Can we deliver affordable warmth?

Stopping Britain’s homes leaking energy makes sense on so many levels – tackling dangerous climate change, making home heating affordable as energy prices spiral up, tackling the threat of cold and damp to health and life, and creating jobs.


The UK’s economic climate at the start of 2012 was not significantly different to that of 2011. However, it does feel tougher because of the realisation that it will not improve quickly. We have gone from hearing that, regardless of the urgency of the project there simply wasn’t the funding, to knowing twelve months later, that there is still no money available. This means we have to respond in two quite different ways simultaneously. On the one hand, we have to go back to basics and make sure our current operations are as efficient as they can be, while on the other, we need to be strategic, forward thinking and more innovative then ever before. Both demand the investment of time, which is the recurring theme of the articles in our NHMF Bulletin this year.

Editorial 2012

Liz Circuit, Deputy Secretary of NHMF summarises the 2012 bulletin.

Batten down the hatches

Publicity around the demise of a leading contractor in 2010 was unprecedented and appeared to trigger a stimulus in procurement of, ‘batten down the hatches'. Has the initial fuss resulted in any lasting legacy of improved risk management in procurement? The PQQ as the traditional starting point in any procurement process can be a costly, time consuming hurdle for all involved that adds no value, a tick box exercise to help reduce the numbers of bids that eventually need to be assessed? We will look at some real life examples and how the PQQ can be used to effectively assess the commercial, technical and financial capabilities of potential bidders.

The Green Deal

Greg Barker states "The green deal will be a bigger national effort than putting on the London Olympics" Find out why in the main atrical

What’s on the policy horizon for housing management and maintenance?

Have a look at what Micheal clegg has to say on the policy horizon for housing management and maintenance.

Deal or no deal?

"The green deal is a significantly interesting prospect" says Andrew Eagles.

Delivery: the choice is yours

The demise of major contractors, 20% VAT rate and pressures on public expenditure and local government pension schemes (in spite of the HRA review) have led housing providers to explore a range of different delivery options for repairs and maintenance. Andrew explored the range of options that organisations are adopting, including setting up an in-house maintenance team, shared services arrangements, joint ventures and outsourced delivery options. He explains the main advantages and disadvantages of each option and the benefits and risks associated with them.

Contract Mobilisation

Early establishment of a dedicated mobilisation team makes a huge difference to the smooth running of the project. Paul Reader discusses how.

Pleasing residents and the bottom line

New ways to improve value are emerging in repairs and maintenance procurement - such as increased use of competitive dialogue, joint venture/subsidiary structures, performance-based contracts and innovative price models.  But how do these ideas stand up to the risk of EU procurement challenge or failure to comply with Section 20 leaseholder consultation?  Changes to EU regulations and emerging case law need to be taken into account - for example, automatic suspension provisions and the new remedy of ineffectiveness.  Does the balance of power now rest with clients or bidders?

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