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Council to regain control of maintenance of social housing stock

Great Yarmouth Borough Council (GYBC) is set to take back responsibility for the maintenance of its social housing stock of more than 5,000 homes.

A stock photo of a row of social housing in a suburban area

Since 2014, Great Yarmouth Norse (GYN) has been contracted to provide construction-related services to the council and its agreement expires next year.

This week, the newly formed Cabinet agreed unanimously to transfer the service back into GYBC no later than September 2024, saying the decision will enable the council to take direct control in developing the service in line with its overall strategy and objectives. As part of the change, officers said they plan to engage with residents in developing the service.

The current agreement with GYN includes repairs and maintenance, refurbishment of empty homes, property compliance and some public works and, after a detailed evaluation, it has been decided that all work and services will be transferred to a new Great Yarmouth Borough Council company.

Councillor Carl Smith, leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: ''After careful consideration of how work is carried out on our housing stock, we have decided that - when our agreement with GYN concludes next year - the best way we can deliver high-quality services for our residents and offer the best value for money is to form a new company.

''This is an important decision and an exciting opportunity for the council to exercise more control over the management of the service and to engage with residents in shaping future delivery."

GYN employs 76 staff and has an estimated turnover of £7.9 million and the intention is that this work along with the staff will be transferred to a wholly owned council company.

Sheila Oxtoby, chief executive of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: ''This is a really positive move for the borough. We are confident the change will mean we are able to be more responsive to the needs of our residents as we seek to maintain our housing stock as efficiently as we can and to the highest possible standards.

''Taking back the work into our control also means the council will be able to control costs effectively and make sure we target spending where it is most important.''

Last modified on 14 June 2023

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