Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Hello to Dean , Green councillor in neighbouring Brockley ward who has just started blogging. I certainly share some of his frustrations over housing in Lewisham - not only the shortage of social housing, but the fact that a significant chunk of my casework in my (limited) experience so far has been chasing up seemingly simple repairs like broken glass panes which should have been done within days, but have taken months to get fixed, or jobs that end up being much bigger and more expensive because they are left until they are urgent, even one case of a leaseholder who had been asking the council for over a year to invoice her for work they had carried out on her property! Yes, that's right - it took a year of this resident saying 'I want to give you money' before the council would send her a bill. Have to hope that for every case we get that needs following up, hundreds of repairs have been done within a reasonable time frame, but suspect that there are also hundreds of cases of residents who just give up after ringing the council a few times and nothing happening.

There still seems to be some confusion amongst council officers about who is responsible for what since the reorganisation of housing/regeneration earlier in the year, and the extensive use of contractors for repair work seems to lead to greater comunication problems than when council employees do carry out the work. On a positive note, I've now found a housing officer who seems to get things done, so I'll be hassling him regularly from now on!

We have an Overview and Scrutiny committee tomorrow which is going to set up a sub-committee to look at housing issues, including ALMOs and the implementation of PFI schemes. The Brockley PFI contract (which covers Ladywell) is due to be signed early in the new year - the improvements to the housing stock are welcome and long overdue, but PFI (putting it all on tick) is a very expensive way of doing things.

1 comment:

kate said...

im glad im not the only person to have these problems with lewisham council.