athome june 2004

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  • Inside...5. Face lift for Cheshir Hall

    6. Its time to spring into action

    7. Little fingers going green

    8. Barnet Homes how may we help you?

    Points make prizes

    athomeThe magazine exclusively for BarnetHomes tenants and leaseholdersEdition 2: June 2004

    A 72,000 scheme to tackle anti-social behaviour onthe Whitefields Estate is to offer young people pointsfor prizes in return for good behaviour.

    The innovative project encourages young people to participate inkeeping their environment clean through long and short term projects.These are aimed at making a positive difference to communal spacesand the community.

    The children will take part in indoor wall climbing, canoeing, dance anddrama productions as part of a summer programme aimed at findingother outlets for their energy. They will also be encouraged to take partin the weekly homework clubs.

    Community or voluntary work involving clean up campaigns, removinggraffiti and gardening, will earn the youngsters points. These can beused to buy in to activities such as visits to theme parks, water sports or galleries.

    continued overleaf....

  • 2 athome

    Funding for the project has come from a variety of sourcesincluding Barnet Homes, GenesisHousing Group which will run thescheme, the Community Chest,Local Network Funding andBuilding Safer Communities Unit.

    The scheme was first used on the Hendon Way estate. BarnetHomes hopes it will achieve thesame results of a reduction in anti-social behaviour, bring youngpeople from different backgroundstogether, a reduction in the cost of

    repairs and less fear of nuisanceand harassment. Following theHendon Way scheme the ActiveCitizens Youth Forum was set up by young people at the end of the summer to continue someof the projects.

    Staff, who will be based in anoffice on the estate, will work with the youngsters in the early evenings during term time and during the day in the school holidays.

    Sandra Charlemagne, of GenesisHousing Association said: Theseestates are not necessarily high incrime but there was a significantincrease in the reporting of low levelanti-social behaviour, in particulargraffiti. Prevention of crime orredirection of young people awayfrom anti-social behaviour andcrime helps to create a goodenvironment for us all.

    Points make prizes continued from cover

    Prevention of crime or redirection of young peopleaway from anti-social behaviour and crime helps tocreate a good environment for us all. Sandra Charlemagne

    15-year-old Liam Hudson of Garden House, on the Grange Estate,was handed the anti-social behaviour order (asbo) by magistrates lastmonth. It bans him from behaving in a way likely to cause harassment,alarm or distress or threaten or attempt to cause criminal damage toproperty or premises in the borough of Barnet.

    The order, which was obtained by working with the police, residents andBarnet Council, also forbids Hudson from associating with certainindividuals. If he breaks the order he could face up to five years in prison.

    Deputy chief executive of Barnet Homes, Derek Rust, said: We aredelighted to have secured this order because anti-social behaviourruins residents lives. Our tenants should expect to live in peace withtheir neighbours and this is a clear sign that we expect them to do soand will support them when others do not.

    Crackdown on anti-social behaviourOur tenants shouldexpect to live in peacewith their neighbours andthis is a clear sign thatwe expect them to do soand will support themwhen others do not. Derek Rust

    Barnet Homes is cracking down on anti-socialbehaviour and has issued its first order aimed atstopping a teenager from terrorising his community.

  • athome 3

    We hear you loud and clearConsultation, Consultation, Consultation at BarnetHomes its one of our favourite words because werenot mind readers. Customer feedback is one of the best ways to find out what you really think of ourstaff and services.

    We get feedback on servicesusing surveys, focus groups andmeetings with residents andcommunity groups.

    As a result Barnet Homes hasagreed six key areas to improveservices. These cover customercare issues, equalities, residentsparticipation, anti socialbehaviour, estate services andrepairs and maintenance.

    Recent surveys have shown that:

    overall tenant satisfaction withthe service is at 67 per cent

    just over 600 complaints werereceived between January andMarch 2004 of which 80 percent were answered withincorporate deadlines of 10 days

    81 per cent of the PartnershipPanels, which are run bytenant representatives, believetheir panels are running well

    the decoration vouchersystem is proving popular withnew tenants with 87 per centof permanent tenants and 93per cent of temporary tenantsexpressing satisfaction withthe project

    topping the charts is the bulkrubbish removal system whichreceived a score of 100 percent customer satisfaction.

    We will introduce an Asianhousing advice and translationsurgery in Sangam Centre. Two other surgeries should alsobe up and running by October2004 to serve the needs of ourethnic communities.

    It is also clear there are areaswhere you would like to seeimprovement. There is a low levelof satisfaction with the responsesto anti-social behaviour fromauthorities in general such as thepolice and Barnet Council. As a

    result Barnet Homes is setting upan Anti-Social Behaviour team andhas already secured its first asbo.

    Leaseholders, although satisfiedwith their homes and thesurrounding areas are not satisfiedwith their annual service charges.They will be given the opportunityto make their views known in fullat the Leaseholders Open Daywhich is to be held in July.

    Barnet Homes will be workingwith tenants and residents tomake good use of the informationyou have given us. By workingtogether we expect to achievedecent homes supported byquality services.

  • 4 athome

    New board for consultative panelThree new people have been appointed to the Barnet Housing Consultative Panelwhich is the main borough-wide residents forum. Residents on the PartnershipPanel send their representatives to the consultative panel.

    Residents Pauline King, DerrickChung were elected to therespective roles of chair and vice-chair and Pat Sullivan wasappointed by the group to thepost of secretary at the annualgeneral meeting on 27th April.

    The outgoing chair, Mr KennedyRoss, was thanked for his hardwork and dedication over the lasttwo years by the newcomers andthose attending the meeting. CllrBrian Salinger, Barnet Councilscabinet member for housing and

    regeneration praised Mr Rosssaying: The former chair filled the role admirably. Through hisleadership the panel strengthenedthe relationship between residentsand councillors, helping us towork together to create BarnetHomes and ultimately provideimproved housing.

    If you are interested in joining a partnership panel pleasecontact Yvonne Williams,residents participation officer on 020 8359 4821.

    The former chair filledthe role admirably.Through his leadershipthe panel strengthenedthe relationshipbetween residents andcouncillors. Cllr Brian Salinger

    Improving customer careSeveral services offered by Barnet Homes have beenrevamped to provide a better deal for customers.

    These include setting up three teams to deal withNeighbourhoods. These willconcentrate on managing theCaretaking service, monitoring the grounds maintenance service,organising the estate action days and developing residentconsultation and involvement.

    The North team covers HighBarnet, East Barnet, Oakleigh,Brunswick Park, Underhill,Coppetts and Totteridge.

    The South team covers WestFinchley, Woodhouse, EastFinchley, Finchely Church End,Golders Green, Childs Hill andGarden Suburb.

    The third team is the Burnt Oakteam covering Edgware, Hale,Burnt Oak, Colindale, WestHendon, Hendon and Mill Hill.

    An anti-social behaviour team will now offer a single point ofcontact for customers reporting

    nuisance and anti-socialbehaviour. It will supportwitnesses and victims, identifyhotspots and develop plans towork with other agencies totackle problems.

    And the rental income team willwork closely with the BarnetCouncil housing benefits team to help residents maximise their income.

  • athome 5

    Face lift for Cheshir Hall

    The makeover, which is the firstin 22 years, involves a newkitchen, bathroom, flooring,lighting and freshly painted walls.Pupils from St Marys HighSchool have helped to decoratethe walls with paintings basedon an environment, recycling orseaside theme. The best ofthese will be awarded a prize.

    As we went to press plans wereunderway to celebrate the newlook centre with an open day.Residents will be able to see theprogress Barnet Homes hasbeen making since it took over

    management of council housing.Well have more details and aphoto spread in our next edition.

    Roy Dunn, a resident caretakeron Belle-Vue Estate for 30 years,is to be honoured at the re-opening of Cheshir Hall for hisdedicated service and to markthis milestone in his career.

    He said: Ive watched peoplegrow up on this estate, getmarried and have children. There have been sad times when people have passed awayand happy times like when my

    son was born 27 years ago andall the elderly residents knittedhim gifts. I get on well with all the children here, they talk to meand I find if you treat them withkindness and respect they do the same to you.

    Roy added: This may be a 16storey block but its lovely. Thereare people of all nationalities hereand they all get on well andeveryone is excited about theimproved kitchens and bathroomsand things planned for the estate.

    More than 35,000 has been spent refurbishing a well-used but rundown com