Presentation on theme: "How SEAL is making a difference. Introduction The main talking point for today’s presentation will be a report from our Secretary, Judith Codarin, on."— Presentation transcript:
Introduction The main talking point for today’s presentation will be a report from our Secretary, Judith Codarin, on the fantastic success of SEAL’s first Street Blitz. This will be followed by a brief few words from myself on why it is vital for you to become a SEAL Member and join with us in promoting what we are doing.
Street Blitz Update Selected streets were Whitegate, Quebec, Baltic, Portland, York Avenue, Heygate, Chancellor and Herbert Grove. Calling cards announced the survey and clean-up Sunday. The cards (and banners for the Clean-up) used designs by local children. 25 people carried out the survey in the 7 streets. Before and After photos were taken by Turning Tides and participants. 40 adults, plus residents, and at least 30 young people took part in the clean-up. Landlords, Agents and many Councillors helped. Data is about to be published, as well as an analysis of what residents are concerned about, and what they would like in each street.
The Street Blitz calling card, showing designs by local children, SEAL donated a prize for each design used.
Street Blitz Findings SEAL has caught the imagination of businesses, agents and Multi-agencies and attracted funding and sponsership. GBN Skips and the Echo were amazing in their generosity, as well as certain agents. The work to achieve this initiative has moved SEAL forward, through research into funding and volunteering, and most of all, in team building. The residents like living in these streets. These streets are gateways into, and out of the town, for workers, families and visitors to the centre and the nightspots, as well as residential streets. Surely they deserve different consideration to streets that do not serve so many purposes and expectations. Each street has a hero landlord, manager or agent, some lucky streets have more than one hero. One even pays to clear another landlords rubbish!
Rubbish, Rubbish, Rubbish Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish - what to do with it? No where to put it because there was nothing like the rubbish of today, when the property was built, and then later split into several households, so it is left in the gardens and the streets. Where there are several flats under different ownership and no rubbish storage has been put in place by the freeholder. HMO’s without rubbish storage or rubbish management without the regard to the legal requirement. Sofas and Mattresses dumped or left in front gardens for a long time.
Front Gardens and Paths – Derelict Entrance paths in dangerous disrepair, likely to trip any user. Old walls and fences collapsed giving the street, and the property, a neglected and run down appearance. Landscaping cracked and broken, with years of weed roots left to make surfaces uneven and dangerous.
Anti – Social Behaviour, Alleys and Parking Complaints about tenants living in HMO’s not being managed. Complaints about specific residents. Requests for more policing of the streets. A couple of alleys needing firmer management despite gates. Parking issues with Job Centre Staff and other workers.
What would Residents Like to Happen Somewhere to put rubbish for each property so the bags cannot be ripped open and contents strewn all over. Proper collection points in the street which can be cleared daily as Cory already collects more often than once a week. Firm management and maintenance by landlords and agents, with a particular landlord named for allowing distressing amounts of rubbish to accumulate. Gardens to have regular care. Trees for York Avenue, and flower baskets for others. Ramps for youths. Each street has Residents interested in forming Residents Groups to improve the street and sustain the improvement.
Next Steps of Blitz Plan Develop the idea of the umbrella Community Network(and Website) for Residents, to inform and support Residents and Community Groups with ready guidance and funding, as no one knows who to go to for help yet. Develop the Residents Groups in each street that SEAL has helped to clear, so that the Residents know what to do about each issue. Encourage the forming or strengthening through our support, of Residents Groups whose streets SEAL has not yet visited. Work through the reduction of ASB and Policing through the NAP network. Support the Residents in their lobbying regarding parking and alleys. Continue the Blitz by working alongside another Multi-Agency initiative headed by the Job Centre, who will survey then visit selected streets in order to help the Residents. SEAL can then organise a Blitz with the Residents Group.
What can you do? Landlords please ensure you have sufficient strong storage for rubbish to last between collections, bottom line at least one wheely bin per unit, in either the front or back gardens. A brick storage area would be the ultimate investment and would give your property better presentation to strengthen your business. Agents please inform your landlords that the above is a requirement to avoid the interest of Environmental Health, and that other improvements are being made in the area and they need to shape up or the bad condition will attract unwanted attention. Please refurbish your front gardens so that they look well maintained, again to avoid the interest of the authorities. Managers of HMO’s please ensure you are complying with the Management of HMO Regulations 2006 to avoid the attention of the authorities. SEAL understands your issues and will try to support you through Multi-Agency contacts. Help us to raise the property values in the area through a little joint investment, which will help you to avoid a lot of hassle, stress and wasted time and voids.
What will SEAL do about these issues? Discuss and action improved methods for rubbish collection with the Council. Initially talk to colleagues about improving their presentation and management of their property, but to eventually inform the Council of dangerous derelict property needing upgrading. Negotiate with the Council for the provision of trees for York Avenue. Discuss ways to inform users of the ‘Gateway into Town’. Could it be high level flower baskets, or other treatments. Discuss some form of play/ramp area with the experts. Continue to apply for Community Funding to assist each street group.
Thank you for listening The whole process of organising and carrying out the Street Blitz has raised public awareness of what Seal is all about: reducing ASB, raising the standards of rented property, improving the street scene, and sustaining the improvements. As we have previously stated, being a SEAL Member demonstrates to potential and existing tenants, and to the local Council, that you are striving to achieve a high standard. We have found that, after the initial adjustment period, working out how to fulfil the SEAL Code of Conduct, plus the support we have provided to each other, membership of SEAL has made each of us more professional, and improved our businesses considerably.
Conclusion Being a Member of SEAL will never stop complaints being made by your tenants. But by clearly advising your tenants what your membership is all about, any complaint arising will be made to us at SEAL first, and if you comply with the SEAL requirements you are less likely to have the PSH inspecting your property, and fining you for every point they can pick you up on. With the assistance and tools provided by Seal, such as the property inspection process, you are providing protection for yourself, the Landlord, and Agents are protecting your landlord customers, because you will be able to prove to the Council that you have already met all the requirements, and the tenant has signed the inspection form to further confirm these facts.
You will all have had an application form placed on your seat and if you are not already a member, could you please fill this in and give it to Tina Shepherd Compliance and Monitoring Officer of SEAL