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Three firms sign repairs contract worth £12m

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: November 19, 2012

By Rupert Hall

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A TRIO of companies are to handle a £12 million heating, refurbishment and repairs contract for Welsh housing provider Grwp Gwalia.

Baglan-based Contract Services, Lovell and PH Jones will work on Gwalia properties across south and Mid Wales for four years from December.

The accommodation ranges from one bedroom flats to four bedroom houses in locations such as Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot, Llanelli, Ammanford, Penarth and Rhayader.

Stuart Davies, executive director of property development and management at Swansea-based Gwalia, said: "Contract Services is a South Wales company who we've worked with for more than five years, so we're delighted to be continuing our relationship with them as well as welcoming two new experienced contractors on board in the shape of Lovell and PH Jones.

"We wanted to ensure a great service for our tenants and other benefits for the communities in which we work.

"For example, the contractors will create new apprenticeships, we'll hold skills workshops for the unemployed to try to assist people back into work and we'll work closely with schools and community groups to arrange activities."

Contract Services is based at Baglan Industrial Estate.

Lovell has a repairs and maintenance division with regional offices including Halesowen, Handsworth, Derby and Exeter and PH Jones is based in Runcorn with regional offices in Wales include Newport and Wrexham.

The three were winning bidders in a multi-million pound competitive tendering process for Gwalia's heating, empty property and repairs work.

The contracts for responsive repairs and refurbishment of empty properties went to Contract Services in South East Wales and mid Wales and to Lovell in South West Wales.

PH Jones will provide heating services to all Gwalia's 4,300 tenants in south and mid Wales.

Before tender notices were issued, Gwalia consulted heavily with tenants.

Tenants' requirements were built into tender documents and their opinions informed questions asked at interview stage.

The tenants also sat on the interview panel.

Gwalia's Stuart Davies said: "We were keen to take the opportunity to rethink and reconfigure the way in which we provide our repairs services to our tenants.

"We want to ensure that we're offering a first class service to tenants.

"For example, contractors will be required to contact the tenant with an appointment to carry out the work within two hours of the repair being reported.

"The contractors will use new hand held devices that will result in immediate data transfer from the contractors' systems to Gwalia's new housing management system.

"This will allow Gwalia to record work in real time, monitor performance and provide a better service to tenants by reducing repair times. "

Contractors were hired on the basis of their service delivery proposals and cost effectiveness. The four-year contracts awarded carry the possibility of two further contract extensions — for a total of two years — after the original contract term expires.

Simon Medler, managing director of the Lovell repairs and maintenance business, said: "We look forward to working with Grwp Gwalia to deliver a customer-focused, quality service for residents.

"As national repairs and maintenance experts, we possess comprehensive technical and customer service expertise alongside a belief in making a real difference for people through our legacy programme which creates enduring community benefits."

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