ModGov Infozone - Click to go to Tamworth Borough Council website

Agenda item

Update on Implementation of Housing Repairs Contract

(Report of the Assistant Director, Assets)


The Chair introduced the Assistant Director, Assets to the meeting to update the Committee on the implementation process for the new housing repairs contracts and to provide some performance statistics for the first year of the contract.


The Assistant Director reported that prior to March 2020, following a full formal tender process it was agreed by Cabinet that a new ten year contract for the delivery of repairs would be let for housing and non-housing stock and it was further agreed that we would bring in house the call centre through Customer Services.  The contract was awarded to Engie, with a commencement date of 1 April 2020, against the backdrop of full COVID lockdown.


The Assistant Director reported that initially due to the lockdown activities were limited to emergency repairs although by June 2020 urgent repairs were being undertaken and by August 2020 a full repairs service with appropriate safety measures was in place.  The call centre team coordinated with tenants regarding pre-COVID checks which supported good access rates for the repairs team. 


The Assistant Director reported that Engie had attended just under 14,000 repairs calls in the first 12 months of operation which was broadly similar to previous years, which had meant that no repairs backlog had built up even given the periods of lockdown experienced in the first 12 months of operation.


It was further reported that the Right First Time rates had been recorded at 94% with monthly satisfaction levels at between 90-97% which met and exceeded the performance targets for the first year in the contract.  In terms of complaints there average around 8 complaints per month. 


The Assistant Director reported that there were issues across the industry in terms of the supply of materials and labour, which would remain closely monitored.


In terms of gas servicing these rates remained high throughout the period. In addition Engie picked up some additional work to support health & safety checks in sheltered housing.  In terms of social value activity, despite COVID there had been some activities undertaken which supported social value, including the creation of apprenticeship roles, and undertaking some employability activities and further work continued to create How To videos for simply DIY activities.


The decision to bring the call centre activities back in house had supported the ability to seek qualitative feedback from tenants on the performance of the repairs activity, and generally the reported qualitative data showed a high level of satisfaction from tenants in respect of repairs completed.


The Committee sought clarification in the following areas:

·       In terms of satisfaction levels and complaints, whether the types of complaints received and their causes were categorised.  The Assistant Director reported that the Call Centre sought detailed qualitative feedback from a sample of repairs undertaken and issues were feedback to the contractor, however, these qualitative responses were not part of the performance statistics.  In terms of the types of complaints received, one of the more common areas was in respect of communication issues, as opposed to complaints in respect of the repairs itself.  The Committee considered that recording expressions of dissatisfaction received in addition to those recorded through the Tell us Policy would provide further data for the Council.

·       What types of repairs were undertaken, where the Assistant Director reported that issues regarding damp and mould were reported which resulted in part from the types of housing stock, older properties.  Advice to tenants would be provided as well as looking at methods to improve ventilation where possible.  Further details of the types of repairs undertaken was requested which the Assistant Director agreed to circulate to members. 

·       In respect of the DIY videos, in terms of the types of areas proposed to be covered and the methods of access for this, where the Assistant Director confirmed that the plan was to look at basic jobs, such as unblocking drains, bleeding radiators, and turning off the water within a property.  The Assistant Director confirmed that the contractor was working with the Council’s communications team.

·       On activities associated with void properties, where the Assistant Director reported that initial turnaround times had been slow, due to ensuring safe systems of working during the period, however the performance was improving.

·       The extent to which there was any backlog in terms of repairs and how these were prioritised. The Assistant Director reported that as repairs had continued throughout the lockdown periods there was no known backlog and the fact that the total numbers of repairs undertaken reflected those undertaken in previous years supported that.  Gas servicing had remained a priority and the systems in place were robust.


RESOLVED that the Committee:

·       thanked the Officers; and

·       noted the contents of this report.


(Moved by Councillor Dr S Peaple and seconded by Councillor S Goodall)

Supporting documents: