Trades gap ‘to blame’ for slowing Angus Council housing improvements

A better rate of pay elsewhere has been blamed for a housing maintenance backlog at Angus Council.

Trades gap 'to blame' for slowing Angus Council housing improvements

The local authority is expecting to be more than £4 million short of its £18.5m spending plans in the 2019-20 capital programme, including six-figure underspends in many areas of work.

Communities committee councillors were told that Angus suffering from a national shortage of trades which is having an impact on the construction industry as a whole.

Richard Moore, Arbroath West and Letham councillor, said: “Sheltered housing is at just 39% of the budget. It’s all very well saying we have an underspend, but if we’re not providing what we say we’re going to then it is a hollow victory.”

Angus provost Ronnie Proctor highlighted the drop in kitchen and bathroom replacement programmes and asked officials to “keep a close eye” on those, The Courier reports.

John Morrow, housing service leader, said: “There are some issues trying to retain the trades in Angus. Better rates may be offered elsewhere, so retention of that experience is becoming harder and harder. We don’t want it to become too onerous for the work to be completed and you end up with more complaints than compliments.”

The Timmergreens area in Arbroath is undergoing a major regeneration, it is also one of the affected programmes.

Mr Morrow added: “Slippage of £2.1m is projected. This is partly attributable to issues obtaining Scottish Water technical approval, which means construction for the Emislaw site will now commence in spring 2020.”

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