Housing association takes on former Rok staff

North Wales Housing has launched a specialist heating and plumbing division to carry out repair and maintenance works across its portfolio of over 2,300 homes.

The specialist works formerly carried out by national building company Rok, which were placed into administration in November, left a gap in NWH's maintenance and repair team for the Conwy area.

However, the housing association has taken on seven of the former Rok team members plus an apprentice to work in house, emulating the services carried out by Rok.

The team includes Kevin Wood, Alan Morris, Eddie Maitas, Andy Adderley, Keith Bedwell, Allan Jones, Dylan Williams and apprentice John Jones.

Paul Diggory, chief executive of North Wales Housing, said: "The Rok news was a real shock and a blow to us. We had worked closely with them for over a year, with a key focus on plumbing and heating, and had developed a highly workable and effective system.

"We believe that the best way forward has been to take this model in-house, seamlessly incorporating these services into our organisation, whilst saving the majority of the Rok positions and most importantly, maintaining the high service levels expected by our residents.

"We have had excellent feedback from our residents regarding our work with Rok during the past year and the guys have built up very positive relationships with them. Rather than put these contracts out to tender and enter into long negotiations and in essence start again, we took the decision to react quickly and set up our own team under a six month pilot project with a view to making this permanent. At such a difficult time for many businesses we're pleased we've been able to save local jobs."

The move will be overseen by NWH head of asset management, Garry O'Brien, and the team will be managed centrally.

Your Comments

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This is an absolutely brilliant initiative. Congratulations to NWHA. Let’s hope that intelligent development of in-house facilities is an antidote to much of the madness of outsourcing to costly and vulnerable sources. Let’s have a follow-up in a few months on how it’s working out.

By Chris Drew

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