Welcome from our Chair of Scrutiny Group and Chief Executive
Darren Kirkland, Scrutiny Group Chair
I’m a tenant and think this Annual Report is worth reading as it’s more than facts. It’s split into sections to cover what different services have done and to be clear on how they can help you if you need some support.
I’m pleased the organisation is honest about its performance and happy to share where it’s trying to improve and learn from customer complaints. If you have an issue at home, don’t hesitate to raise it with the organisation.
I'm proud to be a tenant and to have been part of the Scrutiny Group for four years now. We focus on helping Bolton at Home understand ways to improve services for customers.
If you’re interested in potentially joining us and would like to know more about the work of the Scrutiny Group, more details are at: www.boltonathome.org.uk/scrutiny-group Take care, Darren
Jon Lord, Group Chief Executive Officer
Thank you for your patience and support throughout the pandemic. I’m pleased that we’re now fully operational again with things like UCAN centres being open for in-person visits, activities resuming at community centres and doing all types of repairs, after we had to focus on maintaining emergency services at times of lockdown. Our role in the community has become even more important over the last 20 months. We recognise it’s been a tough time for many in our communities, so we’ve tried to support as many households as possible where they’ve struggled, either financially or due to isolation, and we’ll continue to do so. We’re working on our backlog of non-urgent repairs. The backlog is significant and it’ll take us time to work through but we’ll do our best to carry out previously postponed repairs as quickly as we can. We know we’ve got some catching up to do, and we’ve got plans in place to make sure we do.
Having a decent, affordable home is vital for good health and wellbeing. This is also why we need to address the shortage of affordable housing and provide more properties to give more people a warm, comfortable and sustainable home. You can read more about our new build activities here and why developing new homes doesn’t take anything away from our investment in current homes but actually generates more income that we can reinvest to improve older properties, provide important community services and keep rent levels affordable. We know that we have an important role to play in reducing carbon emissions and protecting our environment- and we take this responsibility very seriously. We’re currently developing a new Climate Change Strategy to meet this challenge. It’ll require a substantial investment, but it’ll also create jobs, training and green skills for the benefit of local people and the local economy. Our plans include retrofitting existing homes with renewable heating, investing in new construction methods and developing a multi-million pound green technology and skills hub in Bolton. You can read more here. It’s great seeing things work well but it’s also important that, when things don’t go well, we hold our hands up and admit when we’ve got some things wrong. Please let us know if this is the case. An area we’ll be focusing on is ensuring we deal with all complaints in a timely fashion. We want to learn from complaints and be better than we were before. And thank you for sending in the compliments that you’ve done, it’s good to be able to share positive feedback with colleagues who’ve done their job particularly well or where they’ve gone above and beyond. If you’d like to get more involved and have more of a say on services, you can find the different options and opportunities here. Stay safe, Jon