All Residents, Council Tenants, Leaseholders, Private Tenants, Repairs

Housing Repairs in Disarray

A few residents have reported some repairs to the council regarding communal lights and especially the main entrance doors to the buildings. None of the repairs is completed on time and there is no way to track the progress for each repair.

Some repairs are outstanding for months and some for weeks. Communal lights are the worse at the moment due to incapable contractors (OpenView) and a council that does not show any duty of care towards its tenants.

If you try to call the repairs telephone line you will be out of luck. The waiting time is in excess of 30 mins every time we tried to call them. When we managed to speak with someone the line was dropped!

The WebChat is more accessible but still challenging because the repair team operators are advising residents to call the Contractors directly. However, even this is impossible, because one contractor is passing the repair to another contractor and nobody is wiser of what is the current status or who is dealing with the repair.

At the moment, the following people are looking into this matter due to the repairs team inefficiency and a huge lack of leadership capable of fixing this mess:

    • Cllr Paul Tomlinson – Formal Enquiry and support
    • Scot Reid – Head of Property Customer Services and Engagement
    • Nermin Hassan – Casework Team Manager
    • Eva Ellis – Case Management Officer
    • Andrew Wilson – Camden Council – Dealing with the contractors
    • Roque Martin – OpenView Group
    • John Stow – Camden Council
    • Bronagh Todd – Neighbourhood Housing Officer
    • Jonathan Windsor – Neighbourhood Housing Manager
    • Marcio Rodrigues – Caretaker Supervisor
    • Peter – Caretaker – Helped to give access to communal rooms
    • FOI Department – Request regarding the SLA with contractors
    • Curnock Street TRA

If someone calculates the cost for all the time the above people are spending trying to sort out the Repairs Team’s inefficiency, then it will be pretty obvious that some people in the council are not doing their jobs properly. It seems that there are no procedures for checking the contractors, the quality of service/repairs, lack of ownership for each issue, etc

Repairs Team’s inefficiency is due to the following:
  • excessive waiting times on the phone,
  • no replies by email
  • non functional websites where you can check the repair progress
  • any repair take ages and a few of them are outstanding for over 6 MONTHS (Warmsworth lights)!!!
  • numerous references with no obvious link between them
  • incapable and unprofessional contractors
  • unsatisfactory quality of work (street light covers are on the floor with cables exposed to rain!)

From the above it is clear some improvements are long time overdue:

  1. A way to check the time and date of all the visits of the contractors regarding the repairs.
  2. A way to check the duration of the visits
  3. Full technical description of the faults
  4. List of parts necessary for the job including part numbers, quantities, availability etc
  5. What is the Service Level Agreement with each contractor?
  6. Who is responsible to enforce and check that the contractor is doing its job?
  7. What routine actions/checks does the council take to ensure that the contractors honour their agreement?

 

Telephone Call Recording From This Morning

Hear the telephone messages from Camden Council’s telephone system stating the waiting times and below you can find the updates regarding the reported repairs.

 

Below is the conversation that transpired on 19/11/2021 11:48:58, regarding our inquiry

Please wait while we connect you to an available agent
[Repairs] One moment while we check for an available agent.
Dilraj just joined
[Dilraj] Good morning. How can I help you?
[Resident] Hi Diraj, could you please provide with an update regarding ref 2943039/1 plus the light repairs for Warmsworth building(Curnock Street Estate)
[Dilraj] They are attending this afternoon Sir
[Resident] will they attend to fix the door or just to check something? What about the lights?
[Dilraj] That is the door
[Dilraj] Lights job ref – 2942598/1 . Please call openview our contractor, they will give you an exact date and time – 0845 071 9110
[Dilraj] Please quote ref number
[Resident] is that part of my obligation as a paid leaseholder to track your contractors?
[Dilraj] Yes, as I am on the webchat platform also
[Dilraj] Theres no wait time, they will just give you the exact time
[Resident] ok could you please let me know where in my lease it states that I have to do your job
[Dilraj] If you call up, we can call them and check
[Dilraj] But this is a webchat platform
[Resident] please call them and provide me with an update please
[Resident] you are working for the repairs team
[Resident] so you must have access
[Dilraj] You have to hold
[Resident] ok
[Dilraj] I was providing you a quicker and direct way, as you have a ref number
[Resident] I prefer that you do it
[Dilraj] They will be attending on Monday for the lights
[Dilraj] Is there anything else I can help you with?
[Resident] ok thank you for your help today.
[Dilraj] Thank you for contacting Camden Council. Have a nice day.
Session complete


In another webchat session we found that the contractor for the communal doors is Alpha Track.

The engineers was supposed to visit the site today between 13:00 and 18:00 to repair the doors.

However this is not certain as you can see from the comments below.


UPDATE 19-11-2021

On 19 November 2021 14:51:39 GMT, Nermin Hassan <Nermin.Hassan@camden.gov.uk> wrote:

Good Afternoon,

I am sorry to hear of the problems you have been experiencing.

Please be advised that I have spoken to both our contractors SCCI, and Openview in relation to the communal door, and lighting issue. They have both advised that someone will be attending today.

In relation to the other issues you have raised, please be advised that Eva Ellis, Case Management Officer will be investigating this for you and will provide you with a reference number, and full response.

In the meantime if you have any queries relating to this matter, please do not hesitate in contacting me.

 

Kind regards

Nermin Hassan
Casework Team Manager

Telephone: 020 7974 1825


UPDATE 20-11-2021

Nobody attended the site and none of the repairs have been completed. We have sent another email asking Nermin some questions:

From: Residents
Sent: Saturday, November 20, 2021 4:24:11 AM
To: Nermin Hassan; Scot Reid; Paul Tomlinson; Bronagh Todd; Roger Robinson (Cllr); Samata Khatoon (Cllr); stpancras.somerstown.snt@met.police.uk
Cc: Contact Repairs <contactrepairs@camden.gov.uk>; Eva Ellis; Mr Tom Egan
Subject: Council repairs in disarray and their impact to police and Security Patrol Units

Dear Nermin Hassan,

Neither of your contractors attended the site on Friday (19/11/2021) as you stated in your email.

At the same time, ASB people are using our communal stairs for drugs and other illegal activities at all times. It is 4am and thanks to your unprofessional contractors we have to suffer.

Your contractors actions are wasting police time, security patrol’s duties are more challenging and residents are suffer as a consequence of lack of service.

Could you please answer the following:

1. Time and date of all the visits of the contractors regarding the two repairs.
2. Duration of the visits
3. Full technical description of the faults
4. List of parts necessary for the job including part numbers, quantities, availability etc
5. What is the Service Level Agreement with each contractor?
6. Who is responsible to enforce and check that the contractor is doing its job?
7. What routine actions/checks do you take to ensure that the contractors honour their agreement with you?
8. I thought Alphatrack was the contractor for the doors. What is the link with SCCI?

Looking forward for your answers.

Yours sincerely,
The Residents


UPDATE 22-11-2021

Benedict from the repairs team sent us an email stated that the repairs have been completed. When I spoke with him on the webchat after I read his email, he changed his mind and said that the repair is now with OpenView. When I asked him to speak with them, he refused and ask me to call the repairs team on the normal phone line.

Then I spent more than 30 mins on the repairs telephone line and I spoke with someone who stated that:

  1. Alpha track had visited the property on Friday for the first time. Three days after we have reported the problem. What is the Service Level Agreement with those contractors?
  2. Alpha Track stated that there is no electricity to the doors so they passed the call to OpenView.
  3. OpenView stated that they did not have access to an intake room and they left it there.

Before I was able to ask more questions the line was dropped!

See Benedict’s email below:

From: contactrepairs@camden.gov.uk <contactrepairs@camden.gov.uk>
Sent: 22 November 2021 09:34
To: Resident
Subject: Re: Auto Response [E-CASE: Th7iBB, E-TICKET: lXB5Lj]

Dear Resident,

Thank you for your email

Both jobs have been completed, first ref is for communal door staying open and the second is the intercom for the communal was not working.

Kind Regards

Benedict Nwachukwu


UPDATE 22-11-2021 – Email from Scot Reid

———- Original Message ———-

From: Scot Reid

To: Paul Tomlinson, Nermin Hassan, Eva Ellis

CC: Roger Robinson (Cllr), Samata Khatoon (Cllr)

Date: 22/11/2021 11:26

Subject: RE: Repairs Team is totally dysfunctional

 

Dear Resident,

Thank you for your email and further information.

As you know, my team are working on this issue now so, please allow us some time to understand what may have gone wrong here, and we will update you accordingly with the next steps.

Kind regards

Scot


Scot Reid
Head of Property Customer Services and Engagement


 

UPDATE 22-11-2021 – Freedom Of information Request

We have submitted a FOI request asking the Service Level Agreements for OpenView and Alpha Track.

Case reference is CAM2514


UPDATE 22-11-2021 – Formal Enquiry from Cllr Tomlinson

You recently contacted Councillor Paul Tomlinson about Outstanding repairs.

The Councillor has submitted an enquiry to the relevant service area and they will provide a response by 06 Dec 2021 (10 working days).

You will be informed if the response will take longer than 10 days and the reasons for this.


UPDATE 22-11-2021 – Calls to Bronagh Todd and Jonathan Windsor

We left voicemails to both asking for their assistance on this issue.


UPDATE 22-11-2021 – Email to Caretake Supervisor

———- Original Message ———-
From: Resident
To: Marcio Rodrigues
CC: Andrew Wilson, Eva Ellis, Roger Robinson (Cllr), Samata Khatoon (Cllr), Paul Tomlinson, Scot Reid, Nermin Hassan
Date: 22/11/2021 13:32
Subject: Access to Communal Rooms in Goldthorpe
Good afternoon Marcio,
Could you please speak with Mr Scot Reid and OpenView regarding access to the communal rooms inside Goldthorpe?
Our entrance doors are non operational for a week now and your help would be very much appreciated.
Yours sincerely,
Chair – Curnock Street TRA

UPDATE 22-11-2021 @15:01 – John Stow with OpenView on site

The problem was a couple of fuses and another part that it is on order. Still not operational but there is progress.
OpenView promised to fix all the lights in the next couple of days.

UPDATE 22-11-2021 – Email from Eva Ellis

———- Original Message ———-

From: Eva Ellis

To: Resident

CC: Nermin Hassan, Scot Reid, Paul Tomlinson

Date: 22/11/2021 15:08

Subject: Update on Repairs

Dear Resident,

I would like to firstly thank you for bringing your concerns to the Repairs and Complaints Departments attention.

Although I am still waiting on comments and reports from various departments, in the meantime I can provide you with the following updates:

Door Entry System:

John Stow, Mechanical & Electrical Operations Manager is currently on site with OpenView and Estate Services to investigate the door entry system and the electrical issue.

Estate Lighting:

Mr Andrew Wilson, Contract Manager within the Council’s Mechanical & Electrical Department will be visiting the estate this Wednesday early morning approximately 7am to carry a walk about on this issue. He is also in regular contact with the contractors to visit prior to this to attempt to resolve the issue.

Once I have heard back from them, I will be in a better position to provide you with an update via a formal response to Councillor Tomlinson.

I trust this information is helpful and thank you for your time.

Kind regards,

Eva Ellis
Portfolio Holder Case Worker


UPDATE 22-11-2021 – Meeting with John Stow and OpenView

We met with John Stow and the electrician from OpenView and the following happened:

  1. Identified all the lights that needs repairing.
  2. Electrician got access to communal rooms with the help of Peter who is the caretaker.
  3. Electrician changed two fuses and the door system got electricity again.
  4. John Stow spoke with Alpha Track who identified the problem via the phone! and promised to send a component tomorrow morning.
  5. Electrician repaired light 21 and some other while the remaining will be done shortly.

UPDATE 23-11-2021 @ 10:21am

Communal doors look operational.


 

2 Comments

  1. Same experience with the above. I called Alpha Track today at 15:55 and they told me that the engineers will attend today between 13:00 and 18:00. The operator was not sure if the doors will be fixed today.

    Please have in mind that the engineers have already visited the site on Tue 16-11-2021 so they must know what they need.

  2. The contractors did not come to the estate and the doors are still non operational. It is disgraceful.

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