Brighton & Hove City Council has set up a new Tenant Scrutiny Panel in response to Government changes to how social landlords are regulated.
The panel enables 12 recruited council tenants and leaseholders to hold council housing services to account on allocation policies, repairs and maintenance programmes, rent levels and services charges, anti-social behaviour and ensuring that the council delivers equality, diversity and accessibility.
Dr Martin Osment, a tenant of Amicus Horizon who participated in the recruitment as an independent resident assessor, said:
“I believe we have a highly committed team who will become a beacon for better governance.
“This is something wholly different; it’s a bold advance and will bring democracy from the grass roots. I wish them every success and I hope they will achieve the big difference they are aiming for.”
Panel members will have the power to act independently to challenge councillors and senior staff through agreed scrutiny reviews of any area of council housing business. They will be keeping all tenants and leaseholders up to date on the process and encouraging them to get involved too.
Mbye Sohna, Chair of Tenant Scrutiny, said:
“I am delighted to be chairing this exciting new panel. I firmly believe we will make a real difference, empowering those we represent, and bringing real transparency to the process of change.”
The panel is intending to look at how the council communicates with residents as the first topic, and will begin this ‘test’ review in September.
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