I’ve received a response to my Open letter to Councillor Thom, regarding Estate Cleaning:

Dear Neil

Councillor Thom has asked that I respond to your email below and keep him informed of my response.

The cleaning contractor is not issued with any instructions prior to estate inspection by Councillors.  However, as the cleaning contractor delivers the letters  notifying residents of inspections (to do otherwise would be very costly) then the contractor would have prior warning and therefore could arrange for additional cleaning to be undertaken prior to any pre-arranged visit, although the inspection of Badric Court did not indicate that any additional cleaning had been undertaken. However, I have now informed the contractor that no additional cleaning should be undertaken prior to any visits and hope that this will re-assure you and residents. I would also add that regular visits are made to the estate by both the estatemanager and estate services officers and should there be any concerns regarding cleaning, then this is taken up with the contractor as are any complaints made by residents or the Residents’ Association.

In regard to your second question, the contractor is not required under the contract to provide a breakdown of working hours allocated for each estate. The contract requirement is that the standards provided in the detailed cleaning specification are met and it is up to the contractor as to how this is achieved. This allows the contractor some flexibility within the contract whilst ensuring that the cleaningstandards are maintained. In the event that cleaning standards are not being achieved then this will of course be taken up with the contractor who may then provide additional resources of take other action to ensure that the required standards are met. This would then be monitored by Estate Services.

I have provided a copy of the email to Councillor Thom for his information

Regards

Marc Howell

Area Housing Manager

I don’t really think this is a satisfactory reply.  We know, from talking to some of the cleaners, that despite Leaseholders being charged extra for the cost of cleaning the rubbish cupboards, no additional manpower has been assigned for this.  Similarly, we’ve been told that when letters need to be delivered around the Estate, the additional manpower required to do this is obtained by taking cleaners away from their other duties – despite the fact that the Cleaning Contractor charges the Council extra for doing it.

In effect, the Council seems to be saying that even though they pay the Contractor extra for these tasks, they have no way of ensuring that the Contractor actually provides additional manpower for doing them.