Ten new contractors and the council’s own in-house repairs team – “Community Works” – took responsibility for repairs and maintenance at council properties on July 12 this year, as part of Lambeth’s drive to improve standards and services for residents.
And, while the firms and their workers have been getting to grips with the work, they’ve managed to complete 10,941 appointments with residents whose homes needed attention. The after-effects of recent heavy rain increased the number of call-outs across the borough.
At the same time, the new contractors have been completing outstanding jobs that the outgoing contractor was unable to do ahead of the changeover. That work will be stepped up over the coming weeks.
Planning for the winter months is also underway, with the new contractors working in partnership with council officers to recruit additional staff.
Community Works and five of the new contractors (Fortem, T Brown, MPS, NRT and RJ Lifts) are now working in Lambeth’s North housing area to provide Communal repairs, Repairs to homes and estates, Communal boiler servicing, Gas safety inspections, Electrical safety inspections and Lift maintenance. In the South area, the same services are now provided by Community Works and five new contractors (Wates, OCO, T-Brown, OpenView and Amalgamated Lifts).
The technology introduced under the new contracts, particularly the new SMS messaging system, has also improved services for residents. Residents now receive a series of texts confirming appointments, providing updates, and sending a link to a short satisfaction survey once the job is completed.
Word from the Cabinet
Cllr Maria Kay, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness, said: “We have said throughout that these new contracts must improve services for our residents, and it’s clear at this early stage that the new set-up is already making a difference.
“As with any change of this scale and significance, there are bound to be teething problems, as we embed new processes and get to grips with the new system. But the sheer number of repairs being completed gives me confidence that these new contractors – and Community Works – are improving the service we offer to our residents.
“Residents were widely consulted during the whole process of agreeing these new contractors, and we will ensure they are involved in monitoring the services to make sure the new repairs teams do a great job for Lambeth.”
Non-emergency council housing repairs can be booked on our website or by phoning the call centre on 020 7926 6000. Emergency repairs should only be requested by phoning the call centre.
The call centre number is open Monday–Friday 8am to 8pm and Saturdays 8am to 1pm. If anyone has an emergency outside these hours, they should call 020 7926 6666. This number is for emergencies only.