Searchlight Scrutiny Panel

At CVCH, we strive to make lives and communities better. We want our services to meet the needs and expectations of the people who live in our homes; to do this, we understand that we need to consult our customers, which is why we are inviting residents to join our Searchlight Scrutiny Panel.

What is a Scrutiny Panel?

A Scrutiny Panel plays an important role in the way a Housing Association works. They consist of residents who investigate how a particular service is planned and delivered. Reviews are then undertaken to see what works well, challenge weak performance and make recommendations about how it can be improved. The panel also checks that services reflect customer priorities and are delivering value for money. All the findings and recommendations are then presented to the Board on a regular basis.

Why join CVCH Scrutiny Panel?

There are many benefits to joining the scrutiny panel, for example, you can:

have your say about how to improve services for tenants and leaseholders.

learn new skills for your CV and increase your knowledge about housing issues.

learn from other experiences and share your own

meet new people and work as part of a team.

How has a Searchlight Panel supported Castle Vale previously?

 The panel currently consists of 7 members: including a former Resident Board Member, Block Champion, previous Scrutiny Panel Members, community volunteers and Chair of a Residents Group.

 Our first review focused on Grounds and Grounds Maintenance was supported by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) following the wider project to develop the overall Resident Engagement Strategy.  The CVCH Board also received a presentation during March 2023 of the review which looked at the contract with Green fingers, who provides garden and grounds maintenance services.  Following a number of meetings with contractors, walkabouts with estates team and looking at service information data.

Three key recommendations were identified by the Panel; Firstly improving  systems and processes for our Estate Services Team to help monitor delivery of Green fingers services.   Secondly to improve information and communication about the services residents can expect from Green fingers and thirdly to investigate mapping tools to improve understanding of land ownership and boundaries between Birmingham City Council and Pioneer.  We have implemented two of the recommendations including launching Green Inspectors to help residents feedback on services and Estates Teams regularly communicate Green fingers schedules on our noticeboards and resident meetings.  We are also liaising with Birmingham City Council re mapping of land across Castle Vale.

What are some upcoming areas that the Scrutiny Panel will help with?

A future area of focus will be our supporting our Windows and Doors programme  from 2024 onwards with being part of interview panels for contractors to supporting contractors with resident engagement across the programme .  The Panel will also be scoping topics for future reviews for 2024-2025 in early 2024 .

Am I eligible to join the Panel?

You may be eligible to join the Scrutiny Panel if you are a:

Tenant of Castle Vale Community Housing

However, due to the nature of the work, the following criteria needs to be met.

Residents would NOT be eligible if:

Currently engaged in legal proceedings with CVCH for breaches of tenancy or lease.

In eight weeks or more of arrears and have made no agreement to pay towards reducing them.

Terms of a court order, for arrears, have not been met.

Served with a Notice of Seeking Possession in regard to anti-social behaviour.

How much time is involved to be part of Scrutiny Panel? 

CVCH’s Scrutiny Panel aims to meet approximately 6 times a year through face to face meetings.   We ask an average commitment of 2 hours per meeting (normally early afternoon) which includes reading documents and communicating with other group members.

How can I apply to become a Scrutiny Panel member?

If you are interested in being a member of the Scrutiny Panel or would like to find out more information, please contact Vik Mistry on Vikash.Mistry@cvch.org.uk or 0121 748 8100. As part of the application process, we will send you an ‘Expression of Interest’ form which you can return to us either via email or at our Castle Vale office, 11 High Street.