Published on 15th January 2021
The council's cabinet is set to consider an independent report recommending that it retains and strengthens its partnership with Cheltenham Borough Homes (CBH) at its meeting on 26 January.
The report, undertaken by Campbell-Tickell, found that CBH is “a focused housing management organisation with a committed team that is widely perceived by stakeholders as delivering effectively on the ground…Tenants trust and value the services provided and CBH benchmarks highly against its peers.”
The report also recommended a series of opportunities to strengthen the long-standing partnership between the council and CBH to deliver key priorities in the coming years found within the council’s Place Vision, Corporate Plan and Covid-19 Recovery Strategy.
Subject to agreement by cabinet on the 26 January 2021, CBC and CBH will work together to implement the recommendations in the report, and realise identified efficiencies that can be reinvested in services and Cheltenham’s communities, building on their record of success.
Cllr Peter Jeffries, cabinet member for housing at CBC, said: “Cheltenham has huge ambitions to solidify our town’s position as the Cyber Capital of the UK and deliver new businesses and jobs. This will be combined with an investment of £180m in new and affordable homes in our borough. We have strengthened our commitment to becoming net carbon zero by 2030 and we want to support and harness the opportunities across the council, our partners and the community to ensure that we deliver inclusive growth, provide opportunities to all and ensure no child is left behind.
“I am delighted to bring this independent report to cabinet. I agree that strengthening the partnership between CBC and CBH is the best way to achieve our goals and continue to deliver for Cheltenham’s communities.”
Steve Slater, interim chief executive for CBH, said: “It is fantastic news that an independent review has recognised the quality of service we offer to our customers. Every CBH colleague is passionate about finding ways to improve our services and help those who need it most, and this is reflected in the high performance and satisfaction we receive from our customers. The council has a great vision for Cheltenham and we look forward to working with them in a renewed and strengthened partnership and to playing our part in helping them to achieve their priorities.”
Gareth Edmundson, chief executive at CBC, continued: “The council has a strong track record in creating successful and lasting partnerships and this review only underlines this fact. The existing strength of the partnership between us and CBH has been demonstrated in the response to Covid-19 to support our communities. It has highlighted the importance of having trusted and resilient relationships with our partner organisations. I look forward to working with CBH on the next exciting phase of this successful partnership.”
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Cheltenham Borough Homes (CBH) has operated as a successful Arm’s Length Management Organisation (ALMO) since 2003 and has owned its own homes as a registered provider since 2011.
The independent report completed by Campbell Tickell underlines overall that the partnership between CBC and CBH has proven to be a model that delivers for Cheltenham.
Carrying out this review process has allowed CBC and CBH to jointly embrace, explore and identify options to strengthen the relationship between the council and the ALMO.
The opportunity to update, refine and strengthen this partnership through continual evolution will have significant benefits. A transformation programme, underpinned by an updated management agreement and business plans will deliver change that will aim to have a lasting and positive impact on the outcomes for individuals, families and communities in our borough as part of a resilient, inclusive and sustained recovery from Covid-19.
As the programme develops, further reports plan will be presented to the council’s cabinet, where appropriate, for a decision to enable and expedite change and to report on progress on delivery.
For more information about Cheltenham Borough Homes, visit: www.cbh.org.