Simon Devonshire OBE, the new Chair of RHP’s Board, joined RHP Group at the end of July.
"We’re committed to improving the visibility of how RHP is governed and how the decisions we make impact you as our valued customers. We meet formally four times a year. After each meeting, I’ll provide a short update for you on key items covered and decisions made.
"Here’s a summary from my first meeting as Chair in October:
- Update from our Customer Scrutiny Group (CSG): we had an update from a customer called Annette who is a member of our CSG. Annette shared progress of the group, what they’re focussing on and things customers have told us matter most to them. This is a vital group and it was great for the Board to hear directly from customers on how we’re doing.
We then split our meeting into four sections, covering each of the four areas of our strategy:
- Our service: we reviewed in depth how our service is performing. We know that there have been challenges as we come out of the pandemic and we’ve seen a rise in calls and higher number of repairs booked. We looked closely at the plan in place that has been implemented to manage this and get things back on track. Whilst the plans may take a few weeks to deliver, I hope that when the Board next meets in December we’ll have seen a marked change and a positive impact for you as our customers. We also looked at how we’re doing on damp and mould – its critical to us that your homes are warm and safe. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this over the winter. The Board also approved a move from five year to ten-year tenancies, critical for providing more security for those that need it.
- Our development programme: we’re continuing to build good-quality homes in the local area for those that need them most, including Informer House in Teddington (if you live in the area, you’ll have seen how it’s coming along!). As for many Housing Associations there are some challenges with the impact of Brexit and the pandemic on costs of materials and labour, however we were reassured by the team that we’re doing everything we can to minimise the impact.
- Financial performance: From a financial point of view, we looked at the long-term financial strategies and how we can adapt them to ensure that we can continue to deliver what we say we will. This included some key parts of our treasury management.
- Employee engagement: finally, we looked at how we’re improving how we deliver our services through our people and technology and the plans in place to make significant positive improvements over the next year.
I thoroughly enjoyed my first meeting and look forward to updating you again after we next meet."