HTS boss John Phillips set to quit council’s maintenance company

Business / Wed 31st May 2023 at 08:37am

IT has been announced that the Managing Director of Harlow Council’s maintenance company, HTS, is to leave.

John Phillips, who has led HTS from its inception, leaves his post as Managing Director this week.

In a joint statement, HTS and Harlow Council said:

“Over the last year, HTS and Harlow Council have commissioned various reports to assess issues of performance efficiency and governance arrangement within HTS and between HTS and the council.

In particular, these have been the Plan B reports commissioned by Harlow Council, looking at the environment and housing programmes and the Pennington Choices report commissioned by HTS looking at Value for Money. These reports have been helpful in setting out a programme for improvement to improve efficiency in delivery. Some common themes have emerged:-

Changes required to business processes to improve productivity
Development of new IT solutions to modernise the business and transform operational delivery

Cultural changes in the approaches to delivery and programme management at both HTS and Harlow Council

Changes to the contractual relationship between HTS and the council to enable a better focus on value for money

Reviewing the Governance arrangements between HTS and the council

“Over the last few months productive conversations have taken place to move each of these issues forward. Regular senior management meetings have been reinstituted to oversee this and agree an action plan for change.

These have taken place in a spirit of positive collaboration and there is consensus about the direction of travel. It is acknowledged that at this stage of the company’s life, significant changes to processes and performance delivery are required along with the development of a more productive relationship between the two organisations. Change is also required at Harlow Council and this has commenced with the appointment of a new Chief Executive who will bring further resource and organisational changes.

“Change needs to be driven from the top and this is mutually recognised between the council and HTS.

Accordingly, it is felt by John Phillips that now is the time for a new Managing Director to come in to take HTS forward into the next phase of its existence after he has led the organisation from its inception. John leaves the organisation in a good place and has been a key part of developing the action plan for moving HTS forward.

“A new MD will now be recruited, initially on an interim basis, to take the company forward into its next phase.”

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12 Comments for HTS boss John Phillips set to quit council’s maintenance company:

David Forman
2023-05-31 09:03:59

"Change needs to be driven from the top and this is mutually recognised between the council and HTS." This shows that the inefficient housing repair service is due to senior management failing to invest in modern management information systems and sort out organisational relationships. I wonder if those blaming the frontline workers will now apologize?

Chris Lion
2023-05-31 10:41:29

There is also a shocking lack of qualified staff within Harlow Council, who are able to manage and oversee the standard of the works carried out by HTS.

2023-05-31 10:52:54

The reviewing and checking of work reported Vs work done is also seriously lacking with no consequences or improvement if problems occur. I had reported several lamp posts handled by Harlow council. Ones including wires hanging out. Contact centre raised this to hts who inspected it and confirmed that it needed repair. (Thanks several years as an electrician count for nothing then) was told it would be up to 21 working days to rectify. I asked what happens after 21 days. Contact centre seem perplexed by the question and couldn't answer. We are now on day 40 something and I follow up again, including contact and repair@hts. Contact comes back and tells me they've forwarded the enquiry to repair@hts... To summarise I wonder how many repairs reported have not been actioned, fully completed or checked by the council to ensure value for money and an improvement for the town?

2023-05-31 12:44:47

What a joke, Friend had HTS come out the other year to have their windows replaced, they came out then said no they couldn't do them even though the bathroom window has a big crack in it!

2023-05-31 14:56:43

Harlow council management used to have degrees in basket weaving . Spenty years on hdc dlo. Jobs for the boys irrespective of qualifications ,a cheff was made a housing officer ,a painter a building surveyor ,a pig farmer a municipal manager ,if this is still going on it sucks !

Nick Gunning
2023-05-31 15:00:50

The usual. The Tories will be desperate to hand contracts to business friends, regardless of quality or service to the community. And, as usual, the contract would be 'cheaper' than in house, but have to be repeated far more often. Its not HTS, its the culture of the present ruling group that leads to such things as shoddy wiring, wet room leaking into the kitchen, plastic trunking and gas mains piping screwed onto the wallpaper, heating bypassing the thermostat and coming on in summer when it's switched off. Again, HTS have to make up the damage.

2023-05-31 15:23:28

HTS arrive to cut the grass verges to improve the environment, then park on the grass verges and churn them all up.

2023-05-31 16:04:42

Sounds like HTS, HDC and ECC are similar with quality of workmanship, yet senior staff are well paid. We need better staff at the top of the ladder - good leadership is so important.

Up on the roof
2023-05-31 18:23:31

It’s ok I’ve only been waiting a year for my roof to be repaired it’s been through a lot in the year. The council haven’t even been round to inspect it so that will be more time wasted

Stephen Burkett
2023-05-31 22:10:56

Good I’ve had a ticket for works to be done on my home for 2 yrs I’ve not had no refurbishment done to my home considering all the other council homes that have had works ie new kitchens bathrooms and windows

2023-06-01 05:13:05

I was told in January some one would come inspect the mold in my flat phoned Feb phone March phone April may no sign scaffold gone up over the other block was there for a year were paying for that and never did see any work being done now scaffold gone up I other block not seen anyone use it I'm a builder Retired but if they put scaffold up I do it myself guttering like a waterful when it rains so best he go and then we might get someone to do some repairs done

2023-06-02 21:10:30

Need to also out the caretakers, the cleaning is a joke, do a bit of mopping and sweeping on ground floor and that's it, don't bother with the other eight floors. Why are there no supervisor's coming and checking what's being done. Why am I paying for this service every week. I wouldn't pay a cleaner to come to my flat and let them sit on there bum the whole time. Don't charge for a service you are not providing.

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