Agenda item

Construction Services Update

Report of the Deputy Chief Executive – Housing, Environment and Healthy Communities


The Committee received a report providing an update on the current position within Construction Services during the service review process.


From the report, the Committee noted that a new senior management team was now in place within the service. Attention was also drawn to a new joint local agreement for revised working arrangements with a new salary structure from 1 September 2022.


It was explained that recruitment is currently underway within the service to fill 100 posts; the Committee were advised that these posts would support the service in providing additional customer support and improve customer service delivery. It was also reported that staff are to be recruited to support clearing the backlog of repairs and increase the turnaround time for bringing void properties to lettable standards.


From the report, the Committee were advised that 26 contractors and 3 inhouse teams are now assigned to backlog repairs. It was highlighted that £2.5m additional cost has been identified within the HRA to fund the works.


It was further noted that recruitment is in progress to add two additional in-house void squads from November 2022. It was explained that this is expected to increase inhouse delivery from 16 to 24 properties per week. The Committee were also advised that contractor performance is averaging 7 properties per week and additional contractor resource continues to be sought.


It was noted that operational changes to job-ownership by employees has started; this has resulted in a reduction in daytime jobs being passed over to out of hours services. From the report the Committee were also provided with an update on efficiencies made to the storage of items and improvements being made to reduce waste.


The Committee were also reminded that the service has improved communication with tenants as well as Councillors through the introduction of texts to residents and a new members enquiry direct e-mail.


The Committee welcomed the service changes made to date; particularly the improvements in customer service and the work being undertaken to reduce the repairs backlog. A question was asked regarding the discontinuation of over 1000 items from stores; officers advised that this stock would be sold off where possible with additional items being used up on repairs; it was also stated that there would be some items that would need to be disposed of.


The Committee questioned how customer feedback fed into performance management; it was explained that the results of customer satisfaction questionnaires were being collated and that the new text system to gather feedback would improve the efficiency of the service gaining feedback. It was confirmed that the monitoring of performance and productivity was also ongoing.


A question was raised regarding outstanding fencing repairs in the borough following on from the recent storms. Officers advised that these repairs were being prioritised with many hundreds of fences having already been repaired. It was noted that all fencing repairs would be complete by March 2023.


The Committee thanked officers for their work and efforts. It was requested that a further update be received from Construction Services in March 2023.



(i)               The Committee noted the update.

(ii)              The Committee agreed to receive a further update in March 2023.

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