Toggle menu

Tennyson Court

Introduction

Welcome to our Building Safety Resident Engagement Strategy, a plan for keeping our multi-storey buildings safe. It has been made with help from residents like you and sets out how we will keep you informed about decisions that concern the safety of the building you live in.

Following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower in June 2017, a review of building regulations and fire safety led to new rules around keeping buildings safer. These rules, called the Building Safety Act 2022, say that we must talk to you and involve you in safety decisions for buildings that are higher risk. This plan is part of doing that.

I'm the Accountable Person at Gateshead Council, and it's my job to make sure we follow all the safety rules and advice. I really want everyone to feel safe in their homes and take building safety very seriously.

Thank you for reading our plan. I hope it helps you understand more about your home and feel more secure. If you have any questions or ideas, please get in touch with our Building Safety Team (contact details are at the bottom of this page).

Ian McLackland
Service Director
Repairs and Building Maintenance
Housing, Environment and Healthy Communities

Our vision

Our vision is to ensure that our tenants and people who own their flats (leaseholders) can talk to us easily. We think it's important to hear what you think and feel about your home. We promise to listen to you and take your ideas seriously. We believe that everyone's opinion is important.

How we will make this happen

Our plan has some main goals:

1. Empower residents: We want you to feel confident and important when it comes to keeping your building safe.

2. Get involved: We'll show you different ways to join in and tell you how it can help you and your building.

3. Share information: We'll find out what kind of safety information you need and the best way to share it with you.

4. Improve engagement: We're always looking for better ways to talk with you about keeping your home safe.

5. Educate staff: We will make sure our staff understand how important it is for you to have a say about your home.

6. Clear responsibilities: We'll explain what we need to do and what you need to do to keep your home safe.

7. Easy repairs and safety reporting: We'll make sure you know how to ask for repairs and report any concerns about the building or fire safety.

Our Multi-Storey Safety Group

We have different ways for you to talk to us and make sure we hear what you say. Our Multi-Storey Safety Group is a team of tenants and leaseholders who meet regularly. They help give people living in tall buildings a bigger say in how their homes are managed, especially about safety.

Read more about the Multi-storey Safety Group or contact our Customer Involvement Team. You can call 0191 433 5357 or email involve@gateshead.gov.uk.

Our information promise

We'll talk to you in many ways so you can easily find out about safety in your home and we'll keep our website updated with the latest safety information about your building.

We'll also use leaflets, newsletters, and your entrance lobby's notice board to share important news. You'll find QR codes there and in printed leaflets so you can quickly get to our website.

If there's a big safety issue in the building, we'll keep you posted regularly. We might have meetings or send out newsletters, and we'll update our website too.

We try to make our information easy for everyone to understand. Our website has a 'Listen and Translate' tool that helps people who might have trouble reading online, for example if English is not their first language or if they have a disability and need information in a different way.

You can ask to see important safety documents for your building, like:

  • fire risk assessments
  • the building fire strategy
  • evacuation policy
  • structural surveys
  • a risk map for the building
  • planned maintenance schedules
  • notes from resident engagement group meetings
  • reports from building safety inspections

Keeping you safe: our promise and what we need from you

Safety in our building is a team effort between you and us, Gateshead Council, your landlord.

What we will do as your landlord:

1. Identify your needs: We'll find out if any of you need special help to stay safe. For example, if someone can't hear well, we might put in special fire alarms that they can see.

2. Use information wisely: We'll use the details you've given us to understand everyone's needs better. We encourage you to tell us about anyone in your home who might need extra help, like young children or someone with a disability.

3. Keep information safe: If someone needs help to leave their flat in an emergency, we'll keep this information safe and private, but share it with the Fire and Rescue Service.

4. Work with fire services: We'll give building plans and other information to the Fire and Rescue Service. We'll let them train in our buildings to be ready for emergencies.

5. Inform you: We'll make sure you know about the safety measures in the building. This includes how to reduce fire risks in your flat, how to report safety concerns, and what to do if there's a fire. We'll also explain who's responsible for what in keeping the building safe and give you contact details for important people like the Building Safety Manager.

6. Help vulnerable residents: We'll guide those who need extra help to choose someone (like a caregiver) who can ask for detailed safety information for them.

7. Stay alert and responsive: The Building Safety Manager will always keep an eye on safety risks and tell the Accountable Person if something needs to change.

8. Communicate with everyone: We'll have regular safety meetings and find the best ways to talk to those who can't come to meetings. We want everyone to have the information in a way that works for them.

What we need from you:

Stay involved, share your concerns, and let us know if your situation changes, especially if it affects your safety needs. Working together, we can keep your building a safe place for everyone.

As someone living in a multi-storey block, you play a big role in keeping everyone safe, including your neighbours and visitors.

1. Let us in for safety checks: It's crucial for us to do regular safety inspections in your home and fix anything that's not right. Please allow us access when we need it. We'll try to give you plenty of notice and work around your schedule.

2. Types of inspections: These include checking fire alarms, inspecting fire doors in your flat every year, maintaining sprinklers (if you have them), testing electrics, looking for asbestos, and doing fire risk assessments.

3. Access is a must: Whether you're a tenant or a leaseholder, we need to get in for these checks. If we have to, we might use legal ways to enter, but only as a last resort, because keeping you safe is our top priority.

4. Keep communal areas clear: Please don't leave personal items like scooters, pictures or plants in shared spaces. These can be fire hazards and block ways out during emergencies. Also, don't keep fire doors or your flat's door open, and don't change anything about your fire doors. Mobility scooters must not be left or charged in shared areas. They must be kept in your home at all times, when not in use. Disconnecting the battery when not in use will also make them safer.

5. No smoking or vaping in shared spaces: Smoking or vaping isn't allowed in areas everyone uses, like stairways or lifts. If you smoke, do it safely and put out your cigarettes properly. Don't use barbecues or patio heaters inside or on balconies, and don't keep LPG cylinders in the building.

6. Read safety information: Please read all the safety information we give you about your building. Share it with everyone in your home and with your visitors.

7. Report safety issues: You should never tamper with, or damage fire safety equipment within the building as this could make it unsafe. If you see something unsafe or have a safety worry, tell the Building Safety Team or your Caretaker straight away.

8. Follow the car park safety rules: If you use the car park, do not double-park or block access for emergency services.

Advice and support

It is important that you know how and where to seek advice about your building. You can seek information and advice in a range of ways including:

Remember, your actions can help keep everyone in your block stay safe.

Complaints

We always try to give you great service, but if you're not happy with how we've helped you, we'll take it seriously as a complaint. Gateshead Council follows the Housing Ombudsman's rules for handling complaints. How to make a complaint.

Measuring our success

It's important to see how well our resident engagement works. This shows we're listening to you and value your help. It also lets us find ways to get better.

Here's how we'll check our success:

1. Meet with our Safety Group: We'll talk regularly with our Multi-Storey Safety Group.

2. Annual surveys: Every year, we'll ask you about building and fire safety and discuss the results with the Safety Group.

3. Share in our annual report: We'll include building safety information in our yearly report.

4. Reach everyone: We'll use our website, newsletters, social media, and notice boards to make sure all residents get our messages.

5. Work with you: We'll keep working with residents to find the best ways to measure how well this safety plan is working.

6. Review and improve: We'll always look at your feedback to take action and make our service better.

7. Involve you in decisions: As well as the annual survey and the Multi-Storey Safety Group, there may also be focus groups throughout the year that we will encourage you to take part in.

Strategy review

We will review and update this strategy every three years, or sooner if there is a change in the law or other significant guidelines.

About Tennyson Court   

  • Address: Sunderland Road, NE8 3NL
  • Number of flats: 69 (a range of 1 and 2 bedroom flats. Caretaker has 3 bedrooms)
  • Number of floors: 12, including the ground floor
  • Staircases: 1
  • Lifts: 2 (not to be used in the event of a fire)
  • Caretaker: We provide a caretaker or concierge‚ÄĮservice in multi-storey blocks so residents have a friendly, safe and secure environment to live in. Caretakers also provide a cleaning service to communal areas of multi-storey blocks. Further information.
  • Evacuation policy: A 'stay put' policy operates in this building. 'Stay put' means if there is a fire in your building but not in your own home, it is safer for you to remain in your flat unless the heat or smoke from the fire is affecting you. You should leave the building if you feel unsafe or are instructed to evacuate by relevant authorities, taking care not to hinder any firefighting activities taking place. If you are in any other part of the building and a fire breaks out, you should immediately leave the building using the stairs. 

Contact us

Building Safety Team
Housing, Environment and Healthy Communities
Gateshead Council
Civic Centre
Regent Street
Gateshead
NE8 1HH

buildingsafety@gateshead.gov.uk
0191 433 3743