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Letter to the editor: tenants deserve better from SDC – updated

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Dear Editor,

Under Labour’s control we had chaos with out-of-hours service in 2019. 

We are now under the Green-led administration and we still have the housing out-of-hours chaos. Nothing has changed!

We have become aware that with the cold snap well and truly here, the Stroud District Council Tenant Out of Hours Service has been failing our tenants once again with many Conservative councillors having to pick up the pieces to get issues resolved.

One elderly tenant’s family member was on hold for over four hours just trying to report the problem on SDC’s emergency out-of-hours telephone number. 

This is not good enough. A new Out of Hours service provider was procured and went live in March this year and it was reported to the senior leadership team that only two weeks in of the new service provider, issues getting through we’re already apparent. We were assured that this was only teething problems but it seems as if nothing has changed. This is not value for money to the taxpayer nor is it acceptable for our tenants, they deserve better. 

Issues reported have mainly been with heating systems failing but the biggest failure is with tenants calling the emergency telephone number to report and then either waiting for hours, getting cut off or not getting through at all. 

Lindsey Green

Stroud District Councillor Representing The Berkeley Vale Ward

A Stroud District Council spokesperson said: “Our out of hours service is run for Stroud District Council by a contractor.

“As soon as we were made aware of an issue with contacting the contractor through our out of hours service on Saturday, our own staff were quickly deployed to assist.

“It is unacceptable for people to be unable to get through when they need help, and we are investigating the reasons for this with the contractor.”

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