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East Kent Housing property director Mark Anderson leaves job after missed gas safety checks scandal

The property boss at East Kent Housing has left his job - just days after the scandal of missed gas safety checks at hundreds of council homes emerged.

Mark Anderson was director of property services for the organisation, which manages social housing for Canterbury, Folkestone and Hythe, Dover and Thanet councils.

He had direct responsibility for, among other things, maintenance and statutory compliance functions. But an investigation is now underway after it was revealed that annual gas safety checks in hundreds of properties had been missed.

Mark Anderson has left his role at East Kent Housing
Mark Anderson has left his role at East Kent Housing

A source told KentOnline Mr Anderson left the organisation following a meeting with EKH board members this week, following the "oversight" which Canterbury and Whitstable MP Rosie Duffield has raised in the House of Commons and called "unacceptable".

Former city council leader Simon Cook also branded EKH "unfit for purpose" and believes the authority should now consider ditching the company.

It has now also emerged that Mr Anderson was formerly employed as director of assets and regeneration of the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation which awarded the contract for the refurbishment of Grenfell Tower.

Gas safety checks have been missed in hundreds of council homes (12690589)
Gas safety checks have been missed in hundreds of council homes (12690589)

East Kent Housing is one of the largest arms length management organisations in the country, responsible for more than17,000 homes.

It is owned by Canterbury, Dover, Folkestone & Hythe and Thanet District Councils with each having a 25% stake in the company.

It's chief executive Deborah Upton said the company does not comment on matters involving individual staff.

But in an earlier statement the company said: "We're sorry to those tenants who are waiting for overdue gas safety checks.

East Kent Housing chief executive Deborah Upton (12709511)
East Kent Housing chief executive Deborah Upton (12709511)

"As soon as we became aware of the problem, we worked as quickly as we could to secure the services of extra gas engineers. The number of outstanding checks is falling.

"East Kent Housing has been in touch with the tenants directly to arrange appointments and are offering evening and weekend slots.

"We are urgently investigating how this situation arose and are taking immediate steps to ensure it does not happen again."

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