Christmas Refuse Collection

No collections on bank holidays Wednesday 25 December, Thursday 26 December and Wednesday 1 January.

All refuse to be put out at the edge of your property by 6 am on the advertised day of collection below (unless you have an assisted collection).

If not collected on the advertised day, leave out for collection the following day. All collections for the week commencing Monday 23 December will be completed by Saturday 28 December, and for the week commencing Monday 30 December by Saturday 4 January.

Normal Collection Day                                                       Revised Collection Day
Monday 23 December                                                        Saturday 21 December
Tuesday 24 December                                                        Monday 23 December
Wednesday 25 December                                                  Tuesday 24 December
Thursday 26 December                                                      Friday 27 December
Friday 27 December                                                           Saturday 28 December
Monday 30 December                                                        Normal collections
Tuesday 31 December                                                        Normal collections
Wednesday 1 January                                                        Thursday 2 January
Thursday 2 January                                                            Friday 3 January
Friday 3 January                                                                 Saturday 4 January
Monday 6 January                                                              Normal collections resume

For recycling Christmas collection dates, please refer to your new
purple recycling calendar.

There will be no garden waste collections between 23 December and
3 January. Fortnightly collections will resume on Monday 6 January.

Book your place at the 2020 Tenants’ Conference

Booking is now open for the Tenants’ Conference which will be held at the Plumpton Racecourse (BN7 3AL) on Wednesday 25 March 2020.

The event will run from 10.30am to 3.30pm and include a free lunch, fabulous prizes, a chance to meet Homes First staff, contractors, great workshops and the Tenant of the Year presentation.

You can book now by emailing or call 01273 487249.


HSBC bank launches the ‘no fixed address’ bank account

For the first time, not having a fixed address won’t prevent you from being able to open a bank account, thanks to a new bank account from HSBC.

Christmas Fun

We held our last committee meeting of the year on Thursday 12th December.

The core committee were joined later by other tenants to enjoy a social evening, buffet supper and quiz.

TOLD Chair Debbie Twitchen said ‘the event was a great success and we would love to see more tenants getting involved in what we do.’

If you would like to know more about how to get involved, please contact the Tenant involvement Team.

You can email them at or call them on 01273 487249

Drink smart over the festive period

With Christmas and New Year fast approaching, it can be a great time of year, but it can also be a time of excess, especially when it comes to alcohol.

The festive season is a good time to reflect on our drinking culture and the way we drink. Research tells us that even when people intend to drink responsibly, it can be difficult to stick to this plan because getting drunk is often an accepted norm, there is often social pressure to drink and the setting makes it easy to drink large amounts.

To keep your risk of alcohol-related harm low: men and women are advised not to drink more than 14 units of alcohol a week on a regular basis. If you drink as much as 14 units a week, it’s best to spread this evenly over 3 or more days.

Mindful tips for festive fun

  • Having a party? Consider stocking up on some non-alcoholic beers and wines or making a mocktail alongside your boozy offerings! Anyone that is trying to reduce their alcohol consumption or who doesn’t drink will appreciate your efforts to
    allow them to fit in with the party vibe.
  • Eat before and while you are drinking and alternate alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks. You’ll thank yourself in the morning!
  • Plan activities for your family that don’t involve alcohol. Even responsible alcohol use can send the message to your children that alcohol is a necessary part of everyday life. Show them that alcohol doesn’t have to be part of every social
    situation to have a good time.
  • Set yourself some goals. New Year is a great time to think about cutting down the amount of alcohol that you consume. Jump on the Dry January bandwagon to reset your relationship with alcohol and give it up for the month:
    88% of participants saved money last year, 71% had better sleep and 58% lost  weight!
  • Pour your own drinks so you can be sure of how much you have consumed.
  • Think about how much money you’re prepared to spend on a night out and stick to a budget.
    If all your best efforts fail and you find yourself with a hangover – apparently a “red ambulance” will do the trick (so Twitter says), which is a full fat can of Coca Cola – the sugar and caffeine being the magic ingredients! Obviously, you can also replace lost fluids by drinking liquids that are easier on the digestive system and
    contain less sugar but can still perk you up such as water, tea or sports drinks.

Getting help

If you’re concerned about your drinking or someone else’s, a good first step is to see a GP. They’ll be able to discuss the  services and treatments available. As well as the NHS, there are several charities and support groups across the UK that provide support and advice for people with an alcohol misuse problem. Drinkline runs a free, confidential helpline for people who are concerned about their drinking, or someone else’s. Tel: 0300 123 1110

DWP opening times over the festive period

Please see details below for DWP opening times over the festive period.

Date Arrangement
Monday 16 to Friday 20 December All of our offices and phone lines will be open as normal
Saturday 21 December Child Maintenance Group and Debt Management will be open as normal, other parts of service delivery will be closed
Monday 23 December All of our offices and phone lines will be open as normal
Tuesday 24 December All of our offices will be open as normal – phone lines will close at 5pm
Wednesday 25 December

(Christmas Day – public holiday)

All of our offices and phone lines will be closed
Thursday 26 December

(Boxing Day – public holiday)

All of our offices and phone lines will be closed
Friday 27 December Offices in England and Wales will be closed.

Offices in Scotland will stay open until 6pm for UC and 5pm for Legacy Benefits.
(including IS, JSA, ESA, MA and SF)

PIP and DLA lines will stay open until 4pm, but Access to Work and IIDB lines will be closed all day

Saturday 28 December Child Maintenance Group and Debt Management will be open as normal, other parts of service delivery will be closed.
Monday 30 December All of our offices and phones lines will be open as normal
Tuesday 31 December All of our offices will be open as normal – phone lines will close at 5pm
Wednesday 1 January

(New Year’s Day – public holiday)

All of our offices and phone lines will be closed
Thursday 2 January

(public holiday – Scotland only)

Offices in England and Wales will be open as normal, offices in Scotland will be closed
Friday 3 January onwards All of our offices and phone lines will open as normal


Malling TRA – AGM

An annual general meeting has been called for the Malling Tenants and Residents Association (MTRA) on January 6 2020 at 7.00pm in the Malling Community Centre at which a chair, secretary, treasurer and ordinary committee members will be elected.

With refurbishments to the Community Centre due to begin next year and important local issues relating to roads, development and parking still unresolved this is an important opportunity to take the MTRA forward in the new year.

Please note this meeting replaces the November 27 meeting in the current calendar. Please email, if you would like to put your name forward to serve on the committee.

Sustainable council housing that ‘changes lives’

The Co-operative Alliance at Lewes District Council has approved the latest plans for council housing in Newhaven, Ringmer and Lewes.

The majority of the new homes will be built on old garage sites in the district and will boast a very high level of sustainability features.

The approval by Cabinet follows feasibility work to assess all the locations previously earmarked for potential development.

Councillor William Meyer, Cabinet Member for Housing, said:

“There is an acute shortage of housing in the UK, especially in the south east. The reasons for this are manifold and as a local authority we don’t have a silver bullet to solve the problem in the district. However, we are doing everything we can to maximise the provision of council homes for local people and the sites we’ve approved today will deliver exactly that.”

The sites for new homes in Newhaven include Valley Road and Western Road, in Ringmer the locations are Kiln Road, Mill Road and Broyle Close and in Lewes, Waldshut Road, Queen’s Road and The Lynchets.

Councillor Meyer added:

“I am particularly pleased that we are supporting the brilliant community engagement being undertaken by our community land trusts. Through the provision of homes for local people, we will create the sustainable social infrastructure that changes lives.”

Published on 4 November, 2019