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BENCHMARKING TO IMPROVE TENANT PARTICIPATION

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A new London and district benchmarking organisation comprising local ...
A new London and district benchmarking organisation comprising local
authorities and housing associations has been established to improve tenant
participation in housing issues.
The new group will allow council and registered social landlords to undertake cross-sector comparative performance assessment under best value.
Members will be able to compare the way they provide housing services, learn
from their counterparts' successes and mistakes and examine how services can
be improved by integrating tenants more effectively into the decision making
process.
The opening benchmarking session of the Tenant Participation Workers Support
Group was hosted by Barking and Dagenham LBC. In attendance were
Southend BC, Newham, Redbridge, Croydon and Havering LBCs, Tonbridge B, Wokingham DC, Three Rivers DC and Metropolitan Housing Trust.
Others who have expressed an interest in attending future meetings are
Thurrock Council, Southern Homes and Blackwater Housing Association.
The group will be able to compare tenant compacts (contract agreements
between tenants groups and housing providers) and to identify a consistent
and comprehensive approach to TP.
The group expect many benefits to be gained form the benchmarking exercise
and these may include peer inspections, tenants exchanging views between
organisations, better economies of scale when procuring goods and services
as a group, establishing databases, web-sites and discussion forums as a
resource for TP/CD officers, plus joint officer and resident training.
Ensuring that benchmarking exercises follow the principles of best value,
the group welcomed a presentation from Barking and Dagenham policy and
review officer, Michele Maloney, who spoke on making benchmarking work.
The group heard that comparing with the top 25% performers, comparing the
outcome of services provided, linking service provision with the community
priorities were essential ingredients of good practise.
Barking and Dagenham's TP team Leader, Paul Dawson is leading the group. He
said:
'Comparing services involved in tenant participation is a complicated
function as there are few performance indicators that will enable direct
comparison between RSL and local authority housing services.
'But the opening meeting was very positive and showed that there is a
definite commitment towards the pooling of information and data to improve
services all round.
'Ultimately our mission statement is to continually improve our service by
comparing how we meet the needs of our residents/service users with what
other organisations offer and to define what the best service is and strive
to be the best at what we do in light of the principles of best value.'
The group will hold regular meetings and the next meeting is scheduled in
Barking and Dagenham on 9 August.
Further details are available from Paul Dawson at 2 Stour Road, Dagenham,
Essex RM10. Telephone 020 8 227 2842 e-mail pdawson@barking-dagenham.gov.uk
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