A word from Peter Bird, proprietor at
Primary Business Support
"The world of social housing is ever-changing and with change comes the need to develop new approaches to old and new issues.
PBS is a small consultancy able to offer you a personal service tailored to your needs. With over 25 years working for local authorities and housing associations and over fifteen years working as a social housing consultant I am able to provide you with bespoke consultancy. A network of likeminded independent consultants also enables me to work collaboratively to extend the services that I can offer you.
If you are thinking about introducing new services, updating existing services or preparing yourself for further change I'd be keen to discuss how I can assist you and your teams.
If you want someone to bounce ideas off, or if you want general advice I'm very happy to talk to you either by phone or I can call on you, of course, I make no charge for exploratory discussions.
I look forward to speaking to you soon!"
Peter Bird FCIH FCMI
We have long said that the world of social housing is ever changing and needs to constantly adjust to new circumstances. Well, the United Kingdom has moved into an era of even greater change and uncertainty with the decision to exit the EU (see our discussion on the effects of Brexit on public procurement in our News and Views page).
There are plenty of commentators speculating on the effects that this change may have on the economy, legislature and social impacts but the reality is that at this stage we just don't know.
There is doom and gloom too. Whether you wanted to leave the EU or not the reality is that the decision has been made and, despite the arguments and turmoil we will (at the time of writing!) be leaving at 11:00pm on Friday 29th March 2019, or in June or in 2020 or 2021... We can debate the pros and cons and react to developments in a tardy manner or we can get out our SWAT analysis and concentrate on those strengths and opportunities (whilst having suitable respect for the Ws and Ts!).
Recent reports suggest that about half of all housing associations believe that Brexit will have an adverse impact on business, particularly in the supply of materials for the construction industry, but there are other possible effects that organisations can prepare for. Looking on the bright side the figures could be read to indicate that around 50% anticipate no adverse effects - or maybe they just haven't gone through the analysis exercise, which would be a worry.
Meanwhile, we have the 'day job' to do.
So how do registered providers respond to the increasing demands on its services? PBS has been working with housing providers who are remodelling their investment programmes, reviewing structural arrangements and we have been procuring contracts to drive greater efficiency into contracts but avoid unrealistic bids that have led to early termination of established contracts in the past. We are also working in the development of structured procurement programmes and championing the role of procurement and good quality contract management (further details of our full procurement service can be found in our dedicated procurement project page). We are continuing to work on the new arrangements brought about by the Public Contract Regulations 2015 and have been tendering contracts under the new regime.
We are aware of the increasing pressures on smaller associations and work with smaller housing association boards and committees putting management and maintenance arrangements in place. We have also worked with several organisations undertaking Transfer of Engagements and we are currently working with an organisation considering joining an established group as a subsidiary organisation.
We can assist you to tackle new challenges and keep the existing ones on the road. We can supply you with support and project management. If you would like to discuss your priorities give Peter a call on 07780 600953 (further contact details are on the Contact us page).
If your housing association, or local authority housing service would like us to assess your organisation against best practice, or if you need short-term support to get a project delivered, give us a call to discuss what we can do for you and your team. We have worked with a wide range of social housing providers, large and small, to assist them to improve their services, address short-comings and hone good services into excellent services but don't take our word for it, see our Clients' comments!
'Peter provided excellent advice and expertise in procuring a number of new Framework Agreements. Peter has a thorough working knowledge of the public procurement regulations and was able to deliver the project on time and in a clear and concise manner. Peter was very responsive to our client needs and gave excellent value for money through a competitive fee structure.'
Darren Toes, Operations Director, Wokingham Housing Limited, January 2016, following a project in which we worked with WHL to put two contracts for employer's agent services in place and then worked with WHL and its legal advisors in putting Framework Agreements in place for future service requirements.