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An innovative recipe for efficiency

"We are really excited about the level of influence we now have, which means we are able to ask more detailed questions and examine services in more detail. We would welcome others to join us, so if you want something done, then why not get involved?”

Stevan Bateman, involved resident

An innovative recipe for efficiency

A group of committed customers got on the bus as part of our revamped Property Services Special Interest Group (SIG).

The team took a tour of our homes in Lutterworth and Market Harborough to see new kitchens and ground source heat pumps our Property Services team had installed recently.

We have worked with customers to reshape the group, and to increase the level of say the members have in how we work. The group of ten now meet six times a year, with a scheduled plan for what will be discussed. For each topic, the head of service responsible for that work programme attends.

Another initiative is the piloting of pop-up kitchens when we are upgrading regular kitchens.

When customers are having a new kitchen installed, we know that there is a period of inconvenience before they get to enjoy the new space. To help reduce that period, we are trialling the use of pop-up kitchens where we offer the chance to have a temporary small kitchen set up in a different room, complete with everything you would expect to cook - including an oven, fridge and pans.

As it means we do not need to make the actual kitchen space ready for use at the end of every working day, and then reconnect everything at the start of the following day, we have extra time to complete the work. On average a full replacement currently takes around 10 working days; we are looking to cut this to around five working days when a pop-up kitchen is available.

The idea was approved by customers on our Property Services SIG, and feedback has been great so far.

Claire Clancy is one of those to have benefited. The busy mum said: “It has been brilliant. It has made it so much easier, and having space to put in your own pans and kitchen items has been a huge help.

“Having a full size oven and not having to wash up in the bathroom sink or anything has been fantastic. It is a great idea and I would definitely recommend it to others if they have the space.”

We will continue to see how the trial goes, and work with our involved residents to see if we should expand this offer.

Stevan Bateman is a key member of the Property Services SIG, having been involved in scrutinising our repairs and maintenance services for a number of years.

“We are really excited about the changes, and the level of influence we will now have,” said Stevan. “We have met all the heads of service, which means we will be able to ask more detailed questions and examine the service in more detail. I got involved as I wasn’t happy with the service I was getting at the time, and it became clear that moaning about it in my living room wasn’t going to change anything! We would welcome others to join us, so if you want something done, then why not get involved?”

Our Group