IT WILL take four months to catch up with the council’s home repairs backlog because of the pandemic, an officer has warned.

In a report presented to Slough councillors at a virtual neighbourhood and community services scrutiny panel on June 22 (Monday), they were told there is currently 1,500 outstanding repairs to council homes across the borough where it may take four months to catch up to the backlog.

Slough Borough Council took the decision to delay any non-urgent repairs to tenants’ properties due to the coronavirus where only emergency or urgent repairs were carried out.

It was also reported that the council’s housing repairs partner Osborne furloughed their staff.

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To catch up with this backlog, councillors were told the council will agree on target completion dates with Osborne and to prioritise work by supporting them and putting them under pressure to get more teams out when necessary.

Richard West, interim director for place and development, said: “We’ve got to get into the detail what these jobs are. Some will take longer than others and we’ll look to improve upon that.

“The difficulty for us is, of course, we’ve got more and more coming all the while – we can’t just tread water.

“We got to do more than we normally do which means that Osborne’s have to gear themselves to do extra and that’s the conversations we are having with them now.”

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With lockdown beginning to ease, it was reported that calls were up 33 per cent last week and work requests were up 30 per cent.

An update on the number of the council’s voids – properties that are unoccupied for a period of time – ready to let was given.

Twenty-eight out of the 77 voids are ready to let with nine viewings undertaken last week, with five sign ups, and six more viewings have been booked this week.

Osborne are working on 29 voids to be ready and the other twenty are in other stages of the process.