October 2019 - Resident Forum minutes
Resident Forum minutes: Wednesday 16th October 2019
1. Welcome, introductions and apologies
KA welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained that she would be chairing the meeting.
Apologies were recorded.
2. Review of Minutes
JL pointed out that her surname was incorrect in the minutes of the meeting held on 18th September 2019. Her surname is ‘Lemon’ and not ‘Lambert’ as stated in the minutes.
The September minutes were agreed as a true record.
3. Review of the Residents Forum
KA explained that the meeting was dedicated to the review of the Resident Forum that had been undertaken by SG from Tpas, who using her experience had proposed the changes to drive forward change and demonstrate value for money.
KA said that nothing was set in stone and that the proposal was the best way to drive the Residents Forum forward. The proposal was being discussed at SMG with Heads of Service the following week, before EMT being advised.
KA explained that the agenda for this meeting would cover:
How the Resident Forum will run
Role of the RF
Running our meetings
KA explained that running meetings involved a lot of work and a lot of responsibility. She went on to say that it is hard to chair a meeting and to participate so the Trust was looking to introduce an independent chair to ensure the meetings kept to time and that the Forum was sticking to the agenda and what they should be discussing. The independent chair would also make sure that everyone got the opportunity to participate and would encourage the quieter members of the Forum to give their views and opinions. They would also keep order and ensure that Forum members adhered to the Code of Conduct.
KA went on to explain that the Independent Chair could be a Trust employee who was looking for chairing experience or who wants to be more involved with residents. The Independent Chair could also be a member of the community engagement team but wouldn’t be KA. Or they could be a consultant who only comes into run the meetings however this option has a cost implication.
KA explained that what the Independent Chair wouldn’t do was take part in discussions or offer opinions unless invited by the Forum to do so. They would also not take part in making decisions or have a vote. HO asked if residents will make the decisions and KA confirmed that the proposal was to change the way the meetings are chaired and that the independent chair would have no say in any decisions made. HO went on to ask how decisions would be made on what would be discussed at meetings. KA explained that if residents had personal issues they would need to complete an issues form. If it was something that would impact on the wider resident body then the Resident Forum would take a vote on what is most important to residents and it would be added to the work programme and subsequent agenda.
DB asked whether Board members would still be attending meetings and KA assured him that they would. DB also asked whether the Residents Forum would be defined in the new strategy. KA explained that resident engagement forms part of the strategy but talks in terms of what the Trust wants to achieve rather than going into detail about each group. It is anticipated that the Residents Forum will continue for the next 5 years as part of the new strategy.
KA explained that the Residents Forum meetings would be bi-monthly meetings (every two months) but that this would be reviewed after 6 months. So that Resident Forum members and Trust staff knew what was coming up on their agendas, a work and training programme would be put in place. SG handed out an example. In future, Resident Forum members would receive a pack of paperwork similar to that received by the Board but not as hefty. Any recommendations or proposals made by the Residents Forum would be captured in an action log that would be maintained and monitored by the Community Engagement Team. A copy of the updated action log would be sent to all Resident Forum members a week before each meeting.
KA explained that preparation is key and that it was important that Resident Forum members have everything they need when they attend meeting. SG went on to say that in future no paperwork would be tabled at the meetings. It was important that Forum members had sight of paperwork associated with each agenda item so that they could come to meetings prepared to discuss each item.
KA explained that if any Forum member had personal or neighbour issues they would need to complete an issues sheet (copies were given to everyone present) and give it to the Community Engagement Team staff member present who would log the issue on the action log and pass it along to the relevant member of staff. It would be the role of the Community Engagement Team to monitor the actions log and keep Forum members informed of progress.
Role of the Resident Forum
KA then explained what the Resident Forum would be doing:
To act for the benefit of all residents.
To review policies and procedures
To make proposals / recommendations
To challenge quarterly performance
To monitor the implementation of scrutiny
To undertake training as required.
HO said that if a resident forum member does not understand something then they should be able to go to the author of the policy and ask questions. KA explained that it was important that Resident Forum members feedback any lack of understanding at meetings, and the discussion takes place in meetings as everyone needs to be able to understand the policy.
MS said that the performance information is available on-line and is colour coded to make it easier to see how services are doing.
MD stated that the Resident Forum needed to include younger people. KA explained that she has been considering how to engage with younger people or are currently unemployed and may want to get involved to gain experience in this type of environment. PM suggested that to reach the younger demographic some sort of platform was needed. KA said that the Trust was looking at an on-line platform but it would be for everyone. PM suggested a skype portal
Actions for Role of the Residents Forum
KA to look into the possibility of an on-line group
KA explained that a piece of work had been done on why people don’t get involved. Younger people tend to have busy lives but tend to reach a point in their lives when they have the time and will get involved
PM asked how the Forum could be representative with its current demographic makeup. KA explained that the Trust would still continue with other resident engagement activities.
HO suggested that there is a physical and an on-line Resident Forum.
JL said that her granddaughter who is 14 years old would like to attend the Forum meetings.
JJ asked if they can fill in an issues form if their neighbours approach them about issues they have. KA confirmed they could.
Support for Resident Forum members
With regards to support, KA explained that Resident Forum members would have a named dedicated contact in the Community Engagement Team. They also have her contact details. So in essence have two people they can contact.
There will be an annual review of work to check against aims and objectives. Which would look at what the Forum has achieved, what has been deferred, what recommendations have been made. Resident Forum member may get a phone call inviting them for a coffee to find out their thoughts. The Trust wants residents to get some value out of attending meetings. But it may be that they need additional help to contribute and may need some training and support. Things will come up on the agenda that require the Forum members to have further training and more information including what is seen as good practice.
KA explained that there would be training for all Resident Forum members and encouraged everyone to attend. She explained that the training would take place in bite size sessions. The training will be offered annually and will be added to the work programme. The first round of training will include:
Effective questioning and challenge
Understanding performance information – this can be confusing, daunting and dull
Repairs and Maintenance Panel
KA explained that for the time being the Repairs and Maintenance Panel had been put on hold.
MD said that lots of ideas that had been suggested by residents had been implemented. KA explained that R&M Panel items can be discussed at the Resident Forum.
MD said that the changes were a lot to take on board.
SE said that it won’t work as there is a lot of information. MD agreed.
RS felt that it was worth giving the change a go as he personally did not get a lot from the R&M Panel.
MS asked for confirmation that the R&M Panel had been put on hold. KA confirmed that it had and that the plan was to bring repairs information to the Resident Forum meetings.
TT expressed concern that the Trust was going to fold and suggested that ASB and complaints were the next things that should be looked at. KA explained that the Trust has indicators on how services are performing and will bring them to the November meeting so they can decide which ones they are interested in monitoring. She also said that the complaints team could be asked to produce regular reports for the Residents Forum.
MS said that performance information can be daunting. KA would like all Resident Forum members to understand the performance information and to constructively challenge what they see.
LK said that at the moment SP is chair and meets with staff to help put the meeting agendas together. He asked who would be formulating the agendas in the future and expressed concern that it would get to technical
PM asked if the Forum could suggest topics for the agendas. KA confirmed they could PM said that people might not know what the topics are that they could suggest.
Actions for Repairs and Maintenance Panel
KA to produce a list of topics.
MD said that whilst the KPIs sound very official they are really just graphs and not scary. JJ asked what KPI stood for. KA explained that KPI stood for Key Performance Indicator.
SP said that a formal pack of paperwork sent out in advance would be much better. He was agreeable to the R&M Panel being put on hold temporarily. He would like the Resident Forum to see more financial information, particularly budget information. He would like to know where money is being spent / where it is going. He would like to know what the planned maintenance programme is for the coming year.
HO said he would like to know what the Trust does, where the Trust gets their income from, what the money is spent on and how KPIs come in?
4. General Actions
KA to arrange for the relevant staff to attend the January Forum meeting
KA explained that there is a need to respect everyone as an individual. Everyone has given up their time and all have a valid opinion which other people may or may not agree with.
5. Any Other Business
Date of next meeting:
Wednesday 20th November 2019 from 5pm to 7pm
Board Room, Fairfax House