Published: 7 April 2021
The pandemic has changed the way we engage with our residents across the council including for planned major works projects on housing estates. While our major works team cannot meet face to face to gather residents’ feedback, they continue to engage with residents through virtual information sessions, video call appointments and online collaboration.
Since March 2020, the team has held over 45 virtual information sessions for planned projects with tenants and leaseholders. This has opened up a new way for residents to get involved for the first time from overseas based leaseholders to parents juggling childcare at home.
One Residents’ Association that has embraced online engagement is at Vale Royal House in the West End. They have been using Microsoft Teams to exchange documents and provide feedback to our major works team for planned work that is due to start this spring.
Jorge Peña, Chair of the Vale Royal Residents’ Association said:
"Since the introduction of online engagement, we have experienced multiple benefits. We now have a direct communication channel with the Westminster major works team and the ability to access and share information with fellow residents in a timely manner via our Resident Association’s website and mailing list. Most importantly, it has given Vale Royal House residents the opportunity to be informed and make comments on all aspects of the major works project. We strongly recommend it to all Residents' Associations as this has been highly successful for us.”
Debbie Jackson, Executive Director of Growth, Planning and Housing at Westminster City Council said:
“Amid the significant challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented, one positive that has arisen is that we have reached many more residents across Westminster, especially those who we hadn’t previously interacted with, through the best use of technology. In Housing, we have moved many services online such as weekly surgeries, resident representative calls and meetings to discuss key topics such as major works. As lockdown restrictions ease, we will reintroduce face to face engagement as soon as it is safe to do so as we know that this is an important way to discuss issues that matter most to residents. Alongside this, we will continue with the success of our digital engagement to make sure residents are able to provide their views in a way that suits them best”.