BGreen progress June 2015

BGreen progress report July 2015
1. Background:
The BGreen project started as a collaborative partnership between First Choice Homes, Oldham Council, British Gas, NHS Oldham
and Forrest Construction with a £20m improvement programme into 1400 homes owned by First Choice Homes and owner
occupiers, to support residents in finding solutions to address the deep rooted problems in five estates in the St Mary’s and
Coldhurst Wards in Oldham. There are two clear aims of the project. The first concerns the physical improvements to 1400 homes
and environment: replacement of the obsolete district heating system; improving the thermal insulation to 627 of the properties;
replacement kitchens and bathrooms; and environmental works to improve the poor environment and address concerns linked to
community safety.
The second element of the BGreen Project is to address some of the deep rooted challenges these communities face resulting from
years of decline and social isolation. Without addressing this second element of the programme the investment in homes will not
change the lack of aspiration, wider health and social economic problems these communities face. To support this we are providing
a local HUB to enable public sector partners to deliver localised services and refurbished community spaces to facilitate meetings
and events. We have secured further funding for this aspect of the project including £50,000 from Public Health Oldham for local
wellbeing programmes, and £49,000 from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for an employment initiative for single
The strategic context for focusing on BGreen is the commitment by Oldham Leadership Board and its partners to pilot how public
services can be reformed to deliver better and more cost effective outcomes for the residents. Therefore the approach we have
adopted in developing the interventions will complement and assist in ensuring the Oldham’s Co-operative Housing Offer becomes
‘real’. We are investing in 6 co-operative pledges (details of these are in pages 6-9) to drive behaviour change which enables the
community to become more resilient and make the BGreen Quarter an area of choice.
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BGreen progress report July 2015
2. Progress and overarching activity:
The physical aspect of the project includes the installation of the new bio-mass boiler and external wall insulation (EWI). The biomass boiler is now fully operational and the temporary boiler houses are in the process of being decommissioned and the EWI to
627 properties is nearing completion. This is expected to finish on site at the end of July 2015, with the exception of Millrise which
is an addition to the programme. This is just starting on site and will be completed in August 2015.
Steering groups have been established for three Cooperative Agreements we are developing. These agreements focus on the
aspects of the project which are dependent on eliciting behaviour changes from our customers. The Health Agreement is looking
at how customers access the right service at the right time, with a focus on self-help. The BWarm agreement recognises the
significant physical changes detailed above, and is therefore about equipping customers with the tools and knowledge for them to
maximise their income and ensure they are warm and comfortable in their homes. The BProud agreement is focused on customers
being proud of their homes and neighbourhoods, and emphasises the role that they play in this through being a good neighbour,
adhering to their conditions of tenancy and reporting anti-social behaviour (ASB). The customer group that has been set up to
develop the resident offer has a strong nucleus of 9 people who meet on a weekly basis; they are working alongside us to expand
membership to a more representative cohort. In the two months that they have been in existence they have agreed a name OL1;
created a logo to use in all their communication; made a Facebook page for the group; and they are in the process of creating
their own webpages. We are currently developing service offers for review by the customer group, and on target to have draft
agreements ready for wider consultation in September.
We are working closely with Early Help and are contributing to their outcomes by utilising the same assessment tools as the Early
Help offer. This close working should ensure we reduce duplication of services. A focus of work has been engaging with the
community outreach worker element of the early help offer to enable a localised offer of health checks, and delivering a referral
route to help for residents.
The strength of partnership with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) has continued to yield results in BSafe. In particular we are
providing CCTV evidence to support action in criminal cases; and evidence from warrants executed by GMP has been provided,
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BGreen progress report July 2015
allowing us to take action for tenancy breaches detailed in the outcomes below. We have been able to close 4 of the top 10
perpetrator cases recently, 3 of these were closed as a result of this close working. Burnley Street continues to be highlighted as
the key estate in the area in respect of this pledge due to the high number of residents’ misuse of drugs and alcohol, in particular
class A drugs. In addition to the partnership with GMP we have established a closer working relationship with the One Recovery
Team, and are currently exploring how the two organisations can work more collaboratively. This includes a worker co-locating at
the Lord Street Hub on a regular basis.
We have begun delivery of a series of environmental events with partners in July 2015. This
includes a 2 day programme in partnership with Oldham MBC and Mahdlo working with Year
6 pupils from Holy Cross Primary school designing wheelie bin stickers, a litter pick, and
finding the children’s’ opinions of what they do and don’t like about living in BGreen. This is
to be followed up with an estate clean up and identifying which children would like to
become Young Environmental Champions. Further work has been taking place with
residents to encourage recycling and the correct use of facilities to reduce the incidence of
bin contamination.
As previously mentioned the physical aspects of BWarm are almost complete and we are now turning our attention to the people
elements such as behaviour change work and energy switching. We are also in the process of appointing of a Trainee, to support
the work of the Energy Officer. This post is funded directly from the BGreen budget, will be recruited to via Get Oldham Working
(GOW) and will be looking to fill the post with a resident from BGreen.
Incredible Aqua Farm has continued to deliver opportunities for customers to grow their
own fruit and vegetables, and learn about healthy eating as part of the Meal Deal which has
been funded primarily by Public Health, with additional funding from AKSA homes and
Contour Homes. The number of community growing spaces has increased, and they
continue to be well run by the community volunteers. There has been a month’s delay in
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BGreen progress report July 2015
the delivery of the Live Well element of the Meal Deal by OCL, and we now have a planned programme of activities to take place
over the school holiday period as anticipated.
Forever Manchester are continuing to deliver their Asset Based Community Development (ABCD)
approach to community building. They have connected with an additional 189 customers in last
period, over 75% of whom had not previously engaged with FCHO. The most notable achievement
this period has been making connections with a group of Bangladeshi Women at the school gate
‘bumping space’. The assets of this group, who have not previously engaged with FCHO staff, have
been explored following which they have been encouraged to start their own community projects in
BGreen via Cash for Graft. A number of the Cash for Graft projects are now ‘on site’ including a
community café, community garden and growing projects.
Get Oldham Working (GOW) are keen for FCHO to work with them to increase the numbers of Oldham residents registered with
GOW and assist them into employment. We have developed a pilot programme of increased support for FCHO customers within
the existing GOW framework, and this has just gone live. We recognise the importance of volunteering to support many individuals
becoming work ready, and are currently supporting a total of 7 volunteers who live in the BGreen area, with a further individual
being supported on a Job Centre Plus placement in our One Point Team. Good progress has been made with the Parents
Employment Project (PEP) for lone parents funded by DWP. This is being delivered by Groundwork who began working on the
contract in April. So far they have made initial appointments with 36 lone parents against their annual target of 80. Two residents
have already been supported into work.
The Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) has been commissioned and this will give us an academic overview of the impact
of the project; and support us in developing a monitoring and evaluation framework for us to assess whether it has had the
anticipated transformative effect in creating increased resilience of both individuals and communities.
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BGreen progress report July 2015
A communications plan has been developed to raise and coordinate the communications of the project to improve awareness of
the project both internally and externally. Twitter sessions have been held with the Pledge Leads to increase social media activity
related to the project. Further work is nearing completion to develop webpages for each of the BGreen pledges, and once complete
the information will be used to develop a Facebook page.
Current performance figures are positive in that satisfaction continues to rise in all areas. The most significant rise is in those
expressing satisfaction of views taken into account.
There has been an increase in the number of voids and arrears as in other areas of the borough. The increase in voids is generally
attributable to a high number of deaths, combined with a number of overcrowded households moving from 1-bed flats in Barker
Street to FCHO houses. The arrears increase is higher than elsewhere (19% compared with 3.1%), and this is not thought to be
due to Universal Credit. An analysis of tenancy reviews suggest that some of the increase in arrears can be attributed to a high
number of people in and out of work due to temporary employment contracts.
Overarching Performance
Year end 2014
Satisfaction with FCHO Overall Service
Year end 2015
Current position
Satisfaction with Neighbourhoods as a place to live
Satisfaction with Views taken into account
cases in arrears
cases in arrears
Total arrears for BGreen
Number of arrears cases in BGreen
High level ASB cases
cases in arrears
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BGreen progress report July 2015
The Pledges Outputs and Outcomes:
What is our pledge
Ensure residents access the advice and
services to improve health and wellbeing
 Reduce Health inequalities in the
BGreen neighbourhoods
 Provide a transparent Health and
Wellbeing Offer to residents
The community is empowered to
engage with service providers to tailor
services that address the diverse needs
of the BGreen communities
 Empower
transparent communication
 Understand the priorities
 Share knowledge
Steering group for Health
and partners developing
service offers
Weekly drop in and grow
sessions being held at
Barker Street.
Entry and exit surveys
customers participating in
the Meal Deal
Continued high levels of customer and
professional engagement to develop
the agreements. Community capacity
Storyboards suggest that attendance
at Meal Deal events is leading to
reduced social isolation.
Customers have access to low cost
healthy food and increased ability to
eat healthily.
Shortlisted in the ‘most innovative or
specialist scheme’ in the National
Housing Awards 2015 for the Meal
Barker Street Greenfingers
group formed
189 people engaged in the
last 3 months
29 Community Connectors
As a constituted group they can apply
for £17,000 funding to Lifelong
Learning and Awards for All to allow
them to begin capacity building.
Increasing the number of customers
we are engaged with, and who are
active in the ABCD approach leading
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BGreen progress report July 2015
What is our pledge
 Encourage ideas, options and
listening to feedback to redefine
 Decide together on what is
needed and form the most
appropriate partnership to deliver
 Support community initiatives
applications received by
Forever Manchester to
date, of which 15 have
received funding and 7
have commenced.
Supporting good neighbours and taking
action against those who cause
problems so that residents are proud of
their homes and their neighbourhood
126 tenancy visit carried
out in May and June
warning letters issued for
infringement of tenancy
related to environmental
issues and untidy gardens
complying with tenancy
conditions following issue
of final warning
Holy Cross environmental
awareness session
 Zero tolerance to breaches of
tenancy conditions
 Providing clean safe and well
managed environmental open
 Engage with public and voluntary
services to provide support for
vulnerable tenants to help them
sustain their tenancy
Creating sustainable jobs for residents
of BGreen
to increased individual and community
Engaging with an increasingly diverse
range of customers.
Customers are recognising their
assets and acting on this to deliver
activities in the community for a wider
benefit. This in turn is reducing social
individuals employability.
Referrals for identified vulnerability: 6
to tenancy support, 4 to early help, 2
to complex case panel, 1 safeguarding
and 1 to key ring.
Increase in people maintaining their
gardens and cash for graft funded
Community Gardens is increasing
sense of pride in the neighbourhood.
engagement with school children
about recycling, bin contamination
and the impact of litter.
36 lone parents had initial Low proportion of customer success
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BGreen progress report July 2015
What is our pledge
 The BGreen Partnership will
ensure its spending will deliver
sustainable employment in the
BGreen neighbourhoods
 Commit to the Living Wage
 Commit to the Fair Employment
 Create opportunities for local
residents to volunteer
Residents live in a safe neighbourhood
and home
 Report it Get it Sorted Campaign
adopting the priorities in AntiSocial Behaviour Crime and
Policing Act 2014: Reform of ASB
assessment carried out
Project (PEP) since April
and 2 have moved into
 Database of customers
registrations and being
used to target approach.
 7 volunteers living on
BGreen being supported.
 2 week digital training
programme held at Barker
Street, and is currently
being evaluated.
 Three new trainee posts
and the budget for them
have been identified as
part of the BGreen project
at interview highlighted as an issue.
Interview workshops and 1-2-1
support now being provided delivering
improved employability.
Long term perpetrator removed from
the neighbourhood.
A reduction in drug related nuisance
on the estates.
Reinforcement of the Zero tolerance
5 warrants executed in
partnership with GMP
2 terminations following
joint working with GMP
2 NoSP issued for drug
Increased awareness of residents to
target for Employment and Skills
(E&S) opportunities.
Residents have access to good quality
preparation for work.
Enhanced digital skills of customers
attending the training package
including work search skills.
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BGreen progress report July 2015
What is our pledge
Improve reporting of domestic
abuse and exploitation of women
Zero tolerance to noise nuisance
Zero tolerance to drug and
alcohol abuse in FCHO homes
Provide advice and improvements
to make homes safe
100% compliance with tenancy
Information and the tools to enable
residents to reduce their fuel costs
 Reduce fuel poverty through
behavioural change
 Provide information to sign post
providers to reduce fuel costs
 Commitment to support the
Providers Anti-Poverty Pledge
offences and further 3
Possession Order obtained
for 9 Florian House
message to perpetrators and other
Homes and neighbourhoods feeling
safer places to live.
3 water meter referrals
made April – June
1 new installation
2 assessed water charges
referrals made April – June
125 households switched
Increased identification of residents in
fuel poverty.
Improved partnership with Drug and
Alcohol team including working from
Lord Street Hub one day a week.
Increased energy awareness of
residents engaged with, and improved
financial resilience of individuals with
community switch and £43.30 on prepayment switches.
4. Next Steps
Continuing to work in partnership to deliver on the pledges, and evaluate the successes and learning from the various actions
taking place in BGreen. Where appropriate taking activities out into other neighbourhoods.
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BGreen progress report July 2015
Improvement works for EWI and internal improvements will be complete in residents’ homes. Environmental Works contract for
Coldhurst will be let and work progressing on site. The contact for further environmental works on St Mary’s and Barker Street will
be going out to tender in July with an anticipated start on site in the autumn.
The contract to procure the communal upgrades to the Coldhurst blocks is currently out to tender. We anticipate that this will be
let in July and the successful contractor will be on site with this work in August 2015. The proposals for this includes new entrances
incorporating glass curtain walling to open up stairwells; refurbished communal internals and staircases, including new floor
covering and decorating. The contract for the communal upgrades of Burnley Street and Egerton Street will be going out to tender
before the end of July and we expect this to start on site in the autumn.
Appointing individuals living in BGreen to the three 6-month traineeship posts as part of the GOW employment initiative.
Explore options for issuing Community Protection Notices for low level noise nuisance with Community Safety team at OMBC and
Publicise Lord Street as a third party reporting centre to increased customer awareness of available options for reporting domestic
Sustaining the progress of Cooperative Agreements by keeping key stakeholders engaged and focused on in the establishment of
service offers for each of the areas, consultation with the community, and developing and supporting the group of customers
working on this with us.
Supporting the work of Centre for Local Economic Studies (CLES) in particular liaising between CLES and Forever Manchester in the
utilising of the individuals they have identified as Community Connectors to engage with the wider resident cohort.
Identifying progress against the overarching outcomes framework. We expect to be able to update on those in the next few
months, pending the Ward Profile updates.
Continue with the implementation of our communications plan, including a high profile event with national celebrity on 21st August.
Ensuring awareness of the project continues to grow both internally and externally.
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