Agenda Item No.
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
CABINET: 5TH NOVEMBER, 2012
REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (HOUSING AND PUBLIC PROTECTION): 10TH OCTOBER, 2012
" TENANT PARTICIPATION STRATEGY 2012 – 15 ACTION PLAN (DVSH) –
The Cabinet had previously approved the above Strategy at its meeting held on 15th February 2012 (Minute No. C1620 refers). The report as tabled sought to update the Committee on progress against the above Strategy’s Action Plan, details of which were set out in Appendix 2 (LTPS Assessment Report 2011 – Vale of Glamorgan CBC).
The Council’s Strategy had been assessed overall as good by the Tenant Participation Strategy Advisory Service. The aim of the Strategy was to improve the quality and delivery of housing service, contribute to wider community development and achieve WHQS by increasing the participation and control that tenants had over housing service and landlord functions. The long term goal of the Strategy had been translated into a number of objectives which were more specific, details of these were set out in the body of the report. Each objective had a number of actions and “intended outcomes” to evidence the achievements of the tenants, staff and the housing service delivering the Strategy.
Achievements against the Action Plan to date included:
· a tenant profiling questionnaire had been sent to all Council tenants and a 43% return rate had been achieved
· a mystery shopping exercise had been conducted by the Tenant Engagement Associates to review the service offered by the Council’s Contact OneVale service
· suggestion boxes and feedback forms had been installed in all sheltered housing schemes and the Housing reception in the Civic Offices
· 4 “Meet the Contractor” events had been organised, one in each of the Housing Improvement Programme areas
· 14 tenants attended the Tenant Participation Advisory Service course entitled “What is Tenant Scrutiny” to learn about the role of tenant scrutiny, the skills needed and how it could help to improve and inform the delivery of the housing service
· the Tenants Quality and Design Forum had visited a number of void Council properties after the programme of housing improvement works had been completed
· the Vale Standard newsletter had continued to be published quarterly
· all teams in the Public Sector Housing section maintained records of the tenant and community events that staff attended as informal opportunities for engagement with tenants
· all team managers attended corporate complaints handling training and each team manager was responsible for recording and responding to complaints relating to their service area
· a member of the Homelessness and Housing Advice Team attended a weekly Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conference to discuss the multi-agency approach to addressing the current domestic abuse cases
· postcard sized satisfaction and feedback questionnaires were provided to people accessing the Housing advice drop in service on 15th of each month (or the next working day) and larger questionnaires had been sent to those clients leaving temporary accommodation on the same date. Prepaid envelopes had also been provided to encourage responses. Completed questionnaires were then recorded on an in-house data base
· the Supporting People Team had reviewed housing related support service provided by Hafod Housing Association, Atal y Fro, Llamau and Taff Housing Association this financial year. Each service review had included interviews with 20% of service users and gathered their views on the service they received.
In addition to the above matters, it was also noted that a review of the Tenants’ Governance Structure was currently being conducted. Changes to the structure were anticipated to be implemented by January 2013. Following these changes the Action Plan would be reviewed. The updated Action Plan would include the target dates and address the issues raised in the TPAS assessment of the Strategy, including:
· providing greater detail in relation to the outcomes about specific improvements to services and community life
· including more detailed actions for existing tenant participation activities in order to show how outcomes would be achieved.
In commenting on the document, the Chairman referred to the timescales for the completion of the review of the Tenants’ Governance Structure and instructed that a further report be submitted to the Scrutiny Committee on the conclusion of that exercise. A number of other general points were also made in regard to the document, specifically in relation to the updating of the Action Plan to include targets and timescales and separately, the future provision of training for tenant representatives. Mr. Farrington had indicated that further training had been requested but had yet to be arranged. Brief discussion also touched upon the mechanism for accessing funding for environmental improvements under the auspices of the WHQS.
Having regard to the above and related matters, it was
(1) T H A T progress to date against the Tenants Participation Strategy 2012 – 15 Action Plan be noted.
(2) T H A T it be recommended to Cabinet to expedite appropriate training opportunities for all tenant representatives as soon as practicable.
Reasons for recommendations
(1) In acknowledgement of progress made to date.
(2) To ensure that all training opportunities were provided to tenants’ representatives in a timely manner.
(Note: Councillor J. Drysdale had previously declared an interest in the above item and left the room during consideration of the matter.)"
Attached as Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Housing and Public Protection): 10th October, 2012