New power for residents to assess services
A group of residents in Salford have been appointed to assess housing services on behalf of tenants.
The residents have been brought in by Salix Homes, Salford City Council’s housing management company, as an independent panel to ensure housing services are at the highest level.
Under the title of the Customer Senate, they will have the power to carry out assessments on any area of service.
The group will report its findings back to the organisation’s board of executives and will be able to make recommendations for service improvements.
Thirteen Salix Homes tenants have been chosen by residents to sit on the group.
These members will act as representatives for Salix Homes tenants giving them another powerful voice on local issues.
As a result of the Senate’s first inspection into the service offered by Salix Direct, the company’s telephone support service for residents, changes are being put in place for the benefit of customers.
Alison Hill, Salix Homes’ director of improvement and customer service said: “The idea of a group like this was first promoted by our customers and we’ve taken it forward to develop this panel of residents, which we believe is one of the first of its kind in the country.
“We are working towards giving tenants more opportunities to self regulate services so that they meet the needs and expectations of the people who use them.
“The appointment of this group is a step in that direction and we’re really keen to ensure that it becomes well established in the community.”
Chair of the Customer Senate and Pendleton resident Colin Marchbank-Smith added: “Local people have been keen for a committee of residents to be set up to give them more of a say on services and we feel very lucky to have been able to work with Salix Homes to establish a model where customers can have a real influence.
“As the chair of the Senate I’d like to reassure residents that it’s our job to represent them and ensure services meet the need of tenants across central Salford.
“We will be looking at a number of different housing services throughout the year and would like to encourage residents to get in touch with us if they have any issues or concerns about any services in particular.”
The panel can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org