Options to bring housing repair services back in-house should go further and cover more housing works, Greens will argue this week.
Councillor David Gibson, Green Housing Spokesperson, said:
“Greens have long argued that with key parts of our housing contract, we should bring them in-house. We thoroughly welcome the proposal to bring the responsive repairs element of this contract in-house. This represents an important achievement for tenants and the public who also deserve a more accountable service.
“Bringing responsive repairs under council management is a good start, but we want to go further by adding in planned kitchen and bathroom works, along with a commitment to achieve as much as realistically possible in-house.
“Other Councils, such as Islington and Sheffield, have already done this and have been able to achieve better social value, better conditions for staff and accountability for tenants. Unlike the issues that have led to conflict within the Mears contract, in-house provision also grants us greater flexibility to improve the service as needed, rather than be subject to the constraints of an external contract.
“It is extremely positive that all parties agree the contracts need to be more strongly managed by the Council, but Greens believe in not-for-profit, publicly accountable provision, and we should seize this opportunity to improve the housing repairs service for tenants.”
a) Further consider bringing kitchens and bathroom works in-house after three years;
b) Secure a commitment that the Council will continue to explore bringing in-house as much of the contract as is realistic in the future, within a sustainable timescale.