Agenda item - Public Involvement
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To consider the following matters raised by members of the public:
(a) Petitions: to receive any petitions presented to the full council or at the meeting itself;
(b) Written Questions: to receive any questions submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 13 June 2019;
(c) Deputations: to receive any deputations submitted by the due date of 12 noon on the 13 June 2019.
5.1 There were no petitions
5.2 Daniel Harris asked the following question:
“In 2016 this committee was asked to consider implementing full call recordings within the housing department, due to reports from vulnerable people reporting incidents of bulling; misinformation, lies and other allegations. Obviously when challenged could never be referred back to because calls are not recorded. This was causing significant stress to service users then and it still is today, three years later. Can the chair confirm what, if any calls are currently recorded within the housing department? How long these are stored for? And what security and audit trail procedures are in place to ensure no foul play or tampering?”
5.3 The Chair replied as follows:
“Thank you for your question.
In Housing calls are currently only recorded for the Repairs Helpdesk, this is currently out sourced to Mears. However, we are making a concentrated effort to have call recording in place across seven frontline teams in housing once the repairs service comes in House in April 2020. We will be happy to share more detail about this nearer time on issues being worked through now, such as call retention time and security and audit procedures.
Your question includes comments about Housing’s service provision to vulnerable people which I would also like to address. I think this is particularly in relation to people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. This part of the service continues to have a considerable amount of scrutiny. As a result, we have had a lot of input and feedback from across the entire sector dealing with homelessness – some good, much not so good. This has provided a huge opportunity for us, we are working to improve the service to one that looks outward to our partners, stakeholders and the communities we serve and representatives in campaigning and advocacy groups. For example, we have been working with Fulfilling Lives on service provision and issues relating to the quality of Emergency Accommodation. We very recently asked Fulfilling Lives to undertake mystery shopping in the service. Once we have their report we will be happy to share the action plan of improvements we will be making. We are also going to use this feedback to inform training all frontline staff will go on which focuses on providing a service to people who may be in crisis and/or have experienced past trauma. Head of Tenancy Services, Justine Harris would very much like to meet with you and explain how we intend to implement this and the improvements we anticipate it will make.
5.4 Mr Harris requested to see the costs before 2020 as a supplementary question.
5.5 The Chair stated that the Council is happy to work together with Mr Harris and stated that the recording of calls will take time and will include training. The Chair agreed to keep Mr Harris informed of progress in this matter.
5.6 Michael Jenkins asked the following question:
“I am deeply grateful for the home that I am given to live in, and I love where I live. The outdoors condition of Stanmer Heights, breaks my heart and deeply saddens me. Each year, all the people who live in Stanmer Heights, pay £670,000, for living there. Please can the Chair and the Executive Director, of Brighton and Hove City Council Housing, create a care plan for Stanmer Heights, please, so that during this Year, everything is made nice in Stanmer Heights, please, and, please can I assist you, with the attention to detail needed for this care plan.”
5.7 The Chair replied as follows:
Mr Jenkins was informed that the Executive Director for Neighbourhoods Communities & Housing and Head of Income Involvement and Improvement have meet with residents regarding the bin store and play areas and will be following up with meeting in July with residents, officers and ward councillors to discuss all matters regarding Stanmer Heights.
Mr Jenkins commented that he had created a Stanmer Heights website: email@example.com and has listed architectural condition of Stanmer Heights and noted with 400 photos 22 holes in roofs, which has been there for more than 1 and ¼ years, cables dangling and aerials missing. The properties are in disrepair.
In answer to the comments, Mr Jenkins was thanked for his interest and support and informed that the website would be looked at and Mr Jenkins was invited to attend the meetings for tenants in July. The Chair confirmed details would be sent.