SUDOKU SPRING HAS SPRUNG Just for fun, solve To play, each 3 by 3 square must contain all the numbers from 1-9. Each row must contain all the numbers from 1-9. Each column must contain all the numbers from 1-9.
2 5 4
3 2 1
6 7 8
Entries to be returned to Steve Main, Elgar Housing Association, Partnership House, Grovewood Road, Malvern WR14 1GD by no later than 28th May 2010. The winner will receive a gift voucher for £20.00 NAME ADDRESS
9 8 5
Find the TWENTY Spring E related Words in the word maze A
2 9 9
2 4 8
Congratulations to Mrs Terry of Colwall who has won this editions Photographic competition, she will receive a £25 gift voucher. We really want to receive enties from our younger readers for the next issue? Do you have a camera phone or digital camera that you could capture a funny moment or dramatic landscape scene from around the local area? If you do then please send your entries in by 28th May via the details below:-
Find the hidden words in the maze? They may be horizontal, vertical, diagonal, forwards or backwards.
EASTER DAFFODILS MAY TULIPS SPRING
A S K T I O A R OOMD R Q S Y AW I C A S V A L AMB S O A D S U S AOH A A I P Q K F AMB N D OM T A O I A N I O B Z Y V A A AWO N E A B C A F F A T Y L I D F A LWS R A L K T A E A S Y GR F R A S P R I NGA KDQXC I A O MW A Q G E Y Q S I A M L A P W DR AOAGHHA R S Y A EQR R I A SWR TWB F P A L I R P AO LOR A F GAD I V I Y U I R P F S O E X C A O L A X O OMM K L S I AWA V O U N O A P WQ N R I K L S O J G T A N A B L OOMN L C S A L HU I AA E N I H S NU SO A E F N L NBUNN Y NNA I A L CHOCOL A T E E GG S A E AC
APRIL BLOOM GROW RAIN LAMBS
WARM SUNSHINE FLOWERS CLOCKS FORWARD BUNNY
CHOCOLATE EGGS GOOD FRIDAY CHICK BASKET PALM
Mrs Potter from Bromyard and Mr Sprigg from Droitwich ✄
Why not use your camera phone and send us your entry by email?
All entries to be sent to Steve Main Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to Newsletter Photographic Competition Steve Main, Festival Housing, Grovewood Road, Malvern Link, Worcestershire, WR14 1GD.
THIS NEWSLETTER IS ALSO AVAILABLE IN OTHER LANGUAGES AND AUDIO FORMAT UPON REQUEST
Niniejsza broszura jest dost´pna na ˝àdanie w innych j´zykach, wydrukowana du˝à czcionkà oraz w formacie audio.
Residents’ Survey YOU SAID
– What you told us
Sue Heelas Head of Housing (left) with Survey Prize winner Heather Nesbitt of Malvern
The good news Readers will be aware that we carried out our big residents’ survey last year. The results are very encouraging and we now know you think we’re doing a pretty good job in most areas. In all areas highlighted below tenants satisfaction has improved significantly since the last survey. The headlines are: ■
85% of tenants are satisfied with the overall service we provide
89% of tenants are satisfied with the quality of their home
80% of tenants say their rent represents value for money which at a difficult time for many financially is a great result
Could do better There are a few areas where we need to ‘up our game’, and dealing with anti-social behaviour (ASB) is one of those. A significant minority of tenants who have experienced problems with ASB (about 13% of tenants surveyed) were dissatisfied with the speed in which their ASB complaint was dealt with and with the final outcome. We will be working with residents to come up with ways to improve our ASB service. Another area where we need to improve is in you feeling that your views are being taken into account – 8% of tenants are dissatisfied with this aspect of our service.
87% of tenants are satisfied with the condition of their home
85% of tenants are satisfied with their neighbourhood
83% of tenants think we are good are keeping them informed
85% of Elgar tenants and 79% of Spa are satisfied with the repairs service – we need to do more work to understand why Spa tenants are less satisfied
In the survey we also asked a number of additional questions to help us decide whether we should be developing some new services, e.g.:
YOU SAID WE DID
providing incentives for tenants who fully comply with their tenancy agreement
TENANTS DAY - Register now!
Would you like to have your say on the future of Elgar and Spa Housing. If you are then come to the fourth tenants’ day on Wednesday 2 June at Drayton Manor Park by completing the attached coupon. This exciting family day out is entirely free and is available to tenants and children of
Building Successful Communities
Spa and Elgar. The day will consist of a two hour get together for adults and staff in the morning while their children are entertained. The chat with staff is the essential part of the day and will give us important feedback on what kind of services we should offer in the future. Older children will be able to visit the amusements
Are you between 5 and 15 years? We need you!
providing help for unemployed tenants
providing access to information about our services through digital TV
Nearly half of tenants thought rewarding good tenants was a good idea and we will be discussing with tenants from our Customer Service Sounding Board how to take this forward. Most unemployed tenants felt lack of job opportunities, training and skills were the main barriers to gaining employment. We are going to look for ways of how we can help here. However as relatively few of our tenants have satellite TV we are not going to progress the idea of providing information this way at the moment.
What next More on page 3 about how we are going to respond to what you told us in the survey. A big thank you for all of you who took part. A number of you were lucky enough to win a prize for taking part in the survey, see page 3 for a list of the lucky winners and details of what they won. Heather Nesbitt from Malvern was delighted to be presented with a brand new lap top by our Head of Housing Sue Heelas, see photo.
unaccompanied if you are happy for them to do so. After a buffet lunch the families will join up to enjoy the amusements before heading home about 5pm. Coaches will be available from Malvern and Places are limited and we will be Droitwich.
priority to will families, Placesgiving are limited and we be giving school age priorityalthough to families,only although only school age children can attend children can attend
Gardening Competition Time again...
Setting A Local Offer
FREEPHONE REPAIRS NUMBER: 0800 146742
FOCUS ON Finance
£ ££ £ ££ £ ££ £ £ £ £ £ £
JONATHAN & GARY HERE TO HELP Affordable savings and loans Festival Housing Group have been working with Black Pear Credit Union for some time now and we want to make sure as many of our residents as possible are aware of the services they provide. Black Pear is a safe, friendly and fair, not-forprofit savings and loans co-operative. Owned and controlled by its members (the people that save with Black Pear), it is regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), just like any high street bank. Black Pear currently has over 2,000 members spread across the Worcestershire, and membership is increasing as it becomes a more popular way of saving money. Black Pear Savings & Loans sets out to offer financial facilities to everyone in society, including those who are unlikely to get access to loans elsewhere without resorting to loan shark, doorstep and high interest lenders when they can least afford it.
Debt is one of the biggest problems facing this country, and Credit Unions are a way out of that. It is a sad sign of the current economic climate that people can find themselves in trouble over such small amounts of money. Black Pear already operate from Festival Housing Group’s Malvern office and the same services will now be available for Spa Housing tenants from the Royal Exchange Offices in Droitwich. You can save as little or as much as you like members can make deposits at our offices in Droitwich and Malvern, as well as at the Black Pear offices in Worcester or Redditch. Why save with Black Pear? Because Black Pear ensures that money saved by members is safe, and we offer free life assurance on the amount in your account. Why borrow money from Black Pear? Because Black Pear also offers members affordable loans at much better rates of interest than currently offered by other finance companies and many high street banks. A loan from Black Pear has a typical interest rate of 12.7% (APR)**, and unlike many loan companies there is no redemption fee if you decide to pay off the loan early. Should you have any unexpected expense to meet and need a loan, you have peace of mind that the repayments will be affordable and not steeped in high interest rates. Black Pear is delighted to be working with Spa Housing to offer tenants access to savings and loans. A “Money Point” is now
For further information contact:
Jonathan Branson on 01905 823119 or email: email@example.com
Gary Jones on 01684 579344 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively contact your local Housing Officer if you need help in any of these areas. Malvern Office 01684 579579 Herefordshire Office 01531 638400 Droitwich Office 01905 823100 open during normal working hours at their office in Droitwich. To join the Worcestershire Credit Union, or for more information, simply call in. Accounts can be opened and money paid in at a time and location to suit you! A simple but easy way to build up a credit history – save for a rainy day – or simply put money aside for Christmas. If you live in Herefordshire you can access the Money Box Credit Union by calling 0845 347 9399.
For more information, or to open a savings account, simply contact Spa staff or call the Credit Union Redditch Office on 01527 63310.
HELP WITH THE COST OF OIL Everybody’s fuel costs seem to have soared recently, however our 283 residents with oil heating appear to have been hit the hardest. In fact over the last five years the cost of filling a 1000 litre oil tank has risen by a staggering £430.00!
Mr Colburn tells me “We’re always looking for new members because the larger our membership the greater discount we can negotiate. At the moment the syndicate can save you about £40 on a 1000 litre order.”
Martley resident, Alan Colburn, has come up with the excellent idea to form a fuel syndicate to keep these costs down. It’s a simple but very effective scheme. Members place their orders via Alan, who then rings around to get the best price for a bulk order. The oil is then delivered to the individual members and each member pays the supplier directly.
Although the scheme is based in Martley, it can take orders throughout most of Worcestershire. If you would like more details please email or phone Jonathan or Gary directly and they will send you an information leaflet.
DON’T FORGET: If you need to save or borrow in order to refill your oil tank your local credit union may be able to help. Worcestershire residents should contact Black Pear Savings and Loans on 01905 612197 Herefordshire residents should contact Money Box Credit Union on 0845 347 9399
■ Steve Main will be working with residents on
how to improve satisfaction with ensuring your views are listened to and keeping you informed - please contact Steve if you have any ideas in this area. Tel: 01684 579360 Email: email@example.com
– What we are going to do now and how can you get involved ■ Jon Elger will be working with residents on
We have spent some time looking at the survey results and have now asked our resident sounding boards to help us develop action plans in a number of areas.
how to improve satisfaction with neighbourhoods please contact Jon if you have any ideas in this area. Tel: 01905 823115 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Even if you are not a member of a residents sounding board you can still be involved in action planning by putting forward your own ideas. The following staff will be delighted to hear from you:
■ Mike Shaw will be working with residents on
developing ideas for helping unemployed tenants please contact Mike if you have any ideas in this area. Tel: 01531 638409 Email: email@example.com
■ Paulette Ross will be working with residents
on how to improve satisfaction wit customer service please contact Paulette if you have any ideas in this area. Tel: 01684 579332 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
■ Albert Higgins will be working with residents
on how to improve satisfaction with the quality and condition of your homes, please contact Albert if you have any ideas in this area. Tel: 01684 579464 Email: email@example.com
■ Alan Moorhouse will be working with residents
on how to improve satisfaction with our antisocial behaviour work please contact Alan if you have any ideas in this area. Tel: 01905 823117 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
■ Steve Vizard will be working with residents on
how to improve satisfaction with our repairs service please contact Steve if you have any ideas in this area. Tel: 01684 579600 Email: email@example.com
■ Janet Cole will be working with residents on
how to improve satisfaction with value for money please contact Janet if you have any ideas in this area. Tel: 01684 579502 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
■ Steve Main will be working with residents on
developing our incentive/reward proposals please contact Steve if you have any ideas in this area – see above for contact details
Residents Survey PRIZE WINNERS MRS LAWRY-JOHNS from Bromyard Prize: Freezer
Status survey MR WHITAKER from Hallow Prize: Gardening Vouchers
MR HAMMOND from Malvern Prize: Splash Membership
MISS NESBITT from Malvern Prize: Laptop & Splash Membership
MISS COWEN from Droitwich Prize: IPOD
MRS KITE from Hallow Prize: M&S Gift Vouchers
MR COOK from Malvern Prize: Flat Screen TV MRS BASHFORD from Droitwich Prize: Flat ScreenTV
MRS BURKE from Droitwich Prize: Argos Gift Vouchers MISS OAKLEY from Honeybourne Prize: X Box Game console
MS HIGGINS from Malvern Prize: M&S Gift Vouchers
MRS SMITH from Malvern Prize: M&S Gift Vouchers
MRS BAKER from Upton Prize: M&S Gift Vouchers
Please note the pictures are for illustration purposes only, final prize may differ from picture shown
CONTINUES Elgar Housing’s Housing Needs Team has been successful in their bid to continue running the Housing Advice and Homelessness Services for Malvern Hills District Council. The team will continue running this for a further three years. Last year the Team helped prevent 119 households from becoming homeless. Where homelessness could not be prevented, 100% of decisions were made within target and households found new accommodation in less than eight weeks. We are delighted that we will be continuing to run this service.
100% of decisions were made within target Elgar’s Housing Needs Team
FOCUS ON Resident involvement
Are you between 5 and 15 years? WE NEED YOU! We are now recruiting members for our Festival gets2gether kids club. To be a member you need to be aged 5 to 15 and live in one of our properties. The purpose of the club is to promote good behaviour and have fun! The Festival gets2gether kids club have been working hard over the winter months to come up with ideas for activities and developing our points system. As a member you will receive a goody bag, membership card and points card which
you will use to collect points, and points mean prizes! Points can be collected for taking part in activities, helping in your local area and good behaviour. We have been busy putting together the programme of activities for 2010 taking into account what our young people have said they would like to do. This year our activities include a treasure hunt, pitch and putt, swimming, fundays, a visit to West Malvern Field Centre, Scalextric tournament and a hill walk. A full list of our activities will be available in May and application forms will be sent out to families and will also be available in our offices and on our website.
For more information please contact: Paul Edwards on 01905 823148 or email email@example.com (Droitwich Spa) Wendy Bone on 01684 579339 or email firstname.lastname@example.org (Malvern) Georgina Bailey on 01531 638411 or email email@example.com (Herefordshire)
Kathy’s Corner Hi everyone, at last we are turning the corner into Spring, what a Winter!
YOU SAID WE DID
Things in our neck of the woods have been disrupted by the weather, the Spa Residents Community Association didn’t have a meeting in January because of the snow, but we were back to normal in February. Since I last reported to you we have gained some new members, and they are now part of the S R C A team, we are very pleased to welcome them and the support and input they give to our group. In February I took part in a focus group on Repair Services, 15 residents attended, all in all it was very informative. Most of the attending residents were very satisfied with the services we received, but unfortunately some were very dissatisfied, their grievances were given top priority. I would like the people concerned to let our group know how things are progressing. On 2 June 2010 the Residents Conference is to be held, once again at Drayton Manor Park, more information on this on the front page.
New Standards are here From 1 April 2010 we will be working to the new standards set out by the Tenants Services Authority (TSA). The standards cover six areas:
In the next couple of months we will be looking for other opportunities to develop similar local offers for a wide range of our services.
1. Tenant Involvement & empowerment
Sounding board members will be directly involved in this new way of working but we are also looking to involve as many residents as possible in as many ways as possible including our Tenants’ Day and Summer activities.
2. Home (including repairs & maintenance) 3. Tenancy (including allocations & rent) 4. Neighbourhood & community (including ASB)
The idea is we not only develop and agree these new offers but we will also report on how we perform. This may be by feeding back customer satisfaction results or by reporting on how well we are doing in an area.
5. Value for Money 6. Governance & Financial Viability Within these six areas we are required to develop local offers with residents. For example following the review of cleaning & caretaking service we worked with residents to establish a standard of clean including frequency and charges to be made. So in the coming months please look out for opportunities to “have your say”, in the meantime if you want to get more information please do not hesitate to contact Steve Main on 01684 579360 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
INTRODUCING… Richard Morris Spa Housing Association Board Member Richard, Town and District councillor for Droitwich Spa, has been Mayor twice within the last five years. He is a board member for Wychavon Leisure which he took on after supporting the fight to save the Lido and is Chairman of the Droitwich area youth action group looking at how we can best support the future of Droitwich by keeping young people active and interested. Richard says he has always had a high regard for Spa Housing and this was intensified during the 2007 floods when he was Mayor “I thought we worked so well as a Team in very demanding and challenging
circumstances.” Richard was proud to be asked to reopen the Royal Exchange building after the floods and receive Prince Edward on his visit to the area to see how we had survived the floods. After this Richard hoped to join the Spa board at the first opportunity but this had always been difficult previously because of working away. Having taken redundancy during the recession and now lecturing in Business and Economics in Worcester, Richard now has more time to support the Board. Richard comments: “We have many challenges for the future with the recession taking a long time to go away and spending cuts more than likely. What I do know is that Spa Housing will keep its customer ethos and help everyone through.”
Tony Lyons Elgar Housing Association Board Member Tony has been a board member of Elgar Housing for eleven years. He has lived in Colwall with his wife for the past twenty-five years and is an active member of the local community. Before retiring Tony was the Manager of the Malvern branches of HSBC and since then has been involved with the local Chamber of Commerce, Malvern Rotary Club, Malvern Hills College and is also the independent chair of Malvern Hills District Council’s Standards Committee. As well as being an Elgar board member, Tony also sits on the board of Property Care
Partnership and on Festival Housing Group’s Audit Committee. Tony explains why he became a board member:“I am always looking for ways to use my knowledge and experience and hope that this will benefit the community. I have a background in finance and bring this experience to the table when we are looking at new projects and proposals. Elgar Housing is a dynamic, successful and proactive organisation which I am proud to be involved with. We have ambitious goals, such as increasing the number of properties that we provide and improving the standard of housing for our existing residents. It is vital that we continue to grow the financial strength of the company so that we can achieve these ambitions”.
Board Banter Over the last few months the Boards have been talking about: ■ Our tenants survey results ■ The new Tenants Services Authority Standards ■ Budgets and strategic plans for the new financial year ■ Review of rent and other charges ■ Performance in key areas ■ New homes in Lower Broadheath, Malvern, Worcester and Wychbold ■ New policies on service charges, resident involvement and mobility scooters ■ Worcestershire Home Improvement Agency If you like further information on what the Board have been discussing please contact Steve Main on 01684 579 360 or email email@example.com YOU SAID
A profile of tenants WE DID recently showed that some people have issues with literacy and numeracy. You're off to an away match with your son and pay £19.25 per ticket for each train ticket, how much do you pay in total?
If this leaves you blank – we can help Festival Housing Group, Worcestershire County Council and Herefordshire Literacy Project (HELP) are offering FREE courses to help you brush up on your English and Maths skills.
MATHS 10 week course Work towards a recognised qualification
ENGLISH 10 week course Work towards a recognised qualification
SUPERMARKET SWEEP ■ ■
New Team With effect from 1st April 2010 we have made some changes to our management structures. Sue Heelas will take up the position of Head of Housing & Communities for both Elgar & Spa Housing Associations. Sue will be based in The Royal Exchange in Droitwich Spa contact details remain the same. Alan Moorhouse is taking up the position of Housing Manager Communities bringing together the Anti Social Behaviour and Resident Involvement Teams. Alan and his team will be based in The Royal Exchange in Droitwich Spa, contact details will remain the same.
Elgar HA has been awarded a three year contract with Malvern Hills District Council to provide Housing Options Service, including homelessness & homeless prevention.
Gay Lloyd will lead the new Housing Options team, Gay will be based in Malvern but will also have an overall responsibility for allocations across the group.
The three housing Managers remain in their current positions: Mike Shaw Housing Manager Herefordshire – with overall responsibility for income management Clare Greensall Housing Manager Malvern – with overall responsibility for customer service (Currently on maternity leave and being covered by Paulette Ross) Jon Elger Housing Manager Spa – with overall responsibility for estate & tenancy management
Find out new and exciting recipes Plan how to shop on a budget Better food management Being wise to supermarket tricks
8 week course
CONFIDENCE BUILDING ■ ■
Managing criticism and conflict Personal triggers Planning to stay assertive
12 week course
Courses can be run in a number of venues including Worcester, Malvern, Droitwich, Herefordshire and Redditch. If you are interested in taking part or for further information please contact Donna on 01684 597361 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or for Worcestershire Nikki Stearman, Skills for Life Programme Manager on 01905 728887 or e-mail email@example.com for Herefordshire Julie Wilson Thomas on 07734297200 Completely or e-mail Julie@helpvcs.co.uk
Project Manager Address
Project Manager Address
Apple Orchard Close Bannut Hill Bawdsey Avenue Beauchamp Road Belle Orchard Close Birchall Bray Avenue Brookfarm Drive Brookside Bullocks Bridge Bushley Green Chestnut Close Chevenham Close Church Lane Church Way
Simon Simon Simon Simon
Clayhill Court Garth Darbys Green Delamere Road
Simon Jon Simon Simon Simon Peter Simon Simon Graham Jon Simon Jon Peter
Ednoll Cottages Elgar Avenue Ellsdon Elmfield Farm Court Forge Bank Hollins Lane Holme Oaks Katherine's Walk Knapp Way Long Green Longbridge Road Malvern Close
Margaret Road Meadow Close
Malvern Kempsey Malvern Malvern Ledbury Pixley Ledbury Malvern Welland Ullingswick Bushley Welland Colwall Cotheridge Stanford Bishop Hallow Kempsey Knightwick Tedstone Delamere Leigh Malvern Kempsey Earls Croome Bishops Frome Bosbury Martley Ocle Pychard Ledbury Malvern Forthampton Malvern Lower Broadheath Clifton-OnTeme Ledbury Baughton
YOU SAID WE DID
2010- 2011 HOME PROGR 2
Paul Simon Peter Peter Graham Peter Graham Graham Simon Simon Simon Simon Paul Simon Simon
Meadow Green Whitbourne Meadowsweet Court Malvern Moat Bank Longdon Mudwalls Bishops Frome Nash Close Martley Netherley Lane Pendock Orchards Close Earls Croome Orchid Court Malvern Orlham lane Leddington Picken End Hanley Swan Pinns Green Newland Pitchard Close Lower Sapey Princess Margaret AveMalvern Putley Green Putley Queens Estate Wichenford Queensway Wichenford Rectory Road Upton Ryall Grove Ryall Ryall Meadow Ryall Sandringham Close Malvern School Lane Ripple Sinton Green Houses Hallow St Andrews Road Malvern St Georges Woolhope St James Crescent Malvern St Michaels Little Marcle St Peters Drive Martley Suffield Bransford Suffield Close Bransford Summerpool Bishops Frome The Avenue Welland The Badhams Longdon The Beehive Abberley The Cedars Malvern The Crest Edwyn Ralph The Glade Malvern The Glebe Great Witley The Heath Holt Heath Uplands Fromes Hill Upper Court Road Bosbury Walsh Cottages Shelsley Walsh Waterloo Close Madresfield Wayend Street Eastnor Westbury Stoke Lacy Whiteacres Clevelode Winnington Gardens Hanley Swan Woodbury Close Great Witley
N s O e TI om FT LA H LONSU 00 I ,8
Simon Graham Simon Simon Simon Simon Simon Graham Simon Simon Simon Simon Jon Peter Simon Simon Peter Simon Simon Jon Simon Simon Peter Simon Jon Simon Simon Simon Simon Simon Simon Simon Simon Graham Simon Peter Peter Peter Simon Peter Simon Jon Simon Simon Simon Simon Simon
CENTRAL HEATING REPLACEMENT
EXTERNAL WALL INSULATION
2010/11 ELGAR PROGRAMME
11% 41% FESTIVAL’S MAINTENANCE POLICY ONE YEAR ON…. Following the 2008 Residents Conference Festival introduced a Maintenance Policy . The aim of the policy was to ensure that the money available for home improvements was being spent as wisely as possible. A year on this policy has had a dramatic effect on the works being undertaken within resident’s homes. We have been able to concentrate on tackling the home improvement issues that are most important to residents.
Where the money is spent...
■ ■ ■ ■ ■
Heating & Insulations Kitchens, Bathrooms & Electrics General Maintenances Windows, Doors & Roofing Health & Safety
41% 27% 12% 11% 9%
£4,388,602 - Approved Budget
Contacts for Programme managers Graham Vernall - 01684 579128
AFFORDABLE WARMTH AND FUEL POVERTY
Judging by the calls to our offices along with resident surveys and problems with condensation, the heating of homes effectively and efficiently is top
Peter Griggs - 01684 579473 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan White- 01684 579135 email@example.com 6
of Your ‘most important issues’ list The 2010/11 Home Improvement programmes for both Spa and Elgar Housing Associations look to continue the work to improve the energy efficiency off our homes. This year will see an expansion in the following areas: 1: Loft insulation 2: External Wall Insulation 3: Alternative and new green technologies 4: Draught proofing and external door replacement. The Property Team at Festival have been in discussions with numerous utility companies and government bodies and have started to secure as much grant funding as possible to use alongside the funding both Elgar and
YOU SAID WE DID
R RE OO 18 PL F 5 AC Ho EM m EN e T
E IMPROVEMENTS RAMME
Project Manager Address
Project Manager Address
Charles Henry Rd
Sandpits, Haye La
St Richards Gardens Droitwich
St Richards Road
Stalls Farm Road
Hill End, Broms’gr Rd Droitwich
2010/11 SPA PROGRAMME AL IC TR DE es EC RA S m EL G RK o UP O 3 H W 2
Spa Housing Associations have put aside for this type of works
Stock which adds up to 2000 addresses. we will write to the individual tenants effected soon to arrange access. Please remember this is a great opportunity for you to let us know your thoughts on your home and for you to have your say on what and when things will need to be done .
Where the money is spent...
■ ■ ■ ■ ■
TENANT CHOICE AND SPECIFICATION UPGRADE RESIDENT INVOLVEMENT & CONSULTATION This year has seen the launch of the Home Improvement Sounding Board who were invaluable in the production of the new handbook and DVD. The 2010-11 stock condition survey will be starting soon . Again we are looking at 20% of the Festival Housing
Heating & Insulations Windows, Doors & Roofing Kitchens, Bathrooms & Electrics General Maintenance Health & Safety
25% 24% 22% 20% 9%
£2,437,239 - Approved Budget
This year has seen the launch of the new Home Improvement Handbook & DVD together with the Upgraded tenant choice specifications where residents are given the opportunity to purchase upgraded choice items when their homes are receiving improvement. Details of such are available on the home improvement website or by contacting the property team on the numbers listed
Contacts for Programme managers Simon Williams - 01684 579472 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jon Collins - 01684 579470 email@example.com
Paul Bingham - 01684 579466 firstname.lastname@example.org 7
FOCUS ON Communities
FROM RUBBISH TO ROBOTS Local school children joined staff from Festival Housing Group to make a difference to their local communities and pick up litter.
Other recent community projects include Festival’s Directors working on the grounds at the Heriotts very sheltered scheme in Droitwich.
Children from Callow End CE Primary School and Hanley Swan, St Gabriels with St Mary’s CE Primary School, joined Festival staff to not only pick up the litter but then create weird and wonderful robots from the litter collected.
(left and above) Festival staff with children from Callow End CE Primary School
The litterpick was part of Festival’s annual ‘making a difference’ community projects which have seen staff getting away from their desks and organising and taking part in projects to enhance the local community. Janet Cole, Group Finance Director at Festival Housing Group was pleased with the result: “It was fantastic to get the team out of the office and making a real difference in the community. The local school children were amazing, everyone enjoyed it and we collected a total of 20 bags of rubbish. We then had great fun making the robots and the children taught us a thing or two about how to the make the most from a few bits of rubbish!”
Festival’s Directors lend a helping hand in the garden
Walking about again Since the last Festival Flyer we have taken part in three more walkabouts at East Holloway, Chawson Valley and Stalls Farm. On these visits we have had residents, Local Councillors, Worcestershire Highways, Wychavon Refuse Collection and Recycling, Wychavon Neighbourhood Warden and the Contract Manager for Vale our grounds maintenance contractor to name but a few. Some of the issues we have addressed at the walkabouts are as follows: ■ Police and Community Support Officers keeping a closer watch on a garage site prone to acts of vandalism ■ High visibility paint added to the lip of some steps on a public path ■ Various repairs to potholes and roadways ■ Clearance and monitoring of drains that repeatedly block at a garage site ■ Removal of ivy growth and repair to a wall at a garage site ■ Removal of bottles from some garage roofs and increase in police surveillance
of the site to check for underage drinking and vandalism ■ Replacement of broken bollards ■ Reinstatement of an overgrown path. As you can see there is no job to large or small to be reported and we are keen for you to join us at the next walkabout and tell us how we can make your community a better and safer place to live. Below is a list of where we will be and when. Please do come along and see us and let us know what the main issues are for you in your neighbourhood, we will always listen and act on what you say.
Spa Housing Walkabouts East Holloway Wednesday 19th May 2010 10:30am Meeting at The Scout Hut, Mayflower Road Wychbold Tuesday 6th July 2010 2:30pm Meeting at mobile office in De Wyche Road Albert Street Tuesday 19th May 2010 10:00am Meeting at Manning Road Fernhill Heath Wednesday 19th June 2010 11:00am Meeting at the mobile office in Eastfield Close
Elgar Housing – Herefordshire Old Market Close, Ross on Wye Monday 26th April 2010 3:00pm and Monday 28th June 2010 3:00pm Meeting at the large car park The Leys, Cradley Tuesday 27th April 2010 10:30am and Tuesday 29th June 2010 10:30am Meeting at the bottom car park Ballhurst, Bromyard Wednesday 28th April 2010 11:00am and Wednesday 30th June 11:00am Meeting at the top car park Lawnside and Masefield Close, Ledbury Wednesday 28th April 2010 2:00pm and Wednesday 30th June 2010 2:00pm Meeting on the corner opposite the Community Centre
Elgar Housing – Worcestershire Welland and Tunnel Hill Wednesday 23rd June 2010 10:00am Meeting at The Avenue, Welland Upton Town Wednesday 23rd June 2010 2:00pm Meeting at the car park in William Tennant Way Elgar Avenue and surrounding roads Thursday 24th June 2010 10:00am Meeting at the shops in Elgar Avenue Watkins Way, Orchid Court, Meadowsweet, Brookfarm Drive and Percy Walton Close Thursday 24th June 2010 2:00pm Meeting at the Octagon
YOU SAID WE DID
Payment via Direct Debit Direct debit is an easy way to pay your rent and can save you time. We will advise you when and how much will be collected per month. ■
You can choose to have your Direct Debit collected on either the 1st or 15th of each month.
If you wish to pay by this method
One standard amount is normally collected every month.
Phone: 01684 57955 or 01684 579550
Or visit your local Spa or Elgar office
Download form from Festival’s website
Rent is guaranteed to be paid on time without hassle.
No need for you to travel or incur additional costs e.g. postage or petrol to make your rent payment.
All you need to do is make sure that the funds are available in your bank account at the times quoted on your direct debit schedule letter.
Everyone who pays by direct debit will automatically be entered into a prize draw every quarter with a chance of winning £25 of shopping vouchers.
You need a direct debit mandate. You can get one by:
Once the mandate is received it will be forwarded to your bank 10 working days prior to the first collection. You will be sent a schedule letter listing how much and when each collection will be made. We calculate your monthly direct debit amount by taking your total yearly charge and dividing it by 12 equal payments. Any arrears or credit balance is included in the first collection unless you have made an agreement with your Income Management Officer.
DIRECT DEBIT PRIZE DRAW If you pay your rent by Direct Debit you will be entered in to a prize draw. The latest prize draw winners are: Elgar: Mr & Mrs Taylor of Bromyard Spa: Mr Raxter of Droitwich
YES IT’S GARDENING COMPETITION TIME AGAIN… We are delighted to announce that our annual gardening competition is back again this summer. We have invited past winners and Elgar Housing tenants Gerry and Brenda Rose to be competition judges. Judging will be on 5, 6 and 7 July 2010 when we will visit all the entered gardens. We’ve asked Gerry and Brenda a few questions to find out a bit more about them and also what they’re looking for in a garden …
What background have you got in gardening? Gerry – none really. I was born in Dundee and was a real townie. It was only when I met Brenda while stationed at Norton Barracks that I found out what gardening was all about. Brenda – what he doesn’t say is the first time I asked him to do some weeding around some plants, he carefully removed all the pansies and left all the weeds!
Past winners Brenda and Gerry Rose will be this years Garden Competition judges.
retired nine years ago. It was then that he really got into gardening.
for judging day, so dead heading beforehand is a must.
So you’re a local girl then Brenda?
What are your favourite plants?
Brenda – yes, I’m from Alfrick. My dad worked in forestry and encouraged the family to help him with the gardening. It rubbed off on all of us – my brother’s one of Webb’s national judges for vegetables!
Gerry – I’ve always been a flower man but I particularly love fuscias. They remind me of ballet dancers as the flowers are always moving. There’s actually one called ‘Dancing Bloom’ which is a real stunner.
Brenda – I like a garden that’s been planned well – and I also like a good variety of flowers.
Have you always both lived in the area?
Brenda – I like most plants but orchids and snowdrops are my favourites.
Gerry – no, I was in the Royal Signal Corps for 22 years and we’ve travelled all over the world – not that some places allowed us to do much gardening – Cyprus was a bit hot! Brenda – when he left the army, he became caretaker at the Grove School in Malvern and
So what would you be looking for from our competitors? Gerry – I like a garden that’s clean and tidy – you know, the ones that have mown edges to the paths – but no fancy hedging please! I also like to see flowers that are in tip top condition 9 2
Thank you for sharing your views with us and finally, could you pass on your best gardening tips? Gerry – Encourage natural predators in your garden and avoid chemicals as much as possible. Brenda – Make the most of the area you’ve got – even a small garden can produce a lot of flowers and vegetables. If you would like to enter this year, complete the coupon attached to the front of the Flyer.
? ?? ? ?? ? ?? ? ? ? ? ? ? SETTING A LOCAL OFFER TO MANAGE ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR
FOCUS ON Feedback YOU SAID
Improved Consultation and Residents Choice.
The 2009-10 home improvements programme has seen continued increases in levels of satisfaction from residents. At the end of March 2010 the number of tenants reporting they were satisfied with the planned home improvements programme was 98.2% across both Elgar and Spa Housing Associations. Together with the continued hard work and efforts of the Group’s contractors, 2009-10 has seen the continued success of the Local to You Consultation Events together with the launch of a new Home Improvement Information Pack and DVD which have received positive reviews from residents. We have also started offering residents the option to upgrade the improvements to their homes and this option is also starting to prove popular, Residents can choose to contribute towards 50 upgrade choices including sinks, taps, worktops, shower screens, kitchen extractors rather than settling for the standard choices offered by the Housing Group. Graham Vernall a Property Team Surveyor who has been instrumental in many of the new initiatives and changes to how we deliver the planned programme, said “we are really pleased with the continued improvement in the feedback we have received and the resulting continued improvement in residents satisfaction of the service we provide.”
HAPPY WITH REPAIRS? YOU SAID
Community leaders have joined together to discuss future plans to manage anti social behaviour in Worcestershire. Festival residents, police, local councils, housing associations and youth groups attended the conference at Worcester Rugby Club. The day was organised by the Festival Housing Group in response to a new set of anti social behaviour standards for housing associations issued by the Tenant Services Authority. The event was partly funded and supported by the South Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership. During the day delegates worked on defining what a great ASB service would like. Residents main priorities for the ASB service are: ■
Key Agency to take ownership and having a key contact ■ Provide a prompt response and ensure that agreed actions are carried out ■ Communicate in way that suits residents and keep them informed of progress ■ Develop out of hours helpline, not just reporting line
YOU SAID WE DID ■
Involve residents in setting and monitoring service levels ■ Provide support to victims and witnesses ■ Facilitate good information sharing, These ideas will be developed and will form the basis of our local offer to residents Clare Huyton, Festival’s Executive Director of Elgar and Spa Housing Associations, commented, “The conference has been a great success and we’re really pleased such a large cross section of organisations have been represented. It’s only by working with partner agencies we can strengthen the dedicated anti social behaviour service we already have in place for our residents.”
FORMAL COMPLAINTS ANNUAL REPORT Resident Involvement Manager Steve Main gives his annual report on formal complaints received by the Festival Housing group in the 12 months up to April 2010. Steve says “Taking time to think through a complaint can be a great test of an organisation’s integrity. Although negative feedback can sometimes be upsetting or even de-motivating it an also be a powerful learning experience. The creative act of stepping into someone else’s shoes can reveal some exciting ideas for making our services and local offers even better.
We are pleased to report that the results of the on-going repairs satisfaction survey, based on the 3,100+ responses received since April 2009, are comparable with the results of the STATUS survey, with around 94% tenants indicating they are either very or fairly satisfied with the service.
■ Between 1st April 2009 and 31st March
Steve Vizard, Head of Response Maintenance, said “Whilst this shows we are delivering a good service to our tenants the figure is below our target of 97.0% and we are looking at ways we can improve the service.”As part of the survey we also ask about the conduct of our contractors and we are also pleased to be able to report that the rates of satisfaction are also equally as high.
■ Most complaints were about repairs,
2010 the group received 49 formal complaints. This was down by one for the previous year. ■ 22 complaints progressed to stage two and
eight progressed to stage three. representing 50% of the total complaints received. ■ Six complaints related to staff and seven
complaints related to estate services. ■ 56% of complaints were dealt with within
target. This low figure is due to the highly complex complaints received which require
YOU SAID WE DID
in depth investigation and in some cases where other agencies such as advocates are used. ■ Three complaints were referred to the
housing ombudsman. Festival was cleared of any maladministration for one and is awaiting deliberation on the other two.
Key themes and outcomes ■ One complaint led to a change in
improvement works procedure. Tenants are no longer suspended from the programme if they are in arrears but making regular payments. ■ We are reviewing the procedure for
dealing with out of office calls where there are exceptional circumstances and incidents. ■ We will be
ensuring that defects in newly built properties are picked up before the end of the defects period.
Anti social behaviour –
we’re on the case Elgar Housing Association have been making life easier for many Hallow residents having gained an injunction with power to arrest on one of Hallow’s most troublesome residents. Mr Peter Carruthers moved into Parkheath, Hallow in November 2009 on a starter tenancy and complaints began to be made almost immediately about his behaviour. Complaints ranged from his use of the communal areas. Elgar Housing spoke to Mr Carruthers on a number of occasions about his behaviour. This was followed up by a series of visits as his antisocial behaviour escalated and included noisy disturbances in the communal areas in the early hours of the morning and leaving the scheme vulnerable by latching the main communal doors open at night. Far from modifying his behaviour, Mr Carruthers went on to place other residents in the scheme at serious risk by threatening to burn down the building, tampering with the fire extinguishers and placing paper in the light fittings. Following the latest offence, Elgar Housing immediately applied for and was awarded a full injunction, prohibiting Mr Carruthers from entering the scheme with power of arrest attached. Sue Heelas, Head of Housing at Elgar Housing Association comments: “We are very pleased with this result, it is another example of how Elgar Housing do not tolerate anti social behaviour from any of our residents. Mr Carruthers has caused
considerable distress to the other residents in Parkheath and we now have a result which ensures these residents can live in peace. We have worked very closely with residents and the local police who we would like to thank for their support and help in this matter. “ In this case the association needed to take quick enforcement action to deal with a serious problem. There are however many ways of dealing with anti social behaviour: ■ Have a quiet word with people causing the ASB ■ Getting residents together to talk about the
problem ■ Support and help residents through parenting
and other support so their children don’t cause problems ■ Community and fun days to give children
something to do during school holidays If you are experiencing anti social behaviour don’t suffer in silence, contact your community or housing officer. Your discussions will be in strictest confidence and we will only take action after agreeing it with you.
If you are interested in getting more involved in how Festival tackles Anti Social Behaviour please contact Alan Moorhouse on 01905 823117 or email: email@example.com
POINT OF VIEW FROM
Margaret Warman Hello everyone,
What a winter, I hope you all coped with it and that we can all look forward to a lovely spring and YOU SAID summer. WE DID Now is the time to get our gardens tidied up, I was lucky enough to get someone in to dig the borders for planting. I’m thinking of growing some fruit this year. There’s a small apple tree in Webbs catalogue that bears two types of apple and can be grown in a pot. Even if you only have a small space or a balcony have a go it’s surprising what you can grow in a pot with a little effort.
If the Tulips in your vase start to droop pop a 2 pence piece in the water I’m told it will make them stand up straight, it’s worth a try. I have joined a group of neighbours who take it in turns to hold a coffee morning each Wednesday. I was delighted to be invited, these ladies have such diverse conversations it’s a pleasure to be there. Maybe you could form a group such as this, it’s very rewarding. I feel the banking system has left pensioners savings in a poor state, so I have decided to cash in my ISAs and go on a Mediterranean cruise in May with my Son and Daughter-in-law. I have brought some great bargains in clothes from Matalan. The work being carried out by the gas companies re-laying pipes is creating an awful mess everywhere, it has to be done I know but I hope they don’t leave it in this mess when they finish the work and leave
Service Charge UPDATE In the last edition of The Flyer we launched the new service charges policy. Since then the rent review letters have been sent out detailing individual service charges. We have had a number of residents contact us as a result of the letters. We have dealt with most of the queries however the queries have highlighted a small number of mistakes. We will be writing to everyone effected by the mistakes on an individual bases to rectify any errors. We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience caused and say if you do not think you charge is correct please do not hesitate to contact your Housing Officer who will look into the matter for you.