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h c o l C r u o Y Winter 2019

A ssociation g in s u o H h c sletter of Clo w e N l ia c ffi O T he

57 NEW HOMES BEING BUILT Cloch are delighted to announce the start of its development at Kings Glen, Greenock. There are 57 new homes being built, all for rent and due off site in March 2021. The Cloch Board started working on the idea of a development over 2 years ago. It has taken two years because of the nature of the site which sits on a steep slope; the need to gain grant funding for some of the build costs; a loan for the remainder and the strict planning requirements of Inverclyde Council Planning Department. With just a few weeks before Christmas, the site is now up and running. Our contractor for the site is CCG Scotland. They have

already sent out a newsletter to local residents and have plans to keep in touch with everyone. The development will have: 8 x 2 Apartment – 4 x 3 Apartment – 4 x 3 Apartment – 20 x 3 Apartment – 11 x 4 Apartment – 8 x 4 Apartment – 2 x 5 Apartment –

2 Person Cottage Flats 3 Person Cottage Flats 3 Person Amenity Cottage Flats 3 Person Houses 5 Person Houses 5 Person Split Level Houses 6 Person Houses

We will be advertising the availability in about a year’s time. The allocations will be made through the Inverclyde Common Housing Register and we will keep you up to date through the newsletter, website and social media.

OFFICE CHRISTMAS CLOSURE: The Association will be closed for the Christmas holidays from:2pm on Tuesday 24th December 2019. And re-opens on Monday 6th January 2020 at 9am.

If you have an emergency repair please call the Office number 01475 783637 and follow the prompts.

The Board and Staff of the Association would like to wish everyone a happy and safe Christmas and best wishes for the New Year.

REPORT ON OUR ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING 2019 This year’s Annual General Meeting held in the Beacon Arts Centre in late September was well attended. The main focus of the evening was the formal business of the Association for the period April 2018 to March 2019. During the AGM proceedings, there was a presentation on the Annual Accounts to the members followed by a presentation made by the Chair, Julianne Scarlett, that focused on the outcomes from the Association’s Annual Report. The main points highlighted from the Annual Report were:l

the rent restructure consultation scheme which has been put together in consultation with our tenants,


problems with the contractor in that year that resulted in a new contractor being appointed,


an increase in rent collected,


difficulty in re-letting some properties, but working hard to improve this.

The Chair also advised that the Customer Connections team had now been up and running for over a year now and this has been a tremendous success story. Not only have our customers been able to speak directly to a team member when they call the office, but the manner in which complaints are dealt with has improved our services for our customers. The meeting was also given a breakdown of how every pound is spent in Cloch and that £1.7m was spend overall on maintaining our stock. The Chair finished the presentation by advising that Cloch also participates in a variety of community projects such as


Top Table at the AGM

our e-bike scheme, planter project at Elliott Court, Starter Packs, Future Skills and Tenancy Support (with the Simon Community). Everyone present was invited to stay for the buffet and take the chance to chat to staff and Board Members. The prize draw results were: l

1st A Gillen


2nd M Sheekey


3rd J Cheshire

Your Cloch

CHANGES AT CLOCH We welcomed Dylan Docherty (Modern Apprentice), Anne Jamieson (Housing Assistant) and Pamela MacLeod (Property Services Officer).

Farewell to Monica We are also saying farewell to Monica Sheekey, our longest standing Board Member, whose work for the Association saw us through many changes over the last decade. We wish her all the very best for the future.

Kim McFarland became a permanent member of the Customer Connections Team and Louise Carlin, Team Leader (Customer Connections) took on additional duty of the project management of the ICHR for a period of 6 months.

Pamela MacLeod

From left to right: Julianne Scarlett, Chair; Paul McVey, Director; Monica Sheekey; Liz Bowden, Corporate Services Manager

Kim McFarland

WINNING WAYS Over the summer, we have been working hard to improve customer service and the wellbeing of staff. In August, we were revalidated for our Customer Service Excellence Award and achieved Compliance Plus for 4 elements of the award. The Compliance Plus was particularly welcome as it called out the work we have been doing to improve our Complaints Handling Process. Cloch is very proud of its record of recording complaints and learning from our mistakes and the Compliance Plus recognises that we have systems to do this. Another area for Compliance Plus was the work being done to offer customers different methods of communicating with Cloch, including MyCloch, our one stop shop web portal.

Then in September, staff were chuffed to receive the Silver Award for our Healthy Working Lives programme. Healthy Working Lives is a NHS delivered programme and encourages workplaces to deliver health campaigns, Health & Safety good practice and fun activities to promote health and wellbeing. Cloch’s work this year included our popular staff lunches and Pilates sessions (all funded by staff) as well as training sessions on Health & Safety areas provided by Cloch and campaigns on Alcohol and Drug misuse. Next stop, the Gold Award, which staff hope to achieve by summer 2020.

The Official Newsletter of Cloch Housing Association


CHANGES IN THE HOUSING SECTION From the 1st of April 2019, there have been changes to the way we work in the housing section. There are 2 teams. Each team has a housing officer, an assistant housing officer a housing assistant and a modern apprentice. Job roles were previously specialist (only dealing with one aspect i.e. rents), however,


we have decided to change this to generic (dealing with all aspects of your tenancy i.e. rent, allocations, anti-social behaviour) working to offer tenants a better service. This means when you contact the Association now, instead of only being able to speak to one or two people you can speak to any member of either team who will be happy to assist you.

Andy Thomson Housing Services Manager

Mary MacDonald Senior Housing Officer

Nicola Findlay Senior Housing Officer

Caroline Orr Housing Officer

Maria Durning Housing Officer

Michael McKendrick Housing Officer

Laura Young Assistant Housing Officer

Lorraine Gray Assistant Housing Officer

Patricia Broom Housing Assistant

Anne Jamieson Housing Assistant

Lynne Stewart Housing Assistant

Ciaran Marshall Modern Apprentice

Dylan Docherty Modern Apprentice

Your Cloch

INVERCLYDE COMMON HOUSING REGISTER SERVICE You may have noticed that the Inverclyde Common Housing Register (ICHR) has enhanced the service that is provided to you. When you telephone the ICHR, your call could be answered by staff at Cloch, Oak Tree or Larkfield Housing Associations, depending on the day you call.

you to keep your details up to date and make any changes to your application. The ICHR will keep you informed about this.

Our ICHR experts Ronnie and Patricia are still there to help you, but in addition staff members from our partner landlords will also be taking your calls.

Remember you can contact the ICHR by the following methods:

If you need any advice or assistance about applying to the ICHR please use the contact methods at the bottom of the article. There will be some improvements being introduced to your ICHR account in the new year, this should make it easier for

Meantime, please follow the ICHR on Facebook or Twitter to keep up to date with any changes and to see what properties are available.


01475 807011







DONATIONS AND FUND RAISING Cloch and Cloch staff are never happier than when they are supporting local charities and community groups. Cloch has a small fund that local groups can apply to for donations and staff have their favourite charities that they support, some annually or some for a certain campaigns.

tickets. Barnardos will give the tickets to local families who otherwise would not have been able to afford to take their children out at Christmas. We truly hope that all those who get a chance to use the tickets, have a great time and enjoy some festive cheer.

Cloch’s donations over the last few months have included £200 towards the Broomhill Gardens Christmas Fete and £200 towards Belville Community Garden’s Christmas Soup and a Natter. Staff are very generous with their time and money and have recently raised funds for the Wear it Pink for Breast Cancer campaign, Jeans for Genes campaign and the Food bank. And this Christmas, instead of a Secret Santa at the staff lunch, they donated their money, a whopping £360 to buying tickets for the Waterfront Cinema in Greenock and Fun World for Barnardos. And in addition, the Cinema and Fun Word donated further

The Official Newsletter of Cloch Housing Association



Keep cosy for less this winter – top tips With winter just around the corner, here are a few top tips from Home Energy Scotland to help keep you cosy for less.

6. Use heavier curtains during the winter months and make sure you close them when it gets dark to keep the heat in and the cold out.

1. Set your heating controls to manage the temperature of your home. Remember to use the weekday and weekend settings.

7. Block your draughts – even the simplest sausage dog draught excluder made from cut-off jeans and stuffed with old pillow filler could make all the difference.

2. By regularly bleeding your radiators you will avoid cold spots and get the most out of your heating system. 3. Keep your radiators clear and avoid putting furniture against them. Drying your washing on the radiator can make your house colder and can also encourage condensation and mould growth. 4. Your room thermostat should be set to the lowest comfortable temperature (typically between 18°C and 21°C ). Turning down the room thermostat by one degree can save up to £80 a year. 5. A quick shower uses less water and energy than taking a bath. For every minute you shave off your daily shower, you’ll save £7 a year on your energy bills.

FREEDOM OF INFORMATION On 11th November 2019, Cloch along with all registered social housing landlords in Scotland were required to follow the Freedom of Information legislation. The work to ensure we were ready was carried out in the summer and autumn. It has meant our website has hugely expanded and there is a lot more information available without needing to ask. You can read Board Minutes


and find all our policies on the website as well as find out more about our voluntary Board and how we manage our budgets. A Freedom of Information request needs to be in writing and will be about our business. If you want to request information about yourself because you are a customer of Cloch, this can be done verbally or in writing. Staff can help with both. And as well as a Freedom of Information request, you can request information on Environmental

matters. This is called an Environmental Information Request. See the Freedom of Information section of the website or contact the office and we will be happy to help you.

Your Cloch

JAMES FREW PLUMBING AND HEATING APPRENTICESHIP OPPORTUNITY James Frew have opened up their apprenticeship scheme for applications. The 4 year apprenticeship is a combination of workbased training and college learning. As part of the apprenticeship you will receive a uniform and full PPE and will be mentored by an experienced plumber. On completion of the programme, you will have an opportunity to join the company as a fully qualified plumbing and heating engineer with great career prospects and access to career long professional learning.

Entry Requirements are: •

Achieved National 4 or equivalent in Maths, English, Science and/or a technical subject

Apprentices must do well in the SNIPEF Entrance Selection Test (Frew’s will put you through this if your application is successful)

Candidates must have a “Can do” attitude and be determined to succeed.

Interested? Forward your CV and a cover letter detailing why you want to be a plumbing apprentice to HR@jamesfrew.co.uk no later than Friday 24th April 2020.

CHANGES TO YOUR HOUSEHOLD ACT NOW TO PROTECT YOUR TENANCY RIGHTS You will remember that we wrote to tenants last year to advise you of changes to the law that affected parts of your tenancy. Parts of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2014 came into force formally on 1 November 2019; to ensure that your tenancy rights are protected it is very important to advise us of any changes to your household. Telling us about changes to your household You can update your household details by: •

Updating your family information on our web portal ‘My Cloch’ at my.clochhousing.org.uk

Writing to us at: Cloch Housing Association Limited, 19 Bogle Street, Greenock PA15 1ER

Calling us on: 01475 783637

Emailing us on: office@clochhousing.org.uk

The Official Newsletter of Cloch Housing Association

Subletting, Assignation, Succession and Joint Tenancy There are changes if you want to sublet all or part of your house to someone else, if you want to assign your tenancy (pass on the tenancy to someone else) or want another person to be included with you as a joint tenant. There are also changes when taking over a tenancy after the tenant’s death (known as Succession) The main thing is to speak to us first so you do not jeopardise the arrangements you want to put in to place. If you don’t tell us about changes to the household, we may refuse a change to the tenancy.


AquAid Here, at Cloch Housing Association, we are aware that keeping our team hydrated will aid them to perform at their very best throughout the work day. As a result, we decided to invest in watercoolers from AquAid. Our unique relationship with AquAid has also given our organisation the opportunity to help those less fortunate than ourselves, because with each purchase an automatic donation is made to the Africa Trust. These funds are used to build ‘Elephant Pumps’ - a modified version of an age old Chinese rope pulley system. One such pump is currently being installed in Africa on our behalf and it will be a much needed source of clean and fresh drinking water for many. Our organisation’s name will be proudly displayed on our well and we look forward to adding a photo and letters of thanks from the villagers to our site in the near future.

Your life - Your Care - Your Needs You have the choice to take control!

Do you need support in your daily life? Are you waiting for a care assessment? Do you want to take control of your care? Are you unsure of your options? Then contact us for information and support to understand all your options. We deliver a free service and independent support to help you through the whole process of requesting the care you want.

01475 730 797

We also have:

info.inverclyde@circles network.org.uk www.circlesnetwork.org.uk Circles Network, 21 Grey Place, Greenock, Inverclyde PA15 1YF Registered Charity Number Scotland: SCO38068, England/ Wales: 1043601) Registered Company No. 2972700 Copyright © Circles Network 2018

Informal Groups which meet up monthly for people in the same situation to share their experiences.

To date, AquAid have built over 8,000 such Elephant Pumps across parts of Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe; and have donated in excess of £15 million to charity.

Pant-astic This autumn, Cloch staff stepped up to an appeal for pants and bras to send to the charity “Smalls for All”. “Smalls for All” work in some of the most deprived areas of Africa and UK, providing pants and bras for children and adults. In total staff collected 337 pairs of pants and threw in a few bras too. They delivered them to Greenock Rotary Club who organised the appeal ready for dispatching.

Check out the wonderful work that the charities does at www.smallsforall.org


Tel: 01475 783637, Fax: 01475 728647, E-mail: office@clochhousing.org.uk Website: www.clochhousing.org.uk : ClochHA : ClochHA Registered with the Scottish Housing Regulator in the Register of Housing Associations No HEP91 Registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (No 1893 R(s)). Registered with the Scottish Government in the Register of Property Factors No. PF000171 A recognised Scottish charity Reg. No. SC013996. Cloch Housing Association Ltd. is a part of the Oak Tree Housing Association Group. Group VAT No 156919767.


Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 9am – 5pm

Thursday 9am – 6pm Friday 9am – 4pm

Saturday & Sunday CLOSED

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