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Disabled Angus tenant’s faulty frame measured SIX times in 18 months but not fixed in growing repairs backlog

Angus Council's repair contract with MPS collapsed earlier this year.
Angus Council's repair contract with MPS collapsed earlier this year.

Angus Council has said sorry to tenants over a mountain of unfinished work following the collapse of a £10 million repairs contract earlier this year.

It comes as one disabled woman revealed a broken window in her council house has been measured SIX times in 18 months and is still to be fixed.

Arlene Watson from Forfar says she is “sick with stress” over the situation.

The authority has now set up a direct link for folk to report problems as they try to deal with the mounting backlog.

What is behind the backlog?

In January, Airdrie-based MPS pulled out of the multi-million pound repair arrangement just 10 months into a three-year deal.

The company was dealing with repairs to council homes in Montrose, Brechin, Forfar and Kirriemuir.

MPS said the contract was “unsustainable”.

The firm used a break clause in the agreement.

A new contractor was appointed but tenants revealed a catalogue of repair horror stories.

And housing chiefs admitted problems caused by the pandemic including rising costs and contractor staff shortages were an issue.

MPS was also involved in a £24m kitchen and bathroom replacement programme for more than 6,000 homes but the council ended that deal.

Arlene’s anguish

Now 48-year-old Forfar woman Arlene says she is struggling to deal with the stress around her situation.

She suffers from epilepsy, severe anxiety and PTSD.

Arlene said the rotten window in her two-bedroom home was reported just before Christmas 2020.

“The wall in the bedroom is cracking and going black and I just can’t go in there,” she said.

“They’ve been out looking at it and measured it about six times.

“And I was told last year that a new window had been ordered and it would take six weeks.

“But the council now tell me that they don’t have the measurements on the system after the contract switched over.

“I’ve had to chase them constantly.

“The stress of the whole thing is horrible.”

Angus Council has been asked for comment.

Backlog action

The council now wants tenants to report issues with repairs through a direct email address.

It has just set up oustandinghousingrepairs@angus.gov.uk

The authority says: “We are aware that a number of tenants in Montrose, Brechin, Forfar and Kirriemuir areas are waiting for incomplete repairs to be carried out in their homes.”

Housing bosses want to know about any problems around work quality or timescales.

They say they are pressing MPS to meet their contractual duty by completing repairs.

“Any work that MPS is unable to complete will be reallocated to another contractor by our officer dealing with the backlog,” say officials.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused by the repairs disruption and would assure you we will try to resolve this situation as quickly as possible.”

Dundee-based QAPM is the replacement contractor for the Montrose, Brechin, Forfar and Kirriemuir areas.

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