South Tyneside Homes defended after social media 'slagging off'

Councillors have praised the work of a housing organisation during the Covid-19 pandemic and hit back at social media critics they face.

Thursday, 6th January 2022, 11:24 am
South Tyneside councillor Wilf Flynn.

It comes after South Tyneside Homes produced their annual report for 2021, which was drawn up by tenants, and reflected on the service provided in the past year.

The arms length management organisation works to manage, maintain and improve South Tyneside’s council homes and estates.

Councillors at Wednesday’s council housing performance panel, after hearing a presentation on the report, praised the group for their work over the past year.

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South Shields Town Hall.

Cllr Wilf Flynn hit out at criticisms the group face on social media, adding in his view they do a good job, with tenants volunteering as part of support groups.

He said: “What really annoys me is when colleagues, and generally it is elected members, who go on social media, not only do they slag off South Tyneside Homes as an organisation, but they slag off the quality of housing.

“By and large they’re very good standards.

“I just think in general South Tyneside Homes does a very good job, and we should always remember the residents’ group are volunteers.”

Cllr James Foreman, council lead member for housing and transport, said it was a “fantastic report”, while acknowledging the impact Covid-19 would have had on the organisation.

He said: “It has been a dramatic two years with the Covid situation and I am aware that South Tyneside Homes has suffered with the Covid situation as well as everybody else in the borough.

“It’s such an important part of everyday life now, I think it’s something that we’re going to have to live with for a long, long time.”

The 2021 report highlighted 79.18% of customer service calls were resolved at first point of contact last year, while the average speed of answering calls was 128 seconds, a 22.42% improvement on 2019/20.

The home standards team at the organisation completed 80,409 repairs in the year, with a 94.33% satisfaction rating, while electrical inspections were also carried out, with 3,200 homes now being tested per year.

The neighbourhoods team responded to 2,390 cases of fly-tipping, with 100% responded to within designated timescales, while there were 1,041 cases of antisocial behaviour recorded, with a 92.8% customer satisfaction response rating.

The annual report can be viewed at www.southtynesidehomesannualreport.org.uk.