New scrutiny panel

Kingdom Housing Association has launched a Scrutiny Panel which includes seven tenant members to monitor the operations of the association and to suggest how improvements might be made.

Max Scotto, Kingdom’s tenant participation officer, said: “The panel consists of a group of tenants who have volunteered some of their time as part of an independent team. They will receive support from Kingdom to analyse performance and investigate areas where improvement can be made. They will also make recommendations directly to Kingdom’s Board of Management.”

Max added: “The panel currently has 7 tenant members from different geographical areas and during 2016 they will look to carry out their first piece of independent tenant led scrutiny and plan their work for the coming year.”

Norah Smith, Kingdom’s director of housing and care, added: “A group of tenants have been involved in scrutiny activities before, related to things like inspections of communal areas, landscaping and external maintenance. These estate inspections and walkabouts started in 2015 and continue annually. The previous scrutiny projects involving tenants have been very successful and the establishment of the scrutiny panel moves things on to the next level.”

Tenants Rose Duncan and Carolynn McQueen are both looking forward to working on the panel.

Carolynn said: “I enjoy my work as a civil servant but I also feel the need to do something else, especially something that can help enhance other tenant’s experience. Being a member of the Scrutiny Panel will enable me to ‘think out of the box’. The role is challenging but exciting. I strongly feel that the Panel needs a diverse range of tenants who will bring various life and work experience skills and knowledge which will benefit the long term function of the group.”

Rose explained: “I saw a poster in the stairwell informing all the tenants about a new initiative on ‘Stepping up to Scrutiny’. I was intrigued and contacted Max, the Tenant Participation Officer straight away. As a tenant of over 16 years, I always appreciated the way that Kingdom looked after its tenants. I admit that I used to get irritated when I received a letter telling me about a rent increase. However, my involvement in the panel helped me realise that I did not appreciate the depth and range of services that are provided and the many investments and initiatives planned for the future.”

Bill Banks, Kingdom chief executive, added: “New tenants joined the panel in April 2016 and they all attended a three day training programme entitled ‘Stepping up to Scrutiny’, delivered by the Chartered Institute of Housing. The group of tenants involved are very enthusiastic and the training has helped prepared them to carry out resident scrutiny in an efficient and independent way and we look forward to supporting them to carry out a range of activities in the future.”