Decision Making And Governance
We work to respond to local needs. Our board, executive team and staff are open about how we make decisions and how we oversee the process.
Our Chief Executive, David Montague, and the executive directors who work with him, manage the day-to-day operation of L&Q. The executive team reports to our group board, who ensure that the organisation is working correctly.
We are regulated by the Homes and Communities Agency. The regulator expects us to meet certain standards, including on governance, and it publishes its assessment of how well we comply. It has said we are properly governed, and you can find out more about its assessment on its website.
Our code of conduct represents a summary of the principles and standards of conduct we expect of all our staff, board and residents on various boards and panels. It ensures that we work to the very highest standards.
We put residents at the heart of our decision making. We reserve one place on our Group Board for a resident. We also have a Resident Board and seven Neighbourhood Committees for residents who would like to take on greater responsibility in shaping and improving our services.
Our Neighbourhood Committees are made up of residents from across London and the South East. Each year, they approve funding of over £300,000 from the L&Q Foundation to support local community projects.
Together, the Chairs of our seven Neighbourhood Committees make up our Resident Board. The Resident Board works with our Group Board to hold the organisation to account on service quality and performance and to improve the services we provide to residents.
In addition, our annual residents' conference, last held in March 2015, was attended by more than 90 residents. The day was designed in part by residents themselves and involved various workshops on issues such as service charges and direct maintenance.
Around 400 residents also volunteer as 'neighbourhood champions', which involves them working closely with our local staff to improve the areas they live in.
We use regular resident surveys to gain further feedback on the quality of our services and to highlight where we can improve services.
Over recent years, we have worked with residents to develop a new resident involvement strategy. We have also continued to carry out customer satisfaction surveys and service reviews and to use feedback from residents to tailor our services.
Other ways to get involved with L&Q include taking part in our Housing Management Group or a forum, such as our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender forum or our leaseholder or communications forums. Neighbourhood Champions and Resident Inspectors also help us to improve our services.
Our corporate governance
The term 'corporate governance' generally refers to the supervision of how an organisation is run and how the risks to its business are managed. It covers regulation, corporate structure and the function of the board.
We have various committees that support the Group Board and our governance arrangements:
- Audit and risk committee - oversees internal audit, external audit, the effectiveness of internal controls and the risk management framework and reviews the financial statements and financial performance
- Development committee - reviews major development and investment schemes
- Resident board - oversees the provision of housing management services and the work of a number of local neighbourhood committees
- Governance and remuneration committee - advises the board on governance, remuneration and board or committee appointments
We follow industry best practice on corporate governance and do our best to comply with the National Housing Federation's code of governance from 2010. However, the one exception to this is that we have maintained our flexibility to keep our board members for longer than nine years if this is in the best interests of L&Q and our residents.
L&Q is an apolitical organisation and we are committed to engaging with stakeholders openly and transparently.
We work closely with stakeholders from all political parties at all levels of government, with private and voluntary partners and with our residents to improve the quality of life for Londoners.
We do not make any party political donations or inducements, and we have a probity policy which strictly regulates the giving and receiving of gifts/hospitality by any member of staff or our representatives.
In accordance with the National Housing Federation's "Excellence in Standards of Conduct Code for members", which has been adopted by L&Q, all Group Board members, Executive Group Directors and Senior Staff are required to complete an annual declaration of interest disclosure form.
Human rights policy
In developing new policies and procedures, L&Q will ensure that in no way do these restrict, limit or interfere with any rights or freedoms granted by the European Convention on Human Rights and are fully compatible with UK law, including the Human Rights Act 1998 and Equality Act 2010.
L&Q ensures that any action taken for breaches by residents is proportionate to the breach and is a legitimate and justifiable action, especially when performing a public function.