STAFF from Tamworth Borough Council’s Income Team are celebrating after being awarded a prestigious nationally-recognised accreditation for the high quality service they provide to tenants.
The accreditation was awarded by the Housing Quality Network, which scrutinises local authorities against a number of rigorous criteria and exacting standards to assess how well they are managing their income from housing, as well as providing added value service to customers.
The Income Team underwent a stringent assessment by HQN, which included input from tenants, residents and stakeholders. The assessor then submitted his report to an independent panel, which agreed with his recommendation to accredit Tamworth Borough Council.
HQN assessor Tony Newman said in his report: “The Accreditation Panel was particularly impressed with the Council’s person-centred focus on sustaining tenancies through effective support and advice, especially as the welfare reform roll-out continues. There is a clear customer focus and a commitment to delivering the best possible service, alongside strong collection and arrears performance.
“Also impressive are the strong partnerships between Tamworth Borough Council and local advice and support agencies, adding to the overall value for money for customers.
“As part of our assessment, residents provided examples of highly effective support for individuals and households, which the Panel found compelling and moving. A big well done to all involved.”
The Income Team is now working on a three-year service improvement plan to ensure ongoing improvement, which will look at areas including:
- Review of pre-tenancy procedures
- Taking payment at tenancy sign-up
- More focus on the arrears of former tenants
- New ways of supporting partners, in the light of ongoing funding reductions
The award was formally presented to the Income Team this week by one of HQN’s lead accreditation assessors, Kevin Bentley, who praised the team’s achievements.
He said: “It is a privilege to award this accreditation to a very, very good organisation. To receive HQN accreditations, organisations need to deliver best-in-class service and operate to very high standards and Tamworth Borough Council has achieved this.”
Tamworth Borough Council will now hold the accreditation for the next three years and will continue to look at ways for further improve the service and build on the existing success.
Cllr Michelle Thurgood, Cabinet member for Housing Services, said: “This is great news and shows the commitment to ensuring a high level of service to our tenants and customers – particularly to those who are facing financial difficulties.
“It is a tribute to the ongoing hard work of the team and Tamworth Borough Council’s commitment to continued improvement.”