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Minutes of

SRG Meeting


Meeting Date

24th September 2014


Chair

Chris Eyen

Minute Taker

Mark Jowett


Members Present

Viktoriya Boyan (VB), Clancy Davies (CD), Chris Eyen (CE), Wills Gardner (WG), Mark Gilkes (MG), Gary Hayes (GH),), Spyros Koskinas (SK), Steve Lowe (SL), Eileen MacDonald (EMD), Elaine McLean (EML), Victor Salussolia (VS)

Apologies

Garrard Knowles

In attendance

Joe Chambers (JC), Mark Jowett (MJ)

Nigel Pacey (NP) of Huntcliff

No of pages

9




Agenda item

Subject

Action by


1
1.1

1.2


1.3



Introductions and apologies
All the above were introduced and apologies were received as above.
The group noted the resignation by Peter Hawker and appreciated his contribution.
New SRG member, Clancy Davies, was welcomed to the group.





2
2.1

2.2


2.3

Agenda Review
There was a recommendation to start with the agreement in agenda item 8, so that all SRG members could sign up to it before proceeding with the rest of the meeting. After some discussion, and discussion around the reference to transparency being added to the agreement it was agreed that all would sign the agreement.
The following SRG members signed up to the agreement:
Spyros Koskinas

Viktoriya Boyan

Steve Lowe

Eileen McDonald

Christopher Eyen

Mark Gilkes

Gary Hayes

Elaine McLean

Victor Salussolia

Clancy Davies


Carmen Clarke

Mark Jowett

Joe Chambers
No other agenda issues were raised at this point.






3
3.1

3.2
3.3





Minutes of last SRG meeting held on 9th July 2014
Minutes of the previous meeting were found to be an improvement.
It was also felt that the action list was a great improvement.
Minutes were approved.






4
4.1
4.2

4.3


4.4

4.5



Chair’s Report and Correspondence Update
A live report was circulated to all present.
With regard to a request from some SRG members to hold an additional meeting in July or August, it was noted that there had not been sufficient response on availability for dates given, so the Chair made decision not to hold an extra meeting.
Two more training sessions with Nigel Pacey have taken place since the last SRG meeting.
The Chair also advised that he had received some additional training sessions on own with Nigel Pacey.
Members were advised that since July two members have resigned – Peter Hawker, due to other commitments, and Wendy Hardcastle because she has been elected to the Board of Soho Housing and can therefore no longer be a member of the SRG. The Chair wished them both the best.




5

5.1

5.2

5.3
5.3.1

5.3.2


5.3.3
5.3.4


Matters Arising from Minutes and Chair’s Correspondence Update
Some members queried the need for the list of correspondence included in the Chair’s report – and it was agreed it this would not be included in future reports from the Chair.
There was a request that any report be circulated at least a day in advance of meetings so people can look at them in advance.
Draft Policy on taking Lodgers
Previously there had been a request for Soho Housing’s position on residents taking in lodgers and what they could charge. A draft policy was circulated with the papers for this meeting.
The group noted that there was no reference to whether utility bills were included in the amounts mentioned – i.e. whether bills could be charged on top of the maximum 50% of the full rent – or if it had to be included. Some felt that residents should be allowed to charge the lodger up to half of the bills as well as half of the rent.
The figure of 50% was queried – people asked if it came from a recommended formula or if it was arbitrary. JC advised that the figure was selected because it was felt to be fair: We don’t want someone in a social rented home having more than half of their rent financed by others.
The draft lodger policy was approved with one abstention – to include clarification and guidance with regard to utility bills.



JC / MJ


6

6.1

6.2

6.3

6.4

6.5
6.6

6.7



6.8
6.8.1


6.8.2
6.8.3


6.8.4



Major Scrutiny Item – Planned and Cyclical Contracts / Policy
It was agreed that a glossary is needed for jargon and abbreviations in any future technical reports and for an executive summary to accompany the full-length documentation of any complex reports.
It was clarified that “pepperpotting” refers to doing works to one property here and one there rather than focus on one whole block.
CE encouraged three sub-group members to take more time to look at this subject in more detail. Steve Lowe and Gary Hayes volunteered to be in the sub-group.
Another paper on planned and cyclical works is going to the Board. SRG members were encouraged to provide their comments too.
In explaining the background, JC advised there had been concern over spending too much money and not in an efficient way. The idea is that this is a change for the better. There is no room for manoeuvre for more money to be spent in this area – but there can be discussion about how it is spent.
Members expressed the feeling that there was not enough information on how the approach would affect residents.
CC recommended that SRG members receive training over time so people have more confidence to understand and respond to planned and cyclical documents over the next 5-year process.
It was agreed that:
SRG members would email the Chair or JC any time prior to the next Board meetings with their views on planned and cyclical works.
JC would get RB and CC to show what the process would look like over the next year – how money would be spent in terms of cyclical planned and improvements. A SRG subgroup could work with Rick or Carmen or both on another paper.
RB and CC would produce a timeframe and process map with detail on next year’s programme for the sub group could to look at.
Steve and Gary agreed to work in a sub-group to scrutinise planned and cyclical works at a 2-hour meeting. RB and CC to attend that meeting. The sub-group to liaise with the SRG and team and advise the date for that meeting and report back to the November SRG meeting.




MJ


7

7.1


7.2

7.3

7.4

7.5



7.6

7.7


7.8



Items for information, written reports and updates from SRG sub-groups


  1. Tenant Complaints Panel update

JC advised that, from an organisational perspective, the TCP panel is still a worry. He might suggest to the Board that we look again at how we move forward. There is a lack of resilience in the current model. The aim would be to take the best elements from it. JC thanked everyone for their work so far – the work done to date won’t be wasted.


  1. Training Update and next training opportunity

Nigel Pacey has been impressed by the way the group has worked hard to move forward. They have shown a real commitment. At the last Board meeting, JC recommended doing the September and November SRG meetings and then taking stock. There would then be an opportunity for more training after that. We do need a process for new members – but we may have to be patient and produce that over time. It was clarified that no application for membership has been rejected to date – but one applicant has withdrawn. It was agreed that no more training would take place until this (Sept) and the following (Nov) SRG meeting have taken place.


  1. Community Chest Update

There was a view that the last session of looking at bids did not work well for the bidders. They should have got their response within a month at the latest. It should have been clearer what they needed to bring back if elements were missing. There was a suggestion to review the bidding process. JC said that the team let the SRG down by not providing technical information to assist the panel. It was suggested that there could be more clarity over roles and who makes what decisions. It was noted that bidders need to be there in person for any amount requested over £500. It was noted that the budget section was missed from these papers and needs to come to the next meeting.

JC proposed to meet with CC and RB to look at the paperwork on the process including flowcharts and time lines and bring that back to another meeting.


  1. Residents Forum Report

Elections for Chair of the Forum are coming up. The deadline for applicants is Thursday 25th September. Applications were encouraged. CE advised he would be stepping down as Vice Chair of the Forum at the next meeting.


  1. Soho Ltd / Development Update

Two new retail units on Charing Cross Road are both being let and good use being made of the units. Shaftesbury have bought the freehold of the red brick retail area opposite Sandringham Flats – and will turn those units with bad leases and behaviours into more acceptable and desirable ones.


  1. Soho Housing Performance Report

The report contained 2 red boxes – in How’s Things we were not under target for the score but under target for not doing enough calls – this activity tends to dry up over summer and we get back on track over September. In day-to-day repairs we are underspent – but there is a lot more spend in the winter. Fewer repairs get reported in summer. JC stressed this was not about us spending as little as possible. If spending is under 10 per cent it is something to be aware but not necessarily a great concern.
With regard to finding a replacement for Osbornes, it was confirmed that the Board would make a decision at their next meeting on Mon 29th September. Osbornes will continue to operate for us until we have our replacement.
There are no plans for Justin to stay on.




MJ / CC

JC / CC / RB


8
8.1

8.2


Ratification of SRG Internal Procedures Documentation
Diversity

It was noted that prostitution is a breach of tenancy. There is nothing around that in the lettings policy – but if they breached tenancy that is where this would be addressed.


No further were questions were raised on this item.






9

9.1


Working Group Requests and Miscellaneous Task Delegation
This was addressed under Item 6 – the Planned & Cyclical works sub-group.






10
10.1

10.2


10.3

10.4

10.5

10.6


10.7

Strategic Other Business
The planning meeting for the November SRG would be opened up to the whole group to attend.
GH advised that he was awaiting a response from RB on the Green Deal.
MJ was asked to note that apologies were received from MG in advance for the next SRG meeting.
It was agreed that a rolling work programme be brought back in for the next meeting.
It was agreed that a paper on sustainability / energy efficiency and practical implications be brought to a future meeting and there was a request that RB presents it that report.
A rollover item was requested on an overview of CCTV. In the meantime, Rick’s response on CCTV to go be circulated.
The balance of the Community Chest budget to be brought to the next meeting.



MJ

MJ


RB


RB


MJ




Close
The meeting ended at 8.05pm.

The next meeting will be held in our office on



Wednesday 26th November 2014 at 6pm.




Date added to list


Summary of Decisions and Actions



1

July 2014

WH said she aimed to write a paragraph or two on the subject of lodgers for the next Newsletter and asked MJ to remind her. As SHA are now working on an amended lodger policy, an article will appear in an edition of the newsletter following its approval.




MJ

2

July 2014

It was agreed that Gary’s Powerpoint presentation on the Green Deal be passed to RB, and for RB to write a response with his comments on what is feasible, and how it might work for Soho Housing.





RB

3

July 2014

It was agreed that SRG minutes be put on the Soho Housing website, once approved, with suitable redactions where necessary.





MJ

4

Sept 2014

The draft lodger policy was approved with one abstention – to include clarification and guidance with regard to utility bills.


JC / MJ

5

Sept 2014

SRG members would email the Chair or JC any time prior to the next Board meetings with their views on planned and cyclical works.



SRG

6

Sept 2014

JC would get RB and CC to show what the planned and cyclical process would look like over the next year (with a timeframe and process map) – how money would be spent in terms of cyclical planned and improvements. A SRG subgroup (GH and SL) to work with Rick and Carmen on future paper.

GH and SL to arrange an initial 2-hr meeting to discuss this with CC and RB





RB / CC

GH/SL

7

Sept 2014

With regard to the complaints process, JC proposed to meet with CC and RB to look at the paperwork on the process including flowcharts and time lines and bring that back to another meeting.


JC / CC / RB

8

Sept 2014

It was noted that the Community Chest budget section was missed from these papers and needs to come to the next meeting. The balance of the Community Chest budget to be brought to the next meeting.


MJ / CC

9

Sept 2014

MJ was asked to note that apologies were received from MG in advance for the next SRG meeting.


MJ

10

Sept 2014

It was agreed that a paper on sustainability / energy efficiency and practical implications be brought to a future meeting and there was a request that RB presents it that report.


RB

11

Sept 2014

A rollover item was requested on an overview of CCTV. In the meantime, Rick’s response on CCTV to go be circulated.


RB





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