Jobs risk as firm is set to retain its repairs contract

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Kier is set to retain its contract to run Sheffield Council’s housing maintenance service after being named preferred bidder.

The company has run the service since it was privatised in 2004 and is to be given a further three years once its current agreement ends in March.

The renewed contract covers emergency repairs and general maintenance, as well as repairs to gas and electrics, heating, lifts and stair lifts, and the maintenance of un-adopted highways, footpaths and car parks.

However, dozens of jobs are thought to be at risk at the Manor Lane depot where the service, which employs 800 people, is based, due to the end of a project to modernise Sheffield’s 42,000 council houses.

Kier receives a quarter of a million calls to the call centre from tenants and leaseholders about repairs each year.

The council said customers should see ‘no reduction’ in the level of service they receive, while Kier intends to make improvements in a number of areas, including better use of technology.

The next step is for the contract details to be agreed by the council and Kier over the next month.

If everything is confirmed, it could be signed next month.

Coun Harry Harpham, council cabinet member for housing, said: “We have been through a thorough tendering process and Kier was chosen as the preferred bidder against three other major companies.

“We will be in a position to sign the contract before Christmas.”