Agenda and draft minutes

Tenant Scrutiny Board - Friday, 16th July, 2021 1.00 pm

Venue: Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR. View directions

Contact: Peter Greenwood 0113 3785301  Email:

No. Item


Exempt Information - Possible Exclusion of the Press and Public

1  To highlight reports or appendices which officers have identified as containing exempt information, and where officers consider that the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information, for the reasons outlined in the report.


2  To consider whether or not to accept the officers recommendation in respect of the above information.


3  If so, to formally pass the following resolution:-


RESOLVED – That the press and public be excluded from the meeting during consideration of the following parts of the agenda designated as containing exempt information on the grounds that it is likely, in view of the nature of the business to be transacted or the nature of the proceedings, that if members of the press and public were present there would be disclosure to them of exempt information, as follows:


   No exempt items have been identified.




Late Items

To identify items which have been admitted to the agenda by the Chair for consideration.


(The special circumstances shall be specified in the minutes.)




Apologies for Absence

To receive any apologies for absence.


Stanley Burton (SBu), Peter Middleton


Election to Chair/Vice Chair


PG reminded the board of the agreement in the previous meeting to hold the election within the meeting if there were no new expressions of interest received within the two-week deadline since the June TSB meeting. PG confirmed there had been no new expressions of interest received and so the current Chair and Vice Chair would be standing for their present seats.


RESOLVED – The board members voted to confirm JG will remain as the Chair of the Tenant Scrutiny Board, and SBa will remain as the Vice Chair.


JG and SBa thanked the board members for their support for the year ahead.



Minutes -

To confirm as a correct record, the minutes of the meeting held on


RESOLVED – The minutes of the previous meeting held on 18th June 2021 were approved as a true record.



Chair's Update

To receive an update from the Chair on scrutiny activity, not specifically included on this agenda, since the previous Board meeting.


JG informed the board that he had attended the first meeting for the Housing Ombudsman panel, which laid out the ways the panel can assist with matters for which the ombudsman becomes involved. The panel membership period will run for three years after which there will be new membership sought.


JG confirmed that cases that reach the ombudsman are relatively rare, but the figures for cases will be discussed in a future meeting. IM agreed that most complaints are resolved at stage one and the majority of those that reach stage 2 are resolved there, so there are very few cases each year that will be escalated to the ombudsman.


JG attended the Environment and Housing Scrutiny Board meeting which featured a discussion with Safer Leeds about domestic violence. A summary of the discussion topics will be provided to the board with the next meeting notes when housing matters are discussed.



Phase 1 report



JG raised some initial concerns regarding the layout of the report, particularly that the numbering system of the points may mislead readers. PG offered to change the sub-list items to lettered points instead.


The board discussed each recommendation in turn, with all recommendations and discussion points presented in order below:


Recommendation 1 – The Board support an increased use of digital engagement and recommend an online tenant forum is set up but are concerned that tenants not online are not engaged with, therefore a digital forum should be an additional form of engagement not a replacement.


JG noted that there may be differing expectations from a “forum” as opposed to a “panel” and so suggested this wording is changed as well as to maintain consistency with previous language. The board members agreed.


Recommendation 2 – Housing Leeds need to ensure tenants not online have a means to being involved and engaged with. Combine digital with face to face for tenant engagement and scrutiny.


SB suggested that there should be more clarification that online engagement methods will be additional and an enhancement of the current offer, not a replacement of current offline methods. PG agreed to revise the wording.


Recommendation 3 – The Board recommend the introduction of online Question and Answer sessions with senior housing managers.


The board members discussed the perceived meanings of “Senior housing managers” and whether it would be too open regarding individuals, or too narrow to restrict to only managers within housing. IM recalled previous evidence form other housing associations presented to the board by Yvonne Davies which may be helpful to revisit. The board agreed a revision of the recommendations to include the possibility of inviting relevant service managers as appropriate.


Recommendation 4 – Single issue discussion groups would be a useful way of gaining tenant opinion on any particular topic. Doing this online would allow many different voices to be heard and could lead into a larger consultation.


The board agreed no changes are necessary for recommendation 4.


Recommendation 5 – To provide added incentives to involvement with Housing Leeds should consider small rewards for tenants.


The board agreed that there may be some budget restraints which would make this recommendation unfeasible. Questions were raised about the kind of incentives that would be appropriate and how they are delegated. RI questioned if the incentives would be detrimental by encouraging engagement for the wrong reasons.

The board members agreed to remove recommendation 5 from the final report.


Recommendation 6 – Make connections with neighbouring local authorities and local Housing Associations scrutiny boards and share good practice and learning.


The board members discussed their previous interactions with their scrutiny counterparts in Gateshead and expressed their wish to continue that link and develop others alongside.


Recommendation 7 – Continue and develop the user centred design approach. Using customer insight to design services tenants want.


RI agreed it is important to continue to listen to the tenant voice and design services with tenant input for a more  ...  view the full minutes text for item 63.


Co-option of members

Discussion of how this would work


JG noted that there would be significant benefit of gathering evidence from the other citywide panel members during stage 2, but there needs to be a clear framework for how external members can join in with meetings and give evidence. Non-TSB members will not be able to vote but will be able to take part in relevant discussions and should otherwise feel as though they are welcome in meetings.


IM agreed that any contributor should be made to feel welcome in meetings but raised concerns that any formal co-option process could be off putting to many tenants and therefore discourage them from contributing. TSB meetings are and always have been open to observers and so there would be no issues with inviting a range of forum members with a focus on inclusivity. IM suggested that once the stage 1 report is finalised it can receive a response from the service which can be used as a springboard to encourage feedback from the other involved forums.


JG suggested that co-option would be the preferred term to retain the importance of guest contributions, however it would not have to come with any formal process for doing so. JG proposed that there would still need to be discussion regarding the topic and it would be an idea to include on future agendas and potentially for a whole meeting to resolve the issue. IM agreed and suggested that the forward plan be revised to work out when the discussions would be best to take place. IM offered to invite representatives from TPAS to discuss best practice with the board members.



Date and Time of Next Meeting

1.00pm Friday 17th September 2021, venue to be confirmed or Zoom.


JG reminded the board members that there will be no meeting in August, and that he will be unavailable between the 7th and the 29th of August.


The next meeting is scheduled for Friday 17th of September at 12:45 for a 1.00pm start, venue to be confirmed or Zoom.