Report for Resolution. Acting Director of Housing Housing Option Appraisal Sign Off and Change Management Plan.

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1 Report for Resolution Report to Executive Item 5 October 2005 Report of Subject Acting Director of Housing Housing Option Appraisal Sign Off and Change Management Plan. 7 Purpose To inform Executive that the Housing Stock Options Appraisal has been signed off as complete by the Government Office East ( GO EAST) on behalf of the ODPM and outline the resulting change management plan. Recommendations That the Executive notes the sign off and approves the proposed change management plan. Financial Consequences In order to implement the retention option for the Council s Housing stock resources will need to be directed to improve Council homes. The exact figures are still to be worked out but this will mean the better use of existing resources which will result from the changes outlined in the change plan. Corporate Objective/Service Plan Priority The report helps to achieve the corporate objectives to strive for sufficient, good quality, affordable housing, providing choice and accessibility and to be an open, responsive, efficient and effective organisation delivering high quality services. The change management plan also meets the service plan priority to implement service improvements under Norwich Connect and improve customer service. Contact Officers Lynda Peacock Director of Housing Chris Cox Head of Landlord Services Paul Sutton Business Planning Manager

2 Background Documents Report to Council 26 th July 2005 Stock Options Appraisal Report to Executive Improving delivery of Landlord Services

3 Report Context 1. The Government asked all local authorities with their own housing stock to complete an option appraisal by 31 st July The Government Offices for the Regions had a role in signing off each appraisal. 2. On July 26 th 2005, following extensive stakeholder consultation, Councillors unanimously resolved that Norwich Council should retain its Housing stock. 3. To achieve sign off by the Government Office the Council had to supply a body of evidence to demonstrate that all the options had been considered and that the tenants had been fully consulted, together with a change management plan outlining how the chosen option will be implemented. Sign Off By GO EAST 4. The evidence was supplied to GO EAST in July and August Following satisfactory responses to a number of queries raised, GO EAST wrote on 13 th September 2005 confirming sign off. The letter stated It is our ( GO EAST) view that the Option Appraisal submitted has been carried out in accordance with the ODPM s guidance. 5. The letter also states that GO EAST will continue to work closely with the authority to progress the chosen option of retention. This will involve monitoring performance against the change management plan Change Management Plan 6. The change management plan identifies 6 key priorities ( See appendix 1) For each priority actions, target date for implementation, responsibilities, resources, milestones and progress are outlined. 7. The six priorities identified are: A Restructured Landlord Service Better Value for money and efficiency of the Council s R&M programmes Capital works Stock condition survey Increased Tenant Participation Join lobby for fourth way Government recognition and financial support for stock retention as a viable stock option 8. A number of necessary changes to the landlord service outlined in the change management plan are already underway and were detailed in

4 the recent report to Executive Improving Delivery of Landlord Services. Further reports will be shortly going to Executive on housing investment, the delivery of maintenance programmes and the achievement of decent homes. Conclusion 9. The Option Appraisal has been signed off. The Council now has to deliver the agreed option. In order to deliver the improvements that tenants have asked for as well as achieve other objectives, such as decent homes, significant changes will need to take place as outlined.

5 Appendix A Priority 1: A Restructured Landlord Service Target to complete : Implementation Dec 05 April 06 Review staffing structures ensure staff in place with appropriate skills Review service delivery consider move to neighbourhood approach Review business processes Review use of area offices Review hours of service availability Review income collection Review HRA Bench mark with other LAs Take note of feedback from reasearch into tenant aspirations Plan consultation with stakeholders Plan staff training for new ways of working Review residential status of scheme managers for sheltered schemes Expand remit of Norwich Community Alarm service to include taking calls reporting anti social behaviour Review tenacy support in line with contract changes Responsibility: Head Of Landlord Services 4 Senior manager posts reporting to Head of Landlord Services External assessment centres for recruitment Norwich Connect 15 year ICT contract To Executive Sept 05 Consultation with stakeholders Oct Nov 05 Agree way forward Appoint staff to new structure Complete staff training Implement Comino CRM system Discussion of principles with Executive and Tenant representatives Staff/ Unison / tenant / leaseholder / lead members briefing Aug / Sept 05 Business process reengineering complete for a number of processes Joined CIH / Housemark large landlords forum

6 Priority 2: Better Value for money and efficiency of the council s R&M programmes Target to complete : Implementation Nov April 06 Implement KLOE recommendations Review repairs ordering move to output based approach Review repairs delivery Move to appointments based system Stakeholder involvement in policy /procedure formulation Review staffing structure Appoint Business Development Manager Review new monitoring / performance procedures Responsibility: Head Of Landlord Services Property Services Manager Joint working with CityCare Consultancy from Norfolk Property Services New post of Business Development Manager Report to Executive Oct 05 Agree new ways of working with CityCare CityCare restructure Implement new staffing structure Implement new ordering regime Implement new monitoring and performance measures Reduce pre inspection / increase post inspection Address planned / responsive balance Briefing staff /Unison / tenants / leaseholders reps Jul / Aug 05 Tenant / leaseholder workshops Aug 05 Proposed staffing structure prepared CityCare restructuring to align with proposals NCC involved in CityCare management recruitment Stakeholders involved via briefings and workshops

7 Priority 3: Capital works Target to complete : Revised working methods in place for 06/07 programme. Re tender all external capital works Enter into Strategic Partnering contracts to ensure best prices and sharing of efficiencies Review existing contract with CityCare Contracts to be on open book basis Review staffing structure Stakeholder involvement in policy /procedure formulation /contract award Introduce new monitoring / performance procedures Review use of RTB receipts Review new stock condition data Take note of aspiration research Prepare new programmes Responsibility: Head Of Landlord Services Property Services Manager Consultancy from Norfolk Property Services Partnership working with CityCare Enter partnering agreement Agree new ways of working with CityCare CityCare restructure Implement new monitoring and performance measures Implement new staffing structure NPS on site agreeing basis of contract and reviewing with NCC and CityCare ways of working Proposed staffing structure prepared Stakeholders involved via briefings and workshops

8 Priority 4: Stock condition survey Target to complete : Use new data for 06/07 programme Tender for survey Review and purchase IT for asset management Analyse new data Commence rolling survey Improved monitoring of decent homes Responsibility: Head Of Landlord Services Property Services Manager / Business Planning Manager Consultancy from Norfolk Property Services and Tribal New structure to include survey resources Savills carrying out initial survey / Tribal analysing data and advising on IT Steria procuring and implementing IT Agree way forward for IT Analyse first cut of data Implement IT Prepare future programmes Commence rolling survey Ability to undertake property type and location specific investment decisions Initial 17%vof survey complete. (Savills) Data analysis commenced on first cut. (Tribal) Work commenced on IT brief Updating new survey information with ongoing capital works information

9 Priority 5: Increased Tenant Participation Target to complete : Ongoing Increase number of street reps/ tenant resident associations. Develop staffing structure to facilitate greater participation. Provide training for tenants Actively involve tenants / leaseholders in restructure /contract changes / policy development Develop Lakenham TMO Develop more effective policies Responsibility: Head Of Landlord Services Tenancy Services Manager New structure to include participation as part of everyday work with specialist support New structure to include TMO officer for Lakenham Increase coverage across City by TRAs and street representatives Better response rates to consultations During appraisal TRA coverage increased to 51% of City Briefings and workshops held on new contracts and restructure Programme of training established for tenants and leaseholders in 05/06 (21 evenings) Leaseholders Forum re energised and transformed into Norwich leaseholders Association with active management committee.

10 Priority 6: Join lobby for fourth way Government recognition and financial support for stock retention as a viable stock option Target to complete : Ongoing Engage local MPs Join national debate/ lobby Join other similar local authorities Responsibility: Acting Director Of Housing Clear mandate from all stakeholders Councillors and Officers Raise profile of issue Government reviews / changes current policy Sharing best practise / benchmarking Cross party consensus in Norwich Meetings with Local MPs. Initial meeting of ARCH (Association Retained Council Housing)

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