Building maintenance returns to in-house teams

Published:  27 September, 2010

CREWE: Two housing associations have taken maintenance work in-house that was previously on contract to Connaught, the defunct housing maintenance company.

Housing associations One Vision in Sefton and Paradigm in Buckinghamshire set up new maintenance operations hiring former Connaught workers. The move comes as A1 Housing in Bassetlaw appointed Bullock Construction as its maintenance contractor.

Housing associations and local authorities are advised by lawyers that they may have to re-tender contracts to avoid breaching EU tendering laws. Morgan Sindall said it bought most of Connaught's contracts as part of a £28m deal with administrators KPMG but it few of the near 100 contracts appear to have transferred to Morgan Sindall's maintenance arm Lovell.

In Buckinghamshire, 157 Connaught staff working for Chesham based Paradigm Housing Association will transfer to its newly formed maintenance services contractor.

David Smith, Paradigm's operations director, said: "We have tried hard to respond quickly to secure jobs, and stabilise our maintenance service.

"We will now build on that achievement to see how we can improve services in the future.

Paradigm said the creation of the new company avoided the maintenance service being passed to a contractor the housing association did not choose.

On Merseyside, Sefton housing association One Vision is planning to hire 100 Connaught workers for its new in-house maintenance arm. Connaught held the repairs contract for One Vision Housing, which runs more than 11 000 properties in Sefton, Merseyside.

One Vision Housing chief executive Roy Williams said: "By managing our repairs and maintenance service directly in-house, we have opted to move away from the responsive repairs contractor model ensuring a more practical and effective service for our customers."

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