Over the past few months, staff and residents have been working to secure new cleaning and grounds maintenance contracts, which will provide you with better services and improved value for money. We are pleased to announce that both new contracts will be managed by Accuro Environmental.
Our cleaning and grounds maintenance contracts cover the communal areas and outside spaces in and around our neighbourhoods. We know how important these services are to residents and, knowing that our previous contracts were coming to an end, we wanted to put them out to tender to see whether we could achieve higher quality services and improve the value for money we deliver for residents.
In order to complete the tender process in a fair way which met regulatory requirements, we asked some of our residents to help staff select a new contractor. Working closely with residents and the Gateway Membership Team, which represents tenants, we reviewed and scored all eight tenders in detail.
This involved visiting and interviewing each company and looking into feedback from our residents to see where we can ask for different services. We also worked with professional consultants Echelon Consultancy throughout the exercise.
The result of the process is that new five-year contracts for cleaning and grounds maintenance have been awarded to Accuro Environmental. The company scored highest for both quality and cost-effectiveness, and they will be taking on both the cleaning and grounds maintenance from 1st April.
The assessment for each organisation was weighted slightly in favour of quality (60% on quality, 40% on cost), so that we can be sure you are receiving the best services. Accuro Environmental scored highly in quality and cost-effectiveness for both cleaning and grounds maintenance. Overall, securing a contract with Accuro will see residents receiving significantly better services and value for money.
As well as these benefits, we have also written other new elements into the contract, in order to respond to resident feedback:
• grass will now be cut as and when it is reaching an unacceptable length, rather than having a set number of cuts per year
• hedges and shrubs will be cut one extra time every year
• the cleaning team will receive the Real Living Wage (£9 per hour) for their work
• an annual programme of deep cleans has been added
Denise Rogers, a member of the Gateway Membership Team and one of the residents involved with the appointment, said: “We knew from the first moment we read the submission by Accuro that they ticked all the boxes. Their senior staff were very personable and want to encourage interaction with tenants. We would like our fellow residents to give them time and space to get up and running with the new contract and to know that we will start monitoring them soon.
“Thanks to our input, you should see improved communication about the standards you can expect. We have found that being a resident inspector is quite easy, so if you’d like to become a resident inspector please get in touch!”
We are really pleased to have Accuro on board. As well saving you money, Accuro will be employing cleaners who are trained in customer service, helping us with our satisfaction surveys and aiming to deliver a consistently excellent cleaning and grounds maintenance service.
Both new contracts will start in April. On 1st April, the cleaning contract will start with a day of induction and training for the new cleaning staff to ensure they are ready and fully equipped to start work. This means that there will be no cleaning service on Monday 1st April. Any blocks not cleaned on that day will be cleaned on Saturday 6th April instead.
There are new cleaning schedules in place which have been re-aligned to create smarter, more efficient rounds for all of the teams. Also, as the cleaners visit every block throughout the week ahead, they will be leaving a new sheet in the noticeboard which will tell you which day in the week your block will be cleaned, as well as other new service standards.
The grounds maintenance contract will start on 30th April - keep an eye on our social media feeds for more information.
Recently, seven of our residents were joined by key members of staff to carry out some joint inspections in a variety of blocks.
Usually, resident inspectors check their own blocks, but on the recent road trip the inspectors and other residents visited different blocks to be able to see new places and chat with people who may be interested in becoming a resident inspector. Both current and new resident inspectors will be vital in helping us monitor the new contract and ensure the new standards are being met.
The residents really enjoyed themselves, and were keen to help us further! With that in mind, the resident inspectors will be visiting all the blocks again once Accuro have had a chance to put the new service improvements into practice.