Sally O’Sullivan, Tenant and Leaseholder Services Manager introduced the report and made the following points:
· The Housing Services Team has come a long way from October 2020 when the services was brought back in-house;
· Income management was looking good;
· The Services was currently scoping the capital works;
· By the end of December the Royal Crescent tender would be in place;
· Tenants survey feedback indicated that the service was getting better;
· The Services was still working on improving the standards for Landlord Compliance including fire risk;
· The team was working on improving voids;
· Working relations with Mears had improved significantly.
Members made comments and asked questions as follows:
· The council started from a bad position but now the situation had significantly improved;
· It was good to note that an 18 months improvement plan was now in place;
· Members were happy to hear that the Mears contract was going on ok;
· What were the penalties if Mears underperformed?
· How long was the current contract?
· Where were the tenants meetings being held?
· Were there any training opportunities for tenants training?
Bob Porter and Sally O’Sullivan responded to Member comments and questions as follows:
· There were no specific penalties in the contract;
· The main focus was on making improvements in their performance;
· Monthly meetings are held between TDC officers and Mears;
· Strategic meetings are held quarterly;
· The contracts ends in 2025;
· Mears experienced some difficulties in recruiting for some of the trades, hence the backlog in some work areas;
· Supply of materials had also been an issue;
· However both of the above issues had since been resolved and there should be an improvement in performance and tackling of the backlog;
· Currently tenants meetings were being held online. The intention is to move them to the TDC Main Offices;
· Tenants would in future be offered training to enable them to scrutinize the performance of the service;
· They would also be trained so that they could assist the Service with equality impact performance and the tender process;
· The council had started a programme of tenancy visits, which helps identify properties with problems and the visits help ascertain the condition of these properties;
· Where existing tenants had requested to move, officer conduct inspections to pick out any issues regarding the condition of properties;
· These visits also help tackle tenancy fraud;
· Officers also provide advice on damp and mold issues.
Thereafter Councillor Fellow proposed, Councillor Currie seconded and Members agreed to note the report.