Agenda item

Housing Estate; Strategy, Policy and Standards


Sally O’Sullivan, Tenant and Leaseholder Services Manager introduced the report and made the following comments:


  • Service standards were a set of commitments to council residents. They provided information about the level of service they could expect from the council. These standards also provided guidance to officers to the level of service they should be providing;
  • Residents were involved in the development of these standards to varying degrees;
  • Repairs service standard - This standard described the service that was delivered by the council’s partnering contractors, Mears and Gas Call. It also provided information to Council tenants about what to expect from the repairs service, that included on the following issue:


  • The different ways in which they can report a repair;
  • How long different categories of repairs will take to be carried out;
  • How an appointment will be made;
  • What to expect from a contractor when they come to their home;
  • How we monitor the service.


  • Much of this standard was dictated by the contracts the council had in place. However, Council had consulted the Thanet Tenant & Leaseholder Group (TTLG) on the Mears customer pledge. This document set out standards of behaviour for the operatives and call centre staff and as a result of the feedback from the TTLG, further training was put in place for the call centre staff;
  • The Lettings standard informed residents on what they could expect when they move into one of the council homes. The standard provided them with information on what would happen when they sign a tenancy agreement, what information they would receive and what standard to expect their new home to be in when they move in;
  • To inform this standard, officers surveyed all new tenants from the previous six months. The purpose of this exercise was to learn from residents’ experience and find out what was important to them when moving in;
  • A message that came through this survey was the concern about the quality of the information given to new tenants and this feedback prompted the development of a new resident handbook.


Members made comments as follows:


  • Members fully supported the new proposals as contained in the officer report;
  • Tenants Groups were a useful platform for creating wider consultation with residents on any new changes;
  • Some residents had been asked by the council to remove wall gardens in communal areas in tower blocks without prior explanation;
  • This had caused some distress to residents;
  • It was important that on implementation of any new policies that resident’s involvement and consent was considered.


Sally O’Sullivan and Bob Porter, Corporate Director of Place responded to comments from Members as follows:


  • It was unfortunate that residents were asked to remove their wall gardens from communal areas;
  • However this had been done as a result of the feedback from the Fire Risk Assessors;
  • A fire risk assessment was carried out and required that the wall gardens be removed from communal areas in tower blocks;
  • The fire risk assessment came up with a position of zero tolerance wall gardens in communal areas;
  • Officers had provided information through newsletters and TOT Notices explaining the fire risk assessment requirements to remove wall gardens;
  • The council had also a telephone number that residents could call for an explanation;
  • Officers were aware of storage shortage in tower blocks and were proposing new purpose built storage.


Members noted the report.

Supporting documents: