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What’s happening at customer services committee?

Published: 21 February 2024

SLH customer services committee chair Debbie Rees-Armstrong updates us with highlights from the latest meeting of the committee, which is a crucial link between our tenants, our scrutiny panel and our Board.

Hi everyone. The first meeting of 2024 took place in January, and it was straight to business for the panel. We were joined by SLH chief executive Anna Bishop, executive director of operations Cathy Biggs and head of assets and delivery, Michael Gibney.

First up was Michael, who gave us an update on compliance with fire safety, electrical, gas, asbestos, water hygiene, lift servicing and damp, mould and condensation (DMC).

We heard that we had achieved a 100% success rate in completing mandatory gas safety inspections in the period up to 31 December 2023. Historically, it’s always hard to complete these in the run up to the Christmas period due to seasonal closures and access issues, so we were delighted to hear that this vital work was completed.

We were also pleased to hear that important fire safety compartmentation surveys had been completed in our flats in Locke Street and Island Road. Put simply, compartmentation surveys look at fire doors in communal buildings to ensure that they can effectively slow the spread of fire. They also check that spaces between floors are sealed and stop the spread of fire. It’s great to see SLH taking a lead and being proactive in this area.

Michael also gave us an update on performance on our repairs service, and the committee was pleased to hear that SLH is meeting or exceeding its targets in 18 of the 26 performance metrics. However, we felt that the sample size that SLH uses for its satisfaction surveys is too small and suggested that we explore other options to obtain repairs satisfaction data.

We heard from executive director of operations Cathy Biggs next, who presented the latest customer feedback report, which revealed that 198 formal complaints had been received between April and December 2023 – 38% up on the same period the in 2022. We’ve directed scrutiny panel to deep dive into the complaints procedure for their next service review.

We got an update from chief executive Anna Bishop next, who focussed on SLH’s progress against the Better Social Housing Review Action Plan. Progress has been good, with six more actions completed. However, there is still work to do on actions related to SLH’s front-line housing hub, and their Knowing our Customers pilot, which will inform our front-line services.

Several of our members raised concerns about the damp, mould and condensation protocol. They had personally raised DMC jobs and while the initial work had been completed, they had not yet been contacted for the follow up call/inspection. SLH agreed to check where the contacts were up to and to ensure that all tenants who had reported DMC work last year, are contacted again – the committee will be updated on progress of this at our next meeting.  

Finally, as a former scrutiny panel member, it was great to get a report on their latest deep dive, this time looking at our anti-social behaviour processes. You can read more about their review here.

Get involved

Our plan is to keep you regularly updated about the work of the customer services committee on social media and here on the SLH website. If it sounds like something you would be interested in getting involved with, we’d love to hear from you. Send an email to corporategovernance@southliverpoolhomes.co.uk

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