Croydon has taken an important step in its drive to improve housing standards for council residents with the appointment of an independent chair for its new housing improvement board.
Martin Wheatley, a Croydon resident with over 20 years’ senior experience in housing and public services, will lead the board in scrutinising the council’s wide-ranging programme to improve housing services.
Council tenants will form an important part of the board, ensuring residents’ voices and experiences are heard and ensuring they have much greater say in how housing services are run. Other board members include the chair of the tenant and leaseholder panel, representatives from London Councils, the Local Government Association and the council’s improvement and assurance panel.
The board’s inaugural meeting takes place on Tuesday 7 December, 5.30 – 7.30pm at Stanley Halls, South Norwood. It will act independently of the council in order to scrutinise its housing service plans and actions, and focus on understanding tenants’ experiences. The meeting will be livestreamed – register to receive a link to watch.
Meeting every other month, the board will provide evidenced, fair and honest feedback to the council’s cabinet on a quarterly basis, examining how the council is delivering its programme of housing improvement works to meet targets set by the independent ARK report.
The council is also looking for a voluntary sector representative to ensure the involvement of the voluntary sector and those they support. For information visit the council’s website.
Housing improvement board chair, Martin Wheatley, said: “As a borough resident of many years, I am very glad to be able to offer my experience to help support the vital work of the board in scrutinising the council’s plans to improve its housing service and make sure it addresses the unacceptable performance being experienced by tenants. For that to happen, listening to tenants and offering them the service they are entitled to expect as paying customers must be at the forefront. The board is a strong team, especially drawing on the insight and appetite for positive change of its tenant members.”
“We are committed to improving our housing services and ensuring that our council residents’ voices and experiences are right at the heart of this work. Our new independent housing improvement board will help to hold the council to account and drive that change, giving residents and independent experts a direct role in guiding, challenging and evaluating our progress.
“Martin Wheatley will bring a wealth of experience in professional support and resident-led improvements within the public sector, and I am confident that he and the rest of the board will be strong advocates for our residents. I very much look forward to working with the board, and with all our residents, as we transform our housing service to meet the standards that our residents rightly expect and deserve.”
Councillor Hamida Ali, leader of the council