Council to spend almost £1m improving social housing

Norwich City Council is set to spend almost £1m improving social housing and fire escapes. Pictured,

Norwich City Council is set to spend almost £1m improving social housing and fire escapes. Pictured, the parade of shops on Colman Road. Photo: Steve Adams

A Norfolk council has agreed to spend almost £1m on improving facilities and safety features in its social housing.

Norwich City Council has voted to award a contract worth almost £250,000 to replace the fire escape stairs at a block of city flats.

And councillors have also agreed to spend an additional £675,000 on replacing kitchens and bathrooms at council housing stock across the city.

The facilities money is on top of an initial contract for £8.8m, which was in September 2017 awarded to Roalco Ltd, to replace kitchens and bathrooms and carry out damp-proofing work at social housing properties in Norwich.

But after the company collapsed into administration two years later, a replacement contract was awarded to Gasway Services Ltd. in September 2019.

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And now an additional £675,000 has been awarded to the firm to carry out extra installations during the final months of the financial year.

At a cabinet meeting held on Wednesday, January 15, cabinet member for social housing, Gail Harris, said: "This is a really good news story.

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"They were really helping us to move along a contract we were struggling with.

"They have the capacity to deliver more for us within this financial year.

"It shows the scale of financial investment we as a council are making in our housing stock.

"We have to thank Gasway for how they've carried out the work."

The money was awarded at a meeting of the city council's cabinet, on Wednesday, January 15, where councillors also agreed to award a £234,837.82 contract to Bawburgh Installations Ltd, to replace the fire escape stairs, handrails and stair treads at Drayton and Colman Road.

A total of 24 flats will have replacement stairs installed, which the council says will "extend the life expectancy of the structural integrity of the fire escape staircase".

The council received two tenders for the works, with the contractor they chose cheaper by almost £87,000.

The works will see 20-year-old kitchens and 30-year-old bathrooms replaced with modern fittings, with more storage space and room for up-to-date appliances.

The council's current total spend in the area is anticipated to be £2,475,000 for the current financial year.

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