Every Southwark Council tenant reports a repair with their home nearly three times a year on average – but this figure has gone down by nearly a third since 2010, according to the council’s own figures.
Some 219,958 repair requests were made in the 2010-2011 financial year, after Labour were elected, replacing the Liberal Democrat/Conservative coalition. This past year, which ends in April, there have been 150, 522. The council has about 55,000 properties.
In a reply to a question at the recent council assembly by Lib Dem leader Hamish McCallum, Labour’s council leader Kieron Williams (pictured) said that Southwark had spent £334 million on housing repairs between 2010 and 2021 – equivalent to about £30 million each year. The council will spend £400 million on repairs and major works over the next four years alone.
Meanwhile reports made to the council over damp have stayed largely flat over the same period. The number of reports made over damp was not logged until the 2011-2012 financial year, when the figure stood at 1,222. The number of reports rose to 2,285 in 2014-15, before dropping again to 1,294 again this year.
Cllr Williams said: “We take reports of mould and damp very seriously, and know the impact in can have on the wellbeing of our residents if not handled quickly. As the below requested data shows, damp and mould is reported in a very small percentage of our overall 55,000 property housing stock.”
The News often reports on cases of damp and disrepair in Southwark’s council flats that are left for weeks and months at a time.
Cllr Williams added that there were 18,000 homes in a state of disrepair in 2010, when Labour took control of the council – but that 98 per cent of the homes the council owns now meet the government’s ‘decent homes standard’.