Value for Money Statement - Summary

What Value For Money Means To City West

City West strongly believes that to deliver our Corporate Priorities we must maximize social value and financial capacity. That’s why VfM is so important as it underpins everything we do. We appreciate that to truly deliver VfM our approach needs to be fully integrated in both the delivery of our activities and the mind-set of our customers and staff. It’s this organic motivation that in turn directly contributes to the delivery of our corporate priorities.

Our VfM aims for 2015/16

    • Control costs as we grow and develop the ForViva group
    • Ensure all services meet the needs of local people and are:
      • High quality at the best possible price
      • Being provided to the level, quality and cost desired by the company
      • Competitive with other potential suppliers
      • Capable of securing continuous improvement over time
    • Maximize our social value and financial capacity
    • Develop our VfM culture throughout the organisation that creates an environment of continuous improvement and ownership at all levels of the organisation
    • Maximise our return on assets
    • Deliver efficiencies which can be reinvested into the organisation
    • Respond to HCA regulation around VfM

  • How every £1 is spent?

    £ CASH IN £121.4m:

    Opening Cash Balance
    Grant Rec'd (Dev/other)
    VAT Shelter
    Service Charge Income
    RTB Sales
    Other Income (Rechg/court cost/vat Warden Income/Energy Income/Self Payer
    Investment in CWW
    Commercial & L/H Rent
  • How every £1 is spent?

    £ CASH OUT £102.6m:

    Investment - Hsg stock
    Development of new props & Investment on Commercial unit & other cap spend
    Maintenance cost
    Employee Cost
    Service Charge Income
    Management Cost
    Interest & other Finance cost
    Sevice Charge cost
    Bad Debt
  • How have we delivered VfM in the last year?

    Investment Programme

    City West has invested over £260m in our housing stock since transfer. During 2013/14 the target of achieving 100% Decent Homes was met with planned investment continuing in maintaining decency going forwards.

    Anticipated expenditure for the next five years based on current stock data is £56m

    City West will strive to achieve 2% annual year on year savings against the above expenditure through process engineering. This will be reinvested into the stock assets.

  • How have we delivered VfM in the last year?

    Investment Programme

    Type of expenditure 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
    Captial Spend £36.84m £47.53m £48.06m 42.72m £42.99m £36.77m
    Cyclical £4.49m £6.06m £5.15m £4.51m £4.72m £4.77m
    Responsive £5.71m £6.05m £6m £6.64m £5.13m £5.47m
    Voids £4.78m £3.63m £2.85m £3.15m £4.35m £2.94m
  • How have we delivered VfM in the last year?

    Investment Programme

    Anticipated expenditure for the next five years based on current stock data held on Promaster and associated outputs is as follows:

    Type of expenditure 2015/16 2016/17 2017/18 2018/19 2019/20
    Captial Spend £26.50m £12.52m £7.90m £7.96m £12.01m
    Cyclical £4.43m £4.82m £5.20m £5.56m £5.83m
    Responsive £5.30m £5.30m £5.30m £5.29m £4.76m
    Voids £3.44m £2.80m £2.82m £2.83m £2.81m
  • How have we delivered VfM in the last year?

    New Build Developments

    We spent £16m in 2013/14 developing and letting new homes. 42 units were completed in the year and made available for letting. The table below identifies our future plans for development:

    94 units

    2011/15 Affordable Homes Programme

    66 units

    2013/18 Care & Supported Specialised Housing Fund

    164 units

    2013/17 Affordable Homes Guarantee Programme

  • How have we delivered VfM in the last year?

    New Build Developments

    City West’s current Development Programme, approved in 2014/15, comprises of £61.47m development finance, £16.82m HCA funding and £600k OPS which equates to £78.89m to deliver 776 units.

    City West’s growth ambitions expect to see a 2015/16 Approved Business Plan of £136m spend to deliver 1,514 units.

    City West’s 2014/15 achievements include: 147 starts and 202 new affordable home completions (197 new build properties and 5 empty home Purchase & Repair units). Spend of £17.2m in 2014/15 included HCA grant funding of £4.46m

  • How have we delivered VfM in the last year?

    New Build Developments

    • City West achieved HCA Lead Partner status back in 2012, enabling us to bid for grant funding to deliver affordable housing developments
    • City West obtained Local Authority support to develop Affordable Rent, including 18 Affordable Home Ownership units.
    • In order to deliver sustainable housing developments City West create housing types which reflect current housing demand


  • In 2014/15 we achieved £530k of efficiencies.

    Achieved through reducing management costs, process engineering, and more efficient delivery or operational activity...

  • Achievement and Reinvestment of Efficiencies

    12/13 £2.37m
    13/14 £741k
    14/15 £530k

    Future efficiencies
    (next 3-5 years)

    1.5% built into budgets

    + 3.5% efficiencies from operational costs

    Reinvestment of efficiencies

    City West directly reinvests efficiencies into property development and investment to ensure we continue to deliver business effectiveness.

  • Examples of efficiencies achieved include:

    • £130k through process engineering in various service areas (Void clear out costs - £42,240 saving, Electrical testing, £44,725 saving and Clients Agent function - £46,000 saving
    • Savings of £13,000 through partnership working in delivery of Neighbourhood Promises (2014/15)

    Retaining 5% admin fee retained for furnished tenancies service delivered a saving of £100k (2013/14)

  • Examples of efficiencies achieved include:

    • Appointment of new Neighbourhood Advisor post in ASB Team to support ASB Officers in preparing cases for court. This has enabled the ASB Officers to spend more time preparing legal documents which would ordinarily be carried out by our Legal provider. Saving of £9,000 (2014/15)

    Commercial income generation of our handyvan service totalled £14k

  • “At City West, we firmly believe a £30 saving is as important as a £30,000 saving and all staff share this mindset”
    VfM Champions

    In 2014/15 additional efficiencies and cash savings were achieved as a result of staff suggestions for new processes or reviewing how services are delivered.

    Click More for some examples...

    • Savings on room hire costs by using the same venue for Youth Empowerment Panel meetings. 10 x hours @ £30 per hour = £300
    • After a Vaillant boiler broke down five years after installation and the warranty had run out we contacted Vaillant who have replaced the boiler free of charge
    • We have provided skips to improve garden conditions on 17 properties’ opposed to taking these cases to court which would result in much higher costs. On average a court case for garden condition would cost £1,500. Using skips has saved City West £9,000

Return on assets

  • City West has worked hard to ensure we get the best possible return on the investment we make in the properties we own and manage as well as services we deliver.

    Our approach involves:

    • Detailed asset management strategy that involves maximising value and ensuring asset remain sustainable
    • Using a “Net Present Value” and appraising our stock to ensure this remains sustainable and inform decisions relating to investment, remodeling and redevelopment
    • Examples of rationalizing our stock include sheltered schemes, reducing planned investment and consciously ‘sweating our assets’
    • Annual independent valuation of our stock
  • New Build Developments

    • For any new development, an appraisal must show it is financially viable, meet all current Business Plan assumptions, as well as strategic housing needs and be deliverable
    • We model various scenarios of development alongside existing commitments in our 30 year business plan. The results help inform the funding we require and growth opportunities we may want to consider
  • Reinvestment of efficiencies

    • We directly reinvest efficiencies into areas identified as a priority by our customers, for example, this year we reinvested into the acceleration of the Investment Programme and restructuring of teams following delivery of the Investment programme
  • Quantified our impact

    • We quantify the social, economic and environmental impact of numerous core and non-core activities and use this to direct future activity
    • We provide a sound evidence base that we are investing in the right things and also identify areas and activities that are not effective and should be changed or removed

  • Our VfM Structure

    The diagram below summarises how these VfM structures work and confirms City West has appropriate and effective governance structures to provide effective scrutiny and oversight of VfM throughout the whole organisation:

  • Customer Involvement

    Customers play a central role in our organisation and have the ability to be involved and influence in a variety of ways – driving our approach to VfM. To ensure this happens we developed acorn

How have we delivered VfM in the last year?

  • Our People

    At City West we appreciate the importance and value of our staff and their role in delivering VfM. We have delivered a number of programmes in 2013/14 and 2014/15 with more planned in 2015/16:

    Investor in People:

    Retained GOLD accreditation for the Housing Trust and first time GOLD accreditation for City West Works. This demonstrates a commitment to staff training, wellbeing and continuous improvement.

    Learning events:

    In 2014/15, 332 learning events were delivered including internal and external delivery training, workshops, ‘lunch and learns’ as well as staff briefings. An additional 43 conferences were attended. 62% of staff are also trained in Dementia awareness.

    In 2014/15, 332 learning events were delivered including internal and external delivery training, workshops

  • Our People

    CAMPUS is a development and training programme for all staff. This includes a suite of leadership training tailored to all staff, heads of service and senior managers. The programme included sessions on change, communication, dealing with conflict, self-discovery, and emotional intelligence.

    Leadership Academy Programmes: This year we ran a successful Excellence Academy aimed at turning officers into managers along with our Leadership Academy aimed at turning managers into future leaders.

    Volunteering plan: We now have a 12 month plan publicising volunteering opportunities internally and externally as well as an annual wellbeing plan and activities to support it.

    We now have a 12 month plan publicising volunteering opportunities internally and externally

  • Our People

    Living Wage Employer: As an accredited Living Wage Employer, the Trust demonstrates its commitment to providing a fair wage and being an ethical employer.

    Time to Change: We instigated a free 10 day assessment from MIND on how we deal with mental health at City West. This resulted in an action plan for improvements to be developed.

    Feedback from staff: Feedback captured from training evaluations informs the future composition of training and wellbeing interventions to ensure we maintain a culture of continuous improvement. Feedback from our staff survey also informs Leadership and Management training (CAMPUS) to ensure the content reflects the needs of the business and addresses management development.

    City West demonstrates its commitment to being an ethical employer

  • Our People

    Wellbeing Champions cascade training and wellbeing information within their relevant teams to encourage benefits and attendance at wellbeing events across the organisation.

    Wellbeing initiatives: These include health checks, free fruit, and meditation with Yoga and Pilates principles. We have also worked in partnership with ‘Time to Change’ focusing on mental health awareness and wellbeing management of our staff.

    Focusing on mental health awareness and wellbeing management of our staff.

How have we delivered VfM in the last year?

  • Procurement

    Our approach has delivered significant savings of £267k in 2014/15. We have completed a number of tenders with some significant savings achieved in the following areas:

    • Saved £100,000 on FM Service (warden calls, door alarms, fire testing) through changing to a new supplier
    • Saved £16,000 on Legionella through changing to a new supplier
  • Procurement

    Our activity for 2015/16 will see us complete further tenders aimed at achieving additional savings and added value form our contractors. Tenders include Communal Heating, Lone Working Devices, Grounds Maintenance/Street Clean Framework and Low Rise Cleaning Framework. We are also reviewing our Procurement Strategy.

    More long term aims include achieving savings through delivering a number of services in house by the end of 2016/17. This will be achieved by reducing the use of employer’s agents’ functions including procurement, project management and cost consultancy.

How have we delivered VfM in the last year?

External Challenge

City West has been awarded numerous accreditations which are a further reflection of our commitment to customer service and excellence. Some key examples are detailed below:

Customer Service Excellence (CSE):

We have retained this accreditation year on year since March 2011. In April 2015 we gained full reaccreditation in which we achieved 4 Compliance Plus ratings for going over and above the standard. This follows on from achieving 10 Compliance Plus ratings on our last accreditation in March 2014.

Diversity in Business Accreditation (DiBA):

We have retained our ‘exemplar’ level of compliance. Our strong approach to Equality and Diversity goes hand in hand with our strong approach to VfM.

  • How did we perform and how do we compare?

    City West regularly reviews and challenges VfM in terms of cost, performance and satisfaction.

    • Cost
    • Performance
    • Satisfaction
  • Repairs - How did we perform and how do we compare?

    Throughout our repairs service we have seen large improvements in cost, satisfaction and maintained a high level of performance:

    Cost of Service - Trend up

    Repairs Satisfaction - Trend up

    % of emergency jobs completed on time - Trend up

    % of repairs appointments made and kept - Trend up

    Green arrow up - positive trend* *Based on trend from 2012/13 to 2014/15

    Red arrow down - negative trend

    Quartile position key*:

    • Top
    • Upper Middle
    • Lower Middle
    • Bottom

    * Based on 2013/14 HouseMark data (Latest available)

  • Income Management - How did we perform and how do we compare?

    Our proactive approach and service redesign has brought improved services to our customers and secured income despite external factors such as Welfare Reform and Universal Credit. The outcomes have been demonstrated in preventing significant increases in rent debt which is a real success.

    Cost of Service - Trend down

    Satisfaction with income management services - Trend up

    Current tenant arrears as a percentage of rent debit - Trend down

    Green arrow up - positive trend* *Based on trend from 2012/13 to 2014/15

    Red arrow down - negative trend

    • Top
    • Upper Middle
    • Lower Middle
    • Bottom

    * Based on 2013/14 HouseMark data (Latest available)

  • ASB - How did we perform and how do we compare?

    Changes in our ASB service to deliver a wider service provision have subsequently resulted in costs increasing.

    Cost of Service - Trend down

    Satisfaction with the way their ASB complaint was dealt with - Trend up

    Number of new ASB cases opened

    % of ASB cases where complainant was interviewed within target - Trend up

    Green arrow up - positive trend* *Based on trend from 2012/13 to 2014/15

    Red arrow down - negative trend

    • Top
    • Upper Middle
    • Lower Middle
    • Bottom

    * Based on 2013/14 HouseMark data (Latest available)

  • How have we delivered VfM in the last year?

    Internal Challenge


    We completed a review of our Mediation Service a year after bringing this in house. The review showed this was a positive step in terms of VfM due to:

    • High levels of satisfaction reported by customers involved
    • Cost per case has reduced from £550 to £431.75, totalling £1,892 across all 16 cases delivered to date.
  • How have we delivered VfM in the last year?


    Average void costs have reduced £1,588,569 from the previous year

    Average number of days to relet a property reduced from 23.9 days to 21.3 days

Corporate Social Responsibility

  • At City West we are big on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and use our ‘Big Pledge’ to show our commitment to making a difference to our customers, the environment and the local economy.

    We evidence this through our 2013/14 Social Accounts.

  • Activities included in the accounts were:

    Our Change Your Choices programme which works with 10 to 16 year olds in danger of becoming involved in criminal and nuisance behaviour.

    Eat the School which aims to combat child obesity and improve educational attainment through healthy eating.

    Our Food Bank provided food and other essentials to vulnerable households in Little Hulton and Walkden

    Our Cover Up campaign provided winter coats for households, primarily with children, who could not afford to buy coats.

    Our Skills programme provides a wide range of employment opportunities to local people from Salford.

    Our Don’t Keep It Under Your Hat business start-up service helps customers work for themselves by developing their business idea to potentially generate an additional income.

    Our Litter Legacy day brought staff, customers, schools and other partners together to improve the appearance of neighbourhoods by litter picking, removing fly tipping and planting hanging baskets.

    We invest in renewable energies to reduce our impact on the environment and help tackle fuel poverty.

    Click Here To find out more about the above activities you can view the social accounts in full

  • Future Plans

    The organisation’s plans for 2015/16 and beyond

    City West’s strategic approach to VfM will continue to be one of maximising value, delivering business effectiveness and VfM gains – investing in homes, communities and customers to improve their wellbeing. Crucially, as we move to a new Group structure our focus is ensuring our partners develop a similarly strong and effective approach to VfM and our registered providers with the new ForViva Group structure meet regulatory requirements.

    We are a ForViva group member

  • Future Plans

    The organisation’s plans for 2015/16 and beyond

    We are developing our group Community Impact Strategy which will summarise the strategic and operational delivery of our commitments to our communities underpinned by a Group vision of “improved lives”.

    Our strategic activity is focused on successful implementation of new Group Structure, including vision, values and corporate priorities, whereas at an operational level we will both build on existing achievements as well as respond to challenges of both the group structure and the 1% rent reduction.

    To manage the impact of the 1% rent reduction we will actively try to reduce our costs which in turn will require us to deliver better VfM. We want to use our resources as eff ectively as possible and ensure while reducing costs we maintain current levels of satisfaction and performance.

  • Priority 1: Community Impact

    Our action plan has been organised by our new group corporate priorities. These will be used in future statements and they replace the six corporate priorities used in the statement earlier to showcase our achievements.

    Action Completed by
    Monitoring effectiveness of key business decisions (such as agile working, neighbourhood strategy and our neighbourhood promises). March 2016
    Production of Group Social Accounts July 2016
    Expand how we evaluate the return on investment using impact accounting and three types of impact accounts:
    • Social Accounts
    • Service Accounts
    • Involvement Accounts
    July 2016
  • Priority 2: Viability

    Action Completed by
    Implement our improved VfM framework that will lead to greater delivery of VfM. March 2016
    Ensuring our registered providers within the new ForViva group structure meet regulatory requirements and develop a similarly strong and effective approach to VfM:
    • Development and subsequent delivery of a Group VfM Strategy and Action Plan
    • Continual development of the VfM Service Excellence Group (SEG)
    • Production of a Group VfM Statement
    • Effective Risk Management and Internal Controls
    • Undertaking of a self-assessment against the HCA Governance and Viability Standard
    March 2016
    Continue to utilise Board VfM Champion to ensure Board delivers on its responsibilities in relation to VfM. March 2016
    Reduce operating costs and deliver greater efficiency in service provision. March 2016
  • Priority 3: Homes

    Action Completed by
    Create an output model and matrix that includes non-asset indicators to further improve NPV assessments March 2016
    Completion of new build accommodation and growth of our business March 2016
  • Priority 4: Growth with Purpose

    Action Completed by
    Deliver on City West’s 2015-18 approved development programme aims to deliver 1,500 new homes March 2018
  • Priority 5: Service Excellence

    Action Completed by
    Revision of our performance management framework. April 2016
    Develop more stringent and effective measures covering efficiency effectiveness and economy to support our strategic outcomes. These will link into our existing reporting framework that sees VfM challenged at all levels of the Group. November 2015
    Deliver Procurement Strategy action plan March 2016
    Better utilisation of intelligence to drive business decisions and tailor services to our customers leading to VfM outcomes. March 2016
    Challenge the cost base and better monitor the relationship of costs incurred to outcomes achieved March 2016
    Produce a cost/benefit analysis of acorn now it has been in place for several months and make changes to approach if required. December 2015