Meeting documents

TDBC Tenant Services Management Board
Monday, 21st January, 2019 6.00 pm

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The Senior Transformation Project Lead presented a verbal update on the change of Landlord Name and the possible effects it could have for the tenants.


The new name that would replace Taunton Deane Borough Council (TDBC) as the tenant’s landlord would be Somerset West and Taunton Council (SWT).


The Senior Transformation Project Lead advised the Board that the change should not affect tenants in too many ways.  He further explained that there was no need for a new tenancy to be issued because the information would be automatically transferred from TDBC to SWT and the terms and conditions would remain the same.


He also confirmed that the Council would have the same contact details and the public would still be able to visit the Deane House with their enquiries.


How would officers inform tenants of the change.

The Senior Transformation Project Lead confirmed that information on the changes would be included in the tenant’s annual rent statements.  The main reasons for that was that all tenants received a rent statement plus it would save on the cost on posting out a separate letter.  A copy of the letter was handed out to the Board Members.  The letter would also include the new Direct Debit details along with contact details for the tenants to use.


Alongside the creation of the New Council, the officers had gone through a Transformation Project and would be adapting new ways of working, which included those that worked out in the community.  Tenants should be aware that those officers might have new job titles but there would still be a maintenance and engagement programmes.


From the 1 April 2019, there would also be a new service available via the SWT website, that would enable customers to set up an account and login to report any concerns and would display their rent balance, council tax details along with other useful information.


During the discussion, the following points were raised:-

·         Board Members queried why SWT was the name for the New Council.

SWT was the name that Councillors had decided on and could possibly change in the future, like any other Council’s name.  Officers highlighted that the level of service was more important than the name.

·         Board Members queried whether the Tenant Services Management Board would continue.

Yes it would.

·         Board Members queried whether they would still have contact details for the Housing Department.

Tenants should contact the main Council phone number and they would be assisted by a customer champion or a case manager, who would guide them through the internal structure, rather than the tenant contacting different officers.

·         Board Members queried whether there would be a pilot scheme used to test the new structure prior to its introduction.

No there would not be a pilot scheme, the New Council, website and processes were going live in April 2019 and there was not enough time to run a pilot scheme because officers were still going through the recruitment phase.

·         Concern was raised on how officers felt about the Transformation Project.

There were mixed emotions based on the circumstances for each officer.  Majority felt positive and were involved in the changes.

·         Concern was raised on the communications used and that the information for the New Council needed to be distributed in the correct manner.

The Senior Transformation Project Lead would report that back to the Communications and Engagement Team.

·         Board Members queried whether the savings from the Transformation Project would be used to fund housing developments.

No, the savings created were being used towards the Council’s survival, not for investment.

·         Board Members queried whether the general transformation savings were the same for the housing officers as they were funded from the Housing Revenue Account (HRA).

The savings were not the same for the HRA as the rest of the Council because the HRA was ring-fenced.


Resolved that the Board noted the update report.