Members of the public are being invited to join a shadow board which will have a major say in helping shape the future of social housing in Swindon.
The Shadow Board is being set up for a new proposed not-for-profit housing association after Housing Minister Grant Shapps gave approval for Swindon Borough Council to hold a tenants’ ballot on transferring its housing stock to the new organisation.
The Shadow Board will play a central role before and after the tenant ballot in November and, if tenants vote for the stock transfer, will be involved in strategic and policy decisions in setting up the new Swindon housing organisation, to improve services for Swindon tenants and leaseholders.
The council is looking to appoint four tenants and four independent people to the Shadow Board who will be joined by four councillors nominated by Swindon Borough Council.
All Shadow Board members will be expected to lead the new housing association and its objectives, regularly attend meetings, contribute to debates and take part in decision making and positively promote the new housing association in the best interests of its tenants and leaseholders.
The decision to ask for Ministerial approval for a tenant ballot comes in the wake of the Government’s new ‘Self Financing’ funding arrangements for council housing which would result in Swindon Borough Council tenants taking on £145.5m of the national council housing debt from 1 April 2012 and create a £72.6m capital shortfall in the first 10 years.
By transferring the housing stock to a charitable registered social landlord, additional funding would be made available to bridge the £72.6m shortfall.
If the council maintains its housing stock under the ‘Self Financing’ arrangements, it will be unable to keep its properties maintained at the Decent Homes Standard.
Shadow Board members will also take part in training sessions, special working groups and interview panels as well as being committed to equal opportunities and diversity.
Tenant Shadow Board members must be Swindon Borough Council secure tenants, not be subject to an order of possession of tenancy and not be prevented by law from being a trustee or director.
Independent Shadow Board members have relevant public, business and/or third sector-based skills and experience.
Shadow Board members will be voluntary and therefore will not be paid, although expenses will be reimbursed.
Anyone who would like more information about the Shadow Board roles can contact Arlene Griffin on 01793 464387 or Pete Holohan on 01793 464425.
Applications and additional information for tenants is also available via the Swindon Borough Council website: www.swindon.gov.uk/housingstockballot
Completed application forms can be returned by email to Arlene Griffin at: email@example.com or Pete Holohan at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by emailing: email@example.com . Alternatively they can be posted to: Arlene Griffin or Pete Holohan, Housing, Civic Offices, Euclid Street, SN1 2JH
If you would like to express an interest in becoming an Independent Shadow Board member you should contact Mike Ash at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
The closing date for tenant Board Member applications is Friday, 19 August and interviews will be held the week beginning Monday, 22 August.