Agenda item

Future approach for Your Voice Leeds - Ian Montgomery & Julie Holmes

Including a case study of a successful project


KB introduced herself and recapped the points she had previously discussed with the board. The trial of Your Voice Leeds has been ongoing since November and is due to expire at the end of July, however the budget is in place for it to extend it for another 12 months. Your Voice Leeds allows for wider engagement and informing of Leeds residents in a convenient way, with the first project going live in November 2020. The platform is being used by a growing number of councils and landlords.


As at the time of the meeting, Your Voice Leeds has 10 open projects, and has been viewed 6,200 times. Of this total, 4,676 people have visited at least one project, 1,038 have searched for further information regarding a project, 144 have actively contributed feedback, and 214 are signed up for regular updates.


JG asked what figures by which metrics would be considered ‘successful’. IM explained that there is no immediate target figure and that site launches like this often take time to develop and grow. The growth of Your Voice Leeds is in line with other housing associations at a similar point in their development, and is expected to grow at a similar rate over a number of years. A useful metric that may be measured is the overall cost effectiveness of the site, by taking the overall cost of the subscription and dividing it by the number of users engaged with. As the user base grows, the more cost effective the site becomes. IM emphasised the site is in addition to, and to complement, other forms of engagement used by Housing Leeds.


JG asked if it is possible to know who the users of the site are. IM replied that users are asked if they are a council tenant, which roughly 2/3 of the registered users are, but not all projects are exclusively targeted at council tenants.


SBa asked what is done in cases where solutions to user issues or suggestions would be impossible. IM replied it would be similar as in any other offline interaction, and feedback can be provided to groups or individuals that their opinions have been heard and the responses that can and can’t be taken as a result.


KB outlined a case study of the Greener Gipton campaign which aimed to deliver a number of projects with multiple council partners to improve the local area in Gipton and Harehills. The project was viewed over 700 times, with 73 engaged and 11 subscribed for updates. As a result of the project reaching a wide number of people numerous working groups were formed that meet regularly via Zoom, as well as being featured in the Yorkshire Evening Post and an interview on BBC local radio. The online project allowed a wider reach than traditional methods as well as being more cost effective, while also reaching a younger demographic.


KB noted there is a potential for Housing Advisory Panel bids to be similarly featured on the site which may be more time and cost effective than methods such as door-knocking or leafleting. Tenant and Residents Associations can also be included, allowing for connections to be made within local areas. JG, SBa, and RI agreed that Your Voice Leeds seems to be an effective and engaging way to reach a larger audience in a faster way.


Your Voice Leeds still has lots of growth opportunities as the site gains traction, and other teams can be brought in to advertise positive community projects across the city. There has been success linking to Your Voice Leeds from other platforms such as Facebook, and best practice is being developed using the learning from other housing providers.


JG suggested the platform could be useful for the HAPs to advertise projects, though the idea can be addressed as the review moves forward. IM agreed that the team is enthusiastic about using the site, and that more use and more projects will continue to grow the platform.


RI summarised the visits to the Tenant Scrutiny Board page up to the 9th of April. There had been 386 visitors to the page with 6 of those engaging with the contents on the page. There was a roughly even split between those who had visited the page directly and those who had been directed from external sites such as Facebook. There is scope to review the content of the web page, which JG suggested could be looked at in later stages of the review.