Decision details

Housing Cleared Sites Maintenance Contract 2024-28

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Decision:

17.1

This report explains Housing cleared sites, current issues they present and seeks the Housing Policy Committee’s approval to commission services that will manage and maintain these sites under a four-year contract intended to commence before September 2024.

 

 

17.2

RESOLVED UNANIMOUSLY: That the Housing Policy Committee approves the commission of services to manage and maintain Housing cleared sites across the city under a contract for a 4-year term.

 

 

17.3

Reasons for Decision

 

 

17.3.1

The Cleared Sites Maintenance Contract serves as a proactive measure, mitigating risks by addressing potential hazards, promptly removing litter and fly-tipped materials, and bolstering site security. Its continuous execution is essential to upholding our duty to provide safe, secure, and aesthetically pleasing environments for our residents. A break in the provision of this vital service could result in a breach of our duty, exposing the council to legal and reputational consequences.

 

 

17.3.2

It is the recommendation of the report to reprocure the cleared site contract for the duration of 4 years to allow the Council to fulfil its duties. The contract will ensure a safe and aesthetically pleasing sites increasing the attractiveness to potential developers.

 

 

17.4

Alternatives Considered and Rejected

 

 

17.4.1

Option to not relet the contract – Not Recommended

While this option presents an immediate cost saving, it was promptly dismissed due to its potential for significant operational, reputational, and financial problems. Without proper maintenance the cleared sites would quickly become overgrown and prone to various issues such as littering, illegal dumping (fly tipping) and antisocial behaviour. Historic data indicates that poorly maintained sites not only attract undesirable activities but can also hinder the marketability and development potential of the land. Overgrown vegetation could conceal safety hazards such as discarded materials, drug paraphernalia, and broken glass which could endanger residents.

 

This option is not recommended due to the risk that a poorly maintained site could compromise public safety and diminish the long-term value of the cleared site, attracting less investment in the area.

 

 

17.4.2

In-house service delivery model – Not Recommended

After making enquiries with Parks & Countryside and Street Scene & Regulation services, the conclusion was that an inhouse service are not resourced to adequately deliver to the specification for desired outcomes. There would be limited flexibility inhouse to take on additional work or remove sites from the schedule of works at short notice, without implications for staff management.

 

There is a significant risk that implementing an in-house model at this time could lead to the provision not being fully met. It is anticipated that it would take longer to organise and implement frameworks internally to meet the requirements than going straight out to the market. This may result in potential safety issues for residents and deter investment from other parties in the area while this work is undertaken.

 

 

17.4.3

Amendment to corporate contract to incorporate this work – Not Recommended

The council’s procurement team advised that of existing commercial contracts, the Amey contract seemed most closely aligned to possibly deliver works required for Housing cleared sites. This led to discussions with contract managers for the Amey contract to assess the feasibility of lawfully varying that contract to accommodate works required on Housing cleared sites. Discussions considered the possibility of unplanned issues such as Japanese knotweed which it was present on site, would have substantial cost consequence under the current contract so that this route did not offer best value for money.

 

Although there was scope for the Housing cleared sites Contract to be included under the existing contract this would be non-core work and managed outside of the main Amey contract, and there would be no formal Service Level Agreement for the Council to be able to manage the contract under. Additionally, this process would not be evaluated against other bids and therefore, it will not be proven to be the best bid both in terms of quality and financially. Not being core work, the cost of providing this work would be more expensive and not considered viable.

 

Publication date: 28/03/2024

Date of decision: 21/03/2024

Decided at meeting: 21/03/2024 - Housing Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: