Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Council takes over home repairs from 'slow' agency

This article appeared on www.thisisnottingham.co.uk

THE borough council is to take on repairs and improvements to homes after ending a contract with a housing association.

According to the council, the work of the South Notts Home Improvement Agency did not meet expectations and was not carried out in time.

From tomorrow all jobs that have not yet been started within Gedling borough will be done by the council itself.

The housing agency will complete all jobs where work has already begun, at no cost to Gedling Borough Council.

The agency, run by housing association Spirita, helps elderly, vulnerable and disabled residents with house repairs as well as installing ramps, heating systems and stair lifts.

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In February, the group was told its contract would be extended if its service improved.

But a report by council officers states: "At the beginning of June 2008 it became evident Spirita was not adequately addressing the issues specified and it was mutually agreed to terminate the contract on September 30."

The South Notts Home Improvement Agency was set up in 2005 to help people living in private homes in Gedling, Rushcliffe and Broxtowe.The agency was given £230,000 of public money for home improvements. But in March 2008 Broxtowe withdrew its funding.

It criticised the agency for delays in carrying out work after receiving an initial enquiry, the quality of technical assessments and the costing of work.

A Spirita spokeswoman said: "We have worked positively and pro-actively with Gedling Borough Council to ensure a smooth handover and we continue to support our clients and handle all the work already underway."


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