First Scottish council achieves excellence in tenant participation

(left to right) Tracey Wilson tenant participation manager, Sean Batty TV weatherman and Marianne McManus, divisional housing manager
(left to right) Tracey Wilson tenant participation manager, Sean Batty TV weatherman and Marianne McManus, divisional housing manager

North Ayrshire Council has become the first local authority in Scotland to successfully achieve the gold standard of TPAS accreditation.

The Tenant Participation Advisory Service Scotland (TPAS) award recognises excellence in involving tenants and other customers in the delivery of housing services. The award itself is validated by an independent panel of tenant participation experts.

In order to achieve the gold level of accreditation, the council had to demonstrate how it met the ten stringent standards outlined by TPAS as the bedrock of effective tenant involvement – this included interviews with staff and customers.

A particular strength highlighted in the TPAS evaluation and feedback is the range of choices for customer participation that the council has in place for tenants of all backgrounds. For example, the ‘route to involvement’ gives tenants and customers an opportunity to get involved at a level that suits them. Similarly, the council’s service improvement groups offer a good way for customers to have a hands-on option of developing new services or policies.

Councillor Tony Gurney, cabinet member for place, is delighted that the council has been formally recognised as leading the way in involving tenants in the delivery of its housing services.

He said: “I am delighted that North Ayrshire Council is the first in Scotland to be awarded gold TPAS accreditation. Tenant participation is at the heart of this award and Housing Services has long recognised the need for tenants to have a say in how services are designed and delivered.

“That participation is reflected in the council’s support of a council-wide tenant network which examines the work of Housing Services and scrutinises its performance. The work of this group and the many other tenants and residents associations has helped the council improve its services while demonstrating value for money and accountability to its customers.”

Lesley Baird is chief executive of TPAS and helped present the award with TV personality, Sean Batty.

She said: “We’re delighted to award our highest grade of accreditation to North Ayrshire Council. The council was one of the first in the country to fully embrace tenant participation and it has demonstrated that continues to build on its inclusive and thorough approach.

“Officers and community representatives have worked hard to develop accessible routes for customers to get involved in a range of activities, to scrutinise performance of the council’s housing services and influence decisions. We hope that this award recognises those achievements.”

The Tenant Participation Advisory Service Scotland is a nationwide social enterprise company that exists to promote good and effective working relationships between tenant and landlord organisations in Scotland.



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