Vice Chair Neil Battison read through the proposals that have come out of the review into Tenant Engagement which the board have a hard copy of in front of them.
The Chair then re-joins to discuss the proposals with the board and take any questions for Ian Montgomery. The Chair asks for votes on each proposal as they are discussed, and all are passed with some caveats to be ironed out at later meetings in the year once the Voice Panel is launched.
SE –My understanding is that the Tenant Voice Panel includes how we are responding to the Building Safety Bill?
Ian – Yes, the new panel will have a number of roles, one of which will be to help self-assess with us how we are meeting the Social Housing Regulators Consumer Standards, which includes building safety.
Sue – One of the standards is engagement?
Ian – Yes, there are four consumer standards currently, with a proposal to increase this to six, with new standards around building safety and on the theme of transparency.
The Board have asked for the standards to be explained in the September meeting in more plain English and to learn more about the changes coming from the White Paper.
JG – Why not do a launch event of Tenant Voice Panel and see each other face to face?
DM – Need some new blood, that’s the way to go as other city-wide groups have disbanded.
JG – It needs to be made clear that it is a launch event for the Tenant Voice Panel in case there are any previous city-wide panel members which would like to attend.
IM – It’s a good idea to have a launch event. I have shared previously we would like to hold an induction so people are aware what the panel will be doing, and a launch event is an effective way to do that and it’s good for people to reconnect. For the board’s reassurance, the launch event will come after what will be the launch to all tenants. It will be put out there in the public domain so anyone who participates in it will be clear what the role of the panel is and how it’ll work. We could offer a face-to-face session and an online session too for people who are unable to attend in person.
JG – Are we talking about 2 launches?
IM –We would launch it out in public domain, attract new and interested members, then have a launch or induction event – a face-to-face session to give more detail about what it is and how it will work, but would like to offer an online launch and induction also.
JG – Might attract city wide group members, needs to make it plain it is a launch and the panel itself is not still up for discussion.
IM - These proposals we are discussing today can go out to all previously involved tenants for information. When launched we want to have everything set up correctly so we get off to a good start. We want the panels to run well and for it to be a positive experience. For example, if one of the first activities for the panel to look at a particular policy, we need to work closely with the team that wants to engage and be clear about what they are expecting from the panel to ensure quality conversations and good feedback from those taking part.
JG – Can a member of this board be a liaison between now and the launch?
IM – We will be creating content over summer to launch September/October time, it would be good to have a couple of people to share drafts with to get opinions, what do you think? Via phone calls or emails.
JG – We want two people to be able to work together and be able to report back to the board. Neil Battison (Vice Chair), Jackie Worthington and Dennis Moody volunteered and will report back to the Board periodically.
JG – There is concern that people not online will need other ways of communication to be involved in the Tenant Voice Panel.
IM – We ran through at last meeting what the framework looks like and shared a diagram of all the different ways that tenants can interact with the service, some is on individual basis or at a strategic level and includes a range of ways so that those not online can still be involved.
IM – In response to queries about current tenant membership of the Strategic Housing Board, IM clarified that the Strategic Housing Board has its own terms of reference and recruitment, that cycle will continue. As and when they reach the point in time when they reselect membership, they will reselect from the Tenant Voice Panel. Tenant Scrutiny Board members can become Tenant Voice Panel members, by that virtue you could put yourself forward for Strategic Housing Board.
JG – Could a permanent seat on Strategic Housing Board belong to a Tenant Scrutiny Board member?
IM – In principle yes, as would help strengthen the relationship between the Tenant Scrutiny Board and the Strategic Housing Board. IM will take this point away and report back to the board.
DM – Would you provide braille copies for blind?
IM – We have a couple of options, there are often audio solutions which tend to work better depending on the individual. Would work on case-by-case basis.
SB – As somebody that can’t use Tenant Voice Panel online, could you keep me informed as to what access people like myself can have to it?
IM – If someone isn’t online or confident to be online or they aren’t well suited to look at a screen, there are aspects of panel work that can be participated in.
JG – There could be 10 members joining for each review, concerned that we could end up co-opting more than we have Tenant Scrutiny Board members. We say co-opted members can’t vote, and I’m not keen on that.
IM – Appreciate it’s an interesting one, how we’ve set it out is acknowledging that over time there are fluctuations in membership and sometimes members can give more time than others. On a review-by-review basis, it would be valuable contribution to help the board. I feel they should be treated as equals in terms of the value of their contribution and for that review their input and influence are on par with board members.
JG – When I go on another board, I can’t vote if there is a vote.
IM – You’re all tenants and have a valid opinion for that topic. It would be more difficult to justify to co-optees that we want your opinion, but you can’t vote. The risk is that’s how it could be perceived.
JG – We will play it by ear for the moment but would rather have it written down in our terms of reference. Could we decide how many members come for each review?
IM – Depending on the review, could be 5 or 6 if the board feel this is a more appropriate number.
SE – If Tenant Voice Panel members bring evidence and have an opinion and bring it to board, does it not all come together and be treated as equals?
JG – Do we need more consultation or information on this point or how it’ll work?
NB – Yes more consultation required and information.
JG – All in favour of proposals?
Proposals are passed but more clarification required on Point 9.
IM – Thanks for all your input and contribution
PG – Have a nice summer all board members.