Lambeth Council has awarded 10 multimillion pound repair and maintenance contracts worth over £219m to new providers as part of its drive to improve standards and services for council tenants.
The authority’s Cabinet voted to award six year contracts worth a combined £35m a year for vital services, including responsive repairs, gas and water systems and lift maintenance.
The decision is the latest step in Lambeth’s commitment to radically redesign its repair and maintenance services to provide better quality, socially responsible and digitally-driven services.
Residents have been consulted widely during the process of agreeing the contracts and they will be involved in monitoring the services to ensure the contractors perform to the standard required.
Also, residents and officers managed to agree more than 200 extra social, economic and environmental commitments, including jobs and apprenticeships, crime prevention measures and tree planting, without increasing the contract prices.
Tenderers were also encouraged to offer a corporate contribution, equivalent to 1% of the contract turnover, towards the council’s Social Value Programme, which is then used to fund social and environmental initiatives and improve equality within the borough.
The council has also ensured that it is not dependent on a single contractor for any service and that contract relationships are directly with the service provider, minimising subcontracting.
Lambeth Council said that social value and innovation have been prioritised throughout the process.
Over the last ten years, housing repair and maintenance services in the London borough have been delivered via 13 long-term contracts, 12 of which went live in October 2010 and one in July 2016.
These contracts have come to their natural end and the council wants to better align housing service delivery arrangements with its current ambitions.
Commenting, Lambeth Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness, Councillor Maria Kay said:
“Through introducing more competition for council projects, our expectation is that the residents will have a better experience from our repairs service.
“There will be a broad mix of expertise among the contractors and the new pricing structure will act as an incentive for contractors to get the job right first time.
“We have also secured an extra 275 social, economic and environmental commitments without increasing the contract prices.
“This means more employment opportunities for our residents and apprenticeships for our priority groups, as well as education, social and crime prevention projects.
“And it also means that we will plant an additional 2,000 trees every year.”
All of the proposed contract awards are the result of a public procurement process compliant with the Official Journal of the European Union (OJ).
Each represents the most economically advantageous tender received and evaluated by the council against an agreed lot award structure, as well as quality (60%) and cost (40%).
The contracts run from July 2021 to July 2027, with the option to extend for two further four-year periods to July 2031 and July 2034 respectively.