In 2019/20, we really stepped up our neighbourhoods activities, to keep people and places safe. With a greater presence in our neighbourhoods and a commitment to tackling anti-social behaviour issues, we focused on ensuring your communities are the welcoming and happy places they should be.
Keeping you safe
Throughout 2019/20, we worked to tackle higher-level anti-social behaviour issues. Our strong relationships with local organisations, including the police, mean we have been able to deal effectively with several cases of ‘cuckooing’ and other gang-related crimes in our neighbourhoods.
We also introduced a new digital system for handling anti-social behaviour cases. The system helps us to manage reports more effectively and you can now track anti-social behaviour cases through our website, using your online account. With these new systems in place, we are experiencing improved customer satisfaction levels for how we deal with anti-social behaviour.
As part of our commitment to supporting those most in need, our Neighbourhoods team also delivers high-quality temporary accommodation services. This year we won the tender to continue managing Watford Borough Council’s temporary accommodation, meaning we can ensure our most vulnerable customers have a safe and secure place to call their own. We also took on the management of The Bury, a new block in Rickmansworth, adding to the portfolio of properties we look after for Three Rivers District Council.
Looking out for you estate
2019/20 was the first year of our contract with Accuro for cleaning and grounds maintenance in and around our blocks. We worked closely with them throughout the year to ensure you are getting the level of service you expect and we will continue to monitor this closely over the comings months and years.
One of the great things Accuro has brought to the service is a fleet of electric vehicles, helping to minimise their environmental impact and supporting our commitment to delivering sustainable services.
Our Estates Officers continued to work to ensure that blocks and neighbourhoods are well maintained throughout the year. To allow them to work more effectively for you, we created a new phone app that has been designed specifically for the team so that they can report and track repairs efficiently whilst on the move.
We enjoyed great success with community clean-up days. Neighbourhood Officers, Estates Officers and other volunteers from Watford Community Housing took to Boundary Way and Radlett Road to tidy up areas of the neighbourhood and provide support and information to local residents.
Responding to residents
Every year, we consult residents in some of our local community areas to put together Neighbourhood Plans, which identify practical improvements that we can make. In 2019/20, 226 customers participated in surveys that we carried out in Courtlands, Rookery and Woodside.
Residents identified anti-social behaviour, parking and building exteriors as key issues. With £15,000 allocated to each area we worked to identify a plan to tackle the issues raised and communicated the physical improvements we were making through local targeted mailings.
These included new external décor for our Longcroft independent living scheme and security enhancements to outside spaces, such as installing new lighting and cutting back shrubs to improve the safety of alleyways. We also identified some areas where parking bays could be installed and are in discussions with partner agencies who are responsible for providing parking.