15 October 2019
More than 200 Council tenants and leaseholders came to our first Residents Summit (held on Saturday 12 October), with the goal of looking at how housing can continue to improve now that it is directly managed by the Council. The event was planned and designed with residents and is part of the ongoing commitment to place residents at the heart of the service.
The Summit featured keynote speakers including the Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Kim Taylor Smith; and local residents Gordon Futter and renowned architect George Clarke who presents shows such as The Restoration Man and George Clarke's Amazing Spaces on Channel 4.
Engaging workshops identified the key things people like about their homes and communities, what could be better and what the vision for the future should be and how to get there. There were also discussions of challenges including antisocial behaviour, homes being used for short-term letting, such as Air B&B, and how housing could be greener.
The Summit gave those present an opportunity to meet other residents and find out more about the Council’s aspirations for housing and the services available to them. Feedback from residents included: “I felt my opinion was really valued” and it was “A very enjoyable day”.
The Council has been working closely with residents to find out what they want and to codesign services. This has included the relaunch of the Tenant’s Consultative Committee at the end of 2017 which has representatives from all resident associations in Council housing and helps develop Housing Management policy. This work has contributed to a recent consultation confirming tenants want the Council to continue managing their homes.
At the end of the summit Doug Goldring, Director of Housing Management, made it clear that the information from the event would be used to improve the way the Council works and provide better customer services. It was also an opportunity for tenants and leaseholders to have their say on the draft Housing Strategy, which looks to set out the Council’s plans to prevent and relieve homelessness, work with housing associations to secure more homes for local people and improve standards and to support older, disabled and vulnerable residents to stay in their homes.
There were also a host of stalls and activities including gardening and tai chi and a fun zone for three to 11-year-olds.