A new IT system will be introduced at Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils to reduce council house repair times.

The Totalmobile service will allow council house tenants to book repairs straight away and appoint the right contractor to the job, to reduce waiting times and tenants having to chase the council for action.

Announcing the decision at Mid Suffolk Cabinet, Councillor Rachel Eburne, cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “As we know the current systems are not working well and this has contributed to a service in need of improvement as well as increased costs.

"Repairs and maintenance of our council homes is of paramount importance. We must provide tenants with a reliable service and ensure all issues are promptly dealt with and resolved.

“There have been too many delays, too many repairs not completed, and consequently too many complaints. We are letting our tenants down and we should be doing all we can to ensure they have secure and comfortable homes, as well as looking after the council’s assets.”

East Anglian Daily Times:

Implementing the new system will cost £136,915 in the first year, which includes an annual subscription cost of nearly £18,000.

Ms Eburne added: “Totalmobile is a system used by many councils around the country including many housing associations such as Orwell Housing. The costs for the system are all in the current budget.”

At Monday's Babergh cabinet meeting, cabinet member for housing, councillor Jessie Carter, said: “It has been known to us for far too long that our current IT system is not fit-for-purpose resulting in tenants being uninformed about the progress of their repairs with some waiting months or even years for scheduling of works.

“This system has the potential to revolutionise our approach to repairs and communications with tenants.”

East Anglian Daily Times:

And Helen Davies, a Liberal Democrat Babergh cabinet member, made clear that the council was committed to tackling council house delays and improve services for tenants.

She said: “When we first saw the state of the housing area, it didn’t look great but people have worked really hard to turn this around and we’re starting to see the impact of these efforts now so thanks go to the housing team for all their efforts.”