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29 March 2011, New repairs service contracts signed

Securing a more efficient and responsive repairs service that better serves residents, is at the heart of the new repairs contracts that were signed by Lambeth Council and Lambeth London Living last Friday (March 25).

From April 4, Apollo Property Services Group Ltd, Mears Ltd, Mitie Group Plc, Morrison Plc, OCO Ltd, and T Brown Group, will cover a wide range of varying services that tenants rely on - including responsive repairs, planned maintenance, grounds maintenance, heating and gas repairs and estate cleaning. Both Morrison Plc and Apollo Property Services Group are using Pinnacle PSG as a partnering sub-contractor. Apex Lifts and Precision Lifts will install, repair and maintain lifts and Alphatrack and Cartel will install and repair door entry systems and CCTV.

The area based contracts aim to reduce repeat repairs visits and missed appointments, and they are designed to provide value for money and increased customer satisfaction.

In due course, the new service will let residents know when a repair is raised, 24-hours before work will take place and when the contractor is on their way. This should help to reduce the number of repairs missed each week - currently around 50.

Additionally, repair enquiries will be handled by a dedicated customer services team with support from the three local areas rather than being passed from department-to-department.

All of this means that the new repairs arrangements should prove better value for money as well as significantly improving services.

Lambeth residents were at the heart of the contract design process, helping to shape the new arrangements. Their satisfaction with repairs will help base payment on performance.

Beryl Jones, a tenants and residents representative living in Clapham said: “We had to read and score documents provided by the contractors. I was looking for value for money, what the contractors were offering and how they will work”.

Cllr. Lib Peck, cabinet member for housing said: “We know that residents have been waiting too long for repairs. We also know that the work carried out by contractors has not been monitored effectively enough for many years. We want to make sure that these new types of contract address these problems and give residents a service they deserve.

“I am pleased that we have encouraged contractors to recruit local people to their books and to provide apprenticeships for young people - particularly important at this time of high national unemployment.”