The staff at East Kent Housing (EKH) and the services it provides are set to transfer to the four councils that own it at close of play on September 30 this year.
EKH currently manages more than 17,000 properties on behalf of Canterbury City Council, Dover District Council, Folkestone & Hythe District Council and Thanet District Council.
The decision to break it up was made by councillors at all four councils at the start of the year following a consultation with tenants.
The move was prompted by a series of health and safety failings discovered at some of the properties that EKH was managing for the councils.
Since then work has been undertaken to address the failings and updates have been provided to the Regulator for Social Housing.
In a statement, the Chief Executives from the four councils – Colin Carmichael, Nadeem Aziz, Susan Priest and Madeline Homer – said: “We have been determined to ensure the transfer of staff and services from EKH back to the councils happens as quickly as humanly possible in the interest of tenants and to end the uncertainty for EKH staff who are doing an incredible job in very trying circumstances.
“Council officers and senior managers at EKH have been working hard in the background to put all of the arrangements in place and we are now in a position to proceed at pace.
“A determination to retain EKH staff, minimise redundancies and work closely with all staff has always been at the heart of the process.
“There will be more jobs available across the four councils than people currently employed by EKH.
“We also hope many of the agency staff who have been vital in supporting the organisation during this period of fundamental change will want to go and work for one of the four councils when the services transfer and we will be working with them to make that happen.”
Read here: Thanet councillors due to approve axing of East Kent Housing contract
Read here: Questions raised over prior knowledge of East Kent Housing safety failings at council properties
Read here: Birchington engineer says East Kent Housing gas check backlog just the latest safety concern to affect Thanet tenants
Read here: Consultation opens over plans to ditch East Kent Housing
It was run by councillors
Are you brushing wrong doings under a carpet so we forget you paid P AND R without proper oversee of work not being done
Those councillors should resign because you allowed this to happen for years it also involves other councils and councillors who should resign.
Paying the company and not overseeing work just proves how shite the council is for peoples lives.
Did you not chase a Councillor out of her chair because she told you and the public how you put lives in danger.
Toxic dangerous council and CEO you paid them. You saw their non committal of work and tried to hide this you should resign too.
It happens in all areas now. The NHS / councils / rail, schools they farm the work out to outside contractors and get a very poor service in return so they have to take it back in-house. The danger is they don’t want to admit it was a mistake to farm out the work in the first place so things go from bad to worse.
It was hardly farmed out to a contractor, TDC were a part owner of EKH. they were also meant to be keeping an eye on what they were doing. Instead they starved it of money and between themselves and the other 3 councils didn’t want the unified service they set ekh up to provide, complete waste of money setting it up and now the same people that failed to oversee ekh want to do it all.
More empire building.
Yes, “outsourcing” was all the rage not long ago. And ,I fear, may still have some kind of shelf-life with out-of-touch Councils.
“Outsourcing” looks attractive because it seems like you can get just one organisation to do what four organisations did before. But, who could ever have imagined! it’s just not possible to squeeze four people’s work out of just one. The whole operation starts to slow down. Staff are harassed, worn out, and start to miss things. The quality of the service declines.
On the same subject, the NHS was forced by the government to “outsource” the supply of Personal Protection Equipment to various private firms in China or Turkey. Guess what, when dealing with private firms, you find that they sell to the highest bidder, and, when a pandemic appears, they will have desperate customers all over the world with ready cash to buy their PPE.
Say what you like about the Tory government, but they have never had any ready cash when it comes to the welfare of the public!
So, instead of getting lots of outsourced PPE, we are faced with shortages and embarrassing scrabbles around the world to try to procure enough.
Stop all this privatisation and outsourcing! In the end, the state and the tax-payers pick up the bill and the owners of outsourcing firms walk away with millions.
Let the Councils run their own, inhouse, housing departments and let the NHS set up their own manufacturing units to produce the kit they need. Cut out the dodgy middlemen!
Absolutely agree. Definition of outsourcing – “a transfer of function that superficially shows a saving on Day 1 which actually costs the taxpayer many times more with lower quality over the course of the contract.” The contracting body inevitably changes their mind at the end of the contract and wants it all back in house at further huge cost to the taxpayer. The problem is that the private companies have amassed an army of staff who can comfortably outwit the morons who are involved in setting up these deals in the Councils. Win win for the private companies, lose lose for the taxpayers.
Fantastic how the Councils are painting themselves as the Knights in shining armour here riding to the rescue. Don’t anyone forget that their Councillors were on the Board and they had very well paid “client officers” who were meant to be providing oversight and scrutiny. Yes, those who were leading EKH deserved to go but so did senior managers at TDC. It’s a disgrace how they have avoided any scrutiny into their part in this debacle.
Long live capitalism eh? Outsourcing another word for privatisation another word for let’s steal public money no questions asked. Seen it all before!
Keefog and THANET Blind, I fully agree with what you both say. Regarding the government the Conservatives do not have one policy in the last 50 years that has been of benefit to the taxpayers, indeed in the long-term the policies have cost taxpayers billions and billions of pounds. These are facts that have been fully researched. Not one policy’.
The whole sage should be fully investigated by the fraud department.
As reported elsewhere, the current Gas contractor Gas Call Services Ltd are in dispute with all four councils over the T & C’s of the contract. This doesn’t bode well for us tenants here in Thanet or elsewhere, not given the councils previous track record of allowing up to £1.5million of suspected fraudulent payments to P & R.
@ThanetianBlind one must remember:
Savings for outsourcing do not require that efficiencies be recorded net of up-front investment costs i.e. if you spend money to save money, you count the money saved but not the money spent in the process. By this logic, scrapping council officers and ekh satff and hiring in monkeys counts as a total saving. The monkeys I think might do a better job who knows!
Strangely (or not so strangely) EKH has got rid of all the minutes of board meetings which used to be on its website…the chief execs are clearly looking to continue blaming the previous administration and want any evidence that it raised questions with them gone.
Added to which, with the current gas issues, the previous chair of EKH James Queay, as well as the residents panel chair, wrote to the chief execs outlining the board’s concern at the councils decision to appoint gas call (at a lower rate than the previous provider) and was told roundly by the chief execs to get back in his box. You need to foi them on those letters (though they’ll probably pretend they don’t exist), as it shows just how much the chief execs and councils are to blame for this whole situation, and how they can no more manage their housing stock, than they can manage a piss up in a brewery. I find it very worrying how opaque EKH has become under the councils- at least there was proper, regular questioning and scrutiny prior to the chief execs taking over, so why isn’t the Isle of Thanet News continuing to probe this?
The regulator for housing should also be made aware of these things, as the previous board was very much scapegoated by the councils, which had their own agenda of pulling the service back in-house, and not because it would do a better job for tenants, but because the chief execs didn’t like it.