Brent Council’s Cabinet has voted in favour for the cleaning of council estates to be done directly by Brent Council.
The announcement follows a report that went to Cabinet this week, which recommended that a good quality cleaning service, which is more responsive to residents’ needs, could be delivered directly by Brent Council itself, enabling tenants and leaseholders to have more control over the service they pay for.
Wettons Cleaning Services Limited, who currently clean housing estates across the borough was awarded the contract in 2013 by Brent Housing Partnership and are responsible for the maintenance of the internal and external communal areas of blocks of flats managed by the council. However, a service review revealed that the quality of service, including the responsiveness to complaints and the joint working with other contractors, is poor leading to low resident satisfaction.
Now that the cleaning service will be brought back in house, the council will give tenants and leaseholders an active say, through a consultation, into how the service should evolve.
Councillor Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform said: “Council tenants and leaseholders have been telling us for some time that the current cleaning arrangements aren’t working and this is a great opportunity to do something about that. I know how important it is for people to feel happy with where they live, and the cleanliness of our blocks is a huge part of this.
“With the cleaning service back in house, it will give tenants and leaseholders much greater control over the service they pay for as we are committed to developing a resident led system which works well for all of us.”
Improving the estate cleaning service has become a priority for the Council after Brent Housing Management services were brought in house in October 2016, resulting in an increase in resident satisfaction – up from 58 per cent to 68 per cent in a year.
While some improvements have been made, the report to Cabinet recommended that, “in order to achieve the desired levels of quality and resident satisfaction, the cleaning service should be brought in house”. This will allow estate cleaning to be fully integrated with other housing management services while giving the council, tenants and leaseholders greater control.