PCC cash helps ensure residents feel safer in their homes
A GROUP of residents will be benefiting from more secure homes thanks to funding from the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner (OPCC) for Essex.
The Thurrock Well Homes Project was given a £6,000 grant via the New Initiatives Fund (NIF) which is cash made available by the PCC to encourage local organisations to develop ways to prevent and tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
Using the money, the Thurrock Well Homes Project has provided security improvements – such as fence repairs, upgrading external doors, fitting locks and security lights – to homes in the Tilbury, Grays Riverside, Thurrock Park, West Thurrock and South Stifford wards of the borough.
Lindsay Whitehouse, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex, visited the home of one couple – 86-year-old Alfred and 80-year-old Doreen Osborne – in Hobart Road, Tilbury to see first-hand the improvements the OPCC money has paid for. The couple have had a new front door, back door and security light installed and locks and fencing replaced.
Mr Whitehouse said: “The Well Homes Project is very worthwhile as such a large proportion of the population in Thurrock live in privately rented or owned homes and there is no doubt that people’s living conditions has a huge impact on their health, wellbeing and feelings of safety.
“There is nothing more important than feeling safe and secure in your own home and I am pleased that the New Initiatives Fund money has contributed towards this.”
Louisa Moss, Housing Enforcement Manager at Thurrock Council, said: “Under the new Care Act 2014, councils have a duty to promote well-being and this project is a good example of where we work with a lot of partners to do just that.”
Mr and Mrs Osborne said: “We are very pleased with all the help we have received and feel safer in our home. We did not realise such help was available, until the Well Homes advisor knocked on the door.”
Under the Care Act 2014, local authorities have a new duty to ensure homes – including privately rented or owned properties – are suitable and up to standard so as not to affect residents’ wellbeing.
In Thurrock, since June 2014, partnership work has been carried out to identify the most vulnerable residents supported by an assessment to identify risk, hazards and harm at their homes. Letters are then sent to each householder, followed up by a visit where serious hazards are identified as well as other needs such as gardening requirements, health checks and energy efficiency checks.