Board 21 September 2021 - minutes of previous meeting
Board 21 September 2021 - minutes of previous meeting
YHN Board 27 July 2021 (5pm – 7pm)
L Blakey, S Copley, L Docherty (from item 808), D Hall, L Hobson, D Huddart,
J McCarty (Chair), M Page, A Parker, P Scope (via Teams) B Tebay,
N Watson (via Teams)
A Baker-Daley Governance Officer
J Davison Company Secretary/Assistant Director Business Support
T Drury Managing Director
G van Enk-Bones Finance Director
D Langhorne Assets and Development Director
J Vinton Customer Services Director
A Senior Head of Fairer Housing, Newcastle City Council
WELCOME AND APOLOGIES
Vice Chair J McCarty took the chair. Apologies were received from T Gates and D Keightley. The Chair welcomed N Watson and D Huddart.
DECLARATION OF INTERESTS
The Chair noted that L Blakey, L Docherty, A Parker, P Scope, and N Watson will have an interest to declare regarding the governance report, relating to their appointment/re-appointment
The Chair noted that D Hall will be leaving the Board at the end of August to take a chair role of his local parish council.
Conferences and events
B Tebay recently attended the National Federation of ALMOs webinar on building safety. He found it to be an interesting event covering key roles, responsibilities and challenges, of which YHN and NCC are well equipped to meet. Feedback and documents will be added to the Board Teams site. J Vinton added that Warren Spencer a solicitor who specialises in Fire Safety recently provided an excellent briefing for YHN and the Fairer Housing Unit on roles and responsibilities.
Agenda Item 11
Governance survey - future ways of working
Most members have now responded to the future ways of working survey. The Chair gave some high-level feedback:
• The majority of members were satisfied with all aspects of governance during the pandemic. Some elements of learning and development were inevitably postponed. It will be helpful to visit schemes once safe to do so
• Virtual Board and committee meetings have worked very well, resulting in improved attendance. Whilst it saved time and money, we were still able to consider all business matters
• All members are happy to proceed with a blended working approach
• All members were happy to attend the Board meeting in person
• Most said they felt less connected to the organisation, which is understandable given we have not been able to visit areas of the business. Many wish to visit customers and staff on site.
As a result of responses, the Chair confirmed that Board meetings will continue to be held in person, with the option of members joining virtually should an issue arise. Government advice will be monitored in case this arrangement is affected. Committee meetings will continue virtually, with the option of the committee chair calling a face to face meeting should the need arise.
L Docherty joined the meeting
Away day feedback
A Parker asked if there are plans to share discussion feedback given at the recent away day. The Chair replied that the Governance Team will be ensuring it is captured in the task and finish group which T Gates will be forming to consider the new Business Strategy beyond 2022.
The Board viewed a short conversation filmed between a YHN Engagement Officer and a customer, who reflected on their interactions with YHN as a deaf person.
For context, T Drury noted the video was made some time ago, at a time when routine repairs and maintenance were suspended due to the pandemic. The intention was to show the video at a face to face Board meeting. Nevertheless, Maddie raised some important points, we think we do respond well but where we haven’t it will push us onward. An internal repairs group has been formed, of which customer feedback like Maddie’s is ideal to feed into. Since the video was made, YHN have been in contact with Maddie, signed up to a translation service in North Tyneside which she mentioned in the video, and are undergoing refresher training in the Contact Centre.
It is intended that a customer moment is shown at the beginning of every Board meeting to provide assurances to members that YHN is a learning organisation; we want to hear honest feedback
S Copley commented that the video is a brave thing to do, and it provides reassurance that we are feeding customer experiences through Board. The Chair added that it was interesting and challenging.
L Hobson asked how the Board will be kept informed of progress with customer experiences, to which T Drury suggested it could form part of a wider year-end report on learning.
L Docherty asked if disability is picked up as a broader theme or whether specific disabilities are viewed separately, such as mobility. T Drury replied that we’ve done a lot of work around equality, diversity and inclusion; Corporate Management Team will be considering a report produced by the Policy Team, which will cover areas that might require better connectivity with customers. It will form a strand of the approach that we will take forward.
Highlighting repairs and expectations of expertise, B Tebay asked if impact assessments might have lagged behind the successful acceleration of systems over the last 18 months. T Drury replied that over this course of time priorities have been different and focus has been changing, we have to take the view we are coming out of the pandemic towards stability and normality, and to take on improvements which we haven’t done before.
MODERN SLAVERY STATEMENT 2020
D Langhorne introduced the report, which presented the 2020-21 Modern Slavery Statement for Board approval. YHN is required by law to complete a statement as turnover is above £36m. Similar to NCC, the statement follows best practice and legal guidance, illustrating how modern slavery forms every part of procurement undertaken. YHN have worked in recent years to ensure second tier suppliers give the same commitments as part of their contract. Internally, training continues with staff on safeguarding adults and children.
The Chair noted this is the sixth statement for YHN. S Copley commented that we should be proud of this achievement.
RESOLVED – that the Board approved the Statement for publication on the YHN website
MINUTES OF 18 MAY 2021
The minutes of the Board meeting held on 18 May were agreed as a true record and would be signed by the Chair in due course.
ACTION LOG (PUBLIC)
RESOLVED – that the action log was received, and information noted
An update on the business strategy task and finish group was given; members were invited to express their interest, and the Chair will be confirming the membership by email in due course.
RESOLVED – that the forward plan was received for information
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
On behalf of the Board, the Chair wished D Hall well for the future in his new role, and gave thanks for his challenge, insight and contributions over the last four years to Asfaleia Board, Group Audit and Risk Committee, YHN Board, company appeal panels and, particularly, supporting jobs fairs in promoting the organisation more broadly.
D Hall expressed best wishes to all and gave thanks for the opportunity to be involved with YHN and the wider group, to T Drury and the Chair for an engaging welcoming style that T Gates will continue, to Executive Team and the Governance Team for their support.
The Chair thanked members for their contributions this evening; the hybrid meeting solution has worked well.
DATE AND TIME OF NEXT MEETING
21 September 5pm