Call to improve social housing repair work voted down by Northampton Tories

Pictures from inside the home of an 80-year-old woman in the East of Northampton. Photos show piping left exposed at the property.
Pictures from inside the home of an 80-year-old woman in the East of Northampton. Photos show piping left exposed at the property.
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A motion calling for pressure to be placed on Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH) to improve the standard of social housing repairs was voted down, despite evidence an 80-year-old’s home was left with exposed pipes.

The motion to Northampton Borough Council’s full council called for the authority to work with its social housing management company to improve the standard of its maintenance works.

It comes after some tenants in the east of Northampton complained that maintenance to their rented properties were just not up to scratch.

Councillor Dennis Meredith (Lib Dem, Talavera), who put in the motion, said an 80-year-old woman on his ward was left so upset by the works to her flat, she had begun taking medication for depression.

He said: “When we go into council homes to do repairs we should do this with professionalism and be satisfied completely before the work is signed off.

“In this instance, they damaged a wall with their blowtorches, they left piping exposed and they damaged a cupboard.

“We need to instruct them that the repairs they undertake have to be done to a proper standard.”

However, the motion fell when the entire Conservative group voted against it at the Guildhall on Monday night.

Leader of the council Councillor Mary Markham (Con, Park) said one of the primary reasons Northampton Partnership Homes was set up was to ensure the quality of repairs was improved.

“The resolution to this issue is already being put in place,” she said.

“It (NPH) is launching a new repairs system it is calling ‘The SAMs System’.

“The success of NPH is now really starting to be recognised, particularly by the tenants.”

However, Councillor Markham said she had raised the issue of the 80-year-old’s house with NPH, who had conceded that the works done were not “done to the right standard.”

Have you had improvement work done to your social home? What did you think of the quality? Call reporter Paul Lynch on 01604 467032 with your views.