Agenda item

Draft Electrical Safety Policy


The Committee were informed of the proposed Electrical Safety Policy and their comments were sought prior to the policy being agreed by the Cabinet Member, Housing Services.


The Service Manager (Housing Operations) gave a brief overview of the report to Members.


The Electrical Safety Policy detailed how Gravesham Borough Council met the requirements for electrical safety under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1985, the Housing Act 2004 and the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. In addition to that, the policy provided assurance that measures were in place to ensure compliance with those regulations and identified, managed and/or mitigated risks associated with electrical installations.


In response to Member questions, the Service Manager (Housing Operations) and the Director (Housing) explained that:


·         The policy only reflected the responsibility of the Council as the social housing landlord; it did not apply to privately owned housing. It was important to keep the areas split and made sure that tenants knew what we expected of them and what they should expect of the Council

·         There were provisions in place for disruptions cased by electrical work as sometimes whole families had to be moved outside properties while the team rewired the house; tenants and the Service Managers (Household Landlord Services) team were worked with closely during the process. Other aspects had to be taken into consideration such as if the resident was a hoarder and the property had to be cleaned before any electrical work could be carried out. Residents did not always see electrical safety as interesting as getting a new bathroom//kitchen and so educating residents was important. The team would also combine the electrical work with any other work that needed doing so that it could all be done at once while the family was moved out

·         The Director (Housing) added that tenants would be able to count on the support of the Tenant Liaison Officers during the process of moving between properties

·         The Council inspected Council owned properties every five years; if an electrician felt that the property had damaged electrical outlets or was not maintained properly etc then they could request an inspection sooner but as a general rule it was every five years

·         The Director (Housing) added that the Council were not required to inspect each property every five years but the Council took the decision to mirror what was required in the private sector in order to lead by example. As such, the electrical testing programme was brought in house and the five-year rolling programme was implemented

·         When a tenant moved out of a property, the whole property was retested from scratch and then the new tenant would be given the electrical safety certificate upon moving into the property


The Chair asked Cllr Pearton to contact the Service Manager (Housing Operations) after the meeting so that he could report instances where he had seen Council properties with damaged electrics. 


Following concern raised by a Member, the Service Manager (Housing Operations) agreed to talk to the Electrical Manager tomorrow to see if there was a requirement to include reference to ‘GS38 Health & Safety Equipment’ in section 11 of the report; Approved Testing Equipment.


The Chair thanked Members for their feedback and agreed to consider all feedback prior to approval of the Policy as the Portfolio Holder.

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