News — articles for January 2019

Statement on replacement of non-compliant fire doors in council homes

Sutton Council and Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP) have committed to replacing all fire doors made out of glass reinforced plastic (GRP) composite material installed in Sutton’s council homes.

We are prioritising our works timetable following a review of the independent fire risk assessments of all our homes.

It is important to note that the National Fire Chiefs Council and the government’s independent expert panel have both said the risk GRP doors pose to safety is low.

The decision to replace all GRP fire doors is part of our commitment to improving safety beyond the legally required minimum, and ensures we are in line with recently published guidance from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.

Fire doors are just one of the many features that keep residents safe. Purpose built blocks like the ones we have in Sutton are designed with fire safety features built in, including fire breaks between properties and the use of non-flammable materials in construction.

We have invested in a series of fire safety improvement works which have been completed, are underway or will start shortly - including the installation or expansion of sprinkler systems in high rise blocks. It is the combination of all fire safety measures which keep a building safe. Overall safety is not compromised by an issue with one safety feature.

Safety is our primary concern and we are doing everything in our power, as quickly as possible, to ensure the homes we manage remain safe.

Cllr Jayne McCoy, Chair of Housing, Economy and Business Committee, Sutton Council and Steve Tucker, Managing Director, Sutton Housing Partnership

Age UK Sutton and Encompass arrive at Sutton Gate


Steve Tucker, Lorraine Thomas and Nicola Upton with new signage outside Sutton GatePeople in Sutton will now benefit from council tenant services, housing advice and support for older people under one roof.

A new building sharing arrangement between Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP), Age UK Sutton and Encompass LATC has brought the three organisations and the support services they offer under one roof.

SHP has welcomed Age UK Sutton and Encompass LATC to the Sutton Gate building on Sutton High Street. The move will bring housing and homelessness services in the borough closer together, and provides Age UK Sutton with a more visible and accessible location in the heart of Sutton High Street.

The move also supports the Sutton Plan, the plan to make Sutton a thriving place for everyone through partnerships between the public and voluntary sectors.

Age UK Sutton, an independent local charity supporting older people, and Encompass, which provides homelessness prevention services and manages the housing list for Sutton Council, moved into the building before Christmas. New signage was unveiled last week to make the move complete.

Sutton residents are now able to visit one building for housing support and to access information, advice and other services from Age UK Sutton. The move signals a new way of working for Sutton Housing Partnership, with fewer staff based in the central office and more out in the community.

Steve Tucker, Managing Director of Sutton Housing Partnership, said: “We’re delighted to have Age UK Sutton and Encompass working alongside us at Sutton Gate. Increasingly our staff are out in the community getting to know residents rather than in the office, so sharing the building makes perfect sense. We can now work in even closer partnership to deliver great services to council tenants, and have the benefit of working with Age UK Sutton to support our older residents especially.”

Nicola Upton, Chief Executive Officer of Age UK Sutton, said: “Age UK Sutton is very pleased to be at Sutton Gate. Its prominent and visible location on the top of the High Street will make it easier for older people and our community to access vital advice, support and other services. We look forward to working with our neighbours Sutton Housing Partnership and Encompass, whose support we welcome in making Sutton an age-friendly borough.”

Lorraine Thomas, Managing Director of Encompass LATC, said: “I am delighted that Encompass LATC are able to deliver services from Sutton Gate alongside Sutton Housing Partnership and Age UK Sutton. Working from one location to will enable a comprehensive advice and information service to the tenants and residents of the borough.”

For SHP residents looking to access their landlord’s services quickly and easily without the journey into Sutton, SHP’s website and online account are the best place to go: www.suttonhousingpartnership.org.uk/your-account

Age UK Sutton offers a range of services and support for people aged 50+ in the London Borough of Sutton. People looking for help and support can call the Age UK Sutton Helpline on 020 8915 2233, email info@ageuksutton.org.uk or contact the charity online at www.ageuk.org.uk/sutton. Age UK Sutton also operates a drop-in service from Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm at Sutton Gate.

 

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Fire door replacement programme update

Over the coming years, Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP) will be replacing all fire doors made out of glass reinforced plastic (GRP) composite material installed in the homes it manages.

The decision to replace GRP doors reflects recently published guidance from the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government. The new door will meet higher fire safety standards and make the homes we manage even safer.

If your home received a new GRP front door in the last five years, we will still replace it with a new one as part of our ongoing fire safety improvements.

The replacement programme will cost in the region of £3.5 million and will need to be phased over up to four years.

Does this mean the current doors aren't safe?

No. The National Fire Chiefs Council and the government’s independent expert panel have both said the risk GRP doors pose to safety is low. The decision to replace all GRP fire doors is part of our commitment to improving safety beyond the legally required minimum.

All doors can provide protection in a fire when closed. It is essential that doors are not tampered with after installation for them to remain safe. You must not remove automatic door closers as this will make fire doors less effective and could compromise fire safety of the entire building.

Fire doors are just one of the features keeping your home safe. Purpose built blocks like yours are built with fire safety features including fire breaks between properties and non-flammable materials used in construction.

When will you be doing the work? 

We are reviewing the fire risk assessments of all our blocks to determine how quickly doors will be replaced. We'll be writing to those affected soon with more information and a timeframe for replacment. 

 

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Big London Energy Switch - pay less for your bills

SHP is supporting a scheme to help you get a better deal on your gas and electricity bills.

The Big London Energy Switch is a collective energy switching scheme in which a group of local authority bodies, including SHP, join forces to help their residents pay less for their energy bills. 

The councils involved offer their residents the opportunity to group together and pay less for their energy. Here's how it works:
 

  1. Sign up for free

    You can sign up for the scheme for free and without obligation. Completing the registration form takes less than 5 minutes. You need to be signed up by 11 February

  2. Auction

    The Big London Energy Switch hold an auction for energy suppliers to submit their best offers. The supplier who offers the cheapest tariff will get to offer you a new contract. The more people who take part, the greater your chances are of getting a competitive energy deal! 

  3. Personal offer

    From 25 February you will receive your personal offer and you can see how much money you could save.

  4. You decide

    You have until 26 March to decide whether to accept your personal offer or not. If you accept the offer The Big London Energy Switch will take care of the entire switching process.
     

If you need any support completing the sign up form, our Welfare Support Officer Sharon Wright can help. Please contact Sharon by calling 020 8915 2000 and asking for her, or emailing shp.biglondonenergyswitch@gmail.com

Click here for more information and to sign up!


Big Energy Saving Week

SHP is supporting Big Energy Saving Week - a national campaign to help people cut their energy bills and get all the financial support they are entitled to.

Kicking off on 21 January, Big Energy Saving Week is run by the Citizens Advice and involves partners from all over the country. Visit their website for advice on energydebt and benefits and tips on how you can get the best energy deal. 

Find our more about Big Energy Saving Week

 

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Stay safe from scams

Scammers use clever schemes to trick people into giving them money or information. Some try to gain access to people's homes by pretending to be from companies like British Gas, or saying they're there on behalf of your landlord.

Unfortunately some of these scams have been reported in Sutton, and the police are working to stop them. Here are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself.

Ask for ID 

All SHP appointed contractors will make an appointment with you prior to visiting your home. All our contractors carry ID, and you can ask them to see it! If you want to verify any of our staff or contractors, please call us on 020 8915 2000.

Get scam smart

The Metropolitan Police have created 'The 10 golden rules to prevent fraud'. Learn these to protect yourself and your family from scams. 

The 10 golden rules to prevent fraud

Report it

If you think you’ve uncovered a scam, been targeted by a scam or fallen victim to fraudsters, report it here.

It's important to tell the police so they can do something about it - how else will they know to go after the fraudsters?

If you do fall victim to a scam, remember ther are lots of people in a similar position. Any information you share will help the police build a complete picture and stop the scammers. 

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