Your merger questions answered
Why are you doing this, what are the benefits?
We can do more together than we can apart:
- More efficient: We can negotiate better contracts with suppliers and pool resources and expertise to drive greater value-for-money for customers.
- More options: Colleagues will 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 can 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. We will continue to be a major provider of residential care to older people
Has this taken place 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 merger enables 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.
Has Anchor taken over Hanover?
No, neither organisation “takes over” the other. Anchor and Hanover have joined 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 is the new organisation called?
The name of the organisation is Anchor Hanover Group, which you will often see shortened to Anchor Hanover. Because Anchor has a large and well respected care home business this part of the organisation will 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 is leading the new organisation?
The Chief Executive is Jane Ashcroft CBE, previously Chief Executive of Anchor.
The Chair is Dr Stuart Burgess CBE, previously chair of Hanover.
Is there a new logo and brand?
Yes, there is a new logo for the new organisation. This has been developed by our marketing and communications teams. Our new logo and branding will be introduced slowly to keep costs to a minimum.
Will any estate or scheme locations close or would any customers have to move as a result of the merger?
Will 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 merger. Any savings that we can achieve over time as a result of the merger would be reflected in reduced service charges wherever possible.
Will the merger affect customers’ care or support package?
Will any customer rights change?
No. Your rights as a tenant or leaseholder will not change. This includes your rights under your tenancy or lease and your statutory rights.
Will customers have to change who they currently pay their rent to?
There is 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.
Will the manager or service at estate or scheme locations change?
We are committed to ensuring our 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 a new organisation, we’re considering how we best integrate but it won’t impact on the quality of service customers receive.
Will we have different repairs and maintenance contractors?
In the short term, nothing is changing. However, we will 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.
Will customers need a new lease/tenancy agreement?
No, customers will keep their existing tenancy agreement. There may be some minor changes such as the registered office and we would write to customers to explain these changes.
Will the Anchor and Hanover websites change?
At some point we will have one combined website, but this will not happen straightaway. For now, now we have introduced a small website at www.anchorhanover.org.uk to provide further information about Anchor Hanover alongside the two existing websites at www.hanover.org.uk and www.anchor.org.uk where you can access all of our services as usual.
What will this mean for current customer involvement processes?
It's really important that customers inform the way we work and we're working with Anchor’s Customer Council and Hanover’s Communities Council to develop a new approach to customer engagement for Anchor Hanover Group.