Rotherham Council has appointed two delivery partners to provide the repair and maintenance service to the Council’s 20,500 council properties, with the new contracts starting on the 1st April 2020.
Mears will continue as the main contractor delivering services in the north of the borough, as it has for the past nine and half years. Engie has been appointed as the new main contractor in the south of the borough, which is currently held by Fortem. Both contractors will provide a repairs service, make empty properties ready to be re-let, a caretaking service and making adaptations to homes when required.
Mears will also deliver some borough-wide planned work, capital improvement schemes, structural works and repairs to fire damaged properties. Engie will carry out gas, electrical and mechanical maintenance work and some capital improvement schemes across the borough.
The awarding of the contracts, which will initially run for five years with the option to extend for a further five years, follows a rigorous retender exercise carried out over the past 18 months.
Formal tenders were submitted by five contractors in June and assessed on the basis of 70 per cent quality, 30 per cent price.
Councillor Dominic Beck, Cabinet Member for Housing at Rotherham Council, said: “The repairs and maintenance delivery providers we appoint are extremely important and I am confident we have recruited two excellent partners with strong track records.
“We are delighted to award the Council housing repairs and maintenance contracts to two companies that have shown they have the highest standards of service delivery which in turn will mean our tenants enjoy high quality accommodation. Another key factor in the tender process was that the successful companies must demonstrate how they will add social value to the community.
“We want to work with companies that give back to the communities that they work in, who promote a borough where people can grow, flourish and prosper, and strengthen the skills of the local workforce and support people into jobs.”
Mears already has a strong presence in the town and has redeveloped three floors of space at New York Stadium to create a new home for Rotherham United Community Sports Trust which engages local people through sport. The stadium also houses the Mears Academy, which as well as offering training to colleagues, can also support the Council in delivering tenant workshops so that tenants can understand how to effectively use their heating systems and do basic repairs.
Engie will create up to 100 apprenticeships for local people as well as 40 new jobs and 96 work experience placements for young people together with engagement opportunities with schools, colleges and universities.
The Wentworth Woodhouse WE Wonder Noir festival in November has been sponsored by Engie and the company have been named Business of the Year by the Barnsley and Rotherham Chambers of Commerce this month.
Assistant Director of Housing, Tom Bell said: “I am delighted that we will retain the services of our current staff to provide continuity and stability for our customers. Mears staff will continue as they are. Staff working on the current Fortem contract will be transferred under TUPE arrangements to Engie.
“When the new contract starts in April 2020, it is expected that staff will stay on existing or similar terms and as a Council we will continue to support and facilitate a smooth transition to the new contract for the benefit of our residents.”