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Decision made on future of Beechdale customer surgeries

Regular customer surgery events on Beechdale have led to more issues being able to be dealt with immediately.

Longhurst Group put on the six-month pilot of customer surgeries to enable customers to raise issues directly with colleagues, who were able to begin dealing with them straight away.

Now that the pilot has come to an end, the Group is exploring ways to widen the scope of the surgeries and involve other partner agencies.

Suki Gill, Housing Team Leader, said: “The pilot scheme was successful in terms of customer engagement and reconnecting with the community post-Covid.

“We heard many common themes, mainly around repairs, but also to do with anti-social behaviour around Stephenson Square.

“We were able to escalate these issues immediately and also be more proactive on estate management issues such as fly-tipping.

“While those customers who did attend got a lot out of the surgeries, towards the end of the pilot, we saw the same faces and the surgeries weren’t being utilised as intended.

Group of people having a conversation

“On the back of our learning from the pilot scheme, we’re going to explore ways in which we can put on further surgeries but involve other partner agencies such as the council, police and health and wellbeing services.

“Some of the issues that were raised with us during the pilot were things we’re not able to deal with in isolation, so we believe this approach will be more beneficial to our customers on the estate.”

In areas where anti-social behaviour has been identified via the pilot, joint visits with other agencies such as the police have been carried out.

Suki added that customers can still report issues through the usual routes, including speaking to the housing team on the estate.

“I’d like to thank all the customers who got involved with the surgeries and encourage customers to keep talking to us, reporting issues and utilising our Housing Officers on the estate to highlight problems,” she said.

“Customers can engage with the Neighbourhood Impact Assistant and Housing Officers. We want to encourage that face-to-face interaction through the Housing Team on the estate, as well as utilising our other reporting routes including our main telephone number and our website contact forms.”

More information about future customer surgery events will be publicised in due course.

In the meantime, if you need to contact us to report an issue, please call 0300 123 1745 or use our online contact form.

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