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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.

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.


HBM0379 - New Mobile Oracle Field Service System - 05.06.17

A Member Authority’s Corporate Building & Property Services are
due to pilot a new mobile Oracle Field Service system in the autumn
in their day to day maintenance repairs department and would like
to gain some feedback on how other councils have successfully
made the change to similar hand held technology.
The Member Authority are in the process of setting up a project
team to look at developing the technology. The system will look at
how jobs are appointed, how materials are requested and how
costing information is collated. The areas that the Authority would
be particularly interested in gaining information about are as

  1. How was the change management dealt with and the respective training ?
  2. What types of systems and devices have been used in other Authorities’?
  3. How do you deal with signal/technical issues?
  4. How has the authority overcome any pitfalls/obstacles?
  5. What has the impact on customer satisfaction been?


HBM0378 - Maintenance Performance Figures – No access - 19.05.17

A Member Authority would like to know what other authorities do in
the following situation:-
Work is being attended and carded, the tenant then telephones to
re-arrange. The authority attend again and post a card when the
tenant is not in. Potentially this is adding 10 days each time a post
card to a UR/RO ticket is left.
Could you advise what happens in this instance and how it is
recorded in maintenance performance figures.


HBM0377 - Construction Design and Management Policy and Procedure - 15.05.17

This member authority is interested to know how other
organisations are managing the duties in regards to The
Construction (Design & Management) Regulations (2015) as they
are about to review their CDM Policy and Procedure.
In particular they would be grateful if you could please outline your
approach in response to the following questions:

  • How do you define Construction Works in your organisation? (Are they including routine maintenance within construction work?)
  • Do you produce individual Construction Phase Plans (C.P.P) for every task (such as minor drainage repairs?) or are collective plans covering multiple jobs used?
  • Are different C.P.P templates used for different jobs or is one format used?
  • How do you define how you manage the duties in policy and procedure?

They would be especially interested to see templates/documents
that others are using.


HBM0376 - Charged electronic toilets with timed locks - 15.05.17

A member authority is seeking information regarding charged
electronic toilets with timed locks. The authority have experienced
issues with intravenous drug use in their public toilets, and are
considering replacing some of the toilets with electronic models that
charge 20p for use, where the door will only stay closed for a
maximum of 15 minutes in an attempt to deter drug users.
The member authority would like information in relation to the

  1. Have any other authorities had success with replacing their public toilets with chargeable models in which the doors only stay closed for a maximum of 15 minutes?
  2. If so, what are the costs involved in installing these models?
  3. What companies can be used to install these devices?
  4. If you have used these toilets with success, do you have any accompanying ‘before and after’ statistics, to reflect how their use has impacted on intravenous drug use?


HBM0375 - Roofing and rendering upgrade works - 26.04.17

This local authority within Housing, Customer & Building Services
are actively progressing a large volume of roofing and rendering
upgrade works to their housing stock and would be grateful to hear
from other member authorities in terms of how their programs
operate on site. In particular:-

  1. Are there active roofing and render refurbishment programs progressing within your housing stock?
  2. Is the works carried out by direct labour or sub contracted labour?
  3. Is there a preferred material manufacturer for the works?
  4. How are the scaffolding works accessed for trades operatives?. Ladder access on scaffolding or staired access.
  5. Is there a preferred material handling option for loading out scaffolding e.g barrow hoists / tiles hoists or telescopic lift loading facility.
  6. Would your organisation be able to confirm average SQ/M rates for materials used within these works?


HBM0374 - Housing void pay rates and charges -26.04.17

‘Life of Grime’ type cleans regularly contain biohazards and
needles they present challenging manual handling and waste
disposal problems.
A Member authority would like to ask:

  1. How much other Councils pay their staff who carry out the  ‘Life of Grime’ type housing void                cleans?
  2. The payment difference between a normal void cleaning minor building works and major ones like those seen on the TV?
  3. How are the services provided charged for including rates for:-
  • Initial clean
  • Final cleans
  • Are there Extra for biohazards/needles
  • Are these cleans charged back by an hourly rate?
  • How is waste charged for?


HBM0373 - Replacement of glazing in entrance fire doors - 04.04.17

This APSE member wants to enquire with other Local Authorities if
their in-house glazing teams, or contractors replace broken glass
within their Entrance Fire Doors (Flats with a Communal areas) or
do they engage the company that manufactured the entrance door?
The APSE member is being advised that the in-house workforce,
which are trained to replace glass using the required fire retardant
materials are no longer able to replace glass as the manufacturer
will not guarantee the door. Therefore to retain the guarantee fire
door the company that manufactured the door have to replace any
broken glass reported. They would therefore be interested to hear
how other Local Authorities operate this process


HBM0372reissued - Finance and Performance Monitoring Systems for Corporate Buildings Maintenance -27.04.17

This APSE member is currently in the process of insourcing their
building maintenance service and as part of the preparation they are
keen to explore how others are monitoring the performance of
building maintenance, specifically the financial performance, of their
in-house repairs/maintenance services.
The council will continue to use the Callsys ICT system for control of
this work, and ideally they would like to communicate with other
users. However they would also be interested to speak to councils
who have developed their own monitoring systems which they could
learn from.


HBM0371 - Using in-house DLO to carry out new-house building programme -16.03.17

A member authority are considering using their in-house DLO to
carry out their new-house building programme and would be
interested in finding out the following information:-

  1. Which Local Authorities are carrying out house building using their own DLO/Building Services?
  2. What type of construction is being use (Kit/Modular etc.)?
  3. Did you consider using your DLO and what prevented this?


HBM0370 - Storing and accessing data regarding vulnerable tenants/residents - 16.03.17

A member authority is currently reviewing the way they store and
access data regarding vulnerable tenants/residents or those where
we may need to put in particular measures before our staff can
attend their homes because, for example, there may be a history of
aggressiveness toward council employees. This would apply to
social care staff, housing liaison officers, even waste officers.

The member authority want to know :-

  • How other Councils deal with this information.
  • Who holds/owns the information.
  • How the data is stored in line with DPA.
  • Who has access to it and how the access the data.
  • What criteria do they use for getting on the list and how is it reviewed.

The Member Authority is particularly interested in how the
information is shared across the Council so that useful intelligence
from one department can be shared with another.


HBM0369 - Void & Reactive Maintenance Contracts - 28.02.17

A member authority is looking to advertise void and reactive
maintenance contracts to supplement our internal workforce in
delivering our repairs service to our retained housing stock.
The member authority would like at ask;

  1. How have other authorities asked contractors to price for the work, i.e. hourly rate, schedule of works, fixed prices etc.
  2. Do any pay travel time or is this incorporated into the hourly rate?
  3. Any other information, pitfalls, things to avoid would also be welcome.


HBM0368 - Changes to TV Licencing and the impact on council building without a licence - 22.02.17

A member authority is querying if any other authority has
implemented or are considering implementing new measures to
respond to the changes in TV Licencing.

Background to the query:

Following changes made by the TV Licencing Authority and the
requirement for people to have a TV Licence if they access live TV
streams and I Player. The Member Authority has been inundated
with correspondence from the Licencing Authority to those council
buildings which don’t have a licence. They’re now stating that where
people can live stream or use I Player the building needs to
purchase a licence.

The Member Authority estimate that they have over 200 buildings
that don’t have a TV licence where people could live stream TV or I
Player and have looked at introducing a question page to ask
people to confirm that have a TV Licence, however the authorities
legal team have advised that this won’t suffice as they can’t provide
the licencing authority with any data of those who answer no.

  • The Member Authority would like to establish if any other Local Authority or Public Body is facing the issue?
  • Approximately how many buildings are impacted?
  • What options are you considering to address the issue?
  • If you have implemented an approach to deal with the TV Licencing issues, please could you outline what you have done?
  • Has there been any challenge / issues with the policy that has been implemented?


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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