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FEATURES - AN INSPECTOR CALLS

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Best Value Inspection Service ...
Best Value Inspection Service

Kirklees MBC

Kirklees MBC's building regulation service has been awarded the top three star rating by the Best Value Inspection Service.

Inspectors said the service was exceptional with excellent prospects for improvement.

'The council delivers the building regulation function in an excellent manner with both efficiency and effectiveness. Customers rate the service highly, referring to its positive approach, excellent staff, flexibility and entrepreneurial marketing,' the report said.

Key strengths highlighted included the council consistently meeting or exceeding its targets on customer service standards, the continuous personal and professional development of staff and an excellent education, information and liaison service.

Inspectors recommended that physical access for customers could be improved by bringing together the reception areas for building control and development control.

Leicester City Council

Leicester City Council's housing repairs and maintenance department has received a three star rating from the Best Value Inspection Service.

Inspectors were impressed with the service's innovative and tenant-focused features.

Roy Irwin, chief inspector of housing, said: 'Despite a challenging social and economic environment and a large housing stock with a demanding age and build profile, Leicester has shown that the decent homes standard can be achieved by taking a sensible and thoughtful approach to maintenance services.'

He added: 'The council has clear priorities [for the] service and investment has been well targeted. We were impressed by the commitment of staff and members and by the involvement of tenants in further developing and improving this excellent service.'

The staff make-up reflects the diverse community in Leicester as the council has actively encouraged the recruitment of more women and members of the black and minority ethnic community.

Medway Council

Medway Council's housing and repair service has received a zero star rating from the Best Value Inspection Service.

Inspectors said the service was poor but had promising prospects for improvement.

Customer satisfaction levels were low, tenants had not been actively involved in setting service standards and targets, they received little information about the service and performance was poor when compared to similar councils. Additionally, the council under-spent its available resources, despite a significant repairs backlog.

Roy Irwin, chief inspector of housing, said: 'A number of factors have led us to judge this service as poor. But we also want to recognise the positive response from the council to our report and inspection. They have produced

a comprehensive plan to improve services

to tenants.'

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