Agenda item

Procurement of Housing Stock Condition Survey

Report from the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning.

Decision:

Decision

 

1.          Cabinet approves the award of a contract to Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP (FFT) to carry out a stock condition survey to all dwellings, blocks and communal areas, including Energy Performance Certification (EPC) to the housing stock of South Kesteven District Council.  This appointment will be undertaken via the National Framework Partnership.

 

2.               Cabinet includes within the budget proposals for 2021/22, a budget of £50k for the employment of an additional member of staff on a fixed term contract to conclude at the end of the stock condition activities, to support the necessary project management of the contract with Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP.

 

3.          Cabinet includes in the budget proposals for 2021/22, a budget of up to £50k in order to procure the additional licences for the current APEX asset management software system, to enable Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP to update the Council’s system with the new survey data.

 

4.          Cabinet notes that at the Full Council meeting held on 17 December 2020 a budget of £780,000 was approved in order to procure the necessary stock condition, EPC, and project management activities as outlined within the report from the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning.

 

Considerations/reasons for decision

 

·             Report from the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning on the award of a Housing Stock Condition Survey Contract to Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP (FFT) via the National Framework Partnership to conduct a stock condition survey and Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on all dwellings, blocks and communal areas for South Kesteven District Council subject to the approval of the necessary funding to complete the work.

·             The need to improve the Council’s stock condition information following the recent internal audit report highlighting regulatory and compliance shortcomings in respect of stock condition and critical Health and Safety issues.

·             Data compiled through the new survey would be inputted into the current APEX asset management system to provide up to date information in a single location.

·             Procurement of a preferred contractor had been in accordance with the Council’s Procurement Procedure Rules.

·             Robust project management would be put in place to ensure surveys were completed to the required standard, tenant access was being achieved correctly and overall timelines were being met.

·             Quarterly reports on key housing compliance matters to the Rural and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee would include updates on the stock condition survey.

·             All costs would be met from the Housing Revenue Account.

 

Other options considered

 

1)          Do nothing.  This was not advised given the current non-compliant position, lack of up to date property condition data and the need to address the lack of data to provide a new Asset Management Strategy and inform the review of the HRA Business Plan was critical.

2)          Complete the Survey using in house resources. The Repairs and Improvements Team had tried to complete a rolling stock condition survey to update properties on a five year cycle, however this had failed to achieve the necessary 20% completions. A 100% survey was now required and there were insufficient in-house resources to deploy to achieve this objective.

 

 

Minutes:

The Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning presented the report on the Procurement of the Housing Stock Condition Survey following the agreement at Council on 17 December 2020 to bring forward the survey contract to 2020/21.  The Council needed to urgently improve its stock condition information especially following the recent internal audit report highlighting regulatory and compliance shortcomings. 

 

It was critical to understand the current stock condition to prioritise investment and to compile an Asset Management Plan.  All tenants would be visited by a surveyor, who would carry out both internal and external examinations.  It was hoped that local people with local knowledge, would take part in the survey.

 

The results of the survey would be uploaded to the current APEX asset management system, to provide up to date information held in a single location to be able to put together five and ten year investment plans. The last stock condition survey was carried out in 2009.

 

The HRA Business Plan would be reviewed and a new three-year investment plan would be compiled.

 

In determining the most appropriate way to procure the new stock survey, officers took account of the need to procure a preferred contractor in the most efficient and effective way possible with minimum time frames.   Survey work would start as soon as possible, the contractor had confirmed costs which were under budget.   Bi-monthly updates would be given to the Rural and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee and confirmation of the final completion date.  A dashboard would be put in place for Members to be able to make comparisons month on month and to ask questions of the work undertaken to date. The proposal was seconded.

 

On being put to the vote, it was AGREED:

 

1.          That Cabinet approves the award of a contract to Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP (FFT) to carry out a stock condition survey to all dwellings, blocks and communal areas, including Energy Performance Certification (EPC) to the housing stock of South Kesteven District Council.  This appointment will be undertaken via the National Framework Partnership.

 

2.          That Cabinet includes within the budget proposals for 2021/22, a budget of £50k for the employment of an additional member of staff on a fixed term contract to conclude at the end of the stock condition activities, to support the necessary project management of the contract with Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP.

 

3.          That Cabinet includes in the budget proposals for 2021/22, a budget of up to £50k in order to procure the additional licences for the current APEX asset management software system, to enable Faithorn Farrell Timms LLP to update the Council’s system with the new survey data.

4.          That Cabinet notes that at the Full Council meeting held on 17 December 2020 a budget of £780,000 was approved in order to procure the necessary stock condition, EPC, and project management activities as outlined within the report from the Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning.

 

 

Supporting documents: