Go to homepage
Login to MyPlace

Great Places Customer Committee

Our new Customer Committee will be the voice of our customers and help to influence and shape our services.

Applications have now closed and we will invite shortlisted customers for an informal chat in January 2024 with a view to the selected committee members starting on the new Customer Committee in January/February 2024.

About the role

What is the Customer Committee?

Great Places is committed to creating Great Homes, Great Communities and Great People. Our aspiration and ambition is to deliver excellent customer experience, providing outstanding customer service and support. To achieve this, we recognise it is essential to engage and listen to the people who live in our homes, to make sure that we can deliver services tailored to the needs of customers and communities.

We already engage with customers in a variety of ways to gather this essential feedback and insight but we recognise that our customers and their views are more important than ever. Therefore, we are creating a Customer Committee to help us as part of that journey.

The Board has overall responsibility for directing the activity of Great Places, to make sure it is well run and delivering on key objectives. However, many functions of the Board are delegated to committees which have a specific focus. The Customer Committee is a new standing committee of Great Places’ Board, which will add value by providing lived experience and expertise directly from customers. This will allow customers to have a voice and influence the way that we do things.

The Committee will be made up of up to nine members. This will include up to seven customer members and two non-executive members from the Great Places Board, one of whom will act as Chair.

The Committee will provide an important link between the Board and customers, who can hold Great Places to account on all customer-related matters. It will make sure that service updates and improvements for customers are delivered effectively with customer feedback in mind.

What skills, abilities and knowledge are we looking for?

We are looking for people who represent the diverse communities we serve and who are passionate about the housing sector. Committee members will bring a customer perspective from a lived experience or insight into your community.

Previous experience of working on a group or committee, volunteering or reviewing performance in any organisation would be helpful. However, it is not essential as we really want people who have experience of social housing and are willing to play a part in improving it. If that’s you, we would be keen to hear from you! To help you achieve this:

  • Training is provided as part of Committee membership.
  • You will be supported by being given a ‘buddy’ from the Board Members on the Committee
  • We will work with you, especially at the start of your time with us, to make sure you have the right information and support to help you deliver.

Am I eligible to apply?

This is a Customer Committee, so we are looking for customers of Great Places who want to get involved and hold us accountable for the services we provide. If this sounds like you, we would like to invite you to apply for a position on the Customer Committee on the basis you:

  • Are a customer of Great Places, Plumlife or live in one of our Independence and Wellbeing schemes.
  • are not in serious breach of your tenancy agreement or lease, examples of these are: rent arrears where there is no payment plan in place, or this is not being adhered to; instances of anti-social behaviour or failure to allow access to conduct a gas safety service
  • are happy to declare any other jobs, roles or outside interests you have where there could be a conflict

Payment and expenses

Customer members will be paid £2,600 a year and will be paid in monthly increments.

The Committee’s nine members will consist of up to seven customer positions with the opportunity for up to two of these positions being unpaid.

Expenses for travel etc are paid monthly once a completed claim form with relevant receipts has been submitted. A copy of the expenses policy will be shared with you on appointment.

Meetings will usually be held at Great Places’ head office at 2A Derwent Avenue, Manchester, M21 7QP or by exception via online video conferencing.  We will also offer suitable technology solutions and training to support your participation at meetings.

The maximum amount of time that you will be allowed to hold your position for is up to six consecutive years (typically making up two terms of office). However, where a member has served six years, and the Group Board agrees it is in the organisation’s best interests, their place on the Committee maybe extended up to a maximum of nine years.

The appointment is subject to an annual review by the Chair of the Committee as well as quarterly review to ensure that you remain eligible to sit on the Committee.

Customer Committee Member – Role Description

Customer Committee Members are responsible for providing appropriate oversight to support and provide assurance to Board. Members will hold the senior management team to account for meeting agreed goals, objectives and targets, and monitor the reporting of performance in key customer service areas. They should be happy with the level of service provided to Great Places customers.

What you’ll be doing:

Strategy

  • Holding appropriate leadership teams to account for the effective management and delivery of the Group’s customer aims and objectives, where appropriate.
  • Actively participating in discussions on the development of the Group and suggesting recommendations to the Board.
  • Ensuring the Group’s values are reflected in the services provided to our customers.

Compliance

  • Providing oversight and assurance to the Board on the Group’s compliance with its statutory landlord duties.
  • Identifying and assessing risks and opportunities in the delivery of the Group’s Customer Services.
  • Ensuring effective management of customer health and safety risks, including ensuring customers are listened to about safety in their homes.
  • Providing assurance to the Board on the Group’s compliance with the Regulator’s Consumer Standards.
  • Ensure that the organisation promotes equality, diversity and inclusion within the services it delivers to its customers.

Performance

  • Recommending key performance targets for the delivery of the Group’s Landlord and Asset strategies.
  • Regularly review performance, inline with the key indicators for customer services and agree improvement plans where necessary.
  • Regularly review and analyse complaints data, to identify emerging trends and recommend improvements.
  • Commission reviews and scrutiny of services to ensure quality and service standards are being met.

Overall

  • Safeguarding the good name and reputation of the Group.
  • Building and maintaining close relations with the Group's customers through the Customer Voice community and ensuring it is fit for purpose.
  • Upholding the highest standards of integrity and probity and in accordance with the Board’s code of conduct.
  • Participating fully in the work of the committee, making sure responsibilities of the committee are met and participating in any training identified as part of the committee.
  • Maintaining absolute confidentiality about all aspects of the Group’s business.

What you’ll ideally need:

  • a high level of understanding and interest in the issues of social housing;
  • a commitment to the values and principles of Great Places;
  • ability to understand the wider picture, to assess, analyse and offer solutions to any potential challenges;
  • ability to analyse data;
  • empathy with customers.
  • well-developed interpersonal and communication skills;
  • sound, independent judgement, common sense and diplomacy;
  • a drive to put things right and constantly improve;
  • resilience;
  • sufficient time and commitment to fulfil the role.

Also really helpful would be:

  • an understanding of the social challenges facing some of the Group’s current and future customers;
  • experience of working in a customer-focused environment;
  • experience of being a member of a voluntary group or committee.

Applications for the Customer Committee have now closed

We are currently working on reviewing and shortlisting applications. We will invite shortlisted customers for an informal chat in January 2024 with a view to the selected committee members starting on the new Customer Committee in January or February 2024; with the first meeting to be held on Tuesday 27th February 2024.

Responsibilities of Customer Committee members

The Customer Committee is responsible for contributing to the success of Great Places Housing Group. The overall responsibilities/behaviours we expect of Committee Members are as follows:

  1. Maintain and promote the values, core policies, objectives and performance of Great Places, including its commitment to equality and diversity.
  2. Operate within the Terms of Reference of the Committee(s) of which you are a member.
  3. To work positively to deliver the objectives of Great Places, with a genuine commitment to providing good quality homes and services and equal opportunities.
  4. Be a member of other working or task and finish groups, if requested.
  5. Contribute to and share responsibility for decisions of the Committee.
  6. Work with other Committee members effectively and respect the views of others.
  7. Attend all meetings of the Committee and contribute through positive engagement and constructive challenge. Apologies must be given in advance if you are unable to attend.
  8. Prepare for all meetings, reading papers before all meetings that you are required to attend and attempting to resolve any queries you have, prior to the meeting, with the authors of the papers.
  9. Attend induction, training and performance review sessions and other related events as required by Great Places.
  10. Respect confidentiality of information. Be prepared to raise issues with the appropriate people, following the appropriate process, if you have concerns the organisation is not being managed to the required standards with the required level of integrity, or if you have evidence of wrongdoing by any board/committee member, including yourself, or any employee. This must be raised with the Committee Chair in the first instance.
  11. Declare any relevant interests – register all interests that might have a relevance to the work of Great Places and declare any potential or actual conflicts of interest as and when they arise.
  12. Act within the Great Places Rules and represent the organisation in a positive way to promote the business of the Group.
  13. At all times, conduct yourself in accordance with the Code of Conduct for Great Places’ Board/Committee members and observe our Probity Policy.
  14. Raise any concerns you have about Great Places’ affairs with the Chief Executive, the Chair, or the Vice Chair, or use the appropriate policy e.g. Speak Up (Whistleblowing) if required.