Issue - meetings

Letting of the following service contracts: Communal cleaning Waking watch and tower block security

Meeting: 18/11/2021 - Cabinet (Item 766)

766 Procurement of Housing Service Contracts pdf icon PDF 116 KB


Cabinet considered proposals for procurement of housing service contracts and confirmed that the council is committed to improving the standard of homes across the district, including the homes that it owns and manages. Members further confirmed the commitment to working with tenants and leaseholders to deliver these improvements.


The retendering of cleaning contract, which would provide for the regular cleaning of entrances, bin areas and internal communal areas of the council’s residential blocks of flats, provides an opportunity to review the service provided and to work with council tenants and leaseholders to select a suitable contractor for the coming 2 to 4 years. Budget provision was already in place to support this procurement.


Members were advised that since transition of the service to the council from East Kent Housing the council has provided a twice nightly security patrol service in each of the six tower blocks. This was initially an interim measure to assist in managing fire safety in these blocks. This approach had proven extremely effective at identifying and responding to a range of issues, including rubbish and other items left in communal areas, noise and antisocial behaviour, blocked rubbish chutes and activations of fire alarm systems. The patrols would record and report all issues through to the council’s Housing Management Officers so that any follow up actions that were needed could be arranged. It is therefore proposed to procure this service on a longer term basis. Budget provision is already in place to support this service.


In addition the council was currently providing 24 hour interim waking watch services in five of its tower blocks, which were fitted with external wall insulation. The purpose of the waking watch service was to assist with managing fire risk within these buildings, ensure that the alarm was raised immediately in the event of a fire, and assist with an evacuation. These blocks were due to have upgrades to the alarm systems, and the waking watch services would be required until these alarm upgrades were completed.


The council was working closely with Kent Fire and Rescue regarding fire safety and had already jointly tested the waking watch service procedures in relation to evacuation. The inclusion of this service within the procurement was subject to the approval of the necessary budget by the full council.


Councillor Everitt spoke under council Procedure Rule 20.1.


Councillor Jill Bayford proposed, Councillor David Saunders seconded and Cabinet authorised:


1.  The letting of the term contract for the cleaning of the communal areas of council owned blocks of flats, as detailed in this report;


2.  The letting of a term contract for the provision of security patrols and waking watch services within the council’s tower blocks, as detailed in this report, and subject to the approval of the necessary budget by full council.