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Housing and Building Maintenance

The latest network queries circulated for this service are listed below.

If you would like more information about any of these queries or want to submit a response, please email Vickie Hacking.

Network queries from previous years are available on the links at the bottom of the page.


HBM0404 - Ensuring the compliance of stock regarding, gas, electricity and fire - 24.11.17

A Member Authority would like to know if other Councils and
associations enforced a policy to Leaseholders regarding the
certification of gas checks, electrical check and installation works.

The Authority are also seeking information on the following:-

  • Do other authorities hold an administration process to obtain these on file?
  • For Leaseholders who don’t have the required certification, do the Authority carry out checks on their behalf and charge them to ensure the safety of the block/ building?


HBM0401 - Building Management Systems Strategy Proposal - 09.11.17

This local authority would be grateful if other local authorities could
provide information on the following:-

We are accelerating the development a full estate Building
Management System (BMS) strategy proposal and are looking to
find out whether other organisations have examples that they would
be willing to share that could assist us in drafting our
documentation. In particular, we would be interested in receiving

  • Briefs
  • Specifications
  • Strategies
  • Related policies
  • Any supporting corporate reports/backup material
  • General information that may assist
  • IT and security restrictions and solutions

Additionally, a general chat with anyone who has experience and
knowledge of this type of project would be valuable.

In return, we will be more than happy to feedback on our experience
and exchange lessons learned.


HBM0400 - Scheduling Tools – 02.11.17

This local authority would be grateful if other local authorities could
provide information on the following Questions :-

  1. What scheduling tools does your Local Authority use
  2. Is Gas Servicing carried out via this tool?
  3. Is Repairs by appointments used?
  4. Do you schedule your multi work via this tool?
  5. Do you schedule your VOIDS via this tool?


HBM0399 - Gas safety Check - 02.11.17

A Member Authority is interested in finding out if other authorities
are using gas checks and maintenance to generate income.


HBM0398 - Benchmarking Disabled Facilities Grant Allocations’ Processes and Outcomes (District/Lower Tier authorities) - 23.10.17

A District Authority has been in touch, seeking to connect with other
District/Lower Tier Authorities seeking to allocate Disabled Facilities
Grants (DFG). They outline that the budget they are allocated
exceeds what is required for referrals for adaptations from Social
Services and so they are seeking to generate referrals through
other means to help ensure the grant allocation is invested most
effectively in their community.

In particular, they are targeting communications in localities with a
large proportion of older residents and working with local hospitals
but would welcome contact from colleagues in other district
authorities who are tackling the same challenge to share ideas
around how to distribute the funding most effectively and how to
monitor the outcomes of their grant allocations.

If you work within a District Authority and are presently engaged in
trying to reach those in need of adaptations in the home and/or
would like to explore how to monitor the effectiveness of DFG
spending through generating a set of performance indicators or
similar with other local authorities, we would be very grateful if you
could please drop a note to Alistair Holcroft on
Aholcroft@apse.org.uk and include a sentence or two about your
current approach to disseminating available funds, what is working
and what you would like to learn from how other local authorities are


HBM0397 - Impacts of Housing Growth - 12.09.17

A Member Authority is seeking information from other authorities in
relation to the how other Councils understand the impacts of
housing growth on other Council services, for example, refuse
collection, road maintenance, school capacity etc.

They would be keen to hear from any local authority who has
already carried out this kind of appraisal for good practice to help
shape our approach.


HBM0396 - Sickness Policies - 12.09.17

A Member Authority is seeking information in relation to sickness
pay schemes and policies that other authorities have in place for
their internal workforce carrying out property improvement / repair
works. In particular they would like information on the following:-

  • What sickness pay scheme various members offer?
  • What is their sickness rates (percentage) – if possible specifically for the workforce?
  • What is their sickness absenteeism policy – would they be willing to share this?


HBM0395 - New Build using in-house team – 06.09.17

A Member Authority is considering undertaking small new build
construction schemes on council owned in-fill sites and would be
keen to hear from other authorities that have already undertaken
new build schemes using their in-house services. In particular they
are seeking information in relation to the following:-

  • How was funding of the schemes obtained?
  • Who decided and undertook the design work and Specifications of the buildings?
  • How did the authority enable/facilitate a “skills match” of the existing resources with the new demands of this type of work?


HBM0394 - Review of property management systems - 04.10.17

A member authority have recently commenced a review of their
Property Management systems; broadly encompassing Asset
Management, Construction and Repairs & Maintenance and would
be interested in receiving feedback from authorities who have
undergone a similar review, possibly integrating their Property
Management systems into one single solution.

  1. Which system/s do you use for Property Management – this could include Asset Management, Capital Accounting, Lease Management, Project Management and Construction, Building Compliance, Repairs & Maintenance, Works Ordering, Job/Diary Management, Billing, Contract Management and Estimating?
  2. Does the system interface directly with other systems (e.g. Oracle e-Business Suite, GIS or Asset Manager.net)?
  3. Does the system contain portal access for customers and contractors?
  4. Does the system come with a mobile application for real-time use by building tradespeople (either directly or via an interface solution)?
  5. As part of the implementation and change management processes, are there ‘lessons learned’ that could be shared?
  6. How user friendly is the system/s?
  7. How responsive is the customer services and support team?
  8. Are the provider / developer open to change and development; and if so, is the system easily customisable?
  9. What is the frequency of system updates?
  10. Does the provider / developer have a clear roadmap / development plan for future improvements?
  11. What are the cost implications (develop, implement, support, maintain)?
  12. Would you be willing to demonstrate the system and/or be part of a wider review group?


HBM0393 - Cost effective model for school evening and weekend lets – 16.10.17

This local authority would be grateful if other local authorities could
provide information on the in relation to school evening and
weekend lets:-

  1. Who provides the cover for these lets ?
  2. What hours / shift pattern are worked ?
  3. Are these hours classed as core or outside core hours?
  4. Do employees receive an enhanced rate of pay for covering the lets?


HBM0392 - Handling External Gas Flues During Roofing Work or Roughcasting - 31.08.17

This authority would like to ask others if they could confirm how they
are dealing with the possibility of flue blockages during external
refurbishment contracts.

Concerns relate to the following:

  • Gas flues being dislodged during scaffold erection or dismantling;
  • Gas flues being dislodged during over cladding work;
  • Gas flues not being sealed properly at the external wall after the flue has been extended causing sections of the flue to fail;
  • The capping or removal of flues within attic spaces or the blocking of roof tile flue vents;
  • Air intake being restricted where the gas flue terminal was blocked with mortar and stones during roughcasting;
  • Gas flue terminals being sealed over to prevent them becoming blocked with mortar and stones during roughcasting work; and
  • Window and wall air flow vents being sealed (although this had no immediate health and safety risk, the system would fail a gas safety test).

The authority would like others to provide guidance on any possible
processes you have which allow for the above to be checked and
signed off.


HBM0391 - Rates of Pay for Building Maintenance role - 14.08.17

This local authority would be grateful if other local authorities could
provide information relating to rates of pay for Building Maintenance
Roles. The specific details the authority are seeking relate to the

What are your pay rates for the following roles:

Lift Engineer (Servicing)
Lift Engineer (Installations)
Gas Fitter


  1. Are the rates subject to incremental progression or spot salaries
  2. Are the above roles expected to be multi skilled and do additional
  3. basic tasks in addition to their core skill e.g. joiner does basic
  4. plastering to avoid a further trade visit
  5. Are these roles still on craft terms and conditions if so please state if these are national or local terms
  6. Are these roles on national pay bargaining or local arrangements


HBM0390 - Indicative costs for care home construction projects - 14.08.17

A local authority is undertaking an initial scoping exercise to
ascertain costs for delivering new Care Homes and would be
interested in any information you could share in relation to projects
undertaken in your local authority area in relation to any of the

  • New build facilities with approx 30, 60, 90, or 120 beds
  • Information related to the costs of extending current care home stock

If you have delivered or scoped the work for delivering a new care
home with either 30, 60, 90 or 120 beds and/or have recently
extended care home facilities, they would be very grateful if you
could please share a sentence via e-mail to aholcroft@apse.org.uk
to briefly describe the features of the new facility and an indicative
idea of overall cost. This will help them consider options to pursue.


HBM0389 - CCTV Review - 07.08.17

A Member Authority is currently undertaking a review of their CCTV
and are seeking information regarding what other authorities are
doing with their CCTV installed on housing estates and in blocks of
flats. The Member Authority is particularly interested the following:-

  1. Do you currently have CCTV installed on your estates, if so what are the current numbers installed and are you looking to increase or decrease the number of cameras?
  2. How do you monitor CCTV, is it through a central location and is it done internally or through a third party?
  3. What types of property are covered? – high rise, retirement living, problem estates etc.


HBM0387 - Schedule of Rates - 26.07.17

A Member Authority is wanting to show best value and benchmark
against other Local Authorities. The Authority is seeking
information in relation to Council House Repairs and would like to
know the following:-

  • Do you use a Schedule of Rates for repairs to your Council houses
  • If you do, how do you demonstrate best value for the Council
  • How do you benchmark your rate against market value
  • Would you be able to provide an average value per job for each of your trades, and we can then compare with ours.


HBM0386 - Implementation of Section 20 with in-house repairs service - 18.08.17

A Member Authority has an overall goal to ensure they charge
leaseholders fairly for the works they carry out. For repairs in
communal areas to be recharged to leaseholder’s, their financial
contribution cannot be more than £250 in one financial year. Once it
exceeds this the Member Authority have to enlist their Legal
Services to implement a Section 20 Notice, of the Landlord and
Tenant Act 1985 (amended by the Common hold & Leasehold
Reform Act 2002). This 3 stage consultation can take up to 90 days
for any Replacement works or Improvement works. They ultimately
do not want this to affect lead times and targets of getting the job
done as quickly as possible. The difficulty is that the Authority have
to provide a quote with a description of the works including a price.
This then can be challenged by other companies of a similar
corporate size.

The Member Authority are seeking information from other
Authorities who have been affected by the implementation of
Section 20 with in-house repairs service and are looking for advice,
strategies and processes that have helped to make it a smooth
transition to ensure the continuation of the service.’


HBM0385 - Typical cost for Repairs - 07.07.17

A Member Authority is looking to do a quick cost comparison
exercise with any other Authorities/ALMOs/HAs etc. that are
prepared to share their charges for typical repairs.

The Member Authority has attached a copy of a table (HBM0385 -
Appendix 1) that contains a list of most commonly requested jobs
and is seeking for information in relation to the cost that other
authorities charge for each of jobs.

In addition the Member Authority would also like to know:-

  • what uplift do they put on subcontracted work ?
  • do they operate a minimum charge system, and if so, what is the base charge for standard work, and how do they charge for emergency out-of-hours work.


HBM0384 - Confined Spaces Training for Craft Employees - 26.06.17


A Member Authority is seeking information in relation to confined
spaces training and would be particularly interested in gaining more
details on the following:-

  1. Do you have a copy of your authorities confined spaces training for craft employees that you would be happy to share.
  2. Is this training carried out internally or externally.
  3. What is the cost of providing this training per employee.


HBM0383 - Electrical Periodic Testing of Council Properties - 22.06.17

A Member Authority are seeking advice from other authorities in
relation the Electrical periodic testing of council properties. The
recommendations for testing an electrical installation is 10 years
from the date of a rewire and then every 5 years thereafter. For
properties that have only partially been rewired it is every 5 years.

The Member Authority would be interested to hear how other
authorities are operating this process.

1. Are all properties inspected or only a percentage. If only a
percentage can further details be provided on the percentage level
and how this percentage is determined e.g. random number per
street, voids only, property types etc

2. What is the extent of the testing, eg Do they carry out visual only
testing of the full insulation. Only complete a full installation report if
there are signs of deterioration or abuse. Complete a full
installation report on each inspection


HBM0381 - Defect on the manufacture of kitchens - 13.06.17

A Member Registered Provider has installed approximately 11,000
new kitchens under its Decent Homes programme since 2006 .
From 2011 to date, the authority has recorded over 300 cases of
the kitchen unit doors and drawer fronts delaminating. Whilst it is
acknowledged that resident misuse could be the cause in some of
these cases, the majority of failures seems to be due to an inherent
defect in the manufacture of the doors and drawer fronts.

The Member Registered Provider is seeking information in relation
to the following:-

  1. Are other authorities / registered providers experiencing a similar problem ?
  2. If so, how it is being addressed ?

Of particularly interest to the Member Registered Provider would be
product warranties, recourse through the original contract as a
latent defect, obtaining replacement doors and drawer fronts to
match obsolete ranges of units, the practicalities of having doors
repaired or any other information which may be relevant.

HBM0380 - No access to properties to complete gas or solid fuel servicing - 05.06.17

A Member Authority is seeking information about the processes
other Authorities have in place when gaining access to properties is
causing difficulties for completing the annual gas or solid fuel
heating service.
The Member Authority would be interested to hear if Authorities

  • Capping off the gas meter
  • Fitting restrictors to central heating boilers. (For persistent offenders)
  • Forcing entry into properties.
  • Take Legal action through the Courts.
  • Recharging for the tenant for a missed appointments.
  • They would also be interested to hear of any other initiatives authorities are applying which may have reduced problems with no accesses.


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Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit local government body working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.




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