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Council to raise the roof at event promoting new scheme to create tenants and lease-holders voice


May 30, 2016 #newcastle

On Wednesday June 1st from 11:00am – City Council tenants and lease-holders are invited to a free ‘open house’ event at Brunswick Methodist Church in Newcastle city centre (next to Fenwick department store); aimed at letting people know about a new scheme that will help to increase their voice.

Newcastle Independent Tenant Voice (NITV) looks to connect in new ways with the Council’s current 26,000 tenants and lease-holders; and also to network them with their neighbours and the local community.

The new four-year scheme aims to address ‘overall Council housing issues’ under one roof and urge people to bring their ideas to the table. NITV is looking for tenants and lease-holders to form and sit on a panel that will meet regularly to discuss current housing matters. The new scheme aims to update the way we collect tenant’s views to help shape Council policy and services.

NITV is wanting to encourage the use of digital means including social media. These outlets are already in place but NITV looks to enhance, engage, utilise and channel them to ensure that people’s views are heard greater.

Councillor Jane Streather, Newcastle City Council’s cabinet member for public health and housing, said: “Newcastle Independent Tenant Voice is the perfect way for tenants and lease-holders to get their ideas and concerns across. We hope they come along to the event to chat with our housing staff, and even consider volunteering their time to join the NITV panel.

“The encouragement to use digital technology will provide residents with a valuable means to communicate with the housing team, especially as most households have access to mobile phones and computer devices – which will offer an alternative channel to talk with the Council.

“We also recognise that people have different lifestyles and day-to-day pressures that means organised meetings aren’t always for everyone, which will make the new scheme accessible to more people.”

NITV will be a mantle for partnership working that will allow the continued partnership work between the City Council’s Communities Team (CT), the Fairer Housing Unit (FHU) and Your Homes Newcastle (YHN).

One Newcastle lease-holder, who is best placed to talk about the advantages of a scheme like NITV is Elizabeth Wilson-Halliday. Elizabeth, aged 63, has lived in her current Shieldfield home for over thirty-five years, fifteen of those as a lease-holder.  She is also the Chair of Shieldfield Community Forum Café, which means she is in contact with people from the Newcastle community on a daily basis.  Before Elizabeth retired, she enjoyed a number of different jobs including working in a butcher’s shop in the Grainger Market, and as a city centre barmaid for 17-years.  Elizabeth has three children, George (aged 45), Clare (aged 40) and Zoe (aged 28) – she also has two grandchildren Jade (aged 23) and Grant (aged 19).

“I think that the new scheme will be really useful as all tenants and lease-holders will be able to have a voice and make a difference,” said Elizabeth.

She added: “On a daily basis we get a good cross section of the local community popping into the café for a natter, and there’s nothing better than being able to get something off of your chest either in person, over the phone or in this day-and-age, online.

“I hope that people who are passionate about where they live and who want to improve the upkeep of not only their own properties but also the surrounding community – come forward and put their name down for being on the panel or just take an added interest in the scheme. The open event is the best way of finding out more information about how to get involved.”

The free open event will be taking place on Wednesday June 1st between 11:00am and 7:00pm at Brunswick Methodist Church (NE1 7BJ). There is no need to book, refreshments will be available and everybody is welcome.
There will be an artist present all day, who will be helping people create and capture, on paper, the potential new identity for NITV. The scheme is aimed at local people with the idea they will have ownership over the programme from how it is operated through to the logo design.

If people aren’t able to attend in person, the use of technology is encouraged as live web-chats will be taking place all day through the Council’s “Let’s Talk Newcastle” Facebook page or people can leave comments on www.letstalknewcastle.co.uk

Also, if any tenants and lease-holders have any special requirements in order to get their views across, please don’t hesitate in contacting the Council to discuss the options available to you.

People can talk to a member of the NITV team by calling (0191) 277 1807 and (0191) 277 2066, or by emailingnitv@newcastle.gov.uk

Once the initial branding exercise is complete and everybody is happy – there will be official NITV social media pages including Facebook and Twitter for people to leave their feedback.

By admin