livin Aycliffe Old Town Community Plan 2012-14
with the community at heart Revised March 2013
Equality and Diversity livin aims to ensure that Equality and Diversity lies at the heart of our business and allows our customers to access high quality services tailored to their individual diverse needs. It is our policy to provide access to services and employment equality to all, irrespective of age, race or ethnic origin, gender, marital or family status, religious or philosophical belief or political opinion, disability, nationality or sexual orientation. As part of our commitment we, and our working partners, aim to treat everyone as equal citizens and recognise, support and value the diversity of the communities in which they live. Contact us Communities Team livin, Farrell House, Arlington Way DurhamGate, Spennymoor, Co Durham, DL16 6NL
0800 587 4538 (free from a landline) or 0300 111 2234 (low rate call from a mobile phone depending on your network)
Community Ranking- Aycliffe Old Town Based on the intelligence contained within each Plan livin has been able to rank the local community based on; Bronze (potential), Silver (aspiring) or Gold (performing). This will enable livin to see which communities require more immediate and intensive interventions whilst ensuring there are mechanisms in place to maintain Gold standards. Indicator Housing Market Affordability
Demand for livin housing
Average Repair Costs Per Property
Long Term Unemployment1 (6 - 12 months)
Average Household Income2
Educational Attainment (5 GCSEâ€™s Grade C & Above)
Overall Community Ranking
Data used to compile this ranking relates to the Shafto St Mary's (Old Town), Neville and Simpasture (Old Town inc Aycliffe Village) and West (old and New Town) Wards. 2
Data used to compile this ranking relates to the Shafto and St Marys (Old Town), Neville and Simpasture (Old Town and Aycliffe Village) and West (Old and New Town) Wards. 3
Contents Page No. Section 1
1.1.1 Population â€“ Now and in the Future
1.1.2 Mosaic Community Profile
1.1.3 Religion and ethnicity
1.2.1 Housing Tenure
1.2.2 Average House Prices
1.2.3 Current Supply and Demand for Housing
1.2.4 livin Tenancy Sustainment
1.2.5 Vacant / Abandoned properties
1.2.6 Future Demand for Housing
1.2.7 Average cost of repairs to livin properties
1.2.8 Average Cost of Improvement Programmes for livin properties
Crime and Antisocial Behaviour
Economy and Employment
1.4.1 Economic Activity
1.4.2 Jobseekers Allowance claimants
1.4.3 Department for Works and Pensions Key Benefit Claimants
1.4.4 Household income
1.4.5 Vehicle ownership and cost of travel
1.4.6 Rental debit in livin properties
Access to Services and Facilities
Page No 1.6
Health and Well Being
Education and Training
Reputation of the Neighbourhood and Community
Review of the Community Plan
Appendix 1 livin Strategic Framework and Regulatory Requirements Appendix 2 Methodology
List of Figures Page No. Figure 1.1
Aerial overview of Aycliffe Old Town
Age Profile of population in Aycliffe Old Town
Household profiles for Aycliffe Old Town
Population projections for Durham County
Age pyramid projections for Durham County
Housing tenure in Aycliffe Old Town
Average house prices in Aycliffe Old Town
livin stock in Aycliffe Old Town
Age profile of livin lead tenants in Aycliffe Old Town
Figure 1.10 livin properties available for let during the period 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010 in Aycliffe Old Town Figure 1.11 livin tenancy sustainment in Aycliffe Old Town
Figure 1.12 Reported Police incidents within the Wards of Shafto St Marys, Neville & Simpasture and West during December 2010 to December 2011.
Figure 1.13: Reported cases to livin of nuisance and antisocial behaviour within Aycliffe Old Town during 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011. Figure 1.14 Economic activity in Aycliffe Old Town
Figure 1.15 Occupation profile of 16 to 74 year olds in Aycliffe Old Town
Figure 1.16 Economic inactivity in Aycliffe Old Town
Figure 1.17 Jobseekers Allowance claimants in Aycliffe Old Town
Figure 1.18 Breakdown of persons residing in Aycliffe Old Town claiming key benefits
Figure 1.19 Levels of health in Aycliffe Old Town
Figure 1.20 Educational attainment within Aycliffe Old Town
Figure 1.21 Route of Environmental Assessment
Newton Aycliffe is a town in County Durham, England. Founded in 1947 under the New Towns Act of 1946, it is the oldest new town in the north of England. Prior to the Newtown development, Aycliffe (originally 'Acley') was the site of a Saxon settlement. The name Acley came from the Saxon words: 'Ac', meaning oak, and 'ley', meaning 'a clearing'. Aycliffe was the location of church synods in AD 782 and AD 789. Another old name was 'Yacley'. The town's motto is Latin for "Not the Least, but the Greatest we Seek". A speedway track was built in 1952, which was used for training purposes. There is some evidence that the site was used as a greyhound track in the late 1940s. In 1954 the speedway training track was used for the 1st time to host stock car racing. Stock car racing took place at Aycliffe Stadium from 1954 through to November 19, 1989. By the 1970s stock cars had evolved into purpose-built single-seater "specials" of enormous power and careful construction, and the racing attracted fans and competitors from all over England. In more recent times Aycliffe was a key element in World War II ammunitions manufacturing. The marshy land was ideal cover against the Luftwaffe as it was almost continually shrouded in fog and mist. Huge grass covered munitions factories were built and serviced by the nearby railway lines. The factories were largely staffed by women (in their thousands); these ladies were dubbed the "Aycliffe Angels", who braved incredible dangers inside the factories. The factories were eventually replaced by manufacturing buildings that became the industrial district of Aycliffe. After the war many companies moved onto the industrial estate including Great Lakes Chemicals which retained the munitions factories until 2004 when it was closed and demolished along with these original factories used by the Aycliffe Angels. Also there was Eaton Axles, and B.I.P. who were to become two of the largest employers of the town until the early 1980s. One other company was Union Carbide. Eaton Axles closed down and shipped itself to Poland, B.I.P. is now Hydro Polymers, Union Carbide was taken over by Sanyo for several years, but this has now closed. Businesses currently located in the town include Flymo, 3M and Ineos (who've taken over Hydro Polymers) with many smaller factory units. From its start Newton Aycliffe kept expanding in size until 1980 when the council stopped building council homes. Since then private houses and housing associations have been building the towns homes.
Figure 1.1: Aerial overview of Aycliffe Old Town Source: Ordnance Survey
1.1.1 Population- Now and in the future The population within Aycliffe Old Town is The population of Aycliffe Old approximately 14,316. 47.7% of the total Town is approximately population are male with the remaining 52.3% 14,316. being female (Census, 2001, Lower Level Super (Census, 2001) Output area (LLSOA), KS01, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E). Population data indicates that Aycliffe Old Town has a diverse range of age groups that illustrate broadly comparable percentages when compared with both Durham County and North East averages.
There is a slightly lower percentage (51.6%) of persons aged between 25 to 64 years old living in the community when compared to the Durham County (53.3%) and North East (52.6%) averages. To facilitate good levels of economic activity within the area it is essential that a high percentage of the population are of working age and contributing to the local economy through employment or actively seeking work. There are a lower percentage of persons aged 16 to 24 years (9.3%) when compared to Durham County (11%) and the North East (11.1%) averages. Those residents aged 65 years or more (19.6%) living within the community is higher when compared to the Durham County and North East averages. Residents aged between 0 and 15 years of age is comparable with both the Durham County and North East average. 60.0
Aycliffe Old Town 53.3
County Durham North East
0.0 Persons aged Persons aged Persons aged Persons aged 0-15 16-24 25-64 65 years or over Figure 1.2: Age profile of population in Aycliffe Old Town Source: Census 2001, LLSOA KS02, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E.
The main household types within Aycliffe Old Town are single person households (29.96%), followed by households consisting of married couples with no dependent children (25.34%) then married couples with dependent children (15.79%).
Married couple household with dependent child(ren)
Married couple household with no dependent child(ren)
Cohabiting couple household with dependent child(ren) Cohabiting couple household with no dependent child(ren)
Lone parent household with dependent child(ren) 25.34
Lone parent household with no dependent child(ren) One person household Multi person household: All student
7.60 9.55 0.20
Multi person household: All other
Figure 1.3: Household Profile for Aycliffe Old Town Source: Census 2001, LLSOA, KS20, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E.
This percentage of single person households (29.96%) within the village is also comparable with both Durham County (29.2%) and North East (30.7%) averages. The percentage of married households with no dependent children (25.34%) is higher than both the Durham County (21.7%) and North East averages (19.9%). The percentage of married couples with dependent children (15.79%) is lower than both the Durham County (17.7%) and North East average (16.9%). Trend based projections from DCC indicate that the County wide population will initially decline by 2016 before increasing to an estimated total of 501,625 in 2026 (Strategic Housing Market Assessment, DCC, 2010). Figure 1.4 illustrates the actual population totals within Durham County for the period 1981 to 2007. Future population figures up to the year 2026, as projected by DCC, are shown in pink on the graph.
2008-based projections: various trends for the overall population
555000 ONS Principal
550000 545000 540000 535000 530000 525000
520000 515000 510000 505000
495000 490000 485000 480000
Figure 1.4: Population projections for Durham County Source: Durham County Strategic Housing Market Assessment, 2010
The late 1950’s through to the early 1970’s saw a steady rise in the number of births throughout the Country. The progression of this ‘baby boom’ period has caused, and will continue to cause, different challenges to the County’s population. Currently this generation falls entirely within the An ageing population, and economically active age group (generally 16 to 64 fall in the number of persons years), but shortly will begin the transition into economically active by 2026 retirement and will be the main driver of an ageing will place an increased population over the coming years. Increasing life demand on fiscal, housing expectancy will also contribute towards the and health provisions. County’s growing elderly population. DCC’s age pyramid (figure 1.5) highlights the expected increase in the 65 plus age group and decline in the economically active age group by 2026. The projection of an increasing elderly population, coupled with an associated fall in the numbers of persons that are economically active will see an increased demand on fiscal, housing and health provisions throughout the County during the coming years. To facilitate good levels of economic activity within an area it essential that a high percentage of the population are contributing to the local economy through employment or by actively seeking work. To encourage and attract an economically active population to reside in an area it is imperative for there to be a good supply of local sustainable jobs, affordable housing and accessible services and facilities. 11
2008 based projections: the Age Pyramids for County Durham in 2008 and 2026 implied by the DCC and ONS projections ONS 2026
2 per. Mov. Avg. (2008 DCC) 2 per. Mov. Avg. (ONS 2008) 2 per. Mov. Avg. (2026 DCC) 2 per. Mov. Avg. (ONS 2026)
65-69 60-64 55-59 50-54 45-49 40-44 35-39 30-34 25-29 20-24 15-19 10-14 5-9 0-4
20000 year 2008
Figure 1.5: Age pyramid projections for Durham County Source: Durham County Council, Strategic Housing Market Assessment, 2010
Census data in respect of Aycliffe Old Town illustrates a high percentage of residents aged 65 years and over which forms the basis of an ageing population. Therefore there is an increased probability of this emerging over the next 20 to 30 years. 51.6% of residents are aged between 25 to 64 years living in the community, many of whom by 20 to 30 yearsâ€™ time will begin their transition into, or be in retirement. If efforts are not made to continually encourage, maintain and attract younger households to the community through the provision of affordable and accessible housing and sustainable employment then it is likely that an ageing population will become prominent. An ageing population can result in decreasing levels of economic activity; this is turn can have a detrimental effect on sustainability and the local economy. DCC estimates indicate that in 2010 there were 206,281 households countywide. This number is expected to increase by 24.9% to a total of 257,651 households by 2030 (Strategic Housing Market Assessment, DCC, 2010). By 2030 single person households (including single pensioners) are expected to double (100.3%) to 56,564; whereas two person households are only expected to increase by 18% to 14,087. Larger households of three persons or more are expected to reduce by 26.9% to 19,281.
This decrease in larger households, coupled with a significant increase in the number of single person households, will have a major impact on the supply and demand of housing throughout the County. 1.1.2 Mosaic Community Profile Utilisation of Mosaic Public Sector, provided by Experian, has enabled livin to determine a community profile for Newton Aycliffe as a whole, and for livin tenants within the Old Town. This profile will help livin to understand the key characteristics of the community, and livin’s tenants, with the aim of informing the efficient and effective delivery of the identified actions contained within this Plan. The Mosaic Public Sector profile data contained within this Plan relates to livin tenants only. The Mosaic community profile for Newton Aycliffe highlights there to be a higher than average percentage of livin households classified in the following profile groups when compared to the rest of Durham County: •
Group O - Families in low-rise social housing with high levels of benefit need
Group F – Couples with young children in comfortable modern housing
Group D – Successful professionals living in suburban or semi-rural homes
Of the above profile types it is expected that 14% of residents are couples or families with a comfortable level of income and good educational attainment. However in ‘Group O‘, (15.6%), it is expected that these residents suffer from poor health and generally their income is low or benefit dependant. It is expected that within Newton Aycliffe 40% households will consist of residents with sufficient incomes in right to buy social housing and elderly people reliant on state benefits. However this is comparable to the Durham County average. There is lower than average percentage of households classified in the following groups when compared to the rest of Durham County: •
Group I - Lower income workers in urban terraces in often diverse areas
Group B – Residents of small and mid-sized towns with strong local roots
Group C – Wealthy people living in the most sought after neighbourhoods
The above groups consist of only 8.6% of total households in Newton Aycliffe. The Mosaic data for livin tenants within Aycliffe Old Town highlights that over 50% of households living within livin homes have sufficient incomes in right to buy social houses together with 28.4% of tenants being elderly and reliant on state support.
Within our properties there is also a mix of families and single persons that have low income or benefit dependant, although these percentages are lower than the Durham County average. 1.1.3 Religion and Ethnicity An understanding of the ethnic and religious structure of the local population enables livin to ensure that its services are equally accessible, responsive and tailored to the needs and requirements of all residents living within its local communities. It will also help livin to ensure that any minority groups are consulted with during future research and intelligence gathering, and allows for consideration of any specific needs in relation to access for housing, health, and employability during the creation of each community’s key priorities and Local Offers. 2001 Census data indicates that the main religion in Aycliffe Old Town is Christianity (82.5%). 0.1% stated their religion to be Jewish, together with 0.1% stating their religion to be Buddhist. The remaining population stated they had other religions, no religion or did not provide details (Census, 2001, LLSOA KS07, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E). Ethnicity within the community predominantly consists of White British (98.53%). The remaining 1.47% of the population is from other ethnic backgrounds including; Irish, Other White, Mixed White and Asian, Asian or Asian British Indian, White and Black Caribbean, White and Black African, Other Mixed, Bangladeshi, Caribbean, African and Other Ethnic Group (Census, 2001, LLSOA KS06, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E). Recent research conducted by DCC and NHS Darlington estimated that between 0.43% to 0.57% of Durham County’s population consists of people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Households (Renaissance Research, 2010). Further analysis of these figures is currently not possible due to a lack of further data and intelligence. DCC’s Gypsy, Roma and Traveller site at East Howle, near to Ferryhill, is the only permanent residential site within livin’s area of operation.
Key Demographic Characteristics: 51.6% of residents in the community are aged 16 to 64 years. This is significantly lower than the Durham County average of 64.3%. 19.6% of residents in the community are aged 65 years or more this being higher than the County average of 16.5%. 59.05% of households living in the neighbourhood are couples, or families, this is comparable to the rest of Durham County. 29.96% of households consist of single persons. This is comparable to the Durham County and North East averages. County Council projections indicate that the number of single households will significantly increase over the coming years. Trend-based projections indicate that the Countywide population will increase to an estimated total of 501,625 in 2026 (DCC, 2010). Currently the majority of the countywide population fall into the â€œeconomically activeâ€? age group; however these residents will soon begin the transition in retirement and will be the main driver of an ageing population. 98.53% of residents are White British. The prominent religion in the neighbourhood is Christianity (82.5%). What does this mean for livin? It is imperative that the available housing stock within the community is able to meet the housing demands of the current and future population. Currently 59.05% of households in Aycliffe Old Town consist of families and couples, the majority of who will have a housing need for larger sized quality homes with two bedrooms or more. More than half of livinâ€™s current properties within the community are two to four bedroom houses (64.58%), these can be utilised to meet some of the current housing need for couples and families. To facilitate good levels of economic activity in a community it is essential that a high percentage of the population are contributing to the local economy through employment or actively seeking work. To achieve this it is important that efforts are made to continually attract and encourage younger households to move into the community through the provision of affordable and accessible housing and sustainable employment. It is also necessary for there to be a range of accessible, local services and support organisations that can provide family centred support to these households and thus aid their involvement in the community.
livin owns a total of 312 properties that are a mix of one and two bedroom bungalows. This represents 22.64% of livinâ€™s housing stock within the community. The letting of bungalows is normally restricted to persons aged 60 or over or those with a medical need. Demand for one bedroom bungalows is typically low throughout all of livinâ€™s communities. Countywide there is currently a high demand for bungalows with two bedrooms or more, and analysis of population trends and future population projections expects this level of demand to continue for larger sized bungalows. However, consideration must be given to the forthcoming Welfare Reform and its potential for significantly increasing demand for smaller sized properties for persons less than 61 years of age. To ensure the housing stock within the community is able to meet current and future levels of demand it is necessary for livin to complete a comprehensive review of the provision and suitability of its current housing stock. An analysis and understanding of the Mosaic Public Sector profile for Aycliffe Old Town will enable livin to ensure that any specified actions within the Plan are tailored to meet the needs and characteristics of the identified profile Groups living within the community. An understanding of the ethnic and religious structure of the local population will enable livin to ensure that its services are equally accessible, responsive and tailored to the needs and requirements of all residents living within the community and throughout livinâ€™s area of operation. 1.2
1.2.1 Housing Tenure The community of Aycliffe Old Town has a wide range of housing tenures. This is very important as a diverse mix of different housing tenures will positively contribute towards making the community more sustainable, by meeting the need of a cross section of the population.
1.7 Owner Occupied: Owns outright 21.6
Owner Occupied: Owns with a mortgage or loan Owner occupied: Shared ownership
Rented from: Local Authority including livin
Rented from: Housing Association / Registered Social Landlord Rented from: Private landlord or letting agency Rented from: Other
Figure 1.6: Housing Tenure in Aycliffe Old Town Source: Census, 2001, LLSOA KS18, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E.
The majority of households living in Aycliffe Old 36.5% of households in the Town own their properties (59.7%). 21.6% of neighbourhood live in social households own their property outright and housing. This is significantly 38.1% own their home through a mortgage or higher than the Durham loan scheme. There are 0.4% of properties County average of 25.4%. owned through a shared ownership scheme within the community which is illustrated within the chart above and is comparable to the averages for both Durham County (0.3%) and the North East (0.4%). This level of ownership is lower than that of the County average, 66.9%. Social housing consists of domestic properties which are owned by Registered Providers (RPâ€™s), or the Local Authority. All social housing in Aycliffe Old Town that was previously owned by Sedgefield Borough Council (SBC) is now owned and managed by livin. 35.1% of households in the community live in homes provided by livin, and a further 1.4% of households live in homes provided by other RPâ€™s.
1.8% of households in Aycliffe Old Town live in privately rented properties.
There is a significantly lower than average percentage (1.8%) of households in Aycliffe Old Town living in privately rented properties when compared to the rest of the County (5.0%). 17
The private rented sector plays an important role in the housing market by offering accommodation for “There is no housing for those households unable to access owneryoung people.” occupation or socially rented housing and with such a low percentage choice will be limited. Tighter Resident from Aycliffe controls and restrictions on mortgages and financial Old Town lending are likely to place an even higher future demand on the private rented housing market from low income households or first time buyers. Those households unable to access social housing will be required to look to the private rented sector to meet their housing need; placing an even higher demand on this already limited sector within this community. There is a residential Gypsy, Roma and Traveller site located at East Howle near to Spennymoor Town. The site is provided by DCC and has 25 permanent pitches. It is the only permanent residential site within livin’s area of operation. Generally, Aycliffe Old Town exhibits an unbalanced housing market with the levels of owner occupation, social housing and the private rented sector varying greatly to that of the Durham County and North East averages. To facilitate and maintain sustainability within a community it is important for there to be varied range of housing options available to meet the demands and needs of local residents. 1.2.2 Average House Prices Land Registry data for January to March 2010 indicates that the average house price within DL5 4, DL5 5 and DL5 7 (Aycliffe Old Town) was £121,245. This price is £23,689 higher than the Durham County average of £97,556 for the same period (Land Registry, 2011).
During January to March 2010 the average cost of buying a home in Aycliffe Old Town was £23,689 higher when compared to the Durham County average.
The price of a terraced house within DL5 4, DL5 5 and DL5 7 for this period was on average £78,210. The average price of a terraced property in Durham County for this period was £60,742, thus costing on average £17,468 less than a similar property within Aycliffe Old Town. Countywide, detached properties cost an average of £884 less. During this three month period there were no sales of flats/maisonettes and therefore no comparison can be made. It is recognised that the differing socio-economic groups, desirability and location of properties within the areas included in the postcodes DL5 4, DL5 5 and DL5 7 will have a bearing on the local house prices for each individual community.
Information obtained from the Zoopla website for the last year, indicates that current property prices within Aycliffe Old Town range from £47,000 to £110,000 for a terraced property. £200,000 £179,655 £180,000 £160,000 £140,000
Aycliffe Old Town
£60,000 £40,000 £20,000
Figure 1.7: Average House Prices in Aycliffe Old Town (January to March 2010) Source: Land Registry, 2011
The County Durham Strategic Housing Market Assessment (DCC, 2010) assessed affordability between lower quartile house prices and lower quartile earnings. Based on these figures buyers would need to borrow 4.6 times their income (based on lower quartile earnings) to purchase a property (based on lower quartile house prices) in the area of the former Sedgefield Borough. Access to lending on homes is calculated using a multiplier of 3.5 for single households and 2.9 for households with two or more incomes. For Aycliffe Old Town, buyers will need to borrow 5.9 times their own income to purchase a property within the area. This has resulted in a community ranking of SILVER. The Land Registry house data used to obtain this ranking is comparable with the sold house prices obtained from Zoopla. Full details of the methodology for this ranking can be found in Appendix 2. During livin’s consultation there were concerns from residents about the affordability of properties within the community. Generally the residents believe to get on to the property ladder is very difficult due to cost of homes thus identifying a need to provide more affordable housing to help those within the community obtain their first home.
The cost of buying a home within the community is more affordable when compared to the County multiplier of 5.2 (Strategic Housing Market Assessment, DCC, 2010) and substantially more affordable when compared nationally (6.28). Residents did raise concerns that there is not enough housing within the community which will lead to the question of affordability so it is important that livin are aware of the market costs of home ownership as developments are commenced within the village. Although there are a number of current Government incentives available nationwide to help first time property buyers these are only available on new build properties. A new scheme called First Buy has been introduced from September 2011. This scheme will be jointly funded by the Government and house builders and will provide a 20% loan to top up the first time buyer’s own deposit of 5%. This will allow them to take out a mortgage for 75% of the property’s value. The loans will be free of charge for the first five years and must be repaid when the property is resold. The funds will then be recycled to fund more homes in the scheme. There are currently no HomeBuy and First Buy schemes in Aycliffe Old Town. The nearest schemes can be located in Peterlee, Murton, Shotton Colliery and Spennymoor Town. Key Housing Market Characteristics: The neighbourhood has a wide range of Housing Tenures and exhibits an unbalanced housing market; this is important as a diverse mix of tenures will contribute towards making an area more sustainable by meeting the need of a cross section of the population. 59.7% of households own their property outright, or through a mortgage or loan scheme. There are 0.40% of properties owned through shared ownership. The neighbourhood has a significantly higher percentage of Social Housing (36.5%) when compared to the rest of Durham County. 1.8% of properties in the neighbourhood are privately rented properties this being significantly lower than the County average. The private rented sector plays an important part in any local housing market as it is able to offer accommodation for those unable to access owner occupation or social housing. Land Registry data indicates that during January to March 2010 the average cost of buying a property in the neighbourhood was approximately £23,689 higher when compared to the Durham County average.
What does this mean for livin? Given that slightly more than a third of residents reside in social housing within Aycliffe Old Town, livin and other RP’s have a significant stake in the housing market within this community. 20
It is important that as a major housing provider within Aycliffe Old Town and a key player in the housing market livin understand their role in helping to balance the local housing market whilst also making efforts to help meet housing need, as identified in DCC’s Housing Strategies. This may be through the development and acquisition of housing stock, redevelopment of low demand housing stock or the potential of bringing non livin properties that are currently empty back into use. livin needs to consider the health of the local housing market and the ability of households to meet their own housing need. Lack of access to the owner occupier and the private rented sectors can increase pressure on livin’s housing stock, particularly for single households, young couples and families. 1.2.3 Current Supply and Demand for Housing livin Housing Stock livin currently owns and manages a total of 1660 livin own 1660 properties in properties in Aycliffe Old Town (livin, 2011). the neighbourhood; 25.30% Ownership of these properties transferred to livin of these are bungalows and in March 2009 as part of a stock transfer from 63.07% are houses. the now disbanded Sedgefield Borough Council. Since March 2009, there have been six properties within Newton Aycliffe purchased from livin through the “Right to Buy” scheme. livin’s properties within this community include a wide range of property types and a breakdown of these together with the age profile of lead tenants can be seen in the following tables:
Property Types Bedsit Sheltered Ground Floor 1 Bedroom Bungalow 1 Bed Ground Floor Flat 1 Bed Upper Floor Flat 1 Bed Sheltered Ground Floor 1 Bed Sheltered Upper Floor 2 Bed Ground Floor Flat 2 Bed Upper Floor Flat 2 Bed Ground Floor Maisonette 2 Bed Upper Floor Maisonette 2 Bedroom Bungalow 2 Bedroom House 3 Bed Ground Floor Flat 3 Bed Upper Floor Flat 3 Bed Ground Floor Maisonette 3 Bed Upper Floor Maisonette 3 Bedroom House 3 Bedroom Bungalow 4 Bedroom House 4 Bed Upper Floor Flat 5 Bedroom House 10 Bedroom House Total
4 153 23 6 13 13 15 23 10 25 266 514 11 25 11 13 475 1 54 1 3 1 1660
Figure 1.8: livin stock in Aycliffe Old Town (as at 21 October 2011) Source: livin, 2011
Age Range (based on age of lead tenant) 16-19 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60-69 70 & Over Unknown (Void, non livin managed) Total
9 133 167 244 255 255 587 10 1660
Figure 1.9: Age profile of livin lead tenants in Aycliffe Old Town (as at 11 July 2011) Source: livin, 2011
It is important that stock levels within a community are able to meet current and future demands for housing. A good range of housing stock located within a community will help provide a greater level of choice for housing applicants, including single persons, couples, families and older persons. 22
Currently 25.24% of livin’s housing stock in Aycliffe Old Town consists of one and two bedroom bungalows. Of this total number of bungalows 63.48% have two bedrooms. 62.83% of the housing stock consists of two, three and four bedroom houses. The community does have three five bedroomed homes and one ten bedroomed accommodation. The provision of bungalows within a community would normally be expected to help meet the demands of an ageing population, or those wishing to remain in mainstream housing through their later years. As demand throughout livin’s communities for one bedroom bungalows are typically low there is the potential for these property types not to meet future demand for housing within the area. However there will be a need for livin to consider the forthcoming Welfare Reform and its potential for again increasing demand for smaller sized properties for persons less than 61 years of age. The very low number of lead tenants within the 16 to 19 age range may be the result of younger persons being unable to take their first steps into renting a property of their own. This may be due to financial restrictions, difficulties posed by the current economic climate, or their eligibility for social housing. livin Housing Demand, Need and Turnover Since 1 October 2009 livin has allocated properties through a Choice Based Lettings (CBL) scheme, known as Durham Key Options (DKO). DKO is a partnership of local housing providers across County Durham. CBL allows applicants to place an interest, or “bid”, for the type of property they require based on their circumstances.
There are currently 302 households from Newton Aycliffe registered with Durham Key Options that are in statutory housing need.
Analysis of livin’s housing register in February 2011 found there to be 859 active applications for housing received from residents already living in the whole of Newton Aycliffe. 302 of these applicants were banded by DKO as Bands A to C+ due to them having a statutory housing need. This percentage of households in housing need may be linked to the inability to obtain a mortgage or loan due to current lending restrictions, or restricted access to the private rented and social housing sectors as a result of the current underlying economic climate, limited stock levels or unsuitable property types. Only 47 applicants are aged less than 25 years, with a further 166 aged 50 years or more. During the period 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010, there were 115 livin properties available for let in Aycliffe Old Town making livin’s stock turnover within the community 6.92%. This is a low level of turnover when compared to the total turnover of all livin housing stock (9%) for the same period.
Number of properties
1 Bed Bungalow 1 Bed Flat 1 Bed Sheltered Accommodation 2 Bed Bungalow 2 Bed Flat 2 Bed Maisonette 2 Bed House 3 Bed Maisonette 3 Bed Flat 3 Bed House 4 Bed House
Number of bids
Average number of bids per property
21 7 2 32 1 3 18 1
666 252 153 2932 10 37 769 33
32 36 77 92 10 12 43 33
Figure 1.10: livin properties available for let during the period 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010 in Aycliffe Old Town. Source: livin, 2011
Based on national benchmarking figures provided by HouseMark this low level of stock turnover has resulted in the community being ranked as GOLD for Tenancy Turnover. Full details of the methodology used for this ranking can be found in Appendix 2. To maintain sustainability within a community there will always be a need for some level of tenancy turnover. However, it is important that turnover does not reach a level where it becomes detrimental to housing demand, the communities reputation or the local economy. Likewise, levels of turnover must not be as low as to restrict access to social housing for those households with housing need. The types of properties available for let within the community during the period 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010 were a mixture of one bedroomed bungalows, flats and sheltered accommodation, two bedroomed bungalows, flats, maisonettes and houses, three bedroomed flats, maisonettes and houses and four bedroomed houses. There was no turnover of a number of property types including a three bed bungalow, five bedroomed houses and a ten bedroomed house, although it is important to note that livin only have a small stock of these property types within this community. A limited turnover of livinâ€™s properties and different property types will see a number of households being required to consider other housing options to meet their housing need.
Again for many households, including first time buyers or those on a low income, buying their own home is not a viable option leading to an increased demand on the private rented sector. High market rents or a lack of availability of larger properties within this housing sector may ultimately force some households to move out of the local area in search of suitable accommodation. There were a total of 5313 bids received for 115 properties. This is a clear indication of a high demand for livin’s stock within this community. Based on the total number of bids received per property the highest demand was for two bedroom houses; receiving on average 92 bids per property. During the period 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010 the highest demand was for two bedroom houses. It is however important to remember that policy decisions and legislation will affect the levels of demand for particular house types. A high level of demand for two bedroom houses could be due to need and eligibility from several household groups including families, couples, and single persons whereas three and four bedroom properties will only be eligible for larger families, and bungalows for older persons or those with a medical need. It is important that lettings policies are regularly reassessed to reflect the supply of housing and demand with the aim of promoting sustainability within an area. Demand for smaller properties, particularly one bedroom bungalows, is typically low throughout all of livin’s communities. Although the number of bids received for one bedroom bungalows within Aycliffe Old Town demonstrates demand this is due to a number of these properties being advertised for let on more than one bidding cycle with CBL. If after one advertising cycle with DKO, a bungalow is unable to be let, livin may consider lowering the age restriction to increase eligibility for more applicants which often increases the number of bids received. As demand for this property type is typically low throughout all of livin’s communities there is potential for these properties to not meet future housing demand. This will require livin to conduct a stock options appraisal and review of its housing stock for older persons. However, any such appraisal will must consider the forthcoming Welfare Reform and its potential for again increasing demand for smaller sized properties for persons less than 61 years of age. Countywide there is currently an increased demand for bungalows with two bedrooms or more (County Durham Strategic Housing Market Assessment, DCC, 2010). Demand for two bedroom bungalows within this community is high with a total of 666 bids being received for a total of 21 properties and typically there is also a good level of demand for these properties throughout all of livin’s communities. 25
Of the 115 properties available to let in Aycliffe Old Town during the period 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010, only 7 were required to be advertised with CBL on three or more consecutive bidding cycles before being let. Although a number of bids may have been received for a property within each individual bidding cycle the property was not allocated for let due to the applicant withdrawing their bid upon offer. All 7 of these properties were within sheltered accommodation schemes indicating that this property type is either unpopular and/or has an unpopular location within the area. Data from DKOâ€™s database indicates a good level of overall demand from applicants for livin housing within the community. Due to the fair number of bids received per property advertised, low numbers of hard to let properties in the community and a high amount of applicants indicating Aycliffe Old Town to be an area of preference; the community has been ranked as GOLD. Full details of the methodology used for this ranking can be found in Appendix 2. During consultation residents expressed concerns about the need for bigger bungalows within the community to meet need and demand although bids for this property type was good there are higher demands for two and three bedroomed houses as illustrated in table above. 1.2.4 livin Tenancy Sustainment There is a high percentage of long term tenancy sustainment within the 1660 properties owned by livin in Aycliffe Old Town. These high levels of tenancy sustainment are reflected in the low level of turnover of livin properties in this community. As at 27 October 2011, 26.36% of livin tenants have sustained their current tenancy for a period of 0 to 4 years. A further 20.42% of tenants have sustained their tenancy for a period of 5 to 9 years and 52.21% of tenants who have a tenancy in this community have lived in their current home for 10 years or more.
52.21% of tenants who have a livin tenancy in this neighbourhood have lived in their current home for 10 years or more.
Community sustainability requires an appropriate level of tenancy turnover. High levels of tenancy sustainment within social housing can be for a multitude of reasons. Although some may be favourable it is important to ensure that tenants are not remaining in their current home due to restrictions in their housing options (i.e. ability to purchase own property) or financial restrictions around the cost of relocating.
Number of tenancies
livin Tenancy Sustainment 1000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0
10 Years +
Figure 1.11: livin tenancy sustainment in Aycliffe Old Town Source: livin, 2011 (not including void properties or non livin managed properties)
High tenancy sustainment may result in housing stock being under occupied. Larger households may over time reduce in size due to children growing up and leaving home, relationships breakdowns, or bereavement. In additional to a detrimental effect on the level of housing demand within a community there may be financial implications to the tenant as a result of the forthcoming Welfare Reform which aims to reduce benefit payments for tenants that under occupier their homes (excluding persons aged 61 and over). 1.2.5 Vacant / Abandoned Properties High levels of void or empty properties can be a strong indicator of low demand for housing within an area. The community of Aycliffe Old Town has a low percentage of housing that consists of empty and/or abandoned properties; indicating a good level of demand for housing within this community. Data obtained from DCCâ€™s Council Tax database in January 2012 indicates there to be an overall total of 99 possible properties that have been empty and/or abandoned (this figure may include properties that are currently for sale) for a period of six months or more within Newton Aycliffe as a whole. Apportioned based on a total of 6386 domestic dwellings (Census, 2001, LLSOA, KS16, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E ) this is only 1.55% of the total number of dwellings in the community. Data collection limitations have restricted further detailed analysis of this information.
Key Supply and Demand Characteristics: livin currently own 1660 properties within the community; 63.07% are two to ten bedroom houses and 25.3% are two & three bedroomed bungalows. 63.48% of these bungalows have two bedrooms. There is only one three bedroom bungalow owned by livin in the community. 302 of applicants on the housing register with Durham Key Options that currently live in Newton Aycliffe as a whole were classed as having a statutory Housing Need (Bands A to C+).
During 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010, 115 properties became available for let; making tenancy turnover within the community 6.92%. During 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010 there was no turnover of four, five and ten bedroomed properties, however, there is low stock within the community of this house type. Households requiring these property types may be forced to access the private rented sector or move out of the village to meet their housing need. Demand for properties with two or more bedrooms is good. There is a high demand Countywide for these property types. Demand is low for one bedroom bungalows in the community. This is typical in all of livinâ€™s communities. There were 7 properties that were hard to let during the period 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010. All 7 of these properties were within sheltered accommodation schemes. 52.21% of livin tenants living within the neighbourhood have sustained their tenancy for a period of 10 years or more. What does this mean for livin? Demand for livin housing in this community has been ranked as GOLD. It is essential that this ranking is maintained and over the coming years. The projection of an ageing population throughout the County over the coming years, in conjunction with high levels of demand for properties with two bedrooms or more, highlights a clear need for livin to review its provision of current housing stock to meet the current and future housing needs of the local population. It is important that to maintain sustainability within the community there is a good supply of accessible family homes. livin must consider that residents are concerned about the current economic climate and how mortgage and lending restrictions are and will increase levels of demand for social housing with this community.
There must be consideration for affordable housing that will meet needs of the wider community and as such the current developments within the area of Aycliffe Old Town on Baliol Road will be a welcome supply to this need group. Aycliffe Old Town has a reasonable level of supply of one and two bedroom bungalows within the community which represents 25.24% of the stock holding and of this 63.48% have two bedrooms. Countywide there is an increased demand for two bedroom bungalows, and based on DCCâ€™s future population projections it is expected that this trend will continue to increase over the next 10 years placing a greater need to supply this type of accommodation. This provision for two bedroomed bungalows should be considered as part of future developments. There is low demand for properties within livinâ€™s sheltered schemes and one bedroom bungalows. This indicates that this property type is currently no longer meeting housing demand within the community and indicates a need for livin to review its provision of accommodation for older persons. It is important that when conducting this stock appraisal livin recognises the effects on demand that this additional provision of accommodation will require. livin must be aware of the forthcoming Welfare Reform and the potential it has to increase demand for smaller sized properties for persons aged less than 61. The changes to this legislation could see a rise in demand for one bedroom bungalows if the rules upon under occupancy are included within the Reform. Single persons residing in two or more bedroomed properties may see an impact upon benefit payments leading them to seek smaller accommodation to avoid financial loss. livin may require a policy or action that allows these tenants, and those in all other livin communities, support through this potentially difficult time. With an ever increasing need for residents to gain a foot on the property ladder it may be beneficial for livin to not only consider house types upon new developments but consideration that support for first time buyers and those moving home may be met through the building of mixed tenure developments taking into consideration current market forces and economic climate with regard to mortgage and lending restrictions. Sustainability within a community requires an appropriate level of tenancy turnover. It is important that consideration be given to the reasons behind high levels of sustainment to ensure residents are not being forced to remain in their current home due to restrictions in their housing options or financial circumstances. Likewise it is also important to consider any trends in short term tenancy sustainment to investigate the reasons behind this. 1.2.6 Future Demand for Housing Population and household projections for a community can be utilised by a number of different service providers to predict the future level of demand on their services.
In conjunction with other social, economic, and environmental indicators these projections may be used to forecast the demand and need for housing in a community. DCC have conducted a Strategic Housing Market Assessment (DCC, 2010) which can be utilised by RP’s to help determine the expected level of demand for housing over the coming years and assist them in developing future housing strategies. Population and household projections within this Community Plan are based on this assessment. It is expected that the vast majority of older persons will decide to remain in their own homes with mainstream housing providing the primary means of meeting this demand. Local RP’s will be required to support this by providing extra support services and help for people to adapt their homes to meet their changing needs. Some vulnerable groups will require support or bespoke housing solutions and it is expected that there will be a sharp growth in demand for specialist housing projects for persons aged 75 years or older during the coming years. The decisions of older households to remain in their homes will influence the supply of housing available for other household groups. As a result it is important that local RP’s recognise the potential opportunities for supporting older households to downsize, thus releasing a supply of larger family homes for other household groups. In recognition of this increased demand on mainstream housing the Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) published a guide to Age Friendly Communities in the North: People and Places 2020. This publication is the result of a two year project involving consultation with local communities and key Consortium members, and focuses on building an evidence base to demonstrate the significant impact housing can have on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of older people. During livin’s consultation local residents did not provide any comments relating to energy saving measures or increasing energy efficiency within their homes and their potential to affect future demand.
Key Future Demand Characteristics: An ageing population, and fall in the number of persons economically active by 2026 will place an increased demand on fiscal, housing and health provisions. By 2030 the County is expected to see:
single person households increase by 100.3% two person households increase by only 18% three person households or more decrease by 26.9%
The majority of older persons will want to remain in their own homes through their senior years. This will place an increased demand on mainstream and social housing. Increased future demand is expected for support services for vulnerable groups, and a need for bespoke housing solutions or specialist housing projects for persons aged 75 years or more. It is important that livin’s housing stock is able to meet the future demands of an ageing population. What does this mean for livin? livin’s Development and Asset Management strategies must take into account future population projections and consider the expected demand for social housing within the community to ensure housing stock meets the future needs and demands of local residents and the potential impact made upon need and demand through changes to the Welfare Reform system. This may require consideration of the potential for development opportunities on existing livin sites, redevelopment of low demand housing stock or the potential of bringing none livin properties that are currently empty back into use or the acquisition of new development sites to assist in meeting the demand for housing within a community. Consideration must also be given of the potential to develop mixed tenure sites that not only generate rental income but allow house sales to support costs. livin will also have to consider its current housing provision and how it will meet the needs of an increasing elderly population whilst also finding bespoke solutions to meet the individual needs of vulnerable groups. Anticipation of an ageing population and low demand for livin’s one bedroom bungalows and sheltered housing schemes throughout its areas of operation highlights the requirement for livin to review its current provision of housing stock for older persons. There may also be potential opportunities for housing providers to support older households to downsize thus releasing a supply of larger family homes for other household groups. 31
The current economic climate and an increasing awareness surrounding the benefits of installing energy efficient measures within homes may over the coming years begin to influence the levels of demand for livin’s properties. This will require livin to investigate the potential benefits of installing a range of energy efficiency measures within its current properties and future developments. In addition to helping reduce the consumption of energy in livin homes these measures may also see cost saving benefits for tenants through reduced energy bills. 1.2.7 Average cost of Repairs to livin properties The repair and maintenance of livin’s properties is essential to ensure that they remain in excellent condition and to the high standards expected by tenants. Aycliffe Old Town has been awarded a ranking of GOLD for average repair costs per property when compared to other livin communities. Full details of the methodology used for this ranking can be found in Appendix 2. During the period 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 livin, together with its repairs and maintenance partner Mears, completed 5382 repairs (including gas safety) to properties in Aycliffe Old Town. On average 29% of these repairs were emergency repairs which required immediate attention. The average repair cost (including gas safety) per property across all of livin’s 19 communities for the period 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010 was £604.
During 2009/2010, livin’s average repair cost per property in Aycliffe Old Town was £560, during 2010/2011 this increased to £569 per property. During 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011, the number of completed repairs (including gas safety) to livin properties in Aycliffe Old Town reduced to 5140. On average 31% of these repairs were emergency repairs which required immediate attention. 1.2.8 Average cost of Improvement Programmes for livin properties Over the next few years, and as part of promises to tenants, livin is investing over £100 million in a rolling programme of modernisation and improvements to the properties that it owns. The modernisation and improvement programme that livin is carrying out on its properties is to a much higher standard of works than that of the Government's Decent Homes Standard. The improvements that livin are completing include: 32
New Kitchens New Bathrooms Central Heating Replacement Electrical Works Internal and External Door Replacement Roofing works
During a programme of works not all of livin’s properties will receive all of the above improvements at the same time. There are a number of factors that determine which improvement works are completed at the property during forthcoming programmes in each community. For example some properties may only receive new internal and external doors, whereas other may be due new internal and external doors plus a replacement of the kitchen and bathroom. During 2010/2011, livin improved 641 of its properties in Aycliffe Old Town at an average cost of £2,482 per property. A number of improvement programmes have already been completed in Aycliffe Old Town. During the period 1 April 2009 to 31 March 2010, livin and its partners completed internal modernisations and improvements to 778 properties at an average cost of £2,123 per property. During 2010/2011 internal modernisations and improvements were made to 641 properties at an average cost of £2,482 per property. These properties received a number of improvements including new kitchens and bathrooms, internal and external doors, a full electrical rewire and new heating system. During 2011/2012 livin carried out a full range of improvements to a further 561 of its properties in Aycliffe Old Town at an expected average cost of £8,456 per property. What does this mean for livin? The community has a good repair cost per property resulting in a ranking of GOLD. However close to one third of the repairs required to livin properties in the community during 2009/2010 and 2010/11 were emergencies. Investigation into the causes of these repairs may be considered in an attempt to minimise the amount of emergency repairs required within our properties. The average cost of repair to livin’s properties in Aycliffe Old Town has increased in successive years from 2009/2010 to 2010/2011 even though the number of repairs has decreased. Since 2009, livin has conducted a number of improvement and modernisation programmes to its properties within Aycliffe Old Town. It is expected that as a result of these improvement programmes, together with the future programmes scheduled for completion during 2012/2013 there will be a reduction in the repair costs for these properties during the coming years.
Crime and Antisocial Behaviour
The community of Aycliffe Old Town is located within the Police Beat areas of Shafto St Marys, Neville & Simpasture and West Wards. There is a local Police Office located on Welbury Way within Newton Aycliffe. This facility is the location of the Neighbourhood Beat Team. Police stations closest to this office are located in the neighbouring towns of Spennymoor and Bishop Auckland.
Dec-11 Nov-11 Oct-11
Other Theft Criminal Damage & Arson
Public Disorder & Wepons
Vehicle Crime Robbery
Anti-Social Behaviour Feb-11
Jan-11 Dec-10 0
Figure 1.12: Reported Police incidents within the Wards of Shafto St Marys, Neville & Simpasture and West during December 2010 to December 2011. Source: Police.uk, 2011
From the 1 December 2010 to 31 December 2011 Durham Constabulary reported the level of crime and disorder within the Aycliffe Old Town Wards to be a mix of “average” and “above average” when compared to the rest of the Police Beat Wards within England and Wales. During December 2010 to December 2011 the police received 1813 reported incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour within the community of Aycliffe Old Town. (Police.uk, 2011) During this period there were a total of 1813 reported incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour in the community of Aycliffe Old Town (Police.uk, 2011). Of this total 60.73% were in relation to antisocial behaviour, 19.3% were in relation to 34
“other” crimes (including fraud, forgery and miscellaneous crime), 7.33% were in relation to violent crime, 2.7% were in relation to criminal damage & arson and 2.32% in relation to shoplifting.
Criminal behaviour / crime other than above
Litter / rubbish / fly tipping
Drugs / substance misuse, drug dealing
Nuisance from vehicles
Pets & animal nuisance
Vandalism & damage to property
Arguing, shouting and/or screaming
Loud music Domestic noise
Figure 1.13: Reported cases to livin of nuisance and antisocial behaviour within Aycliffe Old Town during April 2010 to March 2011 Source: Support and Intervention Team
livin’s Support and Intervention Team received 31 complaints of nuisance or antisocial behaviour occurring within Aycliffe Old Town during the period 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2011. These complaints, received by livin, related to offensive gestures and behaviour, domestic noise, loud music, nuisance and garden nuisance together with arguing/shouting, vandalism, drug misuse, fly tipping, criminal behaviour and domestic abuse. Both local residents and the neighbourhood’s Police Beat Teams highlighted a number of issues relating to antisocial behaviour, damage to property, and the drinking of alcohol in public places. These views are reflected in Durham Constabulary’s reported crime data which indicates that antisocial behaviour equates to over 60% of reported incidents during the period of December 2010 to December 2011. 35
Recent consultation completed by DCC (Residents Survey, 2010) highlighted that within the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area, less than 1% of residents feel unsafe in their local communities during the day. The AAP’s with the highest fear of safety during the daytime were Bishop Auckland and Shildon, and 4Together, both with a percentage of 3%. 9% of Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP residents stated they felt unsafe in their local area during the evening, this being the 6th lowest out of all of the County’s 14 AAP’s. The AAP with the highest fear of safety during the evening was Bishop Auckland and Shildon with 15%. Countywide, 42% of residents completing the survey indicated the main reason for feeling unsafe in their local community is due to youths congregating on the streets. Mosaic profile data for livin tenant’s highlights that households in Group K ,54.82%, (Residents with sufficient incomes in right to buy social houses), have a “high” fear of becoming a victim of crime in their community. Group M, 28.49%, (Elderley people reliant on state support), have an “average” fear of becoming a victim of crime. These two groups represent the vast majority of livin tenants within the Aycliffe Old Town. Key Crime and Antisocial Behaviour Characteristics: From the 1 December 2010 to 31 December 2011 Durham Constabulary reported the level of crime and disorder within the Aycliffe Old Town Wards to be a mix of “average” and “above average” when compared to the rest of the Police Beat Wards within England and Wales. During the same period there were 1813 reported Police incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour in Aycliffe Old Town:
60.73% of reported incidents were in respect of antisocial behaviour 19.33% of incidents related to other crimes, such as fraud, forgery and miscellaneous crime 7.33% of incidents related to violent crime 3.2% of incidents related to vehicle crime
During the period 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2011, livin’s Support and Intervention Team received 31 complaints. Consultation found local residents are concerned about antisocial behaviour caused by local youths, drinking of alcohol, drug use, litter, dog fouling and the drinking of alcohol in public places. 9% of Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP residents stated they felt unsafe in their local area during the evening, this being the 6th lowest out of all of the County’s 14 AAP’s. 36
What does this mean for livin? It is important that livin maintains its commitment to providing a robust and responsive service for dealing with incidents of nuisance and antisocial behaviour in local communities. livin is aware that partnership working is essential when addressing and dealing with crime and antisocial behaviour in its communities. livin is already a contributing partner to the Safe Durham Partnership and plays an important role in supporting the partnership to help people feel safer within their local communities. As such livin must continue to actively work with local residents and community groups, the Police, DCC and other agencies through the attendance of staff members at PACT meetings, residents meetings and other local events to promote it services and offer help and support to victims of nuisance or antisocial behaviour. livin will utilise a wide range of tools and powers to tackle incidents of nuisance and antisocial behaviour within its communities. These can range from the effective use of mediation to resolve low level community disputes, through to the use of legal injunctions or possession orders for more serious cases of antisocial behaviour. Consideration is also currently being given to the potential use of restorative justice practices as a further tool to help livin tackle incidents of nuisance and antisocial behaviour within its communities There are concerns from residents regarding a number of issues surrounding crime and antisocial behaviour these issues are regarding drug taking, graffiti, â€˜yobâ€™ culture, dog fouling, litter and the drinking of alcohol in open areas. This highlights opportunities for livin to work closely with DCC, Great Aycliffe Town Council, Durham Constabulary and particularly Newton Aycliffe Beat Teams, GAMP AAP, and other community organisations to help target, develop and support diversionary activities for children and young persons within the community. These actions and partnership working cannot be made in respect of Aycliffe New Town but as an action for the whole of Newton Aycliffe. To encourage good levels of participation it is important that any proposed activities are developed in conjunction with the local youths to ensure good levels of participation.
Economy and Employment
1.4.1 Economic Activity â€œEconomic activity relates to persons aged 16 to 74 years who are in employment, or actively seeking employment and are available to start work within 2 weeks.â€? (Source: Census, 2001) During 2001 economic activity within Aycliffe Old Town was 58.6 %; this was lower than the County average of 60.2%. (Source: Census 2001) Of this total economic activity 39% were in full time, this being slightly higher than the Durham County average of 38.5%. 10.2% in part time employment, this being marginally lower than the County average of 10.7%. 3.8% of residents were selfemployed; this being less than the Durham County average of 5.4%. It is acknowledged that as a result of the current economic climate the level of economic activity within the community may have changed since this data was collated in 2001. 45.0 40.0
35.0 30.0 25.0 %
Aycliffe Old Town
Durham County 15.0
0.0 Employees Employees Self Unemployed Full time Full-time Part-time Employed Student Figure 1.14: Economic Activity in Aycliffe Old Town Source: Census 2001, LLSOA, KS02, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E.
The 2010 Indices of Deprivation indicates that in relation to employment, 26.0% of residents living in the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area are deemed to be in the top 10% nationally deprived and 77.1% in the top 30% nationally deprived (Communities and Local Government (CLG), 2010). The percentage of residents in the top 10% deprived is notably lower than the Durham County average of 30.8%. There has been a small decrease in the levels of employment related deprivation 38
since 2007, when 26.3% of residents were deemed to be in the top 10% most deprived. Nearly three quarters of businesses in the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area are classed as small with 10 or less employees (DCC, 2011). During the period 2006 to 2008, the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area was home to 5.8% of the total number of businesses that were operating within Durham County. 73.7% of these businesses employed 10 employees or less, whilst 26.3% employed 11 or more employees (Annual Business Inquiry, 2008). Newton Aycliffe is home to the second largest industrial estate in the area. There are also a number of smaller industrial estates located at Shildon. All are home to a number of local, national and international businesses. Large industrial estates are also located at Peterlee, Sedgefield and Wynyard. NETPark in Sedgefield is seen to be one of the fastest growing science, engineering and technological business parks in the Country with good access to the major roads of the A1 and A19. Wynyard Park, located at nearby Wynyard, is home to a number of local, national, and international businesses. There are smaller estates located within the surrounding area at Bowburn, Fishburn, Meadowfield, Willington, Chilton and Spennymoor. Development is also currently under way on DurhamGate in Spennymoor, a large mixed-use regeneration scheme which will incorporate business, living and leisure. The proposed retail and commercial developments at the DurhamGate site in Spennymoor and the Hitachi factory in Newton Aycliffe will hopefully help to boost economic activity and employment opportunities for local residents and those in surrounding areas livin own a number of retail units in both the Neville Parade and Simpasture Gate shopping parades. The units are leased. The availability of local employment was a key issue highlighted by residents during livin’s consultation. Residents reported a number of concerns about the lack of local jobs, the need to travel outside of the area to seek employment and the lack of apprenticeships. This necessity to travel is currently being hampered by rising fuel costs and the affordability of car ownership and taxi hire. The reliance on a bus service to travel to and from Newton Aycliffe was not a specific concern for residents and some view the service offered as good and given the reduction of bus services Countywide this is a surprising comment. The importance of sustainable employment and enhanced job prospects within the local area has been acknowledged during Forum Events conducted by Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP. During 2011/2012, “employment, job prospects and enterprise” was a key priority for the AAP to tackle. At the AAP’s Forum Event in November 2011, the issue of “employment, enterprise, education and training” was voted by Forum members as the second highest issue within the AAP area. As a result this
will continue as one of Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAPâ€™s key priorities for 2012/2013. Census data indicates that residents within Aycliffe Old Town are employed in a wide range of different occupations (Census 2001, LLSOA, KS02, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E). The neighbourhood has a high percentage of persons employed in process , plant and machine operatives and elementary occupations ( including farm workers, labourers, kitchen assistant and bar staff) when compared to the rest of the County.
(Source: Census, 2001) There is a higher percentage (14%) of skilled trade workforce (including Motor Mechanics, Electricians, Plumbers, Plasterers and Chefs) living in the community when compared to the Durham County average (13%).
Using this data the Community also exhibits a higher percentage of residents employed within process, plant and machine operative roles (18%) and elementary occupations (e.g. farm workers, labourers, kitchen assistants and bar staff) of 15% when compared to the rest of the County. There are a low percentage of residents in the community employed as professionals, such as Doctors and Dentists (6%), or in a management or senior roles (10%) when compared to the rest of the County. Low levels of employment within these occupations also reflect the lower percentage of residents in the community who hold an educational qualification at levels 3 to 5 (section 1.7) when compared to the rest of Durham County. Level 3 qualifications are necessary for progression to higher education or University. Qualifications at levels 4 to 5 are equivalent to degree or professional level. 2001 census data highlighted that a high percentage of residents within this community were employed within the process, plant and machine processing industry. Over the past ten years this industry has been one of the hardest hit resulting in many large scale local employers, including Filmco at Sedgefield, and Black and Decker and Electrolux at Spennymoor relocating or ceasing to trade. This reduction in local job opportunities within the industry; combined with 40.1% of residents who hold no educational qualifications highlights a potential need for an increased provision of skills and training courses. This can help local residents to retrain or gain new qualifications, skills and experience thus assisting them into long term employment.
20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0
9 7 7
8 Aycliffe Old Town Durham County
Figure 1.15: Occupation profile of 16 to 74 year olds in Aycliffe Old Town Source: Census, 2001, LLSOA KS12A, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E.
During livinâ€™s consultation events concerns were expressed by local residents about the availability of training and skills courses , poor opportunities for school leavers and the need to have an outcome or career path after a training and/ or skills course had ended. Looking into these comments further it appears there is a requirement for better communicating and awareness of the training that is available within Newton Aycliffe as it appears not all residents know the opportunities that exist. Economic inactivity was marginally higher than the County average (39.9%) with a total of 41.4% of the population not employed, and not actively seeking work. The number of residents that are retired (18.8%) within the community was higher than the Durham County average (14.8%). â€œEconomic inactivity relates to persons aged 16 to 74 years who are not in employment, or not actively seeking employment and available to start work within 2 weeks.â€? (Source: Census, 2001) A higher percentage of persons (11.1%) in the community were unable to work due to being permanently sick and / or disabled when compared to the County(10.3%) and this trend is reversed as highlighted for those who are looking after their home/family(5.68%) when compared to the County average of 6.3%.
20.0 18.0 16.0
Aycliffe Old Town
0.0 Looking after Permanently home/family sick/disabled
Figure 1.16: Economic inactivity in Aycliffe Old Town Source: Census, 2001, LLSOA, KS12A, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E.
Analysis of Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) data from March 2011 highlights that the wards of Newton Aycliffe as a whole which include; Greenfield and Middridge (inc Aycliffe New Town), Shafto St Maryâ€™s, Neville and Simpasture (inc Aycliffe Village) and West Ward has a higher percentage of persons who have been claiming Jobseekers Allowance for up to 6 months (76.6%) when compared to the County average (73.5%).
There are high percentages of residents claiming Jobseekers Allowance for up to 6 months when compared to the Durham County average.
Longer term unemployment within the community is lower than both County and National averages. 14.4% of residents have been claiming Jobseekers Allowance for a period of 6 to 12 months when compared to 18% throughout the County and 17.3% at National level. This lower percentage of residents claiming Jobseekers Allowance for a period of 6 to 12 months has resulted in the community being ranked as GOLD. Full details of the methodology for this ranking can be found in Appendix 2. However, the percentage of residents claiming Jobseekers Allowance for 12 months or more (8.9%) is slightly higher than County average of 8.4%, but substantially lower than the National average of 14.2%. Sustainable communities require high levels of economic activity; this can be facilitated by a high percentage of the resident population being economically active.
Although long term unemployment is low when compared to County and National levels, it is important that local service providers work in partnership to proactively identify and minimise the barriers to work experienced by residents who have become unemployed within the last 12 months. 1.4.2 Jobseekers Allowance Claimants During August 2010, there were a wide age range of residents that were claiming Jobseekers Allowance in Aycliffe Old Town (DWP, 2010).
There is a need to provide help for all resident age groups to help them gain employment.
Only 31.6% of persons claiming Jobseekers Allowance were aged between 16 to 24 years; this being lower than the County average of 34%.
The percentage of persons aged 25 to 49 years claiming Jobseekers Allowance (50.6%) is also lower than the County average of 52%. The percentage of residents aged 50 years or more claiming Jobseekers Allowance is 17.8% which is higher when compared to the Durham County average (14%). 60.00 50.00
Aycliffe Old Town Durham County
20.00 17.80 14.00
10.00 0.00 Claimants Aged 16-24
Claimants Aged 25-49
Claimants Aged 50 and Over
Figure 1.17: Jobseeker Allowance claimants in Aycliffe Old Town Source: DWP, August 2010
The percentage of persons aged 16 to 24 and those 25 to 49 years that were claiming Jobseekers Allowance is lower than both County and North East averages. Those residents aged 50 and over are higher than both the County and North East averages. Although the levels of claimants are broadly comparable there is still a need for service providers to target all age groups when delivering future skills and training courses to deliver a positive influence to lower the amount of claimants. It is important that future skills and training courses targeted at all age groups will help the individuals to meet their training needs and gain sustainable employment. 43
To help reduce unemployment in a community it may be necessary to provide opportunities that allow residents to retrain and learn new skills that will enable them to enter new industries and gain sustainable employment. Alternatively there may be a need for increased opportunities for school leavers and younger residents to obtain work placements in a business environment; this can help them gain the skills and experience required to obtain sustainable future employment. livin recognises the need for employment opportunities within its area of operation, and in conjunction with its partners has launched the â€œlivin Futuresâ€? partnership programme to help provide training, apprenticeships and employment opportunities. 1.4.3 Department for Works and Pensions Key Benefit Claimants During August 2010, the total percentage of residents claiming a key DWP out of work benefit within the community was higher than the Durham County average of 20%. The majority of residents in Aycliffe Old Town claiming a key benefit were in receipt of Incapacity Benefit (13%); this being higher than the County average which is 10%. These figures are comparative with the intelligence contained in Section 1.6 which indicates the general health of the population within Aycliffe Old Town to be worse when compared to the rest of the County. 14 13 12 10 8 6
Aycliffe Old Town 4
4 2 2
0 Job Incapacity Seekers Benefits
Others Income Related Benefits
Figure 1.18: Breakdown of persons residing in Aycliffe Old Town claiming key DWP benefits Source: DWP, August 2010
1.4.4 Household Income During 2001/02 estimates of mean weekly During 2001 the weekly household income (gross) in the Ward areas of household income in Aycliffe Old Town was £40 per week lower than the Aycliffe Old Town Wards North East average of £410 (ONS 2005). Data was £40 less than the collection limitations have restricted further detailed North East average. analysis of this information on Aycliffe Old Town as ward boundaries cross over into different data collection information only. Based on this intelligence the community has been ranked as BRONZE for average household income. Full details of the methodology for this ranking can be found in Appendix 2. Although residents raised no specific concerns during consultation about levels of household income livin recognises that the effects of the recession and current economic downturn will be felt by a large number of households within its local communities. 1.4.5 Vehicle Ownership and Cost of Travel In 2001, 34.8% of households in Aycliffe Old Town did not own a car or van; this being higher than the Durham County average of 31.4%. 47% of households owned one car or van, and the remaining 18.2% owned two or more cars or vans (Census, 2001, LLSOA, KS17, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E.). The 2001 census indicated that 55.74% of residents in Aycliffe Old Town travelled to work driving a car or van (Census, 2001, LLSOA, KS15, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E.). Although levels of vehicle ownership may have altered since 2001, the rising cost of fuel and other related costs will now have a significant impact on vehicle usage, particularly amongst low income households. Low levels of vehicle ownership and restricted use can affect residents’ lifestyles by restricting access to services and facilities outside of the local area. Throughout livin’s consultation residents expressed their concerns about the need to travel outside of the local area for access to big brand shopping, employment opportunities, and specialist services such as colleges, universities and hospitals. Although residents did not link these concerns with the increasing cost of travel relating to vehicle ownership and public bus and taxi services it is important that the two issues remain closely linked. This reliance on travel outside of the local area, places an increased need on a reliable public transport system for households that do not own their own vehicle. 45
There are fears from residents that ongoing budgetary reductions to rural transport services imposed by DCC will see many residents become more isolated and detached from obtaining specialist services whilst restricting their ability to gain sustainable employment. There were specific concerns about access to services for older persons who are reliant on public transport to meet their travel needs.
Key Economic characteristics: During 2001/02 the weekly household income estimate was £40 lower than the North East average of £410.00. During 2001, economic activity within the neighbourhood was 58.6%; this is lower than the Durham County average. 41.4% of residents in 2001 were not in employment, and not actively seeking work. 11.1% of residents were economically inactive due to being permanently sick or disabled. In 2001, 47% of residents in Aycliffe Old Town were employed in elementary, process, plant and machinery roles, or in skilled trades this being higher than the County average. 27% of residents were employed in professional and management roles this being lower than the County average of 33%.
During March 2011, the percentage of residents claiming Jobseekers Allowance for up to 6 months was higher than the County average. The percentage of residents aged 50 years and over that are claiming jobseekers allowance is higher than the County average.
1.4.6 Rental Debit in livin properties To assess the rent payments made by tenants within livin properties in Aycliffe Old Town an analysis and comparison of livin’s rental debit figures for 2009/10 and 2010/11 have been used. For the financial year 2009/10, the total rental debit charge (rent charged for all of livin’s properties in Aycliffe Old Town) was £5,636,628. At the end of this financial year there were outstanding arrears (unpaid rent) of £83,393; making an unpaid rental debit charge of 1.48%. For the financial year 2010/11 the total rental debit charge was £5,777,203. At the end of this financial year there were outstanding arrears of £7,374; making an unpaid rental debit charge of 1.29%.
Based on the unpaid rental debit charge of 1.29% for the financial year 2010/11, Aycliffe Old Town has been ranked as SILVER. Full details of the methodology for this ranking can be found in Appendix 2. By the end of the financial year 2010/11 livin’s outstanding rental debit figure (unpaid rent) reduced to 1.29% a total of £9,154. Since 2009, livin have introduced and promoted a number of different payment options to make paying rent as easy and accessible as possible for tenants. These include Direct Debit or the option to pay their rent via payment card. Payment cards can be accepted at over 60 local outlets (including Post Offices) wherever the “Paypoint” sign is displayed Although there were no specific comments made by residents during consultation events livin is aware that the rising level of housing costs and the current economic climate has the potential of increasing the level of debt for low income households and many community members. What does this mean for livin? Although livin will aim to continue this reduction of the outstanding rental debit year on year the current economic climate and future reforms to the Welfare Benefit system will provide for challenging times. These challenges will require livin to work proactively with tenants and other household members by providing a dedicated Financial Inclusion Team to provide guidance or sign posting about money and debt management. The effects of the recession and current economic downturn are being felt by a large number of households within livin’s local communities. As a result livin must be mindful that its tenants and local residents will potentially need support through these financial difficulties. This could mean signposting tenants and residents to debt management and financial inclusion support agencies. livin must be aware of the contribution made by partners in supporting residents and tenants to gain new skills and employment, and increase their economic wellbeing. It must support local community organisations that offer these services by ensuring their resources are fully utilised by local residents and that their existence is widely publicised throughout the local area. As part of its ongoing commitment to improving economic sustainability within its communities, livin has appointed an employability coordinator to help develop and implement its approach to tackling employability issues. The levels of long term unemployment within the community are comparable to that of the Durham County average however it should be noted that the short term unemployment, aged 50 and over, is higher than the Durham County average. This will provide real challenges when tackling this age group, however, livin must be 47
aware of the contribution made by partners in supporting residents and tenants to gain new skills and employment, and increase their economic wellbeing. It must support local community organisations that offer these services by ensuring their resources are fully utilised by local residents and that their existence is widely publicised throughout the local area. Consultation has found there to be an identified need for an increased provision of local skills and training courses that can help local residents attain new skills and qualifications for employment. It is evident from the analysis that any employability work undertaken by livin within the community must aim to help reduce the number of persons claiming Jobseekers Allowance. There should be extra emphasis placed on those residents aged 50 years and over that are claiming Jobseekers Allowance. livin will also be required to understand the barriers to employment experienced by local residents and tenants and assess the level of support it can offer. During consultation events residents told livin that they are particularly concerned about the requirement to travel outside of the area for employment and the potential this has for becoming a major barrier to employment due to increasing costs for car ownership and what is perceived by them to be a restrictive public transport service.
Access to Services and Facilities Aycliffe Old Town has good access to services and facilities
Health Services and Healthcare The community of Aycliffe Old Town has good access to local health services and healthcare. There is a Doctors Surgery at Bewick Crescent and a NHS GP Practice on Pease Way, The Pease Way Medical Centre. Provision for a pharmacy is supplied by two outlets within the Town Centre and another within the Neville Parade area of Aycliffe Old Town. A dentist surgery is located with Faulkner Road close to the Town Centre with a further facility located within the Woodham area of New Town which will require residents to travel a short journey should it be required. There are two nearby Accident and Emergency departments in the area; Bishop Auckland General Hospital and Darlington Memorial Hospital and both hospitals are well equipped and will liaise with the regional psychiatric teams in the event of mental health cases or for referral to the West Park Mental Health Hospital based in Darlington. Mental Health teams, including Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMH) operate from the Pioneering Care Centre, Cobblers Hall located in Aycliffe New Town. Access to specialist healthcare for children can also be found at the One Point Hub and SureStart Childrenâ€™s Centre both based within Aycliffe Old Town. Within the Town Centre location there is provision of two opticians to serve the community. Retail Services Retail services for Newton Aycliffe as a whole are generally good with a wide variety of choice with regard to household and grocery shopping. Within the Old Town the town centre can offer the opportunity for a resident to book a holiday, visit charity shops and obtain a selection of food, however, for specialist large brand shopping or a wide selection of clothing there is a need for residents to visit nearby Darlington and large surrounding towns and cities. Aycliffe Old Town benefits from three shopping precincts. At Simpasture a resident has the opportunity to visit a hairdresserâ€™s, tanning salon, butchers, convenience store, fish shop and newsagents. Although small the precinct offers a selection of community supporting facilities. At Neville Parade shopping precinct, currently benefiting from improvement works that include greater parking facilities, there is a wider selection for residents than provided by Simpasture. A resident has the options of a car garage, furniture and white good sales, tanning salon, veterinary clinic, pet store, food outlets, cycle shop,
small supermarket, off licence, newsagents and pharmacy. This again offers local residents facilities on their doorstep with a good selection. The main retail service is provided within the area of the Town Centre. This is accessed by all residents of Newton Aycliffe as a whole. Within the town centre precinct there is provision for a Post Office, banks, turf accountants and amusement arcade, charity shops, computer gaming, newsagents, card and pet stores, travel agents, general grocers, butchers, food outlets and major brand outlets such as Wilkinson and Boots. There is the provision for the potential development of an Aldi Store which faces onto further outlets that include Argos, Tesco, opticians and a bank. The Tesco store provides a range of sales that include food, clothing and larger household items and on site is a petrol station. During livin’s consultation there was no comments that related to the Neville Parade or Simpasture precincts, however, there were a number of issues in relation to the Town Centre development. These issues included the need for a wider variety of outlets, and a need to improve the overall look and feel of the centre Community Services and Facilities Generally there will be a need for some residents to travel to access certain services and facilities within the local area. This need to travel also applies to the residents of Aycliffe New Town when we look at the provision provided by The Oakleaf Sports Complex which offers facilities such as; squash , football, bowls and zumba together with bar and meal facilities. The Oakleaf Golf Course and Driving Range is another opportunity for residents of Newton Aycliffe as a whole together with the Woodham Golf Course to the outskirts of New Town. Residents can also visit the neighbouring Newton Aycliffe Industrial Estate to use a bowling alley and numerous other services and facilities. Specific to the area of Aycliffe Old Town and in the Town Centre there is the Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre which offers a wide variety of activities and facilities including; swimming, gym and fitness suite, indoor climbing wall, large sports hall, sauna, café and the option to provide for children’s parties. The area as a whole also has the added value of a Train Station. This is located near to the Western Ward and allows residents the opportunity to travel to areas such as; Bishop Auckland, Darlington and Saltburn with connecting services to locations further afield. Operating within the nearby New Town is the organisation ‘ROCSOLID’ which opened in 2007 to help vulnerable young people, and care leavers in particular, successfully transition into independent living. The Newton Aycliffe library is based close to the Town Centre and offers residents the opportunity to not only access literature but has a fax service, photocopying and a HealthZone were residents can access health information. 50
There is no public toilet available throughout the whole of Newton Aycliffe however, residents can access the toilet facilities based within the Tesco Store in the Town Centre or the Leisure Centre on Beveridge Arcade. Currently Aycliffe Old Town has no active residents groups that are affiliated to livin. Aycliffe Old Town has three places of worship. There is St Mary’s Catholic Church on Burn Lane, St Claire’s Church on St Cuthbert’s Way and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Shafto Way. Services and Facilities for Children and Young Persons Newton Aycliffe has twelve parks in the Parish, all owned and maintained to a high standard by Great Aycliffe Town Council. The Town Park and St Oswald’s Park have staff in attendance on a daily basis to maintain the grounds, while their Parks Patrol Service monitors all parks during the day, evening and at weekends to ensure that their facilities provide an enjoyable and safe visit. A list of the parks more specific to Aycliffe Old Town are as follows; Moore Lane Park OLD TOWN Moore Lane Park has a large recreation area used in the main for football. There are two fenced play areas, one for infants and one for juniors. The play equipment includes multi activity units, swings, springer’s, spinning poles and other challenging items of equipment. Simpasture Park OLD TOWN Simpasture Park is situated off Pease Way/Barrington Road, Newton Aycliffe. There is a large recreation area used in the main for football. The Park also has a play area and a MUGA (multi-unit game activity) and two tennis courts. Additionally, there are fenced play areas, one for infants and one for juniors. The play equipment includes multi activity units, swings, springer’s, spinning poles and other challenging items of equipment. Town Park OLD TOWN The Town Park is the newest of the Town Council’s Parks, built in 2004. The enclosed Park consists of formal gardens and seating area, a multi games area, skateboard park, junior and infants play areas and a large recreational area which includes a small kickabout area with fixed goal posts. There are dedicated toilet facilities which include baby changing and a wheelchair accessible washroom. The play equipment in the Park offers a diverse range of activities for children of all age 51
groups and abilities. Additionally, some of the equipment is designed to be accessible for all abilities. A new Toddlers’ Play Area is currently being installed in the Town Park. The Toddlers’ Play Area will be for use by children from 1 to 3 years old and will cover a shortfall in play provision in the Town Park for that age group. The new play area will be enclosed and sited adjacent to the Infant/Junior Play Area. A suitable range of equipment for the 1 to 3 age group has been chosen for the project and includes bucket swings, springer’s, a playhouse, freestanding slide, mini roundabout and large sand play area. West Park OLD TOWN West Park is situated next to Ashfield and Oakfield. Apart from a large recreation area it has a large man-made lake which is home during the day to various wild fowl. There are picnic benches situated around the sides of the bottom lake. There are close mown recreation areas, including a small kickabout area with fixed goal posts. There is a modern play area with junior and infant play equipment, which includes multi activity units, swings, slide, springer’s and other challenging equipment. Children and young people can also visit the local Eco Centre; located on Moor Lane. The Centre was developed by the Great Aycliffe Town Council as an Environmental Education Centre that is available for various environmental, education or outdoor purposes. The Centre is well located to provide environment activities. There is a fenced children’s’ play facility that provides an ideal place to teach environmental education and games in a secure location. There are also substantial woodland, wild grassland, scrub and wetland habitats that provide a mixed resource for teaching purposes. The extensive amenity grassland that surrounds the Centre is both a resource to allow children to learn in an outdoor setting and to burn off some energy. Newton Aycliffe Youth Centre located on Burn Lane offers facilities that include, sports coaching, health and beauty, nail art, games consoles, internet access, TV & cinema nights, cooking, fashion and art, pool, snooker, table tennis, dancing, DJ Skills, and many more. Youth Centre staff also deliver issue based sessions. The Youth Centre also offers curriculum time support and accreditation resulting in nationally recognised certificates and qualifications. They work with other agencies such as Positive Futures, Connexions, Young People’s Service and Youth Offending Teams and work in partnership to deliver football apprenticeships. Located within the Neville Parade Methodist Church is the 1st Newton Aycliffe Boys Brigade. A uniformed Christian organisation for boys from 5 to 18 years of age that provide games, fun, competitions, badge scheme etc. During 2011/2012, one of the key priorities for the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP, as voted for by Forum members, was the provision of “Activities for young people”. 52
At the 2011 AAP Forum event “Activities for young people” was again voted by forum members to be most the important priority for the AAP to tackle. As a result this will remain a key priority for the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP throughout 2012/2013. It can be seen that facilities for young people is in abundance for all the young people of Newton Aycliffe catering for many different wants, needs and potential engagement opportunities and the locations are spread across the whole area. There are a greater number of opportunities for those residents in Old Town and fewer within Aycliffe New Town but travel within this spectrum is small and should not hinder any young person wishing to access all that is available. Technology and Communication The village is currently served by a broadband Internet connection. The cost implications of a broadband internet connection within the home may prove unaffordable for some households. Free internet access is available at the library based within the Town Centre. Research has shown that having broadband in a community will not only support businesses but families too, whether that be aiding children in studies or a family accessing goods and commodities at competitive prices though internet sites. In 1948 the first Community Newspaper for Newton Aycliffe was established. The ‘ Newton News’ is delivered free to all homes and boasts a readership of over 45,000 including ex- Newtonians all over the world. Mosaic profile data indicates that the majority of livin tenant’s within the community of Aycliffe Old Town are likely to access information and services through direct face to face contact or local papers. Using Mosaic data for the whole of Newton Aycliffe households in Group E, (Middle income families living in moderate suburban semis), which is likely to be 9.17% of household, are likely to access information through the internet or interactive television. Public Transport A recent survey of residents living within the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area indicated that 69% were satisfied with public transport; this being the fourth lowest levels of satisfaction throughout the County (DCC, 2010). However, feedback from livin’s consultation event found that many residents were very pleased and happy with the service and access to public transport within the community as a whole but there was a few negative comments regarding the reduction of services that had hindered the running times of the service. The bus service provided by Arriva travels to Bishop Auckland, Durham, Darlington, Ferryhill, 53
Peterlee, Sedgefield and Sunderland and as such demonstrates a wide selection of destinations. There is the X61 express to Whitby and Scarborough which runs only during early spring to late summer which is also provided by Arriva. By road, the A167 is the main road to the town; it runs to Durham and Newcastle upon Tyne (30 Miles) in the north and Darlington (8 Miles) and Northallerton in the south. The A1 (M) is near to the town and runs to Edinburgh in the north and London to the south, it provides as an alternative route to Durham and Newcastle in the north. The A689 is also near the town and it runs to Bishop Auckland in the west and Hartlepool and Teesside in the east. By rail, the Newton Aycliffe railway station, which is on the Tees Valley Line, has train services provided by Northern Rail to Bishop Auckland, Darlington, Saltburn, and connecting services to Edinburgh and London. During livinâ€™s consultation residents commented that they did not feel this to be a great service but that may be in respect of frequency. Greener living Within the community of Aycliffe Old Town there are two allotment sites managed and owned by Great Aycliffe Town Council are situated at Clarence Chare and Finchale Road. Clarence Chare has 40 sites, 38 of which are available for cultivation of fruit, vegetables and flowers. The remaining 2 plots are raised beds for people with limited mobility. Finchale Road has 21 full size plots all of which are intended for growing vegetables and/or flowers. Although livin owns a number of garden sites in other communities there are none located within Newton Aycliffe. During consultation there were comments in relation to the lack of healthy food outlets within the community and no comments in relation to â€˜grow your ownâ€™ or allotment / garden provision in relation to healthy eating.
Key Services Characteristics: The community has good health and health care provision. Residents are required to travel out of the local area to access large brand shopping and wide selection of clothing outlets but does benefit from a large supermarket store. The community has access to public services and amenities located within the community and the local area.
Information from livinâ€™s consultation with regard to the public transport service in the area is good with many residents feeling that the current provision, although reduced, provides good access to a number of local towns and cities. There is also good road transport and opportunity for rail links located close to Aycliffe Old Town. Aycliffe Old Town benefits from 4 local play areas and 12 play areas in total throughout Newton Aycliffe. All areas offer a selection of play equipment and facilities for sporting activities. All parks are maintained by the Great Aycliffe Town Council. What does this mean for livin? livin needs to be aware of the positive impact that local services and service providers can have on sustaining local communities.
livin must understand the pressures that local communities are under as a result of service cuts, and work in partnership with organisations such as DCC to ensure that the effects of any service reductions are minimal and that tenants, residents and service providers are aware of their implications. There may be opportunities for livin to help promote services and facilities available within the community. livin currently have a large stock stake and as such could promote and advertise what is available to the community as a whole. This promotion and advertising will not only raise the profile of livin within community but also help to identify important issues such as access and availability as a consequence. There may be a potential for close partnership working to help resolve any problems raised. It is important that any promotion or publicity around raising awareness of local services and facilities that can be accessed by residents is appropriate to their communication preferences. Mosaic profile data indicates that the majority of livin 55
tenant’s within the village are more likely to access information and services through direct face to face contact or through local papers. Using profile data for the whole of Newton Aycliffe it is expected that approximately a quarter of residents are more receptive to telephone, internet and interactive television. 1.6
Health and Well Being
The general level of health in Aycliffe Old Town is poorer than that of the County as a whole (Census, 2001, LLSOA, KS08, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E.).
During 2001, the number of persons in “Good” health in Aycliffe Old Town was 3% lower than the County average.
The total percentage of persons in “Good” general health is 3% lower than the County average. The percentage of residents who indicated that they were in “Not Good” general health is 1.5% higher when compared to the County average. 2001 Census data indicates that 21.71% of persons of working age suffer from a limiting long term illness (Census, 2001, LLSOA, KS08, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E.). This is higher than the County average of 19.79%. “A limiting long-term illness covers any long-term illness, health problem or disability that limits daily activities or work. Working age is defined as persons aged between 16 to 64 years inclusive for men and 16 to 59 years inclusive for women.” (Census 2001) 70.0 60.0
50.0 40.0 Aycliffe Old Town 30.0
10.0 0.0 General health: Good
General health: Fairly good
General health: Not good
Figure 1.19: Levels of Health within Aycliffe Old Town Source: Census, 2001, LLSOA, KS08, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E.
The percentage of Incapacity Benefit claimants within the community is significantly higher than the County average. During 2009, 13% of residents within the whole of Aycliffe Old Town were claiming incapacity benefit (DWP, 2009) compared to 10% as the Durham County average. Mosaic profile data for livin’s tenants within the community finds that households in Groups K, consisting of residents with sufficient incomes in right to buy social houses have a “very high” likelihood of being a smoker. This total is likely to be more than half (54.82%) of households located within the Aycliffe Old Town. The profile data for the whole of Newton Aycliffe illustrates the highest resident group, Group K, (28.91%), which is resident’s with sufficient incomes in right to buy social housing, have a ‘very high’ likelihood of being a smoker. Compared to national figures the level of health related deprivation within Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP is high. The 2010 Indices of Deprivation highlights that 37.0% of residents living within the AAP area are deemed to be in the top 10% nationally deprived. This percentage is higher when compared to the Durham County average where 27.5% of residents are deemed to be in the top 10% nationally deprived (CLG, 2010). It is however important to remember that this data relates to the areas of Newton Aycliffe, Aycliffe Village, and part of School Aycliffe. Therefore the varying levels of deprivation within each of the electoral wards within the AAP area will have an impact on the overall level of deprivation in the area, and may not be a true reflection of Aycliffe Old Town alone.
There is good access to health provision and service within the community. Health provision and service within Newton Aycliffe as an area is good with doctors and dentists available to serve the communities of both Old Town and New Town. Within Aycliffe Old Town there is a Doctors Surgery at Bewick Crescent and a NHS GP Practice on Pease Way, The Pease Way Medical Centre. Provision for a pharmacy is supplied by two outlets within the Town Centre and another within the Neville Parade area of Aycliffe Old Town. A dentist surgery is located with Faulkner Road close to the Town Centre. Feedback from livin’s consultation events found that residents were happy and satisfied with the health facilities and services available with the only generalised negative remarks being around the need to publicise health facilities and also a request for health groups and providers to be more involved with the community in the form of community meetings and events. Access to hospitals and specialist healthcare can be found at Durham, Darlington, Hartlepool and Stockton, all requiring access to transport.
The nearest hospitals are located at Bishop Auckland, Durham and Darlington, although Bishop Auckland does not provide access to Accident and Emergency Services. Access to hospital services within 30 minutes, for residents living within Aycliffe New Town is deemed to be poor when walking, using public transport, or cycling. However, 100% of residents living within Aycliffe New Town are deemed to be able to access a hospital within 30 minutes when travelling by car (NHS Choices, 2009). Mosaic profile data for livin tenants indicates that emergency hospital admissions for households in profile Group K, (54.82%), is likely to be ‘average’. Access to family related support services can be found in Newton Aycliffe or neighbouring Shildon. The newly created One Point service hub which is based in the existing Newton Aycliffe Youth Centre or the SureStart Children’s Centre located on Stephenson Way in Newton Aycliffe, offers a one stop shop approach with staff from Durham County Council, the local Health Authority and others family related service providers. Residents can also access the existing the neighbouring SureStart Children’s Centre at Shildon. The Centres provide a number of health based services including advice and support on adopting a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating and nutrition for children and families, and access to health visitors and other health related professionals. When asked about the provision of health related facilities and activities within the community residents had raised issues about the cost of gym membership restricting usage by residents but had no concerns regarding the leisure centre itself were the gym is located. The residents of Aycliffe Old Town will need to travel a small distance to the Town Centre to access the leisure centre, but no residents during consultation had any concerns over doing so. The leisure centre not only offers the opportunity to access gym facilities but also swimming, rock climbing, sauna and a sports hall that can be utilised for sporting activities. Provision of play areas within Aycliffe Old Town attracted no comments from residents during consultation and the park areas themselves offer a good range of facilities, including, football, swings, multi play and equipment for toddlers and juniors alike. Both parks are maintained to a high standard by Great Aycliffe Town Council. The Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP) is a local charity whose aim is to improve people’s health and wellbeing. The charity is responsible for running the Pioneering Care Centre (PCC) within Aycliffe New Town and provides a number of outreach projects in local communities across County Durham and Darlington. This facility requires the residents of Aycliffe Old Town to travel a short distance to access the PCC. (Further details of the PCC are identified in Section 1.5). Great Aycliffe Town Council owns and manages a total of 5 sites throughout Newton Aycliffe that are used for growing vegetables and flowers. Two of these sites are 58
within Aycliffe Old Town with additional provision for poultry at Clarence Chare together with raised beds that are ideal for use by people with spine or mobility problems. The other site being located at Finchale Road. The need to involve residents in more health related activities and events held within the local area could help residents adopt a healthier lifestyle and potentially deliver long term benefits. The Town Council works closely with allotment representatives and working in partnership may see the delivery of a health related project around growing and producing of fruit and vegetables. Key Health Characteristics:
During 2001, general levels of health in the neighbourhood were poorer when compared to the County average. 21.71% of â€œworking ageâ€? residents are suffering from a limiting long term illness which is higher than both the County and North East averages. Aycliffe Old Town has good access to health related services, including, doctors, dentist and pharmacies. There is good access to health based facilities and activities. Residents benefit from a Leisure Centre within the Town Centre. Aycliffe Old Town Youth and Community Centre provides a range of services for local residents including health, training, exercise and social activities. There is good access to outdoor recreational facilities within the community.
What does this mean for livin? There has been a long established connection between health and housing. As a result of the Governmentâ€™s Health Reform proposals a stronger role will emerge for livin to act in partnership with local health providers to improve the health and wellbeing of tenants and their families. Good levels of health can have positive effects on educational achievement and can help increase the employment levels within a community. Statistical data and intelligence highlights there to poorer levels of health within Aycliffe Old Town when compared to the rest of Durham County. There are also a high percentage of residents claiming Incapacity Benefit, together with more residents defining themselves as having a long-term illness which limits their daily activities when compared to the rest of Durham County. This will provide real challenges for livin when tackling health related issues and increasing
employability and access to work for its tenant and local residents within the community. As a “frontline” service provider livin has privileged access to tenants and their families. This can provide the potential for signposting to health related services and enable targeted actions that can help enhance health levels within the community. There may be a number of local and national projects that livin can support that will link to the preventative health agenda; making it critical that livin works in partnership with other local health based stakeholders to ensure maximum use of resources. It is important that health related activities and facilities within the community are accessible and affordable by all. 1.7
Education and Training
Levels of educational attainment within Aycliffe Old 2001 census data Town are generally lower when compared to the indicates that 40.1% Durham County averages (Census, 2001, LLSOA, of residents have no KS13, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, qualifications. 012C, 012D, 012E.). It should be noted that the Census data used is an average of ten ward totals and as such this illustrates that the village may have ‘hotspots’ of low educational attainment. 2001 Census data indicates that 40.1% of the population in the community have no formal qualifications. The percentages of residents attaining level 1 (18.2%) and level 2 (18.3%) qualifications are higher when compared to the Durham County averages. Level 1 qualifications include 1+'O' level passes; 1+ CSE/GCSE any grades; NVQ level 1; or Foundation level GNVQ. Level 2 qualifications include 5+GCSEs (grades A-C); 1+ 'A' levels/'AS' levels; NVQ level 2; or Intermediate GNVQ. Based on 18.3% percentage of residents attaining level 2 qualifications (5+ GCSEs A-C grades) the community has been ranked as SILVER for educational attainment. Full details of the methodology for this ranking can be found in Appendix 2.
40.0 35.0 30.0 25.0 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0
36.0 10.1 17.0
Aycliffe Old Town 7.1
Figure 1.20: Educational attainment within Aycliffe Old Town Source: Census, 2001, LLSOA, KS13, 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E.
5.9% of residents hold qualifications at level 3; this being less than the County average of 7.4%. Level 3 qualifications are necessary for advancement into University, higher education or professional qualifications and include 2+ 'A' levels; 4+ 'AS' levels; NVQ level 3; or an Advanced GNVQ. There are also a lower percentage of residents (10.1%) that hold qualifications at levels 4/5 when compared to the County average (14.5%). A level 4/5 qualification is equivalent to a First Degree, Higher Degree, NVQ levels 4 and 5, HNC, HND, or professional qualifications including qualified teacher, medical doctor, dentist, nurse, midwife, or health visitor. This low percentage of residents educated to degree or professional is reflected in the low number of residents employed in roles as Professionals (doctors, dentists, teachers), Managers, or in Associate Professional and Technical roles. Mosaic profile data for livinâ€™s tenants within the community highlights that households within Groups K and M, residents with sufficient incomes in right to buy social houses and elderly people reliant on state support, which is likely to represent over three quarters of livinâ€™s residents, are unlikely to be educated to degree level. The 2010 Indices of Deprivation indicates that in relation to education, 16.1% of residents living in the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP area are deemed to be in the top 10% nationally deprived (CLG, 2010). This is comparable to the Durham 61
County average where only 15.3% of residents are deemed to be in the top 10% nationally deprived. It is however important to remember that this data relates to the areas of Newton Aycliffe, Aycliffe Village, and part of School Aycliffe. Therefore the varying levels of deprivation within each of the electoral wards within the AAP area will have an impact on the overall level of deprivation in the area, and may not be a true reflection of Aycliffe Old Town alone. There is good access to nursery, primary and secondary school education within the community. Within the community there are six educational establishments. Out of the six establishments there are five primary schools and two of these have nursery provision. There is Sugar Hill Primary School that provides education for approximately 415 pupils and has provision for a nursery.
This school during their last OFSTED inspection received a “GOOD “report. There is Woodham Burn Community Primary School providing learning for approximately 260 pupils and their recent OFSTED inspection they received a “Really good schools “SATISFACTORY” report. Stephenson Way in the area and lots of Community Primary School accommodating close to choice” 350 pupils with nursery provision and a report of Resident from Newton “SATISFATORY” at their last OFSTED inspection. St Aycliffe Mary’s Roman Catholic Voluntary Aided Primary School also received a “SATISFACTORY” report catering for around 170 pupils but does not have nursery provision. The remaining primary school is Vane Road Primary School that can hold around 335 pupils and received their latest OFSTED report as “GOOD”. The secondary educational establishment within Aycliffe Old Town is Woodham Community College that has close to 830 pupils aged between 11 to 18 and their most recent OFSTED inspection they received a “GOOD” report. There is also another secondary school close by in the New Town, namely, Greenfield Community College which achieved an OFSTED report of “SATISFACTORY” at their latest inspection and accommodates approximately 770 pupils from 11 to 16 years of age. St Francis Church of England Aided Junior and St Joseph’s RC Aided Primary in the community are classed as “faith” schools and are located close by within Aycliffe New Town. To follow this path of education the nearest “faith” secondary school is St John’s Catholic School and Sixth form centre in Bishop Auckland. The nearest further education colleges are located at Bishop Auckland, Durham and Darlington; again all requiring access to public or private transport.
There is a SureStart provision within Aycliffe Old Town on Stephenson Way. The centre provides access to information, help and support, together with access to preschool education and day care for local families with children under the age of five. The Local Learning Partnership (LLP) is a partnership of local centres and learning providers which aims to provide learning opportunities to residents within the local community. The LLP’s for Newton Aycliffe and neighbouring Shildon offer a range of non-accredited and accredited courses ranging from DIY, music and performing arts to exercise and healthy eating in various community venues, including Community Centres, and Children’s Centres. There are also a number of courses and activities provided at the local Community Colleges in both Newton Aycliffe and Shildon. Within Aycliffe Old Town courses are currently operated from the Newton Aycliffe Community Learning Centre, Newton Aycliffe Library, the Youth Centre, Children’s Centre and Woodham Technology College. In partnership with Bishop Auckland College, Newton Aycliffe Community Learning Centre provides a number of educational courses, including access to basic skills, first aid course, computer courses and Work Clubs. The PCC, located in the New Town, also provides free confidential advice and guidance to anyone who is currently unemployed and looking to return to volunteering, training or employment, and provides a range of community based learning courses. At the 2011 AAP Forum event “Employment, Enterprise, Education and Training” was voted one of the three most important priorities for the AAP to tackle by the local community. As a result this will be a key priority for the Great Aycliffe and Middridge AAP throughout 2012/2013 livin is aware of the potential need for an increased provision of training, skills based and educational courses within its local communities. As a result of the current economic crisis and increased competition for employment opportunities there may be a need for increased support and advice services that can help local residents secure future long term employment or enable them to enter further or higher education. During consultation there was comments regarding education and training and residents were happy with the schools in regard to educational provision and access and demonstrated an awareness of training courses available to them. Although there was a few comments in relation to a need for more training for adults and a need for practical skills courses around trade skills. Given this feedback livin are aware of the potential need for an increased provision of training and skills based educational courses within its local communities.
As a result of the current economic crisis and increased competition for employment opportunities there may be a need for increased support and advice services that can help local residents secure future long term employment or enable them to enter further or higher education.
Key Education Characteristics: In 2001, 40.1% of residents within the neighbourhood held no formal educational qualifications; this is lower than the Durham County average. 18.3% of residents within the neighbourhood have attained qualifications at level 2 (5+ GCSE’s grades A-C or equivalent). 10.1% of residents within the neighbourhood are educated to Degree or Professional level. This is lower than the Durham County average. There is good access to pre-school and primary education within the neighbourhood. The primary schools obtained OFSTED reports ranging from “SATISFACTORY” to “Good” at the most recent inspections. Residents stated the schools to be good. Access to secondary education is available within the local area. Access to other further and higher education colleges at Bishop Auckland, Durham and Darlington require access to public or private transport. What does this mean for livin? Education is a cornerstone of a sustainable community as it will promote financial inclusion and help increase economic activity. It is likely that at least 40.1% of residents in the community have no formal educational qualifications, this significantly higher than the Durham County, North East and England averages. livin must consider that this statistical information highlights a significantly higher percentage of residents in Aycliffe Old Town when compared to Aycliffe New Town which demonstrates ‘hotspots’ of low educational attainment and therefore may require targeted educational involvement. Although livin cannot play a direct role in the provision of education there may be opportunities to link with local education providers such as SureStart, local schools, and colleges, Newton Aycliffe Community Learning Centre and the Local Learning Partnership to help increase educational opportunities for its tenants and local residents. As the main RP within the community it is likely that a number of children attending local primary and secondary schools will reside in livin’s homes. It is therefore important that livin work in close partnership with these establishments to help increase educational attainment, inspire confidence and raise the aspirations of the 64
children and young persons within its communities. Low levels of educational attainment highlights a need for the increased provision and publicity of training courses within the local community. There should be specific consideration given to the high percentage of residents aged 16 to 24 years or 50 years and older that find it particularly difficult to access employment. This is supported by both intelligence and community feedback.
Reputation of the Local Area and Community Cohesion
To increase sustainability within an area it is important that the community is seen as a good place to live with high levels of community cohesion. Feedback gained from livin’s consultation events indicates that Newton Aycliffe is generally perceived to be a good place to live although it is fair to say that some residents felt there to be a need to improve the reputation and cohesion of the community with certain targeted improvements. These targeted improvements were mainly labelled at the Town Centre specifically with regard to the need to improve the centres reputation, clear graffiti and modernise the location. A poor reputation for an area can last for many years and remain regardless of significant changes and improvement to social, economic and environmental factors. A reputation even if it is a perception, can have a detrimental effect on housing demand within a community. It can also tarnish the reputation of the local community and that of the RP’s providing social housing within the community.
What does this mean to livin? It is important that as the largest provider of social housing within the community, livin understands its role as “place maker” within the community. livin is aware that to increase the reputation of a community and to enhance community cohesion the involvement of local residents and other service providers (including other RP’s) is paramount. This Community Plan raises a number of issues faced by the community within Aycliffe Old Town but also Newton Aycliffe as a whole. The need to modernise, revitalise and improve the Town Centre is a major issue for this community and there is a need to create partnerships that link to this facility. Improvement in looks, retail provision and reputation will provide a long lasting improvement for all the residents within Newton Aycliffe. To enable the success of this Community Plan and the achievement of the Local Offers it is important that local residents and community groups play an important role. The involvement of the local community when determining key priorities and delivering Local Offers can help empower local residents to make a difference in their local communities, and develop partnership working to improve the overall reputation of the community and enhance community cohesion. 1.9
The majority of feedback received from residents during livin’s consultation events focused on the current appearance and quality of the local environment in and around Newton Aycliffe as a whole. Residents were particularly concerned about the 66
condition of public footpaths, the town centre untidiness, dog fouling and litter, parking problems around local schools, graffiti in some areas, poor condition of grassed areas and trees together with a general need for clean ups and tidy ups on a regular basis. The full range of community views and opinions relating to the local environment can be found in Appendix 2. Great Aycliffe Town Council has a Works and Environmental Services Section that provides a range of skilled services to the Council covering the management and maintenance of parks, cemeteries, open spaces, play areas, golf course, sports pitches, allotments, trees and woodlands, buildings, bus shelters, street furniture and the Christmas lighting display. In addition, the Works and Environmental Services Section supports other areas within the Council such as the Golf Driving Range, Pre-School Learning Centre’s, improvement projects, Great Aycliffe Way, Nature Park and School Aycliffe Woodlands as well as assisting with all outside events. In effect, the Works and Environmental Services Section service provision has an impact on the majority of Council services. livin Environmental Assessment On the 10 January 2012 an Environmental Assessment of the community was conducted by members of livin’s Communities Team. The Assessment was completed by assessing a number of environmental indicators at four designated “stopping” points on a pre-determined route through the community. At the designated stopping points a number of environmental indicators were assessed and a number of points awarded. During the assessment there were a number of highlighted issues relating to damaged roads and pathways, fly tipping, untidy shrubs and trees, poor fencing, dog fouling and the need to improve parking areas. These comments highlighted ‘hot spot’ areas of improvement needs and the comments tend not to be across the whole assessed area. Based on the points awarded at the pre-determined stopping points, the community scored a total average value of 28. As a result the overall condition of the community has been ranked as SILVER. The full methodology relating to the Environmental Assessment can be found in Appendix 2.
Figure 1.21: Route of Environmental Assessment
What does this mean for livin? A good Environmental Assessment scoring and Silver ranking is a good result for the community. It means that the community does not require intensive support and may only require targeted work in specific hotspot areas. It is important that livin ensure that future Environmental Assessments are conducted at appropriate intervals to ensure the community is able to maintain or improve its current ranking. As a result of community feedback, and livinâ€™s Environmental Assessment a number of hotspot areas within Aycliffe Old Town have been identified. Although livin cannot play a lead role in targeted environmental improvements at all hotspot areas within the community it is important that a partnership approach be adopted with DCC, 68
GAMP AAP, Great Aycliffe Town Council and other local service providers and community groups to facilitate the enhancement and improvement of these areas. livin is committed to ensuring that its local communities remain clean, tidy and pleasant places to live. As such it will adopt a robust approach to taking action on those tenants who breach their Tenancy Agreement by allowing their propertyâ€™s garden to become overgrown and untidy.
Based on the information contained within this community plan livin has been able to identify and assess a number of key strengths and challenges that are being faced by residents living in the community of Aycliffe New Town To improve the levels of sustainability within this community it is important that key strengths are maintained; together with conscientious efforts being made by livin, other community stakeholders and local residents to address and reduce identified challenges. Actions have been established for livin in most of the themes in this plan by way of enhancing the efforts of partners and identifying new areas in which livin can add to sustaining the community socially, economically and environmentally. Taking into account these challenges livin has developed seven key priorities for the community:
Develop a partnership approach to introducing, supporting, and maintaining a range of diversionary activities for children and young persons (including older teenagers).
Maintain a partnership approach to help reduce the fear of crime and antisocial behaviour within the community and aim to assist in the reduction of incidents of crime and antisocial behaviour.
Together with key stakeholders and partners assist with targeted environmental improvements to hotspot areas within the Community.
Develop a partnership approach to reducing barriers to work and increasing employment opportunities for local residents, specifically those aged 16 to 24 years, and 50 years and over (including supporting and promoting the provision of local skills and training courses).
Support and offer the community access to affordable homes that meet need and future population demands.
Develop a partnership approach in developing health based initiatives to help residents to adopt and maintain healthier lifestyles to improve levels of health.
Explore the options available in working with educational services to target ‘hotspots’ of low educational attainment andcreation provideof targeted The development of these key priorities and the realisticsupport. Local Offers that can be used by livin, community stakeholders and local residents to address and 70
achieve them will enable the maximisation of internal and external resources available throughout the community.
Review of the Community Plan
The original actions contained within this Community Plan were revised in March 2013. Based on what livin has learnt from your community, and our work with local partners we have now developed a set of Local Offers for Aycliffe Old Town. The Local Offers have taken into account the original actions from the community plan and the views of the community obtained through consultation, leading to a new set of standards and actions aimed at supporting and benefiting your area. Delivery of the local offers will be monitored by livin tenants. A copy of livinâ€™s local offers for Aycliffe Old Town can be found on our website at www.livin.co.uk. This main Community Plan will be revised in 2014.
livin STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK & REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS
livin Strategic Framework livin’s role as a Registered Provider of social housing extends beyond managing houses. This has been identified within livin’s Corporate Plan for 2012 – 2015 which highlights the importance of improving the economic viability of local communities, followed by social factors such as health and education, and enhancing the local environment. As such livin is focused on supporting the development of sustainable communities for the current and future generation of residents. This is articulated through the Company’s vision, mission and personality which are; Mission “working with the community at heart” Vision “sustaining and growing safe, cohesive and vibrant communities through excellent customer services” Personality “Caring, supportive, helpful and community orientated” It is acknowledged that livin can play a key role in contributing to the delivery of sustainable communities. By developing strong and coordinated partnership working with residents and key stakeholders livin will develop:
Prosperous Communities - addressing economic viability of communities by helping people to improve their financial circumstances, become less dependent on benefits, positively address employability and increase financial confidence.
Healthy Communities – addressing social wellbeing, community cohesion and health inequalities by improving health and wellbeing, secure access to further opportunities and develop their aspirations.
Green Communities – addressing environmental quality and sustainability by enhancing the setting of homes and promoting and supporting green initiatives in communities.
During April 2011, livin introduced the “Your Voice, Local Choice”, Local Offer document to ensure that “the right services are delivered in the right place for the right people”. The Local Offer is a list of ten pledges that livin has made to tenants in order to deliver key priorities. Full details of the pledges contained in livin’s Local Offer can be found on the website at livin.co.uk or alternatively a copy can be requested by contacting livin on 0845 505 5500 or 0300 111 2234 (low rate from a mobile depending on network).
In addition to helping livin work towards sustaining and growing safe, cohesive, and vibrant communities the Community Plans will play an important role in shaping and articulating the Local Offer to tenants. They are the delivery mechanism for the pledges contained within the Offer and will enable livin, community stakeholders and local residents to tailor services and resources to the specific needs of each individual community and enhance local service delivery. This relationship is illustrated in the diagram below:
Local Offer Established guiding principles
Neighbourhood Plan Strategy
Locality 1 Byers Green
Locality 2 Dean Bank
Aycliffe Old Town
Aycliffe New Town
Ferryhill Village & Cleves Cross West Cornforth
Aycliffe Old Town
Chilton & Chilton Lane
The development and implementation of the Community Plans represents a strategic change in livin’s approach to supporting the sustainability of communities and will help deliver the corporate improvement themes of “Customer Focussed Services” and “Efficient Assets” by:
improving lives, neighbourhoods and communities improving customer involvement and empowerment, and increasing the sustainability of tenancies and homes
The Plans will be utilised to inform and enhance livin’s strategic planning and asset management framework whilst helping to deliver customer and community focused investment. They have an impact on all areas of service delivery, renewal and regeneration, and have departmental cross cutting themes.
Each Plan takes into account a whole spectrum of current national, regional and local strategic agendas whilst retaining enough flexibility to address future emerging policy and structural changes at all levels. They complement the Government’s Localism Bill by facilitating and empowering local communities to improve local services in their local area and careful consideration has also been given to relevant housing strategies adopted by Durham County Council and the implications of the Housing and Communities Agency (HCA) new role in regulating social landlords. Tenant Services Authority Regulatory Requirements The development and implementation of Community Plans also reflects livin’s commitment to adhering to the Tenant Services Authority’s (TSA) current regulatory regime. This regime requires livin to meet six separate service standards:
Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Home Tenancy Neighbourhood and Community Value for Money Governance and Financial Viability
Comprehensive consultation to support each Plan will help livin enhance customer services and encourage local residents to become more responsible for local services and the improvement of their communities thus addressing the Tenant Involvement and Empowerment standard. The Home standard will be addressed by assessing the current condition of the current housing stock in each community to ensure that it is of high quality, well maintained and suitable for demand. It is crucial that the Tenancy standard be incorporated into the outcomes of the Community Plan through the consideration and effective use of lettings policies, rent management policies and the enhancement of tenancy sustainment. As part of the Neighbourhood and Community standard livin is required to deliver on three separate outcomes; local cooperation, antisocial behaviour and community management. All of these will outcomes will be considered and addressed within the outcomes of each Plan. The Plans will also address the Value for Money standard by ensuring that livin prioritise resources based on the actual needs and requirements of local residents whilst enabling confidence for external stakeholders and businesses to invest in the communities.
Durham County Council Strategic Framework Durham County Council’s “Sustainable Communities” Strategy 2010-2030 is the overarching plan for delivering long lasting improvements throughout the County. It sets out five key strategic priority themes that will be focused on during the next 20 years:
Altogether Wealthier Altogether Better for Children and Young People Altogether Healthier Altogether Safer Altogether Greener
Whilst, Registered Providers are essential partners in delivering sustainable communities, local authorities have the key strategic responsibility in this area. This is particularly important for livin given its current geographical boundary within County Durham and its relatively high levels of deprivation. Therefore the Company’s approach of aligning key elements of its Corporate Plan 2011 – 2014 to the priorities set out in Durham County Council’s Sustainable Communities Strategy is vital in allowing the Company to play its role as a key partner in delivering sustainable communities. The provision of sustainable communities and vibrant and successful towns sits within the key strategic theme of “Altogether Wealthier” and places a significant emphasis on local housing markets and improvements in employability and skills as key drivers in this achievement. Although the provision of a successful housing market is predominantly featured in the theme of “Altogether Wealthier” there can be cross cutting themes across the other four priority themes as demonstrated in the community plans. This theme of housing being a key driver in creating sustainable communities is further detailed in “Building Altogether Better Lives: A Housing Strategy for County Durham 2010-2015” (DCC, 2010). This strategy focuses on the ability for housing and other related services to create better life chances for persons living in County Durham by delivering better housing markets and high quality housing stock through enhanced partnership working. National Housing Federation Research conducted by the National Housing Federation (NHF) found that numerous RP’s are now using their presence and impact within their local communities to provide services outside of their core housing management activities. These activities are centred on employment and enterprise services, education and skills services, wellbeing services, poverty and social inclusion, safety and community cohesion. 77
During 2006/07 the NHF found that RP’s nationally delivered 6,800 neighbourhood services (including facilities) and invested £435 million (£272 million internal and £163 external) into resources outside of their core areas of activity. This study highlighted the prominence that RP’s have within their local communities and their perfect position to act as place makers in their communities. Further information and details relating to this research is contained within the full NHF report, “The scale and scope of housing associations activity beyond housing
livin Communities With the help of livin’s Tenants Panel 19 local communities were defined. These 19 communities are loosely based around Durham Constabulary’s local Police “Beat” patches and the boundaries of Durham County’s local Area Action Partnerships (AAP): Locality Community Byers Green Kirk Merrington Middlestone Moor Spennymoor Town 1
Dean Bank Ferryhill Village and Cleves Cross 2
West Cornforth Bishop Middleham Chilton and Chilton Lane
Trimdon Village Trimdon Grange Trimdon Colliery Aycliffe Old Town Sedgefield Shildon
4 Middridge Aycliffe Old Town
Aycliffe New Town 5
Estates Byers Green Kirk Merrington Middlestone Moor Town Centre (inc Bessemer Park) York Hill Tudhoe Tudhoe Grange Dean Bank Ferryhill Village Cleves Cross Topside Lowside Bishop Middleham The Poets Windlestone Trimdon Village Trimdon Grange Trimdon Colliery Aycliffe Old Town Sedgefield Central Shildon Jubilee Fields New Shildon Middridge Shafto Simpasture Central Horndale Agnew Burnhill Western Aycliffe Village
To successfully complete each individual Plan a wide range of quantitative and qualitative data from an extended range of sources has been utilised. Data obtained from these sources has focused on several social, economic and environmental indicators.
Census data has been obtained from the Lower Level Super Output Area 010B, 011A, 011B, 011C, 011D, 012A, 012B, 012C, 012D, 012E for Aycliffe Old Town. Electoral Ward data has been obtained from the Wards of Shafto St Mary's, Neville and Simpasture and West. Mosaic Public Sector classifies all consumers in the United Kingdom by allocating them to one of 15 individual profile Groups. Each Group contains a number of key characteristics and attributes which can be used by organisations to gain a detailed and accurate understanding of consumer locations, their demographics, lifestyles and behaviours. The utilisation of Mosaic Public Sector has enabled livin to determine household profiles for individual communities. This profile enables livin to understand the key characteristics of both livin tenants, and the community as a whole, with the aim of informing the efficient and effective delivery of the identified actions contained within each Community Plan. Qualitative data collection methods has required livin to hold a number of consultation events within each community to gain the views and opinions of local residents; together with anecdotal data from interviews with members of staff from livinâ€™s Communities and Homes Support Team.
Social, Economic and Environmental Indicators Several social, economic and environmental indicators have been established for each community; with some being benchmarked against County and National data averages. The table below shows the themes and topics each Community Plan has explored and the data sources used to populate the required intelligence Themes
Crime Rates and Perception of Crime
Economy and Employment
Accessibility to Services and Facilities
Health and Well Being
Education and Training Reputation and Community Cohesion Local Environment (including built environment, management of public areas)
Method Quantitative- National statistics, livin stock data, DKO lettings data, Council tax data, Durham County Council strategic housing market assessment, House price websites and Land Registry data Qualitative – Interviews and consultation events Quantitative – Durham Constabulary crime data and livin internal data, Mosaic profile data Qualitative – Interviews and consultation events Quantitative - National statistics and DWP Benefit data Qualitative – Interviews and consultation events Quantitative – Mosaic profile data Qualitative – Interviews and consultation events Quantitative - National Statistics, Mosaic profile data Qualitative – Interviews and consultation events Quantitative - National Statistics, Mosaic profile data Qualitative – Interviews and consultation events Qualitative – Interviews and consultation events Qualitative – Interviews, consultation events and environmental assessments
Community Views and Opinions The community in Newton Aycliffe were invited to tell livin their views, concerns and opinions about their local community. There was 13 consultation events took place during November and December 2011. The locations for the events were; Town Centre, Leisure Centre, Pease Way Surgery, Pioneering Care Centre, Silverdale House, Youth Centre and four PACT meetings held within Newton Aycliffe. Anecdotal evidence to support the intelligence contained in this plan has also been obtained from the Police Beat Team for Newton Aycliffe and livin staff members. The table below highlights the main concerns and areas for improvement highlighted during livin’s public consultation events: Themes Housing
Community Comments Roofing needs work on the houses around Guthrum Place There is a lot of over parking around the housing areas Happy overall, the house is nice and the general area is a nice place to live. Rooms are of a decent size for the family. No Complaints. Repairs are done quickly and to a high standard, garden is a decent size (Stephenson Way) I live in a bungalow at Oakfield and I would like it to be bigger Shortage of nice houses, more needed Some tenants don’t deserve the nice houses they get, they cause trouble and should be moved to somewhere that more suits them Issues with the elderly, refused stair lifts in houses, more disabled access to housing Good housing, much better now than when the council had houses. Nice to see modern areas and home improvements, Mears did leave items under my carpet though Like where we live in Newton Aycliffe, some other areas have ASB Tenancy checks for new incoming tenants Manage tenancies better Concerns raised about properties standing void for long periods of time Good area to live, good neighbours Call queuing to livin a problem Still waiting for roof repairs since February, requires scaffolding Some areas nice, though some areas are scruffy
Housing big enough Housing for elderly could be improved Like my bungalow, good size Reported repairs recently and got good service There is a really big problem with neighbours, they complain and cause me so much trouble, and I really just want to get on with my neighbours. There are some neighbours who do not care for their homes or gardens and his makes the area look very untidy. livin tenant, size ok of my house Nice area where I live Bungalows are big enough for two No refurbishments have been done to my area. Need for bigger bungalows in the area. Elmfield School area is unused; perhaps this could be sued for more housing or for a community centre for the local people? Applying for housing has become quite difficult with the new initiatives; the application process should be simpler and quicker to keep people in social housing. livin could help people onto the housing market by regenerating old houses, and empty properties for rent or sale. I have no chance of buying my own home, it’s just too expensive, and there is definitely a need for more affordable housing. People park on the grass verges too much Housing could be improved in the town Housing is alright in the area, when work is done there is generally no mess left either Private Landlords!!!- Their premises need improving, and more regulation on tenant. Anyone is allowed to move in and this disturbs residents and local communities. I love my bungalow, the service is always brilliant when repairs are made etc. Lighting in the stairway of these flats are not well lit, I'm sure it’s not legal (Gilpin Court) People should take better care of their houses, but generally the houses are ok, tidy and clean looking. Well looked after, the area is spoiled by private houses though. There is not enough housing, young couples are always looking to get a house but there just isn’t
Crime and Antisocial Behaviour
anything available for them. Get the priorities right, a 4 bed house, given to an elderly couple is not right. The insulation in my loft isn't thick enough, it hasn’t been done properly ( 76 Gilpin Court) Landlords need to take more control over their private lets. It’s a nice town, built well. I have friend that live in livin houses and they are happy with the service you provide. Modernisation needs doing ASAP, everywhere else has had it done, what about us? (Gilpin Court) Out of date kitchens (Gilpin Court) The place is not up to disabled standards, its badly designed (Gilpin Court) Crime isn't really a problem here Wheel trims stolen, kids letting tires down on cars, people smashing windows and drinking on the streets There is no ASB now, it used to be bad but it's much more quiet now Good Police team that comes round to patrol the area Graffiti around the town is a disgrace, it makes everything look horrible and scruffy Stones get thrown at the windows now and again, people breaking fence panels along the main road Chip boxes, and litter left along the main road (Stephenson Way) and it takes ages for anyone to clean it or tidy it away Thugs in the town and around Tesco can intimidate people, rude children hanging around the town can make you not want to leave your house Cars get used as goal posts, we need a beat bobby I used to get abuse from my ex-partner, and any time I did the police were quick to respond Not enough for kids to do therefore they become active in anti-social behaviour I don’t have a problem with this, I just feel that youngsters don’t have enough free activities to keep them busy, prisoners get activities free We could use a community officer to patrol the more effected areas, because ASB can get out of hand and be a real problem in some places ASB is bad round here, there's a lot of trouble in the area, Horndale Lived here 35 yrs and feel safe Some problems of ASB, police aware Fewston Close, arguing, ASB and vandalism
Crime and Antisocial Behaviour
Drug abuse Scholars path We have seen an increase in crime in some areas The crime is worse outside of the town, it is ok around Newton Aycliffe I have a lot of peace and quiet in my area We obviously have bits and pieces of crime, just like other places It’s pretty quiet where I live, I wouldn’t tolerate trouble There is some crime and anti-social behaviour, it’s a shame how if effects the town too. I.e. Charity shops no longer have changing rooms because people use them to steal things Parking is difficult especially by Homebase as cars park directly outside of it and when you are leaving the car park exit it is extremely difficult to see. Crime is just like other areas Teens do hang around at the 'heaters' behind the leisure Normally quite quiet There is little enforcement in the town centre, there used to be signs to say that you were not allowed to ride your bike or skate board through the town but it happens a lot I do worry as I am quite fragile and they are fast on their bikes You do see people abusing the town centre by not abiding by the rules such as riding bikes through the town, litter etc. People don't feel safe going to town centre at night Illegal parking, parking on grass and in disabled bays etc. "PCSO" ASB on the increase, misuse of drugs in local park, youth ASB has dropped Problems with youths drinking Only hear about it, if it's reported in local paper Nothing appears to be done when crime is reported Afraid to approach younger people Lack of respect Too much ASB Afraid to go out in the dark Too much youth drinking on the streets Drugs are a major problem Too scared to report crime as fears of reprisals
Crime and Antisocial Behaviour
Economy and Employment
Not personally affected by ASB Don't see any of it but hear about it No worse than anywhere else No problems, quite happy where I live Pretty quiet, don't get any hassle Generally good within Newton Aycliffe There needs more to be done to tackle crime Have not experienced any personally I've had one incident where I got my car wheels stolen 2yrs ago, but had no problems since Silverdale- there is a local drunk man, he frequently urinates in the subway just down from the shop, and this is obviously unpleasant. He has even done it when my children have been walking home from school. I don’t have any problems personally, but I know a lot of people that do suffer the mindless crime of the youth today. I personally don’t suffer any crime, but a lot of people in the area do. Kids gathering, drinking and taking drugs. Car windows smashed, Silverdale house windows smashed and window ledges stolen. Support from the local police would be good, the local shops would benefit from this, a Bobby on the beat or something. Just regular monitoring. I have good relations with the PACT team, few issues with drug exchanges but nothing major. On the whole, small issues are dealt with in the community. People taking drugs on the streets, leaving their smack needles and other stuff littered on the floor People's graffiti all over the town. It looks horrible and brings the appeal of the town down Graffiti in and around the town, it looks scruffy which is why people don’t like living there Drug taking goes on all over Aycliffe, the black estate and yellow estate are the worst places and something needs doing about them Chavs terrorise the town and Tesco, something more needs to be done so that the town is a safer place to be Employment is poor in our area Jobs are hard to come by in this town, there's nothing local. There are no local jobs. kids need jobs to keep them off the streets There are no jobs for the general public, a lot of youth could cause trouble because of a lack of work
Economy and Employment
opportunities Quite bad if I'm honest, feels like the town is full of charity shops Not enough jobs, shops need to be more focused towards the town centre There aren’t enough jobs locally, people have to leave the town to find work employment in particular is terrible, nothing for the younger generation Completely rubbish, it's so difficult to get jobs locally Bad employment, there's only a small section of shops and they’re all charity shops Bad for youngsters, less apprenticeships. Not many full time job opportunities locally Not a lot of right jobs for people Short term, part time, lower paid jobs High rate of employment and good economy in Woodham Poor opportunities for school leavers Not many opportunities at present Could improve when Hitachi arrives Poor at the moment Hopefully Hitachi will improve things Have to travel out of area for work Poor. CAB useful at the PCP, but can only go in one day and the phone service is very poor Will be good when the likes of Hitachi comes here, and more new shops Not interested in it, we are both retired There is a high level of unemployment in Newton Aycliffe, but we do have good schools and good Ofsted reports, its motivation after school and college that’s lacking and the jobs that’s available. All the SureStarts in the area seem to do well in reports too. With EMA allowance disappearing, there is less encouragement to go to college!! There needs to be more awareness of what’s available in terms of employability skills, workshops, volunteering etc. Even if jobs were handed out in Aycliffe, a lot of people wouldn’t take them; they earn more, or around the same sat at home not working. Business is good (in local Red house shop) if you put in the time and effort there are jobs out there for people, people get too lazy and don’t bother looking though.
Economy and Employment
Access to Services and Facilities
There is a lack of employment Foreign workers are getting jobs in the area more than us who live here The town centre needs changing No jobs around the town The town centre is adequate for those who don’t like to travel further afield, the shops here suit us Terrible jobs in the area, we need facilities to create new jobs The town centre is poor it really needs uplifting to increase moral on the town We have seen a reduction in buses services especially in and around the town The bus service is very good The bowling alley is a good facility but is in a bad location and hard to gain access to the industrial estate Access to services is okay, the bus service is good. I go to bingo now and again. We have good facilities in the town such as the oak leaf complex, the recreation leisure centre which I have used a lot and the boating lake is nice to visit. It used to be great when we had swan boats in summer and kids with fishing nets. Gym membership is far too expensive, although there is plenty of youth activities Good bus service, good town service, would be nice to get transport to bingo and other activities though More computers for the communal area (Gilpin Court) The town centre is terrible, it’s all charity shops and banks, we need a wider variety I travel to and from work everyday on the bus, and the service is usually brilliant, only once or twice it's been really late or not shown up at all Bus service is excellent, I can always get to where I want to go More awareness of services needed More awareness needed as to services and facilities Access is fine however I don’t feel there is enough for youngsters Access to shops and centres is good PCP available and they offer a lot. Also the Oakleaf has a lot going on Plenty of buses, we could be made more aware of police presence Facilities just around the corner, buses are ok but some are not. The number 8 is unreliable Happy to use the Rec & Youth centres, I've been on a few courses there but I don’t have time now
Access to Services and Facilities
I have concerns about local bus stops being taken away Need more shops in the town centre Need more things for the teenagers to do in town Fairly good apart from shops in the town centre Good access to services - Blackton Close Good local bus service Good bus service and have own transport as well Lack of parking for motor bikes Lack of advertising for local services Bus fares to expensive Poor train service Not to good, PCP is good but too far away Used to go to groups, clubs but stopped due to help and friends passing away The recreation Centre is good for the town, more info on what’s on generally would be good. Bus service is poor, not running on time, or turning up, have to rely on lifts Shouldn't have stopped the lollypop man John's shop' or Caygills as its also known (local shop near to Greenfield Evangelical Church) needs to be investigated on more than four occasions I have bought out of date food or drink from here. Things are covered in dust too. Not acceptable for a local shop. Used to be a lot better Like the personal touch, not having to get on the phone, like to speak to people face to face The SureStart building at Stephenson Way is too expensive, there is definitely a need for more affordable and accessible childcare on the town Police need more people on the front line Like to have a local office to speak to people about housing Know about the local services, just don't have time to use them Perhaps introducing a Credit Union into Newton Aycliffe would be a good idea?? Could do with better services and publications, PCP helped me to find out about stuff Have my own car, so have good access to local services, i.e. Tesco The wheelie bin service could be improved. We need somewhere to put our garden waste. (Silverdale)
Access to Services and Facilities
John's Shop really could do with being improved. Customer Service is quite poor I know they don’t open when they say they do and this can be frustrating. I have also been rushed around the shop before, ten minutes before closing time. An estate clean up would benefit a lot of us in this area as old furniture and rubbish is just left in gardens and round the estate. If something like this was to take place could we all be notified. (Silverdale) Perhaps a Community Centre in the Elmfield area would be advantageous for the local people. More bins for larger families would be great, if we have a large family we have to pay £20 for an extra wheelie bin, this is a lot of money for me. (Silverdale) Bins or clear up for out garden waste could be done (Silverdale) The local shop @Red House' is well used and is useful. The pizza shop however causes us more problems than enough. They really do not clear up after themselves. (Silverdale) Dorothy Bowman has had bins placed outside of the shop but the pizza shop and its customers do not use them. The shop has to clear up every day. (Silverdale) The area in and around Silverdale has improved a lot over the years, we are very grateful for this. I use the gym, Aycliffe is adequate for gentlemen, the town could use better quality shops like a gentlemen's shop The central council offices are too far away, they aren’t even on the outskirts of the town! No public go there. The town toilets need to be brought back, they were helpful (although dirty) I think people miss them. I'm aware that there are some services available on the town, but they aren't advertised well enough. A lot of people don’t know what’s going on. Some facilities need more usage. Services are good, nice parks; I’ve seen litter pickers out which is good to see. The bus service is good, frequent. I would go to Greenfield School to learn something new, they have courses for almost everything. There is nothing to do in Aycliffe , coffee pronto is ok I would like to see a JJB Sports or JD Sports shop We need goal posts in St Oswalds More variety of shops, computer shops, gaming shops and music shops Do something similar to Hartlepool, charge people for use of the skate park to stop scallies getting in Boats back at the boating lake, that was fun and if it was ran properly it could be a good way to keep people occupied
Access to Services and Facilities
Health and Well Being
I'd like to go to a drama club, but there isn’t anything it's good that we have a bowling alley and ice rink now, but it can be difficult to get there if you don’t drive or can’t get a lift This town needs a cinema, it would keep people busy and attract people to the town More clubs to get involved with, not just for young people but for older people too It would be nice to have something like a music venue, somewhere for good bands to practice and play small concerts/gigs The swimming pool at the leisure centre is boring, it's just a pool. Put diving boards in there or a slide, something for people to do I and my friends play football at Greenfield Comp on the rubber pitch, it needs a roof or net to keep the ball from going over and into the woods area. A LOT of people think the same Youth centre is good, I enjoy myself there, it's a good place to keep busy and meet friends you haven’t seen for a while Everyone is put off going to the town because they don’t have what we want and need, too many charity shops More activities for disabled people, I don’t think this town offers enough We need something that is going to make people want to come here, cinema? Small concert venue? Lack of decent shops, no one wants to come to our town to shop… because there’s nothing here More after school groups. Drama club would be nice, the one at the youth centre is just singing We have Silverdale house, the local Community Centre but there a people who do not like Dorothy Bowman and so many do not use the Centre for this. We have plenty of facilities such as the library, recreation centre and youth centre. Kids need more access to activities, a bus up to the new ice rink on the industrial estate would be brilliant The Dr's is poor, access to the Dr's is difficult Hard to get an appointment Good Dr's surgeries here, happy with the access I have Pease way doctors is clean and tidy, the staff are brilliant, appointments can sometimes be difficult to get though Pease way doctors is run very well Pease Way Surgery is much better now it has been extended and improved
Health and Well Being
more shops needed selling healthier foods, rather than just Tesco I have to go to large stores if I want healthier foods, we need more local stores with healthier foods Good access to the PCP Good health generally, Bewick Crescent I would know where to go to exercise or get advice on how to lose weight or healthy eating Good Drs/ Dentist facilities at the PCP Good health facilities i.e. PCP Learning Difficulties, need more information on support available Good access to the PCP Bewick Crescent Surgery, brilliant Programmes of services available, just not published enough Gyms to expensive No healthy food outlets Good for Doctors Good gym at the Leisure centre Bewick Crescent ok, fine to get an appointment PCP good for appointments and keep fit classes Plenty to do, especially for the older people, i.e. . . . Classes that aren't too strenuous Use the leisure centre for fitness Go to the PCP for feet appointments Fine, plenty to keep going PCP- is available for any concerns over health etc. There is quite a high rate in teenage pregnancies. We only have two dentists in the area, and one travelling. We could do with more really. More involvement from local doctors would be useful, i.e. they should participate in resident meeting etc. It's pretty good in Newton Aycliffe, there is the health centre and plenty of other options. However, Bewick Crescent is closed sometimes for training days (miserable reception staff too) There are no sports shops in the town, nothing where people could buy equipment to keep fit Pease way surgery is not good, bring back the Saturday clinic There are lengthy waiting lists to get anything seen to
Education & Training
Training for adults could be improved There isn't enough training for adults No problems, the schools are well looked after My daughter goes to business studies at the local learning centre which is really good Could be more training centres reasonable schools, they all come with goals, the Thames centre could do more within itself Schools are good, the kids really enjoy going to Woodham It would be nice for the elderly (or people with learning difficulties) to go on courses to help use mobile phones and computers Group for elderly people, help with computers and mobile phones Training courses required, practical skills i.e., plumbing, construction, electrician etc. to help people into employment Needs something on the industrial estate for local people Kids need good education/ not necessarily university, just skills that will help them get on Lack of training opportunities, highlighted learning difficulties Have good access to local training facilities Good training within the town Good training facilities within the town centre Would like to do a guitar course Courses fizzle out after the ten weeks, need continuity No follow up when course end No catholic school Army Cadets Wouldn't know what’s available or where to go Not interested about learning new skills, but I'm aware of what’s it available Shouldn't be going on strike Know where the Thames centre and PCP are, would use PCP if needed to go The schools are good, and have a good choice of schools Use the PCP for the computers etc. Not interested in computers or further training Plenty of training facilities, local paper has loads of information in it too.
Education & Training
Reputation and Community Cohesion
I used the Thames centre skills centre before and was very disappointed, no real help, I was just told to sit and get on with it when I really didn’t know what I was doing, I quit in the end. Plenty of access to schools/colleges, bus service etc. Aware of some services available for training, e.g. Thames centre. There is a section of residents that would like to possibly learn how to use PC's, better advertising for these kinds of things. More comprehensive schools because there is only Greenfield and Woodham Really good schools in the area and lots of choice We have good schools in the town, Stephenson Way is brilliant and there is a good choice of Nurseries too. No jobs anywhere on the town Greenfield school in particular is fantastic, it has a lot for all age groups to do, and is run excellently Woodham comprehensive seems to be a bit run down, it’s not attractive and could do with updating Primary schools seem to be doing well, Stephenson Way Primary is a lovely place for the kids Good community spirit in the area Town centre has quite a bad reputation, it needs improving and modernising to revitalise it and the reputation will change The reputation of the town is ok, but renovations take too long I love Newton Aycliffe, we have it a lot better here than some towns do. The people here aren't bad, they are friendly and many of us get along Aycliffe is great, I'd much rather live in Aycliffe than Chilton where I have previously lived I have lived in Newton Aycliffe all of my life and thoroughly enjoy living here Growing reputation This place has a brilliant reputation and community spirit (Gilpin Court) The reputation is so so, the attitude of the public is a problem I think the town is terrible, and a lot of people feel the same way Some areas have a bad reputation, such as Silverdale Place and the Dandy Cart area Generally good, I have lived here all my life and I've had no bother, certain areas are really friendly and get along fine Happy overall, I've lived here all my life and I rarely have any trouble I'm happy in Newton Aycliffe, I love it here. I used to live in South Church but there is much more to do
Reputation and Community Cohesion
here, more shops, parks and groups, people are friendly to Quite happy, I love living in Newton Aycliffe Town centre lets us down The reputation is generally good, people have a good opinion of the houses around the town but not so much about the town itself Like the people of Newton Aycliffe Council mentality - still named "council" Lack of neighbourly spirit, not knowing people where you live Maling Green - positive area - green spaces Good friendly local spirit Great town, let down by the powers at be Town Centre should not have been sold off Run down scruffy area Lack of shops Bird muck everywhere Redevelopment would improve the area No community spirit Has a poor reputation Horndale isn’t a bad area on the whole WE do see a litter picker appearing on a frequent basis which is great to see There is a good community spirit in the Horndale area. Poor reputation, town centres the problem Could do with more shops, better variety Some ok, some awful, just stick to friends and family If there was more to do, would get involved and would go Reputation is ok, friendly people, get along with a lot of people It's ok but could always do with more livin name change was disgraceful Big town but nothing in it Delays are taking too long in the town centre improvements Poor reputation, town centre lets us down
Reputation and Community Cohesion
Doesn't go out much Everybody in Silverdale gets together in times of need. Not very good, I have lived here a long time. The town development has taken too long and has brought peoples spirits down. Plus we have to use Tesco for everything. A lot of residents don’t care about the area, Aycliffe needs more community spirit, and there is a major lack of interest in the town. There is community spirit in some places, if you need something, neighbours are usually pretty helpful. No problems around the housing area, but the Pizza shops get some trouble. Litter in the town centre makes it look awful. The people in and around the town are relatively nice. Tesco is bad. Chavs hang around Tesco a lot, intimidating people The town is always scruffy, and no one likes living around that area The town centre's reputation needs help, it's not a nice place to be at all The graffiti at the town brings down the reputation, scruffy people with nothing better to do The town centre is a huge issue. Landlords are not local, their rates are too high and we have nothing nice in the town!!!!!!!!! There is a lot of separation across the town between generations, classes, streets/localities but generally people get along and there is a spirit. Town no kept clean, bushes not kept tidy, grass cutting is a disgrace Grass cutting not done on a regular basis, looks messy Hedges and grass areas not looked after, we just want to live in a clean environment Recycling bins instead of Bags, bags aren't convenient for the elderly Any spare wood left over from tree cuttings on other things could be used to build flower beds to make the areas look nicer The area around the houses are fairly tidy, graffiti in and around the town makes it look scruffy, lots of litter which doesn’t seem to get cleaned on a regular basis No problems, generally kept tidy (Oakfield) The environment is nice, no problems really Quite happy with the local environment Gardens and grassed areas are generally kept in good condition which keeps the estate looking nice Flats to the left of woodham way have green stains on the exterior panelling, can it be cleaned or
painted to improve the appearance of the place The town does need improving not only in terms of buildings but also planters and colour injecting, pigeon poo clearing up and making the town a much nicer place to visit. We have a lovely environment such as the nature park and the boating lake The environment could be better, we do have some hooligans who ruin things, police do walk around and try to protect what we have. The town itself looks very old but the xmas decorations are very nice There is a lot of pigeon muck outside of the Heron freezer shop Walking around is ok, the town is a dump, the whole place is an eyesore I do notice the flowerbeds and the roundabouts, it’s nice to see things looking nice. It's a nice area, although the town is a let down Relatively good looking town, good xmas lights, garden competitions etc. Roundabouts look nice, they seem to be doing a lot of work on them and they make the town look nice Parking at the schools can cause problems!!! All across town. The garden is a disgrace, it would take a lot of time and effort to make it nice again, time and effort we don’t have Town centre lets area down Weeds are a big problem, they are everywhere. They come through the paving slabs and through the decorative stones on the roundabouts. There are lots of weeds on the pavements too. Need more shops and a clean up of the area Rest of town good Green spaces Agnew area quite good Hawkshead Place (near Southern club) needs to be demolished to improve the environment Like living in Newton Aycliffe Lots of green spaces Dog fouling, St Francis and Horndale Woodham, nice environment/ area Guthrum Place, untidy gardens/ fly tipping Pleasant green spaces Make a good effort to keep the area pleasing, with the planting of flower beds
Areas need to be cleaned up (blue bridge area) Parking on paths and blocking Disabled access Very drab, make some attempts with flower beds, but not enough Are making improvements, but youths steel plants Silverdale needs more positivity and colour. The area around Silverdale is not very nice, it’s quite dull and lacks colour. We could do with more colourful building, flowers, signs or structure something to brighten the area. Not a nice environment Too much litter Need more flower beds, more nice areas Nice place to walk around Nice green spaces and flower beds Roads, paths etc. all good Could do with more shops, better variety Flower beds and green spaces are nice Some areas are not good Flower beds are a waste of money, flowers don't last long, do something else instead of flowers, they go out of season The roundabouts look nice with the stones on Some areas of the town are nice, become more aware of different areas Areas are beautiful and clean Litter is a bit of an issue, particularly in the town centre and park area. It would be nice to see the boating lake brought back to the wonderful place it used to be. Most gardens are very nice, residents do make an effort, the flowerbeds We used to have great shops in this town, but now it’s not the same, I need size 2 shoes and used to be able to get them here but not now. Eskdale place is classed as a "Hood" so insurance is hard to obtain. Good bin service, and litter pickers too. Flower beds are nice in other places on the town but Silverdale's are and eye sore Some nice roundabouts, not much in the Silverdale area. I suppose they can’t really do anything around here with all the trouble that goes on, stuff just gets ruined. Wonderful area, the council work well. Paths are looked after, the greens get cut.
More street lights in parts of the town, people might not feel safe walking home in the dark The town is always left to look scruffy, litter, smashed bottles, people's vomit etc. More notice boards around the town, to let people know what's going on, activities and stuff There is a lot of dark areas around Aycliffe, some aren’t safe. People who are out on a night and need to get home are scared to walk alone The environment is reasonable, there are much better places though The town centre is an embarrassment
Community Ranking Methodology Based on the intelligence contained within this Community Plan livin has been able to rank the community based on; Bronze (potential), Silver (aspiring) or Gold (performing). This will enable the identification of the communities which require more immediate and more intensive interventions whilst ensuring there are mechanisms in place to maintain Gold standards. The following are details of the methodology used by livin when determining the ranking for each community indicator: Indicator
Housing Market Affordability
Ranking Affordability ratios have been devised by comparing income to house prices in order to calculate how many times their average income an individual would be required to borrow to purchase their own property. It is particularly interesting to assess how well lower income households can access the housing market. To gauge access to entry level housing the data used is the lower quartile income of residents within the former area of Sedgefield Borough and the average price of terraced housing within the community (the assumption is that this house type is often the lower quartile house type). Data sources for this information were the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) 2010 and land registry house price data. To assess the level of affordability it is important to rank the multiplier by the England average. In England during 2009 the lower quartile house price was 6.28 times the lower quartile full-time individual earnings (http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/corporate/statistics/housingplanningstatistics2010).
Gold = Multiplier of 0 to 3.5 is affordable Silver = Multiplier of 3.6 to 6.3 Bronze = Multiplier of 6.4 and above
Access to lending on homes is still calculated using a multiplier of 3.5 for single households and 2.9 for dual income households, therefore a multiplier of 3.5 or less can be deemed as affordable.
Demand for livin housing
Tenancy Turnover is determined by the percentage of houses available to let compared with the total housing stock in a community. It is recognised that this methodology is very simplistic and there are several factors that should be considered in conjunction with this ranking. These include: Turnover rates in specific house types are generally higher than others (one bedroom bungalows) so consideration must be given to the total community stock profile Gold communities will have a lower tenancy turnover; however a Gold ranking could indicate lack of access to housing and affordability issues requiring more households to have a housing need for socially rented properties in a particular community It is important that when considering tenancy turnover; further investigation be given to the circumstances surrounding the ranking and circumstances that may have contributed towards a high level of turnover. Further investigation should also be made into stock types within the community and the accessibility and affordability of housing. To compile the percentage rates used to calculate this ranking consideration has been given to HouseMark’s national Benchmarking figures Demand for livin properties has been determined by the comparison of three indicators of demand taken from Durham Key Options (DKO) data. Each of these indicators has been scored accordingly with the overall score of all three determining the ranking allocated to the community: Hard to let properties in a community: This is defined as properties that have been advertised in three or more bidding cycles with DKO before being let. It is important to note that the presence of low demand house types within a community can increase the percentage of hard to let properties within a community. - No properties hard to let = 5 points - 1 to 2% of properties hard to let = 3 points - 3% or more properties hard to let = 1 point
Gold = 5% turnover or less Silver = 89% turnover Bronze = 10% turnover or more
Gold = 11 to 15 points Silver = 6 to 10 points Bronze = 1 to 5 points
Demand for livin housing
Average Repair Costs Per Property
Area of preference: Upon application households can choose their areas of choice. These indicate a “perception” of an area therefore producing a demand. Areas of preference between communities have been determined by analysing the number of applicants showing a preference for each community compared to the amount of applicants received by livin (by percentage). Applicants can indicate a preference for more than one area and it must be noted that area of preference is made at point of first application to DKO and is a snapshot in time. Often applicants do not update their areas of preference and these areas of preference may differ from their original indications during time spent on the housing register. - 50% or more applicants expressing the community as an area of preference = 5 points - 21 to 49% of applicants expressing the community as an area of preference = 3 points - 0 to 20% of applicants expressing the community as an area of preference = 1 point Average (mean) bids per property by community: Demand is evident by the volume of bids received for a property. It is noted that this method will disguise some house types or localised areas where the bids per property are very low and in some areas where there are exceptional number of bids per property. - 20 bids or more = 5 points - 10-19 bids = 3 points - 9 bids or less = 1 point These three indicators considered together give livin a fair indication of demand for livin’s communities. However, anecdotal evidence from staff has uncovered that this methodology may disguise the actual experience of demand in livin communities by using a general mean average over all house types and sizes. This ranking together with the analysis does indicate areas of further in depth analysis. This has been calculated by analysing the total repair costs for livin properties within each of the 19 communities for the period 01 April 2009 to 31 March 2010.
Gold = £599 or less
To calculate the average repair cost per property the total cost of all repairs for all livin properties in the community has been divided against the total number of stock livin owns within the community.
Silver = £600 to £650 Bronze = £600 or more
This ranking is based on data supplied by the DWP in March 2011 and relates to the percentage of persons residing in Wards of Shafto St Mary’s, Neville and Simpasture and West who were claiming Jobseekers Allowance for a period of 6 to 12 months.
Long Term Unemployment (6 to 12 This data has been compared to the overall percentage for Durham County of 18%. months) Data was obtained from the NOMIS Official Labour Market Statistics supplied by the Office for National Statistics.
Gold = 17% or less (lower than the County percentage) Silver = 18% (equivalent to the County percentage) Bronze = 19% or more (higher than the County percentage)
This ranking is based on national statistics and relates to model-based average weekly Gold = household total income estimates for households in the Wards of Shafto St Mary’s, Neville and £411.00 or Simpasture and West for 2001/02. more Average Household Income
This data has been compared to the North East average weekly household total income Silver = estimate of £410.00. £410.00 Data was obtained from the Office for National Statistics.
Bronze = £409.99 or less
To assess the rent payments made by tenants within livin properties in Aycliffe Old Town an analysis and comparison of livin’s rental debit figures for 2009/10 to 2010/11 were utilised.
livin Rental Debit
The total rental debit charge is the total rent charged for all livin properties within Aycliffe Old Town throughout a financial year. At the end of the financial year the total amount of rent payments collected by livin is offset against the total rental debit. Gold = 0 to 0.99% The total amount of rent payments collected by livin is calculated within the first week of the following financial year; this ensures that any housing benefit payments have been processed Silver = and credited to the relevant rent account. All housing benefit payments paid by DCC are 1.00% to received every 4 weeks and are paid in arrears. 1.99% By offsetting the amount of rent paid throughout the year against the total rental debit charge for Bronze = the year livin are able to calculate how much outstanding debt it has within each individual over 2.00%. community. This outstanding debt is commonly referred to as “rent arrears”. This figure is then calculated as a percentage of the total rental debit charge and has been used to provide the communities ranking. livin has not been able to base the ranking of rental debit against any validated local benchmarking figures.
Educational Attainment (5 GCSE’s Grade C & Above)
This ranking is based on national statistics from the 2001 Census data and relates to the Gold = 19% percentage of persons residing in the community of Aycliffe Old Town that have an educational or more attainment of 5 GCSE’s Grade C and above. This data has been compared and ranked against the County and North East averages of 18%. Silver = 18% Data obtained from the Office for National Statistics at www.statisics.co.uk
Bronze = 17% or less
On 10 January 2012, staff from livin’s Communities Teams conducted an Environmental Assessment on a pre-determined route through the community. At each of the “stopping points” a number of economic indicators were scored. The maximum number of points that can be awarded at each stopping point is 35. Environmental indicators include:
Grassed areas & shrubs Fly tipping & litter Garages Pathways, roads & parking Trees Boundary walls & fences Gardens
The route through the community began at Washington Crescent through to Central Avenue, Burn Lane, Greenwell Road, Stephenson Way, Carlieph Close, Pease Way, Emerson Way, Greville Way, Shafto Way, Creighton Way, Fowler Road and finished on Vane Road. The total number of points attained throughout the assessment is then divided by the number of stopping points to provide an average total for the community. The community scored a total of 113 points (113 divided by 4 = 28.25). Full details of the Environmental Assessments can be found at: www.livin.co.uk
Gold = 30 to 35 points Silver = 21 to 29 points Bronze = 0 to 20 points
15 Substantial issues
10 Prominent issues
5 Low level issues
Total Score for Aycliffe Old Town
This score is based on a range of economic, social, and environmental indicators contained within the Community Plan for Aycliffe Old Town. These issues have been scored against strategic priorities from livinâ€™s Corporate Plan 2012-2015. The maximum a community can score is 36. This is based on a maximum of 15 points for economic issues, 12 points for social issues and 9 points for environmental issues.
Contact Us: livin, Farrell House, Arlington Way, DurhamGate, Spennymoor, Co Durham, DL16 6NL visit: livin.co.uk e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: 0800 587 4538 (free from a landline) or 0300 111 2344 (cheap rate from mobiles depending on your network