General News

Review recommends improvements for Council’s housing repairs contract

Besi Besemar June 7, 2018

Recommendations from an independent review into Brighton & Hove Council’s repairs and improvement contract with Mears will be used to help improve services and the drawing up of future contract agreements.

THE review was commissioned to look at what the council needs to consider in future repairs contracts and how the council and Mears can work together better through the remaining time of the current contract.

The findings of the review will be discussed at the Housing & New Homes Committee on June 13.

The report acknowledges that the partnership with Mears which began in 2010 worked well in the early years – bringing improvements to the repairs service, reducing costs and maintaining 100% of the council’s housing at Decent Homes Standard levels since the target was initially reached in December 2013.

The partnership delivered its main goals quickly and people interviewed for the review felt the contract worked well.

However, the review identifies that issues in the relationship between the council and Mears, initial oversights in the design of the contract, and individual contractual issues, have meant the partnership hasn’t always worked as well as it might have, especially in terms of the major improvement work required. This has led to a feeling that the overall opinion of the partnership is much less positive than it ought to be.

Cllr Anne Meadows
Cllr Anne Meadows

Councillor Anne Meadows, Chair of the Housing & New Homes Committee, said: “We commissioned this review to look at what we can do to improve working arrangements and processes around our housing repairs and improvement service both now and into the future.

“We have had problems with the partnership and acknowledge what we need to do to improve how we work with partners. We have worked with Mears to bring in improvements to the processes but there is more to do. This was an open review and we will look at all the issues and recommendations raised.

“However, it is also important to highlight the many successes of the partnership. It has delivered a good value repairs service and allowed us to achieve 100% Decent Homes across our housing in 2014 from a starting point of 51% in 2009.”

To read the full report, click here: