The gates on Pratt Street were out of order for months now. Our caretaker supervisor, Marcio, had raised the repair with the council on the 16th March 2022 and he has many times asked for an update. Unfortunately, the repairs team has done nothing and the gates were still unlocked and anyone can abuse it until last Friday.
After many emails, chat with the repairs team as well as with the Head of the Repairs we managed to persuade them to fix the gates on Friday 13th May 2022 instead of the 17th June 2022.
Please read the apology from the council to us for the delays and the answers to the questions that we had raised:
Thank you for your email below.
I have been asked to investigate and respond to your below points you have kindly brought forward to Scot on 12th May 2022 regarding the main gate between Billingly and Warmsworth.
Why did the contractors not attend the first appointment?
Looking at our Repair Database System, order reference 3007560/1 was raised on the 16/03/2022 by the Caretaker for the gate to be inspected and repaired.
An initial appointment was scheduled for a Camden Welder to attend on 13/04/22. Unfortunately, on the day, this appointment needed to be moved as two emergency requests came in that needed urgent visits to take place.
One included making safe a small structure that was being affected by the high winds on the day. The other was making safe a secured area within the borough. As I hope you can appreciate, this did take priority over the communal gate repair that day. A new appointment was made for the next available appointment, that was for 11/05/22. Ideally this would have been sooner however the diaries for this type of trade are fully booked up for months in advance.
A Welder did attend on 11/05/22 and he reported the gate was left in an open/unlocked position, due to the pins within the Gerda lock being broken off. He agreed the gate required a little adjusting to allow a new lock to latch correctly to the gate.
I spoke with the operative today, where he explained he was unable to adjust the lock on the 11/05/22 due to the heavy rain. However, with some diary changes, we were able to re-attend today, 13/05/22 and installed a new Gerda lock, re-adjusted the gate, and left it secured.
What penalties or actions will you take to stop this?
As this order was not with an external contractor but with our own in-house staff there are no penalties in place.
What happens if the proposed repair as stated above is not what is needed?
I understand the works were completed today and to ensure you are satisfied with the repair, Mr Robery, Repairs Supervisor to your district area will be meeting you on site this afternoon to go through any concerns.
Why does the council allow this kind of repairs to take so long? An unlocked gate encourages illegal parking inside the estate, fly tipping, ASB etc & since this a very common experience, what actions will you be taking to sort out this kind of problems and make the repairs process more efficient?
Repairs aim to provide an excellent service and as we are currently coming out of Covid restrictions, Repairs such as this is classified as essential. Our Repairs Department aim to complete the works within 35 working days. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, some repairs do become overdue.
Nevertheless, senior management are currently working to get this number back to pre-covid days to 20 working days, to ensure we are providing a more efficient repair service to all our residents.
I would like to thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.
I acknowledge your frustrations you have experienced in your continued efforts to get relevant information, updates, and support from our Repairs and other council departments regarding the gate.
Furthermore, the notes/report from the Welder should have contained more information as to why he could not carry out the works on his initial visit. There should have also been notes included under the order to reflect why the first appointment for the 13/04/22 did not take place.
This all would have assisted the Customer Service Officer with whom you spoke with during your web chat on 12/05/22 to explain in more detail to you.
Overall, this repair should have been managed better, where an effort to bring the appointment forward could have been made. Therefore, I agree there has been service failure in poor internal communications and delays in arranging the works.
I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to you and all affected residents for any inconvenience this has caused. Please be assured, Management have been informed of this case, where they will take the appropriate action to prevent this from happening again.
Moving forward, Mr Robery has agreed to provide you with his direct email address and following his visit today with you, he will be more than happy to assist you with any related queries.
I trust this information is helpful and again please accept my sincere apologise.
Portfolio Holder Case Worker
- Chat with the repairs team. Chat Transcript Printout