PAVILION Housing has come in for criticism from councillors after a series of complaints from residents.
Guildford Borough councillor Nick Sutcliffe, whose Ash ward includes the Pavilion-managed estates of Underwood Avenue and Ash Hill, said the housing association is failing to deal with maintenance issues, ranging from rotting sheds to path clearing, and also has poor dialogue with its tenants.
Such is Cllr Sutcliffe’s concern that he is set to ask the council’s scrutiny committee to call the chief executive to account.
Cllr Sutcliffe said: “I am very concerned about the lack of commitment by Pavilion to have a workable system in place by which Pavilion tenants in Ash can play a full part in making their views known.”
Although he accepted there had been improvements in Pavilion’s performance in the recent months, he said their record was still some way off the mark.
“I have heard of numerous basic customer service problems despite several promises by Pavilion to improve,” said Cllr Sutcliffe, pointing to the request for traffic calming measures, improved parking and clean footpaths.
Speaking on behalf of fellow councillors Nigel Manning and John Ades, Cllr Sutcliffe said: “We want to see whether there’s a system in place for tenants to get in touch with the housing association.”
Fellow Guildford Borough councillor John Ades said for much of 2002 Pavilion’s performance had been bad and that their willingness to respond to complaints was very poor.
“I have had problems with them,” Cllr Ades said. “Every time you asked them to do something you might as well have been talking to a brass monkey.”
However, Cllr Ades said the situation might have improved since he last had dealings with them in the summer.
“I do not know how it is at the moment, but I have had major problems in the past.”
Mike Swaddling, spokesman for Pavilion, said: “Although we understand that there will always be individual complaints, we have recently devoted a lot of attention and resources to the Ash Hill estate.
“We have just completed a £635,000 programme to replace windows, doors and guttering and will start on the second phase of this in mid-February.”
Commenting on the issue of a communications breakdown, Mr Swaddling said: “We are always anxious to improve communications with our tenants and their elected representatives.
“Our operations director, Dawn Matthews-Smith, has set up a logging system for all inquiries, which are then followed through to ensure a response is sent and all parties are kept informed of progress.”
Responding to Mr Swaddling’s assurances, Cllr Sutcliffe said: “That’s nice to know but we did not know that before.
“We look forward to these arrangements being explained and expanded for the benefit of everyone.”