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Tel: 0300 303 1190

Email: enquiries@mmha.org.uk

Web: www.shropshirehousing.org.uk

Meres News Celebrating 5 successful years

For all the local news about your community | Issue 21 – Summer 2012

Fuel Bill Savings Page 3

Handyperson Service Page 5

TARCA Update Page 14


Contents

ANYONE FOR TENNIS?

2 Anyone for tennis?/Our Services to You 3 Family Saving £450 a Year/Meres and Mosses Birthday 4 Charter Court Coffee Morning 5 Group News 13 Reviive Furniture Recycling/TRL Handyperson 14 TARCA Update 15 TARCA Update/Competition Winners 16 Competitions Page

There are tennis courts available to book at Whixhall School, available after 5pm during the week, during school holidays and at weekends. To book a slot, contact Jackie Higgs on 01948 880330.

How to contact us If you require this document in audio, braille, large print, or if English is not your first language, then please contact us. Si vous avez besoin de ce document en audio, braille, gros caractères, ou si l’anglais n’est pas votre langue première veuillez nous contacter. French Jeśli wymagasz tego dokumentu w audio, Braille’a, duże wydruku, lub jeśli angielski jest nie pierwszy język prosimy kontakt. Polish Если вам требуется этот документ в аудио, Брайля, крупных печатных, или если английский является не ваш первый язык напишите нам. Russian Os oes angen y dogfen hon mewn ffurf wahannol, er enghraifft Braille, llythrennau mawr, tâp audio neu iaith wahanol, gadewch i ni wybod os gwelwch yn dda. Welsh Se ha bisogno di questo documento in audio, Braille, grande stampa, o se inglese è la prima lingua contattaci. Italian

OUR SERVICES TO YOU Our regulator, The Homes & Communities Agency, has asked all social landlords to produce local offers through seven standards that cover the services we provide. Our current offers are set out in the Tenants Report 2011, available on our website.

2 1 1 1 2 4 1 2 3 1 2 2 2 1 3 3 4 2 1 3 33 4 45 45 3 55456656 66 5 6 7 All updates on the local offers will be marked with the appropriate sticker (see below) for the standard it applies to.

Tenant Involvement and Empowerment standard

Home standard

Tenancy standard

Neighbourhoods and Communities standard

Value for Money standard

Governance and Financial Viability standard

Rents standard

2 | Meres News Summer 2012 | Tel: 0300 303 1190


Family saving £450 a year on fuel bills – and it cost one light bulb The Clark family is delighted with their recent efforts which are now saving them £260 on their electricity bill and £190 on their gas, and they are still living very comfortably. Over the last year Mrs Debbie Clark and her family from Shawbury have been taking part in a year long energy saving trial run by MMHA. She said ‘We’ve seen our pre-payment meter costs for electric going from £10 a week to £10 a fortnight. We’ve worked together as a family to achieve this. Being involved in the project has made us think about what we were doing and how we were using energy. Not everything that we have tried has worked, but by trial and error we’ve halved our electricity use and reduced our gas use. It’s helping us save money and reducing our impact on the Planet, both of which are important to us’. The project provided an initial assessment of current energy use and an action plan of changes that could be made. It also

provided some tools to help the family make a start, including an energy monitor showing live electricity use in the home. The family have also fitted radiator panels to reflect heat back into rooms, and have been monitoring energy use online showing changes graphically, which the kids have got involved with. Sheila Standley, Resident Involvement Officer at MMHA said ‘This has been a fantastic achievement by the Clark family who have shown that if you work together real reductions in fuel bills can be made. We really hope other families will be inspired by their example and gradually be able to achieve similar savings’.

Celebrating MMHA’s 5th Birthday MMHA would like to invite you to an afternoon of fun and entertainment for all.

Please find your invitation enclosed. There will be lots of fun activities including: • Bouncy Castle

• Face Painting

• Refreshments

• Games

• Tea Dance

• Competitions

...and loads more www.shropshirehousing.org.uk | Meres News Summer 2012 | 3


Top from left to right: Nicholas and John Vera Davies and Mary Farnell Brian Minter and Sheila Blackwell

Charter Court Coffee Morning Charter court held an Easter Coffee Morning where they enjoyed a raffle, refreshments and a natter.

Bottom from left to right: Brian and Vi Threadgold Connie Hughes and Pauline Taylor

4 | Meres News Summer 2012 | Tel: 0300 303 1190


Group News roud Matt's p

Matt o n his way

parents

to me et the torch

Ludlow crowds gathering

Cle eH ill c om es o ut t o

torch g with the Matt runnin

OLYMPIC TORCH

see the torc h

VISITS LUDLOW & CLEE HILL The Olympic torch visited Ludlow and Clee Hill in its first visit to Shropshire. SSHA tenant, Matt Clarke was the first torch bearer on Ludlow, while SSHA tenant, Tom Cox posed with the torch whilst being a volunteer marshal for the day.

Group News Summer 2012 | Tel: 0300 303 1190

bearer e torch h t h it w Tom Cox

Lighting the to rch ready to ru n


1 4 3 6 5

Shropshire Homepoint is a county wide scheme that gives tenants more choice about where they want to live. The majority of Shropshire’s social housing providers use Shropshire HomePoint to advertise their vacant properties. You can apply to join Shropshire HomePoint by completing an application form.

Number on WAITING LIST MAY 2012 Bronze 2,460

Your housing need will be assessed and put into one of the following bandings:

Priority 206 Gold 902

Priority

For those with urgent housing need.

Gold

You have an urgent need to move because of high overcrowding or a medical need.

Silver

Silver 3,846

You need to move because of overcrowding or a medical need, but not urgently.

Minimum Number of bedrooms required May 2012

Bronze

3 bedrooms 760

Any other applicants. Properties are advertised on a weekly listing and you can bid on a property that is suitable for you. There is no fixed waiting list. Whether you are successful or not depends on who else has applied for the same property as you. To help judge how long it might be before you are rehoused, Shropshire HomePoint publishes the results of the successful applications on their website.

4+ bedrooms 271

2 bedrooms 2,345

For more information go to

www.shropshirehomepoint.co.uk Group News Summer 2012 | Tel: 0300 303 1190

1 bedroom 4,038


5

If you find your current home too large to cope with, we can help you move to smaller more suitable accommodation. We are currently running a downsizing scheme that will help you move to a smaller property.

Option 1 – Cash Grant

A no strings attached cash grant of £2000 which is paid to you when you move. You make all the arrangements connected to the removal yourself, and you can spend the money as you wish.

Option 2 – Removal Package

A named officer will help arrange the move, with a smaller cash grant.

3

1 6

The removal package includes: • • •

Advice and assistance Packing and transportation of furniture and help with unpacking Reconnection of utility services

The total cost of the removals package will be deducted from the £2000 grant and any remaining money will be paid when you move. If you owe any rent to us, this will be deducted from your grant. There is a limited amount of money available for the scheme, so payments will be made on a first come, first served basis.

www.shropshirehousing.org.uk | Group News Summer 2012

4


In the spring edition of the Newsletters you may have noticed we enclosed a Newsletter Feedback Form. On the form we asked you to tell us what you think about your Newsletters; are they interesting, do you read them, what you like and don’t like about them. We are keen to get your feedback to ensure the publication is relevant and useful to you. We had a great response, thank you to all those that took the time to give us your views. The results are below as well as details of what we will do next.

MMHA Do you like the layout?

SSHA Do you like the layout? NO 7%

YES 93%

NO 8%

YES 92%

MMHA DO YOU LIKE THE COMPETITIONS?

SSHA DO YOU LIKE THE COMPETITIONS? NO 7%

YES 93%

NO 5%

YES 95%

MMHA DOES IT HAVE THE RIGHT BALANCE OF NEWS/INFO?

SSHA DOES IT HAVE THE RIGHT BALANCE OF NEWS/INFO? NO 5%

NO 14%

YES 86%

Group News Summer 2012 | Tel: 0300 303 1190

YES 95%


MMHA WHICh PART DO YOU LIKE BEST? LOCAL NEWS 11%

SSHA WHICh PART DO YOU LIKE BEST? FRONT COVER 7%

MONEY SAVING 2%

ALL OF IT 15% LOCAL NEWS 15%

ALL OF IT 21% INFORMATION 30% COMPETITIONS 30% COMPETITIONS 38%

INFORMATION 31%

In the next few issues we will implement some changes to the content including recipes, gardening tips and a letters page. To contribute to the newsletters you can write to Vicki Coleman, Communications Officer, The Gateway, The Auction Yard, Craven Arms SY7 9BW or email communication@shropshirehousing.org.uk

Our tenant had received a phone call from a contractor informing them of the time and date they would be visiting to carry out works to their property. The contractor had been employed by us to carry out the works but did not inform the tenant of this, subsequently we had also not previously notified the tenant of the impending work. The tenant was worried that the company was a false one. The tenant was advised that if the contractors should arrive, not to answer the door. The contractors did arrive as they stated, unfortunately they were not carrying any identification and their vehicle was unmarked. The police arrived to make enquiries but were satisfied that the contractors were legitimately working for us.

1 2 3 4 5 6

The association upheld the complaint and apologised to the tenant for the worry that had been caused and as a gesture of goodwill gave the tenant a shopping voucher. Following the complaint the Head of Asset Management has met with the contractor concerned to reiterate the association’s procedure, he has also met with officers of the association to ascertain why the tenant was not notified of the impending works.

We agreed that a poor level of service had been received on this occasion, that this is not the normal service the association provides and is not the level of service we aspire to provide in the future.

www.shropshirehousing.org.uk | Group News Summer 2012


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We are con stantly up dating our and need a records ccurate info rmation to us plan the help best servic es for you. If you hav e not yet c ompleted a Residen t Census F o rm, please census@s email hropshireh ousing.org giving you .u k name, add ress and c number o o ntact r call us o n 0300 30 and we wil 3 1190 l call you back to ta your deta ke ils.

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Group News Summer 2012 | Tel: 0300 303 1190

1

e for free programm a is ss le r fo Live cluding save money, in to w ho on s tenant food and oney on bills, m ng vi sa g, ur budgetin to increase yo outlines how to w ho travel. It also oings, wer your outg income and lo uch more. d oblems an m pr bt de h it w deal contact us. ation, please rm fo in e or m r Fo


5 7 paid on time. y to make sure that your rent gets As a tenant, it is your responsibilit making sure h of you is equally responsible for If you have a joint tenancy, then eac the rent is paid.

Pay ing We ekly

Monday in If you pay weekly, pay your rent each advance.

Pay ing Mo nth ly

the start of the If you pay monthly, you must pay at you don’t, you will month for the rest of the month. If be in arrears.

TENANTS Amo unt of arr ear s owe d BY CURRENT

SSHA £281 ,054

MMHA £264 ,842

your rent The amount of rent due is shown on kly rent and, statement. This is made up of your wee where they apply, service charges. it and Standing We have recently adjusted Direct Deb accounts are Order payments to ensure these rent g this for other always in credit. We will shortly be doin payment types. ld pay, please If you are unsure how much you shou contact the Neighbourhoods Team.

Amo unt of arr ear s owe d BY FOR MER TENANTS

SSHA £160 ,832

MMHA £114 ,924

Build a future with us... Seddon Property Services Limited is a Painting, Decorating and Maintenance company working in conjunction with Shropshire Housing Group. As a company we annually recruit 30 new apprentices with a view to securing suitable role on successful completion. Seddons’ currently have 2 apprenticeships available, one in North Shropshire and one in South Shropshire, both for painters and decorators placements and are offered on a site/college basis. Successful achievement will depend on satisfactory attendance to both. The minimum criteria is 3 GCSE’s grade C or above. The offer is open to all age groups, male or female. No previous experience is required. Shortlisted candidates will be required to join Seddons’ on a residential selection week in York commencing the 6th August 2012. Closing date for applications is 5pm Tuesday 31st July 2012. To apply, please visit http://apprentices.seddon.co.uk/

www.shropshirehousing.org.uk | Group News Summer 2012


TEMP STAFF WANTED Would you be interested in some additional money in your pocket?

Shropshire Housing Group are looking to build a bank of staff to provide administrative duties across the Group on a ‘zero hours’ contract. This means that you will be called upon when needed to cover temporary posts, and not have a set number of hours of work. If you are interested, please send your CV to the HR Department, Shropshire Housing Group, The Gateway, The Auction Yard, Craven Arms SY7 9BW or telephone 01588 676255/257.

your Did you have a party in bilee? area for the Queen’s Ju

next time’s Send us your photos for otos to Newsletter. Email your ph shirehousing.org.uk communication@shrop was held stating where your party d. ha u and what activities yo

COuroconnttacting Us act telephone number is

0300 303 1190 There are 3 options to choose from:

Option 1: Customer Services

For all general or tenancy enquiries

Option 2: Planned Maintenance Enquiries

Select this option if you have any que ries relating to planned fitting of doors, kitchens, bathrooms etc.

Option 3: Repairs

Select this option if you have a repair to report or you would like to know the progress of a repair that has already been reported.

There’s a new window of opportunity Group News Summer 2012 | Tel: 0300 303 1190

Your right to buy Find out whether you’re eligible, how to get further advice and what steps you should take to own your home.

Contact your landlord and visit www.direct.gov.uk/righttobuy


A Handyperson Service from A friendly, efficient, and cost-effective handyperson will do all those small jobs you don’t have time for, including: Decorating

Replacing tap washers

Gardening

Our rates are • Decorating £15. per hour*(inc.VAT) Replacing tap washers • • Gardening • Rubbish clearance To book our Handyperson call 0300 303 1190 • General DIY work 00

*Plus Materials TERMS AND CONDITIONS APPLY

Rubbish clearance

General DIY work

www.shropshirehousing.org.uk | Meres News Summer 2012 | 13


TARCA Updat tel: 01630 652953

mobile: 07530 002771

email: tarcashropshire@yahoo.com

FUTURE Projects TARCA have successfully recommended several projects to the Board of MMHA. Tenants at Bartons Road Flats in Market Drayton, got together and decided to make over their shared garden. They asked for funding for fence paint, compost, plants, etc and are clubbing together to get the work done. When it is finished it will be a lovely area for them to enjoy relaxing in and a great improvement to what it was. Fairfields Together, are a group of young mums who want to teach their children how to grow vegetables. They asked for a grant to put some fencing on a piece of unused land belonging to MMHA to create a communal garden for the estate. They have been on several visits to Fordhall Farm to get some tips.

14 | Meres News Summer 2012 | Tel: 0300 303 1190

www.tarca.org.uk

TARCA have again got a budget of ÂŁ30,000 for recommendations to the MMHA Board to spend on Community and Environmental projects this year. If you have a project that needs funding please get in touch with TARCA and we will do our best to help.

Waterbutts We have had a brilliant response from tenants for the free Waterbutts, nearly 100 have been delivered so far, if you are a keen gardener and would like a Waterbutt for your garden please call Graham on 07530 002 771 or e-mail tarcashropshire@yahoo.com to add your name to the list for the next consignment.


John Hig ginson (TARCA from Ba ) with te rtons R nants oad Fla ts

ate Last Chance To Enter The deadline for entering the TARCA gardening Competition is the 30th June so don’t forget to ring 07530002771 to speak to Graham and enter your garden. The entry form in the last issue missed out Best Communal Garden.

AGM Report TARCA have recently held its AGM, and there are some new faces.

From top to bottom: Chair – Phillip Parker Treasurer – Graham Stockton Secretary – Lesley Ashcroft

COMPETITION WINNERS LEFT: The winner of the children’s spot the difference competition was K Edwards who won a £30 toy voucher. RIGHT: The winner of last time’s Shropshire Towns wordsearch was Mrs Temple from Ellesmere who won £30 love to shop vouchers.

www.shropshirehousing.org.uk | Meres News Summer 2012 | 15


ADULTS COM P ETITION Olympic Word Jumble

TISONOGH 9

Find the answer for your chance to win a £30 Love to Shop voucher

MINGYCTSSA 3

7

CYLGINC 2

Name

13

SIIGNMWM

Address 4

LLALBELYVO 1

11

LIAJEVN 10

Postcode

HIHGJUPM

Telephone No

5

NIDIVG 8

Closing date for all competitions: Monday

BONGIX

Send all entries to:

6

RAETAK 12

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

16 th JULY

14

8

9

10

11

12

13

14

Vicki Coleman, Communications Officer, The Gateway, The Auction Yard, Craven Arms SY7 9BW

KIDS COM P ETITION Find the OLYMPIC TORCHES! Find the OLYMPIC TORCHES* throughout the newsletter and write your answer for a chance to win a £30 toy/games voucher. *DO NOT INCLUDE ANY OLYMPIC TORCHES THAT APPEAR IN PHOTOGRAPHS

Answer: Name Parent/Guardian Name Address

Postcode Telephone No 61634: 05/2012


Meres News Summer 2012