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JOHN’S BRIEFINGS COMPLIMENTS STAKEHOLDER SURVEY SPOTLIGHT ON PHIL GETHING NUTRITION DAY DEVELOPMENT UPDATE COMMUNITY INVESTMENT UPDATE


JOHN’S BRIEFINGS Board Stuff

Welsh Language Scheme John explained that some members of staff are on a 30 week course so that MHA is prepared for the requests of Welsh translations and Welsh tenant speakers. 15% of Monmouthshire are Welsh Speakers and this figure is constantly growing as schools are continually becoming more language orientated.

Self Assessment Outcome –10 At each Board meeting members consider at least one of the 10 delivery outcomes under the Welsh Assembly’s self assessment. This time they looked at providing fair and efficient services for owners, which means how we treat leaseholder and Right to Buy applications.

Regeneration Strategy This reviewed strategy went to Board with more of an emphasis on the people element rather than buildings. The idea is around regenerating communities and has a lot of actions around financial inclusion and employability. Caldicot is a focal area for regeneration, money must be spent to break the circle of underachievement in families, decline of some estates and re-building of outmoded accommodation

Draft Corporate Plan This follows on our Corporate Planning Process and uses all of the information from the Staff Survey, Tenant Survey, PDRs, Staff Conference and Directorate Away Days. It incorporates all of the information that we have gathered. The first draft has gone to Board and the next version will go to March Board.

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JOHN’S BRIEFINGS Trading Subsidary Update

Rent and Service Charge Policy Review

In May 2011, Board agreed the principle of setting up a trading subsidiary. The reason for setting up a ‘Trading Subsidary ’ is to be allowed to carry out work for non-charitable bodies, generating a work stream and economic benefits for MHA.

Members approved the reviewed Rents and Service charge policy which sets out the regulatory requirements for providing an accountable service to residents of the Association. The review policy included MHA’s compliance with the rent benchmarks for 2012-13 as set by the Welsh Government.

Annual Business Plan Members were provided with an update on the development of a new Business Plan. It takes into accounts the rent increases which will help us as an organisation, however leaves us with the problem that tenants on partial or no housing benefit will have to pay more money and rents will become more unaffordable. When this is then linked to the possibility of welfare reform, it could cause real problems.

Appointment of External Auditor External auditors are appointed to highlight our financial risks. Board members approved the appointment of Mazars, who will bring a fresh look to our finances.

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JOHN’S BRIEFINGS Management Accounts 1st April 2011 to 31st December 2011

Other Stuff

The figures from the Management Accounts are slightly concerning as parts are under spent and parts overspent. This means that problems were not anticipated and money isn’t being spent efficiently. There are reasons for this, such as money allocated for PV installation wasn’t spent. We will have to learn from this when budgeting for the next financial year of more concern is the overspend on repairs & maintenance - This is currently being investigated.

PDAs

Stakeholder Survey

The Government lost the court case in the appeal court and now the pulling of the PV funding is illegal. The Government have appealed he appeal court decision and while this is going through the Supreme Court, which will take a year, we will pursue our plans.

Training has been carried out to ensure the proper use of PDAs for the DLO. When PDAs aren’t used correctly, it shows us low productivity which causes concern and we don’t want to make the wrong decisions. Proper use of PDAS is vital as it gives us better management information, which then leads to better decision making.

Photovoltaic Panels

Results are in from the Stakeholder survey which gives us a good idea of how our stakeholders perceive us an as organisation. See the article in this edition of EBUZZ for more information.

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JOHN’S BRIEFINGS Overmonnow

Market and/or Market Research

John explained that Overmonnow in Monmouth is an area that has been identified by the council as one which needs redevelopment due to fuel poverty. MHA is eager to carry out the work on behalf of the council if it stacks up - MCC have provided MHA with a scheduled of prices to carry out the work.

Market Research is essential to the success of our developments, we need to ask the right questions to ensure that we are providing buyers with a product that they want. Marketing is the process of targeting buyers and selling them what they want. Everything we do has to be sustainable, efficient marketing will help us to achieve this. It is proposed to carry out market research next year to ascertain the demand for products associated with ‘The Green Deal’.

Mandatory Reads You will find Mandatory Reads on the home page of In House. It is essential that all staff read these documents so that you are aware of information relevant to all staff.

Complaints Training John explained to staff that Complaints Training is compulsory for all staff as we all need to know how to deal efficiently and effectively with complaints. It is important that we are confident that we’ve acted appropriately and adhere to an improved complaints procedure. 4


JOHN’S BRIEFINGS Internet Usage Internet use is prohibited during working hours. The computers in the staff forum have been set up for browsing during lunch hours. Inappropriate use of working time including the use of the Internet and also, breaches of confidentiality or bringing MHA into disrepute through comments made on social media sites may result in disciplinary action.

Don’t forget! - All issues of Ebuzz can be found on InHouse and any stories you would like to submit for the next edition can be done so via Sarah Kersley’s wall.

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COMPLIMENTS TRISH MITCHESON - Would like to thank the Corporate Services Team for their efforts towards the Staff Christmas Party—’it was a really good night’. MR & MRS G WILLIS - Said: ‘We have now been tenants of the property since 20th June 2011. During this period of time we have requested quite a number of jobs to be done, we are pleased to say that all of them have been done. For this we feel that we have to say a big thank you because it has made the moving experience at our time of life far less stressful and helped us settle far more easily than we may have done without the support of Monmouthshire Housing and all its employees that we have come in to contact with.’ NEIL BINNELL - Complimented Terry Maccoll, ‘for being an outstanding example of being an NO in his partnership working with the TST. He always tells us what’s going on - tenants moving in ( in advance); involving us in sign up; keeping us in the loop; he’s popular with the older tenants and I’ve seen him in action in the Plas Mawr coffee morning - which he restarted and is running. He’s excellent.’ MRS CORRIGAN - Would like to thank Monmouthshire Homesearch for always being so polite, helpful and explaining things so well. 6


STAKEHOLDER SURVEY RESULTS Less-Positive Comments

Back in July/August, an MHA stakeholder survey was carried out. The objective of this survey was to provide greater understanding and clarity on the perceptions held by its professional and other organisational partners. These include the Welsh Assembly, consultants, Local Authorities, other Housing Associations, professional bodies, contractors.

‘They have not had enough of an image shift from the council’:- (Prof. Party) We are still a relatively young organisation, but MHA engages in sponsorship opportunities in local areas which is a great way of raising our profile through the communities within Monmouthshire. The Healthier and Happier Communities initiative that is being launched is another way of building up our status.

The results were pleasing, with a lot of great feedback. Here is a taster of what feedback our stakeholders gave us:

Values:

Image & Reputation:

Positive Comments

Positive Comments

‘They are doing very well against meeting the values they have set. We have had many meetings with the Board and the Senior Management Team over the years and the behaviours they exhibit in no way conflict with their values’:- (HA/Partnership).

‘In the social housing sector they are viewed as proactive. Everyone knows John Keegan and he sends out the right message’.:- (HA/Partnership)

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STAKEHOLDER SURVEY RESULTS Less-Positive Comments

Less-Positive Comments

‘They should shout a bit louder about their achievements’

‘They have a lot of data about their customers. I would like to see them use it more’:- (Prof Party)

Vision & Purpose:

Communication

Positive Comments

Positive Comments

‘MHA are working very hard to support people to try and prevent financial crisis’:- (HA/Partnership)

‘Communication is good—we are informally updated and get invited to events. The staff I deal with are excellent, I rely on them to get back to me if I need them to and they always do’:- (Prof party)

Less-Positive Comments ‘Their vision sells them short, they add more value than it says’:- (HA/ Partnership)

Negative Comments ‘They could improve communication. We work on projects with them, but we don’t see the evaluations they do so we don’t know if the project is a success or not’.

Strengths & Weaknesses Positive Comments ‘They work within the spirit of partnership, they want to work with others and it’s a good thing’:- (HA/ Partnership) 8


SPOTLIGHT: PHIL GETHING My name is Phil Gething, or as some people know me, Phil the Pig, I work as a roofer/painter/glazier for the construction unit, a job I’ve held since 1972. I live on the hill above Llangattock called the Ffawyddog on a small holding with my family, 120 pigs, several chickens and roosters (unless they keep waking me up too early), cats and 2 dogs.

...usually is, apart from the odd pheasant, roaming horses or a herd of sheep.

8:30AM-4:30PM - My working day can vary, as although my day is planned I usually get a call from Jane to say there’s an emergency job needed, so off I go to mend a broken window, front door or leaking roof which is not much fun on a cold January day. Four days a week I have a lucky apprentice Ben with me and I really enjoy imparting my knowledge and experience to a future member of the workforce. I also get a lot of satisfaction knowing that I’ve done a good job and helped a tenant.

6:30AM - My usual day starts at around this time when I feed and water the rare breed pigs that I breed in my spare time. These include 2 Gloucester Old Spot boars called Charlie and Baby Charlie, 10 sows, which include GOS’s, saddle backs, sandy and blacks, Welsh, Tamworths and their piglets. It goes without saying that the 2 Charlies are very happy pigs!

5:00PM - After work it’s time for the pigs again rain or shine, light or dark. Its hard work but the sausages taste great. If you’re in Crickhowell call into Cashells butchers for some pork cuts. After that its telly on, wellies off and time to relax with a cold beer!

8:00AM - After breakfast I leave for work in my trusty Transit van, hoping the road down is passable, which... 9


BIG ENERGY WEEK 2012 Big Energy Week is an annual event which takes place each year to promote energy efficiency and how to make savings in the home and workplace. The event this year was held during the week commencing 16th January 2012.

• Set your hot water cylinder to 60 degrees centigrade. • Set your heating and hot water to come on only when needed. • Close your curtains at sunset to prevent losing heat through your windows. Also check for draughts around windows and doors.

As part of Big Energy Week 2012 MHA are promoting energy efficiency and how to make savings in the home and in the workplace. It is important to ensure that you and your home are energy efficient in these difficult economic times! Did you know that there are many ways in which you can reduce energy costs in your home:

• Fix any leaking taps and make sure that they are turned off when not in use. • Consider switching energy suppliers if you can get a better deal with another energy supplier.

More information and advice regarding energy efficiency and energy saving can be found on the Energy Saving Trust website - www. energysavingtrust.org.uk or by contacting the helpline on 0800 512 012.

• Always turn off lights when leaving a room. Also use energy saving light bulbs as they last longer than normal light bulbs and use less energy. • Unplug laptops and mobile phones once charged, also switch off appliances when not in use. 10


SPOTLIGHT: EMILY JORDAN

MONDAY - I was nervous walking into the building, as I signed in I met Kate Bradbrook who was my supervisor for the week. I went up to the top floor to Corporate Services and I sat with Kate in the office to go through my timetable of what to do throughout the week. After an introduction I was shown to my desk, I was using Naomi’s while she was away. Sarah took me for a tour around the building so I knew who everyone was and where everything is. There were a lot of people to meet and names to remember. After I went back to the desk and began to read EBUZZ, Tenant Matters and the Annual Report so I could see what some of Corporate Service’s produce. After lunch, I worked with Sarah in marketing. I saw the different press realises that have been produced, after reading a few I had a go at writing one for my own. I also had a go at writing an article as well. That was my first day of work experience and I learnt a lot on how housing works.

Emily Jordan is a 16yr old girl from Monmouth Comprehensive that is interested in finance, marketing & governance and who came to MHA to gain some valuable work experience. She spent a week in November with Corporate Services and as part of her experience, she wrote a diary log of her week - Here’s what she got up to.

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SPOTLIGHT: EMILY JORDAN

TUESDAY - I arrived earlier than everybody else in Corporate Service so I went down stairs to the Home Swappers pod; I saw what they do within the company and tried to help with some small pieces of paperwork. When people began to arrive in Corporate Services again I went back up stairs. As I sat back at the desk I was asked to write another article on the press release I wrote yesterday. After I had finished I met Louise who showed me what they do in Continuous Improvement, I saw all the different reports they have produced to show whether the company has been meeting its targets. After lunch I worked with Chris in Graphic design for the rest of the day. We began to make a title for Anti-Social Behaviour, which I enjoyed as I haven’t done anything like that before.

WEDNESDAY - I didn’t travel to Mamhilad that day; instead I met Louise, Chris... and Nathan at Bridges Community Centre in Monmouth for the Tenants Forum and MAD awards. In the morning I meet more people and introduced myself. When the Tenants Forum started I looked over the annual report and had the chance to see everything they have done over the year. In the afternoon, the MAD awards started and people from around Monmouthshire received awards. I found it interesting to see how many people have got involved to improve the community.

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SPOTLIGHT: EMILY JORDAN

THURSDAY - My plan changed slightly as I was meant to be doing a Tenancy Sign up with a Housing Officer but I wasn’t able to go. So in the morning I went back down to the Home Swapper pod again and help them with paperwork. After a morning of typing, laminating and shredding, I spent the afternoon with the finance department. I began the afternoon with the finance department. I began the afternoon with Philippa and learnt how to enter invoices in the database sun system. There were lots of different codes for different types of invoices. Once I finished that, I saw what Barbara did within the finance department; I helped enter different types of data in to a spreadsheet. Towards the end of the day I worked with Maria where I entered some data in a spreadsheet and the sun system, which was slightly confusing but after a while I think I got the hang of it.

FRIDAY - This was my last day of work experience and I finished the week by doing last little bits and bobs. Throughout the morning I worked on writing my ‘Spotlight’ interview for EBuzz. I looked over everything I had done throughout the week and saw that I have learnt a lot about the company and how it works. I liked working in the different departments to see how they all link in to each other and the contributions they make in the company. In the afternoon I signed off my week with Kate so I could go back to school and say I had completed my work experience. I really enjoyed completing my work experience at MHA and would like to thank everybody I worked with.

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STARTERS & LEAVERS LEAVERS

STARTERS

Hayley D’Alessio - Income & Energy Advisor

Domini Barnes - Planned Maintenance/ Assistant in the DLO (taken on following her ILM placement)

Terence Jenkins - Multi Skilled Operative

Tanya Brannigan - Support Officer in the Support Services Team

Barbara Haseley - Support Officer Patricia Jones - Taken on through an ILM placement in the Development Team

Eileen Sheppard - Planned Maintenance Invoice Assistant

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NEW HR POLICIES There are now updated policies on InHouse available for you to view. They include the CRB Policy and also a Bad Weather Policy. Please ensure that you read through them so that you are aware of the changes.

PART-TIME STAFF BANK HOLIDAYS Calculations for Bank Holidays for part-time staff: (weekly contractual working hours / 37) x 7.4 (full-time hours per day) - e.g. an employee working 20 hours per week, Monday - Thursday, 5 hours per day: 20 / 37 x 7.4 = 4 hours per bank holiday. • If a bank holiday falls on a Monday, the employee owes back 1 hour • If a bank holiday falls on a Friday, the employee accrues 4 hours


MHA’s NUTRITION DAY MHA recently hosted a Nutrition Day giving staff the opportunity to discuss a range of different issues around nutrition and healthy eating.

The recommended amount of water which should be consumed each day is 2.5 litres (8 pints). Staff also found out that 50—70 percent of your body weight should be water.

During the morning staff had the opportunity to undertake a hydration test to see how hydrated they were. Electrode pads were placed on one foot and one hand and a small current was sent through their bodies to detect how hydrated they were. The nutrition workshops which followed then looked at three topics these were nutrition, hydration and relaxation.

The third and final part of the workshop looked at signs of pressure and relaxation. Staff were informed that there are many different ways of telling if your body is under pressure. Signs of pressure can include; increased heart rates, mood swings, fatigue and increased stomach acid. Staff were told that the best ways to relax to ease this pressure are by controlling your breathing, getting enough sleep and exercising to de-stress.

The nutrition section of the workshop looked at well known drink brands and looked at the carbs and sugar content, which was quite a shock! Staff also got to discuss breakfast meals and looked at the calorie contents and recommended daily guidelines.

The event was a great success and enjoyed by everyone that attended. Everyone gained a better knowledge of the importance of healthy eating, nutritional values and relaxation.

The hydration section looked at ways to keep the body hydrated. 16


CORPORATE HEALTH STANDARD We are going for ‘Gold’ again on 21st February, this time for the Corporate Health Standard, which is a welsh government accreditation. Three assessors will be with us all day looking at the policies we have in place to support the health & well-being of staff, for example, flexi time, special leave, agile working, attendance management.

Health & Wellbeing information is provided on the notice board on the ground floor, on Inhouse, in EBuzz and , in health talks, such as mental health awareness, alcohol awareness, men’s health day etc The accreditation is highly acclaimed for welsh organisations so we appreciate everyone’s input.

They will also be interested to hear about the activities that take place, either provided by MHA, or those arranged directly by staff, like, Boxercise, massage, flu vaccinations, and health screening. Also, the benefits and support we provide such as Occupational Health, counselling, smoking cessation classes and the BUPA Cashplan.

Did you know? - Health & Wellbeing and Health & Safety have their own wall space full of info on InHouse?

The Assessors will be talking to staff during lunch time and possibly when on tours around the building. They will also be visiting staff on site.

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CHRISTMAS HAMPER RAFFLE Thank you to everyone who bought a raffle ticket in December. Through this, we managed to raise £146.41 for the British Heart Foundation which is a great cause. Congratulations to Greg Jones for winning the big hamper, and also to Tania O’Neil, Trish Mitcheson and Terry Maccoll for winning the mini hampers.

FALL IN LOVE WITH READING From February, MHA are taking part in the national 6 Book Challenge to encourage those of us that haven’t done much reading for awhile, for whatever reason, to get involved and enjoy reading. The scheme has been supported by the trade union UCATT to encourage learning in the workplace. MHA has purchased a selection of 8 ‘Quick Reads’ to get us started. Participants in the Challenge will be given a diary to keep a note of the books they’ve read by the deadline of 14th June 2012. If you’d like to take part, contact the HR Team.


DEVELOPMENT UPDATE All of the following schemes are dependent upon planning approval and community consultation.

CAESTORY CRESCENT, RAGLAN - This is a garage site which we plan to replace with one disabled bungalow. The scheme was submitted to the planning department just before Christmas and a decision should be made on it by March at the latest.

Project Development Plan: TREVOR BOWEN COURT - Demolition works will be carried out around July time with works beginning October. This development will be a new sheltered scheme of 20 units, and 12 houses to be sold on the open market due to no available social housing grant.

ST DAVID’s ROAD, ABERGAVENNY This is a garage site which we plan to demolish and replace with 6 flats. This scheme was again submitted before Christmas and a decision should be made on it by March.

61, SANDY LANE, CALDICOT - This is a bungalow we have purchased to convert to a disabled bungalow. These works will have commenced by March.

SOUTHBROOK VIEW, PORTSKEWETT This is a garage site that we plan to demolish and replace with four houses. This scheme was submitted to the planning department before Christmas and a decision should be made in February. This scheme will avail of grant when MHA had to bid for at short notice.

‘Llandogo 2 Scheme’ - This site is located on Holmfield Drive, to the east of Llandogo Primary School. The scheme consists of 3 houses. This application will be submitted to planning after consultation with local residents and the community council. 19


DEVELOPMENT UPDATE Schemes 2-6 are in the Project Development Plan for Social Housing Grant.

BROOKSIDE - This is a sheltered scheme which we would like to redevelop for a residential / sheltered development. As yet, not plans have been drawn up - Development of this site will depend on the grant available. 

Following Pipeline Schemes: THORNWELL ROAD, CHEPSTOW - This is a large garage site which we would like to demolish and replace with a mixed development of flats and houses. No planning application or scheme has been drawn up as yet.

PENRHOS - This is a small site to the west of Church View, Raglan. We envisage this scheme will consist of 2-3 units. No plans have been drawn up for this scheme.

CAES MAWR ROAD, CALDICOT This is currently an area of open space between Cae Mawr Road and Longcroft Road. We envisage this scheme would consist of 7 units however we have not yet had plans drawn up for this scheme.

If you would like any further information on any of these schemes or would like to see the plans for any of these sites, please contact Rachael Hopkins on Ext.7190 or Greg Jones on Ext.7184.

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GIVING SOMETHING BACK

JANUARY

...afternoon of dance and cake! This will be delivered in partnership with PEEP (youth group within Comms 1st) and will be intergenerational to break down barriers between ages.

• The deadline for the Recipe Book is the end of the month. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the book and advertised it to our tenants. We will be getting it printed over the next few months.

• First Aid Courses - 27th February

MARCH FEBRUARY

• First Aid Course – 7th March

Is a very busy month to kick off the year!

EASTER BREAK

• Storytelling Coffee Morning 8th February at The Lawns - This is an informal coffee morning to introduce the residents of The Lawns to the Storyteller and intergenerational project with Undy Primary School.

• The young people at PEEP will be running a singing session at Old Hereford Road during the Easter Break • We will be running a graffiti diversionary project at St Teilo’s garages in partnership with PEEP to give the garages some tender loving care.

• Cookery Courses - 9th and 10th February • Dancing Through the Ages - 17th February, Mardy Hall, Abergavenny 2-4pm -- This is an afternoon for all ages to come together to enjoy an... 21


GIVING SOMETHING BACK

MAY • Gwanwyn Festival - This is a festival throughout the whole of May which promotes and celebrates creativity in older people. We are currently planning this festival at the moment, so if you have any ideas or skills you would like to pledge for a session that would be brilliant!! • Adult Learners Week 12th-to-18th May - We will building on last year’s Adult Learners Week by taking our activities into the community as much as possible. We are after your skills and enthusiasm to make this week work.

Don’t forget! - You can find out about ALL the events Community Investment are holding on Inhouse. Therefore, there is no excuse to be ‘out of the loop’ on what is going on!

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MHA would like to thank Gareth Pope for his donation of a voucher, which went toward the Movember Campaign.

SPOTLIGHT: ASSET MANAGEMENT The Asset Management role within the organisation is to look after the ongoing maintenance of the company’s property assets. To enable us to do this we plan what works are going to be required to all of our properties over typically a 30yr year period. The work is identified from our stock condition surveys which from this year on will be carried out by our assistant surveyor Owain Israel. Once we have identified what is needed we compile programmes of work which are issued every year to our Direct Labour Organisation (DLO) teams. We tender any work they are not able to do to external contractors to obtain the best possible value for money.

planned program, Simon Saunders is the surveyor responsible for roofing, cyclical works such as painting and one off projects. Tony Bowen is our clerk of works who assists the surveyors to monitor all works on the ground to ensure that they are completed to the high quality MHA expect. Alan Stevenson is our Energy Performance surveyor, he’s the man with THE camera which if you are not aware is Johns favourite new toy!! Alan’s role involves completing energy assessments and asbestos sampling but soon he will be knocking on doors taking thermal image photos of people’s homes with a view to selling our services. The Asset Management team would be nothing without Sarah Needs and Clare ThomasParr who are the back bone of the team. They ensure everyone is treated equally if there’s not enough cake to go around no-one gets any! They both play an equally important administrative role, answering tenant queries, coordinating...

Once all the projects are allocated to the contractors we have designated surveyors who manage them, they ensure that they are completed on time, to a high quality and to the agreed costs. John Frost and Duncan Long are the surveyors responsible for the internal 23


SPOTLIGHT: ASSET MANAGEMENT survey appointments, measuring tenant satisfaction etc. They also ensure the departments invoicing and stock condition information is kept up to date. Andrew Knill is the Head of the Asset Management Team and is responsible for reporting on where we are against our targets which are set by MHA and other outside bodies such as WAG. He keeps everyone motivated and updated on what needs to be done. Tim Redwood is our quantity surveyor who ensures all the costs are updated and available and produces reports showing cost information.

provide an overview of costs i.e. how much it cost for a repair ?, how much to we spend on kitchens every year ? I am also involved in procuring works for MHA and MHA procuring works .. confused ... I ensure that the way in which MHA procure contracts for materials and labour provide us with the best possible value achievable. I also assist the DLO in tendering work, hopefully I ensure that when we bid for works to outside agencies, we are in the best place to offer a great service at a competitive rate.

I’m Liz Jones and am the newly appointed Cost Manger for MHA. My role varies in that I analyse and report on all costs associated with the types of building works MHA complete. These range from EWI ( External Wall Insulation) ,Planned works i.e. Kitchen, Bathrooms, Electrics to extensions. I ensure that the costs for the work is correct. I also 24


CONGRATULATIONS MHA would like to congratulate Geraint House on the successful completion of his Masters and also Becky Hoggins for gaining her MBA. These are fantastic achievements - WELL DONE TO BOTH!

OLIVER In December, a group of 21 MHA staff went to watch Oliver at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff. It was a great night and all who went enjoyed the evening. If anyone else would like another show to be organised, please contact Philippa Deacon in the finance Team on Ext.2140.


MAKING IT HAPPEN FOR DERI VIEW SCHOOL Monmouthshire Housing ‘Makes it Happen’ for those in Need! Friday 27th January saw the launch of the new minibus for Jigsaw Community Group. The group which is based at Deri View Primary School supports children with physical, medical and additional needs. A generous donation from MHA’s ‘Making it Happen’ grant of £1,000 has contributed to a brand new minibus which will enable the school children to take part in horse riding lessons for the disabled, swimming, forest school sessions and regular participation in disability sport competitions and festivals. If you think that the Making it Happen Grant can help your community group, please contact Cheryl Tracy on 01496 761120 for more information.

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THE LAUNCH OF THE 3C’s SERVICE Corporate Services have carried out a review of the existing Complaints Service which has thrown up a number of inconsistencies and inefficiencies. As a result we have re-written the Policy, produced a Guidance Toolkit for all staff and widen the access to the 3C’s service (Compliments, Complaints and Comments. We will also be monitoring and controlling the outcomes of investigations and using this information to continually improve how we do things.

Customers can now contact us by:

The team will be carrying out training sessions with you all over the coming weeks so you can understand the role you play in improving communication between us and our customers and EBUZZ provides a fantastic opportunity to tell you all about this new service!

COMPLIMENTS

• Completing a Customer Feedback Form with you • Using the MHA website. • Ringing any officer/main line • Writing to us • Texting Us • Emailing the Corporate Services Team • Or by using a representative of their choice

We welcome all positive feedback from customers as this helps us to understand where we are providing good services. It’s also a great way of promoting some of the positive work you are doing in the communities and all compliments received will be fed through to the individual officers concerned and publicised through newsletters etc. 27


THE LAUNCH OF THE 3C’s SERVICE

COMPLAINTS

COMPLIMENTS

Occasionally customers contact us when they are unhappy about a service provided. Where possible it is always good to deal with complaints on a more informal basis by trying to resolve their issue immediately. However, this isn’t always possible and a formal complaint is often lodged. The Corporate Services Team are responsible for managing all complaints and have clear guidelines for processing them. Your role will be to extract as much information as possible from the complainant and forward the Customer Feedback Form through to the team to action.

As you know we already have a Staff Suggestion Scheme in place called GEMs. This has now been extended to service users (tenants and members of the community etc.) In the same vein we will reward people who take the time to suggest service improvements and an application form will be made available to those interested. Please make every effort to attend the training sessions. They are vital!

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EBUZZ is put together following John’s briefings every other month. This is your newsletter and it would be great to hear some of your stories! Please get in touch with Sarah Kersley on 01495 761103 or email: sarah.kersley@ monmouthshirehousing.co.uk Look forward to hearing from you!

ABERGAVENNY MONMOUTH CALDICOT CHEPSTOW


There are many things you could let us know about to fill future editions of Ebuzz: • Maybe you have recently supported a Charity in some way or form? • Maybe you are working closely or supporting a voluntary group, etc.? • Maybe you have been on an interesting Holiday, Night Out, etc. and have something fun you would like to share with us? • Maybe you are proud of an achievement inside or outside of work that you want to tell us about? Whatever it is, if you want to share it with others, just let us know and we’ll include it in Ebuzz.


<Ebuzz February 2012>  

<Ebuzz February 2012>

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