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Stockport at home Stockport Homes’ Customer Newsletter

New member joins Stockport Homes’ Board page 3

Customer Awards Scheme 2007 the winners page 15

Issue 11: Winter 2007

Stockport Homes and GM Fire and Rescue page 33


Director’s column Sandra Coleing Director of Quality If yes, did you find it common is ensuring Stockport valuable? Homes’ staff, have the right • Do staff provide excellent skills to provide customers customer care to you? If with excellent quality services. not, do you know how to provide feedback so we can We continue to strive for improve? further improvements in the service we provide to you and are constantly requesting your Throughout this newsletter you will see articles providing a feedback. Questions like; range of information. There will always be contact details • What do you think about Providing a quality at the bottom, so if you have this newsletter? service to all! an opinion please let us know. • Have you visited our It’s the only way we know what website As Director of Quality, I am www.stockporthomes.org matters to you and how we responsible for all support can go about improving the if so what do you think? services to the company. This services we provide. Does it provide the includes IT, Finance, Human information you need? Resources, Staff Training, I hope you enjoy this • Have you attended a Marketing and newsletter. Happy reading. customer training event? Communications, Performance Was it useful? Management and Customer Sandra Coleing Involvement. The one thing all • Have you attended a Director of Quality Customer Action Group? these services have in

Contents Page New member joins Stockport Homes’ Board Repairs and Investment news Frobisher Place Partnership working project Tenant Participation Advisory Service Connecting People Awards 2

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6-7

8

Page Customer Awards Scheme 2007 - The Winners Plants, Greens and Gardening Machines

16 - 17

Anti-social behaviour news 19 - 22 Sustainability news

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15

Stockport Homes and GM Fire and Rescue working together

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23 - 26 33

www.stockporthomes.org


Board column Give a thought to... Not having a home is difficult at any time of the year. But being homeless at Christmas seems particularly harsh, which is why we see so much charity work going on at this time of year. Our temporary accommodation schemes provide accommodation and support for homeless families, single men and single women 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. During the festivities we try even harder to help make a difference and show our residents they are valued and that people care about them.

A new independent member joins Stockport Homes’ Board David Wright is Stockport Homes’ new independent Board member following the retirement of Hilda Kaponda at the company’s Annual General Meeting on 24 September 2007. David is currently the Head of Finance at New Prospect Housing Limited, an Arms Length Management Organisation set up by Salford City Council to manage and maintain its housing stock, where he oversaw the ALMOs establishment. A qualified accountant, David has worked in a financial environment for over 27 years, with over nine of those being in the social housing sector.

We do this in many ways, such as by organising fun and inclusive events including traditional or alternative Christmas dinners. If you would like to help make the festive season a little happier for someone who is homeless why not donate a gift to our temporary accommodation schemes? We then pass these on to the children, parents and individuals so that they can share in the festivities. If you would like to donate a gift, please contact the Housing Options Team on 0161 474 4237 or email housing.options@stockporthomes.org

As Hilda’s successor, David will be chairing the Board’s Finance and Audit Sub-Group, therefore his long experience in housing finance is a welcome set of skills. David says he is delighted to have joined the Board of Stockport Homes and is looking forward to sharing his skills and experience for the benefit of Stockport Homes’ customers. Having worked in the public sector for many years, David wants to give something back to the community. www.stockporthomes.org

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New Area Offices Stockport Homes is constantly seeking to further improve the way services are delivered to its customers. We have recently restructured our estate based housing offices in response to feedback from you. All of our Housing Officers are now based at one of our two new purpose built offices at Bridgehall and Brinnington. The reception service is still open at the Houldsworth Centre. All existing local surgeries will also continue. We have contracted Stockport Council to provide our reception service, so that when you visit, you can obtain information about all Council departments as well as deal with your housing enquiry. We are also exploring how we can further improve access to services for you and are running a pilot with a free phone at Ratcliffe Towers to report repairs. The new arrangements have allowed us to set up new teams that will focus on environmental matters such as caretaking, green space management and anti-social behaviour, which we know are a priority for our customers. This will also enable us to monitor the delivery of our services to you more efficiently to ensure that we are doing things in a timely and effective way. For a summary on how to contact us, please see below and opposite, or see our website www.stockporthomes.org General enquiries: Stockport Homes 1 St Peter's Square Stockport SK1 1NZ Tel: 0161 218 1367

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Repairs Telephone: 0845 644 4304 Email: housing.repairs@stockporthomes.org Text Message from a mobile telephone on 07797 806626 Fax to 0161 217 6032 Anti-Social Behaviour Telephone: 0845 833 4444 Email: antisocial.behaviour@stockport.gov.uk By Text Message from a mobile telephone on 07797 806626 By faxing your Area Office Fax West: 0161 483 9357 Fax East: 0161 406 8377 Homechoice Stockport Homes Housing Information Centre 1 St. Peter’s Square Stockport SK1 1NZ Tel: 0161 474 4567 Fax: 0161 476 4170 Email: homechoice@stockporthomes.org Housing Options Housing Options Stockport Homes 1 St. Peter's Square Stockport SK1 1NZ Tel: 0161 474 4237 Fax: 0161 474 1934 Email: housing.options@stockporthomes.org

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- It’s easy to contact us The New Area Housing Offices

West Area Housing Office

East Area Housing Office

Bridgehall Community Centre Siddington Avenue Adswood Stockport SK3 8NR Tel: 0161 474 4371 Fax: 0161 477 4879 Email: west.area.housing@stockporthomes.org

Brinnington Housing Office 1 Berwick Parade Northumberland Road Brinnington Stockport SK5 8LQ Tel: 0161 474 4372 Fax: 0161 406 8377 Email: east.area.housing@stockporthomes.org

Serving: Adswood, Bramhall, Bridgehall, Cale Green, Cheadle, Cheadle Heath, Cheadle Hulme, Councillor Lane, Davenport, Didsbury Road, Edgeley, Gatley and Heald Green, Larkhill and Shaw Heath, Reddish, The Heatons and Lancashire Hill. www.stockporthomes.org

Serving: Bredbury, Brinnington, Compstall, Covent Garden, Hazel Grove, High Lane, Marple, Marple Bridge, Mottram Street, Offerton, Portwood, Rectory Fields, Romiley, Tamworth Green, Victoria Park and Woodley.

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Repairs and Investment news We have moved to the newly refurbished Technical Services Operations Centre at Bredbury Industrial estate. The Maintenance, Investment and Asset Management Teams have moved to new offices in Bredbury along with Property Maintenance Solutions (PMS) and Mears staff. All the repair services in the Borough will be managed from the centre, along with the investment works that are being successfully carried out in all areas. This opportunity will allow much greater partnership working by sharing systems and resources across all areas of property and programme management. It will also reduce accommodation costs for all involved, providing savings that will be reinvested into improved services. Performance in the Repairs Service has significantly improved and further improvements in the service should allow us to achieve our year end targets in March 2008. Actions taken to build on repairs performance include the introduction of new computer systems, which efficiently control and optimise appointments and vehicle tracking arrangements for our repairs. This allows us to geographically pin point operatives and manage the quickest and most effective response to repair jobs throughout the Borough, as well as allowing us to ensure operatives are safe and vehicle theft is controlled.

Our new home

This control centre will be "state of the art" and will significantly reinforce the fight against crime and anti-social behaviour on our estates.

Photographs of the Technical Services Operations Centre

In November, Carecall moved in, and Concierge will join early in 2008 following the replacement of the CCTV systems at Lancashire Hill and the construction of the new control centre at Bredbury.

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Planned Maintenance The newly formed Planned Maintenance Team came into being in the middle of August, and is part of Planned Contracts and Asset Development. The team are based at the new Technical Services Operations Centre in Bredbury. The Planned Maintenance Team lead in developing a three-year Housing Investment Programme for all Stockport Homes’ properties. This includes planned works and the expanding sustainability programme, including the current Estate Improvement Budget. A key remit of the team will be to coordinate major schemes of works to maximise value for money.

The team are involved in providing assistance for community safety works. These are works conducted to provide safe and secure environments for the customers and partners of Stockport Homes. This budget is held by Liz Ellis, Anti-Social Behaviour Manager and projects are submitted to Liz for approval. A major role for the team will also be supporting the work of Jo Cole, the Sustainability Manager, to provide assistance in making new initiatives a reality, helping deliver annual projects with a combined value of over ÂŁ1.2million. For further information, please contact Ian Simpson on 0161 218 1370 or email ian.simpson@stockporthomes.org

The Planned Maintenance Team also consists of a Planned Maintenance Manager, Ian Simpson, Building Surveyors, Joe Keating and Alec Stead and two Technical Officers, John Crook and Mel Smith. This team will deal with all the future Borough wide planned maintenance projects and also provide technical help and support for all estate improvement works to the Area Housing Teams.

www.stockporthomes.org

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Frobisher Place “Partnership Working” Project Frobisher Place in South Reddish experienced very high winds back in the beginning of 2007. This caused a 60 foot tree to fall on a house and a car, having a devastating impact on a quiet cul-de-sac and the family who were directly affected. After the tree remains had been totally cleared away, it left a plot of land in a state of disrepair leaving the cul-de-sac looking less inviting. Consultation with residents took place to begin the improvements in this area and from this a “partnership working” approach was decided upon.

Who was involved? Stockport Youth Offending Team, Stockport Homes, Stockport Council’s Parks and Recreation and local residents of all ages who wanted this area to be improved, all took part. Approximately 250 plants were planted on the 6 October 2007 by young people from Stockport Youth Offending Team, children, teenagers, parents and grandparents from the cul-de-sac. This was an excellent example of “intergenerational partnership working”.

See the difference As you can see from the pictures below, the difference was immediate which will have a lasting effect on Frobisher Place. There is also an ornamental tree to be added to this area which will complete the planting. Once the plants are established and the tree is planted, this area will be full of vibrant colour and will be appealing once again.

Before

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After

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Leaseholder news

Alterations and improvements to

leasehold flats Under the terms of your lease you can only carry out internal alterations or improvements to your home if you get written permission from us. Your lease sets out works that will not be allowed even if you ask for permission. For example, alterations to walls and lofts. You should always check your lease first before you think about any internal alterations or improvements. You will need to complete an alteration form detailing the changes you would like to undertake before you start any work. You must not commence any work before we give you permission. If you do, you might be required, under your lease, to put the property back into its original condition before you started the work. We will look carefully at your request. We may need to come and visit you to discuss your proposals. If this is needed, an officer from Stockport Homes will make an appointment with you. We will make a charge for this service and for the administrative costs involved in considering your request. We will only refuse permission on certain cases such as safety reasons or where you want to alter something which is the responsibility of the landlord. www.stockporthomes.org

If we give you authorisation you will need to make sure you have all the permissions that you need, for example, Building Regulations approval and Planning Permission. You should also remember that you will be responsible for any maintenance or servicing in relation to anything you do to your home. Should you sell your lease (property) in the future, the purchaser’s solicitor may ask to see the written permission and this document should be keep in a safe place. An alteration form can be obtained from Tracy Nield, your Leasehold Officer or by downloading it from the leaseholder pages of Stockport Homes’ website. Leaseholders’ survey Thank you to all residents who returned the leaseholders’ survey. We are currently processing the data received and will give you the results in the next issue of ‘Stockport at home’. Your Leasehold Officer, Tracy Nield can be contacted on 0161 218 1364 or by email tracy.nield@stockporthomes.org Tracy is available from 9.30am to 1.15pm on Monday to Thursday and 9.30am to 1.00pm on Fridays. An answer machine service is available to allow you to leave a message outside these times.

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Customer Involvement news

TPAS Connecting People Awards

The Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) run an annual awards ceremony recognising excellence in customer involvement. This year the awards were held on 9 October at the Palace Hotel in Manchester. In recognition of their hard work and dedication to improving their local area throughout the year, six Stockport Homes’ customers, who had been nominated, attended. They were accompanied by two members of Stockport Homes’ staff. The evening was a glamorous and exciting event with a wonderful three course dinner, champagne reception and evening entertainer. As one of those present put it very early on “this shampoo is going straight to my head”. We all know she really meant champagne! There were four categories, our nominations included: Green Project or Initiative Tenant of the in the Community Award Year Bernard Bradbury Marion Carr from York Street Tenant and Resident Andrew Hearnden Association John Henshall Irene Dooley from Didsbury Keith Spurr Road Tenant and Resident Norman Stoddard Association June Young

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Unfortunately, as many of you will know, Bernard Bradbury sadly passed away in September after he had been nominated. As recognition of Bernard’s achievements a short but moving speech was given to honour him. Irene Dooley was one of the final five in the region who was short listed for the Green Project or Initiative in the Community Award for her work with Russell Gardens Sheltered Scheme. Well done Irene! Although no one from Stockport Homes won, (even though we think they should have) it was a great evening which we all thoroughly enjoyed. As one of our tenants put it “it’s not the winning that counts, it’s just an honour to be nominated”. We would like to congratulate all of the tenants who were nominated and thank them for their hard work and dedication. Next year hopefully we will be able to write and tell you that one of our tenants has won. Until then we just want to say a big thank you to everyone who gets involved with improving services and helping to make a difference for all customers. For further information please contact, Julie Nelson, Customer Involvement Officer on 0161 218 1382 or email julie.nelson@stockporthomes.org

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Didsbury Road Tenants’ and Residents’ Association: an Officers perspective by Jane Clayton, Customer Involvement Officer Didsbury Road Tenants’ and Residents’ Association is so called because Didsbury Road is the main road that serves the estate covered by this Association. The estate is a fairly typical Council estate with houses and flats built pre and post World War One. The roads and parking areas were not built to cater for the multi-car households that are now common on such estates. Many of the houses have been sold under the Right to Buy and the Association reflects this in its lighting through their community project work. membership. There has already been much publicity about the scheme’s success in the 2006 Gardening The Association has existed for approximately Competition and this was again driven by eight years but, like many others, it has had members of the Association. lengthy periods of inactivity and various changes in its leadership. However, it has been The Association’s relationship with ‘Housing’ very active for the last five years, during which has improved since Stockport Homes was time they have constantly campaigned for formed and, particularly, since Estate improvements to the estate. This has resulted Walkabouts were introduced. There are now in some investment to replace front gates, more opportunities for residents to give their which have improved safety and security for views about what affects their daily lives and families with young children and also improved there is a better understanding as to how some the appearance of the streets. of those issues can be addressed. The Association meets at Russell Gardens Sheltered Scheme and this has resulted in a close bond being formed between the scheme residents and other residents on the estate.

Thank you to all customers who have been involved and special thanks to Irene Dooley who was nominated for a Tenant Participation Advisory Service Award (see page 10).

The Association campaigned strongly for the scheme to have new windows and doors, which were fitted earlier this year, and has worked with Mears to improve security and

For more information please contact Jane Clayton, Customer Involvement Officer on 0161 474 2959 or email jane.clayton@stockporthomes.org

www.stockporthomes.org

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Customer Involvement news

The Housing

100 Club is re-vamped, re-launched and better than ever! You may remember from the last newsletter we were reviewing our Housing 100 Club leaflet and the list of members. In case you don’t know, this is a register of customer details, telling us how they want to be involved with Stockport Homes and the different areas they are interested in. You can choose to complete surveys from the comfort of your own home, get information on how to set up a Tenants’ and Residents’ Association or register your interest in our customer training programme, Skills for Life. The advantage of this is its simplicity. Just look over the leaflet and choose as many or as few of the options as you like and we’ll be in touch. We want to make customer involvement with Stockport Homes as easy and effective as possible and this database helps us to do that. As part of the review we have discussed this leaflet at the Customer Involvement Action Group and we sent all members on the

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database (which currently totals 195 customers) a questionnaire. We’ve had a fantastic response to this, receiving 117 replies. As an incentive for customers we gave away a prize of £15 in Marks and Spencer’s vouchers, which was won by Miss Jenna McDonald from Edgeley. We asked customers to give us some feedback on the Housing 100 Club including an opportunity to re-name it. We had some wild and wonderful suggestions for names; but the majority voted for the name to remain as Housing 100 Club. The Stockport Homes Readers Group has also given their stamp of approval to the document. As one member of the Readers Group said “there is only one way to truly find out what is going on and that is to get involved with the many activities outlined in this brochure.” You can pick up a Housing 100 Club leaflet from your Area Office or contact Julie Nelson from the Customer Involvement Team on 0161 218 1382. Alternatively you can email julie.nelson@stockporthomes.org or register your details online at www.stockporthomes.org

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Mystery Shopping Each year, we set ourselves a target to carry out a number of Mystery Shopping exercises. This year the target is four. During July, we carried out two exercises. Each exercise involved two customers. The Income Management service was ‘telephone tested’ by two customers (one leaseholder and one tenant) using a selection of eight scenarios ranging from ‘How do I pay by Direct Debit?’ to ‘Where can someone get independent welfare benefits advice in Marple?’ Each shopper was asked to make at least six calls at different times of the day over a two-week period to increase the chance of each Rents Officer receiving at least one call.

The Resettlement Service was ‘telephone tested’ by two customers (both tenants) requesting information about the Rent Bond Scheme and the Tenancy Support service. They were required to make the calls in the afternoons over a two-week period to ensure that consistent advice was given by the Duty Officers who work on a two-week roster.

It was suggested at the debrief that we should probably include a training session in the Skills for Life programme on ‘How to lie for mystery shopping purposes!’.

Feedback from the shoppers has been passed to the service managers who will record any actions to improve the service into an Action Plan that will then be reported to customers In both cases, most of the calls through Customer Action Groups. The Mystery Shoppers required the shoppers to say do not make any judgements that they were phoning on about the service; they simply behalf of a relative or friend. This can sometimes be difficult record their immediate experience. as they are not trained actors and it’s very easy to get into A further exercise is already in difficulty when officers are the pipeline and the target will ‘over helpful’ and ask too be met by the two Peer review many searching questions. A exercises carried out later this previous shopper who got into year. More of that in the next difficulty tried just putting the issue! phone down only for the officer to call him back!

Quotes from Mystery Shoppers in their debrief session:

“Stockport Homes as a service provider compared with other service providers leads the way in delivering an excellent and informative means to a whole range of differing enquiries”.

“Their telephone manner is excellent. You can sense that they’re smiling while talking to you”. “I’d definitely take part in another mystery shopping exercise because I think they’re really worthwhile”.

www.stockporthomes.org

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Customer Involvement news

A Quick guide to the

Partnership Agreement 2007 Our shared vision for customer involvement We are committed to involving you when making decisions about your home and the environment where you live. We believe quality customer involvement is an essential part of improving, delivering and maintaining housing services and decent homes, where: • Customers are at the heart of decisions about current services as well as the future requirements of their homes; • Services continuously improve, reflecting customer’s diverse needs and priorities; and • Customers influence, shape and monitor the planning and delivery of these services. Your input is essential in helping us to improve the services you receive. To show our commitment to involving you, we have reviewed our Partnership Agreement which will be re-launched soon. What is the Partnership Agreement? It is a three-way agreement between Customers, Stockport Council and Stockport Homes. The agreement is a public policy statement that will be carefully monitored. The agreement sets out how you can become involved in decisions affecting your home and community such as:

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• Having a say on housing issues; • Making a real difference to how we run services; • Being involved in a way and at a level that suits you; and • How we will deal with complaints or disputes about the Agreement. How can you get involved? We have a range of ways for you to get involved – just look at what’s on offer and choose the level that suits you: • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Annual Customer Conference Customer Training Programme Customer Information Customer Action Groups Area Forums Estate Walkabouts Hot Topics Housing 100 Club Mystery Shopping ‘Stockport at home’ Customer Readers Group Stockport Tenants’ Federation Tenant and Resident Groups Young Tenants Group Leaseholder Forum

If you would like to know more about the Partnership Agreement and ways you can get involved, please contact the Customer Involvement Team on 0161 474 2862 or email quality@stockporthomes.org

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Customer Awards Scheme 2007

The Winners Congratulations to all customers who have won an award. We received over 50 nominations. The table below details all the winners. Categories

Nominated by

Awarded to

High levels of involvement

Officers of Stockport Homes

Aline Cleary, Mottram Street

Mentoring or support given to others

Officers of Stockport Homes Customers and Tenants’ and Residents’ Associations

Irene Dooley, Norris Bank

Involvement in improving the estate/neighbourhood for an individual customer

Officers of Stockport Homes Customers and Tenants’ and Residents’ Associations

Irene Dooley, Norris Bank

Involvement in improving the estate/neighbourhood for a Tenants’ and Residents’ Association

Officers of Stockport Homes Customers and Tenants’ and Residents’ Associations

York Street Residents’ Association, Edgeley

Taking a stand against Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)

Officers of Stockport Homes Customers and Tenants’ and Residents’ Association

Shirley Brooks and Kathleen Pflug, Woodley

Contribution to tackling Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)

Officers of Stockport Homes Customers and Tenants’ and Residents’ Association

Irene Dooley, Norris Bank

Parent/s of the year

Officers of Stockport Homes Customers and Tenants’ and Residents’ Association

Lorraine Duffy, Brinnington

Young person of the year

Officers of Stockport Homes Customers and Tenants’ and Residents’ Association

Kofi Madden, Offerton

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On Wednesday 24 October Stockport Homes held a ‘Plants, greens and gardening machines’ event at the Masonic Guildhall, in Stockport. This was a fun and educational event for customers to meet the new grounds maintenance contractor - Glendale. For those of you who couldn’t attend, we have included a brief guide to the workshops customers attended.

Workshop 2 - Sustainability We can all help to make our estates cleaner, greener and safer places to live. This workshop looked at issues which affect the quality of the Workshop 1 - The Quality Corner local environment such as litter, refuse, graffiti, This workshop focussed on customers being abandoned cars, fly tipping and vandalism. involved in monitoring and inspecting the Customers were provided with lots of useful Grounds Maintenance service. We developed a information and ways Stockport Homes in ‘tool box’ of the items that customers would partnership with Stockport Council’s need to make the monitoring and inspection Environmental Services and customers can process as easy as possible. The ‘tools’ improve the local environment. This can be include: done by attending estate walkabouts, • an easy-to-read description of the work that improving unattractive spaces using the estate improvement budget, using recycling and should be done; composting services. Other information was • when they can expect work to be done; also provided on the recent improvements to • checklists; street cleansing and refuse collections services • telephone and email contacts to report and the work of the community recycling issues; officers. • reply paid envelopes; • cameras; • pens; and • paper.

Visitors from Birmingham and Preston made a useful contribution to the discussions and were impressed by the level of customer involvement in Stockport Homes. 16

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Workshop 3 - Gardening machines This workshop was run by Dave Lovatt and two operatives (Mark Woodward and Paul Herd) from Glendale. Customers had the opportunity to look at some of the machines Glendale use and ask questions about them. Machine maintenance and health and safety issues were discussed with customers. There was also a demonstration on how to prune roses and customers were again given the opportunity to have a go. Workshop 4 – Work planning and programming This workshop was run by Iain Marshall from Glendale. It covered how Stockport is split up and how the teams are structured within each area. It looked at the programme of works in a standard year and when residents can expect different tasks carried out. There was also a discussion about the standard of work that residents can expect.

Customers who attended the event said: “Brilliant - the best event I've been to.” “Fantastic.” “You should do more events like this.” “I've learned more from this event than others before - I can't wait to get home to get started.” For more information about grounds maintenance, please contact your Area Housing Office. See page five for details.

Quote from Glendale: “The team really enjoyed the day and are looking forward to having another opportunity to share their knowledge with customers.”

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Offerton Cleanliness Charter Working in Partnership for a Cleaner Offerton Stockport Homes, together with partner agencies, have launched the first Cleanliness Charter in the Offerton area. The charter is part of an increasing emphasis on joint work in the area and is an agreement between a number of key stakeholders – Stockport Council, Solutions SK and Housing Associations including Harvest Housing Group, Northern Counties and Contour Housing Group Ltd. The charter commits each of the partner organisations to make Offerton Park Parish a cleaner, safer place to live. The commitment is managed through a working protocol which is monitored by the Project Board headed by the Parish Council.

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Stockport Homes will, as a The Chair of Offerton Park part of their commitment, Parish Council, Councillor continue to provide area based Keith Ryan, said services such as the caretaking service and grounds “Through this agreement, we hope to maintenance service and will also monitor the services strengthen the delivered by other service relationship between providers through the estate residents and service walkabouts, reporting their findings to the Project Board providers”. on a quarterly basis. Stockport Homes, said In addition, initially for one year, Stockport Homes will “We are really pleased part fund a Parish Operative to commit to the jointly with Solutions SK and the Parish Council. The role of Offerton Park Parish the Parish Operative will Cleanliness Charter. It provide additional cleaning is part of our overall services within the Parish and raising awareness amongst the commitment to local residents around delivering excellent environmental and cleanliness estate based services issues.

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and hopefully will be the first of many examples of effective partnership working”.

www.stockporthomes.org


Anti-Social Behaviour news

Positive Action against Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Cases of ASB are often very different from each other, so a range of different legal remedies are available to Stockport Homes to tackle them appropriately. Stockport Homes has clear policies and procedures for ASB and staff are trained so they can establish the best resolution for cases. In the last issue of ‘Stockport at home’ we gave you a breakdown of the different types of legal action we took during the first quarter of the year. Stockport Homes has continued to drive forward taking legal action against perpetrators of ASB and has taken even more legal action this quarter. Opposite is a breakdown of our most recent legal actions from 1 July 2007 to the end of September 2007. The table below shows how the total number of legal actions has increased from 19 (in quarter 1) to 25 (in quarter 2).

www.stockporthomes.org

April – June 2007 (Qtr1)

July – September 2007 (Qtr2)

Total Year to date

Notice Seeking Possession

4

2

6

Notice to Terminate (Introductory Tenancies)

1

2

3

Notice to Extend (Introductory Tenancies)

1

0

1

Demotion Notices

2

5

7

Suspended Possession Order

1

1

2

Outright Possession Orders

1

0

1

Evictions

1

0

1

Injunctions

5

11

16

Undertakings

3

1

4

ASBO

0

3

3

Total

19

25

44

Type of Legal Action

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Anti-Social Behaviour news

New and improved policy for tackling Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) Landlords like Stockport Homes have a legal duty to publicise their policy and procedures for tackling ASB. Earlier in the year Stockport Homes undertook a review of its existing policy and procedure for ASB. As part of the process customers were consulted on what they thought of the current policy and procedure and what they felt needed improving.

Supporting the cause of and preventing Anti-Social Behaviour Stockport Homes have signed up to the Respect Standard for Housing Management. We are committed to carrying out work that supports the causes of ASB and works towards preventing ASB occurring. This year Stockport Homes has committed £100,000 to Community Safety Projects which are aimed to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour on our estates. So far Stockport Homes has committed over half of this money to various projects across the Borough which benefits our customers and neighbourhoods. The table opposite shows some examples of the good work that has been carried out

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Consultation with staff and key partners such as Stockport Council also took place. The policy and procedure was revised as a result of the consultation and has now been re-published. A booklet summarising the policy and procedure is now available. If you would like a copy, please contact your Area Office. Alternatively, the summary can be downloaded from the ASB pages of Stockport Homes’ website www.stockporthomes.org Funding allocated to projects across the Borough Area

Funding

Adswood/ Bridgehall Estate

Funding of £3,000 provided to install bollards/barriers on various footpaths to prevent the use of off-road bikes.

Offerton Hall Allotments

Funding of £1,965 provided to install new steel gates to prevent intruders and reduce the incidents of arson.

Oldham Drive, Woodley

Funding provided to install replacement gates to prevent bogus caller burglaries.

Morgan Place, Funding made available for South Reddish gating and fencing to restrict access and stop youths cutting across grass verges and knocking on residents windows. Mount Drive, Marple

Funding made available to provide secure fencing on a recreation area to stop youth nuisance which is affecting residents.

ASB Team

Funding made available to purchase a supply of fireproof letter boxes for use in cases of ASB involving the posting of fireworks.

Stockport at home - Winter 2007 Issue 11

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Witness Support Have you ever thought about being a witness in court proceedings but have been too worried to come forward? Stockport Homes is committed to providing excellent support to witnesses. We will seek to use all the tools available to us so that witnesses feel more safe and secure when coming forward to give evidence. Stockport Homes has recently been successful in securing its first “special measures” order from the court. What are the special measures? Special measures are measures that can be put into place at court to make a witness feel safer and more comfortable about giving evidence. They include such things as: • Screens - to ensure that the witness does not see the perpetrator; • Live link - allowing a witness to give evidence from outside the courtroom; and • Evidence in private - clearing the court of most people (legal representatives and certain others must be allowed to stay). Up until now “special measures” for witnesses have only applied in criminal proceedings but the law has changed meaning that witnesses in ASB cases can also benefit from special measures.

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Special measures were introduced in order to address concerns about the protection of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses. Are all witnesses eligible for special measures in Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) applications? Not all witnesses are able to have special measures. Only vulnerable or intimidated witnesses are eligible. Vulnerable witnesses are all witnesses under 17 years old or those whose quality of evidence is likely to be affected because they have a mental disorder or learning disability or have a physical disability or disorder. Intimidated witnesses are witnesses whose quality of evidence is likely to be affected because they are in fear or distress about testifying. If you would like any further information on special measures or advice on being a witness, please contact the ASB Team on 0161 218 1381 or the ABS Hotline on 0845 833 4444.

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Anti-Social Behaviour news

Stockport Homes secures its first

Anti-Social Behaviour Order (ASBO) In September and October 2007 Stockport Homes, working in partnership with Stockport Council and Greater Manchester Police, secured its first interim ASBO. There were four interim ASBOs in total in this period.

Three of the interim ASBOs were against individuals for causing anti-social behaviour in the Heaton Norris area and the fourth was against an individual who had been causing anti-social behaviour in Offerton. None of the perpetrators can be named at present for legal reasons.

What is an Interim ASBO? An Interim ASBO is designed to offer immediate protection to the public against specified anti-social behaviour in the period between an initial application being made to the court and the final case being heard. The three individuals in the Heaton Norris area were found to be responsible for an array of anti-social behaviour. This has included using foul and abusive language, making excessive noise and criminal behaviour.

The evidence was produced to the court in the form of witness statements from information provided by local residents and businesses. The applications have been listed for full hearings before the Magistrates for later in the year. This is another example of Stockport Homes' commitment to tackling anti-social behaviour. It clearly demonstrates our willingness to use all the powers available to us, where appropriate, to protect our customers.

The individual in Offerton was found to be responsible for ASB that included harassment, threatening behaviour, foul and racist abuse and criminal damage. Stockport Magistrates Court granted the Interim Order after hearing evidence produced by the Stockport Homes that all four individuals were responsible for anti-social behaviour locally.

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Sustainability news

Christmas Refuse and Recycling Collection 2007 Recycling Collections Stockport residents should be There will be no collections on Christmas Day, aware of the following changes to Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. the refuse and recycling collections If you need to put out extra carrier bags of glass, cans and paper, all recycling will be over the festive period. collected on your collection day. Refuse Collections If your normal collection day is Tuesday, there will be no collection on Tuesday 25 December 2007 or Tuesday 1 January 2008 Your collection day will be Saturday 29 December 2007 If your normal collection day is Wednesday, there will be no collection on Wednesday 26 December 2007 Your collection day will be Wednesday 2 January 2008

Household Waste Recycling Centres (local tip). These sites will be open except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. (8.00am – 6.00pm daily) Adswood Eco-Centre, Adswood Road, Adswood, Stockport, SK8 5QY Tel: 0161 486 0140

Torkington Road Hazel Grove Stockport SK7 6NR Tel: 0161 487 4508

Rosehill Railway Road Rosehill Marple Stockport SK6 6HU Tel: 0161 427 8241

Bredbury Refuse Treatment Plant Bredbury Parkway Bredbury Stockport SK6 2SN Tel: 0161 494 6155.

For further information or to report a problem with your recycling or refuse collection, contact:

Environmental Services Tel: Email: Web: Text: Minicom: www.stockporthomes.org

0845 833 4444 stockportdirect@stockport.gov.uk www.stockport.gov.uk/waste 07797 806626 0845 644 4306

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Sustainability news

Environmental Services -

new refuse collection service Stockport Council currently operates a weekly collection of refuse in a black bin bag for over 123,000 households. One replacement bin bag a week is provided. Councillors have approved a new refuse collection policy which is due to be introduced through a rolling programme across the Borough. These changes will address problems with the current refuse collection system, such as bin bags not being left and householders not knowing when or where to put out their bin bag. The High Lane and Marple areas were the first round to receive their new roll of 60 blue bin bags. They were delivered at the end of October. It will take until April 2008 for all households to receive their roll of bin bags. The current black sack collection system will continue until you receive your roll. When you receive the roll of blue bin bags, at the next collection you should put the refuse either at the front edge of your property (nearest to the pavement, but not on it), or at a collection point that you will be advised of. You will all receive an information leaflet with your roll of sacks, a sticker for your black recycling box and garden waste bin that will allow you to put your house number on the containers and a

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white plastic sack for the paper recycling collection. A postcard will be sent out to all residents approximately three to six weeks before you receive your sacks to keep you up-to-date with the changes. Remember, these changes only apply to those residents who are on the ‘black bag collections’. If you use a container or a bin chute – please continue to do so, this will not change. If any residents are disabled or ill and are not able to put their refuse out at the front of their property, there is help available to set up an assisted collection. You can phone Stockport Direct on 0845 833 4444 or download an application form from our website www.stockport.gov.uk/waste. Application forms are also available from Eyeline Stockport, 0161 480 2612, Disability Stockport, 0161 480 7248 and Age Concern Stockport on 0161 480 1211. Please note that collection days will not change for the new service except over the Christmas period (see page 23).

Stockport at home - Winter 2007 Issue 11

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Carbon Footprint Are you measuring your carbon footprint? The terms “carbon emissions” and “carbon footprint” are now commonly heard, but what do they mean and how do they affect us?

In the meantime here are a few simple ways you can reduce your footprint and help prevent climate change. • Don't leave appliances (TV, DVD player, Almost everything we do leads to the release of Hi-Fi) on standby and remember not to carbon into the atmosphere, whether boiling a leave appliances on charge unnecessarily. kettle, using your car or a trip on holiday. • Turn down the central heating slightly; reducing your room temperature by 1°C Carbon dioxide emissions can be caused by could cut your heating bills by up to 10 burning of fossil fuels such as oil or gas and percent. can stay in the atmosphere for approximately • Fill the kettle with only as much water as you 100 years. In just 200 years the amount of need. carbon dioxide has increased by 30% and • Unplug your mobile phone as soon as it has concentrations of greenhouse gases are higher finished charging. now than at any point in the past 800,000 • Use energy saving light bulbs. Just one can years. save you £100 over the lifetime of the bulb and they last up to 12 times longer than One way of measuring the impact you have on ordinary light bulbs. the environment is to measure the amount of • Check your tyre pressure regularly - undercarbon you use each year, this is known as inflated tyres are dangerous and can “your carbon footprint”. increase fuel consumption by up to 3%. Visit www.climatechallenge.gov.uk for more • Buy eco-friendly appliances. information. • Buy products in minimal packaging. • Get rid of junk email by contacting Mail If you want to measure your carbon footprint Preference service 08457035499 or visit there are a number of websites where this can mpsonline.org.uk be done. Over the summer the government • Reuse - glass jars can be used for storage or launched ‘Act on CO2 Calculator’ at reuse your plastic water bottles. Bottles, www.direct.gov.uk or alternatively you can unwanted clothes, toys and furniture can all visit the Carbon Neutral Carbon Company at be reused. www.carbonneutral.com. These sites allow • Recycle - paper, glass, magazines, waste people to calculate their CO2 emissions and foods can all be recycled. Contact Stockport provide advice to help reduce their own recycling team 0161 474 4747 or visit emissions. www.stockport.gov.uk We can all make a difference to our carbon footprint. www.stockporthomes.org

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Sustainability news

The Planned Maintenance Team have just completed an estate improvement project at Stanton Gardens, Heaton Norris. This project was agreed after consultation with the residents and Councillors.

B ef or e

Stanton Gardens

B ef or e

Estate Improvement Project –

Improvements were needed to the external area at the rear of the flats and benches were not in a good state of repair. The area in general looked grey and dull and was not very inviting. Work commenced late September, taking about ten days to complete. The project had an approved budget of £10,000 and was completed under budget. Since the pictures were taken, decorative benches have been installed which were chosen by the residents. The contractors, Tony Brosnahan and Sons of South Reddish, were complimented by the residents on the work they had done and some residents said they can’t wait for summer next year, so they can sit out and enjoy the garden.

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The Finished Gardens

Stockport at home - Winter 2007 Issue 11

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Service Improvement news

We did

You said

We value your feedback on our services, whether you wish to make a complaint, compliment or comment. We try to learn from our mistakes and some of the things we have done as a result of your feedback are listed below.

What you said‌

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You said it took too long to process my refund for overpaid rent.

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You said there is mess left after people have been eating and drinking in the communal stairways and landing areas.

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You said I have problems with a noisy neighbour and nothing is being done about it.

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You said I was confused as what to do when my relative passed away.

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You said I find it inconvenient that my Direct Debit is taken on a monthly basis.

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You said there is nowhere to store items in maisonettes.

     

What we did‌ We have amended the system so that we can now process a refund in seven to 10 working days. There is now clear signage displayed in all communal stairways and landing areas requesting no eating and drinking and asking residents to be mindful of any mess made in these areas. We are now looking to purchase our own noise level monitoring equipment and to train up officers on how to use it. A booklet is being developed to explain this. The Customer Finance Team plan to offer four weekly direct debits rather than monthly to fit in with people's salary payments more effectively. A storage room allocation policy is being developed.

Stockport Homes working to raise standards nationally Stockport Homes is proud to represent the Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs) in the North of England after being appointed a Board member of the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA) this summer.

The NFA promotes the interests of the ALMO sector nationally. It provides support and advice to ALMOs, champions the sector to the www.stockporthomes.org

government and generally aims to raise standards across the public rented housing sector. This opportunity to influence developments in the broader social housing sector will also provide Stockport Homes the chance to promote its successes and what lies at the heart of the company; delivering excellent services to our customers! For more information please contact Lisa Musson, Business Support Manager on 0161 474 2858 or email lisa.musson@stockporthomes.org

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Are you receiving Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit? - What happens if

your circumstances change? It is very important that you let the Benefits Section know immediately if you have a change in your circumstances as you may receive too little or too much benefit. It is an offence not to tell us about any change of circumstance that affects your benefit and if we pay you too much benefit, you will probably have to pay it back.

This list only provides some examples of the type of changes that may happen. It is important that you check with the Benefit Service on the phone number shown below if you are unsure if a change will affect your entitlement to Housing or Council tax benefit.

How to contact us

You can tell us about any changes by writing to the Benefit Service at the address shown at the bottom of this page or by ringing Stockport Direct on 0845 644 4303 (calls charged at local rate). It is important that you provide details of the change, the date that the change occurred and proof where appropriate. Examples of the type of changes that you need to report are as follows: • If you change your address; • If you or your partner’s income goes up or down; • Changes to the amount of your or your Telephone: 0845 644 4303 partner's capital (unless it remains at below £6,000); In Writing: Benefit Processing Team, • Income Support or Jobseeker's Allowance Business Services stops; Directorate, PO Box 70, • Starting work or changing employer; Stopford House, Piccadilly, • If the amount or type of state benefit changes; Stockport SK1 3ZY. • If wages increase or decrease; By E-mail: benefits@stockport.gov.uk • If private pension increases (A private pension can be also called a works pension or occupational pension); and • If Tax Credit is awarded or amount of award changes.

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Customer Finance news

More than 2,000 of our customers now pay their rent by Direct Debit and now appreciate the benefits and convenience that this method of payment provides.

• You do not need to complete new forms or notify your bank if your rent changes – Stockport Homes will do this for you; and • £5.00 annual discount for using this method of payment.

The advantages of paying by Direct Debit are: • No need to write cheques or post letters; • No need to queue to pay; • Never miss a payment, even if you are on holiday; • You can always query a payment, or stop it altogether, if you think it is wrong; • You can cancel the Direct Debit at any time and pay by a different method; • You can obtain an immediate refund in the unlikely event of an error being made; • Your Bank or Building Society does all the work for you;

If you arrange to pay by Direct Debit now, you will still be in time to qualify for this year’s £5.00 discount. If you wish to obtain a Direct Debit mandate form, please ring 0161 474 2668 or 0161 474 2677. Alternatively you can e-mail us at customerfinance@stockporthomes.org or download a mandate form from our website at www.stockporthomes.org

Christmas / New Year Non-Payment Weeks As you may be aware weeks 39 and 40 (weeks commencing 17 and 24 December 2007) are non-payment weeks for rents. This means that providing your rent account is clear, there is no need to make a payment on these weeks. If however your account is in arrears, you should make your normal weekly payment on both weeks in order to reduce the amount outstanding. Failure to do so could result in legal action being taken against you. For more information contact the Customer Finance Team on 0161 474 2820. www.stockporthomes.org

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Stockport Advice

Benefit checks for Stockport residents Stockport Council's Welfare Rights Service (part of Stockport Advice) are working in partnership with Stockport Homes’ Older Persons’ Services.

Examples of some of the comments made by happy customers are: ‘I could not have been treated in a more polite, courteous and discreet manner. Thank you from a very grateful client’ ‘I was very comfortable throughout the whole interview.’

This year we began to check the benefits of So, look out for members of Stockport customers who live in Stockport Homes’ sheltered accommodation properties, as part of Council's Welfare Rights Service coming to a our drive to increase the take up of benefits by sheltered accommodation near you soon. older people in Stockport. We have recently carried out a prize draw Each month we are looking at a different survey with customers about the level of scheme, we start off by going along to talk to service they received from our staff in the Local people at a coffee morning or afternoon. We Centres. A customer from the Hillgate area then arrange to visit each of our customers won the £25 Prize draw in the Stockport Advice individually to check that they are receiving the customer survey. correct money. Out of the 90 people that we have talked to already, we have found that For further information please contact the about 30 of them – that is 35% - should be Welfare Rights Service on 0161 474 3093 or getting more money. We help people to make a email welfare.rights@stockport.gov.uk claim by gathering information and filling in the forms with them. When the claim has gone through we check that every thing is paid correctly. Some people we have worked with have received up to an additional £80 a week, and this money has been backdated too. All the work we do is confidential. We are independent of the Department of Work and Pensions and do not discuss your financial affairs with anyone else. Many people think that they are not entitled to claim any benefits because they have savings or occupational pensions and are surprised when they find out how much better off they are after claiming their entitlements.

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Allocations Review As part of the recent Allocations Review, the Homechoice Team are now accepting application forms from 16 and 17 year olds. As you have to be 18 years to legally hold a tenancy, application forms received from this group of applicants will be held as 'awaiting information' and not made live until the applicant reaches the age of 18 years. It will be the applicants’ responsibility to inform the Homechoice Team when they reach 18 years of age. The application when registered will attract time-on-list points, although will not be awarded housing need points until it is made live. Then the applicant will be eligible to bid for properties. For more information contact the Homechoice Team on Tel: 0161 474 4567 or Email homechoice@stockporthomes.org

Transport provision for Estate Walkabouts We know that some of you would like to attend walkabouts outside of your local area. If you have not done so before because it’s too difficult to get there, you can now. Stockport Homes are providing taxis for those customers who would like to go further a field. If you would like to go to a walkabout outside your area and need a taxi, please contact: Customer Involvement team Tel: 0161 474 2862 Text: 07891 949 399 Email: quality@stockporthomes.org

The Birthday Girl

Poem from one of our customers Patricia Lukoschek, Cale Green When life’s pain Falls upon us Dig deep inside But do not hide Feel the pain Absolve your heart Do not linger In the past Revisits hurt But don’t deny Or rely Trust in your feelings You’re more worthy Than this www.stockporthomes.org

One of our residents, Mrs Mary Frankland of Cheadle, reached the grand age of 102 on 22 October 2007. She can be seen here with Sheltered Scheme Manager – Lynn Leach (left) and Senior Housing Officer – Melinda Waterhouse (right) who presented her with chocolates and flowers to celebrate her big day. Stockport at home - Winter 2007 Issue 11

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Housing Options news

Reducing Rent Arrears and Evictions Housing Options has joined forces with the Customer Finance and Resettlement Teams to develop the services aimed at reducing the number of tenants with rent arrears, particularly those that result in evictions.

For higher levels of debt or persistent arrears the Customer Finance Team start court action to recover the property. In future, a new referral mechanism will mean that a Housing Advice Officer will also become involved when this is happening and will be able to offer advice to ensure that the tenants fully understand the legal processes underway and the consequences if evicted. This will give the tenant a further chance to focus on and resolve the arrears.

New systems now mean that tenants in the early stages of rent arrears will be contacted by Tenancy Support Officers who will look at trying to resolve any underlying or associated issues, helping them to maintain their tenancy.

With this new and more integrated approach it is expected that tenants in arrears will receive more opportunities to deal with their arrears. This personally tailored support will also have the knock-on effect of helping to reduce the number of evictions and help to reduce homelessness.

Where tenants are vulnerable, they will be offered a package of assistance or referral to another support agency.

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In most, if not all cases, it is likely that there will be no re-housing duty to the tenant if they are evicted and so the Housing Advice Officers will also offer advice on alternative housing options, such as how to look for private rented accommodation.

For further information contact the Customer Finance Team on 0161 474 2820.

Stockport at home - Winter 2007 Issue 11

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Stockport Homes and GM Fire and Rescue

working together Stockport Homes have recently signed up to a Service Level Agreement with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. This is an agreement which establishes principles and joint working arrangements to improve fire safety generally, and to reduce the number of accidental fires in Stockport Homes’ properties. The principle aim is to ensure appropriate standards of fire safety are implemented and maintained.

Picture above: Helen McHale and Steve Fisher The sharing of information, including training, will take place between both parties in order to establish awareness of the risks and the measures which can be taken to reduce those risks.

Steve Fisher, Stockport Borough Commander, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said

“This partnership is yet another step in ensuring that our community is provided Helen McHale, Chief Executive with the best fire safety advice and provisions to of Stockport Homes said reduce incidents of fire. The fact that Stockport Homes “This partnership is part of has signed up as a partner our core business, as we take fire safety very seriously indicates their commitment in achieving this aim” at Stockport Homes. I look forward to identifying further, how we can improve the fire safety of our properties”

Safeguard your home against burglars as the dark nights approach As the dark nights approach Police Officers across Stockport are urging local residents to help beat burglars by taking simple steps to safeguard their homes. Burglars are more likely to target a house, which looks unoccupied. Now that it is getting dark earlier in the evening, make it look like someone is at home before you go out. Go ALL out to beat thieves by remembering: Alarms Locks and Lights. www.stockporthomes.org

This simple three-point message is a reminder to set your Alarm, Lock all windows and doors and leave a Light on or consider fitting a timer switch to your lights or radio when leaving your home empty. It is easy to make it hard for burglars. If you would like further information please contact: Crime Reduction Advisors at Stockport Police Station on 0161 856 9646 or Ben Ahmed, Community Safety Coordinator, Stockport Council on 0161 480 4316.

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The Housing Information Centre

is re-opening to the public The make-over to the Housing Information Centre has now been completed. The provisional date for the opening of the new improved centre is 8 December 2007. However, this date is subject to change and we will advise customers accordingly.

Do you need help using the Homechoice bidding system? A Homechoice Support Assistant has recently been recruited to help customers who are unable to access the service in any other way and have no relative or advocate who can assist them. If you need help in understanding, reading or translating the information provided by Homechoice and you have nobody to help you, then you can contact the Homechoice Support Assistant. What help is available? • A home visit if you require assistance and are unable to come into our offices due to a disability. • Help filling in the Homechoice Application Form and Medical Self-Assessment form. • An explanation of how long it takes to join the Housing Registers, how your points and priority groups are awarded. • Information on where to find the list of available properties. • Guidance through the ‘bidding process’ and if needed ‘bidding’ on your behalf, if you are unable to and have no relative or advocate you can do this for you. • Answers to any questions you may have that will help you to participate in the Homechoice Choice-Based Lettings Scheme. For more information, please contact the Homechoice Team on 0161 474 4567, or email homechoice@stockporthomes.org

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Stockport at home - Winter 2007 Issue 11

Always there when you need us...

Carecall

All alarm calls received and made from the centre are recorded.

• Independance • Reasurance • Peace of mind

A rapid response service for older or vulnerable people Direct Link 24 hours a day 365 days a year For more information or a free Carecall demonstration in your home ring Carecall F R E E P H O N E

0500 130585 or write to: Carecall, Unit 9, Southside, Bredbury Park Industrial Estate, Bredbury, Stockport SK6 2SP or email: carecall@stockporthomes.org www.stockporthomes.org


Christmas Opening Hours Housing Information Centre Monday 24 December (Christmas Eve) - Closed Tuesday 25 December (Christmas Day) - Closed Wednesday 26 December (Boxing Day) - Closed Thursday 27 December - Open 8.30am - 4.30pm Friday 28 December - Open 9.30am – 4.00pm Saturday 29 December - Closed Sunday 30 December - Closed Monday 31 December (New Year’s Eve) - Open 8.30am – 4.30pm Tuesday 1 January (New Year’s Day) - Closed

East Area Office Monday 24 December (Christmas Eve) - Closed Tuesday 25 December (Christmas Day) - Closed Wednesday 26 December (Boxing Day) - Closed Thursday 27 December - Phone lines only open from 8.30am - 5.00pm Friday 28 December - Phone lines only open from 8.30am - 4.30pm Saturday 29 December - Closed Sunday 30 December - Closed Monday 31 December (New Year’s Eve) - Phone lines only open from 8.30am - 5.00pm Tuesday 1 January - Phone lines only open from 8.30am – 5.00pm First House facilities will be open until 12 noon on 24 December and until 3.30pm on 31 December.

West Area Office Monday 24 December (Christmas Eve) - Closed Tuesday 25 December (Christmas Day) - Closed Wednesday 26 December (Boxing Day) - Closed Thursday 27 December - Phone lines only open from 8.30am - 5.00pm Friday 28 December - Phone lines only open from 8.30am - 5.00pm Saturday 29 December - Closed Sunday 30 December - Closed Monday 31 December (New Year’s Eve) - Phone lines only open from 8.30am - 5.00pm Tuesday 1 January - Phone lines only open from 8.30am - 5.00pm The Advice Centre facilities will be open until 12 noon on 24 December and until 3.30pm on 31 December.

Customer Contributions for Stockport at home Do you have a good idea for an article? Do you have a burning question that you would like answered? If so, we would like to here from you. www.stockporthomes.org

If you would like to submit an article for this newsletter, please contact: Jane Wresdell, Marketing and Communications Manager Tel: 0161 474 2863 Email: jane.wresdell@stockporthomes.org

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Diversity and accessibility If you find reading difficult, did you know you can get copies of newsletters and other documents from Stockport Homes on audiotape or CD, free of charge? We can also provide information in large print. If you want to know more, please contact Phil Rhodes on telephone 0161 474 2860 text 07891 949 399 email phil.rhodes@stockporthomes.org or write to Stockport Homes, Service Improvement Team, Directorate of Quality, 2nd Floor, 1 St Peters Square, Stockport SK1 1NZ A free interpreting service is available if you need help with this newsletter. Please telephone Stockport Interpreting Unit on 0161 477 900. Email: eds.admin@stockport.gov.uk

Useful Phone Numbers Repairs

0845 644 4304

Customer Finance Automated Payment Line 0845 129 7010 West Area Housing Office 0161 474 4371 Customer Finance Team 0161 474 2668 East Area Housing Office 0161 474 4372 Customer Finance Team 0161 474 2677 Customer Feedback The paper which is used for this newsletter is from a sustainable source. Please recycle it in an appropriate way.

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0161 474 2600

24hr Anti-social 0845 833 4444 behaviour www.stockporthomes.org


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