Sheffield housing repairs to be taken back by city council

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Housing repairs and maintenance services provided to thousands Sheffield tenants will be taken back from contractor Kier by the city council, it has been announced today.

The change will apply from March 2017, when Kier’s contract ends, if agreed by cabinet chiefs next week.

It is expected to save the council money in the long run although there will be an additional cost of transferring the service.

Tenants have long complained about problems with Kier to The Star - from botched repairs to long delays and spending too long on hold when reporting repairs.

Coun Harry Harpham, cabinet member for homes and neighbourhoods, said: “We’re set to bring the service in-house when our current contract ends. This will mean we will have more opportunities for joint working, increased efficiency and – most importantly – better outcomes for customers.

“Our tenants and leaseholders have done a great job in helping us develop a vision for the future repairs service and it’s really important that we take direct responsibility for this.

“Bringing the service in-house will also help us increase employment opportunities for young people, through more work-experience placements and apprenticeships. We’ll also boost local business by using local suppliers wherever possible.”

Discussions with Kier are ongoing and there are plans to transfer Kier staff delivering the current contract into the council.

Kier operations director, Phil Oades, said: “As a strategic partner we have played a major role in Sheffield over the last 12 years by providing an excellent repairs service, and we look forward to carrying out a significant volume of work across the city beyond 2017 using our local workforce.

“We will continue to work closely with Sheffield City Council and its tenants to deliver an excellent repairs service during the remainder of the contract that meets the council’s future ambitions.”

See The Star tomorrow for more on this story.