Our Young Apprentice programme has made it through to the shortlist for a national award that celebrates the best community projects.
The project, which helps young people prepare for work, was among those selected from almost 180 entries for the National Housing Federation's Community Impact Awards.
We've got our fingers crossed as we go up against other regional schemes on 1 May in Clevedon near Bristol. We will be competing to win the regional award in the National Housing Federation's Investing in People category against Plymouth Community Homes and Yarlington Housing Group.
The project that wins this category on the night will join others from around the country in the national shortlist and a national judging day decide which of the final category winners goes to the national finals in central London on 12 June 2014.
So far two public meetings have been held, at both meetings anti-social behaviour from local children has been raised as a concern.
As part of the Neighbourhood Agreement we would like to address this. We would therefore like to invite children aged 8-16 years to a youth consultation meeting. At the meeting they will have an opportunity to tell us what activities they enjoy, what facilities they would like to see and find out how they could win a Matchday Experience at Yeovil Town Community Football Club.
Venue: Woolavington Community Hall Date: Thursday 24th April 2014 Time: 4:00pm
Please encourage your children to come along and have their say about activities or facilities that we may be able to provide in the near future. The first ten children who attend (and participate in the meeting) will receive a £5 voucher.
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.