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Tenant involvement panel - Terms of reference

1. Role of the panel

The panel will:

  • Consider housing policy and finance issues, and scrutinise the housing service’s performance making recommendations.
  • Input into the setting and monitoring of targets and performance indicators for housing.
  • Work with other tenant groups, including scrutiny task and finish groups, to improve services and help review objectives and aspirations.
  • Review and make recommendations regarding housing policies relating to services for Norwich City Council tenants, including the service improvement plan (SIP), giving consideration to value for money (VFM), cost and resources.
  • Review housing publications.
  • Consider and make recommendation in relation to housing finance, which will include tenant involvement in rent and budget setting.
  • Represent Norwich City Council tenants to outside persons and organisations.

In doing the above the panel will ensure that due consideration is given to VFM, available resources and the corporate objectives of Norwich City Council.

All panel members are required to follow the tenant panel code of conduct.

2. Panel membership

There will be a maximum of 13 members at each meeting with officer support.

Members will be tenants of Norwich City Council or their recognised spouse/partner (as per Norwich City Council policy).

Tenants in breach of their tenancy conditions will not be eligible to be or remain as panel members.

Members will be recruited to the panel as part of the agreed selection process for membership. The panel will be compliant with Norwich City Council’s equality policies and its members will have completed the mandatory modules of the tenant training programme.

3. Appointing a chair

The chair for each meeting will be agreed by the panel as a standard agenda item at the meeting which precedes it.

4. Terms of office

Panel members can serve for two years (called a term).

After one term panel members may reapply via the standard recruitment process.

5. Decision making

Decisions can only be made when at least seven members are present at the meeting.

It is expected that the panel will reach agreement by consensus. However, if agreement cannot be reached a vote will take place and in the event of votes for and against being equal the chair will have a second or casting vote.

All matters relating to staffing and officers of Norwich City Council will be outside the panel’s remit.

6. Frequency of matters

The panel will meet formally six times each year.

Additional informal meetings, focus groups, or special meetings may take place as required.

Panel members are expected to attend every meeting unless they have genuine reasons for not doing so and send
their apologies.

Panel membership can be withheld for non-attendance at meetings without good reason and it is expected that panel members will attend a minimum of four panel meetings per annum.

7. Setting the tenant involvement panel work programme

The panel will develop a work programme to be determined at its first meeting of
the new financial year in four main ways: 

  • by referral to corporate housing priorities and service plans
  • by referral from the housing leadership team, and from other parts of the council where requested
  • by referral/request from the Annual review group (ARG) or from other tenant groups
  • in response to concerns raised from the local level.

The panel will report to the ARG.

8. Panel resources

The council will provide administrative and service support to the panel chair.

9. Accountability of the panel

The panel will keep all tenants up to date with its work (for example through tenants’ newsletters, the council’s website and its publications such as TLC Magazine and the annual report to tenants).

10. Review of the terms of reference

The panel and council will review the terms of reference regularly to ensure they reflect the duties and responsibilities of the panel.

Changes to the terms of reference will be agreed between the panel and council officers.

11. Dispute resolution

Unresolved difficulties will be escalated to the head of service through the housing innovation and improvement manager.

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