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The WDTRO meets with Councillor Diane Docherty (Housing Convenor) and senior housing staff every 2 months. This allows tenant representatives to have face to face discussions with decision-making Housing staff and to work together to improve housing related services. The WDTRO encourages all groups to have 2 representatives involved and is a good vehicle to aid participation and resolve tenant issues.

WDTRO Liaison Meeting Minutes 2021

WDC/WDTRO Liaison Meeting No.71

Thursday 25 February 2021, 2pm Via Zoom

 

List of those present at meeting:

  • Frances McGonagle - Littleholm TRA (chaired meeting)
  • Councillor Diane Docherty - Housing Convener
  • Billy Neeson Westbridgend - TRA
  • Mary Paton Willox Park - TRA
  • Georgia McCambley - Central Radnor Park TRA
  • Harry McCormack - Tullichewan TRA
  • Ruth Dickinson - Willox Park TRA
  • June Todd - WDTRO
  • Polly Wheelans- Littleholm TRA
  • Alan Young - Housing Asset and Investment Manager
  • Stefan Kristmanns - Housing Development Co-ordinator
  • John Kerr Housing - Development & Homelessness Manager
  • Edward Thomas - Housing Operations Manager
  • Scott McLelland - Area Co-ordinator
  • Tracy Crichton - Area Co-ordinator
  • Suzanne Bannister - Client services Officer (Repairs)
  • Jane Mack - Snr Housing Development Officer ( Tenant Participation ) (minute taker)

 

WDC/WDTRO Liaison Meeting No.71, Thursday 25th February 2021, 2pm Via Zoom
No. Agenda item

1

Welcome, introductions and apologies

Frances welcomed everyone to the meeting. Apologies been received from Martin Feeney, Jacqui Peacock, and David Lynch.

 

2

Issues arising from update on actions from previous minutes – updates issued ahead of meeting.

 

No update given on the Littleholm landing window issue so Frances asked if there was any progress and Edward confirmed that progress being made and had received further information from Consultancy Services about fire safety specification. Also identified that the proposal for communal smoke alarms could be connected and work completed together. An update should be available for the next Liaison meeting.

3

Update on fire safety info re cladding on MSFs in West Dunbartonshire ( Edward Thomas)

 

Paper went to Housing & Communities Committee in November 2020 on fire safety and included number of recommendations. Including smoke detectors in communal area, bin stores and are at advance stage with specifications and costs and a capital programme will be created. Edward also met with the local  Scottish Fire & Rescue (SFR) to get their views on plans to replace window spandrel panels and within next 4 months should have a more specific update regarding that work.

Going to co-ordinate work with the landing windows  to make most use of the  full height access equipment needed.

 

Frances highlighted that they had had commitment that any agenda items would be given to them in writing ahead of the meeting and Edward committed to this for future and will provide copy of todays information. ACTION: Edward

 

 

4

Update on fire doors and maintenance of common areas within high rise blocks ( Edward Thomas ) – Members briefing issued ahead of the meeting.

 

Edward talked through the briefing paper provided and explained had been initiated re Dalmuir MSFs but will apply to all MSFs. Aim is to minimise delays in repairs getting done and to reduce reliance on third party contractors. Proposal is to have dedicated repairs personnel to deal with all MSF repairs and give them specialised training so that more repairs can be done in-house and quicker. Another benefit is that will keep repair ordering more manageable. Dedicated staff will build up local knowledge as many blocks have specific types of doors, lighting etc.

Asked when this would be happening Edward confirmed that it had been agreed at Building Services Board and Martin Feeney started process of requesting interest from operatives. No firm timescale with personnel yet but Edward confident would roll out this year.

Frances also asked about the previous suggestion to barcode all fire doors to help with identification and Edward confirmed that David Lynch has completed research and will be hoping to include that in these arrangements as will help  identify repairs and gives a clear record of inspections.

 

Billy stated approval of proposal and saw it as the way forward and good to see. Edward committed to keeping WDTRO updated with progress. ACTION: Edward

 

5

Repairs performance update (Suzanne Bannister) – performance report and call handling statistics issued ahead of the meeting.

 

Suzanne explained the statistics issued and advised that the emergency response time had increased to 6.56 hrs mainly due to the additional COVID precautions that staff had to do.

 

Tenants satisfaction is low ( 67.5%) and the number of surveys being completed is very low – for those stating dissatisfaction, timescales was the most common reason. In Q3 ( Oct-Dec) the number of emergencies done has gone down but this is due to training being done with contact centre staff so less repairs are being wrongly classed as emergencies. The low number of surveys being completed has been raised with Citizen Services and they have said they will try to increase numbers. Operative handheld devices also being amended to include the survey so by end of March more should be included so figures more realistic.

 

In terms of the call handling statistics , less calls are being made but still a higher percentage abandoned.  With more appointments being made and text reminders, are hoping to reduce the number of calls for updates to free up staff to answer new repair requests.

 

Average waiting times still questioned and the shortest and longest waiting figures have been requested and Lorraine Payne from Citizen Services is attending the April Liaison meeting so these issues can be discussed directly with her .

 

6

Charter Performance update  (Stefan Kristmanns) – summary of action progress provided ahead of meeting as well as report on overdue actions and actions with no progress .

 

Some progress been made and only 4 actions are overdue ( down from 8 at last meeting ). Report shows actions with no progress or overdue and tenants were invited to ask any questions.

Frances asked about the homelessness action which shows no progress or updates and John confirmed that the action been pushed back but is getting focused on in the next 6 weeks via regular working group meetings and will get report updated. ACTION: John

 

Billy also asked about the delay in the publication about Housing  to 2040 and John confirmed that been delayed initially by Brexit and then by the pandemic but the Scottish Government  team tasked with the report are back in place and he thinks it will be published in Mid March and will be shared with the WDTRO. ACTION: John/Jane

 

Harry proposed that an update meeting be scheduled with Stefan to discuss further the Charter improvement plan and WDTRO happy for that to be arranged. ACTION: Harry/Stefan

7

Forward plan update (John Kerr)

 

John gave a financial update on the new build programme as previously advised that had had some overspends but had a positive meeting with Scottish Government and being allocated an additional £512,000 for new build programme. Also still negotiating for additional grant to cover additional costs for Dumbarton Harbour as original contractor went into liquidation at beginning of lockdown. New contractor in place and building is well under way but any additional grant will help Housing Revenue Account (HRA).  Scottish Government also agreed to front fund the acquisition of Bank Street, Willox Park care home site and Mount Pleasant care home site for future house building.

Tenant Design group meeting taken place and went well. John keen to ensure tenants are involved in designs right from start so this group will be ensure that.

Initial plans for Clydebank East site also open for public comments .

 

St Andrews handovers scheduled for February been delayed  due to additional soil sample certificates needed – no issues identified but unfortunate that affected a few new tenants move in dates. All others back on schedule.

 

All other new build sites all on schedule – Haldane, Aikenbar and Dumbarton Harbour all completing in next few months. Last few tenants moving into  Creveul Court  and community garden been handed over to the Leamy Foundation to develop and  maintain.

 

Future potential sites also being looked at – Clydebank health centre when it moves to Queens Quay but won’t know if note of interest accepted until end of the year.

 

Mary asked if the sale of Willox had been completed and John confirmed that it wasn’t yet and as is an internal sale from the Council’s General fund to housing will include the site being demolished first and then handed over to Housing. Asked what the timescale for the demolition was and John advised that had hoped for the sale to be concluded by end of March but looking tight for demolition to be done by then and John committed to getting an update from Consultancy Services . Update to also include plans for managing additional traffic at the site as at Willox Park there is no pavements and tenants concerned about traffic at the existing sheltered properties as only 2 entrance and exits. ACTION: John

Ruth raised tenant concerns about fire raising while the current building lies empty and Scott committed to ensuring additional patrols are restarted until the demolition is completed. ACTION: Scott

 

John also confirmed that still at design stage for the site but looking at additional 16-20 properties and would be sheltered housing to tie in with surrounding properties. Once site is in Housing hands John committed to ensuring there is regular communication to keep existing tenants up to date.

 

Query made about the site of the former Frank Downie House but John unsure as not a site they are looking at for housing development.

 

Query made about the Old Craft Street works down from Freelands Crescent in Old Kilpatrick but John unaware of site and will ask Planning for an update. ACTION: John

 

Query made about old Playdrome site as demolition starting – John confirmed will not be a social housing development and again Council will be doing demolition and then marketing the site.

 

8

Tenant Participation Update (Jane Mack)

Rent setting consultation – good response to online survey with 1344 tenants voting . The lowest rise of 1.5% ,  Option 1 was the preferred rent option which is being put forward as the rent increase to the full Council meeting on 3/3. Having a pre-meeting with tenants , Diane and Peter to discuss the rent setting paper , like we do with HACC papers on Monday 1 March and tenants encouraged to read the paper and come along to the meeting. The rent setting response has improved but there is still improvements to be made to ensure the whole process is more meaningful and the WDTRO input on that is welcomed .

The Joint Rent Group continues to meet monthly and are working through the SHN toolkit to assess compliance with the HRA Guidance and will be used to identify the key areas that still need improved for the JRG to focus on.

Tenant Priority Budget – virtual public meeting held on  10 Feb  and 4 new projects were approved as well as the outstanding proposal for a limited laundry facility at Park Ct, Littleholm . Work will start on the agreed proposals once COVID restrictions allow .

Hanne working with the remaining TRAs that haven’t had virtual meetings so that all groups have the option to meet if they want. CATRA have now had a zoom meeting and she’ll focus on the others. Any group needing any digital support or communication help  should get in touch.

Training – a successful virtual training session held for 10 tenants on 23/2/21 on Speaking up for yourself and others which focused on confidence building and using  communication skills for positive outcomes.

Spring edition of Housing News out 12 March– any suggestions for things to be covered in future editions to contact Jane and staff too should also plan what they want to be telling tenants  about what they are doing.

 

9

AOCB

 

June advised that cladding been done at Durban Avenue and looking really good but 2 tenanted properties at 121 and 123 Durban been missed and Alan will check out . ACTION: Alan Y

 

Frances asked if posters could be put up in multistory flats telling tenants about the out of hours service with contact details and Scott committed to doing that – service can be assessed via the ASB helpline and is manned everyday until 2am. ACTION: Scott

 

It was also confirmed that the day caretakers finish at 2pm as part of the Health & Safety assessment of their work. Edward advised that the caretakers have worked throughout the pandemic with reduced duties as main focus was on cleaning touch-points. Their working times was reviewed as part of efforts to minimise potential exposure to the virus. Arrangements are regularly reviewed and essential duties are still done.

 

10.

Date of meeting  - 2pm Thursday 22nd April, via Zoom

 

 

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