A Sheffield-based company has emerged against tough national competition to win a major contract worth around £102 million.
Kier Services has been appointed to provide the repairs and maintenance service to Sheffield City Council tenants and around 2,200 leaseholders for the next 3 years, with an option to extend this term by a further 2 years.
The contract is currently delivered by Kier Sheffield LLP, a joint venture formed in 2003 between Sheffield City Council and Kier, but it is due to expire at the end of March.
The new contract with Kier Services covers emergency repairs and general maintenance as well as repairs to gas and electrics, heating, lifts and stair lifts to council housing as well as the maintenance of un-adopted highways, footpaths and car parks.
Although a short term contract, the new arrangement is based on a partnership to support the Council’s longer term aim to transfer the service into a wider integrated housing management service.
The Kier call centre staff will be transferred into the Council by 1 April 2014 and this is intended to be part of a seamless handover, with no changes in the way tenants can report or enquire about repairs.
Kier intends to make further improvements to the repairs and maintenance service in a number of areas, including better use of technology for community technicians, and move to a community-based delivery model to offer improvements through smarter working, lower transport costs and reduced carbon emissions.
The new community focused service will also continue the handyperson service. Launched in February 2013 in the south west and east of the city, it has now been extended to the whole city.
This service aims to help tenants aged over 60 or with a disability or severe health problem, with smaller jobs in their home that they cannot manage themselves and would not normally be reported as responsive repairs; assisting people and helping them feel safe and comfortable.
Kier emerged as the preferred bidder last November following a national tender for the contract. They have been in discussions with the Council since then to agree the finer details of the contract and the new contract has now been signed.
Councillor Harry Harpham, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods said:
“We went through a thorough tendering process and Kier was chosen as the preferred bidder against three other major companies.
Discussions have taken place to agree all the details of the contract before we were in a position to sign the new contract. This will provide welcome continuity for Council house tenants who have been used to the service provided by Kier in the last few years. This will also retain much-needed local employment and new training opportunities for young people in the city.”
Kier Regional Operations Director, Phil Oades added:
“We are delighted to continue working alongside Sheffield City Council, helping to achieve the objectives and aspirations for the city, its tenants and residents, and contributing to the local economy.
Our intention is to combine the best skills, practices and innovations from our 11-year partnership and develop a fresh, more efficient service with greater benefits for tenants and the wider communities.”