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Thu June 13 2024

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Hull ditches Kier to bring work in-house

14 Sep 11 Hull City Council has placed its housing repairs and maintenance contract with its own building company, Kingstown Works Ltd (KWL) without going out to tender.

Council-owned KWL was given the 10-year contract without competition
Council-owned KWL was given the 10-year contract without competition

The previous contract, awarded in 2006 and valued at £200m, was shared between KWL, Kier and Connaught.

When Connaught went bust last year, its work and employees were eventually shared between Kier and KWL.

The Labour-controlled council has now decided that its entire 28,000-unit housing stock should be looked after by KWL alone for the next 10 years from April 2012.

But opposition councillors have questioned the lack of competition for the contract.

“The decision by the council's cabinet removes any element of competition. The process has been narrowed to the exclusion of all other potential contractors, with no robust assessment of their capability,” said deputy Liberal Democrat leader Councillor Mike Ross. "This means there is no way of really knowing if this contract will be the best value for tenants or the taxpayer. If this is the sign of the way the Labour cabinet are going to make decisions then it raises concerns about the awarding of any future contracts."

Kier employees 180 people on the Hull maintenance contract. The council has said it will be up to KWL and Kier to negotiate on any transfer of staff.

Kier regional managing director for maintenance Simon Bullen said that his company was working with employees to manage the impact of the contract termination.

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