The Committee of Management of WGHC is its board of directors. Unlike most social landlords, all WGHC’s committee members are tenants.
There are normally ten Committee meetings a year. This does not include sub-Committee meetings (like the Staffing Sub-Committee) which are held as and when required.
Towards the end of the 2016-17 financial year, the Committee of Management met three times: December 2016, February and March 2017.
Here is a summary of what happened at these meetings:
The Committee approved a new Governance Policy, setting out who does what. It also approved new Financial Regulations which control how WGHC’s funds are managed and a new Business Plan with budgets, targets and priorities.
Committee agreed that Menco be re-appointed to carry out both landscape maintenance and our grass cutting aid scheme. Committee also decided that, from April, stair cleaning will be carried out by Quay Community Improvements. This new community benefit company is a subsidiary of Port of Leith Housing Association.
In March Committee agreed to appoint a temporary administration assistant when our current modern apprenticeship ends.
In April 2017, the Auditor presented the audit plan and Committee reviewed the annual “letter of engagement” from the Scottish Housing Regulator. Once again WGHC will be “low engagement” which means the Regulator is happy that we are well managed and financially stable.
In May 2017 Committee reviewed the tenant consultation on changes to anti-social behaviour procedures. The response was in favour and the changes will go into a new draft policy later in the year. Members also looked at upcoming risks. These include staff retirals, welfare reform and inflation.
In June 2017 the Auditor reported to Committee. She said that no problems were found and WGHC is in a strong financial position. Committee agreed to work with Edinburgh RSLs to look at options for joint working. Members discussed staff and committee training needs and possible staff changes.
In July 2017 Committee approved a draft budget and agreed to consult tenants about a proposed 2.6% rent increase. Members discussed a performance report, training priorities, maintenance projects and estate management. The CEO was authorised to fill a permanent Administration Assistant post and to replace the retiring finance assistant.
In September 2017 Lorna Brown was re-elected as Chair, Jim Hemphill as Vice Chair and Marilyn Dickson as Treasurer. Committee training dates were agreed. Other business included treasury management; current building contracts; and the Scottish Housing Regulator’s latest landlord report. WGHC scores very highly across all indicators, especially tenant satisfaction.
In October 2017 members received updates on staffing, treasury management, discussions with other RSLs and maintenance projects. Members considered WGHC performance and agreed priorities and financial assumptions for the coming year. A new Tenancy Management Policy was approved. Changes to the annual children’s’ Christmas painting competition were agreed.
In November 2017 Scotland’s Housing Network presented an analysis of WGHC performance in 2016-17. WGHC was one of the top performing social landlords. The tenant consultation on the proposed rent increase was reviewed, responses were overwhelmingly positive. Committee agreed a rent increase of 2.6% and a budget for 2018-19.
In December 2017 Committee approved a Business Plan including projects, budgets and performance benchmarks for 2018-19. It also reviewed office hours and the Complaints and Rent policies. Members also looked at banking arrangements and set up a working group to review staffing and prepare for the retirement of the CEO.
In February 2018 Committee reviewed a report from the staffing working group and agreed to make the Tenant Outreach Officer post redundant, and to engage Prospect Community Housing to provide financial services. Members also discussed financial performance, the recent kitchen replacement contract, the grass cutting service, and future window replacement.
WGHC’s new financial year started on 1st April 2017. An update on the Committee’s work over the first quarter of the new year will be published here shortly. Meanwhile, the article below celebrates the awarding of the Employers in Voluntary Housing (EVH) Long Service Awards presented to 4 of our longest standing Committee Members in May 2017.
Long Service Awards
West Granton Housing Co-op would not exist without the Committee of Management. Their dedication, conviction to making decisions in the best interests of tenants and the invaluable contribution of their own time are all critical to the success of WGHC.
In honour of their achievements, on 10th May 2017, Employers in Voluntary Housing (EVH) bestowed upon 4 Committee Members “Long Service Recognition Awards.” From left to right, the photographs above picture Joe Moir, Marilyn Dickson, George Thomson and Lorna Brown. Together they clock up an amazing 107 years of service.