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Agenda Item No

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Cabinet 15th February 2012

 

Report of the Cabinet Member for Housing and Community Safety

 

Tenant Participation Strategy 2012-15

 

Purpose of the Report

1.             To adopt the Tenant Participation Strategy 2012 - 2015 and Action Plan.

Recommendations

1.             THAT the attached Tenant Participation Strategy 2012 - 2015 and Action Plan be accepted.

2.             THAT the policy implications for the Vale of Glamorgan Council be noted.

3.             THAT the report is referred to Housing and Public Protection Scrutiny Committee.

Reasons for the Recommendations

1.             To ensure a continuation of the Council's tenant engagement activities.

2.             To ensure that the Council continues to meet the requirements of the Welsh Government's National Tenant Participation Strategy.

3.             To ensure that Housing and Public Protection Scrutiny Committee monitors Public Sector Housing's performance against the Action Plan on a 6 monthly basis. 

 

Background

2.             It is a requirement of the Welsh Government through the National Tenant Participation Strategy that all social landlords in Wales produce a Local Tenant Participation Strategy.

3.             To meet the above requirement, the Tenant and Resident Engagement Strategy 2010-15 was developed and adopted by Cabinet (Cabinet Minute C1107).

4.             In 2011 the Welsh Government announced the requirement for each Local Authority to submit its second Tenant Participation Strategy to be assessed by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS).

5.             TPAS published guidance on the content and structure of Local Authority Tenant Participation.  In order to ensure continuing compliance with the Welsh Government, the Tenant Participation Strategy 2012 - 15 has been developed.

 

Relevant Issues and Options

6.             The Tenants and Resident Engagement Strategy 2010 - 15 was adopted by Cabinet (Cabinet Minute C1107) on 3rd November 2010 and since then six-monthly updates against the action plan have been provided to the Housing and Public Protection Scrutiny Committee.

7.             During the two years the strategy was in place the Council consulted tenants about stock transfer. The consultation was extensive and provided a greater understanding of the needs and aspirations of the Council's tenants.

8.             In April 2011 tenants voted for their homes to remain in Council ownership.

9.             Post ballot it is recognised by the housing department that as well as striving to achieve the full Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS), the Council also needs to improve the day-to-day housing service as identified by tenants during the consultation process.

10.        In April 2011 the Welsh Government informed Local Authorities of the second round of submissions of Tenant Participation Strategies. The Welsh Government expected local authorities to fundamentally review their previous strategy and action plan and to develop a revised submission for assessment by the Welsh Assembly Government.  The deadline for submission of the second round was 31st October 2011. The Welsh Government appointed TPAS Cymru to assess the submissions.  

11.        It was the intention of the Housing Department to revise and update the Tenants and Resident Engagement Strategy 2010 - 15 to include a post ballot update and update the action plan in line with the priorities identified by tenants during pre-ballot consultation.

12.        However, during a meeting with TPAS in relation to the updated strategy the Council was advised to produce a new strategy in order to ensure a clear plan for the future. As such, the Welsh Government approved an extension to the deadline for the Vale of Glamorgan Council until 31st December 2011.

13.        The Tenant Participation Strategy 2012-15 has been developed in the format and layout advised by TPAS. The areas covered in the strategy are those required by the Welsh Government.

14.        The aim of the Tenant Participation Strategy 2012-15 is to improve the quality and delivery of the housing service, contribute to wider community development and achieve full WHQS by increasing the participation and control that tenants have over the housing service and landlord function.

15.        This is the long term goal of the strategy. It is translated into a number of objectives which are more specific:

Objective Number 1: To improve the day-to-day delivery of the housing service and to ensure that the services available are appropriate to the indentified needs and circumstances of our customers.

 

Objective Number 2: Ensure that the Council listens and learns from its communities, is honest in its approaches, transparent in its planning and decision making and accountable to tenants through the mainstreaming of tenant participation.

 

Objective Number 3: To enable tenants to have a greater influence over planning and reviewing services, decision making and budget setting by increasing their capacity to participate and removing barriers to involvement.

 

Objective Number 4: Improve the quality of life and the environment in the communities that tenants live in and create a strong sense of community in which residents feel they are able to make a contribution to the future of the area. 

 

16.        Each objective has a number of 'intended outcomes' to evidence the achievements of the tenants, staff and housing service delivering the strategy.

17.        Outcome monitoring is a factor that will be assessed by TPAS as part of their assessment of the strategy.

18.        The Vale Housing Panel members were consulted on the strategy and their feedback and comments have been incorporated in the finished document.

19.        The draft Tenant Participation Strategy 2012-15 was submitted to the Welsh Government on 23rd December 2011 in order to meet the set deadline. The strategy was submitted with the caveat that the document had not been approved by the Cabinet and that a final version would be submitted when formally adopted.

 

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment and Climate Change, if appropriate)

20.        No resource implications.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

21.        The approval of this strategy will ensure that the Council meets its legal requirements.

Crime and Disorder Implications

22.        Improving services in line with tenants' wishes and involving them in the process will improve community cohesion and therefore reduce crime and disorder.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

23.        The development of a new Tenant Participation Strategy will incorporate equalities information in order to ensure the strategy and related actions are relevant and accessible to all Vale of Glamorgan tenants.

Corporate/Service Objectives

24.        This report is consistent with the corporate and service area lead objectives of the Council Corporate Objective 'to provide services that meet customer need'.

Policy Framework and Budget

25.        This report is consistent with the Policy Framework and Budget.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

26.        There has been no individual ward member consultation in respect of this report as it is an issue that affects many areas of the Vale of Glamorgan where Council owned properties are located.

27.        Consultation has been undertaken with tenant representatives in the development of the revised strategy and action plan

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

28.        Housing and Public Protection.

Background Papers

Appendix A Tenant Participation Strategy 2012-15

Appendix B Action Plan

 

Contact Officer

Jenny Lewington - Housing Strategy Officer

 

Officers Consulted

Tony Jaques - Head of Housing

Pam Toms - Strategy and Supporting People Manager

Operational Manager - Legal Services

Director - Finance ICT and Property

 

Responsible Officer:

Jenny Lewington - Housing Strategy Officer

 

 

 

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