Update on Bridge meeting, Repairs service and Tenant Support Fund

Blog / Engagement Panel

Update from the engagement panel 12 April  2023

Next engagement panel meeting:  Thursday 11 May 2023, 5pm-6.30pm

Chair Pete Kennedy-Watson provided an update on the February bridge meeting. Panel members and Board members came together to discuss this quarter’s performance topic. The meetings covered an overview of the process of how STAR surveys are carried out and the data and insight we get from responses.

Customer Care was the focus for this session and Customer Service Manager, Mike Rippon joined the bridge meeting to run through key performance indicators.

Anti-social behaviour, damp & mould and planned works are all areas the panel would like to look into at in upcoming bridge meetings. Customer Service Director, Claudia Cobban added that work is underway to identify underlying issues within homes that have damp and mould.

Next, Responsive Repairs Manager, Kristian Maggs gave an update on the repairs service.

Priority 1 (same day) and Priority 2 (5 day) cases are currently at an all-time high, which has a knock-on effect to other repairs already booked in. Working in partnership with HRS Alliance we are looking at systems and aligning systems to make better use of our repairs operatives. Panel members shared feedback from their own personal experiences. A number fed back that when the repairs operative arrived, they often had very little detail about the repair. This shows that the systems are still not passing through the information from tenants to our repairs operatives’ devices. This has been raised previously and is being investigated.

Kristian shared statistics around performance. There were several improvements since the last repairs update. Another positive improvement is void properties (empty homes) that were legacy Solon properties. They were all transferred in October 2022 to HRS Alliance, alongside the legacy United Communities void properties. The team has made progress with the void turnaround time, focusing on bringing the number of void properties down drastically over the coming months. It was recognised that this team needed more resources and Brighter Places has since expanded the team to improve efficiency, taking the capacity to a team of six.

Our final agenda item was an update on the Tenant Support Fund. Customer Service Director, Claudia Cobban and Senior Tenancy Impact Officer, Amy Oxenham gave an update from previous year; touching on what went well, overall expenditure, challenges faced and feedback from tenants about how the process could be improved and simplified.

A proposal for the year ahead was shared with the panel. This includes a larger sum of money which was agreed upon by the Board, and Claudia proposed that £10k was removed from the support fund to be invested into a data collection and analysis role. This role will help us identify those most in need of the fund, as our current data does not give us this insight.

All eight panel members supported the proposal and suggestions were made from members about how the process could be simplified; how tenants who do not meet the threshold/criteria could be identified, and particularly those who we do not hear from and that do not receive any benefits.

If any resident is interested in the panel meetings and would like to attend as an observer at one, please do get in contact with a member of Brighter Places staff. All residents are welcome.

Mike Sheppard  – Panel Member