The Chairman welcomed Kate Green, General Manager and Arron Kelly, Business Manager from Ian Williams Ltd to the meeting. The Board were asked to note progress that was being made with the Integrated Asset Management Contract, which commenced in July 2019, and reviewed the partnership with Ian Williams Ltd over the last year.
In January 2020 the Board received an update identifying a number of areas that were being monitored very closely in order to work towards improved performance. Since that time intense work had been carried out and was continuing with a number of officers focusing on all elements of the contract to continually seek improvements with both the day to day management and performance of the contract.
Kate Green reported that operations this year had not been business as usual and they had had to deal with an array of issues. There were daily update calls between EDDC and Ian Williams Ltd and good progress was being made with staffing. EDDC had employed a permanent contract manager and the structure was continually being reviewed. The Covid-19 pandemic had caused some operational works to be scaled back, but the contract still endeavoured to offer as much of a service as possible.
It was noted that the voids service had been difficult during the first half of the contract year, with the service taking a dip, but there was now an action plan in place which was working well. The General Manager acknowledged that there had been some performance issues at the start of the contract, but that they were now in a good position for moving the contract forward, with both parties recognising that some adjustments were required.
Members had expressed concern at the January HRB meeting but were now greatly encouraged to see the relationship between EDDC and Ian Williams improving. Concern was expressed that there was no longer a dedicated handyman and Ian Williams were asked what was being done to address this. Kate Green replied that they were trying to recruit someone, but that it was proving difficult due to the current social restrictions. They had a duty of care to tenants and operational teams to reduce the amount to time they spent in tenants’ homes. The handyman role was more than just a ‘fixer’ and it was important that the post was permanently filled by the right person. The role combined maintenance care as well as a social service.
It was reported that a cost review of voids was being carried out independently by Echelon. Voids had been tendered for as price per void, based on some historical data. The KPI used was length of time taken. An openbook financial review of the first year of the contract was being undertaken and the results were due any day. The results of this 12 month review would be published and it was agreed that a further update report on the contract would be brought back to the November Board meeting.
Members also queried how customer satisfaction would be measured. They were reassured that the customer care process was being refined and reviewed and that the paper format would be reintroduced, as well as using the contractors’ iPads to submit feedback. Hub advisors would also call tenants for feedback following work undertaken.
RESOLVED: that the Housing Review Board note the progress being made with the integrated asset management contract that commenced in July 2019.