DUDLEY Council is hoping a new way of tackling anti-social behaviour will improve poor results after a tenant satisfaction survey.

A restructure including the introduction of community housing officers to deal with lower level cases is aimed at stopping issues escalating while specialist officers will tackle more serious cases.

The changes come in the wake of a survey where 45 percent of the 133 residents who responded said they were not satisfied with how their complaint was handled.

Kathy Jones, Dudley’s director of housing and communities, told a meeting of the Housing and Safer Communities Select Committee: “Communication is key, work is ongoing to make sure we are communicating with people who make a complaint about anti-social behaviour.

“A lot of this work has started, housing officers are reaching out and nipping it in the bud. We have got officers back out in the community, when it’s just a neighbour niggle it is managed before it is escalated.”

The council has introduced neighbourhood hubs in Halesowen and Brierley Hill and is planning more in Stourbridge and south Dudley.

Hubs will be open to residents to access a range of services and neighbourhood police teams are also considering using them as bases.

Kathy Jones said: “We have to manage expectations, with most complaints of anti-social behaviour what they want is the person next door to be moved. That is a failure if we just move them we are potentially just moving the problem.

“If they are an owner occupier with social housing next door they just want them moved on.”

She added that court cases require a high level of proof and evidence can take months to gather while some complaints were not appropriate for the authority to investigate.

High staff turnover and sickness was also blamed for the poor results.

Councillor John Martin said: “Our staff are being made unwell by coming in to do their job, it is something all councillors would wish to see improved.”

Ms Jones added: “We were raising expectations we can’t achieve in a never-ending cycle of dissatisfaction.

“We can expect a turnaround by year end, we hope by quarter four to see an improvement in satisfaction.”