Stevenage Borough Council to scale up major refurbishment work following government guidance
Stevenage Borough Council today announced it expects to recommence its scaled back major refurbishment works from the 26 May, in response to government guidance that it would like to see construction work resume.
Following the implementation of a lockdown in the UK, the council took the decision to scale back some works in early March, despite construction being identified as a permitted activity by the government. The council now intends to start a phased scaling up of construction work on its MRC programmes.
Working closely with its contractors Wates and Mulalley, the council has reviewed government guidance and assessed all site activities to address the changes that need to be made. Operatives carrying out work will adhere to the government’s working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance to ensure any such work may be carried out safely. Internal works will only take place in homes where residents are not shielding or self-isolating, unless it is to remedy a direct risk.
Councillor Jeannette Thomas, Executive Member for Housing, Health and Older People, at Stevenage Borough Council said:
“Our first priority is always the health and safety of our residents, employees, subcontractors and suppliers, which is why we took the decision to scale back works.
We have since conducted a comprehensive review of our working practices to ensure we can confidently comply with government guidance. Our phased approach to scaling up work will ensure we’re able to make the necessary adjustments to site safety and provide training on the new requirements. If certain work cannot be undertaken safely due to a lack of suitably qualified personnel being available, or social distancing being implemented, it will not take place.
We recognise that our contractors, subcontractors and suppliers, many of which employ local Stevenage residents, are facing significant hardship as a result of the pandemic. Not restarting works would have a huge impact on our local economy; supporting these businesses during this crucial time will help to mitigate some of the economic impact of Covid-19.
We also understand that under the current climate, some of our leaseholders may be concerned about their financial situation. We have therefore made the decision to delay invoicing those who were due final bills in relation to the major refurbishment works carried out in their block. This decision will be re-evaluated in three months’ time.”
Individuals who need financial advice should contact the council on 01438 242666 or email Leaseholdincome@stevenage.gov.uk
To keep up-to-date on the council’s plans to deal with Coronavirus, visit www.stevenage.gov.uk.