iNSIDE C O N T O U R
in this issueâ€Ś Smoking
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iNSIDE C O N T O U R
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contents Contour News
Area Teams and Respect First of all thanks to everyone who sent in their responses to the last edition’s questionnaire. There were some really great comments. As you can see we’ve adapted the magazine once more to what you’ve said and provided much more feedback from each Area Team. Antisocial behaviour (ASB) was a key issue you wanted information on in our survey so this issue focuses on our approach to the Respect Agenda and dealing with ASB. Following on from the example of Coldhurst Residents in the last edition, responding to the Respect Agenda is brilliantly demonstrated by Kelton Park’s ‘Taking a Stand Award’ covered on page 10.
Updates from Area Teams
We hope you enjoy this edition and if you’ve got any stories or events that you’d like to add in future editions we’d be delighted to receive them. The deadline date for articles for the next issue is the end of August.
Stop Press! We’re running FREE newsletter training sessions for residents. If you’re interested in learning the tricks of the trade, see information on page 23. We look forward to seeing you.
l e n a p l a i r o t i Ed Email:
0845 602 1120
Editorial Panel, Contour Homes
Freepost RPAU-JBLE-CUJX, Quay Plaza 2 1st Floor – Lowry Mall, Salford Quays, Salford M50 3AH
“ ! a h A , u o y g n i w o n K e m g n i w o n K “ As Alan Partridge might say!!!
No Smoke Without Fire On the 1st July a new law comes into force that makes virtually all public spaces and work places smoke free. A lot of people know that pubs and restaurants will be going smoke-free but
Although Contour was only formed 3 and a bit years ago,
the law actually covers all workplaces
many of you have lived in your homes for over 20 years.
and puts a duty on organisations to
This is because Contour was formed by merging two
protect customers and staff from the
Housing Associations that were over 25 years old.
effects of smoke.
This means that some of our records are out of date.
At Contour we are introducing a new
We need to know about you so that we can make sure that
policy to ensure that we comply with the legislation.
we deliver services that are tailored to meet your needs.
The policy will come into force on 1st July and the following
So later this year we will be sending you a form that will
principles will apply:
ask about people in your household, ages, ethnic origin, whether you have a disability and so on. We will be using some brilliant technology that will allow us to scan your returned form directly onto our computer system and hey presto we will have much more accurate data! Forms will be sent out to all residents in the next few weeks. We will send out the form every year so that we can keep things updated.
• Contour staff and contractors are not allowed to smoke whilst on duty and smoking breaks are not permitted. • Smoking around entrances to our offices will not be allowed. This includes car parks, pathways near offices, entrances to buildings and fire exits. • You are free to continue to smoke in the comfort of your own home however if we visit we ask you not to smoke whilst we are in your home. We recognise that this is a big change for a lot of people but we hope that you will co-operate with us to ensure that we uphold the law. In order to help raise awareness of the new law we will be putting up ‘No Smoking’ signs in all our offices, in communal areas and in our company vehicles.
Business Plan New Assured Tenancy Agreements Every year Contour Homes produces a plan to help us
complicated history of Contour we have a variety of
focus our efforts and make improvements to the services
tenancy agreements in use. We are aiming to develop a
new Assured Tenancy Agreement for all new tenants.
This year’s plan was approved by Contour Homes Board in May and is divided into three sections: • Effective and Efficient Services
We will be encouraging all existing Assured Tenants to • Decent Homes and Decent Neighbourhoods
One Call = Job Done In the last issue of iNside we reported
responsible for delivering the
We have also recruited two new
that a conference had been held to
improvements. It will be monitored at
surveyors on a temporary basis.
bring together contractors, Contour
the Contractors’ Forum which meets
They will be carrying out checks on
staff and tenants to discuss improving
every month and is attended by all
repairs completed by our contractors
our repairs service.
our contractors, senior staff and
to check that you are happy with the
We have taken all the ideas generated
standard and quality of the work
at the conference and put them into an
It will also be monitored by our Day to
Action Plan. If you would like a copy of
Day Repairs iN Panel. If you would like
We know that for most of you day to
to join this panel please call the
day repairs is the most important
Customer Service Centre. The Action Plan is 10 pages long (we came up
• Quality of work instructions • Communication
Customer Service Centre and ask to be put through to Rebecca Day.
The plan contains a number of actions and includes the
Please note that if you have a Secure Tenancy Agreement
introduction of new tenancy agreements. Because of the
with us then your agreement will not change.
doing and we use this feedback to We have had a few changes in staff
help us manage our contractors and
recently and we have recruited Steve
improve our service. If you have any
Partner who is now responsible for
comments to make, good or bad, about our repairs service why not
service. Steve has nearly 30 years
drop us an e-mail:
experience of running repairs contracts
The Action Plan gives timescales for
so we are very pleased to have him
telephone the Customer Service
the improvements and sets out who is
working for us.
Centre on 0845 6021120.
new Assured Tenancy Agreements over the summer.
to receive feedback on how we are
managing the day to day repairs
• Doing More for More People.
service we deliver. We are always keen
• Ownership of jobs
sign up to the new one as well. We plan to introduce the
with lots of really good ideas!) and is divided into sections dealing with:
tenancy agreement is completely up to date with recent legislation.
the Action Plan please call the
The main reason for this is to make sure that our
… t c e p s e R The Respect Standard The Government has produced a Respect Standard for Housing Management which sets out clear expectations for social landlords. Landlords are asked to sign up and show a public commitment that they wish to help deliver a culture of Respect. We are committed to signing up to the Standard in as many areas as possible.
What’s Respect about?
Children from Callon, Preston learn respect with Callon Kids Community Club
The Respect drive is the Government’s strategy to tackle bad behaviour and to nurture good behaviour. We all have a role to play in this and at Contour we want to help create a modern culture of respect. We want the communities where we work to rarely suffer
The 6 commitments
from antisocial behaviour and where there are problems they are tackled effectively and swiftly. We know we can
There are six commitments in the Standard:
not do this alone and that we need the support and assistance of all agencies to create communities that live
1. Accountability, leadership and commitment
in peace together. It’s not however about going back to
This means that landlords should be doing all they can to
the past or returning to the days of ‘knowing your place’.
create a culture of respect. We aim to ensure that everyone in the organisation understands what it will take to make a positive difference.
How you can help promote Respect: • Write an article for your local group about promoting culture of Respect in your neighbourhood. • Organise a community event to encourage your neighbours to get involved in promoting Respect. • Organise a community led clean up of your estate or local park. Ask other services to work with you. • Include Respect as an agenda item for your next Residents' meeting.
2. Empowering and reassuring residents Nobody knows better than the community what it wants
4. Tailored services for residents and provision of support for victims and witnesses. We know that making the first move to complain is difficult and stressful. We hope to make it as easy as possible for people to report issues to us in confidence and with the knowledge that they will receive ongoing support whilst the case is progressing. 5. Protecting communities through swift enforcement There are a wide range of tools available to deal with
and needs. We aim to communicate regularly with all our
antisocial behaviour. We will use these where appropriate
residents using a number of methods including meetings,
to protect communities quickly.
newsletters and leaflets. 6. Support to tackle the causes of antisocial behaviour. 3. Prevention and early intervention
We will always take action to protect those who are
It is better to deal with problems at an early stage, or even
experiencing these problems. However, we also need to
better, stop them occurring in the first place. All new
deal with problems in the long term. Support programmes
tenants will be informed of our expectations regarding their
can often help to alter people’s behaviour for the better
behaviour when they are given the keys. Problems will be
and get them to recognise the affect their poor behaviour
dealt with efficiently and effectively.
has on other people’s lives.
Residents Rewarded By Government For Standing Up To A ntisocial Behaviour Residents from Contour Homes’
Park who refused to just give in and
The residents set up their own ‘support
“The residents at Kelton Park are to
has been installed at the Liverpool
Kelton Park Estate in Aigburth,
accept antisocial behaviour.”
and report’ group which meant that
be applauded for their hard work,
office. The post box is a great
every incident was reported to the
commitment and persistence,” said
symbol of how everyone has really
area with the odd antisocial behaviour
police and residents supported each
Eddie Vickers, Area Manager.
thought about tackling ASB in the
incident. However, on New Year’s Eve
other in their stand against the hooligans.
An important part of the work has
area. It’s been deliberately placed
last year the estate found itself being
Their persistence paid off when they
been the ‘soft’ approach to policing.
in a place where residents can’t be
targeted by youths who were causing
successfully applied to have Kelton
PCSO, Karen Sherman explains,
spotted whether they’re using the
Resident Association Chair, Marjorie
significant vandalism and residents,
Park included in a Section 30 dispersal
“The idea of the beat is to build
Contour suggestion box or the
Atherton, accepted her award and a
particularly the elderly, felt afraid to
order. Section 30 of the Antisocial
community relationships. Kids get to
Police post box. It also allows
cheque for £1000 to spend on further
leave their homes.
Behaviour Act 2003, provides the Police
know you on a friendly basis and it
people to post something without
We provided advice and support by
with powers to disperse groups of two
dispels illusions that you are there to
fear of being singled out, which
hosting Police surgeries.
or more persons and to return young
tell them off all the time. It becomes
could be the case if a Police
Police Community Support Officer
people under 16 who are unsupervised
easier to reason with them.”
officer was to be seen visiting
(PCSO), Karen Sherman and Police
and behaving in an antisocial manner in
Other important ongoing pieces of
“When we found out we had won this
Officer, Zoe Shuttleworth were a key
public places after 9pm to their homes.
this work are the Police surgeries
All in all some fantastic teamwork.
award we were all over the moon,” said
part in helping the residents deal with
If they return to the same place within
and the confidential reporting
Well done everyone at Kelton Park
Marjorie. “This is for everyone at Kelton
24 hours they can be arrested.
Police postbox (pictured) which
and the local Police.
Liverpool, have just been recognised for their efforts in tackling antisocial behaviour and working to create safer communities at a special awards ceremony in Birmingham.
community work from Joe Tuke, Director of the Respect Taskforce, on behalf of her friends, neighbours and resident group.
Kelton Park had been a quiet residential
Av enQuest, Preston
AvenQuest ASB Action Line In an attempt to combat acts of antisocial behaviour,
Callon Kids ABLAZE in Preston Caribbean Carnival
AvenQuest staff have been working closely with the Police
and local residents to develop an ASB Action Line which is to
The CKCC is a highly successful volunteer led youth
be run direct from the AvenQuest Office.
group which Colin Makinson of Contour Homes founded
The action line will enable residents to contact the AvenQuest
and continues to co-ordinate. ABLAZE is another local
office and leave a message in connection to any antisocial
youth group who work closely with the CKCC on local events and projects. This year the theme for the
behaviour issues they
now have a desk in
are concerned with or
Office from which
‘Free as a Bird’. A fabulous day was had by all and the
Messages can be left
they hold Police surgeries.
costumes looked amazing.
anonymously but if the caller would like to discuss the matter
procession focussed on freedom and the abolition of slavery. The theme of the CKCC and ABLAZE float was
Local residents are now able to drop into the
Preston Carnival is arguably Preston’s most diverse event
office and have a chat with an Officer in
attracting around 20,000 participants. It is a wonderful
opportunity to bring together social, ethnic, cultural and
further they can leave
geographic groups who would otherwise never meet. It is a
their name and
Residents can discuss any issues of concern with
number and a
local Police Officers. The Officer may also be able to
member of staff will
raise the concerns at the monthly Police and
local young people from the many communities which
contact them to
Community Together (PACT) meeting to enable
make up Preston City. This year the event took place on
obtain more details.
the issue to be open for a full discussion with
Sunday 27th May and was yet again a huge success.
This year the Callon Kids Community Club (CKCC) worked
platform for anyone who wishes to promote the essence of all that is positive about Caribbean Carnival and in particular
together with ABLAZE to enter a float in the procession.
Community work to BRAG about… My name is Adam
engage both children and adults in fun educational activities.
The main purpose of the project is to provide a range of
For young people the Dream Scheme develops:
Wadie. I am twelve
Throughout the year, the committee of BRAG seek funding
activities and support in the community to meet the needs of
• Sense of responsibility
years old. I have
for such events. On the 24th February 2007, BRAG
children, young people and the families that live there.
been living on
organised a pot planting and recycling awareness event
The scheme works by children and young people earning
with help from Groundwork. All who took part enjoyed
points by doing a variety of mini projects which can be spent
themselves as they planted brightly sprayed heathers and
on trips. Work projects could be around the environment
completed a recycling booklet and quiz. Everyone received a
(clearing rubbish, gardening), social and creative (baking,
I am the Youth
goody bag filled with treats and recycled stationery. Now the
visiting the elderly, fund raising) and finally personal
summer is on its way we are looking forward to more
development (healthy eating, first aid)
Secretary for Bow
activities and events and hope that more tenants participate.
Lane And Maple Crescent Residents Action Group (BRAG).
Adam Wadie, Aged 12yrs
The aim of BRAG is to develop community cohesion and to
(Resident of Maple Crescent, Preston).
Why not get involved with The Dream Scheme in Pentwortham? (personal and community) • New skills • Team work • Helping others • Social skills • Understanding the principle of working to earn. If you live in the Pentwortham area and would like more information please contact:
The points earned can be used to attend organised trips
Suzanne Simpson, South Ribble Council.
which include swimming, theme parks, cinema, horse riding
Tel: 01772 625377 or
and outdoor activities to name just a few.
Rivers, Bury & Blackburn
Focus on: The Income Management Team at Bolton
Rivers’ Garden Club The photograph shows some members of the Rivers’
A Bolton family are celebrating after Contour installed an
Garden Club which meets every Tuesday morning
innovative solution to their problems. Kelly Slater and her family,
from 10am til 12 noon in St. Michael’s old church hall
who live in Hypatia Street, had suffered years of sleepless nights
on Ribble Drive. They have been learning about and
as her son, Rhys, suffers from severe autism. Rhys needs
preparing hanging baskets.
constant caring and for many years has only slept for 3-4 hours per night.
Contour have helped
The HEART Committee continues to meet and work
install a “Safespace” in
on behalf of all residents and tenants of the Rivers
Rhys’ bedroom. This
From left to right: Harry Creegan with Alan Cooper standing behind him, Community Warden Lois Rickerby, crouching is Jackie Ashworth, Joan Lund, Tutor Janice Wright, Dot
looks like a sturdy tent
HEART has managed to secure over £23,000 of funding
secured to the walls
for the benefit of the estate. HEART have worked closely
and ceiling and gives
with Rose De (Bury MBC Area Co-ordinator for
a safe environment in
Whitefield and Unsworth) and Karen Vickers (Contour
which Rhys can sleep
Housing Regeneration and Funding Co-ordinator).’
and play. For the first
Jeffries, Hilda Creegan, Anne Smith and Fabiola Taylor
The money obtained is as follows:
time, both Rhys and £7,000 from the Local Network Fund to provide
Rachel, Dave, Sandra
Bolton’s Income Management Team work hard to help
residents who are in rent arrears and have extensive
has attracted a lot of
£6,600 was obtained from Cleaner, Greener, Safer
knowledge of the range of benefits available.
attention as it is the first one installed in the Bolton area.
Fund to provide the footpath across Boz Park linking
Rockliffe Street, Blackburn
Broadhead Walk and Croal Walk with Tonge Close.
The general let stock on
£8,000 has been granted from ‘Awards For All’ which
Rockliffe Street comprises
is part of The Big Lottery. This money is for picnic
of Yates Fold, Cobourg Close, Honeyhole and Smalley Way.
tables, benches and dog poo bins.
Recently it has been identified by Karen Vickers, Funding
£1,550 from the Community Development Fund to
and Regeneration Co-ordinator, that the Rockcliffe Street
fund the Garden Learning Course.
region is in an area that can attract several types of funding
Kelly can get a full
multi-sports activities during school holidays for the over sevens.
The Income Management Team has been through a number of changes in the past year and has seen some new faces come to the team.
Last year, Dave Hogan joined us from St Vincents
Starting out on your
Housing Association. Dave works with our longest
first tenancy can be
serving member of the Income Management Team,
a costly affair.
Graham Henshaw, working with residents in North
Now thanks to a
Bolton, covering Halliwell, Breightmet, Ladybridge
Rachel Boardman and Sandra Eden cover the South Bolton region. Both Rachel and Sandra have worked for Contour for a number of years although both are new to the Bolton office. Rachel has spent the last three years working at the Leyland office delivering a full range of housing management services to approximately 200 residents. Sandra will also be well known to many residents having previously worked at Salford, Middleton and Rivers.
Eric Riley, HEART Chair said, ‘We have been very busy and successful. We would still like more tenants and residents to be involved with HEART and any
Rockliffe Street Residents
sources. This means that projects put forward by a community group or residents’ association are more likely to secure money than if based in another area.
volunteers will be
This is a very exciting time for residents on Rockcliffe Street,
three of our residents are particularly pro-active with at least
welcome. If anyone
10 people already registering an interest in setting up a
in Bolton can
has any suggestions
residents’ association with Contour representatives.
benefit from a new
as to how our estate
The main object of meetings currently between Lesley Riley
Furnished Tenancy Scheme. For just £15 per week (which
can be improved,
(Housing Management Officer), Nicola Kearsley (Assistant
is covered by Housing Benefit), Bolton Community Homes
please inform any of
Housing Officer) , Rebecca Day (Resident Involvement
will provide carpets, beds, living room and kitchen
furniture. For further details, please contact the Bolton
members or myself.’
Office 0845 602 1120 or firstname.lastname@example.org
New Members Always Welcome - Tel: 0161 766 8385.
Community Homes, residents
Co-ordinator) and Karen Vickers (Funding & Regeneration Eric Riley, Chair of HEART
Co-ordinator) is to identify what it is that residents want from the estate, and how it can be improved. For further details contact Lesley Riley on 0845 6021120
Middleton, Rochdale & Oldham Shelter Inclusion Project/Family Intervention Project (FIP) April saw the launch of the Rochdale Families Project provided by Shelter. The scheme aims to provide intensive support for families with a high level of antisocial behaviour. It aims to address the root causes of the behaviour based on a multi-agency approach for families with complex needs. The main referral criteria are: • There must be children between the ages of 0 and 16 in the household
Communication at Coldhurst
Avenues and Hollins, Oldham
Philosophy for children for adults The exceptionally successful
experienced in facilitating
‘Philosophy for Children’ reported in
the last issue of iNside has been
The group discussed issues relating to
extended to local residents groups.
their communities. Topics of
magazine), the Middleton Office team submitted a bid
The Clarkwell Community Partnership
discussion included youth issues,
for funding for the provision of three notice boards
Group and the Avenues and Hollins
noise nuisance, rubbish and ASB.
Tenants and Residents Association
Members of the Clarkwell Group also
met on 16th April at Clarkwell Tenants’
provided a buffet of traditional Asian
Hall in Coldhurst. The meeting was
cuisine which went down very well.
We are pleased to report the funding request was
chaired by Lynne Thorne from
The tenants and residents from both
to the Avenues and Hollins estate once
successful and the new boards are now in place.
Limeside Primary School who is
groups enjoyed the event so much that
the Tenant’s Hall has been completed.
Following the extensive effort put in by the Coldhurst Hall Residents Association and Contour, (see Spring
as a centre of community communication for residents.
the tenants of Clarkwell have been invited
• Families must agree to the referral
Contour Goes Green!!!
• Families must be at a real risk of having a sanction imposed like eviction or imprisonment In Rochdale, Shelter also runs the Inclusion Project. This service is for people accused of antisocial behaviour. It is a
Limeside Park is located in
gave people the opportunity to plant their own seeds and
the centre of the Avenues
take them home.
and Hollins estate. The
free service including support on parenting, housing advice,
park was susceptible to
help with debts, help to change behaviour. This offers a
drainage problems, which
lower level of support than the FIP. It aims to help people
meant it could not be used
remain in their homes rather than lose their tenancy and is
to its full potential, leaving
open to those with or without children. If you have received
the local community
a warning letter about the behaviour of you and/or your
frustrated at the lack of
family and had complaints made about you, you may wish
recreational amenities and facilities in the area.
to seek support from this service. The contact number is
Contour worked closely with the community and was
successful in obtaining SRB money (government funding) to
Shanine Meadowcroft, Community Development Worker, at Contour and John Walsh, Community Caretaker, are always on hand to talk to you about any ideas you may have regarding future community projects in the Hollinwood area on 0845 802 1120 or Shanine.email@example.com
drain the park. The works were recently completed and
Respect Agenda Day In March this year, a Respect Agenda Launch Day was held
Funding has been secured to provide security
on Langley estate in Rochdale. This was to raise awareness
fencing around the car park area close to Wren
of the Government’s ‘Respect Agenda’ with local residents.
Gardens, providing peace of mind to local residents.
The event was organised by Bowlee Park Housing in
In recent months the area had become a hot spot for
conjunction with a number
antisocial behaviour for local youths. The area has now been secured with the provision of metal fencing but still allows access to tenants and gardeners.
of other agencies. The message being delivered to the community was about promoting a culture
community events are already being planned for the summer. Contour has had a stall at Oldham Carnival on 23rd June 2007, displaying the work which has taken place on Limeside Park. We also ran a pottery taster session, which
Environmental Walkabout Terry Gavan, Deputy Area Manager at
attention such as broken glass and litter,
Avenues, hosted an estate walkabout on
pot holes, blocked gully grids, graffiti,
29th May 2007. The walk was attended by
broken signs and rubbish bins.
Councillor Jean Stretton and representatives of our Local Authority
of respect, showing
partners, Parks and Open Spaces, Street
consideration for others
Scene and Highways.
as well as tolerance and acceptance.
The areas for attention were agreed between the group and responsibility for each issue and timescales for completion of tasks were drawn up. It was agreed
Contour Homes’ continuous
The group made an inspection of the
that the walkabout will take place every
improvement programme to make your
area, noting items that required repair or
two months. Terry added, ‘This is part of
area a safer, cleaner, greener place to live.
Manchester, Trafford & Salford
Stockport, Handforth & Liverpool
Hi from the Salford Team at Contour
Stockport Contour Signs up to Respect!
This is our first attempt at a page dedicated to what’s going on
in our neighbourhoods. We thought we’d start off by
everything in Trafford
introducing ourselves to you. The names and the faces are well
except Ridgeway Park.
landlords. By signing up to the Standard Contour are making a public commitment to delivering good services to help stop antisocial behaviour and create a culture of respect.
known across Salford, Manchester & Trafford.
Paul Charnock will be
Strength in numbers
We have our Income Management Team, Anne McGrath & Hazel Waddington. They monitor rent accounts and help people deal with benefit problems. They have the difficult task of balancing our firm but fair approach to collecting rent and
managing all the
The Standard is extremely stringent and at Contour we
properties in the Lower Broughton
Members of the Stockport Housing Partnership, which includes Contour have signed up to the Government’s Respect Standard for Housing Management. The Standard is aimed at Housing Associations and Local Authority
Regeneration area. They deal with letting
service charges. All the other services covered by our team are dealt with by Tariq, Paul, Abi & Pearl. Abi Williams and Pearl Hickman will be responsible for all properties in Salford along with Ridgeway Park in Timperley. Tariq Juliani is responsible for all properties in
properties, nuisance cases and tenancy
management. These people are the ones
Hazel and Anne
that you probably have the most contact with. You’ll have seen them undertaking scheme inspections, at resident meetings and generally out
recognise we cannot do this alone. By working together with the other members of the Stockport Housing Partnership we will be able to pool our resources, share good practice and work together to deal with the issues which affect our residents.
and local councillors. The meetings are chaired by residents.
A Spath Lane Community Partnership has been established. The purpose of this Partnership is for the local community to identify and set priorities for their neighbourhood. There are a number of different agencies involved, including the Police
The second meeting was held on the 17th May, where the terms of reference were agreed. Membership is already expanding with Groundwork and the Fire Service confirming their attendance for the next meeting.
and about at your scheme. I’ve sneaked my way into the picture as well. They had to put me somewhere. I’m Taranjit Dosanjh, the Area Manager and have overall responsibility for the services Contour deliver to you. We hope to use this newsletter to keep you up to date on what’s going on in the team.
Paul, Abi, Pearl, Tariq and Taranjit
Leave Contour with £100 Residents who leave their properties in Stockport, Tameside, Merseyside and Cheshire will be offered an incentive of £100 if they assist staff with a scheme to reduce the times that a property is left vacant after they move out. It is in all of our interests to reduce the
Full marks for new car park
number of empty of properties we have. Empty properties can blight areas and
improvement and creates lots of space. The contractors
parking spaces thanks to successful consultation between
worked really hard and well and we have got to give them
their residents committee and Contour’s Technical
full marks. The car park has been transformed without any
We are now encouraging tenants to let
problems and on time.”
our contractors carry out any necessary their keys at the end of their four week notice period. If they allow us to do this
Landscapes Ltd. Works involved the removal of carefully
and leave their property clean and
selected areas of grass verges to limit the impact upon
tidy they will be given £100 as a
existing landscaping and protect all trees within the grounds.
The project was funded from the scheme improvement
Early indications are that this is proving
monies. The works were well received by the Committee. Mr Jim Chadwick, who is a resident and also Chair of the Tenant Liaison Group commented, “The car park is a big
to move in to our properties urgently.
work to their property before they return
to 16 spaces by Contour’s contractor, Groundwork
Jim Chadwick with Contours Andrea Kuvikova and Dan Thomson
On 16th May, a scheme inspection was held on the Spath Lane estate in Handforth. We were delighted at the turnout of 30 people. The contract gardeners and Macclesfield Borough Council were among them. The multi-agency approach proved really effective and things are already being actioned. We are in the process of feeding back to all residents involved. The Police and Fire Service have already confirmed their attendance at future inspections. In addition to this, we held a scheme inspection on 22nd May at Knowle Park in Handforth which was deemed a success by all. Further inspections will be held at other schemes throughout September 2007.
very often we have applicants who need
Residents at Eden Court, Burnage are enjoying 10 extra
The main parking bays at the scheme were extended from 6
a success and if this proves to be the case we will be introducing this scheme across all of our properties.
Antisocial Behaviour The housing team have been working relentlessly over the past few months to address a number of difficult antisocial behaviour cases and the hard work has started to pay off. Within the last month we obtained a ‘Without Notice Injunction’ with the Power of Arrest attached. The resident in question was creating noise nuisance and was verbally aggressive to a number of residents. Since the Injunction has been in force the problems have settled down. The team are still in constant communication with neighbours to ensure the case is continually monitored.
Supported & Sheltered Housing Supported Housing Hello from Contour’s Supported Housing Team. We are based at Quay Plaza in Salford.
rent account on 31 March 2007 were entered into a
How your Feedback has Improved Services
prize draw to win £75. The 3 lucky winners are:
Your Feedback, Contour’s Response…
Prize Draw Winner! The Supported Housing Team ran a campaign earlier this year to provide an incentive for tenants to keep a clear rent account. All the tenants who had a clear
The team consists of: • Chris Langan - Head of Service. • Gill Long - Supported Housing Manager
Miss Brougham of Melbourne Court, Mr Tighe of
The Supported Housing Management Officers are:
At Contour Homes there are a variety of ways for you to provide feedback on
Thirlmere Mews and a gentleman of Richmond
the services you receive from us. We have a Menu of Opportunities that
• Gill Dignan who manages the properties
Avenue. Each person wins £75.
contains all the ways to ‘get involved’ and ‘have your say’. This ranges from
service review iN Panels (makes improvements to each service), residents
• Margaret O‘Donnell who manages Bolton & Manchester.
The Resident Involvement Team at Contour also has a Consultation Guidance
• Mohsna Dawson who manages the Salford and
Procedure for all staff. This encourages staff to consult with residents and get
their view on work that is being developed like ways of providing a service to
• Wendy Gamet manages properties in Tameside
residents and the policies and procedures that help to deliver them.
and Hyndburn & Ribble Valley.
Please see below for feedback on how we have responded to your
• Tracy Bourke - Supported Housing Administrator
views on services.
• Gail Rastelli – Extra Care Scheme Manager – Melbourne Court, Stalybridge • Debra Cowburn – Extra Care Scheme Manager – St Margaret’s Court, Blackburn
For many years, the Residents at Greenfield Court had
Our aim is to provide high quality homes which meet
wanted a meeting place on site, so when the Scheme
the specific requirements of residents with a
Manager Richard Harris approached Contour about taking
responsive housing management and maintenance
up the option to live off site, the Sheltered Team did a full
service. At each of our schemes residents receive
consultation with the Residents about the possibility of
support services which are provided either by our own
turning an existing flat into an office for the Scheme
staff or via partnership arrangements with statutory
Manager and a meeting room for the Residents.
and voluntary agencies. Following the consultation, and after a lot of hard work by all As well as providing extra care housing for frail older
involved, the meeting room was officially opened by the
people we also have a number of registered care
family of late Mrs Marchment, on 2nd February 2007 and
homes. Our supported housing also provides
named the “Marchment Suite” after Mrs Marchment, the last
accommodation for people with a wide range of needs
tenant to occupy the old flat. The intention is the
and disabilities ranging from people with learning
“Marchment Suite” will be used by the residents for
disabilities, mental health issues, physical disabilities,
meetings, activities and small functions.
ex-offenders, women fleeing domestic violence, people with alcohol issues and young people. Some
This request to move off site fits with Contour’s policy of
of our schemes have intensively managed twenty-four
moving to non resident scheme managers. When resident
hour care and support in small group environments for
scheme managers leave, we are replacing them with
residents with high level needs whilst others have low
non-resident members of staff. This makes the post less
level support tailored to the individuals need.
restrictive to the number of people who are prepared to
Over recent years our provision of supported housing has increased significantly, and we currently have in excess of 780 supported places spanning across
apply for Scheme Manager jobs as they now do not need to leave their existing accommodation. Moving to a non-resident service can offer savings for tenants as well. We at Contour would like to wish everyone at Greenfield the
fourteen local authority areas.
best of luck with this new phase in the Schemes history.
groups to the Residents Conference.
1. You said it was taking too long to get your call answered when telephoning Contour
Customer Service Centre
We increased staffing within the Customer Service Centre, which has reduced waiting times considerably.
2. You said it was difficult to resolve your query when calling Contour.
Customer Service Centre
We are currently working on plans to introduce a new telephone answering system called Auto attendant within the call centre. This will provide callers with various options about who they would like to be put through to depending on their query using their telephone key pad. Each option will have different staff attached to it which will have specialist knowledge and training within that area e.g repairs, lettings, rents etc. Residents have also assisted with the development of the system.
3. You said that you were not happy with the standard of repairs completed
Day to day repairs service
We have recruited 2 surveyors to inspect a percentage of completed repairs to make sure they are carried out in a satisfactory way by contractors.
4. You said that you were generally unhappy with the Contour day to day repairs service
Day to day repairs service
We have recruited a new head of service for the day to day repairs, Steve Partner along with a head of service, Graham Home, for major works (programmed maintenance). Appointment of new staff will increase focus on particular service areas and making improvements.
5. Sheltered housing tenants told us they were unhappy with the warden call service that was provided. Many schemes were not covered when scheme managers were off ill or on holiday.
We have radically increased the amount of schemes that are covered by the warden call system.
6. Sheltered housing tenants told us they were not satisfied with the standard of gardening and window cleaning services on their schemes.
We have reviewed the way we award, manage and monitor service contracts in these service areas. New contract management arrangements will be in place from October 2007 and will be linked to scheme inspections.
7. You said you were concerned with the way service charges were calculated as they varied amongst schemes and were not sure if it represented value for money.
We have employed a project officer to review the service charge process. This will cover how we procure and manage service contracts, how we consult with residents and the quality of information we provide you with about your service charge. A working group of residents has been set up to assist with reviewing the procedures. Also as indicated in the last magazine residents will be involved in the interview selection process of contractors for gardening, window cleaning and cleaning services.
t n e m e v l o v n i t n reside
Training and iN Panels
Free Training! Become a Journalistic Dynamo
Lead the housing world and join the debate in the comfort of your own home!
Want to write articles for the Contour iNside Magazine or a
consultation and make friends with other people across the
Income Management Needs You
North West without leaving the comfort of your own home.
The Income Management iN Panel looks at a whole host
There are currently 6 categories which you can create
of issues in relation to the collection of rent by Contour
topics for and post replies:
Homes, Rivers and AvenQuest.
4. Writing in plain English
• Consultation – Everything which is currently undergoing
Income Management is a core function for Contour.
5. Identifying picture opportunities
consultation is in here - have a look, have a comment and
The rent money collected from tenants pays for all the
6. Making newsletters visually appealing and eye catching
make a difference.
services, repairs and improvement that tenants receive. If
Having recently launched our new website we have also launched a discussion forum. We’ve checked out other housing group websites and we’re convinced we’re one of the first to provide this service for customers. This allows you as a resident to openly talk with other residents, share views, swap ideas, give us your feedback, view current
• Readers’ Panel – Forum for residents involved with the Readers' Panel • Everything but the kitchen sink – All other topics you'd like to discuss that aren't covered elsewhere • Swap Shop – Swap ideas and thoughts for community and resident groups • Bake your own – Submit your own news, articles and stories for our customer magazine - we'll put the best stories into our final printed copy • Rate your own - Rate up and coming stories for Contour's customer magazine and make a difference to what appears in the final printed version To add comments you’ll need to sign up by clicking the ‘register’ link at the top of the
page and then log in each time you come back to post. Everyone can see all the comments posted whether they’ve logged in or not.
newsletter in your local area but not sure where to start? Learn the secrets on the Free Resident Newsletter Training Day being run on Friday 26th October 2007, at Contour Head Office, Salford Quays, 10.30am till 4.00pm The course will cover the following areas: 1. Understanding your audience 2. Planning your newsletter 3. Structuring stories
If you are interested in attending please contact Rebecca
money is not collected, this can impact on things like
Frost, Resident Involvement Officer, for more details
improvements and of business like programmed works and
on 0845 602 1120 or e-mail
estate services or improvements. Tenants input into this
area helps us to shape our processes to be more effective. These procedures include methods of collection, court action and evictions. As well as the collection, Contour, Rivers and AvenQuest
We envisage that this is an important place for feedback but
are also committed to assisting on delivering on the
don’t worry it’s not a replacement for our other involvement
Governments new Financial Inclusion agenda. This aims to
channels such as the reading groups, conferences or
ensure that people have access to affordable credit, a bank
standard feedback like a letter or phone call.
account and face to face financial advice, as well as
The forum address is as follows:
opportunities for savings. You can influence our strategies in
these areas through the iN Panel.
You can access the link through the resident involvement
If you are interested in becoming involved in the group at
webpages on our website, www.contourhousing.co.uk
any level and would like to know more, there will be an evening iN Panel meeting for potential new members on
We look forward to meeting you online!
Wednesday 18th July 2007 starting at 6:30pm, St Michaels New Church, Ribble Drive, Whitefield, Manchester, M45 8NJ. To book a place or for more information please contact Liz Turner, Area Manager on 0845 602 1120 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Get healthy, get fruity and CHILL this summer! We’re always enthusiastic to work with local communities and businesses, so this edition’s recipe comes from Morecambe’s coolest (and healthiest)
local smoothie, juice and coffee bar CHILL. Both of these are very easy to make, fantastically healthy for you and aren’t terribly expensive. If you find you make way too much you can just throw it in the freezer and keep it for another day. Tracey, owner of CHILL, has gone through 300 different recipes over the past two years to cut them down to her current selection of almost 30 fantastic
smoothies and juice cocktails, “all of the fruits can have a different positive effect for your body. Across the board though these can help improve your skin, hair, fingernails and digestion.”
A California Smoothie Ingredients
Health is a key approach of the bar and CHILL will
• A cup of strawberries
be shortly offering up a range of ‘superfoods’ such
• A cup of orange juice (200ml)
as goji and acai berries, which have numerous
• Juice from half a lemon
health benefits. CHILL already sells the ‘superfood’,
• A cup of strawberry frozen yogurt/ice cream
wheatgrass in 30ml shots which is said to contain approximately 92 vitamins and nutrients and is the equivalent of eating 1½ kg (3.3lbs) of vegetables.
Guide to preparation • Place all the ingredients straight into a blender or similar and mix for 30 seconds to a minute.
All of the drinks can be adapted to manage a
• Pour into a glass
diabetic diet and many of the home baked cakes
are specially tailored for diabetic customers. CHILL caters for external events and lunches too. CHILL can be found on the Morecambe sea front almost opposite the famous Eric Morecambe statue.
Ingredients • A cup of chopped melon (Honeydew or Cantaloupe)
229 Marine Road Central,
• A cup of raspberries
Morecambe, LA4 4BQ
• Juice of half an apple = 1/4 of a cup of apple juice (Cox Orange
Tel: 01524 424 381 or
A Spotless Fruit Combo
Pippin or other juicy sweet type of apple)
Guide to preparation
• Exactly the same as for a California Smoothie.
Fun and Puzzles
Don’t hang around
get in bloom! Here are 10 tips to creating a fantastic hanging basket brought to you by Rivers Gardening Club. 1. Stand the basket on a large pot or bucket for support. 2. Place a liner in the basket. Examples include pre-formed liners such as foam, cardboard or fibre, sphagnum moss or re-cycled wool. 3. Line the basket with a 2cm (3/4 inch) layer of sphagnum moss. Place a piece of polythene over the moss. Place a saucer over the polythene. This will help to hold the liner in place and act as a reservoir for water. 4. Half fill the basket with moist potting compost and cut 3 – 5 slits in the polythene at compost surface level. Through each slit, push a trailing plant so that the roots rest on the compost and the top of the plant is beyond the moss layer. 5. Add more compost so that it is almost at the top of the
Feeling Fruity wordsearch Cut out and send in your completed wordsearch to us and you could win £50. Remember to include your name and address (and phone number if you have one). The address is: Paul Adamson, Contour Homes, Freepost RPAU-JBLE-CUJX, Quay Plaza 2, First Floor Lowry Mall, Salford Quays, Salford M50 3AH • Apple • Juneberry • Melon • Quince • Apricot • Kumquat • Orange • Rowan • Banana • Lemon • Papaya • Salak • Cherry • Lime • Pawpaw • Strawberry • Chokecherry
• Loquat • Peach • Tamarind • Grape • Lychee • Pear • Tangerine • Grapefruit • Mandarin • Pineapple • Guava • Mango • Plum • Hawthorn • Medlar • Pomegranate
M Y G N E E H C Y L J Z M K Z P M X L C X B G R B
X K T E N M P K P L U M N A M R K R C E D M T B P
N L K C G T B Q L O Q U A T N K X H G T M V Q N G
Q N R W H N B K N K P Z L N J G O N N K Z O L K R
N O L E M E A I T R B J V T R K O N N G Q G N T A
N G C F J T R R F X N T R A E K L X R F Q N G D P
C M J B P A B R O H F T L C D K D N I R A M A T E
W R W N D W Z P Y K C D H H Y J R E C N I U Q P F
Z V P N F T E N K V E E D G R E U G L W A F K T R
C H A B N T T G Z M R R Q K C N J N Q F R V C K U
R M E X Q M A J L R K D R F L I X Y E W R X A F I
K N P N F Y N K Y R X O L A M R Y T L B A W R U T
C B A P A P A Y A R W Z L P P E Z K V B E P K B G
X A R T Z W R K H A J D X R W G R L Z V Y R W Q T
W N G V Z T G R N B W M Z I M N K L S Q J T R A R
V A M L N H E W K E H R K C F A R T R M P L T Y P
X N B Y B N M E L P P A T O H T R L T N N D Z L X
R A W T C M O P Q K H K R T A A M L I M E Y W R R
J A R T K J P R U K C M P R W F P C K V W H K T T
M L E Z J A M M G J Z P Z B T Z W L L Z C X T M W
K V L P E K Q K W Z T D E J H P X Y P A Q K R L Q
N R G N G U K M W W T R W X O W L R E H B A G Y T
K T I Q A L L B D X R X D X R L T P Y Q N L X H N
V P Q T K L F H R Y N T T P N P Q T M T N A R W M
Q B X D J K M X T G N N M Z R C J M R W N S T P B
basket. Press down gently to compact the compost this helps retain vital water for the plants.
Spot the difference for kids – Rivers Gardening club
6. Plant a taller bedding plant in the centre, e.g. Geranium or Fuchsia. Plant other upright bedding plants around the central plant, e.g. Bizzie Lizzies, Begonias. Plant trailing plants around the edge of the basket, e.g. Brachycome, Ivy Trailing Lobelia. 7. Water the baskets thoroughly. Help get the plants established by keeping the basket in a greenhouse or near a sunny window for about two weeks before placing outside. 8. Water the basket every day during the summer. Do not allow it to dry out. 9. About six weeks after planting, start to feed with a liquid fertiliser every two weeks. If this is difficult to remember, add a slow-release fertilizer when first planting.
Spot the 10 changes and you could win £25 in gift vouchers. Ring the differences then ask an adult to cut out and send in your entry to the address below. Remember to include your name and address and your age. Contour Homes, Freepost RPAU-JBLE-CUJX, Quay Plaza 2, First Floor Lowry Mall, Salford Quays, Salford M50 3AH
10. Trim regularly to keep the plants in check, and snap off dead flower heads to keep plants flowering throughout the summer.
Last Issue Winners: Winner of the iNside Survey was Thomas Thompson from Handforth. Winner of the Spot the Difference was 10 year old Siddiquh Aktar from Oldham. Winner of the Word Search was Mrs Beryl Duncan from Bolton
If you have any difficulty reading or understanding this publication, we can provide this copy in large print, Braille, recorded onto tape, or you could request a translation. Please contact our Customer Service Centre on 0845 602 1120 or email@example.com
Contour Homes would like to express their appreciation to the following people, without whom this Magazine would not have been possible: Adam Wadie, Alan Lancaster, Joan Winston, Len Lloyd, Malcolm Shaw, Marjorie Atherton, John Atherton, Jean Esteban-Garcia, Margaret Conway, Myra Mithell, Theresa Hargreaves, David Harrison, Caroline Healey, Kitty Oâ€™Neil, Amanda Jackson, Karen Sherman, Rivers Gardening Club, Jim Chadwick and Eric Riley. If you have a comment about the Magazine, our service to you, or any housing related subject we would be delighted to consider it for publication in a future issue of iNside. You can send your contributions to Paul Adamson at Contour Housing Group Limited, Quay Plaza 2, First Floor - Lowry Mall, Salford Quays, Salford M50 3AH. Alternatively you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org Please, donâ€™t forget to include your name, address & telephone number.
Head Office: Quay Plaza 2, 1st Floor - Lowry Mall, Salford Quays, Salford M50 3AH. Tel: 0845 602 1120. Fax: 0161 745 9393 www.contourhousing.co.uk Contour Homes is an industrial and provident society (registered No. 23607R) with charitable status. A member of the Contour Housing Group.
Published on Feb 20, 2008
Contour Homes iNside Magazine Summer 2007. Regeneration & community initiatives from social housing provider in the North West - accompanie...