Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Afforordable Housing Challenge for Wales: Taking Forward the Essex Review


Below are the video clip from the Conference titled 'Affordable Housing Challenge for Wales: Taking forward the Essex Review'.
The conference was held on the 18th of September in the Parc Hotel in Cardiff.

Afforordable Housing Challenge for Wales: Taking Forward the Essex Review

Cllr Aled Roberts, Housing Spokesman for the WLGA opens the conference:

Afforordable Housing Challenge for Wales: Taking Forward the Essex Review

Jocelyn Davies, AM, Deputy Minister for Housing



Afforordable Housing Challenge for Wales: Taking Forward the Essex Review

Sue Essex, Report Author.





Afforordable Housing Challenge for Wales: Taking Forward the Essex Review

Steve Thomas, Chief Executive, WLGA



Afforordable Housing Challenge for Wales: Taking Forward the Essex Review

Nick Bennett, Chief Executive of Community Housing Cymru



Afforordable Housing Challenge for Wales: Taking Forward the Essex Review

John Drysdale, Director, TPAS Cymru, Clip 1

Afforordable Housing Challenge for Wales: Taking Forward the Essex Review

John Dyrsdale, Director of TPAS Cymru, Clip 2

Afforordable Housing Challenge for Wales: Taking Forward the Essex Review

Mick Maguire, Council of Mortgage Lenders, Clip 1

Afforordable Housing Challenge for Wales: Taking Forward the Essex Review

Mick Maguire, Council of Mortgage Lenders, clip 2

Afforordable Housing Challenge for Wales: Taking Forward the Essex Review

Leighton Andrews, AM, Clip 1

Afforordable Housing Challenge for Wales: Taking Forward the Essex Review

Leighton Andrews, AM, Deputy Minister for Regeneration

Monday, 18 August 2008

Video Clips from CHC's debate at the National Eisteddfod, titled: 'Tai Cymdeithasol ac Adfywio Cymunedau Cymru' available below

On Wednesday the 6th of August , CHC hosted a debate at the National Eisteddfod, titled: 'Tai Cymdeithasol ac Adfywio Cymunedau Cymru' or ‘Social Housing and the Regeneration of Welsh Communities'.

The debate was chaired by the Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, with a cross party panel including Leighton Andrews, AM (Labour), Christine Humphries (Lib Democrats) and Dafydd Iwan, (Plaid Cymru).

The clips can be viewed by clicking below:

Nick Bennett, Chief Executive opens the debate:


The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, introduces the panel:



Leighton Andrews, Labour AM addresses the audience



Dafydd Iwan, Plaid Cymru, addresses the audience



Christine Humphries, Liberal Democrate, addresses the audience.

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Nick Bennett, Community Housing Cymru

Nick Bennett, Chief Executive of Community Housing Cymru welcomes delegates to the joint Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty Conference, (with the Energy Saving Trust).
Wednesday 2nd July, 2008, Hilton Hotel, Cardiff

Jane Davidson, AM - Part 1

Jane Davidson, AM, address the Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty Conference.

Jane Davidson, AM - Part 2

Jane Davidson, AM addresses the conference

Eluned Morgan, MEP - Part 1

Eluned Morgan, MEP addresses delegates at the Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty Conference

Eluned Morgan, MEP - Part 2

Eluned Morgan addresses the Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty Conference

Adam Scorer, EnergyWatch

Adam Scorer, Director of Campaigns at EnergyWatch addresses the conference

Adam Scorer, EnergyWatch

Adam Scorer, Director of Campaigns at Energywatch (Part 2)

Helen Northmore, Energy Saving Trust, Wales

Helen Northmore, Head of EST Wales addresses the conference

Mat Colmer, Energy Saving Trust

Mat Colmer, Programme Development Manager for Housing addresses the conference

Recommendations - Energy efficiency and fuel poverty conference

Questions from the Floor

The panel take questions from the delegates at the Energy Efficiency and Fuel Poverty Conference.

What did the delegates think?

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

CHC Welcomes Recommendations of Independent Review

Community Housing Cymru welcomes the findings of the Essex Review and believe if the recommendations are fully implemented, housing associations will be able to tackle the issues that matter to people such as delivering more affordable homes and communities across Wales by potentially investing an additional £100 million over the next 3 years. The recommendations of this report will give housing associations greater freedom to do more to help tackle the Wales wide housing crisis.

Some key recommendations are:
* the need for a strong and sustained political support to deliver affordable housing and go beyond the 6,500 houses in ‘One Wales’
* the need to work in close partnership with housing associations and local authorities
* to free up Housing Associations to provide more homes and community regeneration by revising the regulatory framework

* to maximise all funding streams available, including private sector sources, and facilitating the release of public sector land for new affordable homes

* to work with housing association consortia to increase quality and give best value
* to obtain an information base on the housing needs across Wales and target resources to meet needs
* strong emphasis on performance at local and national level to deliver targets

The report identifies that the key to delivering the reports aims are:

* the creation of a new regulatory framework for housing associations
* for each local authority to have their own targets with a housing forum, involving all key players focused on delivery

* that the Welsh Assembly Government acts as a supportive partner in terms of grant aid, planning context, finance of land lease

* the Minister to take an overall responsibility for performance and work in close liaise with key stakeholders to ensure the Government stays responsive to change in housing market

Community Housing Cymru called for this review and were delighted when, in October last year, the Deputy Minister for Housing, Jocelyn Davies announced she was setting up a task and finish group led by Sue Essex. The group met or received evidence from over seventy organisations or individuals, including the membership body and many members.

Nick Bennett, Chief Executive said: "Community Housing Cymru called for this review and called for Sue Essex to lead it, we also submitted evidence and therefore are very happy to stand by these independent recommendations. We accept the challenges it poses, not only to the Welsh Assembly Government but to our members and other stakeholders including Local Government, but have to take that challenge if we are to meet the needs of communities across Wales in a time of great hardship for the sector."

Ian Williams, Chair of Community Housing Cymru said: "These recommendations come at a time when housing in Wales is facing major issues, compounded by the effects of the credit crunch. This is in addition to issues around repossessions which have also been increasing. Housing Associations have a record of positively responding to the changing world of private finance, efficiency and partnership and are undoubtedly well positioned to increase the supply of social housing."

Sue Essex commented: "This is a critical time for housing in Wales and we met with considerable enthusiasm within the housing sector in Wales for delivery through this change agenda to deliver for people in housing need. It is not just a matter of numbers, but making sure new housing is of the right type and quality standard, and is in the right place to meet local need and support local communities."

The full report can be found at:
http://new.wales.gov.uk/topics/housingandcommunity/housing/publications/essexreview/?lang=en
http://new.wales.gov.uk/topics/housingandcommunity/housing/publications/essexreview/?lang=cy

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Cardiff Board Member Network Meeting

Tomorrow night (14th May) over 30 housing association board members are meeting at the Wales Millennium Centre.

At 5.30 Jocelyn Davies , Deputy Minister for Housing will launch the Global Accounts which summarise the collective scale impacts of housing associations across Wales. Light refreshments and networking opportunities will be followed by a Board Member Network meeting.

The agenda is and content of presentations are loaded here:


A copy of the summary report on governance undertaken by Public Service consultant Paul Griffiths can be downloaded here

Its not to late to book into the event - ring 02920 557 400 or mail enquiries@chcymru.org.uk.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Can You Help?

We have recently received the following question by 1 of our members and we are wondering if anybody can help?

We’ve just had a Board discussion about what, if any are the implications for HA Boards of the Companies Act (2006) that came into effect on 1st October last year.

We think that, assuming the Board is acting in compliance with best practice on governance, there is no real implication – but others may have read this differently. Have you had any information on this, and if not, could you post my query on the message board for others to contact me, particularly if they have concluded that there is no implication, or if they have done something specific in order to ensure compliance?


If you can offer any help please leave a comment.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Swansea Board Member Network Meeting

A big thanks to all board members who joined the Board Network which met in Swansea last night. Colleagues from Family, Gwalia and Coastal joined the discussion.

David Hedges gave this presentation:


It was followed by a discussion that picked up key messages from the Board Member Network Conference in March - namely that:

  • Meeting face to face is absolutely vital and the precious time that board members commit needs to meet their needs
  • There should be more time spent networking with peers – mingling is important – especially with new shadow board members
  • Conversations need to be more delegate led – with agendas focusing on agreed key topics
  • Network meetings should stop using up valuable time giving updates– briefings should go out in advance so people can come prepared in advance
  • Innovation and best practice is key – and more opportunities are needed to enable boards to learn from each other
  • There is an appetite to get information on, say governance, from beyond the world of housing – especially around public service delivery and health
  • More needs to happen between meetings - networking, information exchanges, learning and more – the development of on line networks could add real value here.

It was agreed that future network meetings would be a mix of formal presentations on agreed crunch issues - followed by space for board let discussions on priorities. It was felt that it was very important for board members to have the chance to share and learn from each other - and that the benefits far outweighed any issues of competition between associations.

The top 2 crunch issues that were identified for the next network meeting were:

  • The credit crunch will have on housing associations and the lives of tenants
  • How to recruit and support stronger board
There was also strong interest in how to use online spaces - like this blog - as a places for giving board members access to more information and networks:

  • Before meetings so valuable time can be spent with 'up to speed' discussions
  • After board network meetings - to enable discussions to continue
About half of those who attended the network meeting thought this would be a valuable additional way of increasing the effectiveness of boards and board members.

Many thanks to all who joined the discussion.

Board Member Mentoring Training

Community Housing Cymru is running a training sessions targeted at Board Members and Chairs on

* What is Mentoring
* Benefits of Mentoring
* Starting a Mentoring Relationship
* Ongoing Mentoring Relationship
* Ending a Mentoring Relationship

It will be held CHC offices, Fulmar House, Beignon Close, Ocean Park, Cardiff on Friday, 25 April 2008.

Contact Jenny Horton on 029 20 557410

Information can be downloaded here

And a booking form here

Sorry for the delay - some compelling viewing

Sorry for the delay in posting some of the best of conversations at the Community Housing Cymru Board Member Governance conference.
We have 2 clips of Sue Essex talking about her review





Then 3 clips fro Neil Wooding - Public Service Management Wales







And Duncan Forbes, Bron Afon Community Housing



Friday, 4 April 2008

Swansea Chair and Board Network Meeting

The next Chairs & Board members network meeting to be held in Swansea takes place on ednesday 9 April 2008. The venue is the Swansea Grand Theatre, Singleton Street, Swansea SA1 3QJ/

The meeting will commence at 5.00pm in the Roof Top Cafe with a few light sandwiches and refreshments and then move into the Rear Studio by 5.30pm for the meeting actual. We anticipate that you should be away by 8.30pm

The agenda is:

* Introductions
* Discussion of feedback on the content and format of Board Network meetings
* Agreement of future themes for discussion
* Information share
* Networking

The format will be interactive and board member led. This agenda is designed to respond to key messages that came out of the February Governance Conference - that included:

* Meeting face to face is absolutely vital and the precious time that board members commit needs to meet their needs
* There should be more time spent networking with peers – mingling is important – especially with new shadow board members
* Conversations need to be more delegate led – with agendas focusing on agreed key topics
* Network meetings should stop using up valuable time giving updates– briefings should go out in advance so people can come prepared in advance
* Innovation and best practice is key – and more opportunities are needed to enable boards to learn from each other
* There is an appetite to get information on, say governance, from beyond the world of housing – especially around public service delivery and health
* More needs to happen between meetings - networking, information exchanges, learning and more – the development of on line networks could add real value here.

There are still spaces - contact Jenny Horton at CHC on 029 2055 7410 or email Jenny on jennifer-horton@chcymru.org.uk.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Coaching and Mentoring - Conference Slide Show

Dave Crisp delivered his workshop on mentoring and coaching at the Board Member conference. It can be viewed here:



Many thanks Dave

Conference Feedback On Future Board Network Meetings

The afternoon of the first day of the Board Member conference was an opportunity to take stock of what value the board member network has added and to consider how to build on this.

A summary of discussions can be downloaded here. It really is good stuff and flags up a whole number of areas where change can take place. A discussion document is being prepared to circulate to all board members in advance of the next round of April meetings.

8th April - Abercynon - off A470
9th April - Swansea
22nd April - North Wales

For more information about booking your place at one of these events contact Jenny Horton at Community Housing Cymru on 02920 557410 or email enquiries@chcymru.org.uk

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Neil Wooding on Leadership

One of the most popular open space sessions that took place at the Board Members conference was led by Neil Wooding - he sent this article (which can be downloaded here ). It will be sent to all delegates who joined his conversation as part of the conference report.

Neil leads Public Service Management Wales and has offered the support of his team to help Community Housing Cymru to respond to the excellent suggestions that came forward about how to refresh the next round of Board Member Network Meetings. These suggestions will form part of the conference report which will be posted very shortly.

Many thank Neil for this stimulating article and for offering this follow through support.

-

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Storytelling for change

Stories are the age-old way in which we pass on news, ideas, gossip - but they can also be used to promote action and change. At the conference Louise Harris and Christine Wilson explained how digital storytelling was helping improve public services.
Louise runs the Big Learning Company, and Christine works at the Centre for Research and Innovation in Care Services, University of Glamorgan.
They recently contributed to the first Public Sector Narrative Conference: Storytelling for Change, which was a collaboration between Public Service Management Wales, ENLA and the Wales Centre for Health.
I hope they may contribute to this blog - meanwhile here's some video where they explain the value of storytelling, and how it has a strong tradition in Wales.

video

Researcher asks for Board member views on governance

At end of the conference Paul Griffiths, who had spoken earlier about his research into governance issues, invited Board members to send him any comments and ideas - or contribute to a conversation on this blog. You can see Paul's earlier contribution here.

video

Conference & Openspace

This was my first CHC conference and I thoroughly enjoyed taking the time to take to other board members. I hope that more board members sign up to this blog so we can communicate and share experiences, especially as a relatively new board member.

I enjoyed the openspace sessions and I thought the facilitators were very good. I did think about running a session myself (possibly on Supporting People) but lacked the courage in the end - maybe next year's conference!

Sue Essex on the Regulation Review

Sue Essex, a former Assembly Finance Minister, has been appointed by the Deputy Housing Minister to review regulation of the housing association sector. She hinted that the review report - due shortly - might recommend some changes to over-complex regulations. However, she suggested that this might need to be balanced by a closer look at finance and governance. Boards are often "a bit of a well kept secret" and could play a stronger role.

video

Internet cafes starts some conversations

During the conference we ran a series of sessions in the Internet cafe which provided some help on using blogs and other tools - and just a chance to chat about improving communication .... not too seriously!

video

Some of those coming to the cafe already had blogs and had plenty of ideas about how these and other social media could help housing association boards improve their communications. Here above are some ideas from Bryan Douglas-Matthews.

video

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Networking - together we can achieve more

My first CHC Conference - and a very useful event for me as a new Independent member on a new Shadow Board - Tai Ceredigion Shadow Board.
I am sure the Stock Transfer organisations already up and running - or nearly so - can help those of us now going down that route - what worked for them; what didn't.
I don't think there's a magic formula, but there will be parallels.
How can we best share that experience and knowledge? How can we build an effective network which will be of continuing benefit to us all?
My thanks to CHC for a well-run and very useful event.

Margaret Pead at CHC's Governance Conference

This is my first attendance at a Great Governance Conference. I am finding it most interesting and informative. We have had two excellent presentations this morning. As a member of Bron Afon Board I found Duncan's session most informative and reminded me of all the hard work that has taken place in order that Bron Afon could actually come into being. We await with baited breath the WAG decision, hopefully on March 31st

Friday, 29 February 2008

Boards need to convince a wider public of their role

Consultant Paul Griffiths gave a presentation about his research into the core issues of governance in housing associations, and in my interview with him stressed that Boards needed not only to be governing well - but to be seen to be doing so.

Boards needed to be convincing people outside their organisations that they were providing strategic direction, challenging performance, and ensuring appropriate partnerships.
The research on Board performance was broadly encouraging, but greater effort was needed to demonstrate transparency. Social media might be a help in this, as well as in internal communication and helping Boards learn from each other.
video

Spreading the conference conversation

Over the past couple of hours I've been spreading the word about the conference online - through emails, on my own blog, and using Twitter (which is a sort of group instant messaging).
That has led to people coming in with comments on the original post where Sioned asked for advice about social media. It also led to a fresh blog post from Beth Kanter, who is one of the best know bloggers about nonprofit use of social media in, well, the world. Try Googling Beth and see what you get. You'll find her blog is the top hit.

How did that happen so easily? Well, I know Beth, and as you'll see here was co-presenting a workshop with her yesterday even though she was in Boston. She explained there how she has raised several hundred thousand dollars online, as a volunteer, for charities. That's the power of social networking.

Getting to know each other - speedily

One of the aims of the conference was to help Board members of traditional housing organisations to get to know those from the new stock transfer organisations. What better way than speed dating? Steve Cranston explains.

video

Chief executive introduces the conference

CHC Chief executive Nick Bennett introduced the conference, and his slides are below. I asked Nick for a brief summary of his main points.

video

Here's Nick's presentation

Sioned asks for ideas on social media

video

We are just starting the conference, and I asked development manager Sioned Hughes what discussion she hoped would start around the use of blogs and other social media - and how new forms of communication might help Board members. One of the big challenges in Wales is the time it can take people to get to meetings because of the geography.
We hope to get some ideas during the conference for using social media - from those here in Cwmbran, and anyone else looking in to this blog

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Louise Harris at CHC's Conference

Louise Harris - specialist in storytelling and video making - briefly introduces herself and looks forward to the Board Member Conference. Louise will be running sessions on how you can tell a story about your housing association using the powerful tool of video. Delegates at the conference are invited to bring ideas and any props (especially photos). Louise and helpers will be on hand to help shape this information into short video clips which can be posted on You Tube and linked to this blog and other sites. The power of story telling is coming back.

http://www.youtube.com/v/nbwUMn-Q5os

Friday, 1 February 2008

David Wilcox at CHC's Governance Conference

The CHC team met David Wilcox last week – he is supporting the work the organisation is doing to strengthen its Board member networks – in particular embracing new online networking opportunities.

The annual conference for Board Members and Chairs of Housing Associations in Wales takes place 29 Feb/1 March. This will be an opportunity for conference delegates to network, learn and get re-energised. This year CHC will be supporting the development of an online network to enable board members to say in touch, share best practice and get answers to tough questions during and after the conference.

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=M_iy5Y4hx9w

CHC will be contacting associations and board members across Wales to get examples of their organisations work that they are most proud about. These samples will be posted on the blog to encourage more to do the same. At the conference David and CHC staff will be providing practical help to delegates to take a look at the blog get familiar with the basic tools needed to take part, create content and post it there and then - and provide ongoing support to keep the network going.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Board Members Handbook

The Board Member Handbook is a rich source of vital information for everyone involved with the Governance of Welsh Housing Organisations, and is designed to complement the information Board Members receive from their own organisations.

Each section is full of information and guidance on each subject, and comprises a short summary of the issues, the challenges facing housing associations, questions that Board Members should be able to answer, a checklist for development, and a wider background and context of the issues discussed, all written in a clearly structured A5 ring-bound manual.

For more information on the Board Members Handbook please visit - http://www.chcymru.org.uk/boardmembershandbook.html

Welcome

Hi & Welcome to the Great Governance Blog.

This blog has been set up in order to support Board Members of Housing Associations in Wales. With you in mind we are happy to design the site in a way you would find useful so please let us know what you would wish to find here. All feedback is welcome!

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