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Hackney Council Housing Service self refers itself to the Housing Regulator

As part of its drive to continually improve the services it provides to everyone living in its homes, Hackney Council’s Housing Service has referred itself to the Housing Regulator having not fully met the regulator’s expectations by the end of June.In April 2023, the regulator set a number of new measures for all social housing providers, including the Council, to help drive up standards for people living in social housing. The Council had to report how it was delivering against these measures by the end of June 2024.There are five areas - covering gas, fire, asbestos, water and lift safety checks - where the Council felt it had not fully met the regulator's expectations.The Council is now fully compliant with the requirement to undertake fire risk assessments on communal areas and has plans in place to fully achieve, or be as close as reasonably possible to achieving, the regulator’s standard in the other four areas between now and the end of August 2024.However, as these targets were not achieved the Council has referred itself to the regulator. While the Council has not fully met all the requirements, mitigations are in place to ensure all our homes remain safe to live in. Among the steps the Council is taking are:Gas Safety - we carry out more than 18,600 annual gas services on our homes each year. Currently there are 375 outstanding services still to be carried out. Appointments have been made to carry out the checks in 348 of these homes and the Council is proactively working to be able to gain entry to the homes where residents have not responded or we have been unable to enter.Asbestos  - Asbestos is not dangerous if not disturbed. We have currently been unable to carry out checks on 88 communal areas as part of our annual checks but these will take place over the coming weeks.Water Safety - risk assessments of water storage need to be completed every five years. While there has been a delay in renewing a number of these so far regular maintenance and testing of the water storage is carried outLift Safety - we have to check all of our lifts on an annual basis for insurance purposes as this is the measure used by the regulator to check we are meeting its standard. Unfortunately there was a delay in starting these checks due to appointing a new contractor to carry them out - but we have now agreed an accelerated programme with them to ensure all of the lifts are checked by the end of August.  However, our lift repairs contractor carries out monthly checks on all of our lifts to ensure they are safe.We are also recruiting additional gas engineers as well as assessors to carry out any currently outstanding safety checks. The regulator will now assess the steps the Council is taking to meet its standards in these areas which will also help in its drive to continually enhance the service it delivers.The table below highlights the five areas the Council has referred to the regulator, how it was delivering against them in March 2024, the current position and when it expects to be compliant with the regulators expectation. MeasureMarch 2024  Current positionExpected date for meeting 100% targetGas safety checks97.83%98.17%31 August 2024Fire safetychecks95.98%100%Achieved 10 July 2024Asbestos safety checks96.53%99.21%31 July 2024Water safety checks83.69%94.84%31 July 2024Lift safety checks72.02%85.79%31 August 2024
15th July 2024

Venues can extend their opening hours for the EURO 2024 semi finals

With support from Hackney Council, venues will be able to stay open for an extra two hours on Wednesday 10 July to allow local football fans to come together for longer to watch England play in the EURO 2024 semi final. The extension will automatically apply to premises which are licensed to sell alcohol until at least 11pm, allowing them to stay open until 1am the following morning. The change only applies to England matches, meaning venues can stay open later on Wednesday the 10 July and Sunday 14 July 2024, should England reach the final. The decision comes from the Home Office, who can make an order relaxing licensing hours to mark occasions of “exceptional national significance”. The Government has previously pushed back pub closing times for royal weddings, the Queen’s 90th birthday in 2016, the Fifa World Cup in 2014 and the last EURO 2022 final. It’s hoped that the extended hours will give pub-goers longer to celebrate the matches, and provide a boost to the hospitality industry after a difficult few years during the Covid-19 pandemic. Hackney Council will continue to support residents and licensed premises throughout this period. The Council’s Hackney Nights and Licensing and Environmental Protection teams will work directly with venues to ensure they are compliant with the conditions of this extension. If residents have any concerns about the licensing extension, please reach out to the Hackney Nights team by emailing hackneynights@hackney.gov.uk  
8th July 2024