Members of this group attended the Tenant Scrutiny – Getting Started course in March 2014.
The role of the panel is to reflect tenant and leaseholders’ concerns, aspirations and priorities about the delivery of housing services. They also investigate service provision and make recommendations on how to improve services and value for money to senior housing managers and Councillors based on evidence collected.
After the course the group decided that they needed some further mentoring to help get them through their next review, they successfully applied for a grant to pay for some expert support with this.
Unfortunately while the panel were getting ready for the review they encountered some personality clashes which affected the dynamics of the panel. They collectively decided that they weren’t ready to go ahead with the review and would need to first solve their differences so that they could work better together going forward. It was at this point they contacted Trafford Hall to ask whether they could change the use of their grant money.
Instead of the further mentoring it was agreed that the £300.00 grant awarded could be used for some professional help with mediation for the panel.
Since the mediation took place the panel have embarked on a new scrutiny review called Responsive Repair. Members of the panel identified a training need for report writing. This became the next priority for the panel and is planned to be carried out by a consultant in January 2015.
The panel have faced many challenges. Some members have not fully understood what scrutiny is and having different ideas, this has meant that the panel has had additional work such as the terms of reference, code of conduct and meditations.
The panel have since started on their third review on Responsive Repairs. This is the first review where all seven members have worked together (the last two reviews the panel worked in two separate groups). Having the mediation support has helped the group to begin to work as one. This scrutiny review is focussing on members working together and to improve the group’s scrutiny knowledge.
The panel plans to recruit and have a different selection process which will involve interested members in shadowing some of the panel’s work.
“Even though the grant money has not gone according to plan, members have been able to spend the money according to the group’s needs”. – Dave Murtagh – Tenant and Resident Scrutiny Panel