Southampton City Council
Registering its extensive programme of disabled adaptations to its Sheltered Housing Scheme has proved to be a constructive influence, says Southampton City Council.
The council’s Housing Operation team says the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) has provided invaluable guidance to the county-wide property upgrade by helping to benchmark both the installation work and community relations.
Contract and Project Manager, Jonathan Holmes, said about the CCS:
Registration has been a totally positive experience which has helped managers and trade staff to focus on and improve each and every aspect of the service they provide.
It helps regulate installations and keeps staff focused on the customer – and maintaining high standards.
It has enabled staff to feel more involved and part of a worthwhile scheme, and has enabled staff to have the opportunity to achieve goals and objectives.
It also sets a benchmark for staff to aim for year on year and helps to underpin the promotion of our ‘Pride and Ownership’ logo.
One of three contracts run by the same team to deliver on-going housing stock improvements across Southampton includes a property at Orpen Road, which was highly praised by Scheme Monitor Mike Petter.
The impression presented by the project and the workforce is excellent. There is a good deal of consideration shown to the community affected by the work.
The project team and employer clearly value their workforce with exceptional care being demonstrated. The regular one-to-one meetings provide an excellent opportunity for feedback and checking of competency and training needs.
Successful initiatives introduced on the Orpen Road project include the installation of A-frame boards to the front of each property, providing public information on the Scheme, with useful contact details.
Mr Holmes said the team had also honed a slick delivery and collection system with all materials delivered to tradesmen on site, as well as daily waste collections. Demonstrating the team’s consideration to residents, he said:
We have flexible booking for our residents and offer residents practically any start date they would like.
We also regularly fit our installations around the residents’ care plan or individual requirements and in some properties have agreed not to start work on site until 10am each day.
Another of our standard procedures is to survey each resident’s property according to their needs, and a CAD (Computer-Aided Design) is carried out for each.
Commenting on the challenges faced by the team at Orpen Road, Mr Holmes said that keeping staff focused on what could be a monotonous rolling programme of work was a challenge, as well as gaining access and booking appointments with residents.
Other hurdles encountered by the team included the removal of asbestos in time to keep the programme moving as well as balancing demands of prioritising critical jobs.
Explaining how the Scheme had proved to be a positive influence, Mr Holmes said:
I currently have three projects signed up and improvements in all three work streams have been made, based on the recommendations from the CCS Monitors.
I would definitely recommend signing up to the CCS. I attended a CCS Workshop in London and found it a very useful and insightful experience.
I have since sent two of my assistant managers on similar Workshops. It is not only informative about CCS, but is also a great place to network with competitors and make comparisons with others from within the building industry.
We recently had our final Scheme inspection at Orpen Road and were given a score of 41 out of 50, receiving a Performance Beyond Compliance Certificate.
Southampton City Council first registered with the Scheme in 2000 and has since completed several projects under the CCS guidance, with its Home 10 Programme scooping a gold accolade in the Scheme’s National Site Awards 2002.