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Winter 09

Housingmatters

Find out about the launch of North Tyneside Homefinder – page 5 Praise for Safer Estates Team – page 8

Keeping you informed | www.northtyneside.gov.uk

widening

horizons


How to contact us We want to make it as easy as possible for you to get in touch with us. We provide a wide range of ways to contact us:

Email us You can also email our teams directly, using the email addresses below. What is your query about?

Email address

General enquiry, comments, complaints or compliments

housing@northtyneside.gov.uk

Repairs

nt.repairs@kier.co.uk

0845 2000 102

Improvements to your home

betterhomes@northtyneside.gov.uk

Simply ask to speak to the team you want to deal with.

How to get a council home

northtynesidehomefinder@northtyneside.gov.uk

Telephone us You can contact any of our services through one phone number.

Text us Text us on 07797 805 381 and your message will be directed to the right team to deal with your enquiry.

Website Visit www.northtyneside.gov.uk to find information on all our services and to download forms and leaflets.

Visit us

Text: 07781 486 808 To express an interest in a property from January 11 Your home, your estate or to report anti-social behaviour

estates@northtyneside.gov.uk

Your rent account or debt advice

housingincometeam@northtyneside.gov.uk

Leaseholder enquiries

housing@northtyneside.gov.uk

Wanting to help improve our service

getinvolved@northtyneside.gov.uk

Advice on homelessness

housingoptions@northtyneside.gov.uk

If you prefer to visit us, you can call in to one of our customer services centres: White Swan Centre, Citadel East, Killingworth NE12 6SS Opening times: • Monday - Thursday (8.30am to 4.30pm) • Friday (8.30am to 4pm) A Customer Service fast track desk is located on the 2nd Floor; staff can deal with quick enquiries that do not require a private interview. • Monday - Friday (8.30am to 7pm) • Saturday (9am to 5pm)

Unicorn House, Suez Street, North Shields NE30 1BB Opening times: • Monday - Thursday (8.45am to 4.30pm) • Friday (8.45am to 4pm)

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Park House, Park Road, Wallsend NE28 6QY Opening times: • Mon/Tue (8.45am to 4.30pm) • Wednesday (8.45am to 1pm) • Thursday (8.45am to 4.30pm) • Friday (8.45am to 4pm)

44 – 46 Victoria Terrace, Whitley Bay NE26 2QW Opening times: • Same as Park House above

Text relay The Royal National Institute for the Deaf supports the text relay service that is provided by British Telecom. If you have a textphone, you can contact us on 18001 0845 2000 102

Out-of-hours emergencies If you need to speak to someone urgently (outside office hours) please ring the numbers below: • Emergency repairs (0191) 200 7258

Write to us North Tyneside Homes, Quadrant West 2nd Floor,The Silverlink North, Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside. NE27 0BY

• Emergency re-housing (Care Call service) (0191) 200 6800 • Northumbria Police anti-social behaviour hotline 03456 043 043


North Tyneside Homes – the housing service for North Tyneside Council.

Welcome to Housing Matters Welcome to the Winter edition of Housing Matters. Inside, you can find out about the work and achievements of our many service development groups and read about the new training plan that has been developed for you.

As 2009 draws to a close, I’d like to take the opportunity to wish Seasons Greetings and all the very best to you and your family for the New Year.

We have also featured a handy guide to all the ways that you can contact North Tyneside Homes, no matter what your query is about. Look out too for the official launch date of North Tyneside Homefinder – your new choice-based lettings scheme.

Cllr Ian Macaulay Cabinet member for Housing

Gas safety Every year we are required by law to do a gas safety check on your property. Kier North Tyneside is now responsible for doing these checks and will contact you to arrange a convenient time. Please keep to your appointment and allow the engineer entry to your property, or arrange an alternative time. Without a gas safety check, you are

putting you, your family and your home at risk. Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless and tasteless gas produced by faulty appliances and if left undetected, it can KILL. Be wise, don’t ignore your gas safety check! The gas servicing team can be contacted on (0191) 643 7840/1 or by emailing: gas@northtyneside.gov.uk

Contents Do you have peace of mind?

4

Launch date for North Tyneside Homefinder

5

Get involved

6

Praise for Safer Estates team

8

North Tyneside in Bloom

9

You said, we did

10

How we are performing

11

A day in the life . . .

12

Domestic abuse – don’t ignore it

13

Leaseholder news

14

Estate walkabouts

15

Readers’ pages

18

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New drive to provide peace of mind We have set up a new project to encourage you to take out home contents insurance. The latest figures show that a third of you do not have any form of home contents cover. This means that in the event of a fire or flood, you could lose everything and have no means of replacing your cherished belongings. Don’t think it does not apply to you. You may think you can’t afford contents insurance or that you have nothing worth insuring but basic cover offering peace of mind costs as little as 20p a day. Tenant engagement officers Angela Lawson and David Rowley (pictured) are working to help and advise tenants who don’t have any insurance and talk about the range of different insurance policies available.

Are you throwing away money? By making sure your home is fully insulated, you could save up to £250 a year on your fuel bill AND reduce harmful CO2 emissions Contact North Tyneside Warm Zone for a free, no obligation, survey – (0191) 223 4199

During the next year, we will be contacting you to see if you would like advice or an appointment to discuss home contents insurance.

You may qualify for FREE cavity wall and loft insulation!

Angela and David will be attending events across the borough and in the New Year they will be holding monthly sessions at each customer service centre. For further information, contact Angela or David on (0191) 643 7528.

Feedback winner

North Tyneside Warm Zone is a not-for-profit partnership and is supported by the government and North Tyneside Council

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In the last edition, we asked you to provide us with feedback on Housing Matters. Julie Cable, of Forest Hall, sent back the slip and won a £10 voucher.


North Tyneside

H MEFINDER

Helping you find an affordable home

The countdown to the launch of North Tyneside Homefinder, your new choice-based letting scheme, is well underway! North Tyneside Homefinder goes live on Monday, January 11. EW N

Your Home,Your Choice

We are busy registering all applicants and will write to everyone registered on the scheme before Christmas. We will provide you with information about your application and how to use the scheme to be considered for available homes. You will then have more choice over the type of home you can live in. The new letting scheme means you can view all of our available homes and express your interest in the ones you would like to be considered for. You will be able to view our available homes: • Online at www.nthomefinder.co.uk • On our available homes information line - 0845 901 1140 • By calling the North Tyneside Homes contact centre on 0845 2000 102 • At customer service centres throughout the borough For applicants registered on the scheme, you will be able to express your interest in available homes: • Online at www.nthomefinder.co.uk • On our multi-language automated telephone line - 0845 230 4367 • By calling the North Tyneside Homes contact centre on 0845 2000 102 • By SMS Text message on 07797 805 381 • At our customer service centres

Available to rent – register your interest, it couldn’t be easier!

For more information, you can get a copy of the Homefinder Service guide in customer service centres, on our website or by calling 0845 2000 102.

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Get involved . . . There were many positive comments about the four events:

“Brilliant and informative and I can see progress being made on many issues” “Pleased to have taken part” Kevin Flynn, a member of the involvement group and chair of the tenants reps, encouraged more tenants to get involved in the service development groups.

Mini gold ticket events Lively discussions about how to improve the housing service took place at the mini gold ticket events held in October and November. At the popular events, tenants on the service development groups talked about their experiences of being involved and how this was making a difference. In round table discussions, tenants also identified priorities for the groups to tackle in the months ahead.These included:

Repairs Look into the idea of a handy persons scheme and a repairs handy hints leaflet.

Better Homes Improve the information given to tenants before, during and after the work.

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Anti-social behaviour Continue to raise awareness in the community about the help and support available for dealing with anti-social behaviour.

Estates and tenancies Look at ways of making estate walkabouts more effective.

“These groups are a great way for tenants to help improve the housing services they and their families receive,” he said. “North Tyneside Homes will provide help for anyone wanting to take part, including help with travel expenses, childcare or other caring responsibilities.They will also provide training to help you get the most out of the meetings.” If you would like a copy of the report about the events, or would like to get involved in one of the service development groups, please contact us.


Our new training plan - designed for you We have a range of new courses that you might be interested in during the year ahead. Each course lasts around two hours and all are free to North Tyneside Homes tenants. We have worked with the Adult Learning Alliance and VODA to organise the sessions, which are grouped into three types:

You and your family: • Skills for life: literacy and numeracy • Writing a CV and searching for jobs on the computer • Keeping up with the children’s homework • Family health and vitality

Your home and neighbourhood: • How your rent is spent • Making the most of your repairs service • Tackling anti-social behaviour • Understanding the lettings policy • DIY and decorating • Gardening • Learning about recycling

Contact the Involvement Team Telephone: (0191) 643 7749 Email: getinvolved@northtyneside.gov.uk

Getting involved: • • • •

Making the most of meetings Presentation skills Recognising differences in people Using plain language

Want help to attend? All the sessions are free and there is a range of support to help you take part, including: • Help with transport to sessions • Other language interpreters • Help with childcare and other caring responsibilities

How to book Most of the sessions will be held on demand – so if you are interested in any of the above, just get in touch with us.The full session plan is available on our website.

Dates for your diary To book your place contact us! • January 19 - B&Q Decorating and DIY - 6pm in the Wallsend Store. Wonky shelves? Never got the right tools for the job? Get expert advice on what you need and how to do all those little jobs around the house. • February 17 - Presentation skills A practical session that will help you improve your confidence and skills in putting forward your views to an audience. • February 23 - How your rent is spent -10am at Quadrant. Want to know how rents are set and what your rent money goes on? This simple session will explain all! • March 16 - B&Q Gardening Skills - 6pm in the Wallsend Store. Have you got green fingers? Pick up some tips and skills from the experts on this taster session for beginners.

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Safer Estates Team . . . nationally recognised! Our Safer Estates Team has been praised for its work in tackling troublemakers.

achieves good results and will be repeated in the future to help improve the quality of life for the vast majority of law-abiding residents.”

Operation Respect – a joint initiative with Northumbria Police – was launched in Forest Hall. Following its success, it has been rolled out across the borough, including Wallsend, North Shields and Whitley Bay.

Cllr Ian Macaulay, cabinet member for Housing, said: “We are incredibly proud to have been acknowledged, especially considering there were around 50 nominations for the award.

The team was commended in this year’s Social Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group’s (SLCNG) Awards for its “exemplary practice . . . and delivering measurable results.” Chief Insp Max Black, of North Tyneside Area Command, said the commendation was well deserved. He added: “Operation Respect

“The operation and the team’s track record for tackling anti-social behaviour is outstanding and I’m sure it will continue to go from strength to strength.” The team’s partnership with the police has led to a host of positive effects within the borough’s communities, making North Tyneside the safest place to live in Tyne and Wear.

Respect roadshows Over the past couple of months, the Safer Estates Team and the Respect Roadshow has visited Killingworth, Wallsend and North Shields. More than 300 people attended the first event at Killingworth Shopping Centre and around 100 anti-social behaviour surveys were completed. Sixty per cent said there had been an improvement in their neighbourhood over the past two years and 93 per cent said they would report anti-social behaviour. Georgina Bowmaker, of the Safer Estates Team, said: “The roadshows have been a great opportunity for people to raise any problems they may be facing and get help and support. “We’ve received some really encouraging feedback and we’re confident they will continue to make a positive impact.” Other organisations that joined the team on the tour were Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue, N2L (Never Too Late), Age Concern, the council’s housing support team, Home Housing Group, Positive Futures, Sub 21, North Tyneside Primary Care Trust and domestic violence support. If you have any concerns about crime or anti-social behaviour, contact your neighbourhood policing team on 03456 043 043 ext 69191.

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NOR

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TYNE H T

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e d i s e n y T h t m Nor o o l B In

BLOOM

Hard work: Anne Bell (left), John Carroll and Hazel Hogg with their colourful gardens.

This year’s competition saw more than 100 entries battling to be crowned the best in the borough. A lot of hard work went on during the summer in gardens across North Tyneside – producing a sea of colour. Many of our tenants entered the contest and produced some wonderful results, as you can see! John Carroll clinched first prize in the small garden category and Hazel Hogg took second place.

Just reward: Cllr Michael Huscroft, the chairman of the council, presents Bob Todd with his award.

Anne Bell and Bob Todd both received Awards of Merit for their efforts in the large garden category. Staff in the council’s Clean Neighbourhoods department, councillors and residents helped to judge the competition. If you would like to be a judge next year, please contact the Involvement Team.

of North Tyneside make a fantastic effort with their gardens and allotments.

Cllr Ed Hodson, cabinet member for Environment, said: “Every year, the people

“The contribution they make in keeping the borough beautiful is immeasurable.”

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Service Standards - new leaflets We have been working with the tenants on the service development groups (see page 6) to update our information leaflets. The new leaflets look brighter and are full of advice and handy hints. They also set out our service standards, which have been developed with the help of tenants. They include: • • • • • • • • •

Domestic Abuse – don’t live in fear A guide to paying your rent and managing your money Putting customers first Tackling nuisance and anti-social behaviour A guide to ending your tenancy A guide to the North Tyneside Homefinder Scheme Your Right to Buy Service Your Sheltered Housing Service Your Tenancy & Estate Management Service

The leaflets will be available soon from customer service centres, our website www.northtyneside.gov.uk or ask for copies to be sent to you. We will monitor the standards and report back on our performance in future editions of Housing Matters.

id rate after a s u o Y o deco . t want t throom no r ba You do itchen o k w e n a getting

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North Tyneside

HOMES

9 0 0 2 d e m r o f how we per

Percentage of urgent repairs completed within time limits*

Percentage of responsive repairs for which we made and kept an appointment* Target: 80% Performance: 68.7% Last Year: 64.49%

Typical time taken to let an empty home Target: 48.50 days Performance: 63.83 days Last Year: 49.11 days

Typical time taken for a non-urgent repair* Target: 19 days Performance: 16.71 days Last Year: 24.56 days

Number of empty homes available for letting Target: 190 Performance: 244 Last Year: 200

Proportion of rent collected

Number of homes benefiting from home improvements

Target: 97.81% Performance: 97.87% Last Year: 97.64%

Targeted Homes: 2,540 Performance: 2,712 Last Year: 6,082

Target: 96% Performance: 94.72 % Last Year: 94.08%

Total amount of rent owed to us Target: £1,160,647 Performance: £1,239,330 Last Year: £1,209,147

Tenants satisfied with the repairs service on a score of 1 to 10 Target: 8.29 Performance: 8.17* Last Year: 8.10

Target achieved

Performance relates from April to September 2009 Figures marked with * relate from April to August only. Last year relates from April 2008 to March 2009 If you would like more information, please contact Chris Patterson on 643 7736 or email chris.patterson@northtyneside.gov.uk

Target not achieved, better than last year Target not achieved, worse than last year

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A day in the life of a . . .

customer liaison advisor For many people, the ‘wolf-whistling brickie’ has been the traditional face of the building industry for generations. However Susan Smith is painting a very different image in her role as a customer liaison advisor for Kier North Tyneside –

the recently appointed contractor undertaking the £600m repairs and maintenance programme to council properties in the borough. One of a team of customer liaison advisors working on the programme, Susan plays an important role in bridging the gap between you and those from Kier carrying out the work.

She said: “My role is very varied and every day is different. We have all had indepth training to ensure you get the best advice possible and this forms the largest part of my job. “With so much activity going on, we are doing everything we can to keep you up-to-date with where we are up to, what kind of work you can expect to your home and when you can expect it all to start.” She added that everyone in the team is involved in giving advice over the phone or face-to-face and also visiting tenants in their homes, as well as organising and attending consultation events and meetings. Customer Service Manager June Moore said: “This is a very exciting time for us at Kier North Tyneside. “With the introduction of a new team, we are confident we can deliver a first class customer experience. We are working closely with those undergoing programme works, giving you your own customer liaison advisor.”

At your service The Tenant Services Authority (TSA) is the new government watchdog dedicated to improving the standard of council and housing association homes. The TSA has involved tenants up and down the country in discussions to develop some new draft standards for all landlords. These discussions have been called ‘The National Conversation’. The draft standards are based on what

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tenants said were most important to them, including: • Tenant choice and customer service • Repairs and maintenance • Decent homes • Neighbourhood and estate management • Tenant involvement and empowerment. The results so far • More than 27,000 tenants took part • 76 per cent were satisfied with their landlord • The main concern for 81 per cent of tenants was repairs and maintenance

Tenants in North Tyneside took part in the National Conversation. Bob Carpenter, of Battle Hill, said: “I found it really interesting and informative. It was a great opportunity to help shape the new standards.” The TSA is now carrying out formal consultation on the new standards which should be in place by April. You can get more information about the new standards and the work of the TSA online at www.tenantservicesauthority.org/


Domestic abuse – don’t ignore it It’s not always easy to talk about domestic violence or to know what you want to happen. You may feel frightened, ashamed, confused, and guilty. All of that is understandable. But you have a right to live free from fear and are not to blame for someone else’s violence and abuse.

Spotting the signs It can be difficult to even spot the signs of domestic abuse. It’s not always shown through physical violence. Have you experienced any of the following from your partner, ex-partner or a family member? • Being belittled, criticised and put down • Being stopped from seeing family and friends • Not being allowed to have money or other essentials • Violence or threats of violence • Threats to hurt your children or family • Intimidation • Sexual assault • Being blamed for their anger You have the right to live free from violence and the threat of violence. There are people who you can talk to, who understand and can help. You can get in touch with any of the organisations listed here or you can contact domestic abuse co-ordinator Lesley Pyle on (0191) 643 7383. Email: lesley.pyle@northtyneside.gov.uk

Fact file • 1 in 3 women will suffer some form of abuse at the hands of a partner or family member during their lifetime. • Men as well as women can find themselves at risk from those who live with them.

• In 90 per cent of domestic violence cases, children are in the same or next room during a violent attack. • Domestic abuse accounts for 14 per cent of all violent incidents. • Domestic violence has more repeat

victims than other crime. • Repeat victimisation accounts for 66 per cent of all incidents of domestic abuse. • 21 per cent of victims have been victimised three or more times.

Domestic Abuse

North Tyneside Women ’s Aid

(0191) 251 3305 Victim Support

(0191) 257 9079 SAINT

07552 164 256 Acorns

(0191) 200 6302 Norcare

(0191) 261 2228 Tyneside Cyrenians Dom estic Abuse Service

(0191) 256 2900

Northumbria Police Dom estic Abuse Helpline

0800 066 5555

Don’t suffer in silence 13


Leaseholder news Making it plain Work has started on a new plain language lease for all leaseholders. When you buy a council flat under the right to buy, the council still owns the building the flat is part of and the land it stands on.The lease is the legal agreement that sets out the terms and conditions under which the council has agreed to you buying the property. Many of you have said you find the existing agreement difficult to understand. So we have summarised the main sections in plain language to make it easier to follow. We would like your comments on the new draft. If you would like a copy, contact the leasehold team.

The Leasehold Team can be contacted on

(0191) 643 7540 You can also email: housing@northtyneside.gov.uk

New website Look out for the new leaseholder services section on our website.This includes lots of helpful information about the services that affect you. A copy of the new plain language lease is also on the website and you can contact us directly with your comments. We would welcome any comments or suggestions for improving our website. Use the contact us link to send us your views.

Pay by phone The Leasehold Team are now able to take a payment for your annual service charges by phone. We accept most debit/credit cards.

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Want to make a difference? If you have ideas about how to improve the leasehold service, you could join our leaseholder forum. We meet twice a year to discuss issues relevant to you. Contact the Leasehold Team to find out more.

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Join us on a tour Walkabouts are a great opportunity for you to point out the things that you think need tackling in your area. They are held every three months. Join our staff as they go on a tour. The name of the estate is followed by the place to meet. If you are unsure which estate walkabout your street is in, please contact your local housing office (see numbers below) and they will be able to tell you.

South East estate walkabouts

March

Feb

Jan

NORTH SHIELDS AREA - (0191) 643 7929 Date

Time

Estate

Starting Location

Wednesday 6

9.45am

Chirton

2, Simpson Street

Wednesday 13

9.45am

Alwinton Avenue

Junction of Alwinton Ave & Whitehouse Lane

Thursday 14

9.45am

New York & Guisborough Drive

1 Guisborough Drive

Wednesday 20

9.45am

Balkwell 2

Junction of Heaton Terrace & The Quadrant

Monday 25

9.45am

Greenlea

Junction of Adderstone Gdns & Warenton Place

Thursday 28

9.45am

North Shields Town Centre

Morgan House

Tuesday 2

9.45am

Norham Road North

Junction of Norham Rd North & Darras Drive

Wednesday 3

9.45am

West Chirton 1

1 Craster Road

Wednesday 10

9.45am

Tynemouth & East End of North Shields

Spanish Battery

Tuesday 16

9.45am

Preston Village

Argyle Place

Monday 22

9.45am

Garrick Close & Phoenix Chase

Junction of Garrick Close & Drury Lane

Thursday 25

9.45am

Barnstaple Road

1 Barnstaple Road

Tuesday 2

9.45am

West Chirton 2

Junction of Wark Avenue & Langley Road

Thursday 4

9.45am

Whitehouse Lane

Junction of Whitehouse Lane & Sherborne Ave

Tuesday 9

9.45am

North Shields

Outside of Carlton Court

Wednesday 10

9.45am

Balkwell 1

2 Central Avenue

Wednesday 17

9.45am

West Chirton 3

Junction of Chollerford Avenue & Falstaff Road

Wednesday 24

9.45am

Lynn Estate

Netherton Avenue Shops

Mar Feb

Jan

MEADOW WELL AREA - (0191) 643 7720 Thursday 7

09.30am

North Meadow Well

Avon Avenue Shops

Thursday 28

09.30am

Percy Main & East Howdon

Junction Burdon Street & Brunton Street

Thursday 11

09.30am

Minton Lane

Outside Riverside Centre

Thursday 11

09.30am

South Meadow Well

Outside 18 Banbury Way

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North East estate walkabouts

March

Feb

Jan

WHITLEY BAY AND SHIREMOOR AREA - (0191) 643 7591 Date

Time

Estate

Starting Location

Wednesday 6

10am

Wellfield

Otterburn Court

Tuesday 12

10am

Backworth

Eccles Court

Tuesday 12

11am

Castle Park

1 Killingworth Avenue

Thursday 14

1pm

Whitley Bay Town Centre

Margaret Road Roundabout

Thursday 21

1pm

Cullercoats Village

Community Centre – Bell View Street

Tuesday 26

10am

Hillheads

Kingsley Avenue / Hillheads Road

Wednesday 3

11am

Monkseaton

Roseberry Court

Tuesday 9

10am

Moorside

Pryce Ryte Store – Station Road

Wednesday17

11am

Broadway

1 Whittingham Close

Tuesday 23

10am

Seatonville

Roker Avenue / Hillheads Road

Tuesday 2

1pm

Marden

Kirklinton Road / Hartington Road

Thursday 4

10am

Murton

Sherwood

Thursday 4

10.30am

West Allotment

Cheviot View

Wednesday 10

10am

Parks

Spar Store – Park Lane

Wednesday10

11am

Grange

1 Grange Avenue

Tuesday 16

10am

Shiremoor – Brenkley Avenue

Health Centre – Brenkley Avenue

Tuesday 16

Noon

Shiremoor – Lesbury Avenue

Shiremoor Chippy – Lesbury Avenue

Tuesday 23

1pm

Beaumont Park

Clifton Court

Tuesday 30

10am

Whitley Bay Town Centre

Margaret Road Roundabout

South West estate walkabouts 10am 11.30am

Hadrian Park & Coast Road

Broadway Court Following on – meet Bowness Terrace

Wednesday 20

10am 11.15am

Hedley Place & town centre & Rawdon Court/Carville/Eden

Footpath leading to 1, Hedley Place Following on – meet outside Eden Court

Wednesday 20

10am

High Farm North

Chicken Road shops

Wednesday 10

10am

High Farm South

Bedford Avenue shops

Feb

Wednesday 24

10am 11am

Central Battle Hill & The Dene

Lidl car park Following on – meet Bude Court

Wednesday 10

10am

Brighton/Bowness, Bodmin, Battle Hill

Bowness Terrace

Wednesday 17

10am

Westmorland Estate

Junction of Cross Ave and Strawberry Gardens

Jan

Wednesday 13

March

BATTLE HILL AND WALLSEND - (0191) 643 7690

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South West estate walkabouts

March

Feb

Jan

HOWDON AREA - (0191) 643 7699 Date

Time

Estate

Starting Location

Wednesday 6

10am

High Howdon

Beal Gardens car park

Wednesday 20

10am

Rosehill

Outside Fern Dene on Threap Gardens

Wednesday 3

10am

Martin Rd/Willington Quay

Corner of Martin Road and Rosehill Bank

Wednesday 17

10am

Churchill Street

Outside the Library

Wednesday 3

10am

Holy Cross

St Hilda’s Ave off Archer Street

Wednesday 17

10am

Henley Gardens/Ridley Avenue

Corner of Denbigh Avenue and Windsor Drive

North West estate walkabouts

February

January

ANNITSFORD, DUDLEY, FORDLEY, SEATON BURN AND WIDEOPEN AREA - (0191) 643 7620 Date

Time

Estate

Starting Location

Wednesday 6

10am

Annitsford

1 Bridge Cottages, Annitsford

Thursday 14

2pm

Dudley

1 Weetslade Road, Dudley

Tuesday 19

9.30am

Fordley

1 Fern Drive, Dudley

Thursday 28

10am

Seaton Burn

1 Oak Street, Seaton Burn

Tuesday 2

2pm

Wideopen

2 Gray Avenue, Wideopen

Thursday 11

10am

Burradon/Camperdown

1 Allanville, Camperdown

Tuesday 16

10am

West Bailey, Killingworth

1 Deepdale Gardens, Killingworth

Thursday 25

2pm

East Bailey, Killingworth

1 Garth 20, Killingworth

March

February

January

LONGBENTON, BENTON, FAIRWAYS AND FOREST HALL AREAS - (0191) 643 7932 Tuesday 5

10am

West Farm Avenue (1) - (odds 33 - 463)

1 Chesters Court

Thursday 14

10am

Goathland (1)

Block 68 –78 Hailsham Avenue (flats)

Tuesday 19

2pm

Lansdowne/Granville Ave/Hillary/Granville Dr

12 Granville Avenue (Bungalows)

Thursday 4

10am

West Farm Avenue (2) - (evens 92 - 282)

1 Kingsdale Road

Tuesday 9

10am

Goathland (2) & Fairways

11 Ashleigh Grove

Thursday 25

10am

Clousden Hill/Rocket Way

2 Ivy Road

Thursday 11

10am

West Farm Avenue (3) - (evens 2 - 90)

2 Charnwood Avenue

Tuesday 16

10am

Balliol/Glebe/Lynholm Grove

2 Albert Terrace

Thursday 25

10am

Palmersville/Holystone

1 Palm Court

National Tenants Voice Tenants are being given a greater voice at a national level through the creation

of a new National Tenants Voice (NTV). The NTV will be made up of 50 tenants and tenants organisations. It will work with the government and other bodies including the Tenant Services Authority

to reflect tenants views discovered through consultation and research. The NTV is being set up at the moment. We will keep you informed of any developments.

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Readers’ pages You could win £250!

Winter quiz For another chance to win a £10 voucher, complete the quiz and send it with your name and telephone number to the Involvement Team, North Tyneside Homes, Quadrant West – 2nd Floor,The Silverlink North, Cobalt Business Park, North Tyneside, NE27 0BY.

The Clear Rent account competition is still running. It really is one of the easiest ways to walk away with £250! Financial Inclusion Manager Tony Jennings passes on the good news to Mr & Mrs Stott of Backworth, who said: “It’s a lovely surprise, it will really help towards Christmas.”

Handy hints In the last edition of Housing Matters, we asked you for your top tips to share with others. Here are a few of the best . . . • For removing ink stains on shirts or jeans, just soak in milk overnight and wash as normal the next day. • Clean the microwave by mixing 1/2 cup of white distilled vinegar and 1 /2 cup of water in a microwave-

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safe bowl. Bring it to a rolling boil inside the microwave. Baked-on food will be loosened, and odours will disappear. Wipe clean. • Unplug your chargers and transformers. Even when they’re not connected, phone chargers, digital camera leads and transformers for cordless tools are using electricity and burning energy if they’re plugged in at the wall.

1. Where was the first ice hotel built? Sweden or North America? 2. The lowest temperature ever recorded was at Vostok in Antarctica in 1983. What was it? -43C or -89C? 3. How many sides does a snowflake have? 4, 6 or 8? 4. The shortest day of the year is known as the Winter solstice. On what day is it? 5. Where are the 2010 Winter Olympics being held – Canada or California? 6. In the classic film, It’s a Wonderful Life, who played George Bailey (the lead male role)? 7. Which act was the Christmas Number 1 in 2000 – Bob the Builder or Cliff Richard?

Answers - Autumn quiz The winner of the last quiz was Margaret Scott of North Shields. The answers were 1.The Rovers Return, 2. A tap, 3. St. Bartholomew’s and Forest Hall, 4. £15 million, 5.Yellow, 6. 140, 7. Copenhagen, 8. Bugs Bunny.


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Kids’ crossword Across 2

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Cultural calendar December December 12 - Hanukkah The Festival of Lights December 17 - 10th Tevet An important Jewish fast day. December 18 - Al-Hijira Islamic New Year. Marks the migration of the Prophet Mohammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina December 25 - Christmas Day The celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. December 27 - Ashura Islamic holy day. Shi’ite Muslims regard it as a major festival marking the martyrdom of the Prophet’s grandson, Hussein.

January January 1 - New Year’s Day The start of the Western calendar year January 6 - Epiphany Celebrates the visit of the wise men to Jesus. January 14 - Makar Sankrant One of the most important festivals of

the Hindu calendar. It celebrates the sun’s journey into the northern hemisphere. January 27 - National Holocaust Memorial Day The date was chosen as the anniversary of the liberation of the AuschwitzBirkenau concentration camp.

marking the time Jesus spent in the wilderness. February 26 - Milad un Nabi Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. February 28 - Holi The Hindu spring festival.

February

March 2 - Nineteen Day Fast During this period, Baha’is go without food or drink from sunrise to sunset. March 5 - Women’s World Day of Prayer March 14 - Mothering Sunday Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent. March 28 - Palm Sunday The sixth and last Sunday of Lent marks the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. March 30 - Passover Jews commemorate the liberation of the Children of Israel who were led out of Egypt by Moses. March 30 - Theravada New Year New Year festival for Theravada Buddhists, celebrated for three days from the first full moon day in April.

February 8 - Parinirvana Mahayana Buddhist festival marking the anniversary of Buddha’s death. February 14 - Chinese New Year February 15 - Lent The start of the “Great Lent” for Christians.This day is called Clean Monday and occurs seven weeks before Easter. February 16 - Shrove Tuesday The British name of “Pancake Day” comes from the tradition of making pancakes to use up all the food that could not be eaten during Lent. February 17 - Ash Wednesday The first day of Lent for Western Christian churches. Lent is the season

March

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HM Winter 2009