When Harrogate Borough Council’s housing maintenance and repair contractor went out of business, the council took the opportunity to create an in-house team which is proving very successful.
In its first year of operation these council builders, plumbers, electricians, joiners and multi-skilled operatives have saved the authority over £100,000 and council tenants are highly satisfied with the new arrangements.
Councillor Mike Chambers, the council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said the council wanted to be less reliant on an external contractor.
Councillor Mike Chambers added:
We have provided local employment for highly skilled workmen and tenants now have faster response times. We have improved standards and, at the same time, we have also reduced costs.
Demand for the team’s services has been high with an increase in the number of repairs being reported of 4.3 per cent on previous years. This has undoubtedly put additional pressure on the team but they have responded well. And it is especially pleasing to be able to say that in a recent tenants’ satisfaction survey, 97.7 said they are delighted with the new arrangements.