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  • Radojka Miljevic Campbell Tickell

    Community governance: Co-regulation in action

  • What’s co-regulation?

    “The term co-regulation is used to define the relationships between each

    association, its tenants/service users and the Regulator, and their respective

    responsibilities to challenge performance in relation to risk management,

    governance, finance and to promote service improvements.”

  • And what do we really mean by it?

    • Shifting away from horizontal accountability – ‘big brother’ inspecting you

    • Responsibility lies with the Board – self-assessment

    • Board is accountable to its stakeholders, including to its tenants, for services delivered

    • Tenants should have the ability to examine performance, identify areas for improvement and influence future delivery

  • Requirements and expectations

    • Co-regulation – embedded in English but not referenced explicitly in Welsh Reg Frameworks – spirit got lost?

    • Kick-started again through risk-based approach to regulation – reaffirmed commitment to ‘co-regulation’

    • Regulation Advisory Group - support and promote effective, proportionate housing regulation based on the principles of co regulation and delivered using a relationship management approach

    • Shared enterprise – in it together

  • Why horizontal accountability matters

  • Engaging with tenants and service users

    • Interim evaluation survey

     All doing tenant satisfaction surveys

     86% focus groups, 75% estate walkabouts, 61% road-shows, 56% tenant-led surveys, 50% mystery shopping, 47% outcome focused evaluations of tenant participation

     “Positive examples of where tenants and service users are central to regulation, but also instances where it seems associations are merely paying lip service to tenant engagement, certainly at strategic levels”

  • Engaging with tenants and service users

    • Sector study on governance

    Struggles with meaningful involvement of tenants in governance

    Just under two-thirds using election processes

    Marginal majority in favour of selection

    Wish for flexibility around numbers?

    Just over half – connection between Board and panel

  • JRF Research

    • Involve people to devolve power and influence to them

    • Improve services and improve democratic accountability

    • Design and practice of citizen involvement  Make use of local knowledge about different needs –

    experience as people who live there (localising)? OR  Include local representatives in decision-making – represent

    wider group and accountable to them (democratising)?

  • Factors underpinning influence

    • Level of senior management/political support • Availability of resources • Performance management systems • Time frames • Accountability • Organisational culture

  • Research around benefits

    • If other partners involved, communities value those links – build relationships, social capital, political leverage

    • Staff like the chance to build trust • Participants can value influencing the ‘operational’ –

    citizen-centred • Contact across community divides • Legitimacy in decision-making – but then needs to

    be real legitimacy

  • Research around drawbacks

    • Social capital doesn’t get spread – the ‘already involved get more involved’ rather than newbies coming along

    • Benefits of involvement can be conceptualised differently

    • Competition with privileged knowledge – ‘local’ knowledge in competition

    • Often more able to influence operational matters than strategy

    • Only small group ever likely to be active in governance

  • Issues

    • Gatekeeping – traditional structures – ‘outsider’ groups kept out

    • Complexity of services, partnerships, consultation openings

    • Structures change just as people get used to them • Balance between flexibility and informality, and

    power and influence • Barriers to involvement and financial and time costs

    to the community participants

  • Challenges and barriers

    • Who is to take on the responsibility? Time and energy Motivation – personal interest?

    Dissatisfaction? Maintaining interest – after ‘crisis’ is averted? The importance of having a stable group of

    residents Apathy and despondency

    “the time and will to make it work”

  • What are we trying to achieve?

    • Local voices heard at the grass-roots • Local voices heard at the front-line • Some kind of main arteries into

    strategic decision-making

  • Routes into governance

    • Participative v. representative • Throw the net wide open – and inviting messages,

    ‘build your skills’, target people (scouts) etc. • Skills preparation – including the ‘soft’ stuff • Long game – your general strategy • Capacity building, observation, pre-selection election • Your cultural commitment • In at the deep end • Support to people once they’ve joined

  • Residents on Boards

    Do we get obsessed with this issue and are we

    asking the right question?

  • Now seeing new practices emerging… opportunities

    • Wider menu of involvement • Different structures – mutuals etc. • Scrutiny • Lean systems • Private sector customer ethos • Real-time feedback - software • Insight and intelligence • Sounding boards (M&S) • Online world – 24/7 (LMH), LMH TV • Facebook etc. – feels more like a means for tenants to

    talk with each other • Webcasting

  • The world is changing

    • Being customer-focused, orientated, directed – consumerist, individualist

    • Time/commitment limited person, works for the personal interest

    • Tenants/residents at the heart, tenant-led etc. – citizenship, empowerment agenda, collective endeavour

    • More of an interest in power transfer, can work for community benefit

  • Is there a community still or are there communities

    of interest?

  • The world is changing

    • Are we changing with it?

  • Young people

    • How should we think differently about them? • Youth group? Task and finish? • Shorter periods on Boards • Return investment in accredited certification? • Or just change the nature of involvement?

  • Final thoughts….

    • Are tenants being handed control just as they become less cohesive?

    • Is there a new reality residents – rent and service charge levels – and what is the impact of their voice and control on these areas that most matter to them?

    • Is involvement too parochial?