been re-landscaped and the
£100,000 improvement scheme has
brought praise and delight from local
residents. Preparation for the project
began in December 2004 when Avenues
were engaged to provide drawings and
costs, then last summer roadshows were                              Local residents are delighted
                                                                                                  with the new landscaping are
                                                                                                                              a

held in the Guildhall for local residents to                        around their homes.

see the proposals for themselves.
                                                         have been strategically placed, with new turfed areas
                                                         and planting to enhance the relaxed feel of the area.
                                                         To keep the scheme looking good over the next twelve
                                                         months, the project contractor will carry out maintenance
                                                         of the new grass and planted areas.




 Over 100,000 sunken and
                           dam
 replaced while boulder and aged bricks have been
 surfaces have been create cobble features and gravel
                          d.


Work started on site in December 2005 and was
completed in April 2006, although the scheme took a
little longer than planned as additional works were
                                                                                                      placed, with new
included to level the highway at the entrance to the        Eight bench seats have been strategically relaxed feel of the area.
                                                            turfed areas and planting to enhance the
Lawn Street garages.
Over 100,000 sunken and damaged bricks have been
removed and replaced with a new sub-base and             Rent arrears down
coloured block pavings. To enhance the appearance of
the area boulder and cobble features, edgings around
                                                         In the last year, the City Council has
trees and gravel surfaces have been created.             kept rent arrears below 1% of the
Drainage has been improved, broken paving slabs          total rent collected. This continues to
have been replaced, and fifteen new manhole covers       be one of the lowest figures in the
and 80 bollards have been installed. Eight bench seats   country.

page          8                                                                                      on the house
HOT NEWS
Gas heating upgrades will take place
in certain homes in the following roads
dependent on the age of the current
                                              WARNING NOTICE
appliance:

                                                                     AN APPEAL
 Attwoods Drove         Elizabeth Close
                                              As your Landlord the Council is required by law to
 Ashburton Road         Firmstone Road
 Baigent Close          Fivefields Close      undertake an annual inspection of any gas fired or solid
 Bere Road              Fleming Road          fuel heating appliances in your home. It is vital that this
 Buddens Road           Fox Lane              work is carried out each year to prevent poisonous gases
 Chapel Fields          Fraser Road           being produced by faulty heating equipment.
 Chapel Road            Gordon Avenue
 Churchfields           Granville Place
                                               FAILURE TO CARRY OUT THIS WORK COULD
 Churchill Close        Hoe Road
 Couch Green            Hyde Lodge              RESULT IN SERIOUS ILLNESS OR DEATH BY
 Crawley Cottages       Kings Close                 CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING.
 Cricket Close          Makins Court
 Cromwell Road          Pemerton Road         Therefore every year we contact some 4,300 tenants who
 Eastacre               Winnall Manor Road
                                              have this type of heating equipment to make an appointment
 Edinburgh Road
                                              to carry out the work. In spite of our best endeavours, we
                                              continue year on year to have a rising number of properties
These properties comprise the initial         where, after repeated attempts, we have been unable to make
programme for this financial year with        arrangements for access.
others to be added as identified and
                                              This is a most serious issue which the Council is now taking the
as budgets allow.
                                              strongest steps to resolve, and is seeking redress through the
Electrical testing and inspections to some    Courts to gain the access we require to these properties. This
1000 properties will be carried out this      will take the form of an application to the County Court for an
year. We cannot list every street here as     Injunction granting the Council access to the property. Costs
not every property in your road will be       for this action may be recoverable from tenants through the
due for testing but you will be notified      Courts. Tenants who do not comply with the Injunction may be
before work is carried out.                   found guilty of contempt of Court and could face imprisonment.
Once again we ask for your co-operation       Therefore it is essential that if you fall into this category
in ensuring that Gas Central Heating, Solid   that you contact us immediately on 01962 848 335 to
Fuel and Smoke Detector servicing works       make arrangements for access and avoid what may
are carried out for your own safety. You      ultimately prove to be an unnecessarily embarrassing and
are paying for these tests so please take     costly situation for you.
full advantage of them.
For further information on any of this         YOUR LIFE, OR THE LIVES OF YOUR FAMILY
work, please contact Les Titheridge on                  COULD DEPEND ON IT!
01962 848 150.




on the house Hot Property Pullout                                                                 page        9

				
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