Member Spotlight: Driving resident and tenant participation in the North East of Scotland for over 17 years!

Our latest Members Spotlight is on Leonora Montgomery whose mission is ‘to make sure all residents and tenants have a voice’.


A joint winner of the Alan Ferguson Tenant Champion of the Year at the recent National Good Practice Awards 2022, Leonora’s success was down to her determination to make sure tenants and residents have ways and means to have their voices heard.


Leonora has been involved in tenant and resident participation for the last 17 years both locally and nationally. During this time, she has continued to embrace and evolve tenant and resident participation.  Aberdeen City has forty multi-storeys and Leonora was part of the membership who founded the Citywide Multi Storey Group in 2012. Leonora has been secretary of this group since the start and for the last 5 years has been the combined chair/secretary of this group. For the last two years the group has met on Teams with non-digital tenants and residents joining the meetings by phone (so no-one is excluded).


To encourage participation during the pandemic, Leonora was responsible for supporting the Facebook pages for all the mainstream multi-storeys in the city, as well as the setting up a citywide Facebook page. These pages are tenant and resident led and it was imperative that Aberdeen City Council were not involved.  There are now over 1300 members, and are used by the Council and key partners such as the Scottish Fire & Rescue, Police Scotland, and the NHS to get information direct from tenants and residents.


Resident-led Inspections stopped during lock down, but Leonora volunteered to do a video to get tenants and residents once again involved in resident-led inspections as soon as face to face contact resumed. She ensures the resident-led Inspections are focused on the tenant and resident, making sure all issues are listed and if they are not completed – why not?   Her drive and determination led to


  • Sharing emails from the Housing Officer on the notice board and Facebook page so that all tenants and residents know what is going on.
  • She participated in the review of Notice Boards ensuring there is a list of posters included on every notice board to bring consistency to all Multis. This is also shared on the Facebook pages.
  • She ensures the Multi Matters magazine is tenant and resident led – she complained to the Director of Customer Services when she felt the magazine had been “hi jacked” by the Council – there was a terrible front cover of dark looking Multis – looked more like a prison and the articles inside were boring and certainly not tenant and resident friendly – it was changed and the group saw they had the support to make a difference. This Magazine must be signed off by the Chair of the multi group and the Chief Officer.  Leonora ensures that there is a word from the Chair in every issue.
  • Since the tragedy of Grenfell, fire safety has been important – Leonora is a member of the National Fire Safety panel as well as Aberdeen City Council Fire Safety Group – she voices her opinion at both these groups, once again making the Chief Executive of ACC and the Director aware of what has not been done so there are no tick boxes.
  • She ensures that the voice of the tenant and resident is heard and is always willing to get new tenants and residents onboard.
  • During lockdown she was involved in all citywide groups participating in the virtual review of the Asset Management Service. She brings her knowledge and experience to all the groups. But she appreciates that group members were struggling – so she organised an afternoon tea delivery during lockdown, so everyone sat at their screens and on their phones drinking tea and cream scones – a perfect combination.


Not only has Leonora been involved with Aberdeen City Council, but she has also continued her 11-year commitment to the Regional Networks -North of Scotland Regional Network – Region 1.  She has been secretary for all that time combining this role with that of Treasurer for the last 6 years. Through this network she…


  • Is coordinator of the SHR Liaison.
  • Is on the HRA Regional Group.
  • Completes Consultation responses.
  • Attends Question and Answer sessions with the housing minister (now Cabinet Secretary)
  • Together with the current Chair is working on a new Communications Strategy for all Regions.
  • Attends local events to publicise the Network.


She has also been involved in NETRALT (North East Tenants Residents and Landlords Together) for 10 years participating in the famous housing cafes.


Leonora is amazing.  During the pandemic she was willing to evolve and engage with the Council embracing the new technology to ensure she continued communicating and ensuring tenants and residents had a voice. She encouraged more people to use the technology recognising that during lockdown people in Multis were very scared to leave their flats – get into lifts and use the communal areas. One tenant was not outside for 2 years so was absolutely thrilled when an afternoon tea was delivered.


She saw the benefit of engaging with multi storey tenants and residents about fire safety and was always willing to write an article for Multi Matters or use Facebook to post a message. She saw the benefit of supporting the tenants and residents to set up these pages. Leonora continued not only to complete an online review of asset management but attended meetings to scrutinise the performance figures and the HRA budget monthly.


Carol Hannaford, Tenant Community and Engagement Officer at Aberdeen City Council said, “Leonora is well respected by the Senior Management Team at Aberdeen City Council for all the work she has done over the years but especially during the pandemic where many tenants were isolated. She is respected for her drive and determination to improve Tenant and Resident Participation both nationally, in the North East of Scotland, as well as locally.


Leonora has made an outstanding contribution to tenant & resident participation over the years but during lockdown she has embraced new ways of engagement, has got more tenants and residents involved which has continued after covid and is truly a worthy winner of the Alan Ferguson Award.”


Leonora commented about her work over the years, “I have always been enthusiastic about tenants and residents having a voice about the services they receive and believe we should ‘Think Outside the Box’ to be as diverse as possible.  We also need to be prepared to get involved where you can be seen to have influence, not just for yourself but for all tenants and residents.”