KatieTaylorNETRALTphotoCatherine Coutts NETRALT Resized

At its recent Annual General Meeting, NETRALT (North East Tenants, Residents and Landlords Together) appointed Katie Taylor, Participation Lead at Grampian Housing Association (left) and Catherine Coutts, Tenant Participation Officer at Castlehill Housing Association (right) as new co-chairs.

Celebrating its milestone 10th anniversary this year, NETRALT is a nationally known award winning group of tenants, residents and landlords at the forefront of best practice in tenant participation in Scotland.  NETRALT is a community for sharing experiences and resources to enhance participation and engagement for its members as well as the wider community.

Catherine said:- “NETRALT’s tenant and resident members are its biggest asset.  Working with them is a privilege and leads to creative and meaningful engagement in housing across the North East.”

Katie paid tribute to outgoing chair Carol Hannaford, who was at NETRALT’s helm since its inception in 2011:- “Carol is a tenant participation pioneer whose reputation precedes her. I am thrilled that she endorsed us to follow in her footsteps.”

Highlights of NETRALT’s success over the last 10 years include scooping a TPAS Good Practice Award in the “Involving All – Youth Involvement” category for a collaborative radio show with young teenagers, the TIS “Most Inspiring Scrutiny Group” award for its innovative cross-landlord mystery shopping project and the TPAS “Tenant Participation Champion of the Year (Group)” award. 

NETRALT’s popular housing cafes providing information and advice on social housing and community issues have been replicated by many other organisations.  They are an opportunity for tenants and landlords alike to engage with each other and ultimately influence decisions relating to their homes and communities.

NETRALT’s members include Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, Blackwood, Castlehill Housing Association, Hillcrest Homes, Grampian Housing Association, Langstane Housing Association and Moray Council.

Over recent months, the Board and Executive of Grampian Housing Association have been considering the Association's governance structures as it begins to emerge from what has been a very challenging period of time for the Association and the housing sector at large.

As part of that exercise, the Board and the Association's Chief Executive, Neil Clapperton, have been discussing Neil's future aspirations and his wish to move to a new challenge for the remainder of his working life. It has now been agreed that this juncture in the Association's development is the right time for Neil to move on to that new challenge.

Neil has been with the Association for over 15 years and during this time contributed to the success and achievement of the Association and wider Group. The Board wishes Neil every best wish for the future and thanks him for his commitment to Grampian Housing Association during his time as Chief Executive.

Preparation of our annual procurement report highlights that over 85% of the Association's annual procurement spend during 2020/21 went to local suppliers and contractors in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. 

This is a positive outcome for businesses in the area and a boost for the economy in the North East.  Of the remaining spend the most significant amounts were for national companies/consultants/software providers where local options are more limited.

The Association encourages potential suppliers and contractors to register with Public Contracts Scotland (PCS) and to take part in the Supplier Development Programme to ensure they are fully aware of contract requirements and they are supported to submit the best possible tender.  

Demonstrating our commitment to ensuring that procurement is transparent, the objective is to use PCS for all regulated and non-regulated contracts each financial year.

Last year the Association’s procurement was the subject of an internal audit exercise.  Among the recommendations implemented were the inclusion of a Modern Slavery Statement in our Procurement Strategy and Policy and work with existing and prospective suppliers and contractors with a view to ensuring that the real living wage is paid to all their employees.  Training was also provided to the Leadership Team to ensure a consistent approach for procurement is embedded throughout the organisation. 

Since March 2015, the SFHA has worked in collaboration with the Scottish Procurement Alliance to deliver a procurement advisory service for RSLs across Scotland. This followed the introduction of the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 which resulted in major changes in public procurement. This has had a significant impact on how housing associations conduct their procurement activity.  The Association is also open to exchanging good practice with local authorities and local housing associations.

We advertise all tender opportunities on Public Contracts Scotland (PCS).  PCS is the national advertising portal for the Scottish public sector to advertise contract opportunities and public contract awards.  We encourage all prospective suppliers and contractors to register with PCS to receive notifications of relevant tendering opportunities.

In line with the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Act 2014 we publish details of all regulated procurement contracts. Information on our notices and contract awards can be found at:

Buyer View - Public Contracts Scotland

Judi McLeod, Customer Service Officer shares her fundraising story:-

"After a year when vital cancer trials have been delayed, the Cancer Research UK annual Race for Life was more important than ever but by the time I saw the advert for this year’s 5km "Race for Life at Home" I thought I’d left it too late.  However, the fact that it was due to be run two weekends later gave me the incentive I needed as that would be a year exactly since I lost someone very dear to me to cancer.  I ran 5k along part of the Deeside Railway Line.

"I ran the race for two people in particular: Trish Kemsley and Alan McLeod, but there are many others I know, or have known, who have been blighted by cancer. Some are still with us but others have lost their brave fight.

"Trish was a Grampian Housing Association work colleague that I'd only known for the short time but who very quickly made a huge impact. Trish was one of those unique people who had a true gift of making you feel special, but she was the special one. As Covid took hold of the world, cancer took hold of Trish. She was one of the most positive, funniest, determined, inspirational people I have known. The updates and messages Trish sent while she was ill left me laughing out loud one minute and bawling my eyes out the next. Sadly our much loved colleague and friend to many recently lost her courageous fight. She will be missed.

"Alan was my ex-husband but we remained very close friends. He was the absolute best step dad to my two children and even after we separated I knew we could turn to him if I needed anything or just for a blether and catch up. Alan died from lung cancer exactly a year to the day I ran the race. I was fortunate to be with him at the end and will be eternally grateful to my step-family for allowing me that privilege.

"Alan had already gone and at the time of the race Trish was still fighting but struggling against the unforgiving disease. The least I could do was run a few kilometres to raise money for cancer research and hope that one day there will be a cure for this indiscriminate horrendous disease.

"In the two weeks in between setting up my Just Giving page and running the race the donations flooded in from friends, family and GHA colleagues. The response was overwhelming and humbling, particularly in relation to people who had their own cancer related stories.

"The final total raised for Cancer Research UK was a staggering £940 (my target was a tentative £200)!  Gobsmacked is an apt a word to describe my feelings towards the incredible generosity of all those who made a donation. Thank you."

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To report an EMERGENCY REPAIR (e.g. significant leak or total loss of power) please call 0300 123 9279.  Gas heating repairs should be reported direct to Heatcare Oil & Gas (T: 01343 842042).  All non-emergency repairs should be reported when the office re-opens at 9am on Monday 5 April 2021.  Happy Easter!

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