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Council ‘prefers’ Bedfordshire firm

Created on 14/09/2016 @ 06:29
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Powys County Council has announced it would like to set up a joint venture with a Bedfordshire firm to deliver responsive buildings repair and maintenance services in the future.

Following a full and extensive procurement process, the council has announced that Kier Support Services (trading as Kier Facilities Services) has been selected at the preferred bidder.

The firm is based in England and decisions like this in the past have drawn criticism but Powys has been quick to explain.

“There was limited interest from Powys-based businesses, they did take part in the pre-qualification stage as part of the procurement stage but they were unsuccessful in passing that stage,” said a spokesperson.

“We can’t say anymore at this moment in time as the procurement process is still ongoing.”

Being selected as the council’s preferred bidder does not constitute a final decision to award the contract as there are still some aspects of the contact to be developed, the council added.

The procurement process started last year as part of plans to establish a property services joint venture company with either a public or private partner.

The proposed venture will carry out repairs, maintenance, minor works and statutory testing for both council housing and for the council’s public and commercial buildings. It will also deliver major building projects and provide technical construction advice to the council.

It will be a separate organisation but 50 per cent owned by the council to help maintain standards and engagement with service users.

Cllr Rosemarie Harris, Cabinet Member for Property, Buildings and Housing, said: “We are looking forward to working with an experienced private sector partner to improve services for the citizens of Powys and to create a sustainable company which will contribute to the local economy.

“Although this initiative will begin with responsive building repairs and maintenance service and delivery of major projects, the company could take on other aspects of our property services in the future such as cleaning or grounds maintenance.

“We will be holding further discussions and meetings over the coming weeks and we expect to be in a position to make a subsequent decision on whether to approve the awarding of the contract to our preferred bidder early in October.”

The council needs to make savings of £29.8 million by 2019 and says the joint venture initiatives are being increasingly adopted by local authorities throughout the country as a means of maintaining services whilst achieving the savings.

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