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Latest on 1Future


Issue 02 December 2010

Become our Friend

Engaging experiences

Get ready for Christmas Your Flagship - Your News

Your Flagship - Your News

Contents hello I would like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part in our 1Future Consultation process during October. As you can see on the opposite page, we received over 1,500 responses to the survey with 79% of you supporting the proposals. With Christmas only a few weeks away we bring you Scrooge’s guide to Christmas on page 12 to help you keep on top of your finances. November saw the launch of our very exciting 'Engaging Experiences' programme, where we reward customers every month for getting involved with Flagship and helping us to improve our services. Find out about this and our other initiatives to improve customer engagement on page 8. See you in the spring! Emma King Customer Services Director


Flagship news All the latest goings on here at Flagship


Customer engagement Find out how you can get involved


You said, we did!


Is shared ownership for you?


Your money Scrooge's guide to Christmas


Your safety


Environment Turn it off!


How are we performing?


Get in touch


To contact in touch, write to: in touch, Suite 4, Keswick Hall, Norwich NR4 6TJ. Email:

Throughout October we consulted you on 1Future - our proposals to create one single Flagship organisation, led by a single board. The consultation document we sent you outlined how 1Future will help us deliver even better services by joining together Flagship, Flagship Kings’ Forest, Flagship Peddars Way and Flagship Suffolk Heritage. Through the survey attached to the document, a series of planned events and touch-points, we listened to what you had to say.

new community improvement fund and a customer scrutiny panel.

Your feedback was carefully considered by our four group boards at their November meetings where they gave overwhelming support for us to go ahead with the changes. We now need approval from shareholders, the Tenant Services Authority as well as other formal consents. Provided we get these approvals, the We received over 1,500 survey new organisation should be in responses, with 79% of you place by 31 March 2011. saying ‘yes’ to our proposals. You told us that out of all of the David McQuade, chief proposed 1Future benefits, executive, said, “This is a a new 24/7 freephone number superb result. We are absolutely was of most importance to delighted that so many of you. This was followed by our customers support our more community rangers and proposals. Their involvement managers, the introduction of has been invaluable to the customer service stations, a decision-making process.”

Congratulations! Mr & Mrs Morley from Carbrooke, Miss Battye from Melton and Miss Worby from Ixworth who each win £500 worth of shopping vouchers for returning their 1Future survey.

Mrs & Mrs Morley

Miss Battye

Miss Worby (R) & daughter

We will be sure to update you with our progress in your February issue of ‘in touch’ and online at flagship-housing.

Flagship news

Customers give 1Future the green light

Comprehensive Spending Review 20 October 2010

Flagship news

The Government published its Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) on Wednesday 20 October 2010. This is a Treasury-led process that allocates resources, based on the Government’s priorities, across all government departments.

Below, we have outlined Government received cuts the key elements of the of 68% - the highest of all CSR that may be of interest Departments. to you. Over the next four years, there will be an estimated The headlines 490,000 job losses in the The Government have public sector. announced total cuts of £81 billion. Departmental budgets have been cut by an average of 19%. However, the Department for Communities and Local

Affordable housing

The affordable housing budget, with which we build new homes, has been cut from £8.4 billion to £4.5 billion over the next four years. However, the Government has announced that they will create 150,000

new affordable homes over the next four years, funded by: Increased rents on new tenancies set at 80 per cent of market levels. These will not be allowed to rise above Local Housing Allowance levels. (We believe this will not affect existing tenancies). The remaining £4.4 billion affordable housing budget, which is equivalent to grant rate per unit received by Flagship during 2006/07.

Tenancies for life

When asked about the lack of detail on tenure security in

It appears that the Minister does not want to be too prescriptive with social housing, and is keen to promote "flexibility based on individuals and local circumstances." (Minister of State for Housing, Grant Shapps, 20-10-10).

Welfare benefits

The welfare budget has been cut by £7 billion. The Government plans to replace the existing system of separate benefits with a universal payment which will be phased in over the next ten years. It has been suggested that this could save up to £9 billion a year once fully implemented. Benefits will be capped from April 2013 so that households claiming benefits cannot receive more than the average working

Homes and Communities Agency. Housing associations will become accountable to their local people, through the development of tenant-led scrutiny.

From January 2013, households with one higher income tax payer (earning over £44,000 per year) will no longer be eligible for child benefit.

It is too early to tell what the real impact of these changes will be on our customers, and we await confirmation from the Government on these proposed changes.

We believe housing benefit is to be capped at:

Importantly, we will be continually monitoring any changes as they happen, and will keep you informed.

£250 per week for a one bedroom property. £290 per week for a two bedroom property. £340 per week for a three bedroom property. £400 per week for a property with four bedrooms or more.

Supporting people

The overall Supporting People budget has been cut by 11.5% to £6 billion. This is no longer a protected sum of money, which means it is up to each county how much they spend and on what.


There has been a great shift of power, from the Government to local people. The Tenant Services Authority, our regulator, is to be closed, with economic and back office regulation going to the

If you have any concerns, or would like more information, please contact us by email, to or by telephone on 01603 255878.

Leaseholder Insurance The Leaseholder and Shared Ownership buildings insurance policy has recently changed. If you need to make a claim at any time, please call Zurich Municipal on 0800 028 0336 and quote policy number JHA-22S097-0023. Your housing provider is Flagship Housing Group. Please note this is for Leaseholders and Shared Owners only.

Flagship news

the CSR, Minister of State for Housing, Grant Shapps stated that new houses may be let for ten years, after which if the residents are no longer in need of affordable housing, the rent will either increase closer to the market rate, tenants can move out, or they can purchase the property.

family receives. Therefore, from 2013 the household benefit will be £500 per week, equal to £26,000 per year. Single parents will receive £350 per week.

National Fraud Initiative

Flagship news

Last year we advised you that we were participating in the National Fraud Initiative (NFI) – an exercise that matches and compares electronic data held by audited bodies to prevent and detect fraud.

Flagship is continuing its participation in this important initiative and will shortly be providing data to the Audit Commission from our housing system for matching during December and January.

It is the responsibility of Flagship Housing Group under the Data Protection Act 1998 to inform you that as part of this exercise your data may be disclosed for the purpose of preventing and detecting fraud.

Further information will be made available on our website over the coming weeks.

Digital Switchover The digital TV switchover for the Anglia region is due to start on 30 March 2011. This is the process of turning off the UK's analogue TV signal and replacing it with a digital signal. To keep your TV service, you will need to convert your TV to digital before your area switches over. There are several ways to do this: Freeview has a one-off fee

to purchase a digi-box, but then allows you to watch up to 40 channels free of charge. Another way is through a subscription service with providers such as Sky, BTVision, Virgin Media and Topup TV. This option gives you 100s of channels. Many TVs now have Freeview built in, so if you are thinking of updating your TV, make sure your new one has this feature. There are three transmitter groups in the Anglia TV region: Sandy Heath, which

covers Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire and starts switching over in March 2011; Sudbury which covers parts of Suffolk and Essex and switches over in July 2011 and finally Tacolneston which covers Norfolk and North Suffolk and switches over in November next year. You can find out lots more information by visiting the website at, or you can call them on 08456 50 50 50.

Newsletters for all Did you know that you can listen to this ‘in touch’ newsletter online? Or on CD? In fact, all our printed material is available in an alternative format upon request. your community manager about this.

a review of the audio service, and would like to hear from customers who have a need If you have impaired vision, for audio versions of the we are happy to provide newsletter. Maybe you know of magnifying sheets. Simply a customer who would benefit ask your community manager, from this service? Please take or call Flagship Response a moment to fill out the simple anytime on 0845 601 3390. form below and return it to us, so that we can improve the We are currently carrying out service we offer to you.

Do you currently receive your newsletter in audio?

Yes / No

If no, and you have a need, would you like to start receiving your newsletter in an audio version?

Yes / No

We currently provide the audio version online and on cassette. However, other formats can be made available. Please indicate below, which formats you would be happy to listen to the newsletter in. Tick as many as you like. Online



MP3 file (emailed)

Wav file (emailed)

If you would like us to email the newsletter to you, please provide a current email address: Email: Name: Address: Tel no: Thank you for completing this form. Please send it to: in touch, FREEPOST ANG4936, Suite 4, Flagship, Keswick Hall, Keswick, Norfolk NR4 6YS.

Flagship news

If you find reading difficult, there are several ways you can access ‘in-touch’, the easiest being to listen to it online at flagship-housing. We could also email you an audio file, or send you a CD. And if English isn’t your first language, we can arrange to have information translated for you. Speak to

Engaging Experiences

Customer engagement

We are delighted to have launched our new initiative 'Engaging Experiences' at the beginning of November.

Every time you fill in a You can log onto our website survey, give us feedback at or comment on our Twitter for more information. or Facebook page, you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win an amazing day out with other Flagship customers. There are lots of days to be won, and it’s so easy to enter.

Did you

From the excitement of a hot air balloon ride or go-karting; to the drama of a trip to the theatre or the luxury of a spa day, there are plenty of chances for you to win. There are many of these prizes up for grabs, so get involved today!

know Since 1 January there have been nearly 110,000 hits to our website


Secret Santa competition Fancy winning a prize to help pay for Christmas? Wearing his festive Santa hat, we’ve hidden Flagship’s chief executive, David McQuade, somewhere on our website. To enter the competition, all you need to do is find the picture of David on one of our web pages at Once you’ve

found him simply click the picture and you’ll be taken to his secret grotto to enter your details. You will then be entered into our prize draw to win one of two £50 high street shopping vouchers. The competition closes at midnight on Monday 20 December, with the winner being drawn the following day. This competition is only open to Flagship customers

and only one entry per customer is allowed.

Friends We recently set a challenge to get 250 friends on our Facebook page, with a prize draw being held when this was achieved.

To become a Flagship friend*, simply click on the Facebook

link from our website ( or go to and search for Flagship Housing. *Please note – to become a friend of Flagship on Facebook you must have your own Facebook profile. It’s very easy to set up – all you need is an email account.

Text Messaging We are always looking at ways of keeping our customers informed. Whether it’s a reminder about the rent free weeks, or repair notifications or a survey, it’s important that we get our message across to you. We have recently been trialling sending text messages to some of our customers. This has proved so successful we are rolling it out to all our customers who are mobile users. These text messages include event alerts, meeting confirmations, surveys, repair

notifications, rent statements, and adverts for new Flagship services. To ensure you receive these text messages, please make sure you let us have your mobile number and remember to let us know if it changes. To unsubscribe from this service, please call us anytime on 0845 601 3390.

Congratulations! Carla and Kelly won two cinema tickets for answering a question on Flagship’s Facebook page.

Customer engagement

We are thrilled that we now have over 300 friends! And congratulations to Amanda Patterson who won a £30 voucher in the prize draw. We will hold another prize draw when we reach 500 friends.

You said, we did! You said, we did!

While it's our vision to get 'service right, first time', we need you to tell us when and where things go wrong so that we can improve for the future.


Here are some of the ways that we have improved our services by listening to you: Residents at Elmswell reported a lack of parking, so we are providing extra spaces. A long with discount codes for restaurants and shops you also asked for money off groceries in the freebies page on our website. These are now published weekly on Facebook and our customer website. Customers in Thetford asked for gates to be fitted to the footpath in St Albans Way. These were fitted in November. R esidents at Barwell Road in Bury St Edmunds raised concerns about rubbish being dumped in their

bin store. Flagship Kings’ Forest installed pin codes on the bin store doors. Residents at Barlings Court in Newmarket wanted extra fobs to ensure family members could gain entry into the building – Flagship Kings’ Forest ordered extra fobs. Following an attack on an elderly customer in a private alleyway behind her home in Norwich, the customer asked for a lockable gate, which we fitted within a fortnight. A t a recent Sheltered Housing Group meeting, members requested that we made provision for resources to clear pathways at sheltered schemes during extreme weather in the winter months. The general opinion at the meeting was

that if Flagship Kings’ Forest provided the salt/grit and a container to store the salt in, then able bodied residents would be very happy to apply this to pathways as and when required. We have now placed an order for the containers, and purchased the salt/grit in readiness. Our ranger will place the containers at the schemes and fill with salt to enable residents to keep pathways clear. Customers at Wayland Court in Attleborough said they would like to have a cook twice a week and a fish and chip day once a week. We now do this. They also asked for a trip to the panto and a cabaret night. Both these have been organised using funds raised by the customers.


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Kessingland Kessingland


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Long Stratton

Red Lodge

01603 255 444 W: 01603 255 444 service right - first time W: *Terms and conditions apply.

service right - first time

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Shared ownership



Scrooge’s guide to Christmas As 25 December rapidly approaches, make the most of the time you have and get yourself – and your finances – ready for Christmas.

Your money

1 Postal dates Make sure your Christmas cards arrive in plenty of time. To keep costs down, send your UK cards by second-class post before 18 December, or by 21 December for first class. Go to for overseas posting dates.



Travel plans Book train tickets as far in advance as possible for the best fare – will automatically search for the cheapest journeys. If you’re driving, find the quickest route with the AA’s route planner (


Turkey Don’t spend a fortune on a turkey that is far too big for the number of people round your table. As a rough guide, a turkey weighing 6lbs will feed six people; 8lbs will feed eight, and so on. But once you hit double figures things change slightly: a 13.5lbs turkey will feed 14 people; 15lbs, 16 people; 16.5lbs, 18 people; and 18lbs, 20 people.


Delivery dates If you're doing a lot of your shopping online this year, make sure you don't miss out on the final delivery dates. Last year some retailers set their final delivery date as early as the 16 December - so check before you buy.

5 Neighbourhood watch Empty homes at Christmas are a thief’s dream, so let a neighbour know if you’re going to be away, and make sure burglar alarms and security lights are switched on. 6

Heating Time your heating while you’re away so that it comes on for a short time each day at a low temperature. This will ensure pipes don’t freeze if the weather is especially cold, while keeping costs down.

7 The market experience Why not head to a Christmas market for a festive shopping experience without the stress of the high street. lists all the Christmas markets in the UK. 8 Freeze Pastry freezes really well so make mince pies and snacks like sausage rolls and cheese straws ahead of time. It’s also worth freezing separate portions of food, such as fried garlic, onion, bacon or pancetta to be added at the last minute to gravies and vegetables. 9 Are you covered? Check your contents insurance policy covers all those presents under the tree; pricey laptops and games consoles all add up. 10 Stock up on  essentials As well as ensuring you have plenty of boxes of chocolates and enough brandy butter to see you through Christmas, don’t forget the basics. Stock up on bread and milk, and store them in the freezer.

12 Last-minute bargains If you can hold your nerve, many shops will reduce a lot of their stock just before Christmas. Don’t forget to ask for gift receipts and check with stores how long their extended Christmas exchange period is – remember: sale items may not be refundable.

by popping along to one of the beauty counters at a department store where you can get a free makeover.

And one more... Ladies (let’s admit it, you probably did most of the work), reward yourselves with a seasonal pampering

Paying your rent As Christmas approaches, so do your rent free weeks. As long as your rent account is up to date, you will not pay rent for weeks commencing 20 December and 27 December. There are many ways to pay your rent: Direct Debit; online at; at any Post Office or Pay Point outlet or by post. The easiest way to pay your rent is by Direct Debit - payments can be made weekly or monthly. It's quick and easy to set up. Call us on 0845 601 3390 and request a Direct Debit

form. Simply fill it in and return it to us and we will set up the payments. We'll let you know how much will be transferred from your account each month. If the amount you need to pay changes, just call us - there won't be any more forms to fill in. Remember, you will only be entitled to the rent free weeks if your rent account is clear.

Your money

11 Wrap it up Don’t leave all your wrapping to the last minute only to discover you’ve run out of sticky tape. As well as stocking up on essentials, consider using cheap or recycled wrapping paper, or even brown parcel paper.


Whether you are renting or part-buying your home from us, if you are having trouble paying your rent, please contact us – we can help. You can ring us day or night on 0845 601 3390 or email us at intouch@ Alternatively, you can call in to our reception to make an appointment.

Your safety

Gas Safety Did you




That Flagship has 12,360 properties with gas central heating? And that on 1 November 2010, 99.84% had had their annual service? The remaining 20 homes are past their due dates and we are taking legal action to gain access.

Is the gas man knocking early this year? Is your service not due for a couple of months? Or maybe even longer? Please do not close your door to him. We are trying to balance out the number of homes we visit for gas servicing every month, so would greatly appreciate your co-operation. Of course, once you have received your appointment letter you are still welcome to call Aaron Services if the date given is inconvenient. You can change it to a different day and time if necessary.

is a top tip for next Summer: if you do not use your heating at all during the summer months, keep your radiator valves fully turned on. This will avoid them being stuck on the closed position when winter comes. And, if you have any questions, we are here to help: Call either Aaron Services, Mon to Fri, 8.30 am to 5 pm on 01362 851315 or Flagship Response, 24 hours a day on 0845 601 3390.

Make that call. Summer has come and gone Keep that appointment. in a flash, or so it seems! Here Be safe.

Flagship Telecare passed with flying colours! Following a rigorous audit in November, Flagship Telecare has successfully retained their ongoing accreditation to the Telecare Services Association Code of Practice. No recommendations for improvement were identified and the Inspector was impressed by the team's performance and the high quality of service offered to customers. The auditor spent time in the office, checking policies and procedures and staff training records and listening to calls. He also observed the installation of an alarm and some assistive technology into a new customer’s property. Assistive technology is a growing part of the Telecare

service. It’s all about allowing people to remain independent, in their own homes, for as long as possible. Telecare provides a wide range of assistive technology, from fall detectors to epilepsy sensors, bogus caller alarms to medication dispensers. All equipment links back to our 24-hour call centre which allows us to call for help from the emergency services or carers and keep friends and loved ones informed no matter what the circumstances. Our alarm package (an alarm, pendant and 24-hour monitoring) starts

from just £2.86 per week, or forty pence per day. To celebrate the success of passing the new Code of Practice, we are offering halfprice installation (normally £25) to all new customers. Simply quote 'in touch' when you book your appointment. If you would like to hear more about the services that Telecare offers, or would like to arrange a demonstration for yourself or a community group, please contact Flagship Telecare on 01362 696175.

Your safety

Photo supplied by Tunstall Healthcare (UK) Ltd.


Turn it off! Did you




A dripping hot water tap wastes energy and in one week wastes enough hot water to fill half a bath, so have leaking taps fixed and make sure they're fully turned off!

Staff from Flagship recently visited Necton Primary 16 School to show pupils the benefits of being green. Children got involved with a play about saving energy, learning that when an electrical appliance is not in use you should ‘turn if off!’ Having been to several schools in Suffolk, this is the first time Flagship’s Green Team has visited a school in Norfolk to promote the ‘turn it off!’ campaign. The Flagship team acted out some interactive scenes to demonstrate to the children how wasteful we can be when leaving electrical appliances on, such as games consoles

and televisions. A short film was also shown to help children understand the consequences of forgetting to switch things off. After a game deciding what waste should go into the three recycling bins: paper, cans or plastic, the school children were rewarded for their efforts and enthusiasm with a recycled pencil case, pencil and wind-up torch.

Average time to answer telephone calls

% of telephone queries resolved at first point of contact

Flagship Response 54 secs

Flagship Response 87.80%

Average time it takes us to re-let a property

Gas appliances serviced each year

Homes that meet Decent Homes Standard

Kings' Forest


Kings' Forest

22 days

Kings' Forest


Peddars Way


Peddars Way

16 days

Peddars Way


Suffolk Heritage


Suffolk Heritage

18 days

Suffolk Heritage



How are we performing?Oct 2010

17 Overall customer satisfaction

Repairs satisfaction

(General needs/Sheltered) Kings' Forest

85% 88%

Kings' Forest


Peddars Way

88.5% 92%

Peddars Way


Suffolk Heritage


Suffolk Heritage 86% 92%

Did you



We only have 20% of our customers' email addresses. Why not call Flagship Response on 0845 601 3390 to update your details.

Did you


The busiest period for Flagship Response is Monday mornings. Remember, we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, should you need to contact us.


Get in touch Get in touch

As well as dealing with complaints and comments we also like to receive compliments. For many staff the service they provide day-in, day-out comes as second nature – however, it’s nice when customers take the time to tell us of the excellent service they have received from teams or individuals.


Here are a couple of recent compliments we received: “I rang the repair line late one evening and I spoke to “I want you to know what a very helpful advisor. I was a fantastic job the plumber surprised to find out that known as 'PP' (his initials) in just under an hour the has done today. He was engineer was in my home. professional and friendly He was polite, respectful and and did the job to a great fixed the damaged circuit standard. He made me board within 10 minutes – I actually feel that my home am most impressed with the was in good, capable prompt and efficient service.” hands and even cleaned up afterwards! I am very happy What happens to your with his work and just thought compliments? he deserved some recognition Your compliments and for this.” comments are logged on a

central database and are used to praise and recognise individuals or teams for their efforts. How can you make a compliment? There are lots of ways you can pass on compliments about an individual staff member, team or the service you have received. You can visit your local office, call Flagship Response on 0845 601 3390 or you can send us a compliment online at

To contact us Flagship Response (24hr) Telephone: 0845 601 3390 Web: Flagship Peddars Way Michael Chaplin House Station Road, Dereham Norfolk NR19 1DA

Flagship Suffolk Heritage Avocet House, Station Road Framlingham, Woodbridge Suffolk IP13 9EE

service right - first time

Flagship Kings' Forest Cedar Lodge Chiswick Avenue, Mildenhall Suffolk IP28 7BD

Remember to recycle this newsletter when you’ve finished reading it - thank you!

If you’d like ‘in touch, Your Flagship - Your News' in large print, Braille, audio format, or translated into another language, please call Flagship Response on 0845 601 3390. POR Se pretende este boletim informativo “in touch, Your Flagship – Your News” em letra grande, Braille, áudio ou traduzida num outro idioma, por favor contacte a Flagship Response pelo 0845 601 3390. POL Jeśli pragną Państwo otrzymać niniejszy biuletyn ‘in touch, Your Flagship – Your News’ w formacie dużego druku, alfabetu Braille’a, nagrania audio lub w innym języku, prosimy o telefon do Flagship Response pod numer 0845 601 3390. RUS Если вы хотите получить данный информационный листок «“Flagship” на связи – ваши новости» крупным шрифтом, шрифтом Брайля, в аудио формате или в переводе на другой язык, пожалуйста, обращайтесь в службу «Flagship Response» по тел. 0845 601 3390. LIT Jei jūs norėtumėte gauti šį informacinį biuletenį „palaikome ryšį, jūsų Flagship – jūsų naujienos” stambiu šriftu, Brailio raštu, garso formatu ar išverstą į kitą kalbą, prašome paskambinti į Flagship Response tarnybą telefonu 0845 601 3390. SYL hw` Avc‡b AD Leii Qvcvwb cÎ (wbDR‡jUvi) ÔÔBb UvP& B‡qvi †d¬Mwkc-

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Engaging Experiences Engage with Flagship and WIN! Every time you fill in a survey, give us feedback or comment on our Twitter or Facebook page, you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win one of our amazing days out! Maybe you’d enjoy the wonder of a Hot Air Balloon Ride or the excitement of Go Karting? Or maybe it’s the drama of a Theatre Trip that thrills you? And if that’s all a bit too energetic how about a luxury spa day? All of these prizes are up for grabs, so get involved and get rewarded!

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In Touch - December 2010  

December 2010 edition of Flagship Housing's magazine

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