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					                                                        Appendix 1a

                        Stirling Council

       Tenant Participation Strategy 2012

      Working in Partnership with Tenants


1.    Introduction

2.    Position Statement

3.    Aim and Objectives

4.    Principles of the Tenant Participation Strategy

5.    Information

6.    Consultation

7.    Review

8.    Resources for Tenant Participation

9.    Complaints

10.   Appendixes

11.   Stirling Council Useful Numbers


     Dunblane Tenants Group

      Houisng Group

1. Introduction from Head of Housing

1.1 Welcome to our Tenant Participation Strategy that has been
developed jointly with tenants and tenant representatives from
Registered Tenant Organisations.

1.2 These tenants and tenant representatives are supported by the
Tenant Participation and Advisory Service and Council employees and

      1.2.1 reviewed current tenant consultation and good participation
      1.2.2 identified strengths and weaknesses of these practices;
      1.2.3 made recommendations for improvement which have been
      included in the new strategy.

1.3 The aim of our Tenant Participation Strategy is to develop a
partnership with tenants and other service users that will improve
Housing Services.

1.4 We view consultation and participation as a core activity and an
ongoing process that must be integrated into all our Housing Services.

1.5 Our strategy is developed to take account of the individual needs of
tenants and other service users. For example, we consider people’s
needs and preferences regarding how they want to get involved and to
what level. We produce information in plain language and in other
formats such as large print. This is done to ensure that information is
accessible to individuals thus helping them to consult more effectively.

1.6 A Tenant Participation Strategy Implementation Plan will be agreed
and monitored with tenant representatives. We will ensure there is
adequate budgetary provision to achieve these actions.

1.7 We encourage all tenants and service users to participate in the
development of housing policies. We would like to thank everyone who
gives time and energy in working with us to improve services.

2.         Position statement

2.1        Stirling Council considers tenant participation as the main way of
           involving tenants in:

           2.1.1 Policy Development

           2.1.2 Taking part in contributing to the Councils decision making

           2.1.3 Shaping decisions at all levels

           2.1.4 Commenting on the performance against the statutory
           obligations relating to tenant participation

           2.1.5 Sharing responsibility with the Council to improve Housing

2.2 Through consultation tenant’s views are considered and
incorporated into the decision making process. Tenant participation is,
therefore, a strategic policy that is about:

          2.2.1 Promoting effective housing policies in partnership with

           2.2.2 Improving tenant satisfaction through improved services

          2.2.3 Developing services that are accessible to the needs of
          individual tenants.

3.        Aim of the Tenant Participation Strategy

3.1 The aim of our strategy is to continue to develop a partnership with

3.2 We will achieve our aim by:

           3.2.1 Providing information, which tenants can use and thereby
           judge our service's performance
          3.2.2 Creating a variety of opportunities for tenants to engage
          with the service

          3.2.3 Including tenant views in planning our service delivery

      3.2.4 Providing support to tenants to increase tenants awareness
      for participating in Housing Services

      3.2.5 Ensuring the delivery of Housing Services meet tenants
      housing needs

4.     Principles behind our Tenant Participation Strategy

 4.1 Our Strategy is based on the following principles:

       4.1.1 The relationship between the Council and tenants is based
       on mutual trust, openness and partnership, in accordance with
       Stirling Council code of conduct

       4.1.2 All parties involved in the process recognise and respect
       each other’s views

       4.1.3 Active participation by Tenants, Elected Members and
       Council employees are required

       4.1.4 Tenants, tenant organisations and the Council ensure equal
       access for all, to information, consultation and participation in the
       decision-making processes.

4.2 Stirling Council’s Tenant Participation Strategy will be compliant

       4.2.1 Housing (Scotland) Act 2010

       4.2.2 Stirling Council’s Vision and Values

       4.2.3 Single Outcome Agreement

       4.2.4 All current Equality Legislation

       4.2.5 Current Tenant Satisfaction and Aspiration Survey’s

       4.2.6 Scottish Social Housing Charter (once approved by Scottish

       4.2.7 Strategic Housing Plan

4.3 It will take account of the views of tenants involved in the process.

4.4 Tenants have a right to

   4.4.1 Information on service standards, performance, policies and
   procedures. This information will be available in locations and
   various formats to allow tenants to make informed decisions.

    4.4.2 Decide on their role within the consultation and participation

   4.4.3 Be consulted in the decision making process regarding housing
   policy and services provided, in ways that they find suitable

   4.4.4 Have support from and access to senior managers and Elected
   Members as highlighted in the Council’s Communications Strategy

4.5 The Council and all Housing Services employees have a duty to
ensure that tenants are encouraged to participate by:

   4.5.1 Making information on services, including standards, targets
         and performance measurements and opportunities for
         consultation widely known

   4.5.2 Making information available to and encouraging participation
         by all the community in consultation.

   4.5.3 Recognising the independence of tenant organisations.

   4.5.4 Creating a variety of opportunities

   4.5.5 Providing an annual training programme on housing policy.

   4.5.6 Providing support, advice and assistance to tenants

   4.5.7    Making adequate resources available for tenants to achieve
           their objectives

4.6 Consultation and participation in decision-making activities and
processes will be monitored and reviewed regularly.

5.     Information

5.1 Tenants need to be provided with information through a variety of
methods on:

       5.1.1 what services are being provided

       5.1.2 how to access services

       5.1.3 the standard of service provided

       5.1.4 the performance against targets currently being achieved

       5.1.5 how the service provided compares against similar
             services provided by other agencies

       5.1.6 how to respond if dissatisfied with the service provided

       5.1.7 housing services expenditure

5.2 All publications will be available in other languages and formats,
upon request. The Council will also provide interpreting and signing
services, as required.

       5.2.1 We will produce 3 newsletters annually, called Open Door,
       containing local and general service issues, including service
       performance. The newsletter may be used to seek responses
       from tenants.

       5.2.2 We will provide tenants with a guide, which gives an overall
       view of services and service quality. It will include rights and
       responsibilities of both tenants and the Council.

       5.2.3 We will make sure that leaflets and posters to raise tenants
       awareness of services are displayed in public access areas.

       5.2.4 We will use local newsletters, editions of Open Door, press
       stories and media adverts to inform tenants and others of the

       5.2.5 An annual report will be produced that will explain progress
       on the Housing Services Business Plan, our service standard,
       performance against targets and compare performance with
       other landlords.

       5.2.6 We will provide tenants with information on our investment
       programme. Tenants can be provided with information on the
       investment programme at the Open Day.

       5.2.7 We will make all information available through our website: Working with tenants we will develop the
       website to encourage tenants to participate. We will arrange
       training for any Registered Tenants Organisation who are
       seeking to develop their own website.

       5.2.8 All publications will meet Stirling Council’s Communications

6.     Consultation

6.1 The aim of our consultation with tenants is to listen to and use the
information gathered to improve Housing Service.

6.2 We will use a wide selection of methods to create opportunities for a
range of tenant’s views to be gathered. The methods used will reflect
local circumstances, previous history of success and failure, and the
views of tenants, Elected Members and officers.

6.3 We may use an independent organisation to carry out consultation
exercises. Potential methods include:

     6.3.1 Service and individual surveys

     6.3.2 Focus groups

     6.3.3 Suggestion boxes in locally accessed areas

     6.3.4 Customer journeys where appropriate

     6.3.5 Estate walkabouts

     6.3.6 Use of mystery shopping where appropriate

We will consult in the following ways:

6.4 Tenants Panel

      6.4.1 The Tenants Panel consists of over 600 council tenants.
      Those tenants have indicated that they are interested in
      participating in consultation exercises.

      6.4.2 They are kept informed and receive invitations to meetings,
      focus groups and are asked to participate in surveys.

      6.4.3 Relevant training will be made available to those on the
      Tenants Panel.

      6.4.4 Tenants can join the panel by contacting Housing Services
      who will pass their details to the specialist Tenant Participation

6.5 Tenants Voice

      6.5.1 A Tenants Voice is an individual tenant who can act as a
      link between Stirling Council and other tenants in their area.

      6.5.2 The Tenants Voice could cover part of a street or a number
      of streets within their own community.

      6.5.3 Will listen to the views of tenants.

      6.5.4 Raise issues put forward by tenants and keep tenants
      informed of the outcome.

      6.5.6 A Tenants Voice will receive expenses incurred whilst
      carrying out activities ( see expense procedure in Apendix 2)


6.6 Tenant Forum

     6.6.1 Each year, there will be a maximum of 2 Tenant Forums,
           one in Spring and one in Autumn. They are run by the
           Council and open to all Council tenants.

     6.6.2 They will be held to gather tenants views on

                  Service standards
                  The performance of services
                  Planning for improvements.

     6.6.3 The forum in Spring is called the Housing Open Day and
            this will cover;

                  current consultations
                  the capital investment programme
                  the councils new build programme
                  any future plans for Housing Services
                  joint working initiatives
                  tenants satisfaction results
                  tenant participation
                  tenant service improvement suggestions

     6.6.4 All tenants will receive a letter inviting them to the Open
     Day; posters will also be circulated along with press release in
     local media and community announcements.

     6.6.5 All Elected Members and MSPs within the local area are
     invited to attend the Housing Open Day.

     6.6.6 In November/December the tenants forum will examine
     rents and repairs & investment. This allows sufficient time for all
     tenants views to be taken into consideration before results are
     presented to the full Council in March.

     6.6.7 The outcomes from the Tenant Forums will be published in
     Open Door, on the website and reported to the
     Housing Advisory Group.

6.7 Tenant Led Inspections

The Council will assist tenants to further develop and expand Tenant
Led Inspections.

      6.7.1 Tenant Led Inspections offer tenants the opportunity to
      inspect Housing Services and check that the Council’s actions
      meet its stated commitments. On completion the Tenant
      Inspectors report will produce recommendations which will be
      considered by Housing Services.

      6.7.2 The Tenant Led Inspection Project has the backing of the
      Council and is actively supported by TPAS.

      6.7.3 Tenant Led Inspectors are individual tenants who are
      provided with training. They receive independent advice and

      6.7.4 Tenant Inspectors observe the Service in various ways;
      write a report on what they have found and make
      recommendations on how services could be improved.

      6.7.5 The Tenant Led Inspectors will monitor reports after 6
      months, to ensure progress is being made.

6.8 Registered Tenant Groups

      6.8.1 The Council encourages tenants to establish themselves as
      a Registered Tenants Organisation and in doing so they agree to
      work in partnership with the Council.

      6.8.2 The Council encourages registered tenant organisations to
      provide the Council with the groups contact details on an annual

6.9 Stirling Tenants Assembly

      6.9.1 The Stirling Tenants Assembly is a collective voice for
      Stirling Council Tenants.

      6.9.2 They are an independent organisation, which covers Stirling
      Council geographical area with support of the Council. All Stirling
      Council tenants can participate.

      6.9.2 The Stirling Tenants Assembly holds regular meetings and
      an annual conference, and through their work, can influence

     Council Housing Services.

6.10 Housing Advisory Group

     6.10.1 The Housing Advisory Group is an advisory body of the
     Council. Its purpose is to provide a forum for the discussion of
     issues and views relating to the development of the Housing
     Service and to advise the relevant portfolio holder and the
     Council’s Executive on issues relating to housing. The Group is
     supported by the Council and consists of up to 7 tenant
     representatives and 6 elected members.

    6.10.2 The Council supports the Housing Advisory Group. Tenant
    Representatives and Elected Members review and comment on all
    aspects of the delivery and development of the Housing Service.

     6.10.3 The Group pays specific attention to:

        the annual review of the housing service 30 year business
        proposals for service developments and improvements
        service standards and performance
        value for money and efficiency
        proposed rent increases
        priorities for investment and meeting the Scottish Housing
           Quality Standard
        publicity, communication and performance reporting to
        encouraging the inclusion of all groups

   The elected members are:
     6.10.4 The Housing portfolio holder (chair)

     6.10.5 Two other members selected from the administration

     6.10.6 Three elected members selected from opposition groups

     6.10.7 The Group meets regularly on a cycle linked to that of the
      Council Executive. Meeting dates and times will, so far, as is
      reasonable, be agreed to maximise the involvement of the
      tenant members.

6.11 Other Housing Groups

       6.11.1 From time to time other groups may form to discuss
        specific issues and the Council will provide support and
        resources to these groups

7 Review

7.1 Registered Tenants Organisation’s and the Council should review
the strategy at a minimum of every 3 years. However if there is a
political change within that time scale then we may consider a review of
the strategy if the political change has a different stance to tenant
participation than that of their predecessors.

7.2 The action plan will be monitored annaully by the independent
tenant participation worker who will report findings back to Housing
Advisory Group.

7. 3 The implementation of the strategy will take immediate effect after
Committee/Council approval as appropriate. The implementation of
the stratgey will be monitored via the action plan. This review will

       7.3.1 Ensuring that the methods used to encourage tenant
       participation are adequate to meet the requirements of tenants
       and the duties of the Council.
       7.3.2 Monitoring resources to ensure that they are sufficient to
       develop and sustain tenant participation.
       7.3.2 Ensuring that the action plan is appropriate and effective.

8      Resources

8.1 When we establish further contracts, it will be via the appropriate
procurement process to obtain a specialist organisation to provide
independent advice, support to new and existing Registered Tenants
Organisations, Tenant Led Inspectors, Tenant Voices and Council Staff.
A panel of tenants and Council Officers will complete all procurement
documentation, which will contribute to the decision on the appointment
of the organisation.

8. 2 The Council funds a specialist worker to work with tenants of
Stirling Council and other agencies as required to develop tenant
participation. They will promote tenant participation best practice within
the Council.

8.3 LEAP (Local Estate Action Plan) funding will be made available on
an annual basis to encourage tenant participation with either individual
tenants or groups of tenants to work in partnership with the Council in
improving the estates that they live in.

8.4 Housing Employees are essential in promoting tenant participation.
This commitment is a continuous process that must be integrated into all
of Housing Services.

Housing Employees will:

        8.4.1 maintain a register of tenants and preferred contact details
        in the course of their work

        8.4.2 liase and support the work of local registered tenants
        groups, other organisations and Tenants Voices

        8.4.3 communicate effectively with all tenants

        8.4.4 ensure that all Housing information that is displayed or
        distributed to tenants is up- to -date

        8.4.5 collate comments posted in the suggestion boxes and
        forward to Tenant Participation Worker on a weekly basis

        8.4.6 liase with Registered Tenants Organisations and other
        tenant groups in their area. The Council will dedicate staff time to
        attend these events and this shall be done via a rota system and
        by invitation of the Registered Tenants Organisation

        8.4.7 participate in Tenant Forums and the Council will dedicate
        staff time to attend these events

        8.4.8 have training on tenant participation in order for them to
        promote tenant participation within their day- to- day activities

8.5 The tenant participation budget will be reviewed annually along with
the rent consultation. Within this budget the Council will ensure that
there is adequate funding for Registered Tenants Organisations. The
level of funding will be agreed with their representatives.

        8.5.1 For all consultation or participation events that the Council
        organises it will:

        Fund all reasonable expenses for hire of venues and cost of
        Fund all reasonable expenses for care costs and transport for
         all attendees
        Use accessible buildings to meet the needs of all attendees

        Provide appropriate services such as the provision of
         interpretation services or crèche facilities

8.6 A tenant’s expense form is included as Appendix 3

9. Complaints

9.1 Stirling Council have a complaints procedure details of which can be
provided by housing employees or can be accessed on our website

10. Appendix 1- 3

        10.1.1 Appendix 1            How to register as a RTO

        10.1.2 Appendix 2            Tenant Voice Expense form and

        10.2.3 Appendix 3          Tenants expense form and procedure

                      Stirling Council Useful Numbers

Cornton Local Office                     01786 450 030
Raploch Local Office                     01786 462 824
Rural Areas                              01786 443 496
Stirling Town                            01786 462 824

Broomridge and Braehead                  01786 450 030

                                         01786 816 515
Fallin Local Office                      01786 814 018

Homeless Unit                            01786 432 400
Springkerse House

One Stop Shop                            0845 277 7000

Allocations                              01786 442 871

Repairs                                  0800 027 5888

Out of Hours                             0845 277 7000

Noise Nuisance Team                      0845 277 7000


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