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Joint Rent Group
Thursday 19th
December 2019, 10.30am
Denny meeting room, 16 Church Street, Dumbarton

Attendees

Frances McGonagle (tenant volunteer), June Todd (tenant volunteer), Billy Neeson (tenant volunteer), Jane Mack (Tenant Participation ), Stefan Kristmanns (Housing Development Co-ordinator) and Cllr Diane Docherty (Housing Convener)

Welcome and apologies

Apologies received from Georgia McCambley and Kasia Pawlowska

Update on rent setting consultation 2020/21

845 responses received which gives a response rate of 9% which is a very credible rate. Big increase from previous years – 257 responses last year and 303 previous.

Favoured option was Option 2, 1.9% with 40.6% of vote. 2% option got 32% of votes and 2.5% option got 27.5%.

Because of General Election being called and restrictions on Council communicating in that period, Housing News had been delayed so couldn’t be used to tell tenants about the survey so a specific mailing had been done with the A3 info and voting card – may have caught people’s attention more than being part of HN and helped increase response rate.

Results will be included in report going to Council meeting on 26/2/20 and
recommendation will be for the 1.9% rent increase.

Outcome will be confirmed in Spring HN and also legally have to write to all tenants giving 28 day notice of any rent increase.

Review of previous meeting and information

Issued with the minutes from the November minutes was a copy of the Building Services customer services action plan (Action JRG022). Outlines actions been taken or still to be taken. Agreed that the call handling data will be a key measure for how well the improvement action plan is impacting. Action plan should also increase satisfaction with Repair service.  

Action JRG025: Stefan to request monthly call handling data so that the JRG can monitor.

Action JRG026: Stefan to request Repairs to provide regular performance report to JRG and include appointments made and kept and speed of repairs.

Prep for next meeting

Main focus for next meeting will be briefing note on Business Plan – covering annual refresh of business plan, how it’s carried out, what the key assumptions and risks are and how process is agreed. Also to include how CFCR is agreed.
Important issue that tenants keen to understand and request that briefing note is made available ahead of meeting so they can think and consider questions.

Action JRG027: Jane to email Janice requesting that Business Plan briefing is made available at least a week before meeting so that it can be read beforehand. Also Janice to clarify how much of a reserve is meant to be kept – is there a set amount or percentage?

Other agenda item for 23/01/20 is the amended statement to the HRA methodology regarding the DLO Surplus . Agreement that amended statement doesn’t improve transparency – should include how it’s calculated and an explanation about how the level is set–tenants want to ensure it is fair.

Outstanding items from previous meeting

JRG005 Provide tenant friendly progress reports in terms of the Capital Programme to be available for the Better Homes Group on 2 July.  Copy of version of report provided by Alan Young circulated and discussed but not
considered ‘tenant friendly’ . Also information is from 2014/15 so need up to date info for it to be meaningful. Report needs to be more visual. Suggested that use the expertise of Comms team to help create a visual template that Alan just provides the figures for so that the Capital programme can be monitored by the JRG and used as part of the rent setting process. Tenants may want to look more closely at budgets and life cycles of major components (such as kitchens and bathrooms).

Action JRG027: Alan to provide report for 2020/21 Capital programme for JRG to discuss at next meeting ( 23/1/20). 

Action JRG023: When progress report going to HACC, Martin will do a presentation to the JRG.

Action JRG024: Report on the outcomes of the pilot in N Drumry to be shared with the HIB and JRG.

Date for next meeting

Meeting dates for 2020 been finalised and meeting invites for the full JRG meetings been sent to officers by Councillor Docherty. Alternate meetings will be tenants only.

Meeting on 17/12/20 to be kept on schedule but will be cancelled nearer the time if not required.

Next meeting will be a full Joint Rent Group meeting on Thursday 23/1/20, 10.30am in the Burgh meeting room at 16 Church Street, Dumbarton.

Joint Rent Group
Thursday 28th
November 2019, 10.30am
Quay meeting room, 16 Church Street, Dumbarton

Attendees

Frances McGonagle (tenant volunteer), June Todd (tenant volunteer), Billy Neeson (tenant volunteer), Georgia McCambley (tenant volunteer), Kasia Pawlowska (tenant volunteer) Jane Mack (Tenant Participation ), Janine Corr ( HRA Accountant), Stefan Kristmanns (Housing Development Co-ordinator), Edward Thomas (Housing operations Manager), Alan Young (Housing Asset & Investment Manager), Martin Feeney (Building Services Manager) and Alex Dodd (Tenant Participation).

Apologies

Janice Rainey ( Finance Business Partner), apologies initially given from John Kerr who was then later able to join the meeting.

Welcome and apologies

Councillor Docherty was running late but meeting started with updates on outstanding items.

Outstanding items from previous meeting

JRG005 Provide tenant friendly progress reports in terms of the Capital Programme to be available for the Better Homes Group on 2 July. 2 versions of this report – the Pre-HACC financial report and a Capital programme progress report that is used at the Better Homes meetings.

Action JRG021: Report to be circulated and JRG can comment on format as well as Capital programme update to be a standing agenda item.

JRG006 Provide regular update on shower installation programme to JRG. Martin Feeney confirmed that the shower programme is well under way and will be accelerated in the New Year and confident that the whole budget will be spent by end of financial year. Have been some resource issues but 177 tenant installations been done ( £218,000), 181 in voids, totally 363 installations (£440,000).

JRG013 - provide copy of satisfaction survey questions, response rates and information about how the learning from these surveys and from complaints are used to inform actions. Martin confirmed that Building Services (BS ) create a customer services action plan from the comments and satisfaction rates collected in their service and will make a copy available to the JRG.

Satisfaction levels have dropped and is a key action for BS. Martin made report to DLO Board last week and number of actions to be taken to improve. Surveys tend to get done at one time so tenants can get asked multiply times if they have had more than one repair and they get fed up. Martin meeting with Citizen Services who carry out the surveys to make improvements.

Not getting through on phones been a big issue and will have affected satisfaction levels – have now recruited new staff . New IHMS implemented 4/11/19 and 1500 new repairs already been logged in new system. Has also had an impact as 2000 existing repairs as need appointments made for them so progress being made on them. New system will help improve communication as can send text reminders, message if running late etc. IT improvements also needed to telephone system and unknown when that will happen but will help with improvements.

Action JRG022: Martin to provide copy of Building Services customer services action plan to distribute with minutes – copy with minutes.

JRG014 - share ARK report and action plan when fully adopted, provide a presentation/briefing to JRG and WDTRO. ARK Report and action plan been distributed to JRG - Martin advised that the scope of the report was to review the DLO and see if it was fit for purpose. Report has made a number of recommendations to make improvements and does have senior management support and commitment to ensure they are implemented. Many improvements tie in with the IHMS but also sets out a 3 year plan. Progress will be reported through a report to the HACC though not been decided which HACC it will go to.
Have been upskilling staff e.g joiners doing small plastering work to complete a job quickly and on one visit. Job demarcation issues need to be sorted with unions – will benefit the service provided to tenants so need to pursue a solution. Is not about cutting jobs – focus is on growing and improving.

Customer experience was central to the ARK review. Have also increased the Housing presence on the DLO Board in recognition of the essential impact repairs has on Housing

Services – now 3 housings representatives.
Question asked about how many people should inspect a job and Martin confirmed that only want to pre-inspect 5% of jobs so aim is to send tradesperson ready to do the job as more focus will be on diagnosing jobs when repair reports first made.

Example also given of a shower repair that was reported and then done as an emergency and 2 people attended – Martin confirmed this shouldn’t be the process and would investigate.

Action JRG023: When progress report going to HACC, Martin will do a presentation to the JRG. 

JRG018 – request that monitoring reports relating to the budget for the Enhanced Standard for High Rise Flats (particularly the tenant welfare element) that are provided to HIB are shared with the JRG. Edward Thomas confirmed that a pilot being run in N Drumry and working with Fire Brigade and electricians on hand to encourage tenants to take up inspections. Fire Brigade happy to collaborate and housing been raising awareness though letters to all tenants a
week ahead as well as posters on the noticeboards and chapping doors.

Action JRG024: Report on the outcomes of the pilot to be shared with the HIB and JRG. 

JRG020 Briefing note to be provided on the annual refresh of the Business Plan, how it’s carried out, what the key assumptions and risks are and how the process is agreed. JRG want to understand the CFCR better and request that how this budget is agreed is included within the briefing note. Outstanding as apologies received from Janice Rainey so will be picked up at next meeting.

Financial Strategy and amendment to HRA methodology

Outstanding as Janice not present so to be carried forward to next meeting.

Focus for next meeting

As discussed, outstanding items from Janice to be main focus for next meeting – Business Plan refresh process and amendment to HRA methodology.

Tenants keen to get back to having alternate meetings just themselves so they have chance to discuss issues together so next meeting on 19/12/19 will be just them but will include short presentation on outcome of rent setting survey.

Date for next meeting

19/12/19, 10.30am for tenants + Jane and Cindy to organise dates for every second meeting for officers in 2020.

Joint Rent Group
Thursday 10th
October 2019, 11am
Denny meeting room, 16 Church Street, Dumbarton

Attendees

June Todd (tenant volunteer), Billy Neeson (tenant volunteer), Georgia McCambley (tenant volunteer), Jane Mack (Tenant Participation ) and Janine Corr ( HRA Accountant)

Welcome and apologies

Apologies had been received from Housing Convener, John Kerr, Stefan Kristmanns and Frances McGonagle so instead of meeting being cancelled , tenant volunteers had asked to still meet to discuss the HRA information presented at the rent setting event previous day. Therefore other officers were cancelled and meeting was facilitated by Jane and Janine.

HRA methodology for 2020/21

Janine advised that main change in revenue side of budget was due to inflation and also utility increases( estimated at 10%) plus staff pay increase of 3%.

The Budget monitoring process was explained which gave tenants the reassurance on the ongoing monitoring and questioning on costs done on a continual basis due to Janine being solely responsible for the HRA.

The rent options from the rent setting event were discussed and tenants felt that some of the options were too complicated and were supportive of juts the 1.9%, 2% and 2.5% options going out to the public vote.

Tenant continue to have concerns about the repairs budget and problems tenants face getting through on phone and in getting repairs completed quickly.

They are keen to see the report on the review on repairs and in particular the action plan for improvements – see below as already listed as an outstanding action and if report available could be focus of next meeting.

Updates on on-going and outstanding actions

JRG005 - Provide tenant friendly progress reports in terms of the Capital Programme will be available for the Better Home Group on 2 July. Examples will be discussed at Better Homes Group on 26 August 2019 and then shared
with tenants. Action on-going.

JRG006 - Provide regular update on shower installation programme to JRG. Update to JRG 15 Aug 2019 The rate has been offered and agreed by JMcA/MF to PB as of 12/08. Installs over a six month period will be monitored to establish the balance or profit/break-even/loss. MF to consider resources/route to deliver this. Action on-going.

JRG012 - Feedback from the external review of DLO to be shared with tenants. Complete – copy of report and action plan with minutes.

JRG013 - provide copy of satisfaction survey questions, response rates and information about how the learning from these surveys
and from complaints are used to inform actions. Outstanding Action for MF (was due 10/09/19).

JRG014 - share ARK report and action plan when fully adopted, provide a presentation/briefing to JRG and WDTRO. Complete copy of report and action plan issued with minutes plus Martin Feeney attending next JRG on 28/11/19.

JRG015 – provide JRG with a copy of the Council’s Financial Strategy. Action for JK due 31/10/19 – Completed – copy of Strategy with minutes and to be discussed at next meeting.

Date and focus for next meeting

28th November 2019 at 11 am, 16 Church Street.
Focus on Financial Strategy and Repairs improvement action plan.

Joint Rent Group
Thursday 12th
September 2019, 11am
Denny meeting room, 16 Church Street, Dumbarton.

Attendees

Frances McGonagle (tenant volunteer), June Todd (tenant volunteer), Billy Neeson (tenant volunteer), Jane Mack (Tenant Participation Officer) and Stefan Kristmanns (Housing Development Co-ordinator).

Welcome and apologies

Managers and Housing Convener not present at tenants request to allow them time to discuss the information provided at previous meeting.

Updates on outstanding actions

Action JRG001 - Provide information/briefing note about how Value for Money
with the repairs service is assessed at present. Talked through and discussed the information provided by Martin Feeney. Tenants happy that Governance is done regularly through Housing Improvement Board (HIB) and DLO Board. Confirms also that an annual VFM review is also completed. Meeting agreed that action was complete.

Action JRG002 - Provide briefing note relating to level of pre and post inspections and reasons why these are so high. SLA review meeting note includes explanation of pre and post inspections. Meeting agreed that action was complete.

Action JRG003 - Provide tenants with the assessment of the Tenancy Sustainment Fund which led to the increase in budget.  282 tenants been helped and 89.36% sustained tenancy for at least a year which is 2% higher than tenants not given assistance. Meeting agreed that action was complete.

Action JRG004 - Provide more detailed information on PAT testing service that has been developed/introduced.  Briefing note on Enhanced Standard for High Rise flats- tenant welfare component (PAT testing process) provided. Further questions raised (see below) but Meeting agreed that action was complete.

JRG005 - Provide tenant friendly progress reports in terms of the Capital Programme will be available for the Better Home Group on 2 July.  Examples will be discussed at Better Homes Group on 26 August 2019 and then shared
with tenants. Action on-going.

JRG006 - Provide regular update on shower installation programme to JRG.  Update to JRG 15 Aug 2019 The rate has been offered and agreed by JMcA/MF to PB as of 12/08. Installs over a six month period will be monitored to establish the balance or profit/break-even/loss. MF to consider resources/route to deliver this. Action on-going.

JRG012 - Feedback from the external review of DLO to be shared with tenants.  Outstanding, Jane to chase up. Action on-going.

Update on actions from JRG 15 Aug 2019

JRG013 - provide copy of satisfaction survey questions, response rates and information about how the learning from these surveys and from complaints are used to inform actions.  Action for MF due 10/09/19, Jane will send this minute as reminder.

JRG014 - share ARK report and action plan when fully adopted, provide a presentation/briefing to JRG and WDTRO. Action for MF due 31/10/19, Jane will send this minute as reminder.

JRG015 – provide JRG with a copy of the Council’s Financial Strategy. Action for JK due 31/10/19, Jane will send this minute as reminder.

JRG016 – Briefing note to be provided regarding the Shower Programme to WDTRO meeting on. Complete.

JRG017 - Copy Rent Consultation report to be sent to Cllr Docherty. Complete.

Tenancy sustainment Budget analysis

Action complete (see above).

Briefing note on Enhanced Standard for High Rise flats- tenant welfare component (PAT testing process)

JRG happy that briefing note provided more detail about the PAT testing service and placed this within the wider enhanced safety standard for high rise flats.

Further discussion around the budget for this service and the financial monitoring mentioned in section 4.4 of the briefing note.

Action JRG018 – request that monitoring reports provided to HIB are shared with JRG (ET).

Action JRG019 - JRG wanted complaint noted about the wording of the briefing note was felt it was not in plain English and was difficult to read, e.g. Section 3.1 – whole section unclear and section 4.4 included unnecessary jargon – BCRs (Edward Thomas).

Capital Investment budget matrix

Capital programme discussed.

Capital Programme largely financed through borrowing. The %age of rent used to pay off loan charges has risen to 52%. JRG raised questions / concerns about the level of borrowing and asked how robust the Business Plan is.

The cost of maintaining and managing housing stock is usually less than the income received. This remaining income (the surplus) is used to fund capital investment in the council housing stock as part of the Capital Programme. The use of income in this way is known as Capital Funded from Current Revenue (CFCR).

Capital Budget decision –making matrix – tenants concern is that there is currently no tenant involvement. Matrix states ‘ could be’ or ‘may recommend’ but been no steps to change that.

Action JRG020 - Briefing note to be provided to JRG re the annual refresh of the Business Plan; how that is carried out, what the key assumptions and risks are and how process is agreed. JRG want to understand CFCR better and request that how this budget is agreed is included within briefing note.

Update to HRA Methodology

The additional wording on the DLO Surplus Policy was discussed -statement seen as incomplete and should include how the HRA benefits from the housing proportion of the surplus.

Tenants looking for Action JRG015 – provide JRG with a copy of the Council’s Financial Strategy JK 31/10/19 – to see how transparent it is in relation to the DLO Surplus.

Action: Jane to see if Financial Strategy can be made available prior to next JRG on 10/10/19 so it can be discussed.

Date of Next Meeting

10 October 2019 at 11 am, 16 Church Street.

Joint Rent Group
Thursday 15th August 2019, 11am
Denny meeting room, 16 Church Street, Dumbarton

Attendees

Diane Docherty (Housing Convener- Chaired), June Todd (tenant volunteer), Billy Neeson (tenant volunteer), Frances McGonagle (tenant volunteer), Georgia McCambley (tenant volunteer), Martin Feeney (Building Services Manager), Janine Corr (HRA Accountant ), John Kerr (Housing Development and Homelessness Manager), Edward Thomas (Housing Operations Manager), Dawn Conner (Tenant Participation Officer), Alan Young (Housing Asset & Investment Manager), Stefan Kristmanns (Housing Development Co-ordinator).

Apologies

Jane Mack (Tenant Participation Officer)

Welcome and apologies

As above.

Updates on outstanding actions

Martin Feeney presented briefing note on Value for Money, this follows the review of Building Services carried out by ARK Consultancy. An action plan will be developed and signed off and shared with partners with a planned 2 year implementation plan – some quick fixes which will see service improvement can be achieved.

The Service Level Agreement continues to offer value for money and is governed by the Direct Labour Organisation Board (DLO). This board was introduced 3 years ago and their aim is to scrutinise and manage the performance of the DLO.

The meeting was reminded that the DLO carry out work for many Council services e.g. education. Housing & Employability are represented at the DLO Board by Peter Barry or John Kerr or Edward Thomas in his absence.

The Housing Improvement Board (HIB) look at the repairs service through tenant satisfaction and Charter performance Indicators.

Housing will be invited to help to develop the Action Plan for improved service.

This Plan will include the following;

  • Review of subcontracting with an aim of having more work done in-house.
  • Look at employee costs and agency cost
  • Develop a more commercial 5 year business plan.Benchmarks costs at WDC are high in comparison to other similar LAs.
  • Maintenance cost per property is high £544 per property, see table 3 in attached briefing note.
  • Recharges particularly high for window replacements +59% and pitched roof +16%.
  • Equality with pay for skilled operatives.
  • Improved supervisory staff. Tenants want a good response time and the average is 5.6 days.

Tenant comments on this briefing

  • Too much information has been presented last minute for this meeting. Tenants need officers to provide information in time for the interim meeting held that only tenants attend.
  • Tenants asked how satisfaction was collated and was this just by pink slips. Only reactive repairs receive a telephone call.
  • Last year data was collected mostly in the 4th Quarter. The department of citizen and digital services now manage the contact centre and hope is that this service will improve.

Action JRG013 - provide copy of satisfaction survey questions, response rates and information about how the learning from these surveys and from complaints are used to inform actions. MF 10/09/19

Action JRG014 - share ARK report and action plan when fully adopted, provide a presentation/briefing to JRG and WDTRO. MF 31/10/19.

Update to HRA Methodology

Wording on the DLO Surplus Policy has been added, as per advice from external audit. The following statement is included within HRA, “It is council policy to retain any DLO surplus/loss within the General fund. There is no surplus/loss passed on to the HRA. The DLO surplus derives from a number of sources and is not just housing related. This includes other building services work for the Council and other wider commercial activity. This is agreed annually by the Council as part of the Council’s financial Strategy and wider budget setting process.”

FMcG concerned that is now a policy and that decision was taken with no tenant consultation.

Requested a copy of policy or wider financial strategy. JK advised that all tenants and residents are able to participate in the wider consultation relating to the Council’s financial strategy.

Action JRG015 – provide JRG with a copy of the Council’s Financial Strategy. JK 31/10/19.

Capital Investment budget matrix

No time to discuss. JRG will consider at their meeting on 12 Sep 2019.

Shower Programme

An enhanced shower installation programme was decided as part of the rent setting consultation in February 2019, with £400,000 of the Tenant Priority Budget used to fund an additional 800 showers.

As of August 2019 it has not been decided if this work should be organised internally or by an external contractor and costs look to be higher than originally anticipated. As of 15th August no retrofitting of showers have yet taken place.

Action JRG016 – Briefing note to be provided regarding the Shower Programme to WDTRO meeting on 23/8/19 and discussed further. MF 23/08/19.

Rent Setting Consultation timeline

Endorsement of timeline and process. Tenant Satisfaction Survey 2019 will ask about tenant priorities which will help inform Options developed for the Rent Setting Consultation.

Public meeting scheduled for 9/10/19, 10am at Clydebank Town Hall.

Focus of next meeting/other Agenda Items

Tenants decided that there was too much on the agenda and requested time to read the briefing notes provided to address other outstanding actions at their meeting on 12 Sep 2019

  • Enhanced Standard for High Rise Flats
  • Tenancy sustainment Budget Analysis
  • Rent Setting consultation Process

Date of Next Meeting

12th September 2019.

Joint Rent Group
Thursday 20th June 2019, 11am
Stewart meeting room, 16 Church Street, Dumbarton

Attendees

Diane Docherty (Housing Convener- chaired), June Todd (tenant volunteer), Billy Neeson (tenant volunteer), Jim Hendry (volunteer), Katarzyna Pawlowski (tenant volunteer), John Kennedy( Building services ), Janine Corr (Accountant ),John Kerr (Housing Development and Homelessness Manager)), Edward Thomas (Housing Operations Manager) Dawn Conner (Tenant Participation Officer)

Apologies

Stefan Kristmanns (Housing Development Co-ordinator) Frances McGonagle (tenant volunteer) Alan Young( Housing Asset & Investment Manager) , Janice Rainey ( Finance Business Partner) Jane Mack (Tenant Participation Officer).

Welcome and apologies

As above.

Capital programme decision making and increasing tenant involvement Alan Young

Tenants were happy with the sub-group meting which had taken place on 13th June. Lots of information was provided and questions answered.
Action 1 Minute of this meeting to be circulated Jane Mack.

Updates on outstanding actions

Action 2- Edward Thomas /Martin Feeney – provide information / briefing note about how Value for Money with the repairs service is assessed at present.

Update – ET advised that the SLA review meeting will take place on 17th July. The SLA is effective from 2015- 2020, with annual reviews. All the business will be reviewed and the annual return on the charter (ARC) will form the back bone for this review. IHMS will provide a better reporting of repairs and will influence SLA renegotiation.

Consultants have been advising DLO on their business plan, reminder that housing is only one of DLO’s clients. Training has been ongoing with DLO operatives for 6 months on IHMS.

Outstanding work from Action 2-

  • Briefing note to be provided setting out how VFM with the repair service is assessed at present.( Martin Feeney)
  • Feedback from the external Review of Repair Services to be shared with tenants, WDTRO and JRG. ( Martin Feeney)

Outstanding Action 3 – Martin Feeney - provide briefing note relating to level of pre and post inspections.

JK stated that post inspections will increase.

Action 5 - article has appeared in Housing News. There will be a presentation of IHMS at Liaison on 27th June

Outstanding Action 7 – Edward Thomas – Assessment of the Sustainability Budget has not been completed and will be available for the August meeting.

Outstanding Action 10 – Edward Thomas- this will be available for the next meeting, information on PAT testing.

Outstanding Action 12 – Alan Young- tenant friendly progress reports in terms of the Capital Programme will be available for the Better Home Group on 2 July.

Outstanding work from Action 13

  • Capabilities of IHMS to provide local reporting of Capital Programme information to be
    pursued once system operational ( planned for mid August).

Action 14 - Alan Young –no further update on costs but regular updates on the shower installation programme required for JRG.

Decide focus of next meeting

Focus to stay on the Capital programme as will feed into rent setting discussions.
Action : Create a timetable of meetings and actions in advance of next JRG meeting on 15 August 2019.

Date of next meeting

Full Joint Rent Group to meet on Thursday 15th August 2019 at 16 Church Street, 11am in Denny Meeting Room.

Meeting dates for the rest of the year proposed as 12/9,10/10,14/11 and 19/12- new start time 11AM.

 

Joint Rent Group – Capital programme sub group
Thursday 13th June 2019, 11am
Municipal Buildings, Dumbarton

Attendees

Diane Docherty (Housing Convener- chaired), Frances McGonagle (tenant volunteer), Polly Wheelans (tenant volunteer), June Todd (tenant volunteer), Billy Neeson (tenant volunteer),Georgia McClambey ( tenant volunteer), Alan Young( Housing Asset & Investment Manager), Stefan Kristmanns ( Housing Development Co-ordinator) and Jane Mack (Tenant Participation Officer).

Apologies

Jim Hendry (volunteer), Kasia Pawlowski (tenant volunteer) and Lorraine Watson ( volunteer).

Welcome and apologies

As above.

Capital programme decision making and increasing tenant involvement- Alan Young

Prior to meeting, Alan had circulated a briefing note outlining how the Capital Programme is put together and what the main expenditure was on. Focus for sub-group is to improve process to include more tenant involvement to ensure their priorities are included in the programme and involved in the decision-making on the Capital programme ahead of the rent setting consultation .

Alan confirmed that programme focuses on priorities to meet statutory requirements ( SHQS, EESSH), landlord Health & Safety obligations and ensuring stock is fit for purpose.

Contracts need to be reassessed every 5 years to be able to demonstrate VFM.
Rent setting decision goes to February Council meeting so need to work back from then - Convenor and tenants keen to ensure there is ample time to consider all issues during the consultation.

The methodology that Finance have produced for the revenue spending of the HRA was agreed to be easier to understand and a good tool to increase transparency - each line of the Budget has an explanation of who the decision-maker is and what engagement .

A tenant priority is energy efficiency – current EESSH takes properties to a Band C but Government pushing new standard to be a Band B. There is a limitation on what physical improvements can be made to older strategy in relation to MSFlats is for District Heating Systems– Queens Quay once operational will be
extended to Dalmuir then Littleholm. For Kilbowie Court ,are in discussions with CHA to extend their system.

  • Action 1: Stefan to send Alan a copy of the revenue methodology template
  • Action 2: Alan to create similar template for the Capital programme
  • Action 3: Stefan/Jane to draft a rent setting timeline to be discussed at next JRG.
  • Action 4 : Jane to issue Appendix 3 from Feb 2019 committee paper.buildings – easier to build in energy efficiency to new buildings. Alan advised that the Council’s long term.

Date of next meeting

Full Joint Rent Group to meet on Thursday 15th August 2019 at 16 Church Street, 11am in Denny Meeting Room.

Meeting dates for the rest of the year proposed as 12/9,10/10,14/11 and 19/12- new start time 11AM

Joint Rent Group
Thursday 18th April 2019, 10.30am
Denny meeting room, 16 Church Street, Dumbarton

Attendees

Diane Docherty (Housing Convener), Frances McGonagle (tenant volunteer), June Todd (tenant volunteer), Billy Neeson (tenant volunteer), Jim Hendry (volunteer), Janine Corr (Accountant), John Kerr (Housing Development and Homelessness Manager), Stefan Kristmanns (Housing Development Co-ordinator), Jane Mack (Tenant Participation Officer).

Apologies

Harry McCormack (tenant volunteer), Kasia Pawlowski (tenant volunteer), Martin Feeney (Building services Manager) and Janice Rainey ( Finance Business Partner).

Welcome and apologies

As above.

Update on review of SLA with Greenspace – (Action 4 from previous meeting note)

Briefing note was provided prior to meeting and Edward talked through this.
Have met with Greenspace and set out key principles. Scope for other options than just grass cutting e.g. wild growing, allotments and appreciate need to develop at local level to gauge what tenants want. Will also build in an annual review. Have identified legal restrictions when hedge cutting can’t be done and need to communicate that to tenants and staff to increase understanding. Vision is for a local plan for an area and make it more tenant led.
VFM will be included in assessment . Carrying on within existing budget and focus on clarifying what is being paid for.

Updates of other actions

Housing Convener and tenants raised concerns about lack of updates and apologies from officers who have outstanding actions – slowing progress and undermines the purpose of the group.

Action: Diane to feedback concerns to Peter Barry to ensure that officers provide the necessary information and attendance.

Outstanding actions from previous meetings

Action 7 – Edward Thomas - Assessment of the Sustainability Budget due to be carried out at the end of this year to be shared with the JRG.

Update – this work is underway and briefing will be provided for next meeting.

Action 2 - Edward Thomas /Martin Feeney – provide information / briefing note about how Value for Money with the repairs service is assessed at present (prior to next meeting or a reason provided if this is not possible)

Update – a meeting was scheduled for March but this did not take place due to officer availability and will be rescheduled and an update for the JRG given after that. Also a wider review of Building Services going on and VFM included in that. Feedback from the review will be shared with tenants, WDTRO and JRG.

New action – John Kerr will provide information about what tenant satisfaction information was used as part of this review .

New action – John Kerr to confirm a date with MF for him to meet the JRG.

Action 3 – Martin Feeney - provide briefing note relating to level of pre and post inspections (to be provided prior to next meeting or a reason provided if this is not possible).

Update – MF provided apologies and has committed to meet with the JRG to provide an update

Action 5 - Graham Watters – provide briefing note in relation to projected savings from the introduction of the IHMS and how they will be experienced by tenants.

Update - action remains outstanding plus presentation to WDTRO liaison meeting to be arranged.

Action 10 – Edward Thomas- previously agreed to wait for the update from Edward in terms of PAT testing service.

Update – progress not been made as expected but have created a sub group focusing of fire safety issues and the practicalities of the PAT testing. Hoping to have the principles set out and could feedback to the JRG hopefully in June.

Review of ASB & Caretaking also taking place and role of caretakers will include fire safety and be built into job profiles. Not compulsory to let housing in but would encourage fire safety visits and uptake at annual tenant visits.

Action 12 – Alan Young- can tenant friendly progress reports in terms of the Capital Programme be provided regularly to the JRG.

Update - Alan confirmed that tenant friendly shorter report on BCR now provided but will look to provide a easy-read progress report and raise it through Better Homes Group.

No further update

John confirmed that exists an interest in increasing tenant involvement in Capital programme.

Hoped that a tenant event could include tenant involvement in setting the Capital programme to ensure that tenant priorities are highlighted

Action 13 - what are the plans or capabilities for local reporting of the Capital Investment Programme when the IHMS is operational.

Alan unsure of possibilities but will liaise with finance and IHMS on how this could be provided. No further update

Action 14 - request for information about electric shower programme (numbers and how plan is developed) and for regular progress reports to be provided to the JRG

Alan provided a briefing note on how properties will be identified. Tenants agreed with Alan’s proposal to use Housing News to encourage uptake . Progress on shower installations to be provided to JRG throughout year

No further update.

Decide focus of next meeting

Other issues raised / discussed;

Shower programme – come to light recently that 25% discount only applies to SOR ( Schedule of Rates ( national schedule for cost of jobs) so question raised about how this will affect the £400,000 of the Tenant Priority Budget been allocated to the shower programme – should 25% extra showers for the money be done? John was unsure and the discount might already be included in the numbers of showers being provided and would need clarified.

New action: - John to get confirmation of the specification which is going through procurement process just now.

In relation to outstanding action 12, John confirmed that are committed to increasing tenant involvement in Capital programme. Hope that a future tenant event could include tenant involvement in setting the Capital programme to ensure that tenant priorities are highlighted and makes good sense to have tenants involved - needs further discussion and agreed would be good focus for next meeting.

Date of Next Meeting

Separate meeting to be arranged to focus on Repairs issues outstanding once date from Martin confirmed.

Focus of next meeting to be on Capital Programme and increasing tenant involvement in the decision making– Alan Young to be invited.

Full Joint Rent Group to meet on Thursday 16th May 2019 at 16 Church Street, 10.30am.

Monthly meetings for the rest of the year to be set.

Joint Rent Group
Thursday 16th May 2019, 11am
Ballantine meeting room, 16 Church Street, Dumbarton.

Attendees

Diane Docherty (Housing Convener- chaired), Frances McGonagle (tenant volunteer), June Todd (tenant volunteer), Billy Neeson (tenant volunteer), Jim Hendry (volunteer), Kasia Pawlowski (tenant volunteer),Lorraine Watson (volunteer),Georgia McCambley (tenant volunteer),Martin Feeney (Building services Manager), Alan Young ( Housing Asset & Investment Manager), Janine Corr (Accountant), Janice Rainey (Finance Business Partner), John Kerr (Housing Development and Homelessness Manager), Jane Mack (Tenant Participation Officer), Edward Thomas (Housing Operations Manager)

Apologies

Stefan Kristmanns (Housing Development Co-ordinator)

Welcome and apologies

As above.

Capital programme decision making and increasing tenant involvement Alan Young

Alan advised that Capital Programme follows compliance with statutory requirements and stock condition information. It was clarified that the ask from JRG was for more tenant involvement to ensure that tenant priorities are reflected in the decision-making.

Also looking to increase transparency around how the Capital programme is set and include timescales and how it feeds into rent setting. Alan suggested a sub-group to fully assess and discuss programme. John advised TP already been tasked with researching what other Landlord’s do to involve tenants in Capital programing and that information will be shared with sub-group.

In relation to monitoring the Capital programme , Alan confirmed he and his team did - they monitor individual projects, work done by DLO against target as well as monitoring financial spend.

Breakdown of project details are published on Council’s website for the coming year so tenants know what is planned as well as individual letters nearer start dates.

Action 1: Sub - group meeting with Alan agreed for Thurs 13/June, 11 AM – Jane to book room and send calendar invites

Action 2 - Edward Thomas /Martin Feeney – provide information / briefing note about how Value for Money with the repairs service is assessed at present.

Update – Martin apologised that briefing note not been done but advised that various governance bodies monitor the DLO – DLO Board meet regularly and can share minutes. Also SLA governance to review performance against SLA and Best Value governance for all Council services applies. Wider review of Building Services ongoing and VFM is included in that.

Feedback from the review will be shared with tenants, WDTRO and JRG.
Was confirmed that the tenant information used in the review was from the Charter tenant satisfaction statistics.

Outstanding work from Action 2 -

  • Briefing note to be provided setting out how VFM with the repair service is assessed at present. (Martin Feeney)
  • Feedback from the external Review of Repair Services to be shared with tenants, WDTRO and JRG. (Martin Feeney)

Action 3 – Martin Feeney - provide briefing note relating to level of pre and post inspections.

Update – MF apologised that a briefing note not available but will be provided. Able to confirm that pre-inspections been reduced and hoping that IHMS will further reduce as repairs self service portal allows tenants to give more info and diagnose problems. SLA sets post inspections at 10% and also do 100% post-inspections of mixed tenure blocks and repairs carried out by contractors. Consultancy report will also give external prospective and help produce a cost effective assessment.

Last years Right First Time(RFT) rates are just under 90% and with new system will be able to measure RFT more accurately.
Martin confirmed that IHMS will also monitor contractors and procurement processes will ensure that all new contracts will need to be able do electronic invoicing, surveys to ensure they tie in with new system so will be able to monitor contractors better.

Action 5 - Graham Watters – provide briefing note in relation to projected savings from the introduction of the IHMS and how they will be experienced by tenants.

Update – briefing note been done and will be issued with meeting note. Update article going in Summer Housing News and will be a demonstration of the IHMS at the next Liaison meeting (27/6/19).

Action 7 – Edward Thomas – Assessment of the Sustainability Budget to be shared with JRG.

Update – Year end assessment still being carried out but will be shared with JRG hopefully at next meeting.

Action 10 – Edward Thomas- Update on PAT testing service.

Update – PAT testing is included as part of wider fire safety measures. Review of Caretakers includes their role in fire safety processes.

Outstanding work from Action 10 -

  • Once principles of Pat testing service are set out , will be shared with JRG

Action 12 – Alan Young- can tenant friendly progress reports in terms of the Capital Programme be provided regularly to the JRG.

Update - Alan confirmed that tenant friendly shorter report on BCR now provided but will look to provide a easy-read progress report and raise it through Better Homes Group.

Action 13 - Alan Young -what are the plans or capabilities for local reporting of the Capital Investment Programme when the IHMS is operational.

Update – Alan still to liaise with Janice and Graham once system is operating.

Outstanding work from Action 13-

  • Capabilities of IHMS to provide local reporting of Capital Programme information to be pursued once system operational ( planned for late June).

Action 14 - Alan Young - request for information about electric shower programme (numbers and how plan is developed) and for regular progress reports to be provided to the JRG

Update – Alan’s team have identified where showers are needed so have a plan of addresses.

Martin in discussions with his Managers re costings and considering if in-house or contractor best way to deliver. Could do installations over 5 month period and so timescale is to start in Autumn.

Identified that communication with tenants would be needed if costs change as additional 800 showers for £400,000 was sited in option 1 and additional 1000 showers at cost of £500,000 in option 2 as part of rent setting consultation so that is the tenant expectation.

Showers continue to be installed as part of bathroom renewal programme and as void works.

In response to question on whether 25% SOR discount will be applied, Alan clarified that SOR covers mainly work done as reactive repairs, voids and Capital programme work is more contract based so SOR might not be used.

Decide focus of next meeting

Focus to stay on the Capital programme as will feed into rent setting discussions.

Date of next meeting

Sub group meeting on Thursday 13 June, 11am at Municipal Buildings, 20 Station Road, Dumbarton, G82 1NR -is limited parking at the Municipal Buildings.

Additional parking available off St Mary’s Way on the other side of the roundabout from the Municipal Buildings or at ST Patrick’s Church, opposite library on B830 (Bonhill Road).

Full Joint Rent Group to meet on Thursday 20th June 2019 at 16 Church Street, 11am.

Meeting dates for the rest of the year proposed as 15/8,12/9,10/10,14/11 and 19/12- new start time 11AM.

Joint Rent Group- tenant meeting
Thursday 21 February 2019, 10.30am
Denny meeting room, 16 Church Street, Dumbarton.

Attendees

Frances McGonagle (tenant volunteer), Billy Neeson (tenant volunteer), June Todd (tenant volunteer), Kasia Pawlowski (tenant volunteer), Lorraine Watson (volunteer), Jim Hendry (volunteer), Janine Corr (Accountant), Stefan Kristmanns (Housing Development Co-ordinator), Jane Mack (Tenant Participation Officer) and Councillor Caroline McAllister.

Apologies

Diane Docherty (Housing Convener), John Kerr and Harry McCormack (tenant volunteer).

Welcome and apologies

As above.

Discussion at previous meeting on 10th January 2019 focused on the following key themes:

  • Rent setting process / consultation
  • Value for Money and HRA budget
  • Monitoring of the Capital Programme

Agreed actions / questions from previous meeting are outlined below with any feedback that has been
provided.

Rent setting process/consultation

Transparency – monitoring of budgets needs to be clearer and tenant involvement in budget setting needs to happen earlier in process.

Action from previous meeting: Rent timeline needs to be discussed and agreed by JRG and Council/Housing Services need to ensure it is adhered to so that future rent setting discussions improve.

What needs to happen to get that agreed between housing, finance and tenants earlier for 2020/21 setting process ? -who needs to do what? How crucial are the estimates? Do others do it earlier? What can we learn from those who get much higher involvement rates.
Action outstanding

Sustainability budget

Action 7 from previous meeting - request for a briefing note outlining what evidence can be provided that the Sustainability Budget is effective ahead of it being increased by £105,001. Edward has provided a briefing note which was discussed. General support for this budget if it is evidenced to be effective, assumption was that review was carried out annually.

New action 1 – can the assessment that is due to be carried out at the end of this year be shared with the JRG (Edward).

Value for Money and HRA budget

Value for Money – £12m Repairs & maintenance budget – how do tenants know they are getting VFM – what is in place to ensure repair service is VFM? (e.g. number of pre and post inspections are well above Scottish average – so concern about how effective this is)

Action 1 from previous meeting - request information in terms of how widespread the checklist developed by Janine was used.

Janine provided a briefing note which was discussed. General support for work being carried. JRG happy that their query has been answered and that this action is now complete.

Action 2 from previous meeting - request for copy SLA that is in place and evidence that repair service is VFM and how that is assessed on an annual basis.

Edward has provided a copy of tender document outlining an exercise currently being carried out relating to Building Services. Meeting discussed this but agreed that what had been requested was more specific.

Action 2 – can information be in terms of how Value for Money with the repairs service is assessed at present be provided prior to next meeting or a reason provided if this is not possible (Edward /Martin).

Action 3 from previous meeting - request explanation around level of pre and post inspections and why these are so high (will these fall when IHMS is in operation?)

Martin has not yet provided requested briefing note to JRG.

Action 3 – can this briefing note please be provided prior to next meeting or a reason provided if this is not possible (Martin).

Action 4 from previous meeting - request an update in relation to the SLA with Greenspace previously discussed. Discussions apparently ongoing but need update.

Action 4 – Can this update be provided prior to the next meeting or a reason provided if this is not possible (Edward).

Action 5 from previous meeting - request to be made for information around Year 1 and Year 2 anticipated savings from IHMS and what this means in terms of service improvement / costs for tenants.

Graham provided some details of projected saving and are on target but group keen to understand how savings would be experienced by tenants (e.g. more repairs being carried out as working more efficiently or reduction in repair budget).

Action 5 – can more detail be provided in relation to projected savings and how they will be experienced by tenants (Graham).

Action 6 from previous meeting - request a briefing note explaining the methodology used for calculating internal charges as set out on page 13 of HRA workbook.

Janice / Janine provided an HRA Cost Allocation Methodology Statement which was widely welcomed.

Group agreed this would increase understanding and be central to ongoing work. JRG happy that their query has been answered and that this action is now complete.

Action 8 from previous meeting - can information be provided explaining the breakdown of the £179,315 increase in staff costs between HOs and IHMS staff
Janine provided an explanatory note which was discussed. JRG happy that their query has been answered and that this action is now complete.

Action 9 from previous meeting - can information be provided relating to costs paid to Civica in last 3 years to maintain current system.

Janine provided explanatory note which was discussed. JRG happy that their query has been answered and that this action is now complete.

Action 10 from previous meeting - Edward Thomas has confirmed that PAT testing service has been delayed and roll out is planned for April 2019 and will provide a briefing ahead of that for the JRG. Much discussion and questions around this proposed new service.

Action 10 - agreed to wait for the update from Edward.

Capital Programme

Monitoring - how is Capital Programme monitored? What is framework for regular monitoring and want to assess how robust framework is.

Action 11 from previous meeting - request for briefing note outlining the monitoring framework for the Capital Programme.

Alan provided a briefing note. JRG happy that their query has been answered and that this action is now complete.

Action 12 from previous meeting - can tenant friendly progress reports in terms of the Capital Programme be provided regularly to the JRG.

Alan confirmed that tenant friendly shorter report on BCR now provided but will look to provide a easyread progress report and raise it through Better Homes Group.

Action 13 from previous meeting - what are the plans or capabilities for local reporting of the Capital Investment Programme when the IHMS is operational.

Alan unsure of possibilities but will liaise with finance and IHMS on how this could be provided.

Action 14 from previous meeting - request for information about electric shower programme (numbers and how plan is developed) and for regular progress reports to be provided to the JRG.

Alan provided a briefing note on how properties will be identified. Tenants agreed with Alan’s proposal to use Housing News to encourage uptake.

New action 7 - progress on shower installations to be provided to JRG throughout year (Alan).

Decide focus of next meeting

Other issues raised / discussed;

  • Want to focus on one item for each meeting – need more information to understand and make more transparent. Also need info provided quicker so that tenants have time to read over.
  • JRG want to focus on VFM particularly in relation to repairs.
  • Can the HRA Cost Allocation Methodology Statement be shared electronically and can figures be added?
  • There are 145 account codes with a specific named budget holder which make up the HRA budget. Can we see what codes are under what headings, the budget and the responsible officer?
  • Communication and transparency are key – suggestion made to use Housing News to give more info quarterly re background processes ahead of rent setting.

Date of Next Meeting

Focus of next meeting to be on Repairs – Martin to be invited to discuss annual VFM assessment (action 2) plus Janine to update on IHMS work to develop ability to do local comparisons on repairs and VFM.

Tenants to meet 21/3/19 and full Joint Rent Group on 18/4/19, both 10.30AM at 16 Church Street.

Joint Rent Group- tenant meeting
Thursday 10th January 2019, 10.30am
Pend meeting room, 16 Church Street,
Dumbarton

Attendees

June Todd (tenant volunteer), Kasia Pawlowski (tenant volunteer), Lorraine Watson (volunteer), Stefan Kristmanns (Housing Development Co-ordinator) and Jane Mack (Tenant Participation Officer).

Apologies

Frances McGonagle (Tenant volunteer), Billy Neeson (tenant volunteer), Harry McCormack (tenant volunteer).

Welcome and apologies

As above.

Discussion

There was no agenda for the meeting which was seen as an opportunity to think about their priorities
and activities for 2019.
The discussion was wide ranging and focused on the following key themes:
• Rent setting process / consultation
• Value for Money and HRA budget
• Monitoring of the Capital Programme

Rent setting process/consultation

Transparency – monitoring of budgets needs to be clearer and tenant involvement in budget setting needs to happen early in process.

Action: request information in terms of how widespread the checklist being developed by Janine was used. How were individual budget lines signed off? – want to ensure that process has been made more robust and can also use for identifying where gaps are.

Action: Rent timeline needs to be discussed and agreed by JRG and Council/Housing Services need to ensure it is adhered to so that future rent setting discussions improve.

Value for Money and HRA budget

Value for Money – £12m Repairs & maintenance budget – how do tenants know they are getting VFM – what is in place to ensure repair service is VFM? (e.g. number of pre and post inspections are well above Scottish average – is that effective?).

Action: Request to be made for SLA that is in place and evidence that repair service is VFM and how that is assessed on an annual basis.

Action: Request explanation around level of pre and post inspections and why these are so high (will these fall when IHMS is in operation?).

Action: Request an update in relation to the SLA with Greenspace previously discussed.

Integrated Housing Management System (IHMS) – assume an assessment of cost and anticipated savings was considered as part of decision–making. Can projected savings be shared with JRG and what these mean for tenants, e.g. will anticipated savings be used to carry-out more jobs, or reduction in Repairs Budget?

Action: Request to be made for Year 1 and Year 2 anticipated savings and how will they be given back into service for tenants?

Other specific questions raised and answers for before next meeting to be requested,

  • What is methodology for calculating breakdown if internal charges as set out on page 13 - more information has been given about what the HRA proportion is but how is that calculated? – isn’t specified. JRG had expected a briefing note relating to this to already have been provided as agreed last year.
  • What evidence can be provided that the Sustainability Budget is effective ahead of it being increased by £105,001?
  • What is the breakdown of the £179,315 increase in staff costs between HOs and IHMS staff?
  • How much was paid to Civica in last 3 years to maintain current system
  • Edward Thomas had confirmed that PAT testing service been delayed and roll out is planned for April 2019 and will provide a briefing ahead of that for the JRG.

Capital Programme

Monitoring - how is Capital Programme monitored? What is framework for regular monitoring and want to assess how robust framework is.

Action: Request to be made to Alan Young for a briefing on current framework for regular monitoring of Capital programme progress and can a tenant friendly progress reports be provided regularly.

Local reporting – interest in knowing programmes and spending at a local level and with IHMS how that can be developed.

Action – ask Alan Young for plans in terms of local reporting or ideas in terms of how this can be developed with new IHMS

Action: discussed the rent consultation and proposals to widen the scope of the shower programme. Tenants asked how properties will be identified and for progress to be reported in terms of numbers installed.

Date of Next Meeting

Thursday 21 February, 10.30am in the Denny meeting room, ground floor of 16 Church Street for full JRG.