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 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:
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.