Portsmouth housing team takes national prize for saving cash

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PORTSMOUTH City Council’s housing team has scooped a national award for saving millions of pounds.

The team won the Professional Planning Forum’s innovation award for Service Transformation, after it halved its repair bill and saved £2m a year across the service.

It puts the achievement down to introducing a ‘Systems Thinking’ approach to focus on people and ensuring value.

The council says that under the system, prospective tenants are seen more quickly by officers, and specialists and repairs are provided at the specific time requested by tenants and completed to a high standard, lessening the need for costly second call-outs.

Council housing manager James Hill, said: ‘We’re very pleased to have won this award.

‘We’ve made huge changes to the way we work as a service, with the end result being better customer service, happier people and cost savings.

‘Apart from Surrey County Council, we were the only public sector winners, and I’m extremely proud of our service and how we’re working to improve the experience for our residents and customers.’

Paul Smedley, the Professional Planning Forum’s executive director, said: ‘These are fantastic achievements.

‘Surrey and Portsmouth have made a colossal cultural shift and actually changed the way that they manage operations. Customers and agents have been listened to.’

and it has had a massive impact.’