Thurrock Council has formally awarded its housing repairs contract to Morrison Facilities Services Ltd.
The decision to award the contract to Morrison was made at a Cabinet meeting in January this year, and following consultation, the contract was formalised on monday.
The expected benefits of this new arrangement include:
Improved service and more repairs ‘right first time’
Improvements to the Thurrock Trade School
Support for local businesses
Creating job and apprenticeship opportunities
Cllr Tunde Ojetola, Thurrock Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We are very pleased to confirm that our partnership with Morrison has been formalised, and we are looking forward to working with them to improve our housing repairs service.
“This new contract is about delivering a high quality, modern repairs service, providing a more responsive, ‘right first time’ approach, whilst also delivering better value-for-money.”
New standards from the TSA (Tenants Services Authority) mean that Thurrock Council must update the current housing repairs service, specifically around ‘right first time’. The current system employs multiple contractors, and very often jobs are not completed at the first visit. It is also very difficult to utilise new technologies, such as PDAs and texting ahead to customers, when there is more than one contractor involved.
Morrison already has technologies in place to meet these required standards, enabling them to provide more focussed customer service and increased productivity.
Simon Hayes, Managing Director South, Morrison, said: “We are very pleased to be commencing this new partnership with Thurrock Council and I am confident that we will not only deliver substantial savings but improve efficiencies and service levels for Thurrock Council’s residents.”
Morrison will be introducing a Community Development Plan which will provide a structured approach to developing a local supply chain network, creating long-term opportunities for local businesses, social enterprises and individuals.
The company has also committed to improve the Trade School for 14 to 16 year olds, as well as introduce an apprenticeship scheme. Furthermore, a recruitment exercise will be held at the beginning of the contract, with the aim of appointing to new full-time trade positions from within the local area.
Simon Hayes continued: “Morrison is committed to providing local employment opportunities and community development activities in Thurrock, as we recognise the importance of these initiatives in helping to transform the local community for its residents.”
In April, Morrison will also hold an open day for local contractors and suppliers to help them secure work. The event will provide contractors with the opportunity to learn more about Morrison and the opportunities available. Contractors will also be able to find out from Morrison how they can apply to become preferred sub contractors.
The contract has an initial term of five years, with the opportunity to extend it up to 15 years, through increments not exceeding five years at a time.
It is expected the new contract will ‘go-live’ from July 2010.