Birmingham City Council online Log Book puts tenants in control of digital future

A “Digital Log Book” trial for Birmingham City Council housing tenants is gaining increasing attention among digital public service developers for impressive results in boosting digital inclusion, improving services and generating savings, all at the same time.

The council is the city’s biggest social landlord, managing 64,000 properties with a turnover of about 5,500 new tenants every year. Over the past 18 months, it has been one of 12 Department of Work and Pensions pilot areas for the nationwide roll-out of the unified social benefits system, Universal Credit. Read more at UKAuthority


Ogilvie Homes and Stoneybrae really coming on now

The Ogilvie Homes Stoneybrae development in Denny is really starting to come along now with a great mixture of homes ranging from 2 bed cottage flats, 2 & 3 bedroom terraced and semi-detached homes as well as 3 & 4 bedroom detached homes, all finished to the highest standard and offering impressively spacious interiors and stunning stone-finished exteriors that fit perfectly with the environment. The Home Log Books are being used to provide new owners with a digital record of their new homes.

The beautiful village of Stoneywood is situated next to the historic town of Denny, dating back to medieval times and ideally located for travelling. If you enjoy the countryside or off road cycling Carron Valley mountain bike trails are only 15 minutes away and the centre of Stirling is only about 20 minutes away if you prefer a bit of shopping and town centre night life.


Home Group’s energy efficient homes in East Balornock, Glasgow.

Home Group’s East Balornock development is getting closer to completion. This is a mixed development of over 120 new homes made up houses, flats, bungalows and cottage flats. This development has been built over 3 phases so far, the most recent by Cruden Building & Renewals and before that CCG. Home Scotland have been working with Glasgow City Council on this £50m regeneration of the East Balornock area, looking to create around 320 new homes overall. Home Scotland have been working closely with the community to help transform and improve the physical environment of East Balornock.


Birmingham City Council and Digital Log Book are MJ Awards Finalists

We are delighted to see that Birmingham City Council (BCC) are nominated for a MJ Award for Behaviour Change.  BCC has transformed the way that it delivers services to new housing tenants as part of its approach to get people ready for welfare reform and the digital-by-default agenda.  The aim of the work was to identify the levels of interventions required to help customers sustain and manage their finances and improve digital and financial capability. Using behavioural strategies BCC reviewed customer behaviours and changed business processes and reviewed the whole customer journey to help get people to transact on-line and provide customers with their own unique personalised Digital Log Book, which stays with them for ever.


Measuring water consumption of cattle with Scottish Water and SRUC

Just started working on a really exciting new project into the water consumption patterns of cattle – dairy and beef cattle and sheep. This is across 3 farms in Dumfries, the lowlands and the highlands. The project is quite complex, because, not only do we have to operate across a beautiful rural landscape, which causes its own challenges for capturing data using GPS and mobile signals, but also the huge variety of potentially influencing factors. I never realised just how complex farming has become and the amount of technology used in managing farms these days. Combined with this, one of the farms has lodges and wigwams for holiday rental, lovely spot, which adds to the complexity as we look to monitor and better understand Scotland’s water balance. I love my job.


21C Homes for Edinburgh City Council nearly complete

21C Homes for Edinburgh City Council, part of the Craigmillar regeneration area, also joins the water and energy efficiency project. This is a large development of 60 new homes of 1 bed flats to 3 bed houses where community co-operative arrangements are at the heart of the council’s 21st Century Homes house building programme, which delivers homes for sale and rent.  With the Energy Log Books in place this will help occupants better understand water and energy efficiency in their new homes. Hart Builders are the main contractor on this great looking development of flats and houses which have a great sense of space and outdoors in their design.  More info on Hart and on 21c Homes Edinburgh


Sanctuary’s Holmbank development becomes more water & energy efficient

Deighted to see Sanctuary’s Hombank development is coming along and has also implemented the water monitors as part of the water and energy efficiency project.  As the project grows in size with the wide diversity of property types, locations and tenures we expect to see some really intersting results to see what different types of support and interventions work to help people keep their water and energy bills and usage down.  Combined with this, as the project is largely made up of new build homes, it will be interesting to see what impacts the different standards of products and materials have on water and energy efficeincy in these new homes. CCG have been great with their help and assistance on the project.  More info on Sanctuary Scotland.


Etive opens a new office in Birmingham

We are delighted to have opened our new office in Birmingham this week. Greg Teare, Director, said that “this will help us in the delivery of our services to our customers in England enabling us to build a support and development function to better meet local needs“.  As part of our on-going expansion and commitment to our customers we felt that having a more local presence would also support our growth plans.   Birmingham is a vibrant city enabling us to reach our customers both in London and the south west more easily.  Next on our plans are to recruit 3 more new people this year helping us to build our development team.

Etive’s new offices are based in the Innovation Birmingham Campus in Faraday Street, 5 minutes from Birmingham City centre.  This is a great location for a technology company being in amongst the technology hub of Birmingham’s growing entrepreneurial environment.  For more info


Digital Leaders Scotland hold their first Scottish Salon

Digital Leaders Scotland held their first meeting/salon yesterday in Edinburgh.  This well attended event, from across the digital spectrum, was really good.  Under Chatham House rules it was great to hear everyone express their ideas, views and opinions on ‘No more BIT IT’, a mantra from the UK Government.  The view being that this will radically change the landscape on the delivery of Government IT services and procurement. Question was, could or should a similar approach be adopted in Scotland?

Opinions varied but I think we can agree that there will always be Big IT, as there has to be. A citizen of Cornwall, Birmingham and Aberdeen must quite rightly expect the same type and delivery of service from Government, no matter where they live.  There is space though for more localised delivery of services to meet the needs of people based on their location and who their local authority is, for example.  We have seen where centralised delivery of a service has failed in the past and will no doubt happen again and a great example is Obama’s healthcare plan. They launched the service/site and it crashed right away.  Why did it fail….arguable a contributing factor was they failed to take a customer centric approach, which most if not all Bit IT deliveries do.  Smaller deliveries in bite sized chunks is far better, reduces risk, reduces cost and cuts out the rather large and expensive bits in the middle.

Those who deliver Big IT, or procure Big IT, must also appreciate that with growing customer choice, experience and skills levels, it is very difficult to future proof anything. Everyone used be on Facebook but now younger people have stopped using it as it it seen as a social network for older people. You can make up your own mind which age group you fit into 🙂

More at


Duneland development goes live with new occupants

The Duneland development of 25 new homes has been welcoming its first new residents, a mixture of privately owned homes and social housing for rent.  Duneland is connected to the Findhorn Foundation Community.  The Findhorn community is an experiment in conscious living, a learning centre and an ecovillage so these new homes are of a very high environmental specification and the Home Log Books will be used to help the occupants better understand and manage their homes for the lifetime of the properties benefiting any subsequent occupant.

Duneland is a social enterprise supported by the shareholders’ resolution to limit their financial return by capping any available dividend to facilitate community benefit. In return the company offers shareholders a first right of refusal on any property released for sale. This ensures that future residents in any development can be actively involved in decision making early on. Each shareholder has equal voting power irrespective of the amount of their investment. Many shareholders have supported DL from the beginning in 1997 without any dividend to date. For more information go to

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