Under the banner "Looking Forward", Testway Housing held its third Tenants Annual Conference at Cricklade College
After an Opening welcome by Betty Balcombe,Tenant Board Member. during which she welcomed both tenants and leaseholders, the Testway Film was showm, outlining the progress made in the past five yaers.
Then John Spens, Chief Executive spoke. This is a summary of his remarks.
"There are three broad themes for Testway; Our Customers: Excellence; and Neighbourhoods.
We have kept the promises we made on transfer. We have delivered tenant control, kept rent rises to RPI plus 1%, preserved the Right to Buy, increased tenant management and influence. We have modernised the PRC houses in 3 years, and delivered a £35m programme of home improvements focussing on bathrooms, kitchens and security."
These are our Objectives.
1. Customer satisfaction. 98% of tenants were satisfied with the repair service, and overall satisfaction had risen from 86% to 91% - a very high figure for a social landlord.
2. Business performance. Testway was in the top category of the Housing Corporation’s assessment in 4 out of 5 categories. It was particularly good at keeping down rent arrears and voids.
3. Programme delivery – building the new homes that were needed.
4. Financial strength – we are ahead of Business Plan target. Being a charity by April 1st 2004 will result in a tax saving leading to extra resources for investment.
5. Teamwork, communication and partnership. Testway Sevens during the summer holidays led to 50% reduction in nuisance on the estates, and helped young people develop and work as a team.
6. Continuous improvement and innovation. Best value projects have been introduced with help from tenants. Gold Service, which we plan to introduce soon, will reward tenants for keeping their side of the bargain - watch this space.
7. Development – growth with the building of a new Crisis Centre and development at Blacksmiths Arms and elsewhere
8. Strategic partnerships – with Sarsen Housing to access Housing Corporation funds which are being routed through larger organisations.
And finally these comprise our Vision.
1 Centre of excellence
2 Provision of new homes for rent.
3 Financial strength
4 Major investor in communities.
5. Excellent company to work for."
Sir George said "As the local MP, I applaud Testway for the progress it has made since taking over 5000 homes from Test Valley. It has been a real success story. These annual conferences are valuable in giving tenants the opportunity to discuss where Testway is going - and in engaging other stakeholders in the area in the plans for expansion."