Councils in dispute with gas contractor while setting a date to transfer East Kent Housing services to councils
On the 13th December 2019, the four chief execs of Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone & Hythe and Thanet Councils became the directors of East Kent Housing.
The Shepwayvox Team has established that in less than three months, the gas contractor Gas Call Services Limited, (who started 01/11/19) issued all four councils with a dispute letter relating to the contract tender terms.
This matter remains unresolved as we understand from well placed sources inside FHDC, EKH and Gas Call Services Ltd.
It was announced yesterday staff at East Kent Housing (EKH) and the services it provides are set to transfer to the four councils that own it at close of play on 30 September (2020) this year.
The decision to break up EKH was made by councillors at all four councils at the start of the year following a consultation with tenants.
The move was prompted by a series of health and safety failings exposed by the Shepwayvox Team after an eighteen month investigation highlighted significant issues; which included:
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
I am sure none of the Councils will want this dispute to go anywhere near a Court. I do not know what the contract states about dispute resolution but, if they have any sense it should include an arbitration clause. You may wish to submit an FOI request to obtain the necessary clarification.