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Green light for council home improvements 21.1.10

Sutton Council and Sutton Housing Partnership, who manage over 6,000 Sutton Council homes, are today celebrating their entry on to a programme of £112.5 million spending on improving the standard of council housing.

Chaucer House - Image is of a council-owned block of flats

The Government's independent public sector watchdog, the Audit Commission, has awarded Sutton Housing Partnership the coveted 'two star' rating this week (21 January 2010) and has judged their services to be "good" with 'promising prospects for improvement', in their recent inspection of the organisation.

As a direct result, the Government has now agreed to provide £5m in April 2010. This is the first instalment of the £112.5m 'Decent Homes' funding which will be used for investment in Sutton's housing during the next five years.  

Although day to day repair works are ongoing, this funding will mean that the wider programme to bring kitchens, bathrooms and heating up to a higher standard can finally begin.

The Audit Commission inspection was very thorough, reviewing more than 1,050 documents, visiting estates and interviewing managers and staff from Sutton Housing Partnership and Sutton Council. Tenants, leaseholders and contractors were also interviewed to get a real feel for the service provided.

The official report identifies a number of strengths, including accessible services, good quality information, resident involvement in improving services and a prompt repairs service.

Cllr Sean Brennan, Leader of Sutton Council, said: "This is fantastic news for thousands of council tenants. The first instalment of the 'Decent Homes' funding will start in just over two month's time.

"I would like to thank residents and staff for working together to help us achieve the two star rating from the Audit Commission and look forward to an exciting year ahead for Sutton's housing."

Chief Executive of Sutton Housing Partnership, Andrew Taylor, said: "We are thrilled to have been awarded these all important two stars and we are extremely proud of what we have all achieved together.

"I want to thank all the staff at Sutton Housing Partnership and our residents for their support, hard work and dedication."

Jean Crossby, Sutton Housing Partnership resident and Chair of the Sutton Federation of Tenant and Residents' Associations commented: "We would like to thank all the staff at Sutton Housing Partnership for their hard work enabling our ALMO to achieve the two stars.

"Over the last year staff and residents have achieved a great deal together. Services, planning and involvement have improved to a much higher standard and Sutton has an ALMO we can be very proud of. I'd like to thank everyone who has taken the time and commitment to be involved; we just couldn't have done it without you."

Last updated: Monday, 12 April 2010

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