Your questions answered
Why are you doing this, what are the benefits?
Creating one single organisation would enable us to do more than we can apart:
- More efficient: We could negotiate better contracts with suppliers and pool resources and expertise to drive greater value-for-money for customers.
- More options: Colleagues would have more career options and our customers would have a bigger range of housing and care options.
- More influence with government and a stronger voice for our customers
- More locations: As a single, bigger organisation, we could access more money to enable us to build more properties for older people. This could include social rented, shared ownership and outright sale new homes. The new organisation would continue to be a major provider of residential care to older people
Is this being proposed because either organisation is in financial (or any other) trouble?
No. Both organisations are long-established and successful. The housing regulator has reviewed both in the last two years and considers them to be at the highest level of financial viability and governance. The proposals are designed to enable us to build more together than we can apart and provide services more efficiently – so we have more money to reinvest back into the organisation.
Would Anchor take over Hanover?
No, neither organisation “takes over” the other. The proposal is that both organisations join together to create a new organisation and that gives us the opportunity to use the legacy and positive ways of doing things in each as a starting point to create together a new organisation for the future.
What would the new organisation be called?
The name of the organisation would be Anchor Hanover Group. Because Anchor has a large and well respected care home business this part of the organisation would continue to use the Anchor name for continuity purposes. We want to respect and build on the legacies of both organisations and feel the new name does that.
Who would lead the new organisation?
The Chief Executive designate is Jane Ashcroft CBE, currently Chief Executive of Anchor.
The Chair designate is Dr Stuart Burgess CBE, currently chair of Hanover. They would lead the new organisation if a merger were to go ahead.
Would there be a new logo and brand?
Yes, there would be a new logo for the new organisation. This would be developed by our marketing and communications teams and would be used only once the new organisation comes formally into existence. Both Boards want to ensure that this is a cost effective process and that a sensible approach is taken to re-branding over a period of time.
Would any estate or scheme locations close or would any customers have to move as a result of the merger?
Would rent levels/service charges stay the same?
Our social rents are regulated by the housing regulator and are not affected in any way by the proposed merger. Any savings that we can achieve over time as a result of the merger would be reflected in reduced service charges wherever possible.
Would the merger affect customers’ care or support package?
Would any customer rights change?
No. Your rights as a tenant or leaseholder would not change. This includes your rights under your tenancy or lease and your statutory rights.
Would customers have to change who they currently pay their rent to?
There would be no change in the short term to the way you pay your rent or who it is paid to. If there needs to be any changes in the future, we would write to you and would provide you with whatever support you need.
Would the manager or service at estate or scheme locations change?
Both organisations are committed to ensuring the quality of service isn’t adversely affected.
Services always evolve in line with the changing needs of the people we serve, funding for those services and developments in, for example, technology. As large, national organisations, we’re considering how we best integrate the two organisations but it wouldn’t impact on the quality of service customers receive.
Would we have different repairs and maintenance contractors?
In the short term, nothing is changing. However, we would look at whether we can drive better value for money in repairs and maintenance and a host of other areas if we were one, larger organisation. That may mean doing things differently but, at this stage, it’s too early to know how it might change. Our key focus is on getting great value for money and maintaining customer satisfaction.
Would customers need a new lease/tenancy agreement?
No, customers would keep their existing tenancy agreement. There may be some minor changes such as the registered office and we would write to them separately to explain these changes.
Would the Anchor and Hanover websites change?
At some point following completion of the proposed merger we would have a combined website, but this would not happen straightaway. For now, our website addresses will remain as www.hanover.org.uk and modaokon.xyz
What will this mean for current customer involvement processes?
We will be talking with Anchor’s Customer Council and Hanover’s Communities Council. We are keen to ensure their views inform our approach.
Who decides whether the proposed merger is going to happen?
It is the responsibility of both Boards to recommend to the shareholders of both Anchor and Hanover to agree to the legal changes that will make the merger happen.
What happens next?
Hanover and Anchor have shared values and are very similar organisations. We are committed to listening to the people we serve and have spent time understanding what customers/residents think, alongside the views of colleagues. The formal consultation process on the proposed merger has now ended and we are very grateful to all those who responded. Responses are being used to inform discussions about whether the proposed merger should go ahead.
We expect to make the final decision on whether the proposed merger will go ahead in the autumn.
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