InTouch - Issue 51

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Issue 51 | Spring

nants

The essential magazine for Council Te

Inside this issue: The Masterplan - Ambitions to transform Carlton’s Wimpy Estate Come on over Valerie - Meet our new Tenancy and Estates Manager


Impressive plans Welcome to another issue of In Touch, which is full of useful information to keep you informed about what is happening in our Housing Service.

Thankful for small Mercies Hello everyone, welcome to this spring edition and I’m sure we’re all looking forward to an easier spring and summer than we have experienced in previous years. With this in mind, my thoughts turn to the horrendous situation that is taking place in the Ukraine. The images of devastated cities, towns and even villages, together with people fleeing their homes in freezing conditions has had a dramatic effect upon us all. In our attempts to help the Ukrainian people, it has united our own country in a small way and I feel that many people in Bassetlaw have tried to do their bit, no matter how large or small. Closer to home, we have our own, much smaller issues to deal with in comparison. The cost of living continues to rise with larger energy bills, and our rent is no exception. For many people, renting is the only option and this is the first time in around three years that as tenants we may have felt a larger increase in rent. Like you, I never like paying more for anything, but I am reassured that our rent is invested directly back into the housing service. Our Council may have its failings at times, but I am grateful for small mercies when I read and hear about a rise in rogue and inefficient landlords with standards at the lowest levels. As a Council Tenant, you have a say in how your Housing Service is delivered and there are many ways to engage with the Council. If you feel that you can make a difference for the benefit of all tenants, get involved. Have a great spring and summer. David Smith

First of all is a project that is close to my heart and the plans we have to improve the Carlton Wimpy estate are very impressive. As Ward Member for this area and as Cabinet Member for Housing, I think this project has the potential to transform the area and I encourage all residents of Carlton-in-Lindrick to be part of the consultation when it launches at the end of April. Check out the details on Page 13. In this issue you can also hear from our new Tenancy and Estates Manager, Valerie Billings and the plans she has to improve tenant services; and remind yourself of who your Housing Officer is on pages 6 and 7. We also have some information on how you can get involved as a tenant and shape the services we offer, as well as being a voice for your community (Pages 4 and 5). If that isn’t enough, we’ve included lots of articles about wider Council services such as recycling, litter enforcement and the Council’s work for Armed Forces personnel, both past and present as part of the Armed Forces Covenant. Cllr Steve Scotthorne Cabinet Member for Housing

Read all about it! Within the pages of In Touch we try to bring you all the information that you need to know, advice that that is useful and some articles that we think are of interest to tenants. But we’d also like to know what you think and if there is anything else that you would like to see included in future issues. If you have an idea for a story or would like to suggest a topic that we should feature more frequently, we would love to hear from you. We’d also like to hear about some of the work that members of your community are doing for the benefit of other tenants; for example, simply checking in on their neighbours to make sure they are OK, being a leading figure in a

TRA or community group, or raising much needed funds for charity.

Issue 51 | Spring

The essential magazine for

We’d also like to hear about any examples of the good work that Council staff do every day, or the work that one of our partners may have done to make life a little easier for you and other tenants in your community.

Council Tenants

Inside this issue

:

The Masterplan - Ambitions to transfo rm Carlton’s Wimpy Come on over Valerie Estate - Meet our new Tenanc y and Estates Manag er

You can get in contact with us on 01909 533 533 and ask for the Communications Team or email press@bassetlaw.gov.uk

Happy Birthday Edna! We’d like to wish one of our tenants Edna Staveley a very Happy 90th Birthday! Edna celebrated in style earlier this year with a trip to Lincoln followed by a cruise in the Mediterranean. Edna has been an active tenant for a number of years and Anita Fairweather, our Tenant and Resident Engagement Officer said: “Edna is a true legend and has contributed so much to the people of Worksop and Bassetlaw over the years. “She has been an involved tenant for many years, contributing to tenant engagement as a member of the Tenants’ Forum and is a new member of Voices of Bassetlaw. She is a true inspiration and at the grand age of 90 she still makes time to engage with us and share her views about the community she lives in.”

In Touch Tenant Editor

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Get Involved with TPAS

Could you be a voice for your community? Across Bassetlaw there is a group of tenants who work with their landlord to represent their communities and neighbours; these people are called Tenant Voices. These volunteers give a voice to those tenants who currently don’t have either the confidence or opportunity to share their views and ideas about their homes and neighbourhoods directly with Bassetlaw District Council’s Housing Service. In addition to representing their communities, Tenant Voices have also formed a group called Voices of Bassetlaw (VOB), which is providing a collective voice to work with the Council, helping to improve housing services and support other Tenant Voices and Tenant and Resident Associations. Nina Thiedeman, Chair of VOB, said: “We want to encourage more tenants to come forward and get involved. We especially want to reach areas where there is no tenant representation and speak to people who could be a voice for their neighbours. “You don’t have to be a member of a TRA, all you need is the enthusiasm to work with likeminded tenants, help to provide the Council with insights and a tenants’ perspective of the services they provide and be able to communicate the knowledge and information you gain with your neighbours.”

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Nina added: “We are a diverse group of people and welcome everyone. In return there are a number of benefits and rewards to being involved with our group, so please come along and attend one of our monthly meetings to find out more.” By becoming a Tenant Voice, you will be given access to a wide range of learning resources through TPAS – The Tenant Experts. You will be able to gain knowledge of how social housing operates and what its mission, vision and values are, whilst gaining insight into social housing policy. You can also gain extensive transferable skills which could help you to access future employment or higher education. Much of the resources are online and you will become part of tenant member groups across the country, as TPAS has 279 Social Housing Landlords to network with. Travel expenses are covered and transportation to meetings can be arranged if required. There are also options available to reimburse childcare costs to allow you to attend an in person meeting. For more details, please contact Anita Fairweather, Tenant and Resident Engagement Officer by email anita.fairweather@bassetlaw.gov.uk or telephone 07725 768 474. You can also contact Nina on 07515 396 747.

Bassetlaw District Council is a member of TPAS, the Tenant Engagement Experts, because we believe that engaging and involving our tenants will help us to find solutions that improve services, save money and bring lasting change to communities. TPAS is a membership organisation, dedicated to bringing tenants and landlords together. By joining TPAS, Bassetlaw is supporting its tenants and staff to access membership benefits including the latest tenant engagement training practices, specialist advice, housing briefings and a free helpline. TPAS chief executive, Jenny Osbourne said: “TPAS are a not for profit organisation that has been in existence since 1988. By joining our membership network, Bassetlaw District Council are not only supporting their staff and tenants to work together more effectively, they’ll also be at the heart of driving the national tenant engagement agenda along with over 230 landlords and 2.7 million social housing households across the country.” TPAS also provide opportunities for tenants to access training, regional networking events with other tenants and the latest housing involvement news. To take advantage of this, please register your details by visiting www.tpas.org.uk They also operate a free enquiry service for those interested in getting the most out of your engagement activities. 0800 731 1315.

Be Heard From Home WOULD you like to make a difference to how Bassetlaw District Council delivers some of its housing services, but don’t want the commitment of having to attend meetings or join a group? Well, you can have your say without having to leave the comfort of your sofa, and you can also win some Love to Shop vouchers in the process. Each month our Be Heard From Home Group is asked a different series of questions about a particular service; for example, repairs or allocations. By giving us your views and experiences it will help to shape the way we offer services in the future. You can be part of Be heard From Home and access these regular surveys via Facebook or by signing up to receive our digital Tenant Newsletter. You can also ask us to post a survey out to you. To register, go to www.bassetlaw.gov.uk and sign up to our Tenant Newsletter, follow us on Facebook @BassetlawDCHousing or call Customer Services on 01909 533 533.

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Who is Your Housing Officer?

Come on over Valerie!

We have eight Neighbourhood Housing Officers who look after different areas of Bassetlaw. They are available to talk about any issues you may have about your tenancy, your home, or the area where you live.

There are also three Housing Officer Surgeries in the following locations:

As well as being out in your community, you can speak to them by calling 0800 590 542 or contact them direct using their email below.

If you need to talk to us about more serious cases of ASB, please contact our Community Safety Team by calling 01909 533 533.

Paula Owen

Paula Karoly

e: paula.owen@bassetlaw.gov.uk

e: paula.karoly@bassetlaw.gov.uk

What do you like most about working in housing?

Areas covered:

Areas covered:

I really believe in social housing and feel that now, more than ever it’s needed in our society to give people a home and to give them an opportunity to be happy. In all the years that I’ve been working in housing, the main thing that tenants want is decent housing and a nice place to live. So I like working with customers, with our own teams and with neighbourhoods to help make that happen. I also think it’s really important to support tenants and help people to sustain tenancies and prevent homelessness.

• Harworth • Blyth • Styrrup • Scrooby • Misson

• Everton • Gringley • West Stockwith • Misterton • Oldcotes

• Worksop - Weekly Wednesday, 9:30am - 12:30pm • Retford - Weekly, Thursday, 9:30am - 12:30pm • Harworth - Fortnightly, Thursday, 9:30am - 12:30pm

• Thievesdale (Worksop) • Prospect (Worksop)

• Larwood (Worksop)

Jane Eagan e: jane.eagan@bassetlaw.gov.uk

Caroline Hurt

Areas covered:

e: caroline.hurt@bassetlaw.gov.uk

Areas covered: • Keswick Road (Worksop) • Carlton-in-Lindrick • Valley Road (Worksop) • Gateford (Worksop)

• Costhorpe • Langold • Shireoaks • Rhodesia

e: jenny.nilsson@bassetlaw.gov.uk

Areas covered: • Lowtown (Worksop) • Priory (Worksop) • Westgate (Worksop) • Cuckney

Michelle Hoggard e: michelle.hoggard@bassetlaw.gov.uk

Areas covered: • Retford (Central) • East Markham • Dunham-on-Trent • Normanton-on-Trent • Bothamsall • West Drayton

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• Ranby • Elkesley

Adele Hewison e: adele.hewison@bassetlaw.gov.uk

Areas covered:

Jenny Nilsson • Bracebridge (Worksop) • Garside Street (Worksop) • St Johns Court (Worksop) • West Manton (Worksop) • Nether Langwith

• Ordsall • Sandy Lane (Worksop) • Thrumpton (Retford)

• Laneham • Tuxford • Darlton • Ragnall • Askham • Gamston

• East Manton (Worksop) • Sunnybank (Worksop) • Valley Road (Worksop)

• Gateford (Worksop) • Kilton (Worksop)

Position Currently Vacant Areas covered: • Hallcroft (Retford) • North Road Area (Retford) • Clayworth • Clarborough • Rampton • South Leverton • North Leverton • Treswell • Sturton-le-Steeple • Bole • Hayton • Stokeham

• Ranskill • Torworth • Mattersey • Mattersey Thorpe • Sutton-cum-Lound • Lound • Beckingham • Walkeringham • North Wheatley • Cottam • Headon

Valerie Billings is Bassetlaw’s new Tenancy and Estates Manager having joined the Housing Team in September 2021. After working for local authorities, housing associations and in the voluntary and charity sectors for more than 25 years in places like Nottingham, London, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire, Valerie is relishing her new challenge in Bassetlaw.

I really believe in social housing and feel that it’s needed in our society. Valerie Billings, Tenancy and Estates Manager

How have you settled in at Bassetlaw and what are your thoughts about the district and our communities? Things are busy and there is lots to do, but I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far. I really like the outdoors and greenery, so as I’ve been out into the more rural villages there are some very beautiful settings. It’s a pleasure to see some lovely Council properties in very nice villages. What do you think are some of the biggest issues that matter to tenants? I think that coming out of a pandemic, people have got used to not having any direct face-to-face contact with Housing Officers, so we need to get out there again and build up our relationship with tenants.

Some people have been in a very lonely place and we want to take a more personal approach with tenants so that we can get to the root of issues in their homes and communities. Some of the main issues that tenants speak to us about are either repairs on their property, what’s wrong with their estate or issues they are having with their neighbours. By being more visible, approachable and having those relationships, we can be more aware of the specific problems that are causing these wider issues; for example, be it bricks and mortar or supporting tenants to resolve neighbour disputes or problems with anti-social behaviour. So what are your priorities over the next few months? One of my biggest priorities is to work on our internal practices and communication to provide tenants with a better service and positive engagement from the first point of contact. Over the last few months I’ve also spoken with lots of customers to make sure that they know we’re available and we’re here to help them with their issues. We want to hear the concerns of tenants and for them to participate in helping to resolve those concerns and improve our services to tenants across Bassetlaw.

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Tenant is evicted A Bassetlaw Council Tenant has been evicted after she amassed more than £3,300 of rent arrears while spending thousands of pounds on luxury cars, weight-loss treatments outside of the UK and lavish nights out with friends.

Cllr Steve Scotthorne, Cabinet Member for Housing at Bassetlaw District Council said: “Gaining possession of someone’s home is always a final resort, but when a tenant chooses to indulge themselves in a lavish lifestyle rather than pay their rent the Council is left with little option.

Shannon Taylorson, 26, was evicted from her twobedroomed flat on Amanda Road in Harworth on 16th March 2022, following a hearing at Mansfield County Court on 23rd December 2021 where District Judge McMillan granted Bassetlaw District Council possession of the property.

“Our Housing Team provided Miss Taylorson with ample opportunities and offers of support to rectify the situation and maintain her tenancy. Sadly these were not accepted by the tenant and the Council was forced to resolve the situation through the courts.

As part of the possession hearing, the court heard how Miss Taylorson failed to pay her rent and amassed a total of £3,307.63 of arrears between October 2020 and December 2021. During this time, the Council had gathered evidence which showed that the defendant had bought herself a luxury BMW sports car, had travelled to Turkey for a surgical weight-loss treatment and had enjoyed lavish nights out in Manchester, all of which was flaunted on social media. Miss Taylorson had been a tenant since August 2019 but claimed that she had lost her job in November 2020 which contributed to the arrears. However, Miss Taylorson had received the housing element of Universal Credit, which was not passed onto the landlord until June 2021 when the Council applied to the DWP to receive the payment directly. These debts were compounded by Miss Taylorson under occupying the property and the benefits she received not covering all of the rent due. Miss Taylorson had also received a Discretionary Housing Payment of £1,227.50 in February 2021 to clear some of her outstanding rent, yet she still continued to accumulate debts despite offers of support from the Council’s Tenancy Sustainment Service and the option to downsize, which were refused by Miss Taylorson. In addition to being evicted from her home, Miss Taylorson must also pay back the rent arrears she accumulated in addition to the Council’s legal costs, totalling £4,878.51.

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“Council Housing in Bassetlaw is in great demand and we have thousands of tenants who pay their rent each week without any fuss. I’m pleased that this home can now be re-let to someone more responsible.”

Extra help for tenants Preventing homelessness and working with people who need a little extra help is just one of the ways that Bassetlaw District Council supports its tenants.

those tenants with a physical or mental disability. In addition, with the support of our Money Advice Team, we also work with people who have financial difficulties and find it difficult to pay their rent.

Our Housing Service has a dedicated Tenancy Sustainment Team that works with tenants who are at risk of losing their home, may need help to live peacefully in their community, are in financial difficulty or may have a physical or mental illness.

“We also work with tenants who have quite serious issues and are able to make referrals to other agencies and specialist support for mental and physical health issues, drug and alcohol support, or help to resolve hording.”

Luisa Nucita, Debra Savage and Ann Jepson (pictured) are part of the Council’s Tenancy Sustainment Team, in addition to other officers in the wider Housing Service working behind the scenes to make sure that tenants get the support they need.

If we didn’t get involved, most of the tenants we work with would lose their homes.

“If we didn’t get involved most of the tenants we work with would lose their homes,” said Debra, the Council’s Income and Tenancy Sustainment Manager. “We have a good success rate at preventing homelessness or legal action being taken. “The majority of our work is helping people to understand their responsibilities as a tenant, supporting people with their first tenancy and helping

Debra Savage, Income and Tenancy Sustainment

“We try to help as many people as we can and while sometimes not every tenant can be helped, we’re proud of the work we do.” If you feel that you need additional support to maintain your tenancy, or know someone who would benefit from speaking to the Tenancy Sustainment Team, please speak with your Housing Officer.

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A safe place to live As well as completing repairs on your home, the Council has a duty of care to ensure that your home is a safe place to live. One of the ways we do this is by carrying out a number of safety and compliance checks on your home every few years in six key areas. These are; Gas, Electric, Water, Asbestos, Fire and Lifts and Hoists.

Beware of disrepair callers Bassetlaw District Council’s Housing Team is asking tenants to be vigilant against rogue companies who fish for information, which they would then use to pursue a disrepair claim. We have been informed by a number of tenants that some companies are contacting them and claiming to be from the Council’s Disrepair Team – there is no such department. They ask the tenant to tell them about any outstanding repairs and provide photographs, as well as asking for personal information such as the number of people living in the house and if they have any rent arrears. Some companies have been using multiple telephone numbers to contact tenants, who have told us the callers are very persistent in their attempts to encourage you to take out a disrepair claim against the council. Many of these companies work on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis and if you enter into a legal agreement and your claim is unsuccessful, or you change your mind and wish not to continue, it could leave you with a fee to pay. The Council has a Repairs Policy which has been created to ensure that your homes are well maintained, warm and dry, kept in a structurally sound condition and meet all legal requirements. If you have reported a repair to us and we have not responded to you or have not completed your repair within our timescales, please let us know and we’ll look into this for you.

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Cllr Steve Scotthorne, Cabinet Member for Housing at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “The quickest and easiest way to resolve any outstanding repairs issues is to speak with us. We will always do our best to ensure that your repair is made safe or completed within our timescales. “Unfortunately, due to issues in sourcing materials and other unforeseen pressures, it has not been possible to complete some repairs in our normal timely fashion. We thank tenants for their patience so far.”

So that we can service and maintain elements of your home to the standards that are required of us, we have asked a number of our partners to carry out this work on our behalf. These companies will write to you to explain what work needs to take place and provide you with a date and time that they will visit. It is extremely important that you keep this appointment and stay at home to allow our partners to carry out these important checks. If you cannot make the original appointment, please contact our partners who will be happy to arrange an alternative day. All of the details you require will be on the letter you receive. All of our partners will carry identification and if you feel uneasy about letting someone into your

home, please call us on 0800 590 542 and we will verify and confirm your appointment. These are the partners we work with in key areas: • Gas Servicing & Maintenance Sure Maintenance • Electrical Installation Condition Reports (EICR) Aaron Services • Water (Legionella) Second Element DCS Water Hygiene (for our Independent Living Centres) • Asbestos - Tersus • Lifts & Hoists - Obam Stairlifts (Domestic) LES (Communal Areas) • Fire - Savills We also work with companies who carry out quality checks to ensure that our partners are completing the work to the high standards that we expect. These companies include: Morgan Lambert for gas and electrical checks and HS Beil for lifts and hoists.

When you report a repair it will fall into one of six categories ranging from Emergency, which we aim to make safe within four hours of you notifying us of the problem, and Non-Urgent, which we aim to complete within 15 working days. We also have Planned and Major Programmed repairs that may require specialist companies and materials to complete, which aim to be started within 13 weeks and 52 weeks respectively. If you need to report a repair, please contact us on 0800 590 542 between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Non-urgent repairs can also be reported online or by texting 07860 021 511. If you need to report an emergency repair, you can do this outside of our office hours by using the Freephone number above. You can find our Repairs Policy by visiting the Housing section of www.bassetlaw.gov.uk

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Get household items insured Did you know that in the event of a flood, fire, burglary or burst pipes, Bassetlaw District Council is not responsible for replacing your damaged or stolen belongings?

Neighbourhood health checks Over the next few months our Housing Team will be back out in your communities with a new approach to Estate Inspections, called Healthy Neighbourhood Inspections. Between May and September we’ll be visiting all of our communities to look at the health of your neighbourhood, not just in terms of external or environmental issues, but also helping to resolve any personal problems that tenants may face. Housing Officers will also be joined by Caretakers, Environmental Health Officers, Community Safety Officers, Building Surveyors and Councillors to name just a few. We also want to encourage you to join us and be part of the conversation about your community. Valerie Billings, Tenancy and Estates Manager, said: “We want to support tenants, meet them on these estate walkabouts and gather their concerns. Tenants can also help us to make the right decisions at the right time, so that we can work on the solutions together.” You can find more information on Healthy Neighbourhood Inspections by visiting the Housing section of www.bassetlaw.gov.uk

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For these reasons we advise all of our tenants to take out Home Contents Insurance, which means that in the event of something unfortunate happening, the contents of your home are insured and can be replaced at little cost to yourself. You can find the right level of cover for yourself by using one of the online price comparison websites. You can also consider a number of policies that are available from our partners Crystal Insurance. Their policies cover water damage, fire and many more household risks, like tenants improvements. You’re also covered for theft or attempted theft of the contents in your home and in sheds, outbuildings and garages. You can also be insured for damage to external glazing, which you are responsible for, in addition to replacement locks for outside doors or windows and alarms if keys are lost or stolen. Crystal offer flexible regular Pay-As-You-Go options and to find out more, call 0345 450 7286 or visit www.crystal-insurance.co.uk

Carlton Wimpy Masterplan Bassetlaw District Council has put together an inspirational plan to transform the Wimpy Estate in Carlton-in-Lindrick and will soon be asking residents for their views. An initial two-phase approach to build new council houses and create an informal play space with landscaping will be presented to residents as part of a six-week consultation on the Carlton Wimpy Masterplan that will launch at the end of April. The consultation will also gather the views of residents on topics including opportunities to improve movement around the estate, address anti-social behaviour issues and increase parking, among other ideas. The Masterplan has been developed in response to concerns and issues raised by residents about the estate over a number of years and will act as a catalyst for improving the appearance of the estate and quality of life for residents living there. Cllr Steve Scotthorne, Cabinet Member for Housing at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “We have listened to residents’ concerns and as a result have developed the initial phases of the Masterplan. “This is an ambitious project that will transform the estate, address many of the issues that have been raised and make this part of Carlton a more pleasant and appealing community to live in.

“To make this project a success, we need residents to tell us what they think of the plans, put forward their priorities and be a central part of the project.” Funding of around £3m has been made available for the first two phases of the Masterplan and consultation will initially take place on Phases 1 and 2 which, if successful, could lead to more ambitious proposals. Proposals as part of Phases 1 and 2 of the plan include: • Demolishing the underused community centre and building new homes • Redeveloping some of the existing open spaces, including the paved area off Willow Avenue • Creating a new informal play area and introduce softer landscaping at the heart of the estate There is also the potential to create start up units for local business, retail opportunities, or new community facilities. A full programme of consultation will take place including in person events, online and paper consultation forms, information leaflets for all residents, door to door surveys, and information on the Council’s website and social media accounts. please visit www.bassetlaw.gov.uk for the full details and event dates.

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The Bridge to a better future Bassetlaw District Council and the RNN Group will be bridging the skills gap in North Nottinghamshire with a new partnership that will deliver better futures for local people.

Support for Armed Forces Bassetlaw District Council has reaffirmed its support for our armed forces by re-signing the Armed Forces Covenant. The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation to ensure that those who serve or who have served in the armed forces, and their families, are treated fairly. The re-signing of this Covenant maintains the Council’s leadership role in supporting the Armed Forces community, including Reservists, Veterans and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, across the district. Cllr Simon Greaves, Leader of Bassetlaw District Council, said: “In an increasingly complex and challenging world, we rely on our armed forces to protect us against a wide range of threats. Local men and women are at the heart of this. Our Armed Forces Covenant endorses our good relationship with the armed forces and clearly demonstrates our support for current and former service personnel.”

We work with many organisations to improve the lives of ex-service personnel. Cllr Tony Eaton, Bassetlaw Armed Forces Champion

The Council first signed the Community Covenant – the predecessor to the Armed Forces Covenant – in 2013 and was also one of the first employers in the country to attain an Employer Recognition Scheme Silver Award from the Ministry of Defence. There are just over 1,200 employers nationally who currently hold the silver award.

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Bruce Spencer the Regional Employer Engagement Director RFCA said: “The re-signing of this Armed Forces Covenant clearly indicates Bassetlaw District Council’s ongoing commitment to support its local armed forces community. “It’s excellent news for current and former armed forces personnel. The armed forces have always enjoyed a close working relationship with our local community and this is evidence of its enduring support. There is a real strength in the local armed forces community and the council are showing significant leadership.” As part of the Covenant, the Council assists all members of the Armed Forces Community, past and present in many ways, including though the support of a dedicated Armed Forces Champion.

The RNN Group have confirmed that they will be the first education provider to deliver opportunities at ‘The Bridge – Skills Hub’, the Council’s flagship regeneration project at Bridge Court in Worksop. The Bridge will welcome students, businesses and learners from April this year through courses that will provide access to Higher Education and meet the emerging needs of local and regional employers. As well as initially offering opportunities across a range of subjects including Health and Social Care, it is anticipated that more diverse subjects will be offered as the number of skills providers is expanded. Cllr Jo White, Cabinet Member for Regeneration at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “The focus of The Bridge Skills Hub is to change lives, provide new opportunities, raise aspirations and increase local prosperity. “The Bridge offers modern, high-class facilities for its students to develop and I welcome the RNN Group taking the lead and using The Bridge to increase their range of courses for local people.

As part of a phased opening, RNN Group will expand the current level of provision provided by their North Notts College campus and will offer Access to Higher Education Diplomas from Levels 4, 5 and 6 including: • Level 4 Lead Practitioner in Adult Care • Level 5 Leader in Adult Care In addition to courses starting as part of the new academic year in September that include: • Foundation Degree Early Childhood Studies • Foundation Degree in Professional Practice in Health and Social Care • Access to Higher Education (Health) Diploma Health Science Professional Level 3 • Level 4 Diploma in Counselling Details on how to apply for all of the courses provided by the RNN Group at ‘The Bridge’ can be found at www.nnc.ac.uk/higher-education/how-toapply or by emailing enquiries@rnntraining.co.uk To enquire about booking space or becoming an education or training provider at The Bridge, contact Julie Beresford, Economic Development Manager at Bassetlaw District Council on 01909 533 223 or email julie.beresford@bassetlaw.gov.uk

Cllr Tony Eaton Bassetlaw District Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said: “We work with as many organisations as possible to improve the lives of exservice personnel in Bassetlaw. Coming from a military background myself I’m delighted that our Council has reaffirmed its commitment to our armed forces community by resigning this Covenant.” You can learn more about the support that Bassetlaw District Council provides to the Armed Forces at www.bassetlaw.gov.uk/community-andliving/support-for-armed-forces-personnel/armedforces-covenant You can find more details about the Armed Forces Covenant by visiting armedforcescovenant.gov.uk

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Energy bills rebate of £150

Rent increase drives greater investment At the end of February we wrote to all tenants to advise you that your rent was going to be increased for the coming year. The Government sets the amount of rent that we are allowed to charge along with any increases or decreases that take place on an annual basis. From Monday 4th April and for the next financial year, it has said that rents will rise by the increase of the Consumer Price Index*, which is 3.1 per cent, plus another 1 per cent, giving a total increase of 4.1 per cent. Cllr Steve Scotthorne, Cabinet Member for Housing at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “We set our rents in accordance with the Government’s National Social Rent Policy and Rent Standard and, since the Government imposed self-financing on housing providers like us in 2012, we rely on tenants’ rent in order to provide essential Housing Services, in addition to making record investments directly into tenants’ homes. “As part of this commitment we will be investing more than £83 million in tenants’ homes over the next five years. This will help to install new kitchens, bathrooms, central heating and other energy efficiency measures

to ensure that tenants’ homes are comfortable places to live; It will fund our repairs service to ensure that tenant’s homes are safe; It will improve estates and make our communities a better place to live; And it will help to build much needed new homes for future tenants of all ages and abilities. If you pay by Direct Debit, your payments will be amended automatically and we will have notified you at least 10 working days in advance of this change. If you are in receipt of Universal Credit you must advise the DWP as soon as possible that your rent charge has changed. For those tenants in receipt of Housing Benefit, this will automatically be deducted and the Council’s Revenues and Benefits Service will notify you of any changes to your entitlements. We hope that this helps you to understand why your rent has gone up, and if you would like to talk to someone about your individual circumstances, please contact our Rent Team on 0800 590 542. *The Consumer Price Index is an average of the amount that the prices of a number of household products and services have risen by.

Council Tax to rise Bassetlaw District Council has increased its portion of Council Tax by £5 for Band D properties, which is equivalent to a 2.73% increase or approx. 10p per week. However, almost 51% of properties in Bassetlaw are in Band A and they will see an increase of approx. £3.33 spread over the course of the next 12 months, the equivalent of 6p per week. Cllr June Evans, Cabinet Member for Finance at Bassetlaw District Council, said: “I sympathise with residents who are being asked to pay more, especially as this increase comes at a time when the cost of living is rising and against a backdrop of proposed rises in income tax and national insurance. “Council Tax is an important source of income for Councils and without this increase our budgets simply would not balance and vital services that people rely on could be put at risk. “We are proud of the work that we do for residents and believe that considering the small portion of Council Tax that Bassetlaw receives, we are providing good value for money and are managing our resources in a way that supports residents, brings about opportunity and benefits the district as a whole.”

The Government has recently announced the Energy Bills Rebate, among other measures, to support households in response to the rising costs of energy. One of the plans announced is a £150 non-repayable rebate for households in England in Council Tax bands A to D. This rebate payment will be made by Bassetlaw District Council to eligible households from May 2022. Where possible, the £150 rebate will be paid directly to the liable Council Tax payer and not offset against your Council Tax bill. Where the Council holds live Direct Debit instructions for a liable Council Tax payer of an eligible household, we will make a payment into your bank account once verification checks have been made. You do not need to contact the Council. If you do not pay by Direct Debit, the Council is currently considering the best option with which to make the rebate payment to you. You can set up a Direct Debit online by visiting www.bassetlaw.gov.uk or by contacting our Council Tax Team on 01909 533 234. Please have your sort code and bank account reference ready, along with your 12 digit Council Tax reference. This can be found on your Council Tax bill. Please note: Bassetlaw District Council will not contact you and ask for your bank details in order to pay you the £150 Council Tax Energy Rebate. Please be aware of scams.

Bassetlaw District Council is the collection agent for all authorities, yet receives just 8.62% of all Council Tax paid.

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Save yourself a trip to the tip Bassetlaw residents can save themselves a trip to the tip by using Bassetlaw District Council’s Garden Waste Collection Service. The 2022 season of the service has already begun, but it is not too late to sign-up to the fortnightly kerbside collections!

Your rubbish, your responsibility! If you need to get rid of some bulky waste or a large amount of rubbish, there are plenty of options available to do it in a responsible way. If you are happy to get rid of it yourself, you can take your waste to one of the Household Recycling Centres in Worksop or Retford. If you can’t take your waste to the tip, you can book a Bulky Waste Collection through Bassetlaw District Council. Collections start at £13.50 for the first item and then £10 for each additional item. You can find more information on what can and can’t be collected by visiting our website www.bassetlaw.gov.uk/bulkywaste If you want to pay someone privately to take away your waste, please remember that it’s still your legal duty to ensure it is disposed of responsibly. Always check that they are a licenced waste carrier and ask to see their documentation, request an invoice or receipt and make a note of the vehicle registration number. Please remember that a reputable collector will happily provide you with this information! If they don’t, your waste could be dumped somewhere in Bassetlaw and if the waste is traced back to you, you could face an unlimited fine or prosecution. Fly-tipping is a crime and there is no excuse or justification for it and a large proportion of fly-tipping takes place because those responsible don’t want to pay for the waste to be disposed of correctly.

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Each subscription, costing £33, includes a 240 litre wheelie bin in which you can place grass cuttings, hedge trimmings, leaves, small branches and twigs, dead plants, weeds and cut flowers. All of the waste gathered is recycled by being spread back onto the land, which benefits the environment more than if it were to be included in general waste collections. Last year 12,718 subscriptions were issued, enabling the Council to recycle a staggering 4,097 tonnes of garden waste, which is the same weight as 36 adult blue whales. Cllr Julie Leigh, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at Bassetlaw District Council said: “Having a brown bin prevents recyclable waste from entering general collections and by recycling in this way, you are directly having a more positive benefit on the environment. You are also benefitting from the convenience of having your garden waste collected from the kerbside, saving you a trip to a Recycling Centre.” The quickest and easiest way to renew your subscription or to sign-up as a new customer is by visiting the Garden Waste page on the Council’s website, www.bassetlaw.gov.uk/ gardenwaste - Alternatively, you can call 01909 534 524 to speak to a member of the Council’s Environment Services Team.

Cut out contamination with our Bin Basics Bassetlaw District Council collects recycling and refuse waste from more than 54,000 homes in the district, in addition to providing Garden Waste and Bulky Waste Collection Services.

You can also recycle many more items at the Household Waste Recycling Centres and take glass, textiles, Tetra Paks and cartons to some of our 66 Recycling Points across the district.

We’re asking all residents to follow our ‘Bin Basics’ so that you can start to reduce the amount of household waste you generate, increase the amount you recycle and make sure that you never miss a collection.

Keep a lid on it!

Just some of the things you can do are: Cut out contamination In Nottinghamshire, only certain items can be recycled through kerbside collections. This is because of the limited types of materials that can be sorted for recycling at the county’s Materials Recovery Facility, which is operated by Veolia. These items include; • Paper - newspapers, envelopes, junk mail, magazines and catalogues (please don’t put shredded paper in your blue bin)

Make sure that all your waste fits into your wheelie bin with the lid closed. If your bin is overloaded, we cannot collect it, including any side-waste. If you have any excess waste, most items will be accepted at the Household Waste Recycling Centres in Worksop and Retford. The Council also provides paid-for Bulky Waste and Garden Waste Collection Services. If you would like to know more about why the Council is now enforcing its Flat Lid / No Side Waste approach, you can read our Recycling and Refuse Policy which outlines the responsibilities for residents and sets out the level of service that residents should expect. This can be found on our website: www.bassetlaw.gov.uk/recycling-and-waste/ recycling-and-refuse-policy

• Cardboard - cereal boxes, egg boxes and cardboard tubes

Never miss a truck!

• Tins and Cans - food tins, drinks cans and aerosol cans

Make sure your bin is out by 6am on the day of your collection so that our refuse trucks don’t miss you!

• Plastics - drinks bottles, milk cartons, shower gel and shampoo bottles, cleaning product bottles, yoghurt pots and margarine tubs. (Please do not place food trays or fruit punnets in your blue bin)

If you are unsure about anything or would like to know more about recycling and waste in Bassetlaw, all the information you need can be found at www.bassetlaw.gov.uk/recycling-and-waste

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Council takes WISE approach Bassetlaw District Council has extended its commitment to make our district a cleaner place to live, visit and work thanks to a new environment enforcement partnership. In February this year, the Council began a new partnership with Waste Investigations Support and Enforcement (WISE) to target people who deliberately drop litter and fail to clean up after their dogs. In summer 2021, the council asked the public if they would like to continue to see Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) of £100 issued to people for littering and dog fouling offences. More than 85 per cent of respondents were in favour of this approach and the Council will continue to take enforcement action. Since July 2020, the Council has been taking a firm approach to littering and dog fouling by working with Environmental Enforcement Officers who have the powers to issue Fixed Penalty Notices of up to £100 should they witness people littering or failing to clean up after their dog. In this time Officers have issued 86 notices for dog fouling and 3,735 for littering.

PSPO Dog Control Orders Extended

Cllr Julie Leigh, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at Bassetlaw District Council said: “I welcome this new partnership with WISE and hope that residents see that we mean business when tackling litter and dog fouling in our communities.

Bassetlaw District Council will continue to target irresponsible dog owners who fail to clean up after their pets following public support of the Bassetlaw-wide Public Spaces Protection (Dog Control) Order.

“Residents tell us time and again how frustrating it is to see litter, cigarette butts and dog poo out in their communities. Our Environment Services team and caretakers on housing estates work extremely hard to clean up communities, but a small minority of people continue to drop litter or fail to clean up after their dog. “We want people to take pride in where they live and we are confident that the professional approach of WISE will continue to reduce the amount of litter and dog poo on our streets and in our communities.” You can find more information about Waste Investigations Support and Enforcement Limited (WISE) and the Council’s policy of issuing Fixed Penalty Notices by visiting the Environment Crime section of www.bassetlaw.gov.uk where you will also find a handy list of Frequently Asked Questions.

Extra support from CGL Support charity Change Grow Live have stepped up their drug and alcohol services in Harworth and Bircotes by offering a new location for their mobile outreach unit. CGL already provide regular sessions every second Friday of the month at Harworth and Bircotes Town Hall between 10am and 12.30pm. However, additional sessions will be provided on a trial basis on the first Monday of each month at the Welfare Hall Car Park on Whitehouse Road between 12pm and 3pm. The dates include 6th June, 4th July, 1st August and 5th September. Residents can access services including drug and alcohol support and advice for yourself or someone you are concerned about, testing for blood-borne viruses, needle exchange and signposting and advice to other drug and alcohol services. You can learn more about Change Grow Live and the services they offer by visiting www.changegrowlive.org

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Public Spaces Protection Orders (PSPO) last a maximum of three years and the Council recently sought the public’s views on whether the Orders should be renewed for a further three-year period. The consultation also asked whether the areas of land covered, and other requirements of the order should be amended and 98 per cent of respondents agreed that the PSPO’s requirements should remain. Bassetlaw’s original orders were first introduced in 2015 and were renewed in 2018. Under the Dog Control Order 2021, from 1st September 2021 to 31st August 2024 dog owners in Bassetlaw are required to: • Pick up their dog’s faeces on any land to which the public have access. • Keep their dogs on leads in specified burial grounds, cemeteries and churchyards. • Keep their dogs from entering into specified fenced children’s play areas. • Be able to demonstrate to an enforcement officer that they have a suitable bag in their possession for cleaning up dog faeces. Cllr Julie Leigh, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at Bassetlaw District Council said: “For the last six years, the Council has been able to use these powers to spell out in no uncertain terms what the Council, residents and the law expects of responsible dog owners when exercising their pet.“ An offence under the PSPO will be liable for a fine of up to £1,000 or a fixed penalty notice of £100. The full Public Spaces Protection (Dog Control) Order 2021 can be viewed on the Council’s website at: www.bassetlaw.gov.uk/environmental-health/ animal-welfare/dog-control-order-2021

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Treats in store with new Canch facilities

Visitors to The Canch in Worksop are in for an award-winning treat thanks to a brand new refreshments kiosk and some impressive new facilities. As part of Bassetlaw District Council’s commitment to continually improve the overall facilities at its Green Flag award-winning park, a new building has been unveiled that boasts a refreshments kiosk, a Changing Places toilet, a disabled toilet, a baby change and parent WC in addition to four unisex toilets. This new addition, which has been fully-funded and project managed by the Council, can be found opposite the splash pool, within an area of the sensory garden. Cllr Julie Leigh, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at Bassetlaw District Council said: “The Canch and Memorial Gardens are a popular year-round destination and this fantastic new facility will improve the visitor experience even more. “For a number of years, local people have asked for improved facilities like this and as a Council we are proud to deliver on our promise and enhance

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Dingbats

Kids Club

If you can solve our dingbats you could win a £20 Love2Shop voucher. Use the clues to work out the popular sayings and write the answers in the box

If you can complete our Kids Club puzzle, you could win a £20 Love2Shop voucher.

Colour by Numbers! Colour our puzzle in using the key below, then tell us your name, age, where you live and a phone number and follow the instructions at the bottom of the page to be entered!

what is already a wonderful park. We hope this will make our park even more accessible to families of all ages and abilities. Name:

The renowned Worksop-based ice-cream maker Manfredi’s Ices has also launched a new venture based in the kiosk, The Canch Café, which will be open daily between 10am and 4pm serving hot and cold drinks, snacks, sweet treats and of course, their award winning ice cream. The Manfredi family has been serving Ice Cream to the people of Worksop and Bassetlaw for more than 100 years and recently won two Ice Cream Alliance Awards – a Gold Medal in the Open Class Vanilla, and a Silver Medal in the Open Class Flavour for their Lotus Biscoff. Robert Manfredi, joint-owner, said: “We’re delighted to be based at the Canch and look forward to welcoming visitors to the park. “As a 4th generation family business we have a strong connection to Worksop, so we can’t think of a better place to set up our first ice cream parlour and café and serve up some of our award-winning creations.”

Age:

Where you live: Telephone:

Fill in your details and follow the entry instructions: Name:

Please send all competition entries to: Customer Services, Carlton Forest House, Hundred Acre Lane, Worksop, Notts S81 0TS Or email a photo or scan of the entry to: customer.services@bassetlaw.gov.uk Closing date for all entries is 9th September 2022.

Address: Telephone: Bassetlaw District Council will not store your personal data supplied as part of any competition entry and will only use it for the purpose of determining a competition winner. Once a winner has been drawn, all data will be deleted.

Winners Congratulations to Edward Heaton from Retford and Ryan Petty from Rhodesia who were our lucky winners from Issue 50.

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0800 590 542 www.bassetlaw.gov.uk/housing customer.services@bassetlaw.gov.uk Text us on 07860 021 511 Find us on Facebook - BassetlawDCHousing Twitter @BassetlawDC Visit us at: Retford Office 17B The Square, Retford, DN22 6DB Worksop Office Queen’s Buildings, Potter Street, Worksop, S80 2AH

If you need any help communicating with us or understanding any of our documents, please contact us on 0800 590 542.