Local Offers - how are you developing them?
28/09/2010 1:56 pm
Location: Portsmouth, UK.
I've been involved with developing Local Offers for Guinness Hermitage (GH), which is part of The Guinness Partnership (TGP).
I'd be really interested to hear from residents and staff of other organisations about how you've gone about developing Local Offers; whether you have agreed any yet; if so what they are; how residents have been involved; and how residents will continue to be involved.
So far in GH we have:
- Held workshops on residents' priorities for Local Offers at both our GH and TGP customer conferences.
- Surveyed around 400 residents (who have told us they are happy to be surveyed) for their views on these priorities.
- Published the results of the above in our Annual Report to be sent to all 12,000 GH residents (OK so it isn't 'published' until 1st October - but it's at the printers!)
The Annual Report will encourage feedback from residents, and with the support of our resident led panels and Service Improvement Groups we will be carrying out a series of events between now and Christmas to try and engage with as many people as possible across GH (we cover from Hampshire to Bristol to the South West.) Some of our ideas include:
- Office 'open days' for residents to come in, chat to staff, so 'behind the scenes' and give us their views on Local Offers.
- Running worshops/focus groups on estates and in sheltered schemes.
- Bowling / panto trips for families.
- Setting up an internet forum.
- Using existing planned events (e.g. Business Planning 'away day' for residents; our half-term Streetsport diversionary scheme for kids) to discuss Local Offers formally and informally
- Between Chrsitmas and April we'll be asking residents to put together a publication on Local Offers covering what they are; how we've put them together; and how they will be monitored and reviewed.
Like I say, it would be great to find out how others are approaching Local Offers.
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29/09/2010 11:05 am
Leon your very luck and I hope you get the response. It would be nice to see others.
Unfortunately are Housing Association makes out that Tenant Involvement but at the end of the day only use us to pick our brains and use them for themselves.
It in our case we had to go out to other organsation due to the fact the offers and all that goes with it -not worth the paper its written on and the fact its about them and what the resident's must do.
We have this problem very time its for the few and not the all.
To be honest I do not believe the staff able to cope with this and do not like the fact that resident's involvement. If fact saying in our Code of Conduct (Resident's not to tell staff what to do - well if working well we would have to tell them).
We have them setting up Focus Group's and inviting most of the nodding heads. We have them setting up Training Day's and inviting most of the nodding heads. We have them setting up Focus Group's and went we put in our suggestions/presentation papers do not sent them out nor hand them out.
We gone to outside organsation's like TAREO, Sheltering Homes UK, TPAS, TSA, Peter Marsh and Local Authority Chief Executive to get advise and assistant.
Again we do not believe that staff equipment to deal with Resident's input and to be honest we believe staff do not want us involved.
11/10/2010 1:39 pm
I still can't quite believe that a majority of "Involved tenants" haven't yet woken up to the fact that TP/involvement is simply a mechanism to allow the housing provider to retain complete top down control .This is the most "Disempowering" top down controlled structure imagineable. Everything else is illusory.
The sooner we establish Independent Local Tenants Panels everywhere ,possibly linking with Independent Neighbourhood Groups (Localism agenda as part of the Big Society strategy), local residents will be in a position to speak without fear. Watch what happens then.
This is the only way to ensure the required culture change happens quickly. Otherwise our neighbourhoods will continue to degenerate as services worse and crime increases as the reform programme starts to bite.
The enfranchisement of local residents is the aim of the Sustainable Communities Act which has recently been enacted (October 01st) after receiving Royal Assent.
Culture change can now occur, but I am not holding my breath , particularly in Labour controlled areas.
Tenants shouldn't sit on the touch line complaining, get stuck in and use these new powers.
11/10/2010 3:24 pm
Jimmy, I'd be genuinely interested to hear why you think this is a mechanism for retaining top-down control?? Aside from the fact that any framework can only be as effective as the people delivering it - what specifically should tenants be aware of?
11/10/2010 4:56 pm
I like to hear more from Jimmy too please