Presented by Chris Seman, the report set out the details on the service’s current approach to measuring tenant and leaseholder satisfaction including detail on the current methodology and frameworks used to collect satisfaction data and calculate satisfaction rates. The report also set out the current programme of satisfaction monitoring for 2020/21 to enable the service to gain a much broader understanding of tenants and leaseholders views on services and to better understand their needs.
The questions and comments provided by Lynn Mansfield, Housing Tenant Representative were read out by Democratic Services:
Officers explained that the second mailing of the questionnaire would only be sent out to tenants who had not completed the questionnaire yet. The questionnaires were managed by KWEST and the completed questionnaires were sent to them and the results that came back to the council were anonymous. Regarding 3.4, the owners of the methodology, Housemark, had consulted with landlords and 13,000 tenants and had found the resulting methodology was a better method in expressing responses. Some responses before such as the term ‘fair’ was misunderstood as some took it to mean reasonably good but the service viewed this response as a measure of dissatisfaction. ‘Neither satisfied or dissatisfied’ was seen to be a much clearer response. The consultation had shown that tenants wished to see the 5 responses chosen to continue as it gave a wider range of responses to express their response. On how the satisfaction rates were calculated, ‘Very Satisfied’ and ‘Fairly Satisfied’ were included into the satisfaction percentage figure. Regarding the diagram on page 27, Officers explained that a full postal survey would give more data as it would ask more questions that would enable the service to look deeper into the gathered data. Although the figures appeared low, these were good figures when compared to other local authorities and some were over 90%. A quarterly benchmarking exercise was suggested where the service would compare their gathered data against Housemark’s gathered data from similar local authorities of size to Thurrock Council.
Councillor Abbas questioned how tenant satisfaction rates were measured and what feedback was given regarding repairs and contractors. Carol Hinvest explained that a monthly Satisfaction survey was undertaken which asked residents about their experiences with the repair work that had been undertaken in their homes. A range of questions were asked that included whether tenants were satisfied with their repairs; if the repairs were carried out right the first time; whether contractors had shown ID and if contractors they had cleaned up after the repair. Regular meetings were also held with contractors where the service discussed satisfaction results gathered by contractors and Mears would speak with residents where comments were not understood. The service’s engineers also carried out post inspections on 10% of the repairs undertaken particularly on the Transforming Homes Programme.
Councillor Abbas sought further detail on the low percentages shown on the diagram on page 27. Referring back to the earlier response given to same question from Lynn Mansfield, Officers added that the full postal survey asked more detailed questions that looked into other areas such as anti-social behaviour. This gave the service a broader understanding of their tenants satisfaction rates in how their cases were handled.
Referring to paragraph 3.5, the Chair questioned why only the top two satisfaction rates of ‘Very Satisfied’ and ‘Fairly Satisfied’ was used to calculate satisfaction rates when there were 5 responses. Officers explained that ‘Very’ and ‘Fairly Satisfied’ expressed that clearly that tenants were satisfied whereas the other responses expressed a neutral or a clearly dissatisfied response. The information gathered from each response was taken into account by the service but for the purposes of the report before the Committee, the level of satisfaction rates had been separated into two categories of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The service mostly focused on the dissatisfaction responses to understand what had gone wrong to and what could be done to ensure the same issue did not arise again. Officers went on to say that improvements within the service could be seen from the report in item 5 of the Agenda in terms of overall satisfaction.
The Chair questioned the number of surveys taken in a year and in a month. Chris Seman answered that around 200 satisfaction surveys were undertaken each month with the same amount for repair satisfaction surveys and around 15 – 20 new tenant satisfaction surveys which totalled roughly 500 surveys per month. The Chair asked if the data gathered from the full postal survey mentioned earlier could be formulated into a report and brought back to Committee at a later date.
(Councillor Redsell joined the meeting at 7.57pm.)
(At the Chair’s discretion, she allowed Councillor Redsell to ask a question that related to item 5. Councillor Redsell sought clarification on the key drivers for dissatisfaction. Officers explained that responses from residents highlighted factors of engagement and communication with the service and repairs through the Transforming Homes Programme such as windows.)
That the Committee noted and commented on the report.