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Gloucestershire Business News

Council's £4m contract with Mears is to end

Stroud District Council says its contract with Mears Group, valued at up to £4 million a year, to provide repairs and planned maintenance for its properties will end in the New Year "by mutual agreement."

The council issued a statement, saying the original contract was granted in April 2016 for up to 10 years

Brockworth-based Mears provides responsive maintenance and planned works for council houses in the south of the Stroud district.

Stroud District Council said: "Stroud District Council's contract with Mears Group plc, to provide repairs and planned maintenance to council homes in the south of the district, will end by mutual agreement on March 12 2018.

"Alternative arrangements for the provision of the service are currently being made. We aim to ensure minimal disruption to our tenants during the transition period.

"All customers affected by the change are being notified and will be kept up to date with the progress made in seeking alternative contractors."

Punchline approached Mears but a spokesman said they did not wish to comment.

Although based in Gloucestershire, Mears employs over 13,000 people in every region of the UK.

In partnership with its social housing clients, it maintains, repairs and upgrades the homes of hundreds of thousands of people in communities from remote rural villages to large inner-city estates.

Mears care teams provide support to around 15,000 people, enabling older and disabled people to continue living in their own homes.

The Grenfell Tower fire tragedy in London has impacted on the company's workloads. Whilst Mears was not involved in any way with Grenfell or the London authorities concerned, social housing clients have been delaying future projects while they review the way they commission work and the safety of their homes generally.

In its half year results to June 30 Mears reported group revenue of £470.8 million and profit before tax of £18.3 million (both up by one per cent).

In a trading update earlier this month, Mears Group chief executive David Miles said: "I do not wish to gloss over our 2017 performance and I understand the importance of delivering against our financial targets in the short term.

"Whilst some of the short-term challenges in housing could not have been anticipated, it is frustrating a number of other opportunities that could have helped mitigate these challenges did not develop quickly enough. Nonetheless, I am pleased with the progress made over the last year across the entire Mears business and on a range of important indictors.

"I am particularly excited at the prospects for Mears over a medium-term time horizon and the management team are focused on the quantum of bidding opportunities currently in the pipeline.

"The Mears operations are performing well and I am very encouraged that this excellent performance is putting us in a good position to tender for new opportunities that until recently, would have been beyond our reach. The group is well placed to deliver against its 2018 targets."

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