The report was introduced by Councillor Jenny Brathwaite, Deputy Leader Housing and Homelessness who informed Cabinet of the following:
· The report was recommending the award of 10 new housing repair and maintenance contracts, which would significantly improve the quality of repairs for residents while achieving good value for the Council.
· The contracts would deliver responsive repairs, voids, gas servicing, electrical servicing and lift maintenance to the North and South neighbourhoods.
· Contracts would start as soon as was practicable; with full mobilisation by July 2021. The ambition to transform the total repairs service had been the main driver for the procurement which was also linked to a number of other improvement initiatives in Resident Services; notably significant investment in ICT, action to improve the first point of call contact and a more strategic approach to asset management.
· Robust contract management was an essential part of the broader procurement process. Contract and performance management had featured heavily in various officer, resident and member workshops and meetings.
· The council would be accountable to an independent Performance Monitoring Board. The proposed membership will consist of the Director of Housing Services, Cabinet Members, residents and a cost manager, they would meet regularly to review performance.
Duncan Law spoke on behalf of transition town Brixton, building and housing working group. As well as civil society groups that would meet weekly to discuss the climate emergency. Duncan stated that individuals amongst these groups had high expertise in relevant fields and wanted to help the Council to identify solutions. Duncan expressed concerns on Council engagement and highlighted that since January 2020 it had been a challenge to partake in a meeting with the Director of Housing.
Councillor Peter Elliott a visiting member addressed Cabinet and identified that the Council were heading in the right direction. For example, advisory panels had been produced; this was something that residents could be engaged with. Councillor Elliott was pleased that some of the existing contractors were no longer being used by the Council and was looking forward to working with officers to produce an up to date housing strategy.
Cabinet Members commented that they felt the procurement process was robust and strong and delivered for the residents, they also said that:
· There were good initiatives around introduction of technology to further enhance the service to residents.
· The contracts were designed with residents, members and officers and the tender documentation and contracts had been designed to respond to the recommendations of a repairs Task and Finish Group.
· The equality impact assessment (EIA) had been assessed and cleared by the Member-led Corporate EIA Panel. The EIA not only mitigates negative equality issues, but demonstrates that the new contracts will make tangible improvements to social equality in the borough.
Councillor Jenny Brathwaite, Deputy Leader Housing and Homelessness thanked officers for the work in delivering these contracts and asked Cabinet to agree the recommendations.
RESOLVED: To award 10 housing maintenance and repair contracts and two reserve contracts as detailed in Table 1 below, from April 2021 to April 2027 for an amount of £219.556m, with the option to extend for two further four-year periods to April 2031 and April 2034, for a maximum contract value of £549.070m (amounts subject to annual inflationary adjustments determined by the Consumer Prices Index).