UHI Shetland - Open the door to your future
Tuesday 18 June 2024
 10.2°C   NNW Moderate Breeze
Ukraine fundraiser - 18 June 2024

Housing / Resourcing issues causing delays with council house electrical testing

THERE is a backlog of hundreds of council houses in Shetland due or overdue their five-yearly electrical testing checks, new figures show.

This has been attributed to capacity constraints both in-house in Shetland Islands Council and among contractors, as well as the knock-on effects of the Covid pandemic.

As of 31 October, 470 properties were due or overdue, with 173 of these expected to be completed this financial year.

However, as it stands 273 of these homes are not planned to be tested until 2024/25 or 2025/26.

Meanwhile around 17 per cent of the council accommodation does not yet have interlinked smoke and heat detectors.

A report from the SIC’s internal auditor said: “While we recognise the constraints the service faces, such as geographical and staffing challenges, as well as difficulties in securing external contractors to complete this work, the progress made to date is not sufficient and we have concerns around the planning of the work.

“Failure to adequately address these recommendations poses a serious risk to both the council’s housing tenants and the council.”

A report presented to councillors on the SIC’s development committee in September said progress on electrical testing has been “much slower than anticipated” due to resourcing issues.

“While external contractors are making progress on the current programme of works the nature of how we have to package the work also impacts on delivery,” the council said.

“We are continuing efforts to achieve full compliance.”

That report also said resourcing and property access issues had hampered the installation of the extended smoke detector programme, which is required under legislation established in 2022.

It added: “It is important to note that these properties are all fitted with smoke detection and the non-compliance relates to the extension/enhancement work that is to be carried out in line with the changes to the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 (Tolerable Standard) (Extension of Criterion) Order 2019.

“We are continuing efforts to achieve full compliance.”

The situation is being monitored by in-house staff as well as the Scottish Housing Regulator.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.

Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.

Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has  over 600 supporters  who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.

Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -

  • Bring you the headlines as they happen;
  • Stay editorially independent;
  • Give a voice to the community;
  • Grow site traffic further;
  • Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.

If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.

 

Newsletters

Subscribe to a selection of different newsletters from Shetland News, varying from breaking news delivered on the minute, to a weekly round-up of the opinion posts. All delivered straight to your inbox.

Daily Briefing Newsletter Weekly Highlights Newsletter Opinion Newsletter Life in Shetland Newsletter

JavaScript Required

We're sorry, but Shetland News isn't fully functional without JavaScript enabled.
Head over to the help page for instructions on how to enable JavaScript on your browser.

Your Privacy

We use cookies on our site to improve your experience.
By using our service, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.

Browser is out-of-date

Shetland News isn't fully functional with this version of .
Head over to the help page for instructions on updating your browser for more security, improved speed and the best overall experience on this site.

Interested in Notifications?

Get notifications from Shetland News for important and breaking news.
You can unsubscribe at any time.

Become a supporter of Shetland News

We're committed to ensuring everyone has equitable access to impartial, open and quality local journalism that benefits all residents.

By supporting Shetland News, you play a vital role in ensuring we remain a pivotal resource in supporting the community.

Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.