Open Door Oct/Nov - Tower Hamlets Homes

towerhamletshomes.org.uk

Open Door Oct/Nov - Tower Hamlets Homes

PLAYING BY THEOpen Door » Oct/Nov 2008rulesDorset disturbance over?Residents on the Dorset estate can rest a biteasier since a local family promised a Judgenot to cause noise nuisance following apossession hearing brought by BethnalGreen local service centre because ofcomplaints about anti-social behaviour.The Judge ruled that the probationary tenantmust take responsibility for his children’sbehaviour and give a written undertaking not toharass, cause noise nuisance, disturbance orannoyance to other residents or visitors to theestate, and to keep these promises untilSeptember 2010.The Judge agreed that we could bring thepossession case back to court if there were futureproblems, and spelt out to the probationarytenant that the undertaking was a bindingpromise to the Court. With the threat of thetenancy being ended hanging over the family’sReducing CrimeWe know that tackling crime is a top priority forresidents. Tower Hamlets Homes continues towork with the police, Tower Hamlets council andother partners to reduce crime, make our estatessafer, and the borough a better place to live.In the last three years, overall crime in theborough has dropped by 24%. Since April thisyear, robbery has dropped by 17.2%. There hasbeen a crackdown of motor vehicle crime, leadingto a decrease in both theft of and theft fromvehicles in the borough.Over the same period violent crime hasreduced, with gun crime dropping by over a thirdand youth violence showing a 6.3% decrease.Knife crime has reduced by 10% - not least due toOperation Blunt, a police operation to tackle knifecrime and reduce the number of people whoroutinely carry knives on the streets.Drug dealing and misuse is being tackled byworking closely in partnership. Neighbourhooddrug dealing is targeted both throughhead this is theirfinal chance forthem to keeptheir home.Welcoming theJudge’s decision,Noel Walsh, localservice centremanagercommented:“This is a goodresult for theestate - residents’lives were made amisery for more“I’d really like to thankthe residents - it wasonly possible to dosomething when otherresidents from theestate came forward togive statements, keepdiary sheets andregular contact withthe local servicecentre.”Housing Officer, Rizia Alithan a year by the children of this local familycausing noise nuisance often ‘til the early hoursof the morning. We’ll be keeping a close eye onhow the family behave.”enforcement andprevention,leading to a largenumber of drugseizures,warrants andarrests across the borough. As part of therecent intelligence-led Operation Argus twelvepeople were charged with a range of offencesafter a series of early morning drugs raids. Drugrelated paraphernalia, as well as £17,000 in cashwas seized.The help and support of local people is a keypart of cutting crime. You can help by reportingproblems like anti-social behaviour and drugmisuse.Anyone with information about drug crime isurged to contact police or call Crimestoppersanonymously on 0800 555 111.To report anti-social behaviour or drug misuse,call the council’s 24 hour hotline:0800 917 5 918.5


020 7364 5015 www.towerhamletshomes.org.ukLOOKING AFTER YOUR ESTATEInvesting inyour homesTower Hamlets Homes was set up with a bid tothe government for £260 million investment todeliver decent homes for our residents. Ifsuccessful this will mean we can spend moneyon internal improvements like new kitchens andbathrooms, but the government funds aredependant on us achieving a two-star rating fromthe Audit Commission when they inspect us.In the meantime, our ambitious five yearprogramme of works on estates across theborough is progressing well and helping deliverdecent homes. £115million will be invested overthe next four and a half years of which about £24mwill be spent this year. This is in addition to the£6m fund allocated to general improvements suchas repainting and extra cleaning.The five year programme focuses on estaterefurbishment. An example is the £4m investmentin door entry systems. Existing equipment is beingrefurbished andin someinstancesupgraded toimprove accessfor olderresidents, theinfirm andparents withpushchairs. Inaddition, newWorksunderway todeliverdecent homesat EagleHouse andWingfieldHouse.The wraps come off Heathpool Court, Bethnal Greenafter improvements including new windows and entrancedoors, concrete repairs and external decorationssystems are being fitted at other locations. Thework will help increase security.Electric wiring in communal areas, and in somecases individual homes, is also being upgraded.The new cabling allows better lighting to be fittedin public areas, brightening-up some dark cornersthat were previously only half lit. This workcontributes to safety and acts as a deterrent toanti-social behaviour. The new cables also deliverthe extra power demanded for the increasednumber of appliances found in today’s homes.Lifts will be cleaner, brighter and more reliableas a result of a £7m investment whilst £20m isbeing spent on renewing ageing roofs. £15m hasbeen allocated to improvements to concretestructures and external decoration.Every one of over 1,000 blocks will be ready toreceive digital TV well before the scheduled turnoffof the analogue broadcasts. The work, whichbegan in 2004, is well ahead of schedule. TowerHamlets Homes is also spending £10m on heatingsystems and a further £20m on windowmaintenance and replacement.What is the decent homes standard?The decent homes standard was set by thegovernment to improve all social housing by2010. According to the government'sdefinition, it means that a home has to be'warm, weatherproof and have reasonablymodern facilities.'6


Open Door » Oct/Nov 2008& DELIVERING DECENT HOMESEstateaction daysTower Hamlets Homes’ popular summerprogramme of Estate Action Days recentlydrew to a close with a final event at theBerner Estate. The Action Days were anopportunity to spruce up estates and carry outminor communal repairs whilst listening toresidents’ needs and providing information onthe services provided by Tower HamletsHomes and its partners.As part of the special spruce up, Caretaking andEstate Services removed bulk rubbish, litter-pickedgrassed areas, jet washed bin rooms, and removedgraffiti. Youngsters meanwhile enjoyed a range ofactivities including face painting, music mixing andplaying Nintendo Wiis.Sharon Allen, area housing manager said: “We’llbe developing a new programme of estate days andevents with resident groups to take place in thespring. Watch out for further announcements!”Clowning aroundDoors and floors enjoy a deep cleanLearning to make sweet musicA new door chain is fittedGraffiti removalA new notice board to help keep residents informedPhotographs courtesy of East London Life7


020 7364 5015 www.towerhamletshomes.org.ukLEASEHOLDER mattersService ImprovementsA strong push is under way as part of our on-goingprogramme to improve leaseholder services with a focuson horticulture, caretaking and repairs. Additionalcaretakers have been recruited and the results are alreadyclear to see with more regular cleaning taking place.From early next year, it will be possible to track theprogress of communal repairs on our website,www.towerhamletshomes.org.uk. The next step will be toadd services charges to the website enabling you to checkyour account at any time.Service chargesService charge actuals were sent out early October for2007/8. All leaseholders will have received a £50 creditgranted by the council as a one-off payment. Estimatesfor next year will be sent out in March. Anyone withqueries should contacthomeownership@towerhamletshomes.org.ukLeaseholdersFeedbackA group, representing a broad crosssection of leaseholders, recently metwith an independent organisationappointed by Tower Hamlets Homes toseek views about ways we provideservices to leaseholders. Thediscussions concentrated on a numberof specific issues including contact withTower Hamlets Homes, levels ofinformation, resident involvement,estate services, repairs andmaintenance and service chargeaccounting.The findings together with proposedresponses will be fed back to thoseinvolved in the group and reported in afuture issue of Open Door.8


Open Door » Oct/Nov 2008GETTING involvedDown your wayResidents from across the borough, includingmembers of the repairs and investmentworking group, had some training last month(September) on carrying out estateinspections. Residents put the training intopractice on an estate walkabout at PaulineHouse, E1.As well as carrying out a detailed inspection thesession included a demonstration of the securitycameras by the concierge“It really was a usefuland interestingsession – greatpreparation forLocksley’s inspectionnext week!”Irene Miller from theLocksley TRAat Pauline House. Feedbackon the session has beengiven to the repairs andinvestment residentworking group.Irene Miller from theLocksley TRA, told OpenDoor about the session: “Itwas good to get togetherwith residents from otherResidents train up to carry out estate inspectionsparts of the borough to share their experiences ofestate inspections in their areas and to talk toPauline House residents.”Estate inspections usually take place every 6weeks – keep an eye out over the coming monthfor posters with dates of the next 3 months’inspections for your estate. You’ll find posters inyour block notice boards.To help make sure that your estate is the wayyou want it, why not join your local inspectionteam? Please get in touch with your housingofficer if you’d like to find out more.Tower Hamlets’ kids got talent!October 22nd sees vocalist and MC auditions forthe Aberfeldy Youth Talent Show at the AberfeldyCentre (6pm to 9pm) for young people aged 13-19.The local community are invited along to see thetalent show - with a focus on preventing crime - onFriday November 7th. The show features performance,drama and MCs and takes place 5pm to 9 pm at StNicolas Church - opposite Aberfeldy Harca Centre.Auditions are open to allyoung people across theborough – most that comealong to activities at themoment live on theAberfeldy, Lansbury, Bow,Isle of Dogs, and Wapping.To find out more aboutthe auditions for the talentshow please get in touchwith Lisa by email“If you want to showyou’ve got what ittakes, why not comealong to theauditions for thetalent show?”Lisa Bojang, the youthco-ordinatorlisa.bojang@poplarharca.co.uk or by calling 07957312768 or pick up a flyer from your local service centre.Tell us what you think aboutyour housing services andyou could win £50!Tower Hamlets council has asked IpsosMORI to carry out an independent surveyof tenant satisfaction with the housingservices provided by Tower HamletsHomes on its behalf.The survey is a real opportunity fortenants to have their say about theirhousing service. The questions are set bythe government and cover topics such asservice satisfaction, value for money,quality of housing, vandalism and graffiti,ease of contacting staff, satisfaction withrepairs and customer involvement.Questionnaires have been sent to arandomly selected sample of tenantsacross the borough. Tenants who returnthe questionnaire will automatically beentered into a draw and could win one offour £50 prizes!9


020 7364 5015 www.towerhamletshomes.org.ukRead allabout itResidents put their stamp oncommunicationsA new ‘resident approved’ badge appears on allTower Hamlets Homes factsheets and servicestandards to show“Reading can bedone on the go, athome orwork and anyresponses returnedby the givendeadline – easy!”Ian Fincher, Bethnal Greenresident and THH Boardmemberthat they’ve beenchecked by ourrecently formedresidents readers’panel and are clearand easy tounderstand. Thismeans avoiding jargonand long, complicatedsentences and makingsure that informationis presented in ahelpful way. We think the best people to tell us ifwe have got this right are our residents.Vicki Potticary, resident engagement manager,explains: “The comments we’ve had back haveHalf term events atLimehouse Youth CentreLimehouse Youth Centre has loads of greatevents planned over half term and the comingmonths and young people from anywhere inTower Hamlets can get involved.If you fancy something to do over the schoolholidays or after school or at weekends youcan play 5-a-side with West Ham Unitedcoaches, lay a track in a music studio, workout in a fully kitted out gym, compete in pooland table tennis tournaments, challengeyourself on the rock climbing wall or justcome and chill with your mates.To find out more about the programme ofafternoon and evening sessions contact theyouth centre by email info@citygateway.org.ukor by calling 020 7531 6199.been really useful. They help make sure thingsare put in a way people can understand and theprocess helps our services be really clear aboutwhat they do and the standards they offer.” Vickycontinues: “For residents who are housebound orwho don’t have time to come to regular meetingsit’s a very effective way of helping make sure ourleaflets are easily understood.”Ian Fincher, Bethnal Green resident and TowerHamlets Homes Board member who also sits onthe readers panel, commenting on the value ofthe panel, said: "It’s a great way ofgetting involved and making adifference to the future of ourhousing service without having todedicate time to attend meetings.”Board newsTower Hamlets Homes Board is committed to beingopen and accountable in the decisions it makes.That's why you can find our Board agendas, reportsand minutes on our website for you to see, wheneveryou want.The Board normally meets the second Tuesday ofevery month. The next meeting is Tuesday November11th, 6.30pm-8.30pm at Jack Dash House.If you’re interested in finding out more please visitour website or get in touch with our governanceteam - governance@towerhamletshomes.org.uk.Get Invovled!If you’d like to help us improve the way we dothings why not join the 800+ residents on ourgetting involved register? As well as advance noticeof events and activities and access to free training,you get a regular newsletter – Taking Part – tokeep you up to date. You can take part as much oras little as suits you. To join, or if you want to findout more, visit our website or get in touch on0800 783 6845.10


Open Door » Oct/Nov 2008Rocky ParkrefurbishmentLocal residents, Connaught’s staff and stafffrom Bethnal Green local service centreturned out to help start the refurbishmentof Rocky Park in September.Volunteers cleaned up the area to give residentsa brand new community nature garden with 20raised planters to plant whatever fruit,vegetables or flowers they want“Connaught has beenabsolutely wonderful and it’slovely of their staff to give uptheir free time help build acommunity garden for all ofthe residents to enjoy. Thearea is already looking muchbetter and we’re all excitedto see the project develop!”Margaret Cox,Teesdale and Hollybush Tenantsand Residents Associationto see grow.As well as giving up their time,Connought's are kindlycontributing to the worksfinancially and the next stage ofimprovements will see acommunal kitchen facility beinstalled within the park, allowingresidents to keep fresh andrefreshed whilst they aregardening.Mark Keen, for Connaught’s,said: “We’re glad that we can giveresidents back an area they canbe proud of and by giving them the choice of what they plant we’rehelping residents of Tower Hamlets to change their own landscape.”Residents and staff helprefurbish Rocky Park, E2Time to RememberThe life of the East End’s mostfamous suffragette, MinnieLansbury, was celebrated thismonth with the restoration of theclock erected to her memory.Minnie was the daughter-in-lawof George Lansbury (Leader of theLabour Party 1932-1935). She wasa teacher, activist for women’srights and elected an Alderman onPoplar council - even before womenhad the vote. Minnie wasimprisoned along with othermembers of Poplar council forrefusing to levy full rates in thepoverty stricken area. She diedyoung of pneumonia in 1922, caughtas a result of her time in prison.The Minnie Lansbury MemorialClock is on Tower Hamlets’ ElectricHouse in Bow Road. AngelaLansbury, the celebrated Holywoodactress, is the daughter of GeorgeLansbury’s second wife. Sheprovided a statement of support butwas unable to attend. Thecelebration was held on 16 Octoberto coincide with Angela Lansbury’seighty-third birthday.Have you got news for us?If something’s been happening on your estate you want totell us about or you’ve got an idea about something you’dlike to see covered please get in touch! We want to knowwhat you want to see in future issues and we’re alwayskeen to find out what you think about Open Door – yournewsletter. Give us a call on 020 7364 7035/7173 or dropus a line to communication@towerhamletshomes.org.uk.11


020 7364 5015Getting in touchIt’s never been easier to contact your housingservices. Tower Hamlets Homes will deal promptlywith your enquiry whether you prefer to telephone,visit or use our website.Service 24/7 www.towerhamletshomes.org.ukHow to contact usWhether you want to report a repair, pay rent, getinvolved or just find out more about Tower HamletsHomes, our website is available 24 hours a day. Logon to towerhamletshomes.org.uk.If you don’t have a computer at home you can accessthe internet for free at the council’s Idea Stores.General Housing EnquiriesCustomer Contact Centre Telephone020 7364 5015.The Centre is open from 8am to 8 pm Monday toFriday and from 8 am to 4 pm on SaturdaysThis is the number to report local housing issuessuch as caretaking and parking to tenants’ rightsand responsibilities and anti-social behaviourHousing Repairs 0800 376 1637 – 24 hour helpline 0800 376 1638 – 24 hour helpline,Bengali / SylhetiHomeseekers’ Bidding Line 0845 270 2400 – 24 hour helplineYour local service centresASB – mini A-ZAnti Social Behaviour(24hr Free-phone hotline) 0800 917 5918Domestic Violence(24hr National help line) 0808 200 0247Hate Crime 0800 138 0521Noise Patrol 0207 364 5007Safer neighbourhood teams (SNT)If you witness or experience ASB please callyour SNT:Bethnal Green West 020 8721 2851Bethnal Green South 020 8721 2849Blackwall 020 8721 2877Bow East 020 8721 2807Bow West 020 8649 3521Bromley by Bow 020 8721 2041East India & Lansbury 020 7515 9466Limehouse 020 7721 2852Mile end & Globetown 020 8721 2853Mile End East 020 8721 2848Millwall 020 8721 2850Shadwell 020 8649 3524Spitalfields & Bangla Town 020 8721 2042St Dunstans & Stepney 020 8721 2808St Katherine’s & Wapping 020 8721 2854Weavers 020 8721 2043Whitechapel 020 8649 3520We can now provide our information onrequest in large print, audio and in ourmain community languages. Support isalso available in helping to learn English.TD 11483 Colibri Press Ltd. E8 2BTBethnal GreenLocal Service Centre1 Rushmead,Bethnal Green,London E2 6NEBow Local Service CentreGladstone Place,1 Ewart Place (off RomanRoad), London E3 5EQSouth PoplarLocal Service Centre15 Market Square, Chrisp St,London E14 6AQStepney and WappingLocal Service CentreCheviot House,227-233 Commercial Road,London E1 2BUMonday to Friday 9am–5pm, Saturdays 8am–4pmPrinted on recycled paperPlease recycle after use

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