(Walkabouts, Grounds Maintenance and Communal Cleaning)
Why was this area chosen for review?
This review was chosen because, from Scrutiny Panel members’ contact with other customers, there were particular concerns about perceptions, trust and confidence in the 'walkabout' process, and standards in grounds maintenance and communal cleaning were not consistent.
What was the aim of the review?
Key aims of the review were to make neighbourhood walkabouts, ground maintenance and communal cleaning functions more effective; and to review and challenge current standards in the consistent application of maintenance and cleaning contracts.
How was information gathered?
The Panel gathered information and evidence for the review through:
- looking at current processes for walkabouts;
- one-to-one discussions and informal interviews with Curo colleagues;
- assessing service standards set out within maintenance and cleaning contracts against their actual application; and
- photo-evidence (before and after) of maintenance and cleaning carried out in communal areas.
What did the Panel conclude?
From the review, the Panel found that walkabouts are on the whole valued by customers as a way for letting Curo know of what needs improving in local neighbourhoods and communal facilities. But, there was an inconsistent approach which meant that some customers did not have any trust or confidence that improvements would be made quickly or at all. The re[ort challenges Curo to have greater and stronger accountability and consistency in the way identified issues and concerns are addressed, and be efficient in addressing them so that customers can be more satisfied.
The Panel also found that contractors providing grounds maintenance and cleaning services are paid to do work according to quite detailed and stringent specifications, which is good. But, the challenge is to make sure that Curo monitors these contracts effectively so that these standards are firstly promoted to local residents and are fully met.
What is Curo doing in response to this review?
Curo welcomed the report and the recommendations and has made plans to improve the trust and confidence of local customers. This plan is being put into place by the Head of Neighbourhoods and overseen by the Executive Director of Customer Services.