Residents to have greater say

Published: 01 October 2019

 Tenants and leaseholders are set to hold the council to account with the launch of a brand new resident board.

Nine people have volunteered to regularly meet and discuss how the council is performing and how to improve the management of council housing in the borough.

As well as holding the council and its repairs, maintenance and investment service partner
Osborne, to account, the board will probe issues, seek answers and help shape future improvements to the service.

The first official meeting was held in September and was attended by the council’s Chief Executive Josie Wragg, leader of the council Cllr James Swindlehurst and Cllr Mohammed Nazir, cabinet member for housing and community safety.

Josie shared that she had personal experience working in social housing and had started life in local government as a tenant liaison officer who visited residents and dealt with issues and concerns.

She told the board: “Thank you for involving me and thank you for volunteering to participate on an important aspect of accountability.

“I have been in this role for 12 months now and in that time I have seen great initiatives like this in the borough which combines the skills of residents and staff.”

Cllr Nazir told the new board members: “Thank you for getting involved and playing a vital role in place shaping Slough’s council stock and moving forward to plan the future.”

The board is currently being chaired by independent social housing consultant Nigel Pacey. He will continue until the spring when another independent but permanent chair will be engaged.

He said the purpose of the board was to give residents a greater collective voice which will affect real change.

He said: “Board members live in social housing and they are the best people to have influence and improve services that impact their and their neighbours’ lives.

“Also residents can scrutinise their landlord, ask questions and influence decisions that affect them and their homes.”

The board will meet every two months to look at how services are performing and to discuss issues and concerns.

Board member Sheebaa Parveen said she was passionate about making Slough a better place and to serve the tenants and leaseholders who come from different backgrounds and ethnicities.

She said: “I want to share my knowledge and expertise to make a difference to Slough housing, whether that is focusing on peoples’ complaints or sitting on a scrutiny group, by being able to listen to others we can find an approachable solution to problems.

“By sitting on the board I work for the people of Slough and make sure to help shape the future of Slough housing.”

More residents and tenants are needed as board members as well as other areas where people can get involved. Anyone interested can get in touch with Karen Lewis, information & participation manager, on 01753 875437.