Audit of missed contractor appointments

A number of Council tenants are telling local councillors that contractors are not turning up to do work. Mick Legg and Nigel Long say it is time to get tough on them.

Last week Cllr Mick Legg, at his weekly advice surgery, was told by one tenant that a contractor had failed to turn up three times to repair defective guttering. The Council also failed to return telephone calls when they tried to chase up the missing repairs.

Cllrs Legg and Nigel Long often hear similar stories and are concerned that repair contractors working for the Council are not being properly monitored and that getting feedback from tenants needs to be improved.

Cllr  Legg said, “I am concerned that tenants are given appointments, they stay indoors and wait, in many cases taking time of work,   for the contractor to arrive and they do not turn up.”

Labour believes the core problem rests with poor performing contractors not being properly managed.

Cllr Nigel Long said, “When the Council privatised the repairs service it also privatised the client function that oversees contract performance. This means one private contractor, managing other private companies. So there is no incentive to tightly manage performance.”

Labour has been arguing that when the Mouchel Contract is brought back ‘in house’ the housing client function should remain in house and be strengthened in order to get better control over contractors.

Cllr Mick Legg concluded, “I want to see three changes; firstly increased control over contractors but we should also be talking to tenants more to ensure that appointments are kept. I suggest the Council follows up 10% of all repair jobs with a telephone based customer satisfaction survey. This would be good practice, lastly I think the Contractor should start paying a charge to the tenant for a missed appointment. ”