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Lib Dem Questions to Folkestone and Hythe District Council - 26th June

July 2, 2019 10:43 AM
Originally published by Folkestone and Hythe Liberal Democrats

From Councillor Prater to Councillor Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Housing, Transport and special projects

Tim Prater and Gary FullerWould the Cabinet member for Housing provide the number of LGSR's (gas safety certificate tests) on our housing stock that EKH invoiced this council for in each of the financial years 2016-17, 2017-2018, and 2018-2019?

ANSWER

Information provided by East Kent Housing shows the following number of gas safety inspections (LGSRS) were completed and invoiced over the 3 year period from 2016-2019:

  • In 2017/18, 4459 LGSRS were completed and invoiced by our contractor.
  • In 2018/19, 3737 LGSRS were completed and invoiced by our contractor.

The information is not available for 2016/17 as this work relates to our previous contractor.

SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION:

The figures in 18/19 were less than in 17/18 - this does not stack up?

ANSWER:

The council's contract was currently up for renegotiation, and therefore certain information could not be released due to its commercial sensitivity. I will get the figures checked for you.

Wrriten Update Provided after the meeting:

Information provided by EKH states that the number of LGSRS completed in any one year varies because the update inspections, wherever possible, are completed prior to the expiry of the previous 12 month LGSR. This can result in a significant increase in certificates completed in any one 12 month period and a reduction in the next. However, as you are aware, the issue of LGSRS is being fully investigated by this and the other owner Councils.

[Note from Tim: Gas Safety Certificates are an annual requirement on all of our council's properties. We should therefore expect that each year, we're charged for at least one LGSR per property the council owns.

In 2017/18, that looks broadly true - the Council has about 4,500 with East Kent Housing, and we were invoiced for that many checks.

The following year, without having sold any significant number of properties, we're invoiced for 700 less certificates. The Council should have seen at that point there was an issue, but failed to do so for weeks and months afterwards. that should NOT be the responsibility of EKH to explain.]

From Councillor Fuller to Councillor Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Housing, Transport and special projects

Can the cabinet member for Housing confirm the full potential extent of this Council's financial legal liability (the fine we may face) now it has been uncovered that for a period of time there were hundreds of our properties not
covered by an in date Gas Safety Certificate (LGSR)?

ANSWER:

At this time I am unable to fully respond to this question. I can confirm that the Council referred itself to the Social Housing Regulator and together with EKH is actively working with the Regulator. Members will be updated further on the outcome of this process once it has been completed.

SUPPLEMENTARY QUESTION:

Can you confirm that the actual amount of fine will be published?

ANSWER:

Yes, assuming that there is a fine.