THURROCK Council’s cabinet has been told physical work on a five-year £65 million programme of upgrading council homes will start soon.
Contractors have been appointed and negotiations have created several other benefits locally, said portfolio holder, Cllr Val Morris-Cook.
Speaking on Wednesday (5 June) evening, she said: “We’ve been talking about it for months, but now we’re ready for action and I’m proud to bring this housing programme update here tonight.
“The tender evaluation has been done and the contracts have been awarded to three companies – Wates, Keepmoat, and Lakehouse – who all submitted robust bids.
“Over the next few weeks the housing team will be working out the detailed programme and these will be shared with residents and members first.
“Among the gains we have managed to establish through this process is that each of the contractors is obliged to spend quite a bit of money here in Thurrock.
“Thirty per cent of the supply chain is required to be local; 30 per cent of the labour is required to be local; 15 apprenticeships have to be created during the duration of the contract; and there must be work experience for least 50 Thurrock students including at least ten for NEETS.”
And she added: “Meet the buyer and supplier days are being held this month and consultations with residents and ward councilors will start soon too.”
Conservative Housing spokesman Cllr Gledhill added “Thurrock Conservatives welcome this programme and hope Labour will manage it better than the Morrison’s contract.
“As Councillors we have seen all too often residents being promised new kitchens, fencing or windows and doors only to be told later there isn’t the money or the resident isn’t a priority case. This programme will hopefully mean Council tenants will now be better placed to know when improvements to their homes will take place.
“Unfortunately this programme doesn’t look to make improvements to infrastructure such as service roads, play parks and green spaces in housing areas and hopefully we will see a plan for action on these issues soon.”