A GROUP which scrutinises Swindon Council’s housing service needs new volunteers.

The tenant scrutiny panel is made up by council tenants and gives an independent view of the council’s housing service and performance.

The panel highlights areas of good practice in the housing service and areas for improvement.

It also conducts reviews of areas within housing and reports back to council officers with recommendations for action, also producing a Work Plan, showing service areas which need to be prioritised.

The annual report to tenants, which lists the service standards expected from tenants, is also produced with the help of the panel.

It has completed reviews for the housing repair team’s satisfaction surveys and the neighbourhood warden service. The panel also assisted in the Housing STAR survey and independently reviews Housing Stage 4 complaints. It is currently working through a review of housing evictions.

The panel meets twice a month at the Civic Offices and is open to all tenants. Tenants are selected by interview although the selection criteria states that tenants on the panel should not be in rent arrears.

Coun Emma Faramarzi, cabinet member for housing and public safety, said: “Tenants are in the best position to tell us what works well and where improvements need to be made... we hope the new volunteers will continue to provide a valuable insight into our housing services.”

Contact the housing participation team on 01793 463320 or 01793 464286 if you are interested in joining the Tenant Scrutiny Panel.