We all really enjoy what we're doing and I'm fortunate to have a great group of people involved in the Group, so it never feels like work! In fact, it's a great way to socialise and meet new people.Anna Campbell
Welcome to the Challenge and Change Group webpage. Scrutinising the service is the role of this Group and its Chairman, Anna Campbell, explains a bit more: "Scrutiny is a great system because it means residents work in partnership with Wiltshire Council and can take an in-depth, fair and balanced look at a specific part of the service and then make recommendations about how things can be even better plus there's a great social element too! We are a group of residents (tenants and leaseholders) and independents that work together to help improve services for council housing tenants and leaseholders This is a part of co-regulation, which means housing services self-regulates subject to challenge and scrutiny from its residents. This is a great way for us to get involved and deliver benefits to residents and their families."
At the moment we're looking at Anti-Social Behaviour. After this, we intend to look at Fire Safety and then maybe towards the end of the year we might do a project around Cleaning and Maintenance of Communal Property or Sheltered Housing. If you fancy getting involved in any of these, for the whole project of just a little bit of it, please get in touch the details are in the Contact us section to the right.
Once the Group have settled on a topic, which is decided by the Group and Wiltshire Council’s Housing Board, the group gets together and scopes the project – this is defining the boundaries of what the Group will and will not be looking at.
Anna explains what happens next: "With the project scope agreed, we move onto planning the project, which includes deciding which tasks we think are appropriate. For example, we might carry out a telephone survey of residents or interview an officer of the council; we sometimes go out on accompanied visits to some of the housing stock and on other occasions we organise mystery shopping exercises; as well as many more tasks. It really all depends on the project that we’re looking at, although a managers’ briefing and desktop research are really important for every topic because this helps us understand what Wiltshire Council and other housing providers are doing."
Overall, the Group looks at performance and resident satisfaction to establish if services are provided in the way housing services claim they are being delivered. After this, the Group produces a report and then presents it to Wiltshire Council’s Housing Board. At that time, the service also presents an action plan. The Board can then ask the service to implement any of the recommendations.
"There’s quite a bit of work involved" said Anna, "although we do divide the different tasks up fairly, so it’s fair for us all. Plus, because we all really enjoy what we’re doing and I’m fortunate to have a great group of people involved in the Group, so it never feels like work! In fact, it’s a great way to socialise and meet new people."
For more information about the Group and what it does, please read its terms of reference. Each project normally takes around 7.5 working days and the members spread this over a number of weeks, while aiming to look at a number of projects throughout the year.Close
Anna’s looking for new members: "I’d be thrilled if you got involved. You can find out some more about what's involved by speaking with me or an council housing officer. Its really simple and straightforward to apply - Just contact me by using the email address below and it will be passed on to me.
Email them to: email@example.com
Mail them to:
Governance and Scrutiny Officer
P.O. Box 2281
There’s a leaflet coming soon which you might like to have a look at or give to someone you know. If you'd like to suggest some future topic ideas you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org we'd be delighted to hear from you.
Want to get involved?
Challange and Change Group Members
Anna Campbell (Tenant Member; Chair)
I first became involved in Scrutiny in 2011, initially I doubted my abilities but soon realised that I had been scrutinising my own finances since I had entered the working world. I come from a wide and varied background involving hospitality, retail, education and the biggest challenge of raising and caring for my family. Currently I work part time for a major supermarket, I love both of my job and enjoy working with my ‘in-store' family. I have been able to bring my knowledge of customer relations to the Challenge & Change group and vice versa, I have been able to utilise my scrutinising skills at work. During my time scrutinising I have come across some amazing like-minded people who I would not have met if it was not for Challenge & Change.
What scrutiny means to me?
‘Custodians of the future who ensure the housing provided remains fit for purpose'
Philippa Heseltine (Leaseholder Member)
Having been self-employed for 25 years, I know how important it is to get things right, to be an effective communicator, and to add value at every stage through objective analysis and reasoned argument. Coupling my business awareness skills with my strong interest in leaseholders such as myself, I help to ensure the panel looks at matters from both tenants' and leaseholders' perspectives. This is vital, given that leaseholders represent a significant percentage of residents and have traditionally been an under-represented group. I maintain the confidentiality of all information and encourage more leaseholders to engage with the council, particularly in relation to maintenance. I am a co-founder of a performance dance group in Salisbury and a member of Hearts & Minds, a sub-group of Salisbury Transition City, both of which support holistic health and wellbeing for us all.
Teresa Middleditch (Tenant Member)
Focuses on all sides of problems and researches solutions. Listens well, is objective, thinks positively and maintains the confidentiality of information. Has worked with vulnerable people and is a committee member of a Neighbourhood Association. Training courses have included engineering, mechanics, welding and steelwork; also engaged in Wiltshire Council's Tenant Equality and Diversity Training, TPAS Become a Better Representative and Tenant Central's Effective Meetings and participated in Shine's Money Matters; volunteers for Healthwatch, including child and adult safeguarding awareness training.
Anthony Fletcher (Tenant Member)
Having owned his own housing maintenance company from 1999 until retiring a few years ago, Anthony provided vital services across the south of England for a range of housing associations. Prior to this, I worked for Rolls Royce in Research and Development of engines. I have seen first-hand the problems which can occur in housing; in particular, I appreciate the challenges that residents face when reporting problems and getting results. Some residents came to me directly, which gave me an opportunity to understand the difficulties faced by residents and the service providers. I think it's important to look at things from both perspectives there are always two sides to everything.
Jenny Bolwell (Tenant Member)
Volunteering is in my DNA - in addition to the Challenge and Change Group, I'm involved with Christians Against Poverty, St Michaels Community Fridge Project and Bemerton Heath Residents Association, to name just a few. Residents' having a voice motivates me, helping to add extra weight to this fills me with pride.