pulsextra Great opportunities in training and employment
Join our social network and be a part of our Twitter and Facebook community
Follow us @TalkTrafford Like us Traffordhousingtrust
Trafford Housing Trust Investing in Trafford
Ready, Set, Go for the Greater Manchester Marathon
Developments Across the Borough
Society for Abandoned Animals’ Spring Fair
Trust Involve Schools in ‘Design a Logo’ Competition
100 Days Later
Trafford Partnership Working Together
The Big Day In...Continued
Trafford Volunteering Awards
Broomwood Boxing Club
TPAS Awards 2012
The ‘P’ Factor
Sport 2 Success Project
Valley Road Clean Up
Community Bake Day
Customer Access Points
The Best of Both Worlds
Trust Joins Forces with Prince’s Trust
Joan and Alex: A Diamond Couple
Get Involved in a Taste of Trafford
Do you Remember the Wellgreen Craft & Create?
If in Doubt Keep Them Out
Messaging System to Keep Rogues at Bay 21
Care and Repair
Windy Warning on Rogue Roofers
Metal Thefts in Your Area
CCTV Consultation Feedback
Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour Issues
Would You Like Us to be the Best Landlord Possible?
pulse summer 2011
Congratulations to the latest Gas Service Draw winners, Mr Hart of Gawsworth Road, Sale and Mr and Mrs Fielding of Craven Drive, Altrincham, who have won a £250 Trafford Centre Gift Card. Congratulations to Sharon Kingsman from Stretford who won a £50 voucher for completing the Tenant’s Federation Survey.
Welcome to the Spring 2012 Issue of Pulse I
n this issue, we are focusing on two things that I am particularly passionate about - social media and employment and training opportunities.
Why not take a look at our performance www.traffordhousingtrust.co.uk/kpi-animation and use house number eight to email us what you think of our performance.
Anyone who knows me well, will know that I strongly believe that social media presents a fantastic opportunity for tenants and their landlords to interact far more effectively than ever before. It is therefore with great excitement that we have launched THT Twitter and Facebook;
The other focus for this issue is employment and training and we have produced a dedicated supplement detailing opportunities in Trafford. Find out about The Apprentice, opportunities to attend free training courses on vehicle maintenance, engineering and construction, Next Steps and the Trafford Centre for Independent Living.
www.facebook.com/traffordhousingtrust @talktrafford Go online and interact with us now! If you do this before the end of April, you will be entered in a prize draw to win a £50 Trafford Centre Voucher. On Facebook and Twitter, you can talk directly to us and let others see your comments. They can then agree or disagree and open up a healthy debate. Why not log on and tell us what you think of this issue of Pulse? We would love to hear from you. We have also just launched a new section on our website dedicated to our performance in seven key areas. These are rent collection, repairs, how quickly we prepare our properties for re-let once a tenant has left, customer satisfaction, resolution of anti-social behaviour cases, complaints and the performance of our Customer Hub.
I am particularly looking forward to The Apprentice – not only because we will be offering five jobs to young people from Trafford, but because I get to play Lord Alan Sugar. I won’t be saying the immortal words ‘you are fired’ though. We will be selecting 12 candidates for the programme. Do you know anyone between the ages of 16 and 19 who might want to apply? Times are tough out there at the moment but our supplement offers some help and opportunity – please pass it on to anyone who might find it useful!
Matthew Gardiner Chief Executive, Trafford Housing Trust
Trafford Housing Trust
Investing in Trafford The year gone by The last year has been one of change in Trafford. The Trust has been investing in improving existing homes and building new affordable homes for the people of Trafford. Old Trafford is an area that has seen particular change. The Trust has now emptied Ospray and Raven Courts on the Tamworth Estate which are being made ready for demolition this Summer. At the same time, we have started investing in Clifford, Grafton and Pickford Courts on the estate that are being retained. These blocks are receiving a multimillion pound face lift that includes insulation, cladding, a new heating system, new windows, secure entrance pods and internal improvements. The Trust is changing these towers into homes of choice where the residents will be able to benefit from state-of-theart apartments, up to 40% reduction in energy bills and secure modern communal spaces. This work is being completed by Seddon Construction and the Casey Group. Work is due to be completed by December 2012, providing an excellent Christmas present for the residents.
We have interviewed a tenant, Joyce from Pickford Court, who has lived at the blocks for over 20 years and has seen many changes during this time. Joyce has been watching the progress of works from her balcony, in order to gain a better knowledge of what exactly is being done and how, ready for when work starts at her property in a couple of months. She tells us there is a â€˜buzzâ€™ around the area with so many people to talk to, saying the contractors are friendly and she feels that she is getting to know the people that will be working in her home. She has found the process of getting the external structure of the building insulated and moving on to the cladding, very interesting and is now looking forward to her block being completed in order to have a warmer home that is cheaper to run. The new kitchen and bathroom will be most welcome and will make her home feel like a new one.
Developments Across the Borough Outside Old Trafford there has also been a hive of activity with the Trust completing 11 new homes on the Ripon Road Estate. This completes the award winning estate which the Trust started to develop three years ago.
Our properties are built to exacting standards, with comprehensive NHBC 12 year protection warranty. The Trust has also given a major facelift to 25 homes on Urban Avenue in Altrincham.
This scheme lays nestled in the heart of Lostock around Glastonbury Road, Brompton Road and Fountains Road, close to Urmston town centre. This development is being sold on a shared ownership basis and properties range from £130-£150k.
These homes previously suffered from subsidence, condensation problems and had poor internal layouts. These properties have been changed into high quality, affordable apartments with attic bedrooms where residents want to live. They are situated just outside Altrincham town centre and are now very popular, attracting a long waiting list from the residents of Trafford.
You can buy a share in one of these new properties from £65k. This development will be complete very soon and it consists of 2 to 3 bedroom houses.
To find out more contact Marie Toboni, firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 0161 968 0103.
Investing in homes is not just about physical improvements; the Trust always looks to ensure for every pound invested in Trafford there is a similar social benefit.
Within the current climate, many people struggle to keep or find a job so we have also started working with Trafford College to run an Employability Skills Course from the community hub at Pickford Court.
An example of this is in Old Trafford, where the Trust has attracted £800k of external investment into the Borough. It has created 8 apprentice places for the people of Trafford and has trained 9 members of staff to give out energy advice after works have been completed to ensure economic and social change as well as physical.
The Course offers confidence building skills, interview techniques, job searching support, confidence building, etc. Both the enrolment days were well attended and the team hope to be able to offer further Courses in June, if there is a need for it in the area and we may also be able to offer crèche facilities.
The Trust has also been supporting education and training in the area and, as part of this, we recently held an enrolment day for an ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Course. This is being delivered from Pickford Court Community Hub from early February until early April.
If you would like more information in relation to these opportunities please contact Corinna Dale on 0300 777 7777 or
email@example.com and watch this space!
The Year Ahead The Trust has an extensive investment programme planned for 2012/13. Continuing its investment in tower blocks, we have recently been able to provide the residents of Princess and Empress Courts with some great news! Thanks to the Trust being successful in attracting an extra ÂŁ1.2m additional funding into the Borough, we have decided to bring forward the improvements that were planned for these blocks into next year. The team is currently appointing a contractor to replace the windows, externally clad the blocks, fit a new heating system and build new secure entrance pods. It is expected that this work will be completed by Christmas 2012 and these residents will have further work in the New Year to fit new kitchens and bathrooms and bring these properties up to the same We have also been successful in gaining planning permission on Calder Court in Urmston for the development of 33 new family homes. These are mainly 3 bedroom with 7 for open market sale, 10 for affordable rent and the remainder for shared ownership. These homes will take up to a year to be built replacing a number of derelict bungalows which are no longer fit for use. The Trust are hoping to work with local residents on both these schemes to ensure they meet the needs of existing residents in the area and future residents who want to move into these new high quality homes. Next year, the Trust will also be investing to bring a number of homes up to the Trafford Standard improving the internals of homes, investing in communal areas in walk up flats and sheltered schemes, ensuring they 6
great standard as those on Tamworth. This is not the only piece of news for the residents of Old Trafford. We have also been successful in gaining planning permission for 62 new, two bedroom homes on Essex Way, with the aim of creating a gateway into Trafford. By July next year these properties will be completed and ready to provide great new homes for local people. All homes at Essex Way will be for affordable rent and will be managed by Trafford Housing Trust. If you would like more information in relation to these new homes please contact Alex Atkinson on 0300 777 7777 or at firstname.lastname@example.org meet the highest possible standards and starting an extensive roofing programme across the Borough. In total, we are spending in the region of ÂŁ20m to ensure our residents are living in modern affordable homes. When we undertake these works we will be again looking for opportunities to create new employment for the residents of Trafford and ensure we invest in social, environmental and economic activities as well as physical investment. One such investment will be the creation of a community allotment for the use of local residents when we develop the Essex Way site. If you would like any further information about anything in this article or about any improvements planned to your home please contact Alex Atkinson on 0300 777 7777 or email@example.com
Trust Involve Schools in ‘Design a Logo’ Competition The ‘Design a Logo’ competition is aimed at broadening the awareness that residents in Old Trafford have of the masterplan, by allowing the children to be involved and be part of it. Apart from it being a fun thing to involve the children in, the winner of the competition will have their logo used all around Old Trafford on sites relating to the Old Trafford Masterplan. It was really interesting to learn that a lot of the children were already aware of certain parts of the Masterplan area such as the Tamworth Estate (or Seven Sisters as the children knew it) and even knew some of the names of the high rise blocks that we are regenerating and others that will be demolished later this year.
interest in the Masterplan which will affect most people in the area. We have been attending assemblies at the schools to present the Old Trafford Masterplan in a fun and easy way to understand. The children were really interactive and got fully involved with it becoming a competition for the highest hands up. The children could not wait to get started!! The closing date for the competition was 16th March 2012. The winning logo will be chosen by staff from TMBC, THT and the local MP, Kate Green. Watch this space for the next most famous architect coming out of Old Trafford!
We hope that by running this competition we can inspire the children of Old Trafford to be a part of their community. By taking part, it will encourage 7
Last year Business in the Community supported our Big Day In...by helping us train our Project Leaders.
continued Do you remember the Big Day Inâ€Ś when THT staff spent a day out and about in neighbourhoods doing community projects chosen by you, our residents?
On Give and Gain Day we will be re-visiting some of the projects we did last year as well as picking up other projects that our residents have brought to us since last October. We will also be taking part in Fit4Fun at Lancashire County Cricket Club. Our staff will be co-ordinating a sport and fitness event involving four primary schools in Stretford. We will also be involved in activities at Gorse Hill Primary School to help with some work they are doing in the infant yard, painting murals, playground markings, equipment and plants to help improve the learning environment.
We are also using Give and Gain Day to officially name our Lostock unit on Winchester Road. You may remember that when we opened it last year we launched a competition to find an appropriate name. There were several suggestions but the one we felt Business in the Community are a business-led charity was right was The Leathwaite Centre, in memory focused on promoting responsible business practice. of Steve Leathwaite. Many of The Prince of Wales is the president and it is made you will remember Steve. He up of a membership of over 850 businesses who lived in Lostock and was a very are committed to acting responsibly and working to active member of the Urmston transform communities to ensure a sustainable future Community Panel and also a for all. You may remember we reported in the Summer THT Board Member. He sadly issue of Pulse that our Clean Start initiative had won a died in 2010. Business in the Community Award. Give and Gain Day seemed a great day to do a naming Every year, Business in the Community have a Give and ceremony as Steve certainly gave a lot to the local Gain Day which, in the same way as our Big Day In... community but also gained pleasure and satisfaction gives employees the opportunity to get out from as a result. He was a true supporter of the power of their offices for a day to do something useful for the neighbourhoods working together. local community. Last year in the North West over If you want to find out more about exactly what 27,500 employees took part from 535 companies. we will be up to on Friday 18th May 2012, sign In total that was 3.3 million man hours focused on up to our Facebook page www.facebook.com/ traffordhousingtrust or follow us on Twitter community projects. @talktrafford Well, we are set to do it all again this year... but this time we are co-ordinating our event with Business in the Communityâ€™s Give and Gain Day on Friday 18th May 2012.
“Are you Listening?” These community-based radio stations are in your area, dedicated to supporting local communities.
Listen out for our TrustCall and Handyfix adverts.
Broomwood Boxing Club A new boxing club has been set up on the Broomwood estate by brothers Sean and Mark Davidson who are originally from Broomwood. They both worked alongside Councillor Ray Bowker to secure a premises and funding to set up their boxing venture. Both brothers share a passion and commitment to the community of Broomwood and with years of boxing experience they are running successful sessions at the Altrincham Youth Centre. Councillor Ray Bowker said “I believe this boxing club will go from strength to strength and I feel it will be of great benefit to the young people of the community”. Also in support of the boxing club, Trafford Housing Trust’s Vicki Duncan (Youth
Involvement Officer) has supported the boxing club by providing funding for kit bags and other merchandise. The Trafford Housing Trust logo will be on the youngster’s t shirts, bags and bottles. Vicki is also in the process of working with Sean Davidson to negotiate permission from the local authority to install a water supply directly to the boxing area. The youngsters need access to a water fountain whilst they are training and Vicki is keen to assist in making this happen. Trafford Housing Trust are incredibly happy to see this club in the heart of our community.We are doing all we can to show our support to the club and wish it the very best of success. 9
Community Panel News
THE ‘P’ FACTOR
Stretford Community Panel and Neighbourhood Partner Ruth Carroll helped creative Stretford High School’s year seven pupils to celebrate the virtues of their neighbourhood in a poetry and photography project that they dubbed ‘The ‘P’ Factor.
For the past few months, the pupils have been penning poems and snapping shots of the place where they live. The results of their artistic efforts were on display in Stretford Mall during the February half term holiday and shoppers were invited to vote for their favourite image or verse. Trafford Mayor, Councillor Mrs Baugh opened the exhibition and was the first person to place a vote in the voting box. Teacher Chris Hurst, who is director of the year seven Busby School within Stretford High, said the project was all about the youngsters reflecting on their community and what it means to them. 10
It is a way for us to get out into the community and share what we have been working on with other people. The competition attracted over 100 votes during the week.The winner of the poetry competition was presented with a Kindle E Reader and the winner of the photography competition was presented with a Samsung camera at an assembly at the school.They were presented with the prizes by the school’s Head Teacher and Vice Chair of Stretford Community Panel, Ann Guttridge. Following the competition, Ruth Carroll is going to work with the local Council and the school to try and get some of the poetry out into the community displayed on the streets that they have written about as part of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Celebrations.
Sport 2 Success Project Tabby Mansha, Youth Involvement Officer, worked very closely with Old Trafford Football Club in securing over ÂŁ5,000 worth of funding from Groundwork to help local residents living in Old Trafford gain a FA Level 1 and 2 qualification in coaching. These qualifications will help to create a platform to those who aspire to work in coaching and will help to increase the number of qualified, professional coaches within Old Trafford. John McGuiness, a local young person living in Old Trafford, who has been involved with the Trust for many years, grabbed this opportunity with two hands as he had been waiting to do this qualification for quite some time now. He is now working closely with Tabby to look at opportunities for employment in coaching.
Tabby Mansha added: T he project demonstrates clearly, how as a Trust, we go beyond our responsibility as a social landlord and be at the heart of communities by listening to the needs of the community and doing what we can to help meet them. 11
Clean Up On 6th February, Trafford Housing Trustâ€™s Urmston Neighbourhood Team partnered with Greater Manchester Probation Trust to tidy up the Woodsend area. They chopped hedges and overgrown brambles and litter picked around our properties to help improve the area. The Caretaking Team worked hard alongside probationâ€™s community payback section to make Valley Road look better for the residents and for the community.
Thanks to everyone for their hard work.
Caretaker John Rodger with Neighbourhood Partner Natalie Graburn and Greater Manchester Probabtion Trust
Community Panel News
On the 10th December 2011, Hazel Abbott, Neighbourhood Partner, Nicola Clarke, Home Living Advisor, Sarah Bradbury, Scheme Manager, Leverett Close and Vicki Duncan, Altrincham Community Panel Youth Involvement Officer came together with young people from the Oldfield Brow area to provide an intergenerational baking day with residents of Leverett Close Sheltered Scheme.
Youth Involvement Officer, Vikki Duncan with Levertt Close residents.
The day was a great success with Lynn Toop, Vice Chair of Altrincham Community Panel and a resident of Lyngarth House Sheltered Scheme, saying: It was wonderful to see the sharing of skills between the residents and the young people of the Oldfield Brow area. The young people were fascinated by stories of how people managed during the War and the baking was a great success.
Barbara and Pauline
The Best of
Both Worlds That’s how one of our residents described living in one of the 20 THT Sheltered Schemes recently, and here’s why. Our schemes are made up of one or two bedroom apartments. They are big enough to be comfortable but small enough not to require too much cleaning or heating. They are safe and secure with entry control systems and a Sheltered Scheme Manager looking out for all the residents. You can come and go as you please, have friends over for a coffee, pop out to the shops or sit or read a good book all afternoon. 14
“Peace and quiet behind my own front door
AND Good friends, good neighbours and good times beyond”
AND AS WELL AS ALL THAT, all our Sheltered Schemes have communal kitchen and lounge areas. These are places where you can meet and greet your neighbours, where there is lively chat and entertainment, the sharing of opinions, history, news and views and where everyone can find a listening ear. One such place is Millom Court, based in Altrincham. Monday morning is coffee morning at Millom Court – who will you find there?
This is Barbara Gleave. She is the lollipop lady from Thorley Lane, just near Barkers, the Florists in Altrincham. Barbara moved into Millom Court three Barbara Gleave years ago to be near her brother, who lives just round the corner. Barbara is a lively, strong, independent lady who has had adventures aplenty in her life (including living in Australia for five years). As she turned 60, however, she was starting to feel isolated, lonely and a little anxious about living alone. She took the decision to move from her native Liverpool to Altrincham and has never looked back. Now she has her own place, which is safe, secure and cosy. She has friends and neighbours in the Scheme and she has her job on the school crossing, which she loves. Rain or shine (but especially in the snow) meeting the children every morning and after school, chatting to them about their teachers, assemblies, the pictures they have drawn and the stories they have read while waving to the drivers as they pass by, makes her day. Barbara’s neighbours love her spirit and vitality. They also love her homemade soup on a Wednesday lunchtime.Yes, Barbara turns chef and makes a huge bowl of soup for everyone to come along and enjoy. Barbara’s son, Paul who lives in Australia and his wife Anna and baby daughter, Clementine visited Europe en route to a wedding in Gambia in February – what a fantastic family reunion it was. Barbara is not the only person at the scheme who works. Eddie Cunningham, another resident is a volunteer at the Equestrian Centre.
This is Pauline Quinn. Pauline was the Domestic at Millom Court until December 2011. She had worked there for 32 and a half years while she and her husband brought up six children. Pauline lives just across the road from Millom Court and can’t keep away. She helps out at the coffee mornings on a Monday and supplies bacon butties for £1. It gives her a great start to her week and a chance to meet up with the friends she made while working there. In fact Rachel, the new cleaner, quite often has to wrestle the bucket and mop off her. Pauline has a very special connection to Millom Court. Her mum and dad, Jim and Francis Lomax were the very first residents at the Scheme who moved into flat 11A in 1972. Pauline’s Parents Pauline’s mum organised bingo for the residents and used to go over to wholesalers on Bury New Road to buy all the prizes. Bingo still takes place, although the prizes are now in cash. The bingo session is held 2pm - 4pm every Thursday afternoon and everyone is welcome. Pauline has known all the six Scheme Managers at Millom – Winnie Oliver; Doreen Logan; Pauline Norton; Della Riley and Philomena Clark. You don’t have to live in one of the schemes to get involved. Come down and have a chat and a coffee and take part in many events.
Trust Joins Forces with Prince’s Trust Leverett Close has been spruced up by a team of unemployed 16 to 25 years olds as part of a community project for the Prince’s Trust Team Programme initiative delivered by the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service. The Team Programme is a 12-week personal development course, offering work experience, qualifications, practical skills, community projects and a residential week. The Team advertised in a local paper for communitybased projects in the Trafford area. Scheme Manager Sarah Bradbury responded to the advert and the young people chose Leverett Court. The team of six spent six days, over two weeks decorating the internal brick corridors of the sheltered accommodation to brighten up the facilities for the 38 residents who live there. Tony Lowry, Assistant Director of Neighbourhoods said: The aim is to build up the team’s confidence and get them used to the working environment. We have been very impressed with the team and have offered a two week work placement to 17-year-old Jack Hall with our Youth Team, after he had expressed an interested in working with young people.
Michael Ward, aged 23, who is on the Team Programme, said: It’s been a really good experience and it’s been nice to do a project that has been so worthwhile. I had done a little bit of painting and decorating before, but not as much as this. I’ve been out of work for five months after graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University. I hope taking part in the Team Programme will help me find future employment. It’s definitely given me more confidence. Greater Manchester Fire Service delivers the Prince’s Trust Team Programme in the Trafford area from its base at Sale West Youth Centre. Team Leader Lauren Garner said: he young people have really enjoyed their time T at Leverett Court and they selected this as the community project where they wanted to work. We have established great links with Trafford Housing Trust which we hope to further develop in the future and it’s fantastic that Jack has gained a work placement as a result of the work he has done here. We run three Team Programmes a year and the next intake are going to come back to Leverett Court and finish off painting the remainder of the hallways.
JOAN AND ALEX A Diamond Couple
DIAMOND couple Joan, 81, and Alex Porter, 82, celebrated 60 years of marriage in February with a sparkling party at Wellgreen Lodge.
A special toast of the bread variety and not the bubbly kind marked the celebration after the couple first met, when Alex delivered bread to Joan’s parents’ house from Dunkleys Bakery in Timperley. The baker’s driver asked Joan out on a date and their love bloomed. The couple were married in Timperley Parish Church on 16 February 1952. They have one son, Stephen, 59, three granddaughters and two great-granddaughters. Throughout their marriage the couple lived on the Broomwoord Estate in Timperley, where Joan was a familiar face working at the local greengrocers, before moving to Old Meadow Lane in Hale 13 years ago.
Alex worked in the New Dog and Fishing Tackle Shop in Sale for 26 years before becoming a security guard at Manchester Airport. The couple, who are Trafford Housing Trust tenants, are now regulars at Wellgreen Lodge in Hale and attend coffee mornings, keep fit classes, bingo and even go on holiday with all of their friends at the sheltered housing scheme. A party was organised for the couple on Thursday at Wellgreen Lodge to celebrate their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. Alex and Joan were presented with champagne flutes and a gift voucher.
Joan said: “It really doesn’t seem like we have been married for 60 years, it only feels like yesterday that we got married. I believe the secret to a successful marriage is tolerance, lots of love, being able to get on with each other and enjoying each others company.” “We have been members at Wellgreen Lodge for a number of years now and we really enjoy all of the activities they run, it keeps us busy and stops us turning into couch potatoes. At the moment I’m knitting teddy bears which are going to be sold for charity and we are off on holiday to Eastbourne this April.” 17
Get Involved in a Taste of Trafford Businesses across Trafford are being invited to get involved in the next Taste of Trafford spectacular on Sunday 22 April.
an estimated 4,000 people last time, leaving them hungry for more and with most of the event under cover, you can enjoy the day come rain or shine.
The one day event promises to be another great day filled with culinary delights, activities and entertainment. The gastronomic celebration of all that’s good about food and drink in Trafford attracted
We hope to see you there on what will be a fantastic day for all the family.
Do you Remember the Wellgreen Craft & Create Group?
who stitched most of the 1,400 squares together. The oldest knitter was Betty Scott, the lady in the light blue coat fourth from the left.
We featured them in our last issue showing off their gigantic patchwork blanket. The quilt was knitted to raise funds for the Age UK ‘Spread the Warmth’ campaign. It was raffled at the Wellgreen Christmas party on 16th December but actually no one really wanted to win it! What do you do with a 29.5ft x 14.5ft quilt? The winner was Eddie Jones and he had the perfect solution – the quilt has been donated to the Childrens’ Adventure Farm Trust (CAFT) in Knutsford. Here it is being delivered by residents and visitors of Wellgreen Lodge. Eddie is the gentleman in the blue coat, fourth from the right and his wife, Steph is second from the left. Next to Eddie in the pink is Brenda O’Connor
Visit the website for more information and the location of various events at www.atasteoftrafford.com
Libby Swindells, Scheme Manager at Wellgreen Lodge has been a get supporter of the charity, which provides holidays and activities for terminally ill, chronically sick, disabled and disadvantaged children from all over the North West. Since the visit Wellgreen Craft & Create have taken to their needles again. The quilt is to be used for a Teddy Bears Picnic’s during the Summer and taking that theme, the knitters are making teddy bears. Each bear is being labeled as a “Wellgreen Woolly Wanderer” and will be sold to raise over £1,000 for CAFT. If you want to get your hands on a knitted bear you can do so by getting in touch with Libby on 0161 980 4743 or attending the Wellgreen Summer Fair on Saturday 18th August 2012.
If in Doubt Keep Them Out How to Beat the Bogus Caller During the past year, far too many Trafford residents have been conned into either having unnecessary work done by rogue traders or had money and jewellery stolen by people who have tricked their way into residents’ homes. Rogue traders may offer to mend your roof, clean gutters, chop down trees, clean or build drives – the work is often unnecessary and of poor quality – if it has been done at all. Bogus officials may claim to be from the Police, the Council, utility companies, housing trusts or charities – they may be men, women or even children. website has been set up in an A effort to help vulnerable people all over Manchester to prevent door step crime happening to them. nock Knock, supported by K Greater Manchester Police Authority, provides information, support and videos in the fight to stop door step crime and bogus callers. 20
The project also encourages the use of the ‘No cold calling’ areas which have been successfully set up in other Boroughs. As part of this scheme, areas where cold calling is a problem are signposted with ‘No cold calling’ signs alerting visitors of the zone.
DON’T BE A VICTIM • T ake a look at the Knock, Knock website, www.doorstepcrime.net • Keep doors locked • Fit a door chain – and use it • Never keep large sums of money in the house • If you have agreed to have work done on the door step you MUST be given written notice of your seven day cancellation period – if this is not given the contract may be unenforceable – ring Trading Standards IMMEDIATELY • Never do business on the door step • Always ask for ID and CHECK it carefully • If you are concerned about a caller ring the police non-emergency number 101 or in an emergency call 999
Messaging System to Keep Rogues at Bay Residents and businesses can now stay one step ahead of rogue traders, scams and cons with the launch of a free new service which sends them warnings. Called Trafford iCan, which stands for ‘informed consumer alert network’ it is a new service in Trafford which is available to anyone living in the Borough. Members of the scheme can either opt for a pre-recorded phone message, text message or email to inform them about potential rogue traders. They will also be encouraged to spread the message to their neighbours, family and friends to also warn them of the potential scam as well as report any concerns they may have to Trading Standards. Executive Councillor John Reilly: “This is a great opportunity for local people to help themselves and the people around them stay safe. It is the only scheme of its kind currently operating
in Greater Manchester and, as a free service; I urge residents and businesses to take full advantage of it.” “The service is accessible to the whole community especially for the blind and deaf community as they can either opt for a text or voice message. It’s aimed particularly at offering extra protection and reassurance for the most vulnerable members of the community, who these traders tend to target, by warning them in advance of what to look out for if there’s been reports of incidents in the area.” Further details, including registration forms, are available at any Trafford library, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, by phoning Julia Bentley on 0161 912 1377 or online at www.trafford.gov.uk/ican You can find out more about us by visiting www.trafford.gov.uk
If a THT employee knocks on your door, ring the verification phone number on the ID Card or 0300 777 7777
Home Verifica tio
0 0 777
Windy warning on rogue roofers Trafford residents are being warned to ensure they don’t give cowboy roofers a field day after recent storms. Trafford Trading Standards team issued a timely reminder that gangs of rogue traders target residents to do jobs or repairs to damaged properties following extreme weather. After the recent strong winds and bad weather, Trading Standards Officers are warning people to be aware of people knocking on their door offering to do work. Unscrupulous gangs often target householders, including elderly or vulnerable people, quoting a low price for a job. The price often rises or additional work is often needed, which ends up with people handing over large sums of money. Graeme Levy, Public Protection Manager, says: “The practice of offering to do repairs door-todoor is not uncommon. Unfortunately people end up paying much more than anticipated. The work is often done immediately before people have had chance to change their mind and is often of a poor standard or not done at all.” “Anyone knocking on a door offering to do work is legally required to give consumers written notice of their seven days cancellation rights.These rights apply even when you made the first contact with 22
the trader. If they don’t give written notice as the law requires, it can mean the contract is unenforceable”. Anyone needing work doing to their home should remember: • Check with your insurers to see whether you have to use specific traders • Do not be forced into making an instant decision on the doorstep • Get three quotes from reputable companies – remembering that the best way to choose a trader is by personal recommendation from someone who has had work done • Fix a price and be specific about what work is to be done • Get everything in writing, including the company address and landline telephone number • Consider paying by credit card if possible for jobs over £100 which ensures extra protection.
Anyone who is unsure about a caller should contact the Police on 0161 872 5050 or Trading Standards on 0161 912 1377.
CRIMESTOPPERS An evo-fit image has been released of a man wanted after an elderly pensioner was conned by a man pretending to be a gardener. Sometime between 3pm and 3.25pm on 10th February 2012, the 83-year-old woman was walking along Stamford Park Road, Hale, when a man in a white Ford van pulled alongside and started to talk to her. She asked if he was the gardener and he said he was and had been sent by her regular gardener as he was busy and could not attend. The pair then met her at the woman’s home on Oak Road a short time later and he was allowed inside. Once inside the house, the offender asked for £150 payment in return for some gardening work. The victim stated that she only had £90, which the offender took from her hand. The offender then left her house stating that he had to get tools from his van. On his way out of the house, the offender stole the victim’s mobile phone from a sideboard in the rear living room. The offender returned to his van and drove off towards Hale Road. The man, who is described as white, of stocky build and had short hair, did not return and did not carry out any work. Police Constable Ian McKinnon, Volume Crime Team, said: “The offender has seized on an opportunity to
exploit the elderly victim and did not think twice about taking money from her for work he clearly had no intention of doing.” “Evo-fits give really good resemblances and are very life-like so if anyone thinks they recognise someone from this image please get in touch.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Volume Crime Team on 0161 856 7521 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. 23
Metal Thefts in Your Area Some of you may have already seen the Granada Reports news in relation to metal thefts which are on the rise in Manchester and we ask you to be vigilant for suspicious activity in your area.
What can Neighbourhood and Home Watch members do about metal theft?
hirdly, members also need to be on the T lookout for unlicensed venues where stolen metal is cleaned up, often by burning of the covering and where the identifying marks are removed, before being taken to the licensed dealers. The Police and local authorities need to know.
F inally, members who live in the vicinity of licensed and unlicensed sites must be alert to vehicles turning up outside the normal working hours. Again, details should be passed to the local Police.
This is a matter for everybody in the community, but Neighbourhood Watch and Home Watch can lead the way.
F irstly, we all need to be alert to the situation and keep watch for vans and trucks driving around our streets looking for the opportunity to steal metal and report any details to the local Police (101) or Crimestoppers (0800 555 111). No item of intelligence is ever too small; it might be the final piece of the jigsaw.
S econdly, be aware of workmen removing metal items in the street. The thieves are using uniforms, stolen vans, etc.
This is a problem that affects us all â€˘ Keep a watch out for suspicious vehicles and workmen. â€˘ Pass ALL information to the police or Crimestoppers as soon as possible.
Trafford Housing Trust is looking to make big changes in the delivery of the CCTV service for residents living in our multistorey properties in the north of the Borough. The service has been provided though Trafford MBC since 2005 and many of our tenants were telling us they wanted some changes to the service. So, we spent last year looking at how service might be provided in the future. To start with we visited a number of Housing Association providers in Manchester to see how
their CCTV operations work and what the benefits to customers are. Then, armed with what we found, we started talking to customers about what their views were. This involved consultation with residents in all of the blocks using written surveys, face-to-face surveys and discussion groups.
What initial survey results showed us: Want to keep a monitoring service
Want a walking patrol
Want a concierge service
Want no service
Princess & Empress Court
The survey told us that most people wanted to continue with a monitored service, but also that they wanted this at a lower cost. We then looked at our options for providing this service by either continuing with TMBC, going to another provider or bringing the service in-house. After getting details on the cost of the various options, we found out that the cheapest way of providing the service was to provide it ourselves and so, from April, new cameras will be monitored by our own staff. 25
We think that as well as being the cheaper service it will also bring other benefits for the future. Some of the things that weâ€™ll be looking at next year are using the images to tackle tenancy fraud by making sure that the people living in the blocks are our tenants, and the cost of providing a concierge service by the same staff monitoring the images also intercepting intercom calls. If you live in one of our tower blocks and want to get involved in the decisions we make about future service improvements, please let your Neighbourhood Partner know how we can contact you.
Behaviour Issues Carla Robinson Old Trafford On Monday 13th February 2012, we took Miss Carla Robinson of 33 Shrewsbury Court, Old Trafford to court for a breach of her tenancy. Since August 2011 we have been collating evidence in regards to the condition of the tenant’s gardens. Over this time we visited the address and spoke to the resident on many occasions and offered different options to her to help her remove the rubbish, but the tenant didn’t take action. Photographs were taken to show the condition of the garden over a matter of a few months.
On Monday 13th February 2012 we went to Manchester Crown Court and we were granted an injunction in tenant’s absence. This means she has to keep her garden clean, for the lifetime of the tenancy. The injunction was served to the tenant at her property and the injunction gives her 14 days to bring her garden up to standard, if she does not comply then she will be in contempt of court and may be sent to prison. Steve Birss, Neighbourhood Partner said: “With the assistance of my colleagues in the Old Trafford Office and Simon Banks we have served the first injunction to a tenant for an untidy garden.”
Cartmel Drive, Altrincham
In September 2011, Trafford Housing Trust was granted possession of a property in Altrincham following neighbours’ complaints about anti-social behaviour. Altrincham County Court granted Trafford Housing Trust possession of the property in Cartmel Drive, but suspended it until 1st February 2016. The Judge granted the order following the tenant Susan Garner admitting anti-social behaviour and criminal activity since November 2003.
Woodsend Road, Urmston Two Trafford Housing Trust tenants have made promises to not act in an anti-social manner after the Trust started legal proceedings against them, following years of anti-social behaviour. On 5th September 2011, the two tenants attended Manchester County Court and gave an undertaking, which is a ‘promise to the Court’, that there would be no further reports of antisocial behaviour at their home in Woodsend Road, Flixton, in the next 12 months. Since October 2006, Trafford Housing Trust received complaints of loud music, shouting, screaming, banging and fighting and, despite numerous warnings, the behaviour of the two tenants and their visitors continued and legal proceedings were issued. However, over recent months, the persistency of the anti-social behaviour increased and allowed the Trust to instigate legal proceedings based on the recent allegations, whilst including the older allegations.
Initially, Ms Garner’s sons were subject to antisocial behaviour orders but the Trust continued to receive reports of anti-social behaviour which included further criminal offences, shouting, verbal abuse, fighting and dogs barking. The Judge suspended the Possession Order when there were no further reports of anti-social behaviour since two of Ms Garner’s sons were arrested and found guilty of criminal offences that occurred at her home in July 2010. If the undertakings are breached and the courts find the tenants guilty then they could face being sent to prison for a maximum of two years.
Louise Campbell Roedean Gardens, Urmston In January 2012, we secured an injunction that banned Ms Campbell from visiting her parent’s property on Woodsend Road, Urmston. The Trust secured the order after receiving complaints regarding excessive banging, shouting and screaming and nuisance at the parent’s property when Ms Campbell was visiting. The complaints had been received for a number of years. The Trust instigated legal proceedings at the hearing in January 2011, Ms Campbell failed to appear and the Judge granted the injunction in her absence and banned her from visiting her parents until January 2013.
Gillian Hamnett Glenham Court, Old Trafford
Also in Old Trafford, we have successfully obtained a court order against a tenant who made the life of her immediate neighbours a ‘living nightmare’ on a regular basis since 2005. She subjected them to noise nuisance at all times of the night and day to the point that the neighbours were physically affected by it. The court order has allowed us to move her from the three bedroom house (which she was under
If she continues to cause nuisance we have the power to terminate her tenancy. Needless to say, we are keeping a very close eye on her. This is a great result not only for the neighbours of this lady but also in freeing up a much needed family home.
On 7th February 2012, we secured immediate possession against Sophie Holt of Croft Road, Sale.
During October 2011, Trafford Housing Trust received reports that Mr Luamba was sleeping rough in a number of the high rises in the Old Trafford area. The reports included Mr Luamba sleeping in the stair wells and causing criminal damage and setting some paper alight.
Croft Road, Sale
In June 2011, Sophie gave an undertaking to the courts promising she would not cause any further nuisance which included loud parties and fighting on a Friday and Saturday night. However, despite the ‘promise’ we continued to receive reports and, in order to support the vulnerable witnesses, officers worked during the night to witness the noise. At the hearing in February 2012, Sophie admitted all the breaches of the undertaking and immediate possession was granted. Sophie agreed with this order to prevent her from being sent to prison for breach of the undertaking. The warrant has not been executed, however should Sophie not hand the keys in on 6th March 2012, then she may be committed to prison. 28
occupying) to a one bedroom flat where she was given a personalised tenancy agreement that contained a number of individual clauses, additional to the standard tenancy agreement. This includes engaging with support services and having no music playing equipment in the property, without our permission.
There were also reports that Mr Luamba had been abusive and threatening towards the caretakers in the blocks where he had been sleeping rough and this included him throwing things at the caretakers when they asked him to leave. As a result of these reports, the Trust applied for an injunction and on 7th November 2011, Manchester County Court heard the evidence and granted an injunction banning Mr Luamba from the high rises and controlling his behaviour towards the caretakers. The injunction was granted for 12 months.
The Mount, Altrincham On 13th February 2012, at Altrincham County Court the Judge approved a suspended Possession Order following Ms Lau agreeing to the order, based on evidence that Ms Lau and her family had caused a nuisance to the neighbours. The allegations included Ms Lau allowing her dogs to bark, allowing the people living and visiting her property to cause a nuisance by banging, shouting and screaming. The order was granted for two years and during this time should further reports be received then Ms Lau could face being evicted.
Andrew Bonner Barkway Road, Stretford
On 21st November 2011, the Courts approved a suspended Possession Order against Mr Bonner following the Trust issuing possession proceedings for breach of a suspended possession order secured in April 2009. The proceedings were based on allegations of abusive behaviour including foul language towards employees of the Trust and contractors working on behalf of the Trust. He also distributed leaflets that had potentially defamatory allegations about the Trust. Mr Bonner consented to the further order for a period of two years and should the Trust receive any further allegations during this time then Mr Bonner could face being evicted.
Gudrun Gresty Harley Road, Sale
A Sale woman has been given a community order and curfew after being convicted of benefit fraud. 53 year old Gudrun Gresty of Harley Road, Sale was sentenced at Trafford Magistrates Court on 9 March for dishonestly obtaining Housing and Council Tax Benefit and Jobseekers Allowance amounting to £5,309.31. Mrs Gresty pleaded guilty to failing to declare to Trafford Council’s Benefits Department and The Department for Work and Pensions that she was in receipt of a private pension. As a result she has been overpaid Housing and Council Tax Benefit and Jobseekers Allowance between September 1998 and August 2011. She was sentenced to a 12 month community order with a curfew from 8pm to 7am for 8 weeks and ordered to pay court costs of £210. In addition to this Mrs Gresty is required to repay all monies that she falsely claimed from Trafford Council and The Department for Work and Pensions. Council Counter Fraud Officers were alerted to this matter following receipt of information from a data matching exercise that indicated Mrs Gresty was in receipt of a private pension. Executive Councillor Sean Anstee said: “It is important people declare all their income when applying for benefits to avoid situations such as this arising. We will take action against anyone found to be fraudulently claiming benefits.” 29
Would You Like Us to be the Best Landlord Possible? Come and help us on our journey. We are introducing three new Customer Action Groups (CAGs) for customers to work with staff on specific services to look at how they currently operate and help them improve. You will be involved in making decisions around services and help hold us to account. They are based around People, Properties and Places. The People CAG will meet on the first Tuesday of the month. This group will look at how you access different services, how we take your views into account and act on them, services for older customers and rents.
The Properties CAG will meet on the third Monday of the month. This group will look at the repairs and maintenance to homes, the investment and regeneration work being carried out and the development of new homes.
The Places CAG will meet on the second Wednesday of the month. This group will look at all services that we carry out where you live, such as caretaking, grounds maintenance, dealing with anti-social behaviour and letting properties.
The first meeting is on Tuesday 1st May.
The first meeting is on Monday 23rd April.
The first meeting is on Wednesday 9th May.
All groups will meet at Sale Point on Washway Road from 5.30pm for some food and 6pm start. Need help getting here? No problem, contact the Customer Hub on 0300 777 7777 and we can help with this. For more information contact a member of the Community and Partnerships Team.
Calling all Tenant and Resident Associations!
On 1st March 2012, Trafford Housing Trust started to deliver a new service on behalf of Trafford Council.
The Tenants and Residents Federation are holding their Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday 26th April.
This service is to supply and fit minor adaptations in the Borough – this applies specifically to people who require an adaptation to their home following a recommendation from an Occupational Therapist. The contract is for a period of three years and will be delivered through our handymen, two of whom are known to our tenants already – Tony Chadderton and Mike Fitzpatrick and the third, David Adams has transferred to us from Care and Repair Manchester, who were doing the contract previously.
6.30pm: Tea, coffee and biscuits and registration 7.00pm: Prompt start Park House, 73 Northenden Road, Sale M33 2DG. The Federation will also be presenting their Annual Report which provides details of its activities over the past year. Please come along and show your support. Reasonable out of pocket expenses will be reimbursed.
What you can expect from us as your Landlord? In 2005, when Trafford Housing Trust was set up, customers were involved in the development of an ‘Offer Document’ where we clearly set out what you could expect from us. Now, we are seven years old we need to revisit this offer and ensure you know what to expect from us.
us in terms of repairs, regeneration work, caretaking, grounds maintenance, our approach to tackling anti-social behaviour and other services we deliver to you. We have listened to customer feedback, reviewed various surveys and will be improving our offer to you in several areas.
We have been reviewing our services and intend to set this out to you in a new customer offer document. This will involve pulling together into one place, the different standards you can expect from
Once the final details have been agreed we will make sure every customer has an individual copy and put this on our website: www.traffordhousingtrust.co.uk
InfoTrafford The Trafford Partnership has launched its new free website InfoTrafford. InfoTrafford is an information site which everyone can access to view statistics about the borough, for example crime levels, unemployment figures and health information such as the number of smokers in the area. This information can be used to help shape policy and activity across the Borough. For example, detail of types of crime and how often they occur can help police and community safety teams to target resources at low geographic areas and understand crime trends, the community asset map will help the public to find their nearest services and ward profiles on population, lifestyles and economic activity will give the voluntary and community sector the chance to carry out activities in their own communities. The site is updated weekly and so is a one-stop shop for all data about the Borough supplied by public organisations in Trafford. This information is used to set priorities and target financial resources in the right areas and for those most in need. InfoTrafford follows the successful Data GM which contains statistical information about the whole of Greater Manchester; both were developed with Future Everything.
Councillor Alex Williams, Deputy Leader of the Council, said: In Trafford we have led the drive towards increased transparency in public sector organisations. InfoTrafford is already home to over 8,000 datasets and we are seeing great examples of how this data can influence the lives of residents.The tool is constantly being updated with new datasets and we are working with all organisations and the community to develop the system so everyone can benefit from this fantastic resource. By making this information easily available to all it allows residents and the wider community to understand the Boroughâ€™s priorities and challenge our effectiveness, as it gives people a better idea of the impact we are having across our communities. Iâ€™m sure that this will prove to be a valuable resource for our partner organisations and current and prospective residents.
Ready, Set, Go for the Greater Manchester Marathon After a 10 year absence, the Greater Manchester Marathon looks set to become a permanent fixture in the Trafford sporting calendar.
football and is home to County Champions, Lancashire CCC and Premier League Champions Manchester United.”
Trafford was recently announced as Europe’s third fastest growing tourist destination by Trip Advisor and its reputation will be boosted further when thousands of athletes and spectators take to the streets on Sunday 29th April.
“The marathon will kick start the build up for our role as host Borough for football at London 2012 Olympic Games. It will be a great spectacle and one that I’m sure many people will turn up to watch.”
The iconic race will start and finish in Longford Park, Stretford, passing the Imperial War Museum, the new Media City, Trafford Park and Dunham Massey.
Race Director Simon Hill now hopes to make the Greater Darren Campbell will be one of the celebrity race Manchester Marathon the biggest starters on the day and is delighted to see a marathon in the UK outside London. finally returning to the city where he grew up. “We are delighted with the success of the “It will hopefully soon become the biggest in the UK Greater Manchester Marathon so far. The outside London,” enthused Campbell. reaction from all sections of the community and “It’s only right that Trafford should join places like from Council leaders has been 100% positive.” New York, Paris and Berlin in staging the ultimate “There is a real demand for the marathon to running race.” return and we intend to grow the Greater Trafford Council chiefs are, not surprisingly, delighted Manchester Marathon and make it a race that the that the iconic event will yet further strengthen an city can be proud of and one that will rival the already first-class sporting reputation. best in the world.” Executive Councillor Jonathan Coupe said: “Trafford has an excellent reputation for hosting great sporting events from championship cricket to European
For more details and to enter visit www.greatermanchestermarathon.com
Society for Abandoned
Animalsâ€™ Spring Fair Looking for advice about your pet or just looking for a fun afternoon out? Why not visit the Society for Abandoned Animalsâ€™ Spring Fair, on Sunday 29th April between 12 noon and 4pm, just off Dane Road in Sale. National Pet Care month runs from the 7th April until the 7th May and whether you already have a pet or are thinking of getting one, this event gives THT tenants, and all members of the public, the chance to speak to our staff and volunteers about all aspects of pet care. Enjoy some refreshments in the Spring sunshine, test your skill and luck on the games stalls. Treat your four-legged friends to a present from our selection of pet presents or pick up a bargain or two for yourself in the Bargain Warehouse.
Entrance will be just ÂŁ1 for adults and 50p for children, all proceeds from our events go towards helping us to help the animals in our care and the animals just waiting for a chance to be helped. Please note that onsite parking will be restricted at this event, however, off street parking will be available a short walk away and transport from there can be provided, if needed.
100 DAYS LATER In the Winter issue of Pulse we told you about the Council’s 100 Day Campaign which started on Friday 16th December 2012.
We are now over 100 days later and the campaign has finished! The aim of the 100 day campaign was to reinforce the high standards of respect, decency and responsibility in Trafford through community events including litter picks, awareness patrols, environmental works, allotment open days, activity sessions and sporting activities. There have been many fantastic events including a parent and child crafts café at the Partington Library and Wellbeing Centre, a crime and consequences session led by the Youth Service’s Prevention Team, a garden clean-up at Davyhulme Youth Centre, a session for young people who are known to the Youth Offending Service entitled ‘Teams not Gangs’ and a free Urban Street Dance session at Sale High School Dance Studio.
On Tuesday 28th February 2012, the 75th day, there was a Skills North West event at the Trafford Centre, which was an interactive careers and skills exhibition and on Wednesday 14th March 2012, the 90th Day, the community came together to get Sale Water Park ready for spring. On the final day a family fun day was held at Sale Leisure Centre to celebrate an inspiring 100 days across the Borough. In total there were over 400 events that took place involving over 1,500 people, many of whom were tenants and staff of Trafford Housing Trust.
To celebrate the 25th day of the Council’s ‘100 Day - We Need You!’ campaign, the Leader of Trafford Council and Chair of the Trafford Partnership, Councillor Matt Colledge, has launched the new Trafford-wide strategy for supporting volunteering at an event at The Fuse, Partington. The event brought together over 100 key figures from across public, private and third sector organisations, all who want to explore the value of volunteering in more detail. The new ‘Volunteering Trafford’ strategy sets out to increase the proportion of Trafford residents who volunteer, to increase the quality and quantity of volunteering opportunities across the Borough and to increase and improve collaborative working across the voluntary, private and public sectors. Business leaders from some of the Borough’s largest businesses signed the volunteering pledge and have committed to promoting and supporting employees in their organisations to spend time volunteering. Picture: Trafford Partnership member and Director of Delivery at Trafford Housing Trust, Jane McCall. 36
Councillor Matt Colledge said: Volunteering has long been a cornerstone in Trafford; it works to build and strengthen trust and social networks within communities and provides a source of much needed assistance for vulnerable groups and individuals. he ‘Volunteering Trafford’ initiative will T further strengthen volunteering activity in our Borough, making it easier for groups and organisations to provide volunteering opportunities, and for volunteers to access these opportunities. By taking part in volunteering opportunities we can enrich our lives and make a positive contribution to the society we live in.
As part of the initiative volunteering events will be happening across the Borough over the next twelve months, kicking off with the launch of the Councilâ€™s own employee volunteering scheme. Council employees will be supported to take up to eight hours in a six month period to engage in voluntary work. Opportunities include helping children to read in a school, building websites and working on an allotment.
Theresa Grant, Acting Chief Executive, said: he new scheme is going to be a great benefit T to all involved.The community will benefit as groups and charities will get support they could not normally afford to pay for and volunteers have the chance to give something back to Trafford in an area they are interested in. We hope the new volunteering strategy will encourage more organisations in Trafford to set up such a scheme.
To view the volunteering strategy and to see what volunteering opportunities are available near you please visit http://3rdsectortrafford.org.uk/ Why not volunteer to be a part of your local Community Panel by contacting your Neighbourhood Partner. Altrincham: Hazel Abbot Stretford: Ruth Carroll
Old Trafford: Steve Birss Urmston: Natalie Graburn
Sale: Jan Ward
In the last issue of Pulse we dedicated a couple of pages to the work of the Trafford Partnership. This is an alliance of some key organisations across the Borough who are committed to working together to improve the quality of life for Trafford residents.
partnership had done. This included a short play illustrating the destructive impact of alcohol on lives that was recently shown at The Fuse in Partington and featured local people in the lead roles. There was also a film about the New Choices, a scheme working very successfully in Partington to help local people find work and an introduction to the work of the Trafford Centre for Independent Living.
There are over 100 organisations involved from the public, private, voluntary and community sectors. With those positive stories ringing in their ears, the The aims and objectives of the partnership are set attendees at the event then split into four groups: trafford partnership - PURPLE out in the Strategy, Trafford Vision 2021 which can be viewed at www.traffordpartnership.org North - Old Trafford, Stretford, Lostock, Gorse Hill On Wednesday 7th March 2012 the partnership led its annual event at Lancashire County Cricket Club. This was an interactive event open to senior and front line staff in the membership organisations, volunteers and people from the community. In attendance from Trafford Housing Trust were Directors, Managers, Home Living Advisors and Neighbourhood Partners, members of the Youth Team and our Community Panel Chairs. The event opened with an address from Matt Colledge, Leader of the Council and Chair of the Partnership. He used the opportunity to highlight some of the key achievements of the partnership and outline the challenges that it will face over the next twelve months. His speech was followed by three very inspiring showcases of work the
South - Altrincham, Timperley, Hale, Hale Barns, Bowdon, Broadheath, Broomwood Central - Sale West, Sale Moor, Sale, Brooklands, Ashton-upon-Mersey West - Urmston, Partington, Davyhulme, Flixton, Carrington During the morning, the groups identified priorities in each of the areas. Similar themes came through each area which included empowering and supporting communities through devolving budgets; encouraging healthy living and independence; crime and anti-social behaviour; young people, creating training/skill development/employment opportunities and supporting innovation.
There were also some quite specific objectives too, such as developing a thriving town centre in Altrincham.
• Continental/Farmers food markets around the Borough
Over lunch, the inaugural Volunteering Trafford Awards were presented by the Mayor of Trafford, Cllr Mrs Jane Baugh.
• Using empty shops to advertise other businesses
The Trust was delighted that one of the winners was our own Mary Blackburn and you can read all about her contribution to life in Trafford on page 40.
• Active streets initiatives
• Intergenerational activities where older people could share their experiences with young people • Community-led tea parties • A know your neighbour scheme • Community bike share schemes • Recruiting Community Champions While some of the big, bold ideas were • Buying the Piper Pub in Sale and turning it into a community resource centre for young people • Expanding the New Choices scheme around the Borough
The afternoon session started with a presentation about the big event of the Summer – the Olympics coming to Trafford. The opportunities that this event presents were then discussed in the afternoon as the groups considered approaches to the priorities identified.
• Developing a community allotment scheme • Developing community budgets • Engaging with employers on Trafford Park to provide mentors for young people • Creating Hubs to co-locate services in the community
The various suggestions were split into two areas: the small things that could have a powerful impact and collating some big, bold ideas.
• Using Stretford Mall as a centre for job creation and work experience
Some of the smaller things discussed were:
These were just some initial ideas and obviously a lot of further work will be required to turn some of them into action.
• Organising family fun days with an Olympic theme • Engaging local businesses in youth clubs • Labour market trend in Trafford being shared with schools
Watch this space!
Awards Trafford’s Volunteering Awards were presented at the Trafford Partnership Neighbourhood Event on 7th March. We are thrilled that Mary Blackburn, a tenant from Altrincham, was one of the winners. Audra Brandy, Community and Partnerships Engagement Officer nominated Mary because:
“Mary has worked tirelessly for her community, whether it’s arranging a remembrance service to remember heroes from the famous Dambusters battle or scoring cricket matches for more than 60 years. Mary works hard to improve the lives of people in her community and was instrumental in starting up Bowdon Vale Youth Club in 2009.”
“Mary took it upon herself to consult with local young people who were hanging about the streets.” “Also, as a founding member of the Hobblers and Wobblers social club, where she organises events, trips out and lunch once a month for elderly residents. Mary is not the sort of person to get recognition for the work she carries out and I felt this award would be a nice way to say thank you for all the work she has carried out over the years.”
Come and meet with Mary every Tuesday at 12.30pm for afternoon tea at Altrincham Hub
Awards 2012 On Friday 10th of February at the Palace Hotel in Manchester, two young people, who are Trafford Housing Trust tenants, were shortlisted to attend a prestigious awards afternoon. The Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) awards are open to social housing providers and tenants to give recognition to those who give up their free time in their community to make a positive difference. With this in mind Shannon Dolan, aged 16 from Sale Moor, and John McGuiness, aged 16 from Old Trafford, were amongst the nominees for the ‘Young Tenant of the Year’ award. Shannon Dolan said “It was very beneficial, even though I didn’t win. I feel proud to have been considered and it has given me further incentive to do more for my community.”
Shannon Dolan Shannon and John were both given a certificate to thank them for their hard work and special commendations were given to Shannon Dolan, as a near finalist, for her efforts. Ann Guttridge was nominated for the work she does in her community in Stretford and across Trafford. She was shortlisted from hundreds of nominations down to the final 9 and was thrilled to get that far. here were some fantastic examples of work T being done by tenants in all different areas and I’m proud to just be nominated. Congratulations for being nominated, we are proud of you all!
John McGuiness added “When Tabby rang me and told me, I felt really proud that my work in helping to make my community a better place, had been recognised. At the awards ceremony, it was good to see what other people were doing to make a difference. Even though I didn’t win it will not stop me from carrying on in helping to make a difference in Old Trafford.” 41
Money Support Non-dependant Deductions
the rental charges, the tenant remains fully responsible to ensure that the full rent is paid to the Trust.
As you are aware, Housing Benefit awards can be reduced if you have a person over the age of 18 living with you. This reduction is often called a ‘non-dependant’ deduction. Where a non-dependant deduction applies, whilst this should be the non-dependants contribution to
Non-dependant deductions can apply if you do not receive Child Benefit for looking after them.The amount of the deduction is decided by the gross income (i.e. income before any deductions) of your ‘non-dependant’. Please note that no deduction will occur if the tenant or the tenant’s partner receives the Care Component of Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance.
From April 2012 the deductions will be: Aged 18 or over and working 16 hours or more a week
Aged 18 or over and NOT working 16 hours or more a week
What is the GROSS weekly income of the person living with you in your home?
48 week rent year
What is the income of the person living with you in your home?
48 week rent year
Less than £124.00
Aged 18-24 and on: Income Support, or Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance, or Assessment phase of Income Related Employment and Support Allowance.
Between £124.00 and £182.99
On Pension Credit, a student or on a training allowance.
Between £183.00 and £237.99
All other non-dependants aged 18 or over not working 16 hours or more a week, regardless of their income.
Between £238.00 and £315.99
Between £316.00 and £393.99
£394.00 or more
Off work sick or on maternity leave
Under Occupation As you are aware it is the Government’s intention from 2013 to reduce Housing Benefit payments to families of working age who have ‘spare’ bedrooms. At the time of writing this, the Government are still finalising the policy of who needs a bedroom. At the moment, it is expected that the Government will decide that a bedroom is needed by:Each couple Each person age 16 plus E ach 2 children of the same sex until the elder turns 16 E ach 2 children of different sexes until the elder turns 10
We would however like to make it clear that these changes to benefit will only affect: eople of ‘working age’ - this means until P the younger of the tenant, or tenants partner (if applicable) reaches pension age. You can establish the age at which you will be treated as being a pensioner via www.direct.gov.uk. People who receive Housing Benefit We would like to point out that this change involves the Government reducing Housing Benefit, if you have one or more spare bedrooms according to their guidelines. If this applies to you, after April 2013, you will be responsible to pay the shortfall in rent or secure alternative accommodation more suited to your family size. If you are not in receipt of Housing Benefit, and you pay your rent in full, this change will not affect you.
Do you pay your rent on time? Rent payments are a fundamental part of your tenancy agreement – failure to make payments may result in us approaching the Court to seek possession of your home.
mind. If payments are late, we will contact you about this.You may receive a phone call, email, home visit, a text or a letter.
Your Tenancy Agreement states:
From April, we will be reviewing all payment agreements including those on a payment plan and those who pay monthly in arrears. We will contact you to discuss your payment plan to reasses future payments.
You must pay the rent and any service charge and/or arrears in advance, on or before Monday of each week. If you do not pay we may go to Court to get a Court Order to evict you from your home. It is your responsibility to make sure all payments are paid and reach us on time. Some payment methods take time to reach us and you need to bear this in
If your rent is currently paid through Housing Benefit, please make sure you provide all information requested quickly. It is still your responsibility to make sure your rent reaches us quickly, even if it is paid through Housing Benefit.
If you are struggling to pay your rent, please let us know. We are able to signpost to Debt Agencies, will consider payment plans if you cannot clear balances in full, and are able to help with checking you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to. 43
Leaseholders Together Thank you for completing the Leaseholders Satisfaction Survey. I am really pleased to report that you think there has been good improvement in some areas of the services we provide. Here is a snapshot of the results: 2010 2011 Total satisfaction with services provided by THT Total dissatisfaction with services provided by THT
Total satisfaction with cleaning and upkeep Total dissatisfaction with cleaning and upkeep
Total satisfaction with neighbourhood as a place to live Total dissatisfaction with neighbourhood as a place to live
Total satisfied with repairs and maintenance Total dissatisfied with repairs and maintenance
Satisfied with views being listened to and acted upon Dissatisfied with views being listened to and acted upon
Leaseholders who felt the Trust were good at keeping them informed Leaseholders who felt the Trust were poor at keeping them informed
The survey also allows for Leaseholders to ask questions or add comments and here is our response:
How can I pay for major works?
There are a number of ways to pay for major works and we are happy to speak to Leaseholders individually or at Leaseholder Together meetings. We also have a leaflet available explaining the financial options and this was sent to every leaseholder last year. This leaflet is now included with all consultation works. We invited the Money Advice Service to give a presentation and provide advice about financial matters at our Leaseholders Together meeting in February 2012.
How can I obtain more information about major works?
Why do I need to go through Trafford Housing Trust to put in a claim for buildings insurance?
We Did Frank Lee, Senior Surveyor, Asset Management carried out a presentation at the Leaseholders Together meeting in February 2011 about the works we were planning to carry out to your block within the next 5 years. Frank and I provided you with an update at our Leaseholders Together meeting in February 2012 and it was agreed that we would start carrying out home visits to discuss with you personally, the work that is going to be carried out in your block and the financial options available to you. You no longer need to go via Trafford Housing Trust to claim on your buildings insurance. We recently sent your Buildings Insurance Policy to you, together with details of how to claim: Policy Number: JHA-22S556-0013 Insurer: Zurich Municipal Policyholder: Trafford Housing Trust Ltd 24-hour Claims telephone number 0800 028 0336
The Leaseholder Together meetings are not relevant to shared owners.
We understand that there are some major differences between the shared ownership and right to buy leases. Therefore, separate meetings will be specifically tailored to suit shared owners and leaseholders. However, shared owners will be able to attend the Leaseholders Together meetings, if there is information that they believe may be beneficial to them.
Why arenâ€™t minutes taken at the Leaseholders Together meetings?
The Leaseholders Together meetings have been designed for you, by you. You requested that minutes are taken at the meeting and as from February 2012, minutes were taken at the meeting. Presentations of the meetings have always been available upon request.
Why does it take a long time to resolve service charge disputes?
When your invoices were issued in September 2011, we put a 28-day dispute period which would benefit both you and the Trust to concentrate on your dispute within a specified time. In January 2012, all disputes were resolved and refunds have been applied where necessary* This is compared to last year, when we were still dealing with service charge disputes going back 3-4 years. * This does not include those that are being investigated by the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.
Why were there mistakes on my service charge invoice?
Where we have found the information to be incorrect, we have applied a refund to every leaseholder affected, not just the leaseholder who has raised the query. We are continually looking to improve our systems to try to make sure that errors do not happen.
Leaseholder Together Meetings I am pleased to report that out of those who completed the survey, 31% attend the meetings and 81.3% are happy with the format of the meetings. You have said that you would like the following discussed at future meetings: • Anti-social behaviour and drug use • Service charges, format and breakdown of costs; being made aware of jobs, repairs, which flat/area • Leaseholders set the agenda
To speak to your Leaseholder Lead, Mia James, please call 0300 777 7777. Alternatively, you can email her email@example.com We have already provided information and presentations on some of these topics, ie. planned work, service charges and anti-social behaviour, however, I am happy to discuss this matter again at future meetings. Please remember that we always provide you with an opportunity to say what you would like on the agenda. Should you have any ideas for future meetings, please contact me.
• Planned work/maintenance projects, potential improvements to properties
Service charge arrears recovery update At our Leaseholders Together meeting in May 2011, I carried out a presentation about the importance of leaseholders paying their service charges and how the Trust is improving the way we recover arrears from leaseholders who were not paying them. This year there has been a better response from leaseholders contacting us about their accounts. If you are experiencing difficulty in paying your service charge arrears, please contact me. You can also telephone 0300 777 7777 and ask for our Welfare Rights Officer, Catherine Hardman who can assist you further.
•D o you have a query regarding your lease agreement? •N ot sure who should carry out a repair, you or Trafford Housing Trust? • Having problems paying a charge? •W ant to tell us how to improve the services you receive? If you answered yes to any of these questions, please contact me and I will arrange an appointment at our office, a telephone appointment, or if you find it difficult to leave home, then I can arrange a home visit.
The Easy Way to Swap your Home We are currently in the process of phasing out the existing Mutual Exchange Scheme and replacing it with a new service provided by HomeSwapper.
HomeSwapper Registration days will be:
The HomeSwapper service holds details of mutual exchanges within Trafford and from outside of the area. Once registered, you can go online and view your matches. HomeSwapper will also email you at regular intervals with details of suitable swap partners. No email address? Don’t worry they can also send them to your mobile phone.You can get access to the internet by visiting our Customer Access Points at Sale Point or the kiosk in Stretford.
to be and you won’t be contacting people who do not want to swap.
Monday 16th April – 10am - 12.30pm Tuesday 17th April – 12noon - 2.30pm Wednesday 18th April – 3pm - 5pm HomeSwapper is an online mutual exchange register Monday 23rd April – 10am - 12.30pm Stretford: which matches you with a home to meet your needs. Tuesday 24th April – 11.30am - 1.30pm 94% members who use HomeSwapper get aarticle match spare pagewith kelly Wednesday 25th April – 12noon - 2pm within 24 hours. Old Trafford: Tuesday 1st May – 2pm - 4pm The service enables our tenants to register free of Friday 4th May – 9.30am - 12noon charge. Registration can be carried out via the internet at home or by coming along to one of our three It’s easy to use, fast and is kept up-to-date, so you HomeSwapper registration days. won’t find yourself on the list when you don’t want
If you still want to look at the swaps available in a book, our Customer Access Points at Sale, Stretford and Old Trafford have printed lists. Drop in any time to have a look at what’s available. If you are currently on the THT Mutual Exchange list and you are still looking for a swap, you will need to register with HomeSwapper as soon as possible.
Many people have had success already with HomeSwapper in Trafford: I have found my ideal home with HomeSwapper, and a three way swap. It took some time but was definitely worth it. Cindy Emmett It wasn’t that long before I got the house I was looking for and it’s been a few weeks now since I’ve moved. It’s been a great move for me and my family. Myself and the children are enjoying putting our stamp on our new home. Many thanks. Georgina Pine I am glad I swapped and am very happy in my new home I would recommend. Kath Cartwright 47
Customer Access Point Opening Times Trafford Housing Trust Limited Head Office
Sale Customer Access Point
Sale Point, 126-150 Washway Road, Sale M33 6AG Tel: 0300 777 7777 Fax: 0300 777 7778 Email: customer.hub@ traffordhousingtrust.co.uk Opening times: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.
Sale Moor Community Partnership, 359 Norris Road, Sale Moor M33 2UP Opening times: Tues 10am-11am.
Stretford Customer Access Point
Old Trafford Customer Access Points Old Trafford Community Centre Shrewsbury Street, Old Trafford M16 9AX Opening hours: Mon 9am-12pm. Tues 2pm-4pm. Weds & Thurs Closed. Fri 9am-1pm.
Unit U65-66, Stretford Mall, Pavilion Lodge Chester Road, Stretford M32 9BD Opening times: Mon-Fri 10am-2pm. Edgebaston Drive, Old Trafford, Manchester M16 0JN Opening times: 2pm-3pm on last Urmston Customer Pownall Road, Altrincham WA14 2SZ Thursday of every month. Access Point Opening times: Mon 9am-12pm. Urmston Library, Unit 34 Golden Pickford Court Way, Urmston M41 0NA Broadheath Community Room Opening times: Mon 10am-12pm. Sure Start Centre, Sinderland Road, Pickford Court, Chorlton Road, Broadheath, Altrincham WA14 5JQ Old Trafford M15 4AZ Opening times: Tues 9am-11am by Opening hours: Tues 10am-12pm. appointment only, for tenants with Thurs 2pm-4pm. children under 5 years.
Altrincham Customer Access Points The Hub
Broomwood Community Centre Mainwood Road, Timperley WA15 7JU Opening times: Thur 2pm-4pm. 48