A MASSIVE backlog of repairs on council-owned properties in Flintshire is to be cleared.

For years Flintshire Council’s housing stock has been blighted by a crippling repairs list, but now head of housing Claire Budden has announced a series of measures to improve the service and boost productivity levels.

It is proposed to take £800,000 out of the Housing Revenue Account to tackle the repairs and Ms Budden is confident workers can clear the backlog by the end of the current financial year.

Buckley councillor Ron Hampson has welcomed the initiative. “They are going to really attack this massive backlog of repairs that has built up over the years.

“We are really pleased that things are moving in the right direction and Clare as the new director seems to be getting very good results.”

Already staff are ploughing their way through the backlog.

Latest figures show 2,807 emergency repairs, 2,722 urgent repairs and 1,902 non-urgent repairs were completed in the last quarter of the previous financial year.

There are now just over 900 job tickets, which have not been allocated to an operative. This is a decrease of 816 tickets in the previous quarter.

Other initiatives to improve service include the introduction of mobile working, which will allow workers to validate when a job is completed on a mobile electronic device rather than having it signed of manually.

Working hours have also been extended to include Saturday mornings and at least one evening per week.

Cllr Helen Yale, Flintshire Council executive member for housing, is thrilled at the improvements.

“There is such a positive outlook now,” she said. “In the past we have had interim and consultant heads of housing which made things difficult. Now we have a permanent head of housing, so the stability is there.

“At the tenants conference 12 months ago there were lots of complaints about repairs, but at the last meeting things had totally changed.

“For me to hear the tenants say they had noticed a difference is absolutely fantastic.”

“We really are moving forward now.”

The proposals were given unanimous approval at a recent meeting of the community and housing scrutiny committee and are now due to go before the executive.