A Sheffield firm has won a multi-million-pound contract for council housing maintenance, safeguarding around 600 local jobs.
Kier Services has promised a new and improved service for the city’s 42,000 council tenants after beating off competition from national companies to land a deal worth £102 million over the next three years.
Putting the trust back in ‘the man in the van’, with quicker response times, handymen and better communication with residents, all forms part of the new contract.
For the past 11 years Kier has managed emergency repairs and maintenance as Kier Sheffield LLP.
Sheffield Council put the contract out to national tender last year. Janet Sharp, interim housing director at Sheffield Council, said: “This is a huge contract and really important for the city. We wanted to put it out to national tender and there was a lot of interest.
“This will allow for a seamless transition but the new short-term contract means it will deliver new ambitions.”
Kier, which boasts 97 per cent of employees with Sheffield postcodes, has promised to create 30 new apprentice posts for young people in the city.
It has also promised to extend its handy person service, which deploys staff to the homes of elderly and vulnerable residents to carry out minor repairs and problems such as fixing a doorknob.
Phil Oades, regional director of Kier, said: “We want to operate within communities, taking as local an approach as possible, and be a visible presence.
“It’s important people trust in the person coming to their homes.”
Coun Harry Harpham, Sheffield Council cabinet member for homes, said: “Our tenants pay a lot in rent and unfortunately it’s going up, so we want to give them the best possible service.
“Social housing is in the best condition it’s ever been.The poorest standards we see are now in the private sector, not public.”