ENGIE has been awarded a 10 year contract worth £25m with Ashford Borough Council after a tender process which set a high benchmark for service levels and efficiency, housing repairs and value for money
Sharon Williams, head of housing at Ashford Borough Council, said: “The authority had previously worked with up to a dozen suppliers in delivering reactive maintenance and maintenance for its 5,500 properties across the district.
“Integrating all that work through one supplier is already bringing considerable benefits to the council, while tenants are also enjoying improvements in the service they receive.”
The 10 year contract with ENGIE is not costing Ashford Borough Council any more than the total of its previous arrangements with multiple contractors but the significant improvements to services are already proving highly beneficial.
Service improvements include faster response times for urgent repairs, with the out-of-hours response time reduced from a maximum of four hours to two hours. More choice and flexibility are also offered to tenants making appointments, with appointments now extended.
Planned future improvements for tenants include agreeing an appointment when reporting a repair, receiving text reminders of appointments, improved online access to report new repairs and also to check the status of their previously reported repairs.
As part of the contract, ENGIE has committed to utilising a local supply chain to put back into the local community, while offering 40 work experience placements for young people in the region, five apprenticeship schemes lasting two years each and a further five traineeships. The apprenticeships will be arranged in conjunction with Ashford College.
The company has also proposed a waste recycling target of 95% for year one, moving to 100% in year two as part of its ambitious energy efficiency targets.
Simon Lacey, regional managing director for ENGIE, said: “Ashford Borough Council has a diverse mix of tenants with varying needs, including elderly, disabled and vulnerable residents. We have a proven track record in widescale repairs and maintenance, as well as delivering bespoke solutions for those with specialist care needs, so we are well placed to take on this contract and offer a reliable service that centres on customer’s needs.
“The council has invested heavily to offer the best standard of living for its customers and we are thrilled to be supporting them in these efforts. We have worked closely throughout the contract negotiations to ensure this isn’t just a repairs contract, but a programme that will ultimately improve lives through better, more sustainable homes, while presenting employment and training opportunities for local people.”