Thistle Housing Association appeals Regulator intervention action

Thistle Housing Association has submitted an appeal against the Scottish Housing Regulator’s decision to appoint a manager and five members to its governing body.

The Regulator used its statutory powers to make the appointments in August this year after an independent review identified failures to meet regulatory standards of governance and financial management.

Thistle was already the subject of regular engagement during 2017/18 regarding serious delays and difficulties in managing a substantial contract, its governance capacity, risk management and its communications with service users and stakeholders. The Regulator had also engaged around weaknesses in Thistle’s approach to complaints handling.

Thistle then commissioned an independent review of its compliance with the Regulatory Standards of Governance and Financial Management. The review, completed in March 2018, identified widespread compliance failures across all six standards.

In its assessment of the review, the Regulator concluded that Thistle was not compliant with the Regulatory Standards of Governance and Financial Management and that the governing body was unable to demonstrate that it has the skills and knowledge required to be effective.

The Regulator also considered that Thistle was failing to meet outcome two of the Scottish Social Housing Charter.

While the governing body at Thistle accepted the findings from the review and agreed an extensive and ambitious Governance Improvement Programme to address its recommendations, the Regulator concluded that delivering the change needed at Thistle required strong leadership and expertise. It then used it statutory powers to make the six appointments.

However Thistle Housing Association has now appealed this decision.

A spokesperson told Scottish Housing News: “The elected members of the Governing Body of Thistle Housing Association have submitted an appeal on 5 November, against the Scottish Housing Regulators decision to use their statutory powers under section 57 and 58 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010 to appoint a statutory manager and section 65 to appoint 5 members to the governing body.

“Thistle will continue to serve the community of Toryglen and work constructively with the Scottish Housing Regulator during this difficult time.”