Our Members Protocol
How we will deal with enquiries from elected members and MPs
East Kent Housing recognises the important role that councillors and MPs have in representing the interests of their constituents, especially where they are experiencing difficulties with the services that we provide. We want to work closely with all elected members to help them deal effectively with issues raised by their constituents. This protocol sets out what councillors and MPs can expect from East Kent Housing when they contact us.
We aim to deal with members enquiries as quickly as possible. Our targets when dealing with enquiries from members are as follows:
- Emails, within two working days
- Letters, within 10 working days
- phone calls, calls returned within 24 hours but same day if possible
Building on the previous tenants’ forum frameworks, Area Boards are being established in each of the four council areas to strengthen local accountability to both tenants and elected members. Each council is required to nominate two councillors to serve on the Area Board.
However, Area Boards are open meetings and all councillors are welcome to attend. Anyone can participate in the meeting at the discretion of the Chair. Area Boards will, amongst other things, have the opportunity to scrutinise performance in service delivery as well as decisions of the main Board of East Kent Housing. They will also provide a consultation body for both East Kent Housing as a service provider and the councils in terms of their on-going residual and statutory responsibilities as owners of the housing stock.
Openness and transparency
The Board of East Kent Housing has made a commitment to conducting its business in an open and transparent manner. The programme of Area Board meetings will be published on the Internet and in tenant newsletters. Minutes of meetings of the main Board and Area Boards will be published on the internet.
We will ensure it is clear who the most appropriate person to contact in East Kent Housing is. Councillors are in the first instance encouraged to contact the housing team in the local area. Alternatively, if the issue is of significant concern about our processes or local decisions, councillors should feel free to contact the Chief Executive or other members of the senior management team.
We will try and respond promptly and openly to all enquires from elected representatives. However, if the response requires the disclosure of confidential information about the tenant, their family or neighbours, we may need to seek their consent before giving this information to any third party including councillors and MPs.
East Kent Housing responsibilities
We are responsible for managing council housing and associated estates and communal areas. The Council’s strategic housing team remains responsible for:
- The housing waiting list/housing register
- Applications and assessment of homelessness including providing temporary accommodation for homeless families
- Arrangements with housing associations for the provision of new affordable housing
- Housing conditions in the private rented sector.