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Introducing our new guest blog from the Spotlight Panel made up of nine Origin residents



Striving Towards a New Repairs Contract

Welcome Origin residents to a regular post from one of the nine Spotlight members that are residents of Origin properties from various parts of London and Hertfordshire. We will touch upon what we as a group are working away at alongside Origin Housing to find improvements and solutions that will be beneficial to residents.

Good morning, afternoon or evening (whenever you're reading this), I'm Derek, vice chair of Spotlight at present and today I want to update you on the Repairs Procurement that is presently going on. I can't go into great detail because much of it is sensitive information at present but I will briefly talk about what I can.

Back in the spring, Origin invited all interested contractors to the Holiday Inn at Camden for a soft market day launch where Origin and Faithorn Farrell Timms (abbreviated to FFT for the rest of this blog post) who have been appointed to run the tendering process set out their aims and how the tendering process will work. Starting with a brief history of Origin, from being formed to their early shoots in the improvement of society, improving slum living conditions and support people and communities to achieve a better life to now have over 7,300 homes within the group.

I have put a link to FFT's website if your interested in reading about them.

Faithorn Farrell Timms | Faithorn Farrell Surveyors (effefftee.co.uk)

Those in attendance were reminded that Origin's legacy is to provide safe, decent, affordable homes and support local communities: The foundations for quality of life. Origin shared their six culture and values which you can read about here.

FTT moved the meeting on to the matter in hand and Origin started out by listing the Repairs service ambitions, mainly for the contractor to work with them on ;

  • Flexible / agile - changing needs/expectations of customers
  • Not a one size fits all - tenants, leaseholders , supported housing
  • Effective and innovative use of technology
  • Data driven: investment decisions & continuous improvement
  • Partnership approach & shared values
  • Customer experience – ease, service , right first time , great communication

Then followed several Break Out sessions where prospective contractors would form several groups and throw out ideas before discussing them in a feedback session to the whole group. I must say there were some interesting thoughts coming from the three groups.

Moving forward from the soft launch, a panel has been made up of a representative from FFT, head of sections from Origin, headed by Chris Wait (Head of Property Maintenance) and three members from Spotlight will be meeting once a month with a break for August as a number of those on the panel are on annual summer holidays. FFT have begun the process to bring a new contract to market in a timely and productive manner with timescales in place to be completed by mid-January 2023 with a recommended contractor in place to start in June when the present contract with Gilmartin's comes to an end.

What I took from the soft market day at Camden and the first of the monthly meetings (June) is that the new contract will be more focused on quality rather than costs. That's certainly a good thing for residents, I'm sure you will agree.

The whole procurement will have a big slice of resident involvement and that involves you all, not just the three spotlight members that are on the panel, so if anyone from Origin gets in touch with you about repairs, please take the opportunity to answer any questions and give your opinions (in a nice manner) as it will be your opportunity to help shape the next contract.

Our role on the panel will include interviewing prospective applicants which will help us come to an informed decision on who the next contractor shall be. So, if you have concerns that you want addressing then please get in touch with spotlight via our Facebook page or through emailing community development.


One last brief note, as residents you should have received an email containing the proposed Repairs Policy and a link to a survey. The closing date was 20th June and I hope that many of you took a little time out of your day to read the policy and complete the short survey. This was our opportunity as residents to express our views and to get our points across. These opportunities don't come around often so it's always good to express your views and opinions rather than moan when matters affect you. The more of you that complete these surveys will give both us in Spotlight and Origin a better understanding of residents' views and feelings.

Hope you've enjoyed the first monthly blog post. I'm sure all the other Spotlight members will keep you informed of what's going on behind the scenes on a monthly basis. Enjoy the rest of the summer, until I write again,

Kind Regards,

Derek (Spotlight Panel member)