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October 2013

The magazine for tenants and leaseholders brought to you by Hammersmith & Fulham Council

INSIDE

n THE WHO PAID SOMEONE TO POSE IN A WHEELCHAIR AS HIS DYING DAD

SEE PAGE 3 Nudel the miniature Dachshund g et a kiss from M s yl a Webber after winning best pedigre e dog annual Raven at the scourt Park dog . W ith them is owner Siob han Martin

New repairs deal for tenants T

he majority of all repairs to council homes in Hammersmith & Fulham will be carried out by private contractor MITIE from November 1, 2013. The contract with MITIE is worth approximately £177million over ten years and will cover reactive repairs and some planned preventative maintenance. The council will save £20 million over the ten year life of the contract, representing

HAVE YOUR SAY!

an annual saving of more than 10%. MITIE will be expected to deliver a customer focused service which takes account of residents’ availability. The contract will also see MITIE operate a 24/7 repairs contact centre and be responsible for technical

Housing repairs line from November 1:

assessment of defects. Earlier this year, H&F Council outsourced housing management in the south of the borough for the first time and estate services, comprising caretaking and cleaning, across the entire borough to private firm Pinnacle PSG. Continued on page 2

n ALL THE LASTEST INFORMATION ON RECENT BENEFIT CHARGES

SEE PAGE 6 n PLANS TO BUILD ULTRA MODERN HOMES FOR RESIDENTS CURRENTLY PRICED OUT OF THE MARKET

SEE PAGE 11 n CONCERNED ABOUT ISSUES IN YOUR AREA? JION THE RESIDENTS INVOLVEMENT PANEL & REPAIRS GROUP

SEE PAGE 18

0800 023 4499

To share stories about your estate or neighbourhood, please email press.office@lbhf.gov.uk


WELCOME YOUR HOME MAGAZINE by Cllr Andrew Johnson, H&F cabinet member for housing

Time of real change and progress Dear residents,

your rent into, millions of pounds over the life of the contract, meaning we can keep elcome to this latest edition service charges and rents competitive of Your Home Magazine. and have money to invest in our homes Summer is traditionally a without borrowing more. time to relax and slow down – but Teaming up with Pinnacle and MITIE not here at Hammersmith & Fulham Council where it has been a period of and harnessing the experience and expertise of the private real change and progress. sector is the next step Recently, we have made two major as we work tirelessly changes as we strive to create an to raise standards even more responsive and efficient even further and housing service that delivers achieve the best this council value for money and places you, w a deal possible for n ts to bridge that our residents, at the heart of g a our tenants and p a n d everything we do. we now hav leaseholders. The first change has come about than 5,000 e more p e The second o p in the way that we manage vital le on our Hom e Buy major change services such as caretaking, register. cleaning and tenancy is of particular management by relevance to our 4,700 bringing private sector leaseholders. When I company Pinnacle speak to leaseholders, a recurring PSG on board. theme is the way the council In addition, by 1 charges for major works. November 2013, the No one likes to receive large majority of all repairs invoices years after work has been will be carried out completed and we have listened to by private contractor leaseholders concerns and introduced MITIE. what we believe are some of the best These partnerships and most generous payment terms will save the Housing offered to leaseholders by any local Revenue Account, the authority in London. account you pay As well as overhauling the system so that leaseholders receive a bill as the work is happening,

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the council intends to continue to offer interest free payment options so that residents can spread the payments over up to three years. Leaseholders who receive bills in excess of £10,000 will be able to make use of a new five year payment plan. The council continues to be inundated by local people who are desperate to get onto the property ladder. The cost of housing in London is astronomical – well out of the reach of most ordinary Londoners. In fact, in many instances, first time buyers need to stump up more than £60,000 just for a deposit. As the ‘borough of housing opportunity’, this council wants to bridge that gap and we now have more than 5,000 people on our Home Buy register. While we continue to work with developers to ensure that they make new homes available below the market rate, we are also grasping the nettle and constructing our own homes for local people on middle-incomes. In total, the council intends to build several hundred new homes on council land over the next five to ten years through a variety of means, including embracing innovative methods of construction. If you are interested in purchasing a home in the borough for a reasonable price, why not contact the council’s Home Buy team on 020 8753 6464 or register online at www.lbhf.gov.uk/homebuy.

New repairs deal for tenants Continued from front page Cllr Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for housing said: “The council carries out around 50,000 repairs a year and when we ask residents what matters most to them, repairs comes out on top time and again. We look forward to a long and successful partnership with MITIE. “By working with the private sector, we are able to further improve standards and achieve the best value for money deal for residents possible.” Ruby McGregor-Smith CBE, chief executive of MITIE, said:, “We are extremely pleased to be further developing our relationship with 2 | Your Home Magazine

Hammersmith & Fulham Council. We are looking forward to delivering innovative and efficient services and supporting the vision of this forward thinking Council. This partnership with Pinnacle will also further drive up standards and save the council more than £10million over the initial ten year life of the contract - more than of 20 per cent of the current budget. The housing management contract sees Pinnacle deliver tenancy management and enforcement of tenancy conditions, property viewing and dealing with antisocial behaviour where there is a breach of tenancy conditions. This contract covers the south of the borough only, with the north remaining

in-house. More serious incidents of antisocial behaviour are still dealt with by the council’s safer communities team. The savings made as a result of the Pinnacle and MITIE contracts will be spent on planned major works, estates improvements and reducing the council’s £200m of housing debt, much of which was borrowed to improve homes as part of the Decent Homes Programme. This is currently costing the council around £12m a year just in interest payments. Hammersmith and Fulham (H&F) Council’s social housing rents are some of the most competitive in inner London, and up to 89 per cent below market rates, averaging £97.76 per week.

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Emilio Brunetti, receiving a massage on holiday in Marbella

Wish You Weren’t Here!

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son and a man who he paid to pose in a wheelchair as his dying dad have both pleaded guilty to benefit fraud offences. Emilio Brunetti, 54, paid sidekick Martin Rafferty £80 a time to pretend that he was bedbound and under the influence of heavy medication in a desperate bid to evade detection from Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council’s fraud team. Brunetti swindled more than £20,000 of taxpayers’ money before the plot unravelled. Rafferty of Gliddon Road, Hammersmith, 62, appeared at Hendon Magistrates on Friday, September 13 and pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting a crime. Brunetti, of Dairy Close, Fulham pleaded guilty to four charges of fraud at Hendon Magistrates Court on Monday, August 19. Both men will be sentenced at Harrow Crown Court at a later date. Emilio was granted power of attorney for his unwell father Antonio in April 2008 and was on housing benefit and council tax benefit. He was also given a social tenancy in his father’s name with the London and Quadrant (L&Q) housing association. But suspicions were raised when neighbours reported that they had

Paying som pose as youeone to r father to chdying taxpayers is eat abo low as it ge ut as ts not seen Antonio for a long time and understood that he was living in Italy. When fraud officers from the council visited the home to check that Antonio was living there in 2012, they were greeted by Emilio and a sleeping man in a wheelchair who was introduced as Antonio. Emilio said that that he could not wake his dad as he had taken strong medication due to a recent operation to remove a brain tumour. But fraud officers did not believe the story and viewed L&Q’s CCTV footage which clearly showed the man posing as Antonio Brunetti walking to his car unaided after the visit. Further undercover surveillance was carried out by the Department of Work and Pensions and a further residency

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check was scheduled in February 2013. This time fraud officers watched Emilio arrive by car with an older man and walk into the property. Once inside the home, Emilio showed officers a bed-bound man who he claimed was his father. Again, Emilio said his father was unable to speak as he was heavily medicated. The Police were called and both men were arrested on the spot. The older man was identified as Martin Rafferty, and Emilio admitted to paying him to pretend to be his father on numerous occasions as his father left the UK in March 2012. Antonio Brunetti has since died in Brazil. H&F Council deputy leader, Cllr Greg Smith said: “Paying someone to pose as your dying father to cheat taxpayers is about as low as it gets. This duo did not sleepwalk into committing this crime but they have now been given a rude awakening. If Antonio Brunetti knew the lengths his son went to in order to scrounge benefits he would probably be turning in his grave.” In total, Emilio Brunetti defrauded the council out of £5,988 of housing benefit and £990 of council tax benefit. He also illegally claimed £13,140 of income support.

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ESTATE AGENT FINED

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n illegal for-sale board stuck up in defiance of a council ban has cost an estate agent more than £1,000. Bushells was found guilty of putting up the advertising board at 66 Hammersmith Grove which is within one of the borough’s ‘Regulation 7’ board ban zones. The firm’s parent company, Edmund Cude & Booth Ltd, was fined £600 by West London Magistrates’ Court and will have to pay Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council’s costs of £431.16 plus a £60 victim surcharge… a total of £1,091.16. Estate agents are banned from displaying boards in protected areas, with the council operating a zerotolerance policy towards rule-breakers. Historically H&F had a problem with estate agents competing to see who could put up most boards – especially in roads where large Victorian houses have been converted into flats. Consultation with residents revealed that 98 per cent of respondents backed the move to eradicate eyesore signs. The ban followed the practice of some unscrupulous estate agents who left boards up for months on end after a property had been sold or let, simply as a free advert. “Most local estate agents play by the rules and understand that the council is resolute in enforcing the board ban zones,” said H&F Council Deputy Leader Cllr Greg Smith. “Residents overwhelmingly back our drive to prevent unnecessary clutter from taking over our streets and the few remaining rogue agents will eventually get the message.” H&F Council has a 100 per cent success rate in prosecuting estate agents who defy the ban and last year the government approved a 10-year extension of the zones which cover all properties in the Hammersmith Grove conservation area and the majority of roads in the conservation areas of Olympia and Avonmore and the Gunter estate and Harwood Road. Bans also apply to Barons Court and Lakeside/Sinclair/Blythe Road conservation areas.

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A win win situation! Council tenants who make the switch and pay their rent by Direct Debit have a chance to win £500!

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ith major changes to the it places responsibility to pay the rent benefit system introduced firmly on the shoulders of tenants and recently, H&F Council is means that the tenant will need to make encouraging its 12,000 tenants to sure that they budget appropriately and take the easy option of paying their have enough money at the end of the rent by Direct Debit. month to pay the rent. Tenants who make the switch will be Cllr Andrew Johnson, cabinet entered into a prize draw, with one lucky member for housing, said: person winning £500. Several other “Much-needed changes to the tenants will also receive smaller cash welfare system mean that prizes. our tenants in receipt of Direct Debit payments housing benefit must mean that there is far less t way that s ie think very carefully s a e e h T chance that tenants will sure about how they nts can en aid a n te fall into arrears as rental is p t n re ir manage their finances. e that th payments are paid directly set up a to is “The easiest way ll fu in t to the council at the end of it paymen that tenants can ensure b e D t c e ir D the month. It also means that ncil that their rent is paid in full to the cou the council is able to maximise is to set up a Direct Debit its rental income, with the money payment to the council. There is spent on housing maintenance and also the added incentive that those who ensuring that rents remain competitive. sign up to Direct Debit over the next few A benefits cap, reducing the months might just win £500 in our prize maximum amount of benefit that any draw! household can claim in a single month “This council fully supports the to £500, was introduced in August as Government’s attempts to reduce the the Government looks to claw back country’s astronomical benefits bill and some of the tens of billions of pounds while we want to help our tenants to of taxpayers’ money that is handed out pay their rent on time and in full, the each year. onus is on them to ensure that they have From this month, council tenants in enough money in their account at the receipt of housing benefit will also have end of each month.” their benefit paid directly into their bank Tenants that switch to Direct Debit or accounts, rather than to the council as already pay by Direct Debit will be entered part of the Universal Credit scheme. This automatically into the prize draw. will mean a huge change in the way that Tenants who fall into rental arrears tenants in receipt of housing benefit, face the risk of eviction. around 60 per cent of all council tenants To sign up to Direct Debit call in H&F, have to manage their 020 8753 4645 and speak to finances. a member of the council’s This is because rental income team.

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Do you WANTED know this man? FOR URIN ON THE CHAARTEING IN A LIFT CROFT ESTATE

Roseford Cour t Friday, June 14 5.30pm

Hammersm ith & Fulham Council is as help ki Contact usto catch this man. ng for your in strictest confidence. If you know wh phone the Es o this man is tate 0774 700 8744 Support and Security Ma na or email paul. herbert@lbh ger on You can watch f.gov.uk the incident on

Hammersmith & Fulham Cou ncil

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nother man has been caught on camera urinating in a lift in a council housing block in Shepherds Bush. And Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council is once again asking for your help to catch this man before he strikes again. The incident took place at Roseford Court, on the Charecroft Estate at 5.30pm on Friday, June 14. A youth is seen entering the lift on the 17th floor. He glances towards the CCTV camera before urinating in the corner of the lift. He is in his late teens or early twenties and has short black hair. He is wearing grey trainers, jeans and a grey top. This appalling act was captured by Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council’s state-of-the-art CCTV surveillance system which is linked in to numerous estates across the borough. The council also has a dedicated estate support and

security service that works tirelessly to clamp down and identify antisocial behaviour on estates using the CCTV. All images are relayed back to the council’s main CCTV control room at Hammersmith Town Hall where trained operatives scour the footage looking for incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour.

The incident took place at Roseford Court, on the Charecroft Estate at 5.30pm on Friday, June 14. Councillor Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for housing said: “This is a truly disgraceful act committed by someone who simply refuses to live by the rules of a civilised society. This person must be known on the Charecroft Estate and I hope that law-abiding residents will

To share stories about your estate or neighbourhood – email press.office@lbhf.gov.uk

line at www. lbhf.gov.uk /lif tvideos

come forward and tell us who he is so we can name, shame and punish him. “The message to hooligans like this is even when you think that there is noone around, we are watching you.” Last year, the council named and shamed a lout who was caught on camera urinating in a lift at Bush Court. Council officers decided that his actions amounted to a breach of his family’s tenancy and issued the family with a Notice of Seeking Possession (NOSP) to encourage good behaviour. The council also revealed the name of a man who stood idly by while his friend used a lift on the Edward Woods Estate as a toilet. He was also served with a NOSP. If you know who this man is phone the Estate Support and Security Manager on 07747008744 or email paul.herbert@lbhf.gov.uk

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The benefits cap has now been introduced in Hammersmith & Fulham. T he cap has been introduced in order to reduce the country’s astronomical benefits bill during the age of austerity. In last year approximately £23billion was spent on housing benefit alone. Those people who are working for 16 hours or more per week will be exempt from the cap.

What are the changes? Benefits cap The benefits cap restricts the amount of benefits payable to households to £500 a week. If you are affected, your Housing Benefit will go down to make sure that the total amount of benefit you get isn’t more than the cap level. If you’re already getting benefits and could be affected by the cap you’ll be contacted by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). They’ll let you know what will happen to your benefits. If you’re seeing a Jobcentre Plus adviser, Work Programme or Work Choice provider, they’ll continue to help you look for work and get skills you may need for a job. What is included? The cap will apply to the total amount that the people in your household get from the following benefits: • Bereavement Allowance • Carer’s Allowance • Child Benefit • Child Tax Credit • Employment and Support Allowance (unless you get the support component) • Guardian’s Allowance • Housing Benefit Incapacity Benefit • Income Support • Jobseeker’s Allowance • Maternity Allowance • Severe Disablement Allowance • Widowed Parent’s Allowance (or Widowed Mother’s Allowance or Widows Pension you started getting before 9 April 2001)

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The cap restricts the total amount of benefits payable to households to a maximum of £500 a week. How much is the benefit cap? The level of the cap will be: • £500 a week for couples (with or without children living with them) • £500 a week for single parents whose children live with them • £350 a week for single adults who don’t have children, or whose children don’t live with them Who won’t be affected? You won’t be affected by the benefit cap if anyone in your household qualifies for Working Tax Credit or gets any of the

following benefits: • Disability Living Allowance • Personal Independence Payment • Attendance Allowance • Industrial Injuries Benefits (and equivalent payments as part of a war disablement pension or the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme) • Employment and Support Allowance, if you get the support component War Widow’s or War Widower’s Pension

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giving people more incentive to work for any period of time that is available The changes do not end • Most claimants on low incomes will with the benefit cap. still be paid Universal Credit when they first start a new job or increase their From October part-time hours • Claimants will receive just 1 monthly Universal Credit will payment, paid into a bank account in be introduced in the the same way as a monthly salary • Support with housing costs will go borough. direct to the claimant as part of their monthly payment. How we can help you 1. Council tenants can pay their rent Universal Credit will see those in receipt of benefits have their money paid by Direct Debit Direct Debit payments mean that there directly into their bank accounts, rather is far less chance that tenants will fall into than to the council. arrears as rental payments are paid directly This will mean a huge change in to the council at the end of the month. the way that tenants in receipt of To sign up to Direct Debit call 020 housing benefit, around 60 per cent 8753 4645 and speak to a member of of all council tenants in H&F, have to the council’s Rental Income team. If you manage their finances. sign up now, you will be entered into a This is because it places responsibility draw to win £500. to pay the rent firmly on the shoulders 2. Visit the ROOF team of tenants and means that ROOF, which stands for ‘Renter’s the tenant will need to make Owners Occupiers and Families’ sure that they budget is a council funded scheme appropriately and have that aims to prevent enough money at the 0 0 ,0 6 2 homelessness by helping £ r end of the month to pay o £500, ld u o h people to understand s r, the rent. a per ye r fo how to manage their h g Universal Credit will u o be en by finances. It also provides t e g replace: o t s familie week. free information and advice • Income-based on each on all housing matters in Jobseeker’s Allowance the borough. ROOF’s team • Income-related of community volunteer trainers Employment and Support are on hand to explain the changes Allowance and inform people on how to make • Income Support the most of their money regardless of • Child Tax Credits their financial circumstances. ROOF also • Working Tax Credits provide training on monthly budgeting, • Housing Benefit opening a bank account and to know The main differences between the difference between a priority Universal Credit and the current and non-priority debt and work with welfare system are: council housing officers and housing • Universal Credit will be available to associations to ensure tenants get the people who are in work and on a low right information. income, as well as to those who are ROOF is based at Hammersmith & out of work Fulham CAB at Avonmore Library and • Most people will apply online and Neighbourhood Centre on North End manage their claim through an Crescent. For more information call, online account 020 3137 6294 or email on • Universal Credit will be responsive – as roof@hfcab.org.uk. people on low incomes move in and If you are keen to find work contact out of work, they’ll get ongoing support, Jobcentre Plus on 020 8210 8221, Work Porgramme or Work Choice Advisers. You can also get hope from the council’s Work Zone recruitment facility on 020 8753 4695.

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For more information on benefit changes visit www.lbhf.gov.uk/benefitchanges

To share stories about your estate or neighbourhood – email press.office@lbhf.gov.uk

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ammersmith & Fulham has 13 of the best parks and open spaces in the country – and that is official! The parks have all been honoured with Green Flag Awards by Keep Britain Tidy. Ravenscourt Park, Frank Banfield Park and Margravine Cemetery have been awarded with Green Flag status for the fifth year in a row. While Normand Park has won the coveted honour for the fourth year while St Peter’s Square in Hammersmith has collected a Green Flag Award for the third time. In addition, Hammersmith Park, Hurlingham Park, South Park and Norland North on the Edward Woods Estate have all won their second Green Flags while Brook Green has won its maiden award. Meanwhile, Loris Road Open Space, Godolphin Road Open Space and Phoenix Farm (associated with Phoenix School) have also won Green Flags. These are all leased and managed by Hammersmith Community Gardens Associations (HGCA). To win these Green Flag Awards, the council must present a management plan to demonstrate that each park is welcoming, healthy, safe, clean and well-maintained. In addition, the council had to prove that management of each site is carried out in an environmentally sound manner, with conservation of natural features, wildlife and historic buildings. Most importantly, the council had to demonstrate how residents are involved in their local park. H&F Council has been instrumental in establishing ‘Friends of’ groups which enable local residents to sustain and enhance their park as a place of natural beauty and public pleasure in partnership with local authorities.

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Leaseholders’ H

ammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council has cut service charge bills for its 4,700 leaseholders by almost 5 per cent in the last year. Leaseholders pay the council a charge to account for the costs incurred to maintain and manage the building that their home is in and the estate it is on. The charges depend on the services the individual leaseholder receives, the repairs needed and the terms of the lease. They typically take into account caretaking, grounds maintenance and insurance, together with routine repairs and maintenance. In 2012/13, the total amount of service charges paid by all leaseholders was £3.7m, a reduction of 4.85 per cent compared to the previous year. Cllr Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for housing said: “Leaseholders are understandably always concerned about the level of service charges that they have to pay so this overall reduction is fantastic news. Since we abolished the arms length management organisation two years ago and brought housing back under the council’s direct control, we have been working tirelessly to reduce our costs and create a lean and dynamic department. This reduction in

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Bonanza costs shows that we are on the bill for the work for several right track, with our residents years after it had been reaping the benefits.” completed. This was e r a s er This is the second because bills were not Leaseholdndably piece of good news that dispatched until the understa cerned n leaseholders have received council had received always co level of from the council recently. the final invoice from about the harges c Last month, the council the contractor. e servic e v a h y announced that it would be This caused e h t that overhauling the way it collects resentment amongst to pay money for maintenance work so leaseholders if they disputed that leaseholders are able to pay for the work as it was too late to call the work as it is occurring. back the original contractor. This replaces an out-of-date model The new, improved and streamlined that saw leaseholders receive a bill up process will see the leaseholder receive a to five years after the work had been bill while work happens on site and not completed. years after the completion of the work. The council is also continuing to offer The council expects that leaseholders interest free payment options so that will engage more with the major works residents can spread the payment over process as and when work is being up to three years. carried out which should result in a Leaseholders who receive bills in higher satisfaction with the work at excess of £10,000 can make use of a new completion. Disputes will be able to be five year payment plan. There is also addressed while contractors are on site, a 2.5 per cent discount if the invoice is again resulting in increased satisfaction. paid in full within 21 days. The new deal The council expects to be able represents some of the most generous to make further reductions to service terms offered to leaseholders by any local charges over the coming years as a result authority in London. of its new partnership with Pinnacle Under the old way of working, PSG who are now managing a range of leaseholders may not have received a services on estates.

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Post Office Makeover

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lans to modernise the King Street Post Office have been warmly welcomed by Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council. The Post Office has announced that it will We are be refurbishing the popular branch, opposite d e ligh Hammersmith Town Hall, providing a modern this br ted that environment for customers. a The same products will be available, with the be mo nch is to addition of car tax and the branch will be open dernis ed until 5.30pm on Saturdays, instead of the current closing time of 12.30pm. Selected Post Office services will also be available at the retail counter during shop opening hours. The new look Post Office is scheduled to open on Thursday, November 14 at 1pm and the branch is now closed to allow the modernisation to take place. During this temporary closure, customers are advised to use branches at WH Smith in the Kings Mall Shopping Centre or at 353 King Street. H&F Council Leader, Cllr Nicholas Botterill said: “The Post Office provides numerous vital services to thousands of people and we are delighted that this branch is to be modernised. “Hammersmith Town Centre is currently undergoing something of a renaissance, with hundreds of news homes and new retail space recently achieving planning permission, the Lyric Theatre being extended and the library being modernised. In addition, the new King Street proposals have been warmly received by local people. A modern, refurbished Post Office is another boost for the local community.” H&F Council and local residents fought a successful campaign back in 2008 to save a number of local Post Office branches from closure. The Starch Green sub-post office branch at 7 King’s Parade in Askew Road, W6, the Kenyon Street branch in Fulham and the branch at 146 Shepherds Bush Road, W6 were all saved following a concerted effort from the local community.

To share stories about your estate or neighbourhood – email press.office@lbhf.gov.uk

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Energetic day at Edward Woods Estate

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esidents of the Edward Woods estate enjoyed a whole host of activities at an energy saving community fete recently. The estate in Shepherds Bush recently received a ‘green makeover’ from insulation provider Rockwool, who fitted

three of the high rise tower blocks with external wall insulation integrated with solar PV, cavity wall insulation and roof insulation. The fete saw Rockwool show residents how much energy it takes

to power commonly used household objects. Held on the green outside the community centre, there was also a bouncy castle, face painting and a demonstration of how external wall insulation is installed.

Grow your own

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state residents are being challenged to grow their own meals and in the process see how much cash they could save. The council has teamed up with Capital Growth – an organisation that encourages Londoners to grow their own food. There are already several estates and sheltered housing blocks that have their own designated growing plots. These include: • Clifford and Falkland House on the Lytton Estate, West Kensington • Springvale estate, Brook Green • Queen Caroline Estate, Hammersmith • Woodmans Mews, • Edward Woods play area, Shepherds Bush • Exhibition and White City Close, Wood Lane Estate • White City Estate • Meadowbank Close allotments and community gardens If you would like to ‘grow your own’ elsewhere in the borough, contact Binita Shah on 0208 753 5726 or email Binita.Shah@lbhf.gov.uk

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A grand day out People of all ages enjoyed a great day out recently at the Queen Caroline Estate fun day. The event took place on the estate in Hammersmith on Saturday July 20 and featured games, face painting, refreshments and a sunflower growing competition for children. The council and Groundwork London is working to improve the toddlers play area on the estate and residents were able to have their says on potential designs.

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Artist impression of new homes

Ultra modern homes at an affordable price

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ocal people desperate to buy a The advantages of building homes home in the borough but priced like this are numerous. As well as out of the market may now be being extremely quick, as most of able to purchase an ultra-modern the construction work is done off-site property at an affordable price in in a factory, the impact on the local Brook Green. community in terms of noise, dust and Plans to construct ten state-of-thetraffic movements is kept to a minimum. art ‘Rational Houses’ on the Spring Vale A home built in this way already exists Estate were approved by Hammersmith in the borough. The three bedroom & Fulham (H&F) Council’s planning home at Biscay Road, Hammersmith took applications committee recently. just 11 days to erect in 2011. Tipped to be the blueprint for Residents of the Spring Vale estate modern house construction in London, and wider area have been fully consulted the homes are made of pre-made panels on the scheme. As part of the plans, the in a factory off-site, before being amount of green space on the estate winched into position will increase from 330 square metres to in a matter of days. nearly 500 square metres. The new This is the first time green spaces will be designed in the country s d in partnership with the local n a s thou that homes have community and will be fully There are ational been built in this of aspir landscaped. is h t in ple manner is such a H&F is an incredibly polarised young peo ho dream w large quantity. h g u borough as far as housing is o r bo their The council’s concerned. 31% of homes in the of buying me development borough are social rented – well own ho partner City House above the London average. There Projects Ltd, will shortly are also a large number of multi-million begin work constructing two pound homes. one-bedroom flats, six two-bedroom However, less than 2% of the flats and two three-bedroom houses on borough’s housing is affordable low the estate. cost home ownership meaning that it is And in a huge boost for local people almost impossible for young people to who cannot afford to buy a home in get onto the property ladder unless they Hammersmith & Fulham, where property are earning a large salary or are sitting on prices are the fourth most expensive in a large inheritance. the country, six of the homes will be sold H&F Council is determined to bridge at a discounted market rate to potential the gap and recently returning to first-time buyers on the council’s Home building homes on council land for the Buy register. first time in more than 30 years.

To share stories about your estate or neighbourhood – email press.office@lbhf.gov.uk

This is the first time in the country that homes have been built in this manner is such a large quantity. In fact, more than 5,000 people have asked the council to help them find low cost homes to buy in the borough, while only 1,100 people sit on the council’s social housing register. Cllr Andrew Johnson, cabinet member for housing said: “There are thousands of aspirational young people in this borough who dream of buying their own home but are currently priced out of the market. In fact, in many instances, first time buyers need to stump up more than £50,000 just for a deposit. “This council is committed to creating a borough of housing opportunity and filling this housing black hole so that people can buy their own place at a decent price. In total, the council intends to build several hundred new homes on council land over the next five to ten years through a variety of means. The council recently converted a derelict health clinic at Becklow Gardens, Shepherds Bush into two one-bedroom flats which have now been bought at a discounted price by a hospital worker and a train driver. The Council has promised to work very closely with local residents ahead of any development and will hold various consultation events so that residents can come and talk to council representatives face-to-face. To find out more about low cost home ownership opportunities in Hammersmith & Fulham, contact the council’s Home Buy team on 020 8753 6464 or register online at www.lbhf.gov.uk/homebuy

Your Home Magazine | 11


Rail link could boost local area

Vast tracts of semi-derelict industrial land, in one of London’s poorest areas, could be transformed with up to 19,000 new homes and 90,000 jobs thanks to the major improvement in accessibility that will be provided by HS2. The proposed £32billion High Speed rail link between London and Northern England is set to make Old Oak Common Britain’s best connected railway station. Cllr Nicholas Botterill, H&F Council Leader, in whose borough the new station will be located, says: “HS2 will act as a catalyst to create much-needed new homes, jobs and opportunities in one of London’s poorest areas.” The Mayor of London, Transport for London (TfL) and the three local councils are consulting on a vision to regenerate Old Oak – which the Government has earmarked as the main interchange between High Speed 2 (HS2) and Crossrail. The new HS2 station also provides the opportunity for a new Overground station creating links to jobs all over London. A new generation of trains, running at speeds of up to 225mph, will stop at the new hub station, just north of Wormwood Scrubs, from 2026. Around half of working age adults within 1.2miles of the station site are unemployed. Some parts of the area – which includes a large amount of railway land with train depots, two waste recycling facilities, the Car Giant dealership and other light industrial uses - are in the bottom 1% most deprived nationally. The Government has signalled Old Oak’s vital role in taking pressure off busy central London terminals like Euston, the London terminus of HS2, which could not have coped with the 13,000 extra passengers an hour that HS2 will bring. Five of the nation’s airports will be linked to the high-speed rail network for the first time through the Old Oak interchange.

Fulham man jailed A

neighbour from hell who was wanted by the Police after being sentenced to six months behind bars has been apprehended on King Street, Hammersmith. Salim Ackbarally, was arrested by two Police officers who were tipped off that he was on King Street. The 57 year-old was jailed for six months in his absence at West London County Court earlier this month, for a catalogue of offences. The Council also obtained a Possession Order for his council home on De Morgan Road, Fulham in August 2013. He had a particular penchant for using intimidating and threatening behaviour, including making threats to kill and also blasted out loud music from his home. Since sentencing, officers have been scouring the borough for him. He will now spend the next six months of his life at Her Majesty’s pleasure at Wormwood Scrubs.

He had a particular penchant for using intimidating and threatening behaviour H&F Council Deputy Leader, Cllr Greg Smith said: “Life must have been a misery for those who had the misfortune to live near this man and I am sure his neighbours will now rejoice that he has been caught. This council takes a zero tolerance approach to crime and antisocial behaviour and will continue to work closely with the Police to punish those who break the law.” Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council obtained an antisocial behaviour injunction with a power of arrest in December 2012 at the same time as applying for possession of his property. In June 2013 he breached the injunction order by using aggressive behaviour towards another resident. He was arrested and excluded from his property, following a court hearing for the breach.

Salim Ackbarally 12 | Your Home Magazine

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WANTED FOR URINATING IN A LIFT ON THE CHARECROFT ESTATE

Roseford Court Friday, June 14 5.30pm Hammersmith & Fulham Council is asking for your help to catch this man. Contact us in strictest confidence. If you know who this man is phone the Estate Support and Security Manager on 0774 700 8744 or email paul.herbert@lbhf.gov.uk You can watch the incident online at www.lbhf.gov.uk/liftvideos Hammersmith & Fulham Council

To share stories about your estate or neighbourhood – email press.office@lbhf.gov.uk

Your Home Magazine | 13


Stop burning your money T

here were shouts of ‘Urgh!’ and ‘That’s disgusting!’ this week in Lyric Square, along with stares from inquisitive residents doing their shopping and workers on their lunch breaks, as they passed a sixfoot tall box filled to the top with rubbish. The clear, plastic box stood in the square on Tuesday and contained waste collected from the rubbish bins and off the street in a half a mile stretch between Hammersmith Broadway and Hammersmith Town Hall in King Street. Street cleaners from Serco, the council’s contractor, had to only make two visits to the box before it was completely full. Around 30 bags were put into the box over an eight hour period to show how much rubbish is thrown away every

day and to demonstrate that the majority of it could actually be easily recycled – if the right items, like drinks’ cans, plastic bottles and newspapers, had been put in the correct bin. Officers from the council were on hand to speak to residents and listen to their suggestions on how to get more people recycling correctly, as well as hand out leaflets reminding people what items they can and can’t recycle. Cllr Greg Smith, deputy leader and cabinet member for residents’ services, said: “It was a real eye-opener for people, seeing that box fill up so quickly. Most of the items we saw could have been recycled and, had we been able to do that, it would have meant a huge saving for residents. The next time residents put their waste in a bin or are sorting out

rubbish and recycling sacks, please think of this box, put the right items in the correct bin or sack and it’ll help to stop burning your money.” It costs the council seven times as much to burn a tonne of recycling that has the wrong items, like food waste, nappies, and builders’ rubble, than it does to recycle a correct, clean and clear load of recycling.

It wa eye-ops a real people ener for that bo , seeing x so quicfill up kly

Council street cleaners next to the six-foot tall box of rubbish.

14 | Your Home Magazine

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Recycling is becoming

CLEARER What is happening? Your recycling sacks are changing colour. In the coming weeks, when you get your next delivery of recycling sacks, they will be clear and not orange, as they previously have been.

Why is this happening?

For more information and to share your views Visit: www.lbhf.gov.uk/recycling Fill in our survey: www.lbhf.gov.uk/clearsack Email: cleaner.greener@lbhf.gov.uk Call: 020 8753 1100 Hammersmith & Fulham Council

To share stories about your estate or neighbourhood – email press.office@lbhf.gov.uk

File: 11_56ds_71029-49_1_clear_sacks_campaign_poster. 2013.

At the moment many residents are putting the wrong items in their recycling sacks. These include items like dirty packaging, plastic wrappers, shredded paper, polystyrene, tissues and textiles. Clear sacks encourage people to recycle correctly and allow recycling collectors to see if the wrong items are in the sacks.

Your Home Magazine | 15


LOCAL AREA FORUMS KEY DATES

! y a s r u o y e v a h d Get involved an

I

n addition to the Local Residents’ Panel and a Repairs Working Group, the council also consults with residents through borough and local area Forums. All tenants and leaseholders can attend these forums. The next quarterly borough forum is on Tuesday, November 26 in the Small Hall at Hammersmith Town Hall. The session starts at 7pm. More localised issues are discussed at area forums. Issues discussed include local housing office and caretaking performance and updates on regeneration schemes in the area.

AREA FORUMS Area forums are also held on a quarterly basis and are chaired by local ward councillors. Forthcoming dates for area forums can be found at: www.lbhf.gov.uk/ Directory/Housing/Housing_advice/ General_housing_information_and_ advice/175633_Area_and_Sheltered_ Forums.asp

16 | Your Home Magazine

SHELTERED HOUSING FORUM

THE DROP-IN SESSIONS

The next Sheltered Housing Forum will take place at 1.30pm on Thursday December 5 2013 at the Munden Street sheltered housing scheme, West Kensington, W14 0RH.

All the drop-in sessions for the Leasehold forums commence at 6-7pm and the main meetings commence from 7-8:30pm.

The Sheltered Housing Forum is for nominated block representatives only and is not an open forum.

SAVE THE DATE

LEASEHOLDER FORUMS Fulham North Tuesday, October 1 Clem Attlee Tenants’ Hall, Len Freeman Place, Clem Attlee Estate, Fulham, London SW6 7SP.

THE ANNUAL LEASEHOLDERS’ CONFERENCE WILL TAKE PLACE AT HAMMERSMITH TOWN HALL ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 25, 2014. REGISTRATION FROM 9AM!

Hammersmith North and South Hammersmith Monday, October 28 in the Courtyard Room, Hammersmith Town Hall, King Street, W6 9JU South Fulham Monday, October 14 Lancaster Court Community Centre, Darlan Road, London SW6 5TB.

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Water company pours on the misery B ritain’s biggest water company received a £5million tax credit. has drawn up plans to pile more Cllr Nicholas Botterill, H&F Council misery onto bill payers with Leader, says: “A crippling 30% hike in inflation-busting price rises, in a water bills is a slap in the face to hardmove that ignores the views of its pressed bill payers especially when customers. Thames Water’s own consultation shows Despite admitting that many that people want water bills to be more customers ‘struggle to pay bills’ and want affordable. To make matters worse a bills to be ‘affordable’, Thames Water is large chunk of this whopping increase planning 30% increases by 2020 – mainly is to pay for the havoc that the Thames to pay for the highly controversial Thames Tunnel threatens to wreak in riverside Tunnel. communities along the Thames.” In a glossy brochure that sets out the Thames Water argues that the tunnel company’s draft five year plan for 2015is the best solution to stop sewage being 2020, Thames Water says its consultation pumped into the Thames when it rains with customers revealed that ‘the heavily. But H&F Council says the economic downturn means that tunnel – or super sewer as it is paying bills, including water also known – will have a long hike in bills, is already a struggle’. w term, negative impact on a ter plann Thames Water goes on to ed to bills many of the areas covered fund the bu admit: ‘The state of the UK il by Thames Water’s five year contra ding of economy has put pressure plan including on affordability v ersi Tham on many customers’ ability es Tun al of bills, water supply and nel to pay water bills at the protecting the environment. current level. We know that any The tunnel will channel millions increase will make this problem of tons of rain water underground to be worse’. The document also explains that pumped through to sewage treatment bad debts have been getting worse works before being released back into the with ‘no signs of improvement despite Thames. In times of drought the water strenuous efforts to recover debts.’ will be drawn out again when it reaches Despite these frank admissions, the tidal reaches of the river and be put Thames Water plans to ignore its through a desalination plant and into the customers by proposing that annual fresh water supply again. This circular and average household bills rise by £13 by costly route to using fresh rain water 2020, without accounting for the cost would be wholly unnecessary if of the Thames Tunnel. In addition, sustainable drainage solutions the Tunnel will add an extra £70(SuDs) – that redirect 80 per year (at 2011 prices and rainwater away from the excluding inflation) on top of the sewerage system and £13 – representing a total increase store it for use in times of of almost 30% over five years. drought – were used. Finance experts say Thames Water stands to make millions in additional revenue by building the Thames Tunnel due to a ‘perverse incentive’ in the way the water industry is financed. Current regulations encourage water companies to build their way out of problems rather than consider greener, more sustainable options, according to Professor Colin Green who is a national expert on water economics. Thames Water made profits of £549million last year while paying nothing in corporation tax – and even

30%

To share stories about your estate or neighbourhood – email press.office@lbhf.gov.uk

Caught on CCTV: Tho and Williamas share the ms at a Tesco cash ATM

Gotcha! Council catches benefits cheats l Two fraudsters who set up an

elaborate ruse to claim almost £22,000 worth of benefits in the name of a man who was serving a 12 year prison sentence for armed robbery have been jailed for five months each. Neville Williams and Andrew Thomas claimed housing benefits and job seekers allowance from June 2010 to October 2011 in the name of Wayne Williams, who was jailed in 2010 for his role in a £250,000 armed robbery of a jewellers in Blackburn. In their correspondence to the council, the duo asked for the benefits to be paid into an account in the name of Wayne Williams that had been fraudulently set up to receive the money. In fact, Neville Williams, 40, had already signed on at the Department for Work and Pensions impersonating Wayne Williams in order to claim the benefits. This was despite the fact that he had already signed on himself and had been working for Tesco without informing the authorities. In an initiative codenamed Operation Cadillac, the Police arrested Thomas and Neville Williams in October 2011 and the council’s corporate anti-fraud team began to unravel their plot. Searches at Andrew Thomas’ home, at Rosaline Road, Fulham revealed numerous documents held in the name of Wayne Williams. A debit card belonging to the fraudulent account set up in name of Wayne Williams was found in Thomas’ car. CCTV evidence showed that both men had been seen at cash machines at the same time that cash had been withdrawn from Wayne’s account.

Your Home Magazine | 17


Concerned about issues in your local area? G

you r et vo h ea rdi ce

Join the Resident Involvement Panel or Repairs Working Group and make sure you have your say. Make a difference

What is involved?

The benefits for you

There are now two groups of tenants and leaseholders working directly with the council to improve housing services. If you want to have a positive impact on the services you receive why not join the Resident Involvement Panel (RIP) and Repairs Working Group (RWG).

● Panel members meet every month

● You can beco ● Meet other like-minme directly involved

Why get involved? The work of the RIP and RWG helps to shape the way services such as caretaking, repairs and housing management are delivered. We want to bring you on board so you can help us to provide the very best services possible.

18 | Your Home Magazine

for two hours with council officers and the council’s cabinet assistant for housing ● There is also some brief background reading required before meetings ● Sometimes panel members also attend additional workshops ● The role is voluntary but panel members are entitled to claim for certain items such as their travel and expenses ● Training and support is also provided

in housing servicesded people

● Gain valuable skills such as public

speaking, interviewing, copy writing and chairing meetings ● Gain experience that may help you to further your career ● Feature in various publications such as Your Home Magazine and the Annual Report ● Meet senior people from the council All tenants and leaseholders aged 18 or over can apply to join the panels.

To get regular email alerts from H&F Council – sign up at www.lbhf.gov.uk/newsalerts


Find out more Web: www.lbhf.gov.uk/residentinvolvement Tel: 020 8753 6652 Email: getinvolved@lbhf.gov.uk By post: Housing and Regeneration Department London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham 3rd Floor Town Hall Extension King Street, London W6 9JU If you would like to speak to existing panel members to find out more before submitting an application, please get in touch by one of the above methods.

Th e Resi den In vol vem ent t

Pa n el

res th at resi * thEnesu den ts h a ve i

r sa y on im por ta n t issu es Agrees perfo rm a en sures servic n ce targets an d e stan dards a r e m et Wor ks with Pin a ppoin ted est n a cl e , th e ate se r vic es, a n d h ousi n g m a n a ge m en t (south) con tra ctor

* * The Repairs Working Group

*

A  cts as an independent body on behalf of residents to positively influence improvements in services

* thMoan itors an d reviews th e way t com pl ain ts

*

are respon de

d to

Hel ps de vel op th e a n n u a l r e por t to resi den ts

 grees performance * Atargets and monitors performance for contractors

 olds officers to account * Hwhere service standards are not achieved

*

 valuates customer service E feedback information

u en ce can i n fl rvi ces u o Y : G e RW e n ts i n s m e v o r p im

To share stories about your estate or neighbourhood – email press.office@lbhf.gov.uk

RI P: Mon itor & re vi service stan dard ew s

Your Home Magazine | 19


One man crime-wave O

ne man crime-wave Jason Davies was responsible for a catalogue of crime and antisocial behaviour emanating from his one bedroom flat in Godolphin Road, Shepherds Bush. If it was not loud rock music being blasted out at all hours, his neighbours were complaining that rats were roaming free in his garden because he was allowing excrement from his dog to accumulate. In July 2010, Davies, 41, was served with a Notice of Seeking Possession by Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council after continuous breaches of his tenancy agreement. These breaches included noise nuisance incidents, racial harassment and physical assault, together with a conviction of causing unnecessary suffering to his dog after hosting a dog fight in the property. Davies agreed to buck-up his behaviour and signed an acceptable behaviour agreement which demanded that he did not cause any further antisocial behaviour, gave up his dog and kept his garden tidy. But this did not deter Davies who refused to play by the rules. In December 2011, Davies was jailed for 18 months after being found guilty of slashing one of his visitors across the stomach with a knife. The council applied for possession of the property and obtained an outright possession order in May 2012. Davies subsequently appealed three times against the enforcement of the order each time his case being dismissed by the courts. A bailiff’s warrant was executed at the property on 9 May 2013, forcing Davies to leave for good. H&F Council, deputy leader, Cllr Greg Smith said: “Crime and antisocial behaviour like this will not be tolerated in Hammersmith & Fulham and I am delighted we have been able to turf this hooligan out.” For more news on crime visit www.lbhf.gov.uk/crime

20 | Your Home Magazine

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A neighbour from hell who stabbed a visitor to his home in the stomach and allowed dogs to fight in his council property has been evicted.

“Crime and antisocial behaviour like this will not be tolerated in Hammersmith & Fulham and I am delighted we have been able to turf this hooligan out.”

s e t a t s e g n i s u ed to o h on sferr s e d c n i t a v L r r t g n Se been i s u o s H a h cle a n Pin

‘‘

We welcome Pinnacle on board and long forward to a long and fruitful relationship

M

anagement of a range of services on housing estates has now been transferred to Pinnacle Housing Ltd. Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) Council agreed in April to outsource housing management in the south of the borough for the first time and estate services, comprising caretaking and cleaning, across the entire borough to the private contractor. The partnership will drive up standards and save the council more than £10million over the initial ten year life of the contract - more than of 20 per cent of the current budget. The housing management contract will see Pinnacle deliver tenancy management and enforcement of tenancy conditions, property viewing and dealing with antisocial behaviour where there is a breach of tenancy conditions. This contract covers the south of the borough only, with the north remaining in-house. More serious incidents of antisocial behaviour will be dealt with by the council’s safer communities team. The council has consulted on the changes with tenants and leaseholders and has received a generally positive response.

To share stories about your estate or neighbourhood – email press.office@lbhf.gov.uk

Cllr Andrew Johnson, H&F Council cabinet member for housing, said: “It is now nearly two years since the council abolished the Arms Length Management Organisation, H&F Homes, saving millions in the process. During that time we have made giant strides to drive up standards and get rid of unnecessary waste. “Teaming up with Pinnacle will see us harness the experience and expertise of the private sector to raise standards even further and achieve the best value-for-money deal possible for our tenants and leaseholders. We welcome Pinnacle on board and long forward to a long and fruitful relationship.” Neil Euesden, Managing Director for Pinnacle PSG, said: “We are looking forward to working with Hammersmith and Fulham Council, and its residents, to deliver quality, resident-led services that will quickly lead to improvements in the housing services they receive. Pinnacle PSG has a strong track record and experience in providing excellent services to local residents, as those in Hammersmith & Fulham will begin to see over this summer” Your Home Magazine | 21


Introducing Pinnacle PSG I n July, housing management services in the south of the borough and caretaking services across the whole borough were transferred to Pinnacle PSG. Pinnacle PSG is a leading provider of housing management, facilities management and 24/7 call centre services and our teams currently deliver services to over 450,000 homes nationwide on behalf of local authorities and housing providers. We have over 20 years’ experience of working in partnership with communities across the UK and will be providing quality, residentled services that will quickly lead to improvements in housing management and estate services across Hammersmith and Fulham. The partnership between the Council and Pinnacle PSG will drive up standards and save the council more than £10million over the initial ten year life of the contract – more than of 20 per cent of the current budget. The housing management contract sees the Pinnacle PSG team deliver tenancy management and enforcement of tenancy conditions, property viewings and dealing with low level antisocial behaviour where there is a breach of tenancy conditions. More serious incidents of antisocial behaviour will be dealt with by the council’s Anti-social Behaviour Unit. The caretaking service includes the cleaning of all internal communal and estate areas, the removal of bulk rubbish and graffiti, plus a deep clean once a year for all blocks. We are committed to delivering a quality, responsive and flexible service which involves and reflects the requirements of residents and the wider community. Therefore, we have introduced a free phone number for all residents to contact us 24/7 (tel: 0800 0599 925) and will be working closely with residents and their representatives to improve standards across the borough.

Our promises to you… During the first 100 days of the contract our teams have been talking to residents about the ways in which Pinnacle PSG is able to make a difference in your neighbourhoods and improve the communities where you live. We have held eight ‘Pinnacle Roadshows’ in various community halls; joined resident association members for estate walkabouts; attended residents association meetings; been present at community events and are contacting 200 residents a day by phone to introduce ourselves and collect your views. We realise we will not have been able to speak to everyone so if you would like

to find out more about Pinnacle PSG and let us know what you would like improved in your community please contact our team on our free phone number 0800 0599 925. By the end of October we will have prepared a ‘Residents’ Compact’ for the area where you live. The Residents’ Compact is a document outlining the things you would like us to do in your community over the coming year. We would like to involve residents in tracking the progress of the Residents’ Compacts and will be holding regular review meetings, which we will advertise in notice boards and on our website. We have already received some really good ideas from you; for example, you would like us to organise more community fun days and arrange training for residents.

Our team is here to support you 24

To request a call back from a housing officer or to report spillages or g 22 | Your Home Magazine

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Career opportunities As a national employer, Pinnacle PSG is committed to establishing a variety of training, development and career opportunities through work experience and apprenticeship schemes.

You’re hired!

We are delighted to announce that we have four full time apprenticeship vacancies available in London, where apprentices will help us to deliver housing, cleaning and grounds maintenance services on behalf of local authorities. There are three vacancies within our cleaning and ground maintenance teams and one within our housing team. All positions are full time and salaried, and each apprentice will be encouraged to take a professional qualification in their chosen field which will be sponsored by Pinnacle PSG (BICSc Level 1, an NVQ or a Chartered Institute of Housing qualification). Candidates who successfully complete the year-long scheme will be offered permanent positions within Pinnacle PSG. If you are interested in these fantastic opportunities and would like to find out more, please contact Gary Dear, Pinnacle PSG’s Head of Training and Development, on the freephone number 0800 0599925 or email gary.dear@pinnacle-psg.com

Are you ready for a new challenge?

Housing management opportunities

If you are finding it hard to step onto the career ladder, looking for a change of direction or new challenge, look no further: Pinnacle PSG has a number of training and work experience placements on offer exclusively for Hammersmith and Fulham residents.

Have you ever considered a career in housing? If so, we are offering you the opportunity to apply for one of 20 housing management placements where, over the course of four half days, will be able to introduce residents to specialist housing management and general work place skills. In addition, we will be offering successful applicants essential work skills training and advice on topics such as CV writing and interview technique to help residents secure permanent employment in the future. If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please contact Sunny Vadher from Pinnacle PSG by telephone on Freephone number 0800 0599925 or by email Sunny.Vadher@pinnaclepsg.com

Estate services opportunities We are offering 40 local residents the chance to take part in a standards and inspection training scheme run by Pinnacle PSG which will equip them with the skills to take more of an active role in their community. The course will run over four half days between now and the end of March 2014. The skills and knowledge acquired on the course will not only allow residents to monitor standards and shape services with authority on their estate, but also look great on the CV. In addition, Pinnacle PSG is offering to sponsor eight residents through the BICSc Level 1 qualification.

4 hours a day, 365 days of the year.

graffiti, simply call our free phone hotline for residents 0800 059 9925 To share stories about your estate or neighbourhood – email press.office@lbhf.gov.uk

Your Home Magazine | 23


Five minutes with Simon Messenger, Pinnacle PSG’s Head of Housing

S

imon, tell us a bit about yourself: I am originally from Carlisle, and after going to university in Manchester, I worked for a few years in the leisure industry in the lovely Lake District. I then moved to the bright lights of London and have been working in housing management for over 12 years, starting my career with Pinnacle on our contract with the City of Westminster. I managed the Westminster contact for seven years before coming over to Hammersmith and Fulham. Why did you begin a career in housing? I always wanted to work with the public but the leisure industry didn’t give me the fulfilment I was looking for. I wanted to do something where I could make a difference and have a positive impact on peoples’ lives. I heard about Pinnacle through a friend and I was instantly attracted to the work and what Pinnacle wanted to achieve. After persisting for an interview I got my first job! How do Pinnacle PSG and H&F plan to improve/change housing management services for residents? Involving residents in everything we do is absolutely key if we want to make a positive change. I’m not saying that everything is terrible and we’re here to fix it, not at all, but to really understand the issues and to come up with new, innovative ideas to make a change, we need to be working closely with the people who live in our estates. That is the most important thing. What exciting initiatives do you have planned for the local community over the coming months? We’re bringing the world of cinema out to the communities. We all know how expensive it is to take a family to the

cinema these days, so we would like to bring the cinema to the families! We are planning free outdoor cinema events (including popcorn) for all the areas we look after so keep an eye on your notice boards for details. We are also arranging a series of ‘Leap into Action’ events, where housing staff and residents work together to improve the neighbourhoods. This might include painting some fences or planting a flower bed. They’ll be music and refreshments to help us get through the graft! We will also be running estate photo competitions, art shows and other workshops for residents. Watch this space! How can residents get involved? If residents would like to get involved with the planning or running of any of our community events, please contact us at hammersmithandfulham@ pinnacle-psg.com or you could call our freephone number 0800 059925. We will be working closely with local Residents’ Associations so if you would like to join yours please let us know and we will provide the contact details.

How can you shape your services? Pinnacle PSG is keen to encourage community participation and involve residents in the monitoring of services across the borough. Resident representatives and anyone else with an interest in shaping the local caretaking service will be invited to attend a programme of estate inspection site walkabouts arranged by Pinnacle PSG. Representatives from the council and Pinnacle PSG will also attend the inspections. The site walkabouts provide you with a great opportunity to discuss how services are delivered on your estate, provide feedback directly to the teams responsible for those services, and ensure improvements are made where necessary. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch. Email: Sunny. Vadher@pinnacle-psg.com or Telephone: 0800 0599925

Contact us… 24/7 customer hotline:

0800 0599925 Email:

hammersmithandfulham@ pinnaclepsg.com Website:

www.pinnacle-psg.com

Our team is here to support you 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. To request a call back from a housing officer or to report spillages or graffiti, simply call our free phone hotline for residents 0800 059 9925 24 | Your Home Magazine

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Focus on apprenticeships S

heree Edwards is a local girl with their terminology. with ambitions to fulfil. A couple of months When she joined the H&F after starting, I had a apprenticeship programme family bereavement she had no idea just that impacted on al how valuable the work ned re nd i a my motivation g e ea “I’v experience and support of erienc ing p and knocked me x e k her colleagues would be. ok wor back, but my new ure’s lo t u f 18 months later she is on y m e” colleagues were very positiv the up and wants to inspire supportive and they others to join the team. helped me to continue. “I have lived in Shepherds Bush What happened helped for 13 years and eighteen months me realise that if I have an ago I finished my A levels and found opportunity to better myself and fulfil my myself unemployed. I heard about ambitions, I should not let anything apprenticeships at H&F Council and I get applied for an apprenticeship in business in the way of achieving them. I administration. became more determined to I was invited to an assessment but I stay on top of all my work to wasn’t too scared as my Maths, English make sure I achieve what I and ICT skills are pretty good. But I want in my life. did misread the time on the letter and I want to be a great turned up half an hour late. female role model for At this point I thought I had blown my two young sisters it, there was no way they would call and I knew taking this me back for an interview. But I did the apprenticeship would assessments to the best of my ability and give me a qualification, completed all of them. They must have experience and a head been good enough because they called start to achieving my me back for an interview. long and short term I was overjoyed when they offered goals in life. me the post of working as an apprentice I’m delighted in the legal department. that I passed my level I spend four days 2 NVQ with flying a week at work and one day a week at colours and I’ve college gaining an NVQ qualification. now progressed to The idea level 3. of working in I now work for a legal office was very daunting but H&F adult learning I knew that committing to this and skills service, apprenticeship would really benefit me splitting my in the long run. time between At first I did struggle to fit in but management the team were very welcoming and information eventually I began and marketing. to pick things up and familiarised myself

These are two very different roles and I find both of them interesting and challenging. I’ve learnt a lot, gained real work experience and at last I have career paths I can choose from. My future’s looking positive.“ When Sheree Edwards left college she found herself out of job. An apprenticeship with H&F Council has turned her life around and now the only way is up!

Get onboard and earn while you learn Are you looking for some quality work experience and the chance to gain a qualification? Perhaps you have recently left school or college or you’re unemployed. An apprenticeship with H&F Council could be just the thing to get your career moving. Apprentices come from all walks of life and are all ages. The H&F programme offers apprentices work experience four days a week alongside one day a week attending college.

The council offers all kinds of roles for apprentices, including health and social care, business administration, retail and also construction site apprenticeships. Previous apprentices have a high success rate of finding fulltime employment on completion of the programme. For details please email clare.edgeson@ lbhf.gov.uk

To share stories about your estate or neighbourhood – email press.office@lbhf.gov.uk

Your Home Magazine | 25


Pay your rent by Direct Debit and leave the rest to us. Government changes mean that from October, tenants receiving Housing Benefit, will have their benefits paid directly into their bank account.

This means that you will need to pay your rent in full direct to the council. Make the change to Direct Debit now and never miss a payment.

Sign up to Direct Debit by calling the council’s rental income team on 020 8753 4645 Sign up now and enter into a

£500 prize draw! Failure to pay the rent can result in eviction.

Hammersmith & Fulham Council

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Your home magazine (October 2013)