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LH_Minutes_14_03_11

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					                            Leaseholder Forum Meeting
                                 14th March 2011

                                       Minutes


  In attendance:                               Officers in attendance:
  P Purcell                             Helen Thorpe
  Miss Grainger                         Jonathan Drake (Part)
  L Nicholson                           Mike Pullin ( Part )
  S Wright (part)                       Margaret Graham (Part)
  D Thornton                            Reece Young
  M Taylor
  J Howarth
  P F Boyce Thomson
  Linda Manley (part)
  Brian Moriarty (part)
  Maureen Kiggin
  J W Goulding
  M Goulding


  Apologies:
  Mrs Baldacinno

      Notes                                                              Action
1.0   Introductions and Apologies

1.1   Apologies were received from Mrs Baldacinno.

2.0   Election of Deputy Chairperson

2.1   Laura Nicholson was elected as the new deputy chairperson
      after being proposed by Miss Grainger and seconded by Mrs
      Goulding.

3.0   Previous Minutes and matters arising

3.1   The minutes from the last meeting were agreed as a correct
      record.

3.2   Matters arising not on the agenda:
         Some members of the leaseholder forum are now part
            of the working group for the security review.
         It was asked at the last meeting if updates for PFI can
            be brought forward for the Leaseholder Forum Meetings
            Helen advised no specific updates available however a


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             newsletter is due to go out to everyone living in the PFI
             area.
            The programmes team have advised that when major
             work is being done, then all residents living in the block
             or on the estate including leaseholders will be given a
             named contact both within Salix and for the contractor
             carrying out the work. Any issues or problems that arise
             (eg. dirt and dust getting inside your home) should be
             brought to the attention of the contractor initially and
             then Salix if it can’t be resolved with the contractor.
            Mrs Taylor confirmed that the flags at Woolston House
             have been repaired.
            The suggestion of giving addressed envelopes to return
             comments on the cleaning service was passed on to the
             cleaning team leader.

4.0   Customer Satisfaction Survey (This item was brought
      forward from agenda item 5)

4.1   Mike Pullin introduced himself and advised the group of his
      role within the business. As part of his role he needs to think
      of ways of receiving customer feedback in order to improve
      customer services.

4.2   Mike advised the group that Salix are looking at reducing the
      number of satisfaction surveys that go out to customers. Mike
      advised that a single survey has been designed and the plan is
      to send this out to tenants every 3 months (with different
      people receiving it each time) and to all leaseholders once a
      year in September. Mike asked if September was the right
      time to send it out to leaseholders and the group agreed that
      this was ok.

4.3   A copy of the survey had been provided – this was not for
      people to fill in now but to have a look and to comment on the
      questions –eg. are they the right questions?; are there too
      many of them? It was suggested that the group members take
      the survey with them to have a look at and bring any
      comments back to the next forum meeting.

4.4   The group asked how many people normally respond to the
      surveys. Helen advised that for leaseholders the biggest
      response is usually about 20%.

4.5   Mike informed the group that an external company (M.E.L.) will
      be running the survey and collecting responses. Group
      members questioned whether this was value for money. Mike
      advised that it was, given the number of customers we have to
      survey.

4.6   Following the meeting Mike confirmed that it is costing less for



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      M.E.L to do the survey than it would be for Salix to do it ‘in-
      house’. It is also costing less than the 2009 survey cost which
      was run by another company (we have traditionally used
      contractors for our annual survey in the past). The Leaseholder
      element of the survey is costing around £1600. The total costs
      work out at less than £2 per tenant/leaseholder (this includes
      design, printing, covering letter, sample selection, postage out
      and return, processing, initial basic analysis and reporting back
      to us). Salix have identified savings of around £27k by
      removing other surveys across the business (Rents, Rate-
      your-neighbourhood and High rise blocks for example)

4.7   Sandy asked if this would be the only survey sent out to
      leaseholders each year. Helen advised that it would be the
      only satisfaction survey but that there might be other surveys
      or consultations done to ask for people’s views about specific
      services eg. the work being done now on the security review.

4.8   It was queried as to why we have to do satisfaction surveys
      and whether they are of any use. Mike advised the group that
      satisfaction surveys are used to improve our services and
      improvements have been shown from the last survey.

4.9   It was asked if a contact number could be included on the
      survey – Mike confirmed that the number for M.E.L would be
      on the survey for people to phone if they needed help with
      completing it.

      Action – Group members are asked to look at the draft
      survey (Mike has sent an updated version which you will             All
      receive with the minutes). Don’t answer the questions but
      write on the survey any comments you have eg. tell us if you
      don’t understand what a question is asking or if you don’t see
      the point of asking it; tell us if you think there are too many
      questions; tell us if you think one of the questions is a good
      question. Then bring the survey with your comments on it
      to give to Mike before the next forum meeting on the 18th
      April – Mike will be available from 5.30pm-6.00pm.

5.0   Grounds Maintenance Update

5.1   Jonathan Drake attended to update the group on the issues
      which were raised at the previous meeting :

            Cornwall House – introduced rose bushes.

            Victoria House – Improving turf and edging , carried out
             removal of moss in drying area, looking at long-term
             options for the drying area which will include
             consultation with people living there.

            Blackfriars / Whitefriars – Carried out a walkabout , sent


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             copy of Service Level Agreement and put together a list
             of what needs to be done. Brian asked why nothing
             had actually been done yet eg. why had the tree not
             been removed. Jonathon said that it was because not
             everything could be done at once and he needed to
             know what the priorities were – if the tree removal is a
             priority this can be done first but some of the other
             things will take longer.

5.2   Mr Goulding asked why extra planting had been done at
      Cornwall House an not elsewhere. Jonathon advised that this
      was because plants were being replaced that were already
      there – it was not new planting. Mr Goulding had some
      concerns about the grounds maintenance in his area. Helen
      asked him to speak to her about these after the meeting so
      they could be addressed.

5.3   Helen reminded the group that the purpose of the forum is not
      to raise individual issues but to look at the service as a whole.
      At the last meeting Jonathon had attended to discuss the
      service level agreement for grounds maintenance. As some
      individual issues had come up Jonathon had looked into these
      and was reporting back in person today so that people knew
      their problems had been listened to and actions taken, as this
      has been a common complaint of forum members in the past.
      Jonathon advised he will continue to ensure grounds
      maintenance issues are addressed and we are able to reach a
      point where customers are happy and can see what the money
      they are paying for grounds maintenance is being spent on.

5.4   The chairperson thanked Jonathon on behalf of the group for
      attending to provide this feedback.


6.0   Leaseholder Improvement Plan .

6.1   A written update had not been circulated this time so Helen
      gave a verbal update on some of the actions:

            SCC Policy on Major works – this is still ongoing –
             members who regularly attend the forum meetings had
             been sent a copy to comment on between meetings.
             David Thornton said he had still not had a response to
             his comment. Helen agreed to chase this with Mark         Helen Thorpe
             Hart who is the SCC officer leading on this piece of
             work.
            Review of service charges - each service is being
             reviewed in turn to ensure people are being charged
             fairly. Caretaking was reviewed last year and security is
             currently under review. The low-rise cleaning service
             will be looked at next financial year.



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            Provision of an emergency and standard repairs service
             – Rick Swift (maintenance manager) is looking at
             arranging for leaseholders to buy into this service (for
             repairs that are their responsibility). Rick has sent Mark
             Morris (the leaseholder representative or this action)
             some information on the costings. Rick will be
             developing a draft protocol which will be shared with the
             forum for comments before it is finalised. Patrick asked
             if the costs would be the same as they are for tenants.
             Helen advised that the material and labour costs would
             be the same but there would be administration charges
             that leaseholders would have to pay for the service. It
             was asked if the service could be provided as an
             insurance type scheme where people pay one price for
             the year and then have work done as and when it is
             needed. Helen advised that this had been considered
             but it was felt it would only be workable if a significant
             number of leaseholders bought into the scheme and
             from previous experience interest is likely to be low
             which means that it will work better if people pay for the
             service each time they use it.
            Promoting customer involvement opportunities for
             leaseholders – Margaret Graham is attending the forum
             meeting to speak to the members about changes to the
             customer panels and vacancies on the senate.
             Information is also going out in Limelight.
            Updating the leasehold pages of the website – Helen
             advised that she has taken over this piece of work from
             Vicky Bowe now that she has moved into her new role.
             Patrick pointed out that the forum information on the
             website is not up to date as not all the minutes are on    Helen Thorpe
             there – Helen will bring this information up to date.
            Laura asked about the introduction of the new IT
             system. Helen advised that the first programmes will go
             live from April – including the repairs programme so
             leaseholders should see a change from them in terms of
             how any repairs they report through the contact centre
             are dealt with because their details will be registered on
             the new system. The leasehold charging programme
             will not be introduced until later on. Margaret Connor
             informed everyone that from April it will be Morrisons
             who will be providing the repairs and not Jackson
             Lloyds – some of the operatives will be the same but the
             management is different.

7.0   Customer Panels and Senate

7.1   Margaret Connor gave a presentation about the new customer
      involvement structure. This has changed after the customer
      senate scrutinised ‘Count Me In’ (the menu of opportunities for
      involvement) and decided that there were too many panels and



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      too much duplication. In future there will be:
          3 Customer Panels ( People , Property and Place )
          5 Neighbourhood Panels .
          Established Forums – including the leaseholder forum.

7.2   Concerns were raised within the group that it wasn’t right to
      single out minority groups. Margaret advised that everyone
      can attend the customer and neighbourhood panels but there
      is a need for established forums for minority groups to look at
      issues that are specific to them and to understand any barriers
      they face in accessing the services provided by Salix Homes.
      The leaseholder forum is no different in this respect as
      leaseholders can attend the customer and neighbourhood
      panels but have their own forum to look at issues specific to
      them.

7.3   Helen suggested that the leasehold forum might want to have
      a representative on the places panel because it discusses a lot
      of the services that leaseholders receive - including grounds
      maintenance, caretaking and cleaning and security. It was
      agreed that further discussions should be held at the next          All
      forum meeting regarding this.

7.4   Margaret informed people that the customer senate are
      currently recruiting members and there is a place for a
      leaseholder on the senate that needs to be filled. All
      leaseholders will be invited to apply for the position – it does
      not have to be someone who currently attends the forum
      meetings but the successful person will have responsibility for
      feeding back to the forum. Margaret said it would be good for
      the forum to have feedback from the senate as a regular
      agenda item for future meetings. Margaret was asked about
      the time commitment involved in being on the senate and she
      said that it would require a minimum of 6 hours a month. If
      no leaseholder applies to be on the senate then the leasehold
      position will remain unfilled and leaseholders will not be
      directly represented in the scrutiny work which is likely to be
      looking at grounds maintenance and caretaking in the near
      future.
8.0   Any Other Business

8.1   Helen asked the group what items they would like to see on
      the leaseholder corner within the limelight. Suggestions
      included:
           Tips on how to rent out / sell your property from
             someone who has done this eg. what steps do you
             need to take if looking into this.
           Comments from individual leaseholders on what they
             like about Salix and what can still be improved – Patricia
             Purcell agreed to give some comments for the summer
             edition.



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      Helen said she will keep this as an agenda item for forum
      meetings and if people have ideas they can bring them up at
      the meeting.

9.0   Date of next Meeting

9.1   April 25th had been scheduled for the next meeting but as it is
      a bank holiday it was agreed to move it to the 18th April.

9.2   The meeting is due to be an information event – Helen asked
      what topic the group would like to have for the event. Anti-
      social behaviour had been mentioned at the last meeting and
      Helen advised that she had spoken to the anti-social behaviour
      manager and he had confirmed he would be able to attend the
      meeting to give a presentation about anti-social behaviour and
      answer any questions about the policy or procedure but he
      would not be able to discuss individual cases due to
      confidentiality issues. The members agreed to this and said
      they would still like this to be the topic for the event.

9.3   The next meeting will be on 18th April 2011at Diamond
      House between 6pm-7pm. Pam Roberts (Homes and
      Support Manager) will attend on behalf of Helen Thorpe who
      has given her apologies for the meeting.




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