Enfield Council is planning to stop using private firms to carry out day-to-day housing repairs and set up an in-house team to do the work instead.

The move comes amid concerns that many repairs are not done properly first time and money is being spent on fixing follow-up problems.

It is hoped the U-turn will deliver better value for money, provide jobs for local people and boost local businesses in the supply chain.

The cost of setting up the in-house team has been estimated at £1.2 million, while the ongoing costs are expected to be within the £4.8 million per year already spent on repairs.

If the proposals are given the go-ahead by cabinet, day-to-day repairs will gradually be brought in-house as the current contracts with private firms end in April next year.

Under the new approach, a team directly employed by the council would be responsible for emergency, urgent and routine repairs works, including small electrical and plumbing works.

High-risk compliance works, major work programmes and voids would continue to be dealt with by contractors.

The council’s ‘Housing MOT’ service – an in-house team set up to carry out yearly checks on the borough’s social housing – would continue to operate alongside the other repairs services.

The proposals were detailed in a draft report that was discussed by the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday (May 22).

Labour councillor for Edmonton Green Cllr Tolga Aramaz said many residents were coming to him complaining about having “continuous repairs carried out on the same thing”.

He said: “This is, in my opinion, because of the outsourcing. We can’t properly hold (contractors) to account.”

Labour councillor for Bowes ward Cllr Achilleas Georgiou expressed concerns about plans to raise awareness among residents of how to “complete minor jobs that are part of the day-to-day responsibility of renting a home”.

He warned it could lead to extra costs if people tried to carry out repairs themselves but ended up causing further problems.

Garry Knights, the council’s head of housing property services, said: “It is things like decorating, maintaining their own taps. We have to trust people.”

Mr Knights said the council could create videos to show residents how to carry out repairs themselves.

He said: “If they are not confident, then the service is there to support them. We have a huge amount of residents who do this already.”

Conservative councillor for Cockfosters Cllr Edward Smith said the opposition had “serious reservations” about the proposals.

He pointed out that there had already been significant improvements to the current model, with the number of first-time fixes rising from 26 per cent to 76 per cent.

Cllr Smith also warned the council could be hit by extra costs, having to shell out money on things like storage depots.

But Mr Knights said: “In terms of depots, we have a contingency in the business plan to allow for that.

“The initial consideration is we will use third-party suppliers. We won’t need significant investment in infrastructure like that.”

The report will now go to the council’s cabinet for consideration.