Talking West Cheshire

Council tenants in Ellesmere Port and Neston given more say

3 June 2010

Council tenants in Ellesmere Port and Neston have been given more say in the way their homes are managed.

Tenants are to play a key role in overseeing the improvement of Cheshire West and Chester’s Housing Service, with robust new powers to give tenants real influence over the future of the service.

Residents have agreed a deal with the Council which will allow members of the new Neston and Ellesmere Port Tenants and Residents Organisation (NEPTRO) to monitor how well their homes and estates are being managed. Residents will be able to check on every aspect of their landlord’s performance.

As part of the deal, there will be:

  • New service improvement panels, each chaired by a tenant, to ensure that every element of the housing service is responding well to resident priorities
  • More opportunities for a greater number of tenants to be involved
  • A new scrutiny role for NEPTRO, allowing it to hold the housing service to account
  • A bigger budget for resident involvement in the area

Oscar Houston, Chairman of NEPTRO, said the changes would allow tenants to have much more influence on the housing service.

He said: “This is going to make a big difference for tenants in future. There are some huge decisions to be made about our housing and these changes mean our voices are going to be heard. The service will be accountable to tenants and if there is an area we are dissatisfied with we can raise it immediately.”

Councillor Herbert Manley, Executive Member for Prosperity which also includes Housing, said: “This heralds a new era for tenant involvement in our housing service. Tenants will be able to set the agenda over the way their homes are managed. They will have much more opportunity to get involved and will be able to drive improvements across the service.”

The moves by the Housing Service chime with the new tenant focus promoted nationally by the Tenant Services Authority, which oversees all social housing providers in England. It has urged all social landlords to involve their tenants in improving services.

The new NEPTRO, which replaces the Federation of Tenants and Residents Associations (NEFTRA), will allow more tenants to become involved without going through formal tenants’ associations.

Mr Houston added: "There are great opportunities for tenants. The message is we want more people to get involved."