10 April 2014, Two companies have been appointed to take on management of Buckinghamshire County Council's property services in contracts worth £1.8 million. The deal, signed last week, is expected to save the County Council more than half a million pounds a year.
The maintenance of council properties will be managed by Bilfinger Europa, the national facilities management specialists, while the estates and asset management aspects of the property portfolio will be overseen by estate management specialists Carter Jonas. The partnership with Bilfinger Europa keeps maintenance work under one roof, enabling users of council property - such as schools - to get repairs and maintenance done through a one-stop-shop. As part of the contract, Bilfinger Europa will continue the council's practice of using local suppliers as sub-contractors wherever possible.
Carter Jonas provides the council with a strategic partner with long experience in estates and asset management to help get best value from its property portfolio and make the most efficient and effective use of its buildings.
Peter Hardy, cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “These partnerships will give good value for money and create a leaner and more efficient service. That's good news for our taxpayers and our community.”
Greig Brown, Bilfinger Europa chief executive, said: “Bilfinger Europa has vast experience of successfully delivering best in class facilities management services to the public sector and we are confident that we can work in partnership with the council to deliver tangible benefits for local residents.”
Scott Harkness, head of commercial, Carter Jonas said: ”We are delighted to have been awarded the tender by Buckinghamshire County Council. Working closely with its property team, we will provide estate and asset management advice to support and meet the Council’s objectives. Our property experts are skilled in providing such strategic advice, gained from acting on behalf of more than 50 Local Authorities and also with the private sector. We look forward to delivering an exceptional service for the benefit of the Council's future.”
Since the new partnerships began, the County Council has been working with providers to set up a 24/7 maintenance helpdesk which Europa will manage.