Welcome to Tenant Focus. If you have any feedback or suggestions on what content you would like to see please email communications@swindon.gov.uk

Win £250 in time for Christmas

Your next non-payment week will run from Monday 23 December to Sunday 29 December 2019 (week 39). Tenants with a clear rent account by Friday 20 December 2019 will be entered into a prize draw to win a £250 prize. Tenants will be given four chances to win.

Check your rent account balance

We have a new contractor for electrical checks

We are pleased to welcome on board our new contractor Newey. Newey will be sending letters and making telephone calls to tenants to book in electrical safety checks. These checks are for fixed wiring in the home and should take 2-3 hours to complete. Initial work will commence in Penhill, the checks will be rolled out to other areas in the New Year.

If you have received a call or letter and would like to check that it is genuine contact Newey on 01384 566668 or email dawn.davis@neweygroup.com.

Call 01384 566668 or email dawn.davis@neweygroup.com

Have you heard about the Warm Homes discount scheme?

You could receive £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2019 to 2020 under the Warm Homes Discount Scheme. The money is a one-off discount on your electricity bill and will not be paid directly to you. You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity.

Find out more about the Warm Home Discount Scheme

Christmas and New Year waste and recycling collections

Over the festive period you may receive some minor changes to your waste and recycling collections.

Black wheelie bin, recycling box or plastic collection

If your waste is due to be collected on either Weds 25 Dec or Thurs 26 Dec 2019 your revised collection day will be Mon 23 Dec 2019. Please leave your waste out until it is collected.

Food waste

If you are on the food waste trial and your food waste is due to be collected on Weds 25 Dec 2019 your revised collection day will be Tues 24 Dec 2019. If your collection is on Thurs 26 Dec 2019 your waste will be collected on Fri 27 Dec 2019. If your collection is on Weds 1 Jan 2020 your waste will be collected on Thurs 2 Jan 2020.

Blue bags

If your blue bags are due to be collected on Weds 25 Dec 2019 your revised collection date will be Weds 1 Jan 2020. If your blue bags are due to be collected on Thurs 26 Dec 2019 your new collection date is Thurs 2 Jan 2020. Both days will receive a double collection (four bags).

Garden waste

Collections will be suspended for two weeks between Mon 23 Dec 2019 and Fri 3 Jan 2020 as per the service terms and conditions.

Christmas tree recycling

If you have a real Christmas tree you can recycle it with us between Mon 6 Jan 2020 and Sat 1 Feb 2020. Make sure the trees are clearly visible from the road with all decorations removed. The crews will collect the trees as they operate in the area, please remember if the tree is large it needs to be cut down into manageable pieces.

For more information about recycling

Learn how to get more out of your smartphone

Enrol in this short course and learn how to troubleshoot problems, customise and personalise your phone, attach and share documents and use apps. This course is suitable for both Android and iPhone users.

Enrol at mtc@newcollege.ac.uk or call 01793 511665

Learn how to upcycle and make your own Christmas presents

This workshop will inspire you to create and make exciting items such as bags, jewellery and ornaments using only recycled and second hand materials. Think you are up for the challenge?

Enrol at mtc@newcollege.ac.uk or call 01793 511665

Gareth to the rescue

We are working with Westdale Group to deliver upgrades to properties in Stratton. During a recent kitchen refurbishment, Gareth, an electrician working for Westdale discovered that it was the tenant’s grandson’s third birthday. Realising that there would be no cooking facilities available, Gareth arranged a happy meal and a small gift for the little boy so that he would not miss out. The tenant said that it was not something that she would ever have expected and her grandson was delighted.

We are proud to be working with such great partners.

New home maintenace video guides available

Many of you requested how-to guides to help you do simple home maintenance. We have started to upload these for you and you can visit our website to see the first few including:

  • how to treat mould
  • how to bleed radiators
  • how to reset trip switches

If you have any requests for home maintenance videos you would find helpful email nbrock@swindon.gov.uk

View the videos here

Make sure you’re being fire safe this Christmas with these quick tips

  • Always switch off festive lights before going to bed or leaving the property
  • Don’t hang decorations near lights or heaters as they may set alight
  • Never overload your electrical sockets
  • Keep matches, lighters and candles out of the reach of children
  • Never leave your festive dinner cooking unattended

If you have any fire safety concerns contact us at firesafety@swindon.gov.uk

For more fire safety advice

Check you aren’t overloading your sockets

Don’t let damp and mould ruin your Christmas

Damp and mould is often caused by trapped moisture that condenses when it touches cold surfaces in your home. Condensation is caused when there is not enough heat, ventilation or insulation in your home. So what can you do about it?

  • Report leaks when you become aware of them
  • Open windows to allow air to move around your home
  • Maintain a constant heat throughout your home
  • Move your furniture away from your walls to allow air to move freely
  • Use your extractor fan in your bathroom and kitchen
  • Dry your clothes in open spaces or ventilated areas

Report an issue on My Housing Tenancy

Your quick guide to avoid frozen and burst pipes

  • Make sure you have your gas boiler serviced – we will automatically send you an annual appointment for this
  • Report any dripping taps to us as soon as you become aware of them
  • Leave your heating on low when you go on holiday and ask a friend to check on your property
  • Make sure you know where your stopcock is
  • If your house will be vacant for an extended period of time turn your water off at your stopcock and notify your housing officer

What to do if your pipe freezes?

  • Turn off the water at the stopcock
  • Report the issue through your My Housing Tenancy account or call 01793 445503 in an emergency

What to do if your pipe bursts?

  • Turn off the water at the stopcock
  • Call 01793 445503 immediately

Report an issue on My Housing Tenancy

Are the kids ho ho hoping to meet Santa this year?

Santa and his Elves will be visiting the Brunel Shopping Centre this Christmas. A visit to Santa’s Grotto is free. Each child will receive a present as well as the opportunity to speak to Santa and have their photo taken.

Book your visit with Santa in advance

Looking for somewhere to catch-up with friends before Christmas?

There are four community cafés in Swindon run by the Street Reps and local volunteers which provide the perfect place to catch-up with friends over a nice hot drink. The opening hours are as follows:

  • Railway Village, Central Community Centre, every Monday 10am to 12noon
  • John Moulton Hall, Penhill, every Tuesday 1pm to 3pm
  • Meadowcroft Community Centre, Upper Stratton, every Wednesday 1pm to 3pm
  • Toothill Community Centre, Toothill, every fortnight on a Friday 1pm to 2.30pm

The cafés will close for Christmas and New Year weeks.

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear

This Christmas the Salvation Army will be spreading Christmas cheer in the Town Centre with a Brass Band and Christmas carols. Join the carollers as they sing Christmas classics outside the water fountain from 10am on 7, 14 and 24 December 2019.

Contribute to this newsletter

Would you like to write an article for Tenant Focus about something happening where you live or to promote something that you feel passionate about? Please let us know by email at getinvolved@swindon.gov.uk