Harlow Council announce suspension of some housing repairs due to Covid-19

Harlow Council / Wed 16th Dec 2020 at 08:32am

BRIAN Keane, Harlow Council’s Chief Executive, and John Philips, HTS Group Ltd Managing Director, have today issued the following service update:

Harlow Council and HTS have agreed to temporarily reduce non-emergency and non-urgent repairs, works, inspections and visits inside homes as cases of Covid-19 in the town increase. 

Service provision continues to be regularly reviewed alongside Harlow’s latest infection rates and decisions by the government on tier alert levels. Yesterday it was announced that Harlow will move to tier 3 from tomorrow, Wednesday 16 December, as cases continue to increase in the town. 

The following service changes will protect the health and wellbeing of council tenants, residents, visitors to town, HTS and Harlow Council staff:

Responsive Repairs

HTS are currently only undertaking emergency and urgent repairs in council homes. All standard repairs within homes have been suspended now until 4 January 2021.   

Both roofing and fencing works are still possible to safely undertake during this period.

Capital works 

All external capital works programmes can continue safely following COVID-19 guidance, but internal works have been put on hold. 

Urgent internal works that only take one day to complete will continue, for example boiler replacements.

Internal works programme 

HTS will complete works which are currently underway and not completed. All council tenants with appointments between now and 4 January 2021 will be contacted and updated on these changes.

Aids and Adaptations

All internal works are suspended unless health and safety related. External adaptations will continue.


Repairs and improvements to garages will continue.

Gas and electricity compliance

All gas and electrical inspections have now being completed. Priority will move into testing and health and safety works in communal areas where required.

Mutual Exchanges

Inspections inside homes for mutual exchanges are now on hold.

Sumners Farm Close

Work to build new units at Sumners Farm Close will continue. 

Environmental Services

Services including litter picking, street cleaning, building cleaning, parks and landscapes, waste management will continue to be provided at normal service levels.

Building control and environmental health visits

From now until 4 January 2021 there will be no visits by council staff to, or work carried out in, residential properties except where the visit is conducted on the outside of the property but requires access through the property. For example inspection of a rear extension. This will not apply to commercial and educational premises where visits will proceed as normal provided appropriate risk assessments have been done and social distancing protocols observed. The situation will be reviewed at the beginning of January.

Keeping residents safe

All HTS and council employees are required to continue to follow the latest government guidelines on hand washing, wearing face coverings and social distancing.

Council tenants must advise HTS if they or anyone in their property have any of the following symptoms of coronavirus: 

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

If a tenant has these symptoms their appointment will be cancelled and rescheduled. Residents with symptoms are also advised to follow any government guidelines and should self-isolate and book a test at www.gov.uk or call 119

If any HTS and council employees develop any of the above symptoms, they cannot attend work and are asked to stay home, self-isolate and book a test.

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