KFTRA Delegates Meeting to discuss Mandatory Direct Debits

KFTRA Delegates Meeting to discuss Mandatory Direct Debits

Thursday April 4th at 1.30pm in Huddersfield Town Hall

KFTRA Statement on Mandatory Direct Debit – 20/03/13

After meeting with a KNH Board representative on Monday 18/03/13, KFTRA have taken the decision to defer the presentation of their petition opposing Mandatory Direct Debits for council tenants, until after a full KFTRA Delegates meeting on the subject to be held on Thursday April 4th at 1.30pm in Huddersfield Town Hall.

The reason for this is that KNH were under the misapprehension that KFTRA supported their position that ALL tenants should pay their rent by Direct Debit, which is not the case.

While KFTRA are happy to promote Direct Debit as the preferred means of collecting rents, they would still like to see a raft of payment options available to tenants.

Neither the KFTRA Management Committee, nor any other KFTRA meeting or any, outside body on which KFTRA has a representative has ever taken a vote to determine whether KFTRA are in favour  (or not) of mandatory Direct Debit.

KFTRA will be inviting Kirklees Council cabinet member Cllr Cathy Scott and officers from KMC and KNH to present their position on rent payments.

Then at the KFTRA Delegates meeting, representatives from the whole of the Kirklees Tenants movement will be asked to vote on the follwing.

A vote will be taken on whether the delegates are;

  1. Opposed to mandatory Direct Debit.
  2. In favour of a campaign to oppose compulsory rent payments by Direct Debit.

Of particular concern are the effects that mandatory Direct Debit would have on certain groups of people.

  • Older people who wish to continue to pay their rent at the Post Office.
  • Bankrupt people who cannot hold bank accounts
  • Vulnerable people who would find it difficult to budget a bank account.

KFTRA were also surprised that KMC sent out a letter to tenants informing them of the change to mandatory Direct Debits without discussing this with KFTRA beforehand. KFTRA were shocked at the tone of the letter which implied potential eviction for tenants if they fell behind in their rent payments by not paying by Direct Debit.

That this letter was sent out to elderly tenants who were not in arrears causing them great distress was shocking and we hope that an apology will be given and that steps will be taken to ensure that this mistake does not happen again.

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For more information contact Jill Long KFTRA co-ordinator on 01484 223466 or email jill.long@kftra.net

Lower Energy Bills for Kirklees Council Housing Tenants and Residents

Lower Energy Bills for Kirklees Council Housing Tenants and Residents

gas bill

Kirklees are joining in a recently launched campaign to help people switch to lower cost  energy supplies.

Click the link below for further details.

www.communityenergy.info

Main Points

  • if you pay by Direct Debit you should be able to save an average of 10% – 15% per year off the cost of your energy bills.
  • if you are on a pre-payment meter as long as you have arrears of £500 or less then you can still join the scheme and your savings could be 40%
  • You can join the scheme up until April 17th 2013
  • For people on a lower income or on benefits this is the only way that you can significantly reduce your energy costs.
  • IMPORTANT – to sign up to the scheme you will need a recent energy bill and preferably details of your payments for the last year
  • The scheme is NOT suitable for Warm Zone customers.
  • The offer is for gas supplies, or gas/electric supplies, but not electricity only.
  • Once your offer is made to you, you will have 14 days to decide and then a 7 day cooling off period where you can change your mind. It will then take around four to six weeks for the change of companies to be implemented.
  • For the scheme to work a minimum of 3,000 people need to sign up.

Kirklees Council Housing Estates; A Better Place to Live

Getting the Site Right

Would you like to be a getting the site right inspector and help make your neighbourhood a better place to live?

Involving Tenants

Involving tenants and residents is essential to the process of managing, monitoring and improving the grounds maintenance service in Kirklees.
Kirklees Council Streetscene aim to ‘Get the Site Right’ in their work on your estate but they are not there every day. They need you to let them know when problems occur or any issues you are aware of.

What is a getting the site right inspector?

It is someone who has the power to report poor work and channel views and ideas of other

Kirklees Garden

Kirklees Garden

tenants on how to improve your estate.
You can also attend annual site inspections with a member of the gardening team to discuss work done and put forward ideas for improvement.

What Next

For more information you can attend one of the workshops below

Huddersfield Town Hall, Reception Room on Monday 25th March 2013 from 2.30pm to 4.00pm

Dewsbury Town Hall Council Chambers, on Tuesday 26th March 2013 from 2.30pm to 4.00pm

Please contact Nigel on 01484 225064 to register for one of the workshops or to find out more about what is involved.

 

Don’t take away tenants’ choice! (on council house rent payments)

SAY NO! TO COMPULSORY DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENTS

Don’t take away tenants’ choice!

Join the Kirklees Tenants Movement Campaign

SAY NO TO COMPULSORY DIRECT DEBIT PAYMENTS

Deputation – Tenant representatives will be attending the Kirklees Cabinet Meeting on Tuesday, 26th February, being held at Huddersfield Town Hall at 4.00pm to hand in a deputation.

Kirklees Council – Kirklees Council Cabinet members have already said; 

“We recognise that some people may never be able to achieve this form of payment and will be developing a minimal exemption criteria to ensure that we do not adversely affect those that require more support and assistance. We would value the involvement of KFTRA in the development of this criteria”

KFTRA request to Cabinet – KFTRA would ask that Kirklees Council consider making other methods of payment available to all council tenants for payment of their rent and service charges.

Demonstration – Tenant representatives will be demonstrating outside Huddersfield Town Hall from 3.30pm onwards and would like as many people as possible to come along and join us.

More Information – If you would like to show your support for this important issue and need further information then please contact KFTRA on 01484 223466

 

New Funding for Community Gardening Projects

The Royal Horticultural Society is launching a new investment project in Yorkshire. Working in partnership with Yorkshire in Bloom, a new £100,000 fund will be distributed over the next three years to support grassroots community gardening across the region.

Brackenhall Garden, Huddersfield, Kirklees

Gardening groups will be able to apply for funds to make a difference in their neighbourhoods. Advice and support will be given to groups by the RHS Regional Development Team based at Harlow Carr.

  • Small grants are available for groups that require start-up funding; a minimum of £300 and a maximum of £500 are available.
  • For larger projects, the minimum grant is £5,000, the maximum is £10,000.

The RHS wants to ensure that we are able to maximise our support for the projects we fund, so all applicants will be asked to register with

RHS It’s Your Neighbourhood Campaign.

Download an application form

The deadline for the grant programme is 15 March 2013. RHS Yorkshire in Bloom aims to make decisions within four working weeks.

New TRA Premises for Meltham TRA

Meltham TRA Community Premises

Meltham Tenants and Residents Association have successfully bid for their own premises.which will open in late 2013 and the premises will be located at Deer Hill Court.

Volunteers

Meltham TRA want to ensure that the premises are well used for community activities and are looking for volunteers who can spare a couple of hours each week to help out at the centre. They are also looking for people to share their knowledge.So, if you have a skill or hobby that you would like to share with other members of the community, or would like to volunteer at our new centre please ring Bev Taylor on 01484 223466 or email bev.taylor@kftra.net who will take your details and let you know more about what is involved.