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Tenants will be watchdogs
3:24pm Tuesday 22nd January 2013 in Wiltshire
Dr Debbie Hay with tenants Asam Bakali-Laughton and Dave Pepler at the Selwood Housing scrutiny panels event
Selwood Housing gave tenants information about their new residents’ groups this week, as they prepare to replace a volunteer-led organisation they have decided to close.
During the information event at Trowbridge Civic Centre on Monday and Tuesday, tenants heard about ways they could get involved with the housing association through its new scrutiny panel and by becoming ‘customer service inspectors’.
It follows Selwood’s decision to end volunteer resident group Selwood Tenants’ Voice, which had run for over 20 years. It followed a study by Dr Debby Hay, a tenant involvement specialist, who recommended reforms to Selwood’s after contacting 500 tenants.
Adrian Walshe, head of neighbourhoods, said: “The residents have been keen to get involved. The big difference in the scrutiny panel is that they have got delegated powers to say where we can improve.”
The new scrutiny panel will report directly to Selwood’s board and executive team, looking at the association’s services and making recommendations for future plans. The new ‘customer service inspectors’ are similar to mystery shoppers, with tenants carrying out regular checks on properties and monitoring services.
Former STV chairman John Alford, who attended the event, said: “I’m not going to bother joining, I don’t think they have got a lot of idea what they are doing, all they want is nodding dogs and anybody that gives constructive criticism or challenges them, they do not want to know.”
The STV will finish once the scrutiny panel is launched. The volunteer group’s first meeting at Selwood Housing, based at the Bryer Ash Business Park, in Trowbridge, will be on January 29.
After the information event, tenants were urged to apply for positions with the volunteer groups, with appointments expected to be made at the end of January.
For more information call 01225 715715.