Resident Scrutiny Panel: first review
Peabody’s Resident Scrutiny Panel has just completed its first review
The 14-member Panel acts as an independent "critical friend", examining how services work, comparing Peabody to other similar organisations and making recommendations for improvement.
The Resident Scrutiny Panel was launched in May 2013
All members have been trained and mentored over the past eight months by an independent, external mentor, as well as receiving support from Peabody employees. They’ve attended workshops including an introduction to Peabody, housing management, team building, understanding performance information and scrutiny techniques.Find out how you can be involved
Reviewing the ECEIB
The panel chose, as their first review, the Estate Controlled Environmental Improvement Budget (ECEIB), a fund available to residents to make improvements to local areas.
The ECEIB of £300,000 is open to tenants and residents associations (TRAs), other resident groups and non-resident groups to make environmental improvements in their community spaces. Thirty projects requested by residents were funded by the ECEIB in 2012/13.
The review of the ECEIB began in September 2013 and included a review of documents, paperwork and benchmarking with other organisations. This was followed by case study analysis, interviews with around 15 residents and staff with ECEIB experience, and a random survey of residents.
What they found
The Panel presented their final report to senior managers in January. “I really enjoyed the process and I think we worked well together,” said member Iona McConnell. “It was really interesting to have the views of members who’d had experience of the ECEIB alongside those of us who had never heard of the scheme."
Another member, Sandra Duncan, said: “I joined the Panel to get an insight into Peabody and to contribute to improving its services. I found the process interesting – and challenging in places!”
In their final report, the Panel stated that:
“Overall we felt the scheme is an asset to Peabody residents. It is important that residents direct spending on their estates as they are most easily able to identify priorities and select works which would have the greatest impact. Residents who had participated in the scheme felt it had been successful and were happy with the outcome.”
However, the panel did identify areas that were in need of change or improvements. These included:
- Rewriting the ECEIB policy to have more clarity around roles, eligibility, criteria and consultation, and designing a new application form
- Ensuring the new agreed processes are applied consistently by our East and West regional forums
- Better monitoring and tracking, and assessing the overall benefit and impact of money spent on improvements
- Increasing awareness of the scheme amongst residents and encouraging different estates to bid for money
- Renaming the ECEIB so it more accurately reflects what it does
Sandra Skeete, Peabody's Executive Director for Housing, attended the Panel’s January meeting for the presentation of the results, and commended the panel on their commitment to service improvements and production of their first report.
Peabody senior managers have now accepted most of the recommendations made by the Panel, and will be implementing them over the coming months. Look out for more news in future issues of Engage.
Resident Scrutiny Panel ECEIB final report (pdf, 418kb)
Management response (pdf, 174kb)
More informationFind out how you can be involved