Getting involved and making a difference

Getting involved and making a difference

Getting involved doesn’t necessarily mean having to travel long distances and spend hours at meetings. There are a variety of ways you can make a difference depending on how involved you want to be and how much time you can spare.

The primary function of Tenant Participation is to encourage and support tenants through a range of opportunities to engage with the housing service. It relates to the fair and equal engagement of tenants to involve them in service improvement, policy and management of the organisation. Facilitating a two way process - to provide information and communicate with tenants about housing services, performance, standards and values, creating an environment for participation while offering minimal influence.

We will provide training information, support, transport and reimburse your expenses. Here are some of the ways you could get involved: Participation Strategy. If you have any questions or require further information please contact our Tenant Involvement Section in Housing Services.

You have the right to be kept informed. We will consult with you and keep you informed of any changes that affect the service you receive regarding your tenancy and your home. How we might ask about or gauge tenants’ opinion about the service:

  • Complaints and other feedback 
  • Surveys 
  • Road shows 
  • Tenant meetings 
  • Talking to Tenant Representatives 
  • One-to-one consultation about changes to your home 

We use the information we receive to help us improve our service to you. We share the results of our consultation with you through the tenants ‘At Home’ magazine, leaflets, letters and the website.

The surveys we send out are anonymous unless you give us your name and address. Although, this means we are unable to respond to individual comments, we can make changes based on the comments made and the number of people telling us the same thing.

We consult with all tenants on major issues such as:

  • The Housing Revenue Account - this sets out how the Council manages and maintains the housing stock and sets priorities for the future of the housing budget.
  • The new arrangements for housing self-financing - this may enable the council to have more control over spending and make improvements to homes faster.

To meet tenants’ needs we consult our group of Tenant Representatives on any changes, amendments, developments and monitoring to the service. Not only do they give a tenants point of view on all service developments and changes, but they also assist the Council in making decisions and developing policies and procedures.

A Good Neighbourhood Agreement (GNA) is an agreement between a number of residents in an area about what behaviour they expect from one another.

Landlords like North Kesteven District Council help to set them up and use them to make a commitment about what they will do in an area to help residents make the GNA work.

The GNA can have in it whatever residents want! The aim is to improve the quality of life in the community. If enough neighbours agree, the Council will bring together what neighbours are saying and draft an agreement for you to look at. Tenants are able to say what they like and dislike about the draft, and a final version will be produced, based on what the majority say. We will then call on all residents with a copy for them to sign. New tenants get a copy too.

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) such as noisy neighbours, graffiti, vandalism, harassment and violence can make life a misery for people. Anti-social behaviour is a broad term used to describe the day to day incidents of crime, nuisance and disorder to makes many people’s lives a misery. This can be from litter, vandalism, to public drunkenness or aggressive dogs, to noisy or abusive neighbours.

For more information, go to our anti-social behaviour area.

What the TLP does?

The Tenant Liaison Panel (TLP) is an advisory part of the Council’s decision making process, giving tenants a voice with which to promote their interests, in partnership with the Council as a landlord. The Panel considers a broad range of issues including consultation on Government policy, Council policy and procedures.

The Panel holds a minimum of 4 meetings per year with a view to giving tenant representatives the opportunity to discuss matters affecting their homes and the local environment. The forum involves Members and officers of the Council, and identifies areas where the representatives can influence decisions prior to debate by the Executive Board or other Council Committees.

The Tenant Liaison Panel aims to involve as many council tenants as possible from across the whole of the district, and urges representatives from as many communities as possible to come forward, to aid this and to ease the financial burden of involvement, The Council shall reimburse reasonable travel expenses.

Who is on the panel?

The Tenant Liaison Panel is a partnership consisting of 5 elected Councillor’s and all Tenant Representatives. All representatives must sign the ‘Tenant Representatives Conduct Guidance’.

The post of Tenant Liaison Panel Chair alternates between Councillor and Tenant representative, they each serve a 2 year term of office. More than one term of office may be served. In addition to the TLP, two representatives will be nominated to co-opt onto the Environment and Community Overview and Scrutiny Panel each year.

Powers and duties of representatives

Duties

  • To identify issues of concern to tenants and residents.
  • To monitor and comment on the housing services policy and strategy.
  • To consider matters referred to the Panel by other committees and panels.

Powers

  • To request that the panel be consulted prior to the commencement of any project, scheme or initiative relevant to housing policy/ tenant participation.
  • To request that Council Officers submit reports to the Executive Board or other committees on the panel’s behalf.
  • To vote on matters referred to the panel for consideration. Each representative has one vote, with decisions being made by the majority vote

The Tenants Investigating Services group is a small group of tenants who investigate the service that tenants receive from North Kesteven District Council as a housing landlord.    

They choose the topic they want to investigate and have access to all the officers, documents etc or consult with other tenants to find out their experience of the service and if it is up to standard. The group also look at how other landlord’s standards compare to NK.

The evidence they gather is used to produce a report with a range of recommendations for improvement for all NK tenants. This report is presented to the housing department managers who assess the recommendations and decide if they can be implemented. Managers are required to give reasons if recommendations are declined.

If you would like more information or would like to be involved please contact the Tenant Participation Team at North Kesteven District Council 01529 414155 or email us.

A tenants’ representative is someone who speaks on behalf of council tenants (and other residents) in their street or area - like a one person tenants’ association.

As a tenant of North Kesteven District Council you are best placed to help the Council tailor its services to meet the needs of tenants. Tenants now have a far greater role in the management of housing services. We need tenants to help develop the best service possible that meets the needs of all our tenants with the resources available to us. In short – we need your help. You can find more information in our tenants representative download.

There is a tenant participation team to support tenants to become representatives and we provide or pay expenses for transport, childcare etc so you can attend meetings and training, help with stationary and use of office equipment if required and access to information about the Council and we provide and encourage representatives to attend training event.