Agenda item

Axis Responsive Repairs Contract Review

To receive details of and review the performance of Axis Europe PLC Responsive Repairs Contract.


The Head of Responsive Repairs introduced the report and the following was noted:


  • The contract with Axis Europe PLC commenced in April 2014 and was current in the sixth year of an initial seven year term.
  • As part of the contract review process, performance, costs, resident feedback, service delivery and risks were all being evaluated. Additionally an ongoing joint review of any housing related contracts that were due for extension or re-procurement was taking place.
  • Contractor reviews took place on a monthly basis with performance reported on a quarterly basis to the Cabinet Member for Homes & Gateway Services.
  • The providers KPI performance was benchmarked against other providers and reviewed on an annual basis.
  • Customer satisfaction with the repairs service had improved.
  • There had been some increase in complaints over the last two years of the contract, but performance on complaints throughout the contract period had been below the challenging targets.
  • Missed appointments had been identified as an area of improvement as part of the review process that was taking place.


The Sub-Committee was given the opportunity to ask questions on the content of the report.


A Member commented that the 10% figure for follow up inspections appeared to be low and questioned whether this was typical in comparison to other local authorities and whether the information gathered was reliably provided a true reflection of the service. The officer confirmed that to conduct inspections on more than 10% of the 65,000 repairs carried out each year was not feasible with the available resources. The focus of follow up inspections was on chargeable works and larger repairs. 100% of void properties and roofing works were also inspected. It was noted that the 10% of follow up inspections was an increase on previous years.


In response to a comment that the figure of 65,000 repairs per year appeared to be high, it was highlighted that this figure had decreased from approximately 72000 in previous years. The focus for contractors was to ensure that works were completed to high standards as it was costly for them to conduct repeat visits.


In response to questions on how easily it was for residents to report repairs and waiting times for the completion of works, it was advised that residents were able to log repairs online, via email and also by telephoning the contact centre. There was also an app available which allowed for pictures to be uploaded. The average wait for the completion of a repair was 6 days and for complex work it could be up to 6 weeks. Feedback from residents was that it was important that jobs are not closed out until fully completed and this was continuously fed back to the contractor.


A Member commented on the KPI comparison methods used and asked why client by client comparison was used with specific local authorities and housing associations rather than a cross London approach. The officer advised that this method was preferable as they were able to gain access to a range of social housing data following visits with the LA’s mentioned who had similar stock to Croydon. They attended quarterly meetings which allowed for conversations and discussions to take place. They were also trying to align with London Councils to provide further opportunities for more in-depth benchmarking to take place.


It was expressed that the detail contained in the report was very encouraging, with fewer complaints regarding the contractor.


Questions were raised on the extent of sub-contracting by Axis and the extent of monitoring conducted to ensure high standards and good performance. Additionally, whether this was to local businesses and if there was a requirement for the sub-contractors to pay the London Living Wage.

The officer confirmed that Axis sub-contracted a small percentage of its work to local small businesses which were employed due to the level of expertise needed to complete certain jobs. Sub-contractors were routinely monitored and removed from jobs as needed in accordance to complaints received. Axis did expect and require sub-contractors to pay the London Living Wage.


In response to a Member comment that Appendix 4 of the complaints summary showed a reduction in the number of jobs completed but complaints as a percentage of jobs completed had increased, the officer advised that the number of jobs completed fluctuated seasonally and the end of year report did not reflect this. There had been a slight increase in complaints due to gas jobs, which was unusual and as a result a full review had been conducted which highlighted that the complaints were as a result of repeat jobs. The Council had reviewed the service to ensure that all necessary equipment was now in stock.


At the conclusion of this item the Chair thanked the officers for their attendance at the meeting and their engagement with the Sub-Committee and questions.


n reaching its recommendations, the Sub-Committee came to the following conclusions:

  1. The information and data provided in the report was very encouraging, with reassurance taken from the reduction in the number of complaints received from some wards in the borough.
  2. The Sub-Committee commended the work of officers in analysing the complaints received to identify trends and their work with partners and the contractor to develop and implement solutions to these trends.
  3. The Sub-Committee concluded that the contract management of Axis by officers was good. In particular the benchmarking of contractual performance data with that of other local authorities and the well informed analysis provided from this was welcomed.
  4. The Sub-Committee hoped to continue to see the service improvement outlined above, when it next reviewed the Responsive Repairs contract.
  5. The Sub-Committee agreed that it would beneficial to be consulted on the procurement options at the review point of Responsive Repairs contract.

The Sub-Committee resolved to recommend to the Cabinet Member for Homes and Gateway Services that consultation with the Sub-Committee be built into the procurement process when the contract was next reviewed.


Supporting documents: