Grwp Gwalia provided mainly 'good' services to tenants
But concerns over maintenance service raised in Auditor General report
An inspection carried out in 2006 found that Grwp Gwalia Cyf was providing 'good' services in five out of eight areas assessed, 'satisfactory' services in two further areas and showed 'scope for considerable improvement' in its maintenance arrangements, according to a report released today by the Auditor General for Wales.
The report rated the Group, which includes Tai Cymodogaeth Cyf and Tai Trothwy Cyf, as providing 'good' services in its approach to equal opportunities, providing housing, rents, managing housing and housing for people with support needs. Two further areas, the lettings service and relationship to residents, were judged 'satisfactory'. But, the report includes a number of recommendations to improve the Group's maintenance service which demonstrated 'scope for considerable improvement'.
The report also says that the Group was 'raising standards in service delivery' and had a clear strategic direction. The Group, which manages properties in south and mid Wales, showed evidence that performance had improved, in particular in the Cymdogaeth lettings and rents services. The report highlights inconsistency in the arrangements for improving performance, meaning that some services were slow in addressing performance issues. At the time of inspection the Group was developing a more consistent approach to planning improvement.
The report included a number of recommendations to promote improvement, including:
- Cymdogaeth should ensure its Resident Participation Strategy explains the range of resident involvement options available to residents;
- Trothwy should review rents service performance on an overall basis to identify opportunities for sharing positive practice;
- The Group should involve service users in developing a comprehensive range of service standards; and
- The Group should improve maintenance service user focus by developing clear service standards with residents for responsive repairs.
Jeremy Colman, Auditor General for Wales, said today:
"This report shows that the Grwp Gwalia Cyf was providing a good service for its tenants, and there was evidence in the Association's strategies to suggest it had the capability to improve services significantly. The recommendations in this report set out what the Association needs to do to improve its performance."
Notes to Editors:
- The inspection of Grwp Gwalia Cyf including Tai Cymdogaeth Cyf and Tai Trowthy Cyf was undertaken in August 2006. At the time of inspection the Group managed over 5,000 properties in south and mid Wales.
- Judgements in Wales Audit Office inspection reports are those of the Wales Audit Office alone. Nevertheless, in accordance with our usual practice, we went to considerable efforts to agree the contents of the report with Group Gwalia. Although the Group has not fully accepted this report, the Wales Audit Office remains satisfied that the judgements presented in the report are fair and reasonable. However, the time taken in trying to agree the report led to the considerable delay before publication.
- At the time of inspection Cymdogaeth managed 4,708 homes, its main areas of operation were Carmarthenshire, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea and it had a limited number of properties in Pembrokeshire, Powys, Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Vale of Glamorgan. Trowthy ran and provided landlord services to 191 properties in Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Ceredigion Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen.
- The Welsh Assembly Government has appointed the Wales Audit Office to carry out the inspection of housing associations in Wales. Inspection is carried out under the Local Government Act 1998, as amended by the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004
- The specific questions about each aspect the inspection covers are set out in the latest version of the Assembly Regulatory Code for Housing Associations in Wales. This can be found by clicking on the following link: http://new.wales.gov.uk/topics/housingandcommunity/housing/publications/
- The Wales Audit Office is independent of government and is responsible for the annual audit of some £19 billion of annual public expenditure.
- The Wales Audit Office was created in April 2005 through the Public Audit (Wales) Act, 2004, which expanded the functions of the Auditor General for Wales and enabled the transfer of staffs from the Audit Commission in Wales and National Audit Office in Wales to his employment.