Cornwall Council has promised it is ‘taking immediate action’ after two damning reports into housing services
Cornwall Council and Cornwall Housing, part of the Corserv Group
30th June 2021
By Juliet Lunam
Findings included a lack of up to date gas, electrical and fire safety checks and asbestos and water hygiene inspections, lost council revenue and allegations the company was pressured by the council into buying properties which had not been surveyed, to use for housing.
The independent review was carried out earlier this year because concerns were raised around how services were being run.
Now the authority and Cornwall Housing, part of the Corserv Group, are writing to all tenants and leaseholders to set out what is being done.
The review led to a full audit into health and safety compliance which found Cornwall Housing did not meet the required standard in several areas.
These include electrical inspections being out of date and poor systems and records for keeping compliance checks.
Council officials say being overdue with compliance checks does not necessarily mean homes are not safe and the teams are working every day to get back on track with the recommended timetable.
The initial report, by Altair, says Cornwall Housing Ltd is ‘an average performing housing manager’ and points out ‘this falls short of the current vision as set out in Cornwall Council’s Housing Service Plan, which aspires to the ‘provision of first-class services to customers and for residents’.
Cornwall Housing is producing a long-term action plan to improve performance, and its board and the council say they will assure its effective implementation.
Iain Sim, newly appointed Interim Managing Director of Cornwall Housing Limited, said: “We’re accountable and responsible for the management of 10,500 homes in Cornwall and we take these matters very seriously. “We are contacting all our tenants and leaseholders to reassure them we are rapidly addressing the findings in the report as the safety, health and wellbeing of our residents is our top priority.
“We will make sure we have strong governance from our board and visible leadership from our managers to resolve the issues in our operations and to improve our performance. Importantly, our main focus is to intervene now to bring us back up to safety standards and deliver high quality homes and housing services to the communities of Cornwall.”
Olly Monk, Cornwall Council cabinet member for housing, said: “The council is responsible to tenants for the services provided by Cornwall Housing on its behalf and the health and welfare of residents is our highest priority.
“The findings of these two independent reviews are concerning and the council will be making sure these issues are addressed urgently.”
Tenants concerned about their homes can contact Cornwall Housing on 01872 323890 or email email@example.com.