Annual tenants' conference
The Council has held an annual tenants conference since 2004. The one day event, which is open to all of our tenants and residents, aims to encourage tenant participation throughout East Ayrshire and involve tenants in our decision making processes. Tenants are invited to discuss topical issues such as the Scottish Social Housing Charter, the way we carry out housing repairs and improvements, how we manage our waste and can recycle more and many other topics suggested by East Ayrshire Tenants and Residents Federation and their members.
The conference is attended by chief officers, elected members and operational employees providing an opportunity for tenants to ask questions and put forward their suggestions for improving Housing and Environment Service.
Annual tenants conference 2012
The ninth annual tenants conference was held on Saturday 25 August 2012 and attended by representatives from Tenants and Residents Groups from across East Ayrshire as well as individual tenants and a number of elected members.
Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of the Council opened the conference, welcoming delegates to the Grange Campus in Kilmarnock where they benefitted from the modern facilities enjoyed by the 3 schools based here; Annanhill Primary, Park School and Grange Academy. Councillor Reid highlighted the Council’s strategic priorities to raise educational attainment and equip our young people for the world of work; support older people to live independently in the community and promote town centre living and talked about some of the recent achievements being made around these including the recent excellent SQA exam results attained by our S4 and S5 pupils; relocation of Council staff in our town centres in new and regenerated office accommodation at Johnnie Walker Bond, Strand Street, Kilmarnock and Rothesay House, Greenholm Road, Cumnock and the progress being made at the Opera House development at the top of John Finnie Street, Kilmarnock along with our continuing Council house building programme with a further development on site at Grassyards Road in Kilmarnock and planned at Skeoch Road, Mauchline and future plans for new Council housing for our town centres in discussion.
Elizabeth Morton, Depute Chief Executive/Executive Director of Neighbourhood Services talked to delegates about the challenges facing the Council, including the financial challenge, an ageing population with fewer people of working age and meeting people’s expectations and advised them of the Council’s recently approved Transformation Strategy which considers how the Council, in light of these challenges, will plan it’s services in future with to ensure that priorities are still addressed.
Frank Dawson, Chairperson of East Ayrshire Tenants and Residents Federation gave an update on Federation activities, highlighting their involvement in recent Scottish Government consultations and their work alongside Housing Asset Services, reviewing the information provided to tenants undergoing major improvement works, which led to the Federation receiving the Frances Nelson Award for Tenant Participation at the Tenants Information Service Conference earlier this year.
Delegates attended workshops on the Scottish Social Housing Charter, Outdoor Amenities, Waste Management and Recycling and Housing Asset Services consulted on their new DVD which has been developed to provide information to tenants receiving new kitchens, bathrooms and electrical upgrades and will soon be available to all tenants receiving this work.
Lunchtime gave the opportunity to the Council’s Onsite Services to showcase their excellent school dinners. Delegates enjoyed 2 courses from the school menu and learned about the nutritious, balanced meals our catering team prepares for around 9000 pupils daily. Feedback was very positive with delegates enjoying both the school dinner experience and food!
Councillor Alan Brown kicked off the afternoon session highlighting some examples of excellent work in Housing including this year’s launch of SEARCH, the Single East Ayrshire Register for Community Housing, a partnership between the Council, Atrium Homes, Cunninghame, Irvine and Shire Housing Associations which means applicants for social housing with any of these landlords need now only complete one application form.
Delegates then listened to a presentation by Katie Kelly, Service Manager on “Transforming our Relationships with the Communities we serve”. This piece of work is designed to encourage communities and the voluntary sector to consider how they can contribute to delivering services, promoting social enterprise and regeneration in East Ayrshire. During workshops lots of examples of work already happening in East Ayrshire were shared such as community gardens, gala days and events, befriending projects and simple things like ensuring we look out for the older and vulnerable people living in our communities.
Over 20 information stalls lined The Street outside the main hall with a range of information from the Council on community alarms, protection of vulnerable adults, housing improvements, outdoor amenities and more, along with partner agencies including Love Food Hate Waste which aims to encourage people to save money through shopping wisely and making use of leftovers; contractors who provide services to the Council such as Tenants Information Service supporting tenant involvement, City Building who manufacture our kitchen units at their innovative social enterprise company employing 50% disabled staff and Land Engineering who maintain open space throughout East Ayrshire on behalf of the Council. In addition we had a number of stalls to support tenants and residents groups including East Ayrshire Tenants and Residents Federation, Council of Voluntary Organisations and East Ayrshire Council Grants.
If you would like to know more about tenant participation or future events please contact us.
Housing Customer Liaison
Civic Centre North
John Dickie Street