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ISSUE 05: March 2010

Welcome to our winter issue From court actions through carnivals to Cornerstone, it’s packed with our approaches to making your neighbourhoods and communities great. It’s World Cup year and while we don’t expect to supply Fabio Capello’s squad, we’ve news inside of how we use football to keep local young people out of trouble. One new development will let registered providers of social housing landlords like us show just how effective we are in tackling anti-social behaviour.The anti-social behaviour accreditation uses tenants’ views as part of its assessment and is run by two independent expert national organisations.We know bad neighbours are a key concern of tenants nationally. So by applying for the accreditation, we want to show you can be confident of a quality service from us. As always, let me know if there are issues in your area.We are here to listen and help. Tony Powell Managing Director of New Charter Homes

Housing Heroes In December we held the fourth 'Making a Difference and Taking a Stand Awards' at our headquarters, Cavendish 249. The Making a Difference Awards are for individuals or groups who make an outstanding contribution to the life of their community, and are nominated by our staff. And the Taking a Stand Awards are made to people who have been exceptionally brave. Sometimes in the face of violence, they have stood up for what we all believe to be right.They are nominated by our Tenancy Enforcement or Domestic Violence teams. We believe it is important that efforts of individuals and groups are recognised and celebrated.We can contribute Great Homes and Great Neighbourhoods, but we need Great People to make our communities special. So our Awards evening honours those who make the difference, often positively, but also courageously. We don't have space to feature all our award winners, but let us tell you about two of them. Mr and Mrs Jackson were worthy winners of a Taking a Stand award, presented by Managing Director Tony Powell.They and others suffered anti-social behaviour from a neighbour.

We needed resident's evidence to support our court action. Despite their years, Mrs Jackson (84) gave a statement and was ready give evidence in court.Throughout, she was supported by her 90 year old husband.The outcome was that the neighbour gave up the tenancy, and we're delighted that things settled down.The Jacksons are pictured with Tony, our Tenancy Enforcement Officer Linda Chapman and Ashton St Michaels Neighbourhood Constable John Moss. And you're never too old to make your community special, as Nelly Lyne proves. She was nominated for a Making a Difference award due to her kind, generous and selfless dedication to the social group in Chartist House, Hyde. At the tender age of 102, she actively encourages everyone to come together and enjoy social activities. She's pictured with Tony Powell and her son, Eric.

Neighbourhoods & Communities Issue 05

Court in the act You said you wanted us to take a firm approach to tackling anti-social behaviour. Over the last six months we have taken legal action against more than 20 people who didn't respect their neighbours or the area where they live. Our actions included injunctions to get them to change their behaviour or in some cases getting possession of their homes. Here are a few of the headlines:

Harbour Farm Road, Hyde

Waterton Lane, Mossley

Injunctions obtained against a tenant to prevent them causing further anti-social behaviour through playing loud music, shouting, swearing, fighting and making threats towards neighbours.

A tenant's son who played music at such loud volumes that neighbours could hear every word of the offensive rap lyrics was told by a judge to wear headphones unless he wanted another spell in prison.

Stayley Drive, Stalybridge Postponed possession order obtained against a tenant convicted of using her home for activities relating to illegal drugs. The order says the tenant must not allow her son to live at the property and she must keep to the terms of their tenancy. If she doesn't do this, she faces eviction. The order stays in place for 2 years.

We obtained an injunction against him to stop the nuisance he was causing. He breached this and ended up in prison whilst a court date was arranged. The judge gave him a three-month prison sentence suspended for 18 months, and in what is believed to be a unique move, banned him from playing music without wearing headphones. Court action is just one of the ways to resolve issues. But as these tenants discovered, we will not hesitate to ask the courts for support to promote safe and peaceful neighbourhoods.

And there's more... Last year we dealt with over 900 antisocial behaviour enquiries across our neighbourhoods. The main types of reported nuisance were noise, harassment and youths on the street. More than 90% of these were resolved at a local neighbourhood level without the need for more serious interventions, and involved services such as Mediation and agreements to behave between residents. 02

The remaining matters were referred to our specialist Tenancy Compliance team for more intensive management and action. Some of these are featured in articles in this issue. We constantly look to improve our service to you, so that you can advise us on how to get better at dealing with anti-social behaviour in the future.We are also reviewing what information we should give you on how the service is doing.

Neighbourhoods & Communities Issue 05

It’s Payback time... Ever thought what convicted criminals do when they are sentenced to community service?

DON'T FORGET If you experience problems with anti-social behaviour or hate incidents, ring us on 0161 331 2400 during working hours and ask to speak to your neighbourhood management officer for help and advice. You can also ring us on our free phone 0800 027 0527.This is a 24 hour reporting line, which we staff during working hours and is on answer phone at evenings and weekends. If we are closed, you can leave your name, address and a message and we’ll get back to you.You can leave a message anonymously, although we obviously can’t reply.

Reproduced with the kind permission of the Tameside Reporter

The Community Payback scheme is a punishment handed out by the courts. It is overseen by the Probation Service which, like us, is a member of the local Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership. Community Payback involves work to benefit the community, carried out by offenders. While doing this work, offenders wear orange high-visibility jackets marked Community Payback, so you can see they’re paying back the community for their crimes. Before Christmas, a wooded area close to our homes on Demesne Drive in Stalybridge was cleared by Community Payback.The area was a neglected piece of land often used for fly-tipping. It attracted groups of young people engaged in anti-social behaviour such as starting nuisance fires. Local residents nominated the location.The work turned an environmental eyesore into an asset. More recently, the offenders helped clear paths of ice and snow in January’s big freeze.

Seeing offenders make retribution improve people’s understanding of Community Payback, but high visibility projects such as these are just a fraction of the work carried out by Community Payback teams across Tameside. Nearly 45,000 hours of work was done last year. And you can shape the work that offenders do by giving your ideas. Projects can range from litter removal or clearing dense undergrowth, through repairing and redecorating community centres, to removing graffiti.

And of course you can in at our shops or neighbourhood offices or email us at Where crime is involved, you should always ring Greater Manchester Police on 0161 872 5050, or 999 if it is an emergency.

Whatever the work, it must: • benefit the local community • not take paid work away from others • not make a profit for anyone • provide sufficient work to fully occupy a group of offenders • be within the capabilities of the local Community Payback team to undertake • comply with Health and Safety requirements. If you’ve an idea, call the Community Payback Unit on 0161 330 3695.


Neighbourhoods & Communities Issue 05

Kicking boredom into touch Three football projects in Droylsden, Audenshaw and Dukinfield are essential fixtures for young people. But just like Premiership managers, they are always on the lookout for new players.

Together with Tameside Sports Development, we fund and run the sessions, which are aimed at young people aged 11 to 18 years. And there’s a serious purpose to having fun and keeping fit. They are part of our youth diversion work trying to counter the teenage complaint that “there’s nothing to do”. We run them at important times in the week to try and prevent crime and anti-social behaviour. Our Tenancy Enforcement Officers have the support of Community Beat Managers, Police Community Support Officers, Patrollers and other partners. All regularly attend the football sessions, noting who’s there and ensuring good behaviour. But we also give the red card to those who misbehave outside the sessions. More than 80 young people attend each week. It’s free to join in, but we believe we are saving the substantial cost of managing and policing anti-social behaviour.




The Droylsden football project, based at Medlock Leisure Centre has been jointly run since last August by us, police,Tameside Sports Development coaches and Youth Services. It’s recently attracted a cash boost from the Youth Opportunities Fund.

The Dukinfield football project is run from Astley Sports College on Yew Tree Lane in the town. The same partners running the Audenshaw project are active here too.

Sessions run on Friday afternoons between 5 and 6pm. If you’d like to take part or want any more details, contact David Andrew, our Tenancy Enforcement Officer on 0161 331 2000.

Audenshaw Started in 2008, the Audenshaw football project is jointly run by us, police and Great Sports, a long term partnership between us and Tameside Sports Development. Sessions are run at Egerton Park Arts College. It’s proving so popular that we run two sessions.Thursday evenings between 6 and 7pm are for over 16’s, and Fridays between 5 and 6pm are for under 16’s. Please contact our Tenancy Enforcement Officer, Andrew Birtles on 0161 331 2000.

Sessions run on Wednesday afternoons between 5 and 6pm and your contact is Tenancy Enforcement Officer, Ivan Wright on 0161 331 2000. Many young people are already great assets to our community. Football is just one of the ways we try to promote respect and good citizenship, and it’s having the right effect.

Neighbourhoods & Communities Issue 05

Family Support Charity Last issue, we told you of our work on the Sanctuary scheme which supports victims of domestic abuse. We announced we’d set up a charity to help us continue with this. Let us update you about what’s been happening with the Sanctuary scheme. During the last quarter (August to October 2009) we received 40 referrals and dealt with 32 clients. By working to protect and support them, those 32 individuals and their families didn’t have to suffer the inconvenience and upheaval of having to move home. In December, we took part in a national publicity campaign to highlight the support available for domestic abuse victims. Our work and the views of clients were featured on Tameside Radio. LAVA (Life after Domestic Abuse) is a support meeting which has run for 12 months. Around 25 clients from the Sanctuary scheme and the Independent Domestic Advocacy Service have attended the monthly sessions. We are reviewing the way this group works to make it more accessible and interesting for clients. We are working on a website for Family Support Charity which we plan to have up and running in the next three months. Our current Victim Support Officer, Cheryl Allwood has left on maternity leave. Although Cheryl has only been with us for a short time her commitment to the project has been invaluable and she will be greatly missed. On the plus side, our original Victim Support Officer, Lisa Wright will be returning to work in April after maternity leave. Sadly, we anticipate an increase in domestic violence incidents as a result of the recession.This means 2010/11 is set to be a challenging year for Family Support Charity as it relies on donations and funding to carry out its work. You can get more information on our work by contacting Martha McCann on 0161 331 2000 or e-mail 05

Neighbourhoods & Communities Issue 05

One Extreme to the Other We worked with police and Tameside council to promote a touring theatre production. The idea was to help young people make informed choices and enhance resistance to violent extremism. It was put on between April and September using government funding and contributions from us and our partners, and was performed at secondary schools and colleges. Mossley’s GW Theatre company provided the drama, and before and after discussions got young people talking about extremism.

More than 2500 students in 16 schools and colleges watched the play, which highlighted extremism from the far right and in the name of Islam. Hard-hitting but entertaining, the play stimulated debate and discussion among young people and adults. Afterwards, students asked questions to the key characters, and offered them advice for their roles.

Response from the students was excellent, and the show attracted coverage from Tameside Radio 103.6FM.


“Why can’t people just get on? People have more similarities than they have differences.”


Watch you don’t allow yourself to be manipulated or exploited. Think for yourself, don’t let somebody else do it for you.

Neighbourhoods & Communities Issue 05

TIP OFF TRIGGERS ACTION We received information that a tenant living on Rowley Street, Ashton-under-Lyne had an improvised explosive device.

Residents light up the night The streets of four neighbourhoods were alight with the sights and sounds of very different Christmas carnivals in December. Communities from Newton (Hyde), Central (Dukinfield), Crowswood and Ridge Hill (both Stalybridge) led a series of lantern parades, supported by us and other partners. Residents and children worked hard in the weeks leading up to the parades to create large paper lanterns and glowing stars.

The parades were all led by Santa Claus and music was provided by samba band Jubadoleao, an African band and carol singers. Residents who took part really enjoyed the sense of community spirit the parades brought about as they snaked through their neighbourhoods. And they achieved a desired effect as other residents came out of their homes to find out what all the fun was about.

The main workshop was hosted by The Newton Group, one of our newest residents’ associations on Saturday 29th November at Oakfield Primary School in Hyde. Residents’ groups, young people from our Dreamschemes, our staff and members of the public came together to make 50 lanterns.

At the end of each parade, those who took part enjoyed warm drinks and hot food prepared by residents’ groups and local churches. We were delighted that everyone joined in - schools, churches, ward councillors, police, patrollers and volunteer groups all helped make each event a success.

This was in his home, and practically complete and ready to use.We had previously had several letters from this tenant threatening to barricade himself inside and commit suicide. As a result of this tip off, we applied immediately to Tameside County Court for an Injunction Order, Exclusion Order and Power of Arrest. Having read the evidence, a District Judge was satisfied with the application and granted us the orders.These excluded the tenant from entering, being present on or returning to Rowley Street. In the meantime, the tenant had been arrested by the police about an unrelated criminal matter. But immediately following his release from prison, he returned to Rowley Street and asked neighbours for a crowbar to break into his property.We told the police who arrested him for breach of the injunction. The tenant was remanded in custody pending a hearing, and at this, the District Judge extended the Injunction Order, Exclusion Order and Power of Arrest for a further six months. This is an unusual case but it shows we will act speedily to protect our communities. 07

Neighbourhoods & Communities Issue 05

CA SH F O R If you want more information please call in at our shops, visit our website www.newcharter. or call us on 0161 331 2000. All information is also available in large print on request.

Freephone You can report any nuisance or hate incidents on our free 24 hour Helpline number 0800 027 0522. Callers are asked to supply their name and address, but can report information anonymously if they wish. Where crime is involved, you should always contact Greater Manchester Police on 0161 872 5050 or 999 if it’s an emergency.

We learned last month our bid to the new Housing Challenge Fund to further develop our Cornerstone Family Intervention Project was successful. The ÂŁ44,000 secured will enable us to recruit an extra project worker to take on and support another six families at risk of eviction because of serious anti-social behaviour. Cornerstone, delivered in partnership with Action for Children, has been a tremendous success story for New Charter. It has made significant differences to the lives and life chances of the 30 families it works with. As just as importantly, Cornerstone is greatly improving the quality of life for other residents of neighbourhoods in which those families live.

The impact Cornerstone has made in its first two years was recognised at the highest level last September when Group Chief Executive Ian Munro and Project Manager Steve Moss were invited to meet the Prime Minister to share our learning and experiences. We were one of only four Family Intervention Projects, designated 'cutting edge', invited - and the Housing Challenge Fund was established as a result.The following week, Gordon Brown also announced a major expansion of Family Intervention Projects across the country. There will be even more good news about Cornerstone to come in the near future. Watch this space!

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NC News - March 2010  
NC News - March 2010  

NC News - March 2010