We're supporting Council Homes Chat. A campaign to bust the myths of council housing by telling the positive stories of peoples experiences of being a tenant in social housing. Read about the campaign and how you can add your voice.
The play area in Talbot Close, Highbridge is set for a make-over after discussions with residents, town and district councillors. Talbot Close is a small park with play equipment that is out of date and is in need of replacement. The park is very near to Apex Park which also has a play area.
Local residents have been consulted on what they would like to see in the park and asked to choose between a traditional play park, community garden with vegetable planting or a community garden with shrubs and informal play equipment installed. The results are that a replacement multi-play unit with a slide and safety surfacing and either a see-saw or roundabout will be installed to supplement the swings which will remain in place.
The existing wooden palisade fencing will also be replaced with traditional play area style fencing which will be 1.2m bow top galvanised with two self-closing pedestrian gates.
A tender specification now needs to be drawn up. Once a firm has been chosen, a timetable for the works will be agreed.
My Home Energy Switch
On average tenants have saved £108.64 using My Home Energy Switch so why not call and see how much you can save?
My Home Energy Switch is a FREE, impartial, hassle free switching service specifically set up for social housing tenants. It takes just minutes and you can switch to the cheapest possible provider and have your energy tariffs fixed to protect you against future price hikes.
You can use this free service either by visiting the user friendly website My Home Energy Switch or, if you would prefer to speak to someone over the phone, you can call free on 0800 0014 706
The customer service team at My Home Energy Switch will guide you through the whole process and take care of all the paperwork. All you need is your postcode and a copy of your most recent energy bill and they will do the rest!
And... you can switch suppliers if you have a prepayment meter!
Improve your computer skills and get online- for free!
So you can get online in a relaxed and secure environment Sedgemoor Digital Link has set-up FREE web access sessions at Burnham's Octopus Children's Centre. These sessions will run every Wednesday from the 30th April between 1:00 and 3:00pm. The centre offers a safe, friendly environment to access the web for tasks such as Universal Job Match, learning new computer skills, finding training opportunities or job searching as well as registering for welfare Benefits or paying bills online.
If you're not sure where to start with a computer or just need to brush your IT skills, have no fear, our experienced and friendly volunteers will be on hand to help. As more and more services become 'digital', a basic knowledge of IT is really important. This is a great opportunity to learn some new skills whilst knowing free support is on-hand to guide you. All equipment is provided all you need to bring is yourself.
The centre is located on Winchester Road in Burnham-on-Sea next to the Infants School.
This service is scheduled every Wednesday for the next year. We are hopeful, upon receipt of funding, that we can extend these sessions to other areas of the district.
For more information please call Homes in Sedgemoor on 0800 585360, pop into your local job centre, or call the North Sedgemoor Children's Centre Cluster on 01278 780665.
If you have good IT Skills and are able to volunteer to support these sessions please contact Somerset You Can Do on 01278 664180.
Somerset Savings and Loans is a local credit union offering safe savings accounts and affordable loans. Save for a rainy day, including Christmas, or into a cash ISA or Member's Bonus Bond for longer-term savings. Loans up to £10,000 are available depending on income and there is no waiting period between joining as a member and applying for a loan. Interest on loans is charged daily and there are no early repayment penalties. We can also offer a basic-type bank account linked to a pre-paid Visa debit card. Anybody living or working in Somerset can join. See www.somersetsavingsandloans.org.uk for more details or telephone 01275 390650.
Proposed changes to our Tenancy Policy
Homes in Sedgemoor, on behalf of Sedgemoor District Council is updating its Tenancy Policy. The Tenancy Policy outlines which tenancies we will use and how they will be used.
Under recent legal changes, Homes in Sedgemoor now has the option to introduce Flexible Tenancies, which are fixed term secure tenancies. A Flexible Tenancy will offer the same rights as a Secure Tenancy, eg the right to buy, right to exchange, and right to assign and succeed, but for a fixed period of time. A Flexible Tenancy will last between 5 and 7 years.
If we do introduce Flexible Tenancies the key points to consider are:
If you are currently a Homes in Sedgemoor tenant this change will not affect you. There will be no changes to the tenancies of existing tenants.
If you are already a Secure Tenant of Homes in Sedgemoor or a Secure Tenant of another Council or Housing Association and want to move to a Homes in Sedgemoor property in future you will continue to be a Secure Tenant. These changes will not impact on you.
Some other tenants who move into a Homes in Sedgemoor tenancy in the future will also be granted a Secure Tenancy on the successful completion of an Introductory Tenancy, these include:
Tenants who are eligible to enter a Council owned Extra-Care and Sheltered Housing Scheme.
People in receipt of a State Pension.
Serving and retired members of the Armed Forces who have suffered serious injury, illness or disability.
Bereaved spouses of those who served the Armed Forces.
Households where at least one family member is disabled.
For all other new tenants we will give a 12 month Introductory Tenancy, as is the case currently, followed by a Flexible Tenancy.
These changes will impact between 100-200 new tenants each year.
When we asked tenants what they thought of these proposed changes in October and November 2013, the people we spoke to were broadly in favour. 58% said 'Yes they thought Homes in Sedgemoor should introduce Flexible Tenancies', 31% said 'No' and 12% said 'I don't know'.
The reasons why we are considering introducing Flexible Tenancies are as follows:
To make best use of housing stock by ensuring the people that most need those homes, in terms of location, size and facilities, get them
To improve our ability to manage persistent low level anti-social behaviour and nuisance
To improve our ability to manage tenants who fail to look after their home and respect their neighbours
The final two points don't apply to the vast majority of our tenants, but introducing Flexible Tenancies will improve our ability to manage incidents where these issues arise.
We are really interested in finding out what you think - why not get in touch and let us know!
Watch out for bogus callers - check their ID badges
Homes in Sedgemoor have been notified of bogus callers in the area by Avon and Somerset Constabulary. A company calling itself SWRP is trying to measure up for new heating systems, and is trying to pass itself off as a genuine contractor. This has mainly occurred in Highbridge, Axbridge and Cheddar.
If you are visited by any personnel you are not expecting, or who look suspicious, please call 0800 585360 or 01278 552400 for clarification before allowing them in.
Remember - A genuine tradesperson will be very happy to wait while you check their ID.
The latest flood warnings and advice are available from the Environment Agency Floodline on 0845 988 1188.