Tenants in spotlight at conference

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Northumberland County Council’s ground-breaking work around tenant involvement was highlighted at a prestigious tenants conference in Leeds.

Representatives from the local authority and the Tenants Forum were invited to deliver workshops during the tailored day, organised by the Northern Housing Consortium.

One area of discussion and interest focused on the role of Tenant Voice, which provides an opportunity for direct consultation with tenants and for them to raise and debate issues with the council.

Information was provided during the workshops on how it handled tenant involvement during the change in management of council housing – previously undertaken by the arms length management organisation Homes for Northumberland before being brought within the council in September.

The team was invited to present at the sixth annual Tenant Panel and Scrutiny Conference following a similar appearance at a national event in Blackpool earlier in the year.

It included head of housing at the county council, Philip Soderquest, and Amanda Mason, residents involvement manager.

Mr Soderquest said: “It was great to tell our story and share our experiences with colleagues from across the country, many of whom are facing similar changes and challenges.

“We’ve since been contacted by a number of other councils that are about to embark on the same journey, so it’s fantastic that we can offer our advice and share best practice.

“We’re really proud of the relationship we have with our tenants and will continue to ensure their views and concerns are heard.”