Chaired by Ceilia Gresswell, the West Resident Panel took place in mid May 2020 by video conference using Ms Teams and we were so pleased that everyone was able to join in.
A key part of the meeting was a presentation and update given by Steve Gair, Project Development Manager. Steve provided an update about the development of garages at Poundfield where residents have chosen to create new homes to replace some of the disused and derelict garages. An architect has been commissioned to help design and build approximately 10 houses over the four plots at Poundfield. The proposal is for Modular construction of three-bedroom houses. This means that the homes will be constructed off-site and transported to the plot site. This method will create minimal disruption to local residents and ensure local needs are met.
The Panel asked many questions and raised the need to protect and off-set the environmental footprint associated with the development. There is still a lot of work to be done and a great deal of resident involvement to ensure that we support local people and answer any queries they may have.
Executive Director to the West Panel, Ria Bailes, reported that we are supporting the government's #YouAreNotAlone campaign to help victims of domestic abuse and that, following government guidelines, playgrounds and community centres remain closed. Ria also said that the Customer Contact Centre is contacting vulnerable residents for welfare checks and that we are carrying out emergency repairs only.
The key highlight of the meeting was the Local Plan. In previous meetings residents on the Panel had set out their key priorities in three distinct areas, Community, Customer Service and Environment. These priorities are now in a plan that will be overseen by the Panel, so that it can bring about lasting improvements.
The West Panel and particularly Ceilia spoke about being unique and requiring a different approach in comparison to other regions, and more will be said in future about how we develop the “newsagent” approach for West region. There are also a number of vacancies on the panel and residents are encouraged to see the check our website for more information.
The Panel also received an introduction to the new Customer Services Strategy. Customer services is so important, and we are all keen work together to produce a strategy that builds on the work done so far. Watch this space as there will be more opportunities for residents to get involved and help us shape this important strategy.
The Panel also approved a new strategy that oversees the management and maintenance of homes and buildings; and will play an important part of our continuing service improvement.