Local authority censure is a first in Scotland

East Renfrewshire Council HQ.
East Renfrewshire Council HQ.

East Renfrewshire Council are the first local authority in Scotland to have been severely censured by the Scottish Housing Regulator.

The Significant Performance Failure (SPR) was issued for a failure by the council to meet some of its duties under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001.

This related to their decision not to permit the East Renfrewshire Council Tenants and Residents Federation to participate in the Housing Service Customer Engagement Strategy programme.

Danny Devlin, convenor for housing services said: “To ensure a greater level of meaningful engagement and participation between the East Renfrewshire Council (ERC) Housing Department and our residents and tenants, a new Housing Service Customer Engagement Strategy was launched in 2014.

“The strategy focused on creating more ways for customers to engage with the Housing Department and to make sure that the views of all residents were appropriately represented. The strategy was also supported by the appointment of a dedicated tenant customer engagement officer to ensure the improvements we sought would be realised.

“I’m very pleased that our efforts have paid dividends with levels of participation improving since the launch of the strategy.

“The East Renfrewshire Council Tenants and Residents Federation were excluded from the Forum on the basis that all of its members already attended the forum though membership of their local Residents and Tenants Organisations.

“The Housing Regulator has concluded that in excluding the East Renfrewshire Council Tenants and Residents Federation from the Forum there has been a performance failure by ERC.

“Regrettably the national process does not allow for the right of appeal.

“Whilst we have written to the Regulator to ask for more clarity as to how this decision has been reached in view of the excellent participation standards that have been set by ERC, we have nonetheless agreed to include the Federation within the Forum going forward.”