Brent Council to takeover the management of its homes

Cllr Muhammed Butt criticised the Budget for being "out of touch" with vulnerable residents

Cllr Muhammed Butt criticised the Budget for being "out of touch" with vulnerable residents - Credit: Archant

The green light has been given to axe Brent Housing Partnership’s contract with Brent Council with Conservative party opposition demanding a better service for residents in the future.

Cllr Carol Shaw

Cllr Carol Shaw - Credit: Archant

All of the borough’s housing stock and management is to be bought back in-house after cabinet members wholeheartedly gave the proposal the go ahead. Cllr Carol Shaw, deputy leader of the Brent Conservatives, claims she was heavily criticised by Brent Housing Partnership (BHP) customer services for the “heavy workload” she brought to them from her angry constituents.

She told the meeting on Tuesday: “BHP acknowledged my numerous case work recently as “staggering” and referred to it as “hearsay”, adding there are more complaints in my ward than in any other.

“I have never come across, particularly in the last year or so, such total and blatant disrespect from BHP officers.

She added: “My residents’ ongoing dissatisfaction with BHP has given me great cause for concern and stress with countless problems that are still not addressed and remain unresolved.

BHP could be disbanded

BHP could be disbanded - Credit: Archant

“I hope as elected members we can expect a far better, responsive and diligent service in the future.”

BHP, which was set up in 2002 as an arms length management organisation, was put in special measures in March.

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It was ordered to improve its poor performance in the following six months and failed.

Other options considered by officers were for a new housing provider to take over the contract or for BHP to continue on a reformed basis.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of the council, said: “This is the best outcome for residents. We will make sure all our residents are receiving the best services to which they are entitled. We have all the systems, services and the team in place to deliver the best outcomes.

“Anyone who has had bad experiences, we are not proud of that. The last thing we want is for people to have negative experiences.

“Bringing it in-house is a sensible decision but we will need to have that consultation with all of our partners and stakeholders, leaseholders and tenants and take their views into consideration as well.”

A spokesman for BHP said: “BHP works proactively with all ward councillors in resolving issues on a local level. We are currently carrying out over £30m of planned maintenance across the borough and liaise closely with both residents and their elected representatives on the progress of these works in their wards.

“Following the recommendations put forward at the council’s cabinet meeting we will continue our commitment to delivering the best possible housing services to our tenants and leaseholders”.

A 12-week consultation can now begin after which it will go to full council.

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