Open Letter Cumbria

Subject: Open Letter Cumbria
From: Andrea Thorn
Date: 5 Mar 2015

Dear Home Group customer,

You may have recently read about the withdrawal of community wardens from sections within Copeland Borough Council area by Home Group.

While it is true that community wardens are coming to the end of their four year fixed term contract, fears the work they have undertaken in communities will no longer be carried on are far from the mark.

Currently there are two community wardens who cover a patch in the South Whitehaven area of Copeland Borough Council. The two wardens cover an area which takes in 3,000 Home Group customers – one warden per 1,500 people.

The functions of the two wardens are to be taken on by a larger team of Customer Service Partners. In total there will be 28 Customer Service Partners working with around 5,500 customers in the Copeland area. One of these will be an anti social behaviour specialist.

A total of 50 Customer Service Partners will work across Cumbria with a total of 9,513 people

Each Customer Service Partner will have a dedicated patch of around 200 customers who they will work with, with the maximum being 220 customers.

This new system will allow more intensive and focused work with residents rather than a wider approach.

Limiting each Customer Service Partner to around 200 customers will mean each community has an easily recognisable and approachable point of contact for any issues. It should allow real relationships which will benefit each community to develop.

Customer Service Partners will spend 80% of their time in their patch and will continue to carry out estate walkabouts.

Community wardens were never there to replace the role of police officers or police community support officers. The role of crime fighting is best left to the police and local authorities. Crime fighting is not the job of housing associations.

However Community Service Partners will continue to carry on working with the police and community support officers to tackle anti social behaviour and improve neighbourhoods.

Work such as estate maintenance and enforcement will continue. The only changes residents will see will be a much more accessible and focused service concentrating on their needs.

Home Group will continue to keep residents informed of changes and respond to their questions.

Andrea Thorn