South East Scotland Regional Network Virtual Committee Meeting
Wednesday 30 March 2022
In attendance (SG)
South East Scotland consultation response-
A New Deal for Tenants: Draft Rented Sector Strategy consultation
The committee discussed and agreed their response to the Scottish Government consultation on A New Deal for Tenants: Draft Rented Sector Strategy, facilitated by Helen Barton of TPAS.
Welcome and Apologies
Carolynne Watson welcomed everyone to meeting, noting her apologies that the scheduled 14 March meeting did not go ahead due to staff illness. Alan Frank (Chair) did not attend the consultation session or the committee meeting therefore Bill Campbell (Vice Chair) agreed to chair.
Apologies were received from Isabella Vint (Secretary).
The committee welcomed Alan , FFOTRA, who will be observing today’s meeting in attendance with Bill Campbell.
Minutes of the previous meeting and matters arising
Under Page 3 – Shona Robinson MSP should be corrected to Shona Robison MSP.
Lillias Reid – Proposer
Terry Kirby – Seconder
There were no matters arising which are not already included on today’s agenda.
Meeting Updates and Rota:
• Rent Focus Group – Terry updated on the meetings of the Rent Focus Group on 17 February and 24 March. The 17 March focused on planning for the rent setting and affordability survey questionnaire being developed by the Focus Group. The group aims to have the questionnaire finalised by end of April, with this issued to the participants agreed by the group during May and June. The 24 March session was convened in order for the Rent Focus Group to discuss and agree their response to the consultation on A New Deal for Tenants: Draft Rented Sector Strategy.
• SHR Liaison Group – Bill updated on the first January meeting of the SHR Liaison group, advising that he was on holiday and unable to attend, and offered his apologies to the group. Carolynne noted that South East Scotland was not represented at the agenda setting meeting, with Isabella unable to attend due to ill health and Alan Frank and Alan Dunton not attending. Ahead of the next agenda meeting on 12 April Bill suggested issues/ concerns to be raised can be passed to him for discussion on the agenda, as well as updates on any local activity representatives would like to provide. In terms of the January meeting with SHR staff and representatives, Carolynne noted this meeting was attended by George Walker, Chair of the SHR Board and Michael Cameron, SHR Chief Executive. Minutes of the meeting will be available on the SHR website following the April meeting.
• Communications working group
Carolynne updated on the Communications working group, noting that the March meeting has been postponed to 6 April. The draft Newsletter and tri-fold leaflet are now complete and a design mock-up has been shared with the Comms group. The final stage will be adding graphics. A limited print run for each will take place, probably comprising an initial 100 copies of each, plus digital publication. The Communications group are also working on the new Communications Plan which has been circulated to all Regional Network members for comment and input.
• Chairs and Secretaries
Carolynne reminded the committee that the next Chairs & Secretaries meeting will take place on Tuesday 10 May, and will be Chaired by South West Scotland. The committee asked Carolynne to email all committee members to establish who will attend.
• Ministerial meeting – 31 March 2022
Carolynne noted that representatives from the Regional Networks will be meeting with Cabinet Secretary Shona Robison and Minister Patrick Harvie on 31 March to discuss issues of concern to tenants and residents. As Isabella is unwell and Alan Frank did not attend the pre-meeting, Carolynne noted that she has asked Terry and Bill to attend on behalf of South East Scotland and both have agreed. Topics for discussion include use of the HRA, housing for Ukrainian refugees, energy efficiency and carbon emissions reduction.
The committee discussed the attendance of some committee members over the last months and asked Carolynne to write to Alan Frank and Penelope Ciancanelli on their behalf to confirm their position on the committee, and Carolynne agreed to do this.
Carolynne updated on one final working group meeting which was not tabled on the agenda- the first meeting of the Housing to 2040 working group will take place on Tuesday 5 April at 1pm, and Alan Dunton has volunteered to represent South East Scotland on the group.
South East Scotland AGM
Carolynne updated on planning for the AGM, noting that the South East Scotland AGM will take place on Saturday 28 May at 11am, via Zoom. Carolynne has prepared the first round of paperwork for the AGM, including invitation letter, booking form and nominations form, and this will be issued by TPAS on 1 April. Carolynne reminded the committee that as no-one stepped down this year, nominations forms will not be required from the committee however they will receive copies of the paperwork pack for their information. Carolynne outlined for Alan how the nominations process works, and noted that she will be happy to help if he is considering an application and has any questions on the nominations process.
Carolynne noted that completed booking forms and nominations forms are required to be received by TPAS no later than 13 May.
The in-person TPAS conference will be taking place on 10 – 12 June at the Golden Jubilee hotel in Clydebank.
Irina noted the confusion about the meeting date on 14 March, pointing out that she had emailed TP team members for clarification but received no response. Irina asked what to do in the future if something similar occurs. Carolynne apologised for the confusion over the 14 March meeting and explained this was due to illness, and noted that she should have received a reply from the team. Carolynne suggested in the future copying in the TP mailbox to emails which is checked regularly and the whole team can access. Carolynne asked the committee to bear with the TP team as they remain short staffed at the moment with a significantly increased workload.
Terry noted that he would like to express his solidarity with Irina and her family in Ukraine and the rest of the committee members and Carolynne echoed this, noting they are thinking of Irina, her family and all in Ukraine. Irina thanked the committee, noting that this is a very difficult time for all in Ukraine, and noting her appreciation of their solidarity.
Date of next meeting
The next meeting will be Monday 9 May at 11am, via Zoom.