Comment on: With one voice
I agree with much of what Tom says about demonising the poor and the prospect of poorer quality housing becomming a reality with all the social consequences wrapped up with that. The solution however is extremelly complex as we wrestle with creating a new version of capitalism with a stronger moral focus. There is no doubt at all that this government have neither the skill or desire to do this, so the sector needs to become cleverer at managing the situation, especially in light of the HRA and welfare reforms which are designed to break the link between social housing and the government. There are enough clever people in the sector to give some strategic leadership but let's begin by addressing Tom's claim that many of us have become comfortable in our opulent new offices and look to address waste, duplication, incompetence and poor procurement as the starting point of reform.
Comment on: Builder wins first stand-alone repairs deal
Whilst accepting it is dangerous to comment on contracts that we know little about, other than stock numbers and award price, it would appear obvious that the £200/property is for the provision of day to day repairs only. Evan so at 3 repairs per property iand £65/job including VAT, it is a suicidal price and indicates Galliford Try are following the majority of national contractors pricing work at unsustainable prices.
Comment on: Landlord and contractor scrap £45m repairs deal
At the risk of boring everyone to death, the reason these contracts are going"belly up" is due to nothing other than the people procuring them (consultants and lawyers) have no experience of delivering repairs and maintenance. People with any knowledge of the environment have been shaking their heads for years at some of the ludicrous prices that have been accepted because a lack of understanding of OJEU regulations.
Comment on: Cashback scheme should help tenants find work
After leading a relatively sober life for 68 yrs and having spent an ejoyable and hopefully productive 45yrs in social housing, I am now seriously contemplating "topping" myself in order to extracate myself from the garbage being peddled by Grant Shapps. It depresses me that the democratic process results in someone of his ability leading social housing through it's most challenging time for 50yrs.
Comment on: The lost art
Applications like the Kier offering, will do little to assist their bottom line when they have just announced a 20% fall in revenues due to LA cuts. The comment about the three failed contractors is not correct. They failed, not because they innovated but because they did not know what they were doing and won work at silly prices. They will not be the last major contractor to fail in an area of activity that we need to redefine in order to stop throwing year £1.2billion each at patching and mending instead of working smart.
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