Annual General Meeting 2021

2021 AGMMelville's 2021 Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held virtually on the evening of Wednesday 15 September.

On behalf of the Board, the Chair thanked staff for their hard work, and tenants for their patience, over the past year against a very challenging backdrop.

Board membership

One member of the Board stepped down (Glen Alexander) and was not seeking re-election, leaving the Board with 11 members.

Investment in our properties

The Chair reported that, due to the pandemic, Meville had been unable to spend the total investment set aside for property upgrades but despite this we still managed to achieve the following:

  • £3.2m spent repairing, adapting and improving properties
  • £2.4m invested developing new properties
  • 110 kitchens replaced (had planned 169)
  • 31 bathrooms replaced (had planned 182)
  • 62 heating systems replaced (had planned 94)
  • 32 roofs replaced and major repairs to a further 9
  • Continued positive feedback from tenants on our repairs and improvement programmes
  • £70,000 investment in medical adaptations supported by Government funding, completing 62 adaptations, helping people of all ages to continue to live independently and safely in their own homes

Performance

  • Emergency Repairs – made safe in an average of 1.6 hours - under the target of 2 hours and considerably better than the Scottish Average of 4.2 hours
  • Non-emergency repairs completed on average in 7 days - under the target of 13 days however, while on the surface this is worse than the Scottish average of 6.7 days, the majority of non-emergency repairs are now by appointment for the convenience of tenants
  • 16.8 days to re-let properties on average - outside target of 15 days but excellent considering the impact of COVID and much better than Scottish Average of 56.3 days, minimising rent loss and making sure families are housed quickly
  • Consistently high levels of satisfaction: 89.1% (Scottish average 89.0%)
  • Gross rent arrears of 2.59% compared to a Scottish average of 6.14%

Welfare Advice, Tenancy Support and Money Advice services

  • During the year, our welfare advice services helped tenants access £778,158 in unclaimed benefits. This will have long term benefits for the individuals and their families, helping them to sustain their homes
  • The aim of our support services is to help tenants become established in their new homes, reducing tenancy failures and helping build stable, sustainable communities. During the year we provided tenancy support and money advice services to 189 tenants
  • During the year, only 4 new tenancies failed to last 12 months, representing 5.5% of new tenancies. In 2008, the year before we began our support service, 25% of new tenancies failed within 12 months. These services make a real difference

Tackling Poverty

During the year we continued our work supporting local foodbanks, including making £500 festive donations to:

  • The Gorebridge Foodbank
  • The Dalkeith Storehouse Christmas appeal
  • The Newbattle Storehouse
  • The Penicuik Foodbank

Fundraising and community support

  • Staff raised over £900 for our staff charity, St Bradbury Day Centre in Newtongrange
  • Continuing to promote the work of local youth charity Y2K including making a £500 donation to help with day-to-day running costs and providing free admin support to help keep down costs
  • Contributing to the Mayfield & Easthouses Development Trust Christmas Lights appeal in December
  • Promoting the work of tenants, Board members, local charities and community groups through our social media channels and our Voice newsletter

Sustainable living

  • We are further developing our strategic approach to work in a more sustainable way and the Board are committed to achieving net zero status to contribute towards the national targets, and to provide better and sustainable services for our tenants
  • Working with contractors to provide no-cost flooring to a further 12 Melville households, preventing over 4,000 carpet tiles ending up in landfill with support from our main repairs contractor, Novus. With restrictions easing, we have started working through a waiting list to provide flooring to more of our tenants
  • Also working with Novus, we have been distributing excess paint to tenants free of charge
  • Working with Scottish Fire and Rescue to promote fire safety, with a particular emphasis on common stairs
  • Continuing to promote the 'Make a Stand' campaign to raise awareness of, and to take action to support victims of domestic abuse
  • Encouraging recycling through our Voice newsletter and to Melville staff
  • Continuing to run our annual garden competition as a way of recognising tenants who look after their gardens and keep local neighbourhoods looking attractive

Staffing

The Chair reported that three members of staff had retired at the end of 2020:

  • Receptionist Mabel Waterston, a familiar face at the front desk since joining the Association in 2007, retired at the end of November
  • Welfare Advisor Jacquie Mather who has worked for Melville since our formation in 1995, and has worked in housing for over 30 years. Over the years Jacquie has provided advice and support for hundreds of tenants.
  • Chief Executive Andrew Noble retired after working with Melville since its formation in 1995 and like Jacquie has worked in housing for over 30 years. He had been our Chief Executive for the past 16 years.

The Chair thanked them all for their many years of service to Melville and wished them all well in their retirement.

We also said goodbye during the year to our Chief Operating Officer Morag MacDonald and our Housing Manager Yvonne Longwill. This has given us the opportunity to review staffing requirements and reduce overall staff costs.

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