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The newsletter for tenants of East Lothian Council

HOMEFRONT W I N T E R

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I S S U E

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Get ready for winter • Landlord’s report • Rent increase consultation • Good neighbours • Christmas panto competition


CON T E N TS HOUSING matters... 2 Landlord’s report 2 Rent consultation 8 Tenant satisfaction survey 9 More affordable housing 13 Getting involved as a tenant 17 ELTRP update TIS annual conference Local group update

18 19 21

GET READY for winter 23 Keep safe and sound in your home 23 Are you ready for winter? 27 COMMUNITY matters... 29 Antisocial behaviour 29 Making East Lothian dementia friendly 31 Panto Competition 34

Homefront is East Lothian Council’s newsletter for its tenants. Follow us at @ELCouncil or East Lothian Council on facebook 1 • WINTER 2016

Welcome to the winter 2016 issue of Homefront, which as usual is packed full of articles and information. In this issue, you will find coverage of the third East Lothian Council Landlord’s Report to Tenants. This shows you how we are performing as a social landlord by contrasting some of the council’s performance figures against those of similarly sized local authorities in Scotland and also the Scottish average figures. It also sets out how well we are delivering national housing standards. We are very grateful to East Lothian Tenants and Residents Panel (ELTRP) for playing such an active role in producing the report, which shows that we are continuing to improve our services. Talking about ELTRP brings me to my next point. We recently published our latest Tenant Participation Strategy, jointly developed with tenants, which recognises the variety of ways you can get involved individually and through our tenants’ and residents’ group structures. Tenant participation has played a key role in helping to shape council housing policy and shaping services for nearly 20 years and we want as many people to get involved as they can. So, if you want to participate, make sure you get in touch. Finally, I hope that you have a wonderful festive period and a very happy 2017. Monica Patterson Depute Chief Executive Partnerships and Community Services


HOUSING matters

The council has launched its third Landlord’s Report to Tenants which has been produced in partnership with East Lothian Tenants and Residents Panel. The report lets tenants know how we are performing as a landlord. It also sets out how well the council is delivering national housing standards. We have included some of the key highlights from this year’s report in this article, which lets you see how we are performing. > WINTER 2016 • 2


We need to turnaround properties quickly so that we can meet housing demand. This in turn helps to keep rent lost due to properties being empty to a minimum. We are working hard to keep our void turnaround time low however we are noticing an increase in properties being handed back in a poorer condition.

3 • WINTER 2016


HOUSING matters

EMERGENCY REPAIRS We are pleased to report an improvement in this area with emergency repairs being completed, on average, 0.6 of an hour quicker than they were in the last financial year. 9727 emergency repairs were completed in 2015/16; 1027 more emergency repairs than the previous year. > WINTER 2016 • 4


The amount of void rent loss will be dependent on the number of properties becoming empty. The slight decrease in the number of days to re-let properties this year has also had an impact on and improved our rent loss figure.

5 • WINTER 2016


HOUSING matters

> WINTER 2016 • 6


LOOKING AHEAD We want to provide tenants with an excellent service and our Landlord’s Report helps us to show where the council is performing well and areas that could be improved. This year our report shows improvements in repairs performance, rent arrears performance and in rent collection. However, we will continue to work hard in areas where we are not performing so well and aim to achieve continuous improvement. A full copy of the Landlord’s Report can be downloaded online at www.eastlothian.gov.uk or you can call in to your local council office or library. 7 • WINTER 2016


HOUSING matters

RENT CONSULTATION

PROPOSALS FOR RENT INCREASE The council is currently consulting with its tenants, a number of tenants and residents groups and East Lothian Tenants and Residents Panel on this year’s proposed rent increase. The council is keen to maintain existing services and to do so it has to consider a rent increase of 5%. This is our best estimate of what it will take to maintain the present services, and continue with our investment in the development of new council houses and improvement of existing council houses. We have written out to all our tenants providing information on how rent money is spent and explained how much money the council plans to spend on improving existing houses and providing new ones. To help tenants calculate what the proposed increase would mean for them, we have produced a ready reckoner – you can find it on our website at www.eastlothian.gov.uk If you don’t have access to the internet then please contact us and we can send you a copy. • Freephone 0800 413 721 • email tenantconsultation@eastlothian.gov.uk • write to Community Housing, East Lothian Council, Penston House, Macmerry Industrial Estate, Macmerry EH33 1EX. This is an important opportunity for you to have a say on our rent proposals and plans for continued improvements so please, if you have not already done so, complete your questionnaire and return it to us by Friday 6th January 2017.

WINTER 2016 • 8


TENANT SATISFACTION SUR During July 2016, we carried out our second comprehensive Tenant Satisfaction Survey. Knowledge Partnership, an independent market research company, carried out this work on our behalf. A total of 1,730 tenants were interviewed in their homes and asked how they felt about our services and where we might be able to do better. The survey analysis is now complete and we have summarised some of the main points below.

OVERALL SATISFACTION 50%

43%

40%

39%

30% 20%

6%

10% 0%

6%

.. ed rly. isfi Fai sat s i yd Ver

r

fied tisfied -no a her t s i e y rl N Fai

tis y sa

Ver

6%

Taking everything into account, 82% of tenants are satisfied with the service provided by the council’s Community Housing Services Team. This is a good result and compares favourably with other social housing landlords that have recently been surveyed.

NEIGHBOURHOOD MANAGEMENT 47%

50% 40%

41%

30% 20%

5%

10% 0%

isfi

at ry s

Ve

ed

r Fai

9 • WINTER 2016

isfi

at ly s

ed

N

r

r-no

e eith

4%

3%

.. ed rly. tisfi Fai a s s i yd Ver

The majority of tenants (88%) are satisfied with the way in which the council’s Community Housing Services Team manages their neighbourhood. This is a positive finding that compares well with the results for other landlords.


RVEY 2016 RESULTS

HOUSING matters

THE REPAIRS SERVICE Very dissatisfied 4% Fairly dissatisfied 10% Neither-nor 5%

Fairly satisfied 25%

Very satisfied 56%

QUALITY OF HOUSING 47%

50%

39%

40% 30% 20%

7%

10% 0%

isfi

Ve

at ry s

ed

isfi

r Fai

at ly s

6%

1%

or ed ed er-n satisfi tisfi a h t s i is dis Ne yd rly Ver Fai

ed

Most studies indicate that ‘effective repairs’ are tenants’ number one priority when it comes to rating landlord services. In the case of the council’s housing repairs, tenants say that they are largely satisfied (81%) with this key service.

On balance, 86% of tenants are satisfied with the quality of their home. This is a good result overall, although analysis indicates that tenants living in tenements and 4-in-a-block houses are less likely to be satisfied than others.

WINTER 2016 • 10


As well as asking tenants about their home and services such as repairs, the survey also explored how effectively you feel that the council’s Community Housing Services Team keeps you informed and involved as a tenant. In addition, as rent payers, the council needs to know whether the services they provide you with are value for money. We present the results for these three aspects of the survey below.

INFORMATION PROVIDED

Fairly poor Very poor 3% 3% Neither-nor 4%

The results show that 90% agree that the information provided by the council in relation to housing services and decisions is either very or fairly good. This is a positive result and matches the performance of other landlords that Knowledge Partnership has surveyed.

Very good 44% Fairly good 46%

TENANT PARTICIPATION 50%

38%

40%

47%

30% 20%

8%

10% 0%

3%

r d d fied tisfied r-no atisfie atisfie e a h t s s s i s s i di rly Ne yd Fai rly Ver Fai

tis y sa

Ver

3%

11 • WINTER 2016

On balance, 85% of tenants are satisfied with the opportunities they have for participating in the housing decisions of the council. This is a good result, which represents an increase on the figure reported during the last survey and is a better figure than the Scottish council average.


HOUSING matters

% TENANTS SAYING COUNCIL RENTS VERY OR FAIRLY GOOD VALUE FOR MONEY 92%

90%

90% 87%

88% 86% 84%

88%

88%

89%

85% 83%

82% 80% 78%

ton

ng ddi

Ha

r

nba

Du

rgh

M

u elb uss

t as ick ans nen are erw stonp l l Tra B A rth Pre No

Tenants clearly need to feel that the rent they pay to the council represents value for money for the housing and related services they receive. Across all areas surveyed, 89% of tenants said that rent was value for money but there is some variation by location as the chart above illustrates.

NEXT STEPS We are currently reviewing all of the information in the survey report. We will use the information to assess our overall performance including identifying areas for improvement across key services such as repairs and housing quality. Meetings and other events to communicate this information to our staff and tenants are being planned. We will also be running some focus groups to address some of the issues raised in the report. If you would like more information or a copy of the full Survey Report please contact Deborah Piner on 01620 827 526 or email dpiner@eastlothian. gov.uk WINTER 2016 • 12


MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING LOW COST HOME OWNERSHIP OPTION The council has secured properties for sale at discount prices with a number of developers through its affordable housing policy. These properties have to be applied for and there are strict criteria, which, amongst other things, take into consideration income and financial circumstances. It goes without saying that applicants looking to purchase any of the discounted housing on offer must be able to secure a mortgage in the first instance.

Saxon Field, Gateside, Haddington – this site is being developed by Persimmon Homes. They have 2-bed terraced houses for sale at £112,892. Persimmon Homes can be contacted on 01620 670206 or email saxonfields.esco@persimmonhomes.com Burnell Park, Aberlady Road, Haddington – another Haddington site this time developed by Avant Homes. Avant were selling a mix of 2-bed terraced houses and 3-bed-semi detached properties for sale. However the 2-bed properties have now all been sold, there are some 3-bed properties remaining at £124,875. Avant Homes can be contacted on 01620 807488 or by visiting the marketing suite on site. Mains Farm, North Berwick – this next lot of discounted housing for sale is being developed by Cruden Homes. Cruden’s are currently selling 3-bedroom semi-detached and terraced properties for sale at £159,600. Cruden’s are using Simpson Marwick as their selling agent – you can contact them on 01620 892500. 13 • WINTER 2016


HOUSING matters

On site at Mains Farm

COMING SOON: East Lothian Council and Local Housing Associations continue to develop Social Rented properties Inglis Farm, Cockenzie – East Lothian Housing Association is looking to build a number of 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom properties for social rent. This development is currently under way and anyone interested in or wishing to apply for one these will be able to do so when they are advertised in Homehunt. The properties will be available from approximately June 2017. Bayswell Road, Dunbar – this is another East Lothian Housing Association development which is currently on site. This development will provide a number of 1- and 2-bedroom properties for social rent with properties available from Spring 2017 through East Lothian Housing Association/Homehunt. Hallhill, Dunbar – this is another development currently on site and being delivered through Castlerock Edinvar. When complete the development will provide 24 properties for social rent. These are also being advertised through Homehunt. WINTER 2016 • 14


Hallhill, Dunbar – Hallhill is also the setting for East Lothian Council to deliver a further 29 properties for rent. These consist of a mix of 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom houses and flats. The properties will be available in phases from December 16 through to early 2017. Please contact your local housing office to ensure you have this area on your housing application. Eskmills, Musselburgh – Dunedin Canmore Housing Association is currently onsite and looking to provide 31 (1- and 2-bedroom) amenity properties suitable for the over 55s. These properties will be available in May 2017 and will be allocated by East Lothian Council. So if you are over 55 and looking for a move, make sure you have this area on your council house application form. If you wish to be considered for one, speak with a Community Housing Officer. Mains Farm, North Berwick another development under way is in North Berwick, this will see eight properties becoming available for rent through East Lothian Council, and a further 16, (1-, 2- and 3-bedroom) properties available through Dunedin Canmore Housing Association. Dunedin Canmore can be contacted on 0131 478 8888 if you are looking for more information. These properties will be available from January with phased handovers throughout the year. Pinkie Mains, Musselburgh – building work has just started on the Pinkie Mains site and will see a third phase in this popular development. This next phase will see a further 35 properties for rent by the council. More information on these properties will be available in the next edition of Homefront. 15 • WINTER 2016


HOUSING matters

COMING SOON – Mid Market Rent Mains Farm, North Berwick As well as social rented property, Dunedin Canmore Housing Association will also be developing 14, (1 and 2 bedroom) properties for rent through the Mid Market Rent option. For more information on this alternative option, please contact Dunedin Canmore on 0131 478 8888 Westbank Road, Macmerry – another Mid Market Rent option will be available in Macmerry. Here LAR Housing Trust is planning to deliver 19 properties (14 2-bedroom terraced houses and 5 3-bedroom semi-detached with own garden area). These will be available from May/June 2017. LAR Housing Trust can be contacted on 01383 745650. Mid Market Rent properties allow the tenant to pay rent at a level below the market rent for the area. Mid Market Rent properties are not social housing and so the typical rent for this type of property will be higher than what a tenant would normally pay for social housing. Please note the criteria stipulated will be made available when applying for Mid Market Rent properties.

New council housing for North Berwick HART Builders of Macmerry won a £2.2m council contract for new housing at Russell Walk (at end of Glenorchy Road), North Berwick. A total of 18 houses and flats will be built as part of the council’s new affordable housing programme. Eleven of the properties will be three-bedroom houses; two two-bedroomed houses, four two-bedroom flats and a wheelchair accessible two-bedroom bungalow. Council leader Councillor Willie Innes said: ‘Expanding the provision of affordable housing across East Lothian is a priority for the council. We work with a range of partners, including private house developers, to secure sites for building. I am particularly pleased that this contract was won by a local contractor ensuring continued employment stability for the area.’ WINTER 2016 • 16


GETTING INVOLVED AS A TENANT The council’s new Tenant Participation Strategy for 2016-2019 was launched earlier this year at the East Lothian Tenants and Residents Panel Conference. This was on Wednesday 14th of September 2016 in Port Seton Community Centre. The strategy has been jointly developed with tenants, and recognises the variety of ways that tenants can get involved. It also remains fully committed to supporting our more traditional tenants’ and residents’ group structures. We have also produced a summary leaflet of the strategy for tenants

17 • WINTER 2016

and you can pick up copies of these documents at your local community housing office or download them from our website www. eastlothian.gov.uk If you would like to get involved in any way or would like more information about tenant participation and how to get involved then please get in touch with us. You can contact us by email at tenantconsultation@eastlothian.gov.uk or by telephone on 01620 827 526.

WINTER 2016 • 17


ELTRP UPDATE ELTRP UPDATE AND REFLECTION ON THE YEAR ELTRP ANNUAL CONFERENCE ELTRP held their Annual Conference on Wednesday 14th September 2016 at Port Seton Community Centre. Local groups showcased the fantastic work they are involved in on a daily basis, work that improves communities throughout East Lothian. Muirpark Steading View TRA and Dunbar Shore Harbour Group showed videos which detailed the brilliant work they have achieved to date. Both videos are available on ELTRP’s website. Councillor Norman Hampshire launched East Lothian Council’s Tenant Participation Strategy and thanked all those who had been involved in producing this very important document.

WINTER 2016 • 18


ELTRP UPDATE TIS Annual Conference Earlier in the year, members from ELTRP Executive Committee and representatives from local groups attended the TIS Annual conference in June. It was seen as crucial for tenants to work together with their landlords to have their say and influence decisions about the services that they receive. This hugely inspiring conference facilitated this process with an array of meaningful workshops and interesting study tours. It also provided ample opportunity for members to network and to make the most of the event. Highlights of the event included a keynote address from Mike Dailly, Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) Board member, who announced the recruitment of a team of Tenant Advisers with the support of TIS as a way of bringing a tenant perspective to the Regulator’s scrutiny of landlord’s services. ELTRP are delighted to announce that Mark Ormiston, Chair of ELTRP was selected as one 19 • WINTER 2016

of the new team of Tenant Advisers! Congratulations from all at ELTRP. Ilene Campbell, TIS Chief Executive also highlighted the recent success of the TIS Scrutiny Approved Accreditation pilot involving Hillcrest Housing Association, Irvine Housing Association and North Lanarkshire Council. The accreditation programme developed by TIS and Scotland’s Housing Network is aimed at social rented sector landlords to measure and self-assess scrutiny performance and encourage further opportunities for development. The programme will formally launch in September 2017. ELTRP Executive Committee and Wingate TRA were also finalists in the TIS National Excellence Awards; ELTRP and ELC were nominated for their joint work in reviewing the Estate Inspection process and Wingate was shortlisted for their innovative work introducing the Helping Hand scheme. Everyone had a brilliant


evening and delighted to be a finalist in these prestigious awards. Overall the feedback from the tenants has been immensely positive and the conference was hailed a success, delegates commented: ‘One of the best TIS conferences yet, I learned so much over the weekend

and look forward to sharing my experiences with ELTRP and my local group’ – Liz Wardhaugh, Vice Chair ELTRP. ‘The workshops I attended were really inspirational and provided plenty food for thought’ – Ian Gordon, Ormiston West TRA.

SUB-GROUPS ELTRP Executive Committee continues to work in partnership with East Lothian Council on a range of issues through representation on a variety of sub-groups. The work of these groups are instrumental in taking forward projects such as the estate inspection review, producing the Landlord Report to tenants, monitoring satisfaction surveys, designing and agreeing the rent consultation process. A new sub-group has now been formed that will take forward how tenants will be involved in decisions made about the Housing Revenue Account. ELTRP Executive Committee members are really excited about this group and have identified training requirements and support they will need to allow them to undertake this challenging and vitally important role. The work of the groups will continue to be fed back through Homefront and ELTRP Panel News WINTER 2016 • 20


ELTRP UPDATE Local Group Update HADDINGTON EAST TRA

February brought some change: Haddington East TRA (not Haddington West as reported in last Homefront!) have a new Chair, Ron Goldie was elected in February 2016. HETRA has one of the largest areas covered in East Lothian within a TRA, and are looking for members of the community to become involved and help take the group forward. HETRA are looking for general members of the local community and also the role of Secretary is still available if anyone would like to become involved in this specific area. Training and support may also be provided.

WINDSOR PARK TRA Windsor Park TRA are also looking for new members to become involved and take local issues forward. Members of the group were recently outside the Farm Shop, Pinkie Road and gave more information to the local community about their group, heard ideas and encouraged people to become involved. June this year saw WPTRA organise a Queen’s Birthday Street Party Celebration, this took place on Saturday the 4th of June and was a great success. They also celebrated 20 years as a TRA in the area. Well Done Windsor Park TRA!

21 • WINTER 2016


MUIRPARK AND STEADING VIEW TRA

August changes at Muirpark and Steading View TRA too; the group held a very successful AGM on Wednesday the 31st of August. They invited members of their local community to attend and they managed to get new members involved. They are all now looking to the future and the continued success of MPSTV!

WINGATE TRA

Summer Blooms: Wingate TRA entered the ‘Dunbar in Bloom – It’s your Neighbourhood’ competition and yet again had a great result! Wingate TRA were nominated for the Community Development Excellence award at the TIS Conference in June for their ‘Helping Hands’ initiative – they were one of only 3 nominees throughout the whole of Scotland – so a big WELL DONE to the team. July saw another election: this time Law Residents Group – Held a successful AGM on Thursday the 7th of July at North Berwick Sports Centre. A new committee was elected and are keen to take forward the work of the group. Brunton Court Tenants Group are also in the news as they look to have more regular monthly meetings to address the issues that arise within their community.

WINTER 2016 • 22


GET READY for winter KEEP SAFE AND SOUND IN YOUR HOME We all like to think we know how to cope in an emergency; we need to be prepared for the unexpected; to keep calm and not panic. We know that fire and water can cause serious damage to our home. We also assume accidents like that don’t happen to us.

INSURANCE OF PROPERTY All local authorities are responsible for the repair of any damage to the structure of their houses. As part of our responsibilities, we insure the structure of the building, including the landlord’s fixtures and fittings (for example, kitchen units and radiators). The insurance will provide cover against any unforeseen events beyond our control. But this insurance does not cover any of the contents; that means your personal property, decoration or furniture, is not included. 23 • WINTER 2016

The cost to replace your belongings that have been damaged as a result of an accident can run into several


GET READY for winter

thousand pounds and we strongly advise you to make sure you have adequate insurance cover.

TENANTS INSURANCE SCHEME The AVIVA Tenants Insurance Scheme is open to all East Lothian Council tenants; and with premiums starting from as little as 57 pence per week it offers you great value for money. You should remember if you choose to take out the tenants’ household insurance, you pay the cost along with your rent and you

must keep up your payments up to date. A missed payment, it could put your cover at risk. Pick up a leaflet and get more advice on the Tenants Insurance Scheme and an application form, from your local area office. Contact details are on the back page of Homefront. Apart from flooding and fire there are a few other problems that can cause damage at this time of year. Find out more on the next couple of pages ...

THE SCOTTISH GAS NETWORK Scottish Gas and the Fire Service have also produced a video to remind people of the need for safety around the house and to keep people safe at home – they offer a free service to support people living at risk in their own homes. You can watch the video by logging onto You Tube at this link – https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=0hx6StlBZAo WINTER 2016 • 24


HELP KEEP FROST OUT Burst pipes can cause serious damage to your home and furnishings. By following a few simple precautions, you can avoid this distress and expense. • keep your home reasonably warm day and night

• contact the Repairs Contact Centre on 01875 824311 or the out of office hours emergency number on 01875 612818

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER

In preparing for more cold weather, here are some precautions you can • if you’re planning to go away over take to make sure you’re safe over the the winter, turn off the water supply coming winter months. and drain the system – the council Condensation is a common will do this for you free of charge problem and one that can damage • never leave a tap dripping both your property and your possessions, leaving you out of IF YOU GET FROZEN PIPES pocket and having to replace or • if possible, thaw the pipes by repair the damage. applying a gentle heat, for example, a hairdryer or hot water bottle – never use a naked flame SOME CONDENSATION • raise the temperature in your house but do not switch on the immersion heater • when the water begins to run at all the taps and the WC cistern, it is safe to light a fire

FACTS

• The average household can produce up to 12 litres (26 pints) of water through condensation in a day.

IF YOU GET BURST PIPES • turn off the main stopcock – this is usually found under the sink

• In most homes, around 80 per cent of the condensation is produced in the kitchen.

• switch off the immersion heater and damp down a coal fire if a back boiler is fitted

• Showers produce more condensation than baths

25 • WINTER 2016


BOOSTING YOUR CHANCES OF ELIMINATING CONDENSATION The council has introduced the Filterless Infinity Fan to help tackle unsightly condensation. The fan has been designed to improve air quality in your home by reducing the humidity levels in the kitchen and bathroom areas to help resolve the condensation and mould problems. The fan will be installed initially as part of the kitchen/bathroom upgrades, but later on will become the main type of extractor fan used by the council.

GET READY for winter

The fan has also been designed for safe and easy cleaning: 1. There is a small magnet which deactivates the fan as soon as the front cover is removed.

The Infinity Fan works in three ways:

2. To clean: remove the front cover; then remove the impeller by pushing the clips together and pulling towards you.

1. Constant trickle extract – creates background ventilation to maintain a healthy environment

3. Wash both the cover and the impeller in warm soapy water, dry and reassemble.

2. A unique sensor to monitor the amount of moisture in the room – causing the fan to increase and decrease its speed to match humidity levels. It also reduces energy costs, wear and tear on the motor and has a long and quiet life

The fan has an annual running cost of approximately £1.97 and is guaranteed to last for seven years, with little or no maintenance required (other than cleaning).

3. The fan also provides you with a pullcord control to allow you to boost the fan to the maximum extraction rate, for better odour control. WINTER 2016 • 26


ARE YOU READY FOR EAST LOTHIAN COUNCIL’S ROLE IN SEVERE WEATHER We work with our partners in health, the police, the emergency services, the voluntary sector and the Scottish Government to make sure that as many services as possible are maintained. Our priority is to ensure that people at the most risk and with the most need receive attention first.

may well suffer damage. The council is responsible for repairing its council houses and flats so you should get in touch with our repairs service to let them know about any damage. Get in touch with the team at:

During periods of severe weather, we ask you to be patient, take care and keep up to date with what’s happening by:

WINTER ROAD MAINTENANCE We are responsible for providing a winter maintenance service on adopted roads throughout East Lothian. Our aim is to provide an effective and efficient service, within the resources we have available, to allow pedestrians and vehicles to move safely, depending on weather conditions. In severe weather, we treat up to 600km of roads and around 30km of footpaths.

• going to www.eastlothian.gov.uk • following @ELCouncil • following East Lothian on Facebook • checking in regularly with local radio stations like East Coast FM or Radio Forth for updates. You can also phone our Contact Centre on 01875 824 305 but please remember that because so many people phone the Contact Centre during severe weather, you may have to wait to speak to an operator. DAMAGE TO HOMES During severe weather, properties 27 • WINTER 2016

• Email: housingrepairs@ eastlothian.gov.uk • Telephone: 01875 824311

OUR PRIORITIES Where possible, we treat major roads and important bus routes before ice forms. When it snows, these important routes are treated first. We operate this service over 24 hours if necessary. Once we have completed these primary routes, we treat secondary


WINTER?

routes and finally tertiary and minor routes, for example, those in housing estates – these routes are done during normal working hours. We also deal with footpaths on a priority basis. Given our limited resources, footpaths are not normally pre-gritted. In ice and snow, footpaths leading to schools, hospitals, health centres and shopping areas are treated first, along with those where a lot of people walk. Main routes to residential areas follow, with footpaths within housing areas being treated as resources allow.

GET READY for winter

Grit bins are also positioned throughout East Lothian for public use. A1 TRUNK ROAD The A1 trunk road is maintained by AMEY on behalf of the Scottish Government. The contact numbers for AMEY Scotland are given below. • AMEY Scotland 24 hour contact number: 0800 420 188 Find out more about how to cope during severe weather at Ready Scotland - www.readyscotland.org

BE A GOOD NEIGHBOUR Sometimes we can’t get to housing estates for some time, so you can help by clearing paths and pavements outside your house. Also remember to be careful where you park – sometimes we can’t get gritters in because cars are blocking roads, where people have abandoned them during the snow. This is also a huge problem for ambulances and fire engines. Finally, please keep an eye on vulnerable and elderly neighbours to make sure they are warm and have food and medicines. WINTER 2016 • 28


COMMUNITY matters ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR – DON’T SUFFER IN SILENCE At this time of year, spirits are high and the urge to celebrate strong. We ask you to remember your neighbours when you are celebrating – try to keep the noise down, don’t slam doors in the middle of the night ... do as you would be done by. However, if you are on the receiving end of persistent nuisance or anti-social behaviour, remember there are things you can do... • vandalism and graffiti Are you suffering from the behaviour of your neighbours, or those who live If you’ve got a problem, call 0845 round about you? Make use of East 601 8518 or report antisocial Lothian’s dedicated team, tackling behaviour online at www.eastlothian. antisocial behaviour. Activiites that gov.uk/asb, where you will also find count as antisocial include: lots of other useful information and • constant loud noise or disturbance from a neighbour • drunken disorder • intimidating or threatening behaviour • violence

links. Your feedback about the problems round about you will help us to pinpoint the behavioural issues in your community, and how it has been affected by nuisance, vandalism, graffiti and other problems.

Further information and sources of help • The council community warden service – find out more about the community wardens at www.eastlothian.gov. uk/asb • Victim Support Mid & East Lothian - 0131 660 3030, www.victimsupport.org/ 29 • WINTER 2016


COMMUNITY matters...

WINTER 2016 • 30


Making East Lothian dementia Dementia-Friendly East Lothian draws together local people who want to make our communities great for people with dementia and carers to live, visit and work in. They are a community-led collaborative of local residents, carers, volunteers and paid workers with a shared vision for people living with dementia and their carers. They want people to understand that having dementia doesn’t take away a person’s right to be an active citizen with rights and choices or the end of dreams, aspirations and hopes for the future.

• Dementia’s no joke – don’t trivialise it

Our communities are better for everyone when there is friendship and generosity of the human spirit to care for others. Communities across East Lothian are actively engaged in dementia friendly conversations. All have different priorities, personalities and approaches, each doing it their own way. For example, in July 2015, Dementia Friendly Tranent became a registered charity.

• Keep up to date with Dementia Friendly East Lothian blogs, newsletters and events.

• Keep in touch and keep talking • Be patient • Be a good friend

Sue Northrop, a champion for Dementia Friendly East Lothian says:

• Find out about dementia and share what you know – the more people understand, the better for everyone

‘We all have an important role in helping support older people in our communities and Dementia Friendly East Lothian has great ideas about how we can do more. We know that every place and every person is different and we value and respect diversity. We just want to find better ways of helping people with dementia.’

• Don’t write people off because they have dementia – help them to join in

To find out more about Dementia Friendly East Lothian, go to http:// dfel.org.uk/

What you can do to help

31 • WINTER 2016


friendly Helping out and making friends at the Good Memories Café

COMMUNITY matters VETERANS FIRST POINT Veterans First Point is a Scotland-wide support network with centres and open access throughout Scotland, with NHS partners, on hand to serve veterans in their local area. They can help with: • Jobs and employment - offering direct support and signposting for all matters relating to education, training and employment for Veterans

Do you want to help people with dementia, or help the people who care for them? Maybe you can join our Good Memories Café team? The café is held on the last Friday of each month, 2-4pm in the Star Room at the John Gray Centre, Haddington, and is somewhere for carers and people with dementia to relax and meet other people. It offers company, conversation and a change of scene, in a place where people are patient and supportive. It can give a boost to the week and provide a muchneeded sense of companionship and connection. You can find out more about the Good Memories Cafe on the John Gray Centre website at www.johngraycentre.org

• Money and debt advice - offering access to expert advice on money matters and debt. • Substance use - advising, signposting and negotiating referrals to specialist substance misuse services within your local area for Veterans and/or their family members. They can also support and advise veterans families and carers. Find out more at www. veteransfirstpoint.org.uk In the Lothians, the team has been working on a range of peer support initiatives, for example, with HMP Edinburgh and Addiewell. They have also organised BBQs, fly-fishing and art project. They are hosting a long term exhibition of photographs reflecting the experience of military service across the last few decades called ‘Timeline’ that will be opened during the Scottish Mental Health and Arts Festival. For further developments in Lothian, please contact V1P Lothian at 0131 220 9920 or enquiries@veteransfirstpoint.org.uk

WINTER 2016 • 32


33 • SPRING 2016


PANTO COMPETITION Take part in our free prize draw for a family voucher for Aladdin, this year’s Brunton family panto. Email communications@eastlothian.gov.uk or phone 01620 827 755 or write to: Communications (Homefront Competition], East Lothian Council, John Muir House, Haddington EH41 3HA All entries must be received by 12 noon on Monday 19th December 2016 Find out more about the Brunton’s full season including the Honest Toun Family Hogmanay at www.thebrunton.co.uk/events WINTER 2016 • 34


NOTICE BOARD AREA HOUSING OFFICE CONTACT DETAILS Musselburgh Area Brunton Hall Musselburgh housingmusselburgh@eastlothian.gov.uk Prestonpans Area Aldhammer House, Prestonpans housingprestonpans@eastlothian.gov.uk Tranent Area – George Johnstone Centre, Sandersons Wynd, Tranent housingtranent@eastlothian.gov.uk

EMERGENCY NUMBERS East Lothian Council Emergency Number (out of hours) 01875 612 818 Repairs Contact Centre 01875 824 311 Social Work Emergency Duty Team 0845 603 1576 Homeless Helpline (Emergency 24hrs) 0800 169 1611 Antisocial Behaviour Helpline 0845 601 8518

East Area – Haddington Office, John Muir House, Haddington housinghaddington@eastlothian.gov.uk

Gas Leaks 0800 111 999

East Area – North Berwick Library & Customer Services, School Road, North Berwick housingnorthberwick@eastlothian.gov.uk

WELFARE RIGHTS TEAM SURGERIES

East Area – Dunbar Office, The Bleachingfield Centre, Countess Crescent, Dunbar housingdunbar@eastlothian.gov.uk

Haddington: (Court Street) Thursdays 2pm-4pm

Tel: 01620 827827 for all. Rent arrears - rentincome@eastlothian.gov.uk Benefits - benefits@eastlothian.gov.uk Phone 01620 827 827 Versions of Homefront can be supplied in Braille, large print, on audiotape or in your own language phone 01620 827199 If you have a comment, suggestion or complaint about our services, please tell us, visit or phone your local housing office to pick up a Feedback leaflet, or go feedback online at www.eastlothian.gov.uk

Musselburgh (Brunton Hall): Wednesdays 10am-12pm

North Berwick (School Road): 1st & 3rd Wednesdays of month 2pm-4pm Dunbar (Bleachingfield Centre) 2nd & 4th Wednesdays of month 2pm-4pm Prestonpans (Aldhammer House) 1st & 3rd Thursdays of month 10am12pm Tranent (George Johnstone Centre) 2nd & 4th Thursdays of month 10am12pm

Report

Street lightin g faults, road repair s, fly tipping

01875 82 43

05

www.eastlo thian.gov. uk/reportit

:

Homefront spring 61  

The newsletter for tenants of East Lothian Council

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