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Interserve wins two stars for social housing in Slough

18 February 2008

People 1st (Slough) working with Interserve has been rated as a two star social housing organisation by the Audit Commission. This rating, the second highest rating of its kind, indicates 'a good service' is being delivered to the 6,500 council homes and other properties by Interserve.

The partnership between Slough Borough Council, Interserve and People 1st (Slough) provides building maintenance and repair services to around 6,500 council homes, 1,000 leaseholders and more than 70 council-owned buildings. This contract was set up in 2001, and since then has consistently broken new ground in the way public / private partnerships work. The partnership aims to ensure that by 2012 all council homes are up to the government’s ‘Decent Homes Standard’. Indeed, the standard which has been adopted in Slough already exceeds the minimum requirement set out by the “Decent Home Standards” with modern kitchens, bathrooms, replacement heating systems, rewires and ‘secure-by-design’ external doors all on the agenda. The way in which the contract works ensures the delivery of better value for money; savings for the council on the amount spent on repairs; and an opportunity to reinvest in tenants’ homes and corporate buildings.

The Audit Commission carried out its inspection in October 2007 and the results were recently made public. People 1st (Slough) has been granted approval to draw on £45 million over the next four years to achieve its Decent Homes Investment Programme across Slough’s social housing. As a result, the number of properties receiving refurbishment increased from 12 to 48 per week from January 2008.

Commenting on the Audit Commission’s findings, Graham Allingham, Managing Director – Home Affairs and Local Authority for Interservefm Ltd, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to help People 1st achieve this award, and we will continue to work closely with them to further improve services for tenants. We are focusing on the delivery of a bright future for the council’s homes and corporate buildings. Performance has consistently improved over the last 24 months, with helpdesk calls being answered more quickly and effectively; and customers receiving more repairs on time and at the first visit. Indeed, the Audit Commission draws attention to this successful work in Slough being within the top 25% of all Councils in the UK. But this is just the beginning - further changes are planned, aimed at progressively improving what has already proved an innovative and fruitful partnership.”

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