Wisbech councillors say Roddons reputation is ‘trashed’

residents and councillors upset with the housing probelms at John F Kennedy Court
left to right  Cllr Peter Human, Cllr Alan Lay, Jane Abrams and Trevor Daisley ANL-160330-162923009
residents and councillors upset with the housing probelms at John F Kennedy Court left to right Cllr Peter Human, Cllr Alan Lay, Jane Abrams and Trevor Daisley ANL-160330-162923009

Councillors told executives that a housing association’s reputation had been “trashed”.

Wisbech Town Council has received a string of complaints about the standard of properties let by Circle Roddons.

Head of housing Sue Stavers and John Fox, from the repairs and maintenance service, told the council that a total of £6 million has been invested in properties between 2014 and 2017. They also said surveyors will be assessing stock.

Cllr Steve Tierney called for the association to sign up to the landlord licensing scheme.

Speaking at the meeting on Monday last week Cllr Tierney said: “I don’t mean this to be disrespectful but I feel the reputation of your company has been trashed. A lot of people are very unhappy with the service they are getting. A lot of us get reports of problems in your properties.”

Problems with damp and black mould have been raised. But Mrs Stavers said that some of the older properties were not built for “modern lifestyles” and that there is a 25- day repair standard.

She said: “If some customers are not willing or able to change their lifestyles as they don’t have any other option, that is really difficult. Condensation has to be managed rather than cured.”

Cllr Peter Human handed over a dossier of evidence, including photographs and emails.

He said: “This will give you a feeling of your tenants.”

Cllrs Michael and Virginia Bucknor asked about checks made to properties prior to letting after visiting a home in Grosvenor Road.

Mr Bucknor said: “The garden had asbestos with needles and glass on the surface. This is a family with young children. This is dangerous.”

Cllr Carol Cox raised concerns about the impact of anti-social behaviour on tenants.

Mrs Stavers outlined some of the actions open to the firm to deal with anti-social behaviour and urged tenants to report problems.

Cllr Alan Lay raised concerns about John F Kennedy Court.

He said: “I ask you to seriously consider getting the entrances blocked off so only the tenants have access to the so-called toilet facilities at John F Kennedy Court.”

The council will be inviting the representatives to return in three months to hold them to account.