Arrangement of Convenience
Published by Michael Ord for South Tyneside Homes in Housing and also in Communities
Brinkburn CA. Left to right...Councillor Jim Foreman, David Brown (Construction Manager, Keepmoat North East), Mark Whittle, (Director of Investment, South Tyneside Homes), Paul Hutchinson, (Building Surveyor South Tyneside Council), Gill Sweeney (Custome
Visitors to the Brinkburn Community Centre in South Shields can now enjoy the facility of fully modernised public conveniences thanks to an arrangement between the Centre, South Tyneside Homes and its partner contractor Keepmoat.
South Tyneside Homes has been coordinating Decent Homes refurbishment work to homes on the Harton Moor estate, with the works being managed by the company’s Delivery Team and carried out by partner Keepmoat. The Programme extended over an eight month period, and as the contractor needed a site office, the Community Centre stepped in and offered to let them use one of their rooms for this purpose, and in return Keepmoat agreed to fully modernise the gentlemen’s, women’s and disabled WC’s near the reception area.
There have been two Decent Homes schemes in the Harton Moor estate totalling £2.7 million, for the refurbishment of non-traditional homes. Twenty “Shepherds” homes have received the full range of internal improvements and external wrapping, and one hundred and five Crosswalls homes received external wrapping and catch-up internal modernisations where required. Tenants of the Shepherds homes required temporary rehousing whilst works were ongoing. The schemes have now been completed and part funding was provided by energy company SSE (formerly Scottish and Southern Energy).
On Wednesday 21st November representatives from South Tyneside Homes, Keepmoat and the Community Centre joined Councillor Jim Foreman, Lead Member for Housing and Transport in the Council, to mark the occasion with a photo-shoot and chat over a cuppa and refreshments.
Centre Manager Jean Copp said, “We still had the original toilets from when the Centre was built. They needed a site office so we negotiated that they use part of the building. I must say the new toilets are five-hundred percent better than what the old ones were and customers are already saying they are a pleasure to visit. It was an excellent agreement.”
David Brown, Construction Manager at Keepmoat North East said, “Keepmoat have recently been carrying out home energy improvements on the Harton Moor estate and members of the Brinkburn Community Centre were very generous in allowing us to use the grounds of Brinkburn School as our site office. The Centre is used by many different groups of all ages so to show our appreciation we agreed to modernise the toilet facilities within the centre. We are pleased to be involved in helping the local community.”
Graham Whitehead, Building Surveyor for the Council’s Asset Management Team Manager for South Tyneside Council said, “The recent improvement works to the toilets at Brinkburn show partnership working at its best. South Tyneside Homes, Keepmoat and the Council’s Asset Management section have worked together to provide modern toilet facilities for the benefit of the local community.”
Councillor Foreman said, “I’m very impressed with how this mutual arrangement has helped both parties and the results are excellent. It was clearly a “win-win” situation.”
Mark Whittle, Director of Investment for South Tyneside Homes said, “We always maintain that partnership working produces the best results. It was important that the site office for Decent Homes works be near the estate itself and we were delighted that this agreement benefited all concerned. Our modernisation programme to non-traditionally constructed homes is one of the most ambitious in the country and we are pleased that works have gone excellently on the Harton Moor estate.”