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G F Tomlinson secures public sector frameworks

G F Tomlinson secures public sector frameworks

Midlands-based contractor, G F Tomlinson is celebrating success on several local schemes it has secured preferred contractor status on via a number of public sector frameworks, including Pagabo, Scape and the Department of Education, giving the firm a forward pipeline of work for the second half of 2023 and through

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ISG Talks About the Future of Public Sector Procurement

Zoe Price, ISG’s group director of public sector frameworks, has shared her thoughts on the future of public sector procurement at Women in Property’s most recent industry debate – an event sponsored by ISG and Burgess Salmon. Working to create opportunities, expand knowledge and inspire change for women within the

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Three Frameworks Secured by Woodhead Group

Woodhead Group has secured a place on two new frameworks and is on its way to deliver a third one, adding to its recent success on the Pagabo framework. The firm won a place on the Westworks Procurement Development and Construction DPS and was reappointed to the Blue Skies Contractor

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London’s Housing Future Under Debate as Mayoral Election Approaches

As Mayor of London, Boris Johnson prepares to face stern competition for the top job, mayoral candidates went head-to-head at this week’s LandAid debate to discuss their plans for the London, in particular, its housing stock. Topics included affordable housing, the private rented sector (PRS), overseas investors and featured speakers

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Latest Issue

BDC 319 : Aug 2024

Public Sector

G F Tomlinson secures public sector frameworks

G F Tomlinson secures public sector frameworks

Midlands-based contractor, G F Tomlinson is celebrating success on several local schemes it has secured preferred contractor status on via a number of public sector frameworks, including Pagabo, Scape and the Department of Education, giving the firm a forward pipeline of work for the second half of 2023 and through to 2024 of £60 million. These schemes include 90 new council houses in Worksop for Bassetlaw District Council valued at £21million which will comprise of a mix of two, three and four-bed houses and two-bed bungalows. The scheme contains a host of green credentials including energy efficient air source pumps, solar panels, high insulation and electric vehicle charging points. There will also be cycle routes to encourage health and wellbeing. George Betts Primary Academy in Smethwick valued at £9 million comprises a newbuild replacement school for 420 pupils and 26 nursery places. Once on site the works will be phased so that the existing school can continue to operate whilst the new school is being built. Another high-profile scheme is the refurbishment of the Grade II Listed Stephenson Memorial Hall, which houses both the Pomegranate Theatre and Museum, for Chesterfield Borough Council valued at £16.0million. The project aims to enhance the building by creating a modern visitor experience in the heart of the town centre and extend the life of an important heritage asset – creating a gateway impact and a ‘sense of arrival’ to the town. Works comprise refurbishment, refit and extension to the listed building, which stands within a conservation area. This includes creation of a new café bar to enhance the theatre and museum experience and the installation of new lifts and a changing places toilet to improve accessibility. The scheme also includes improvements to Corporation Street with new paving and lighting that will revamp this key gateway to the town centre and provide a welcoming environment for visitors to the refurbished theatre and museum. The final project to highlight is the Sherwood Observatory Science Discovery Centre in Sutton in Ashfield, valued at £5 million, which will transform a disused underground Victorian reservoir, dating back to 1880, into an education centre for school and group visits. The scheme will feature an exhibition hall, classroom, a cafe and meeting rooms as well as the state-of-the-art planetarium. It is hoped the new facility will increase annual visitor numbers from 3,000 to 20,000. The company’s strategy has been to concentrate on the public sector, particularly through frameworks, which continues to provide ongoing opportunities in buoyant markets such as education, healthcare and bespoke civic schemes being funded by Government Spending initiatives including Towns Fund, the Levelling Up Agenda and Department for Education. G F Tomlinson is also providing sustainable employment for its local supply chain, helping to generate social, economic and environmental benefits to the surrounding communities in which they work in. Building, Design & Construction Magazine | The Choice of Industry Professionals

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ISG Talks About the Future of Public Sector Procurement

Zoe Price, ISG’s group director of public sector frameworks, has shared her thoughts on the future of public sector procurement at Women in Property’s most recent industry debate – an event sponsored by ISG and Burgess Salmon. Working to create opportunities, expand knowledge and inspire change for women within the property and construction industry, the Association of Women in Property aims to maximise opportunities to actively engage with influential media outlets and be seen and heard at key industry events. The sold-out event featured a panel of industry experts discussing the state of procurement within the public sector with an audience of 100 delegates. The panel featured: • Zoe Price – Group Director of Public Sector Frameworks, ISG • Simon Toplass – CEO, Pagabo • Ann Bentley – Global Board Director, Rider Levett Bucknall (also a member of the UK Government’s Construction Leadership Council) • Helen Baker – Director of Procurement, UWE • Laura Wisdom – Senior Associate, Burgess Salmon • Deborah Vogwell – Senior Manager, Homes England. Pierre Wassenaar, director at Stride Treglown, hosted the discussion, prompting debate around the benefits of the framework route, the role of SMEs and how they can compete, transparency, relationships and the future of public sector procurement, before the panel took questions from the audience. “In the last 18 months we’ve developed a new strategy on how to target and position ourselves on frameworks and it is really important to us as a business,” started Zoe. “It is a strategy that I’m very passionate about and we can evidence the added value and development of long term relationships. The best frameworks are mutually beneficial to both client and contractor, helping bring projects to site quicker and more efficiently, whilst enabling all delivery partners to share best practice and improve productivity. This was a great event with a lot of audience engagement, and it certainly showed that there is a lot of uncertainty around public sector procurement, which I believe could be supported by the use of frameworks to provide transparency and add value to the process,” she continued.

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Three Frameworks Secured by Woodhead Group

Woodhead Group has secured a place on two new frameworks and is on its way to deliver a third one, adding to its recent success on the Pagabo framework. The firm won a place on the Westworks Procurement Development and Construction DPS and was reappointed to the Blue Skies Contractor framework. “Securing a place on three public sector frameworks demonstrates that we are trusted partners, we have delivered excellent social value returns and as a company we are passionate about working collaboratively to hand over successful projects. This trio of appointments has got 2019 off to a flying start and we are very pleased to have secured places on each framework,” said Tom Woodhead, director of the Woodhead Group. Available for use by all Westworks and Efficiency East Midlands (EEM), the Westworks Procurement Development and Construction DPS is part of the Collaboration arrangement between several like-minded procurement consortia. Woodhead Group has been part of EEM for seven years. During this time the company has delivered or is on site with more than £50 million of projects and is set to complete its 500th home secured through the framework in 2019. “These frameworks act as a strong trust signal for councils and housing associations that are looking to work with us, and is a real testament to the high standard of work we deliver and our commitment to deliver real social value to local communities,” added Rom Woodhead. Blue Skies Contractor framework is run by the Blue Skies Consortium, which is a collection of housing associations. It aims to deliver primarily affordable housing residential developments for the different associations.

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Featuring Barnet Homes: Interview With Elliott Sweetman (Assistant Director of Operations)

Barnet Homes: Unique Amongst ALMOs (The Following is a Promoted Article) Barnet Homes is, in the view of Assistant Director of Operations Elliott Sweetman, quite unusual if not unique amongst ALMOs. That’s partly because it’s a subsidiary of The Barnet Group, a local authority trading company set up to run various organisations and win new business for Barnet Council. “In 2012 we took Your Choice (Barnet) across from the Council, a specialist care and support function providing services to adults with a range of physical and learning disabilities,” recalls Elliott. “The council has also transferred other housing interests to us, such as its homelessness services. The intention was to improve the efficiency of services and make them financially viable where appropriate. The council wants us to be enterprising and transform under-performing operations into highly performing services.” Synergies and Efficiencies Barnet Homes was established in April 2004 and, like most ALMOs, its primary purpose was to deliver the Decent Homes Programme. Once completed in 2011, the new group structure came into being and, as Elliott explains, efficiencies have resulted: “There are several synergies between the homelessness service and other elements of landlord services that Barnet Homes delivers. “For instance, the voids and lettings function transferred into the homelessness department because it made sense for nominations, appeals and other departments to sit within the Housing Options service. The repairs and major refurbishment functions provide services to various homeless services clients and various overheads are spread across The Barnet Group.” The organisation’s stock comprises around 15,000 properties, 11,000 tenancies and 4,000 leaseholds, which range from Victorian buildings to some constructed in the last development programmes of the early 1990s. Additionally, there are some 2,000 temporary accommodation units that Barnet Homes manages the tenancies for but doesn’t own. Maintaining Standards The Decent Homes programme saw a £185 million investment, delivering over 5,000 new kitchens, new windows for 4,000 units, 2,300 bathrooms, over 6,000 electrical upgrades and rewires, 2,300 heating systems and boilers, and 260 new roofs, many on blocks of flats with various other types of remodelling work. Since it completed, the focus has been, says Elliott, on maintaining homes to the same standard: “Using information from our stock database and on-site verification surveys, we continue to run a programme of kitchen, bathroom and window replacement when components reach the end of their useful life. “In addition, we’re ensuring M&E services remain fit for purpose and comply with current standards. We’re currently investing in replacing boilers, heating systems and carrying out rewires for homes that didn’t receive them during Decent Homes. In many respects, it’s a continuation of that investment.” The main emphasis of Decent Homes was on the internal condition of dwellings and the safety of communal areas. Investment now is going into other areas that weren’t covered, such as estate and environmental works, remodelling car parks and pathways. There’s been much work on water services, damp and condensation, lift refurbishment and a large electrical rising main programme. External repairs and redecoration programmes continue, the latter incorporating dementia-friendly design principles as a result of consultation with residents. Community Relationships Resident involvement and consultation are major features of the way Barnet Homes operates. “We have a strong local presence and work hard to maintain good community relationships,” states Elliott. “We have really strong relationships with existing residents, have high satisfaction levels and they trust us in providing this function. We understand the issues faced by those living within the estates, consulting them and our own officers about problems such as anti-social behaviour to ensure we design improvements or design out issues.” The emphasis on involving residents helped Barnet Homes achieve a score of 81% on a recent tenant satisfaction survey, putting it in the top quartile within the industry. It also enabled it to be recognised as a Top Twenty Landlord out of more than 1,700 UK social landlords. Resident involvement was to the fore when Barnet Homes used the end of Decent Homes as an opportunity to look at how it delivered asset management. A major procurement exercise resulted in most contracts being awarded on ten-year terms and, as Elliott emphasises, residents played a major role in contractor selection: “To make sure they had a meaningful involvement in that process, we involved them in scoping at the very outset and residents had a say in what they liked about contractors and what they wanted to improve. Much of what we put in the tender for contractor requirements in less technical areas was driven by what our customers told us. Continuing Involvement “We kept their involvement through that procurement process so they were on groups evaluating tenders, they went on site visits for short-listed contractors and sat in on interviews. They were involved in mobilisation processes for our biggest contracts and those more relevant to residents. We have a Performance Advisory Group (PAG) made up of customers, both tenants and leaseholders, whose role is to hold us to account for what we do and the services we provide. “Members from PAG attend monthly contract management meetings and higher level contracts core group meetings. They feed back to the wider PAG group and the board on their involvement and how managing the contract and contract performance goes. A big part of what we do is ensuring the customer is represented and that ensures we can check that what we’re providing is what they actually want.” The checking extends to an annual benchmarking exercise that puts the service in the top quartile of London boroughs for resident satisfaction and cost. There’s also KPI incentivisation linking contractor payments to performance, although Elliott believes the arrangement’s success is due to other factors: “A key to it is the relationship between teams and how they work together to ensure the service runs in the best way. The contractors are based in our office so, from a practical perspective, we work as a single team.” Apprenticeship Programme A factor in awarding contracts was a wish to retain spend within

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London’s Housing Future Under Debate as Mayoral Election Approaches

As Mayor of London, Boris Johnson prepares to face stern competition for the top job, mayoral candidates went head-to-head at this week’s LandAid debate to discuss their plans for the London, in particular, its housing stock. Topics included affordable housing, the private rented sector (PRS), overseas investors and featured speakers from four of the UK’s main political parties. Somewhat predictably, Labour representative, Sadiq Khan, and Tory, Zac Goldsmith, were at loggerheads over what constitutes an “affordable home”. While Goldsmith expressed ambitions to tackle the consistent pricing-out of “average”, £34k-earning Londoners, Khan went further and was keen to stress the need for a London Living Rent and a structured calculation for house prices. Labour’s plans for Living Rent specific to London was the single policy dedicated to the rental sector. Delegates heard Khan provide details on the proposed rental rate which would be one third of average earnings in the area. The Conservatives, on the other hand, devoted attention to the housing crisis and suggested that the government needed to open more publicly-owned sites up for development. Goldsmith also added that transport infrastructure would have to be upgraded in line with any new development projects so as to join areas with the centre of the city. Caroline Pidgeon for the Liberal Democrats raised questions about foreign investment strategies, and insisted that overseas businesses ought to be taxed at a higher rate to discourage over-investment. In Green Party candidate, Sian Berry’s absence, Darren Johnson stood in to outline her plans for a not-for-profit company to shoulder all new development. The body would prioritise local and smaller developers in the hope to build affordable homes that were fit for purporse and beneficial to the local economy. All parties committed to building 50,000 new homes in the capital though they were hesistant to disclose just where they’ll find the land to do so. The LandAid debate was sponsored by Savills and attended by 350 representatives from some the UK’s largest contractors and property management companies.  

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