For your eyes only: Appendix 3 Audit report for East Kent Housing (EKH) – tenant health and safety


The Shepwayvox Team can now publish the damning report which was restricted from the public and East Kent Housing Tenants. Over the next few days we will be coming back to EKH, but for now openness, transparency and the public interest has won the day.

The Appendix 3 Audit report for East Kent Housing (EKH) – tenant health and safety was a restricted document. However, Cllr Prater (Libe Dem), Mullard (UKIP), Whybrow (Green) ,Davison (Lab) ,Dorrell (Lab)  and Shoob (Green)  voted to have this and one other document discussed in public and as such we are able to bring you these documents. We are grateful to these Councillors for abiding by their election promises on this occasion.

Front Page

We bring you the document in its entirety as a downloadable pdf (click blue link below). We do so for reasons of accuracy, openness and transparency.  East Kent Housing tenants and the public can make up their own mind about Deborah Upton’s management ever since she joined the organisation in April 2016. And you can decide if she’s really worth that £110,000 pound salary.

Appendix 3: Audit report for East Kent Housing (EKH) – tenant health and safety

The headline is simple:

  • Urgent management intervention is required of all the key areas tested as part of the review as each Council could be considered to be acting unlawfully in all of the areas tested due to non-compliance with the regulations applicable to each area tested.

Deborah Upton knew our council was acting unlawfully when she came to the last Overview & Scrutiny Committee on the 16th July.  She chose not to inform the committee, thus plain and simply making our Council liable for her failings to look after the Council’s housing stock, as is clear from the video below. For that she must either resign or be sacked in our opinion.

The urgent issues which need pdq attention highlighted in the report are:

  • Approx 4,800 issues identified in fire risk assessments

  • Around 2,000 faulty emergency lights across all four Councils, as such Councils may be in breach of Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

  • 830 Electrical Installation Reports of which 230 unsatisfactory issues with both C1 Danger Present – Risk of Injury. Immediate remedial action required. Testing for C1 and C2 identified in 2016 and still not been rectified.

  • Lift servicing: 4 lifts non compliant for 575, 426, 393, 91 days.

  • Little or no action taken on 1,916 recommendations made on Legionella Risk assessments, of which 930 have been catergorised as high risk

Gas Safety received a limited assurance from the audit. This means:

  • From the testing completed during the review some of the necessary controls of the system are in place, managed and achieved. There is evidence of significant errors or non-compliance with many key controls not operating as intended resulting in a risk to the achievement of the system objectives. Scope for improvement has been identified, improving existing controls or new recommending new controls.

Fire Safety, Electrical Safety, Lifts, Legionella received NO Assurance, which means:

  • From the testing completed during this review a substantial number of the necessary key controls of the system have been identified as absent or weak. There is evidence of substantial errors or non-compliance with many key controls leaving the system open to fundamental error or abuse. The requirement for urgent improvement has been identified to improve existing controls or new controls should be introduced to reduce the critical risk.

Having read the document, it shows issues dating back to 2016. We know there were significant and serious issues in 2017, 2018 and 2019. With Deborah Upton at the helm it does not bode well for East Kent Housing, it is time for her to go.

Looking back through our blogs on P & R, we did raise all the above issues in April 2019 and even predicted our new Cllrs would be talking about these issues in the Chamber in June/July 2019 (final paragraph). Was it prescient? No. We just understand how slowly local government moves.

The Shepwayvox Team

The Velvet Voices of Dissent

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2 Comments on For your eyes only: Appendix 3 Audit report for East Kent Housing (EKH) – tenant health and safety

  1. doggerbank56 // September 11, 2019 at 08:51 // Reply

    In the interests of open government and public accountability you should publicly offer Deborah Upton the opportunity to defend her actions by giving her the right of reply to the very serious accusations that have been made against her!

    If she declines this opportunity it will be yet further evidence that she is not fit to hold her current position.

  2. doggerbank56 // September 11, 2019 at 11:34 // Reply

    I would like to congratulate the Councillors concerned for acting in the public interest.

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