The spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing tremendous challenges across the world. In this time of fast-moving change and disruption, I want to reassure you about the steps we are taking to mitigate the effect that this will have on our services.

Here at Local Space our first and foremost priority is the health and well-being of our people and those that we deal with through the services and activities that we undertake.  We remain committed to maintaining the highest levels of service and customer satisfaction for all of our stakeholders (customers, clients and partner organisations); especially and even more so in challenging times such as this. While the current situation is unprecedented in its scale, we are confident that our experience, processes, infrastructure, services and most importantly – people – will ensure we are resilient and able to fully support our stakeholders. Our immediate priority is our staff – their well-being and that of their families, and also ensuring they are able to continue serving our valued stakeholders. 

We have set up intensive hygiene and cleaning practices in line with government and WHO advice and will maintain this for as long as is needed. Although we value and usually encourage face to face contact with our customers and partners, we have also stopped non-essential travel – visits and meetings will continue using digital channels wherever possible. To ensure business continuity, over the past couple of years we have invested significantly in our IT infrastructure – enabling us to maintain and support the performance and reliability of all our internal and customer facing services. This includes cloud based telephone and computer systems and secure remote access arrangements. As you’d expect of a business that works within the public sector, Local Space holds Cyber Essential accreditation – ensuring we have tightly audited processes and controls in place across the business. 

We have also invoked our business continuity arrangements in respect of home working. Again, following government advice, we are ensuring that our staff are equipped with the tools and guidance that they need to work effectively from home: helping to reduce risk for them and their families, and also maintaining business continuity for our customers. You can view our business continuity plan and our main contractor’s business continuity plan by clicking on the links. 

We have made the following changes to our services: 

  • Head office at 58 Romford, Stratford will close at 5pm Friday 20th March 2020 and access will be by appointment only and in exceptional cases only. (Telephone and email services will run as usual). 
  • Wherever possible visits and meetings will be replaced by phone calls and digital conferencing.
  • We will continue to conduct viewings with prospective tenants and sign-ups, minimising face to face contact and conducting parts of these interactions by phone (unless updated government advice prevents us from doing so).
  • We will call ahead of visits to check whether anyone in the home has COVID-19 symptoms and if so, unless it is an emergency repair, we will rearrange the appointment.
  • In the case of emergency repairs for households that are self-isolating, our contractors’ operatives will wear appropriate PPE to work safely. The relevant risk assessment can be viewed by clicking the link. 
  • We will check with households who are due their annual gas safety check and who are self-isolating that their carbon-monoxide alarm is working and if not, provide them with a replacement. We’ll rearrange their visit for a date after their isolation period has concluded. This approach has been drawn up in consultation with Gas Safe. If we are unable to confirm a working CO alarm is in the property and unable to secure customer agreement to receive a replacement alarm, in consultation with the landlord, we will cap off the gas supply and return after the isolation period has ended.
  • Emergency heating repairs in homes of households who are self-isolating will be carried out using advanced PPE. This arrangement is still in its transition period and until advanced PPE is available to operatives, temporary heaters will be delivered to the entrance door for the tenant to take in and use.
  • As government advice changes, we expect to have to restrict our services until we will only be able to respond to emergency repairs and matters of statutory compliance where a home is unsafe or unhealthy.
  • For the fastest response, please contact us by phone or email. Our post room is running a significantly reduced service. We are asking all suppliers and organisations with which we work to send all communications, invoices, notices via email: accounts@localspace.co.ukinfo@localspace.co.ukrepairs@localspace.co.uk 

I can assure you that Local Space is totally committed to investing in the support of its staff, customers, clients, partner organisations and services throughout these challenging times. If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Josie Parsons, Chief Executive