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Kier's customer commitment


Published by Rebecca Jackson for Kier Services in Local Government and also in Communities

A massive drive to improve the efficiency of repairs for Stoke-on-Trent’s 19,000 council house tenants has gained national recognition for Kier Stoke, which has been short-listed by the Local Government Chronicle Awards celebrating the best in public service in the UK.

In 2010, Kier Stoke, the joint venture delivery arm for the council’s home repairs and maintenance service, overhauled its responsive repairs service after identifying waiting times as one of residents’ key priorities.

The changes have been dramatic – with repairs waiting times down from 20 days to just three, the average time it takes a customer to report a repair is down to just 41 seconds, and customers reporting 99% satisfaction with the service.

The Local Government Chronicle Awards saw more than 660 entries this year, with 200 organisations submitting a project; a record breaking result for the 2014 event. Finalists will present their ideas to a panel of judges ahead of the ceremony, which will take place inLondonon 12 March 2014.

The City Council spends over £40m a year maintaining and upgrading its homes for local people, and Kier Stoke works with the Council to ensure it delivers much more than just a repairs service.

The Kier Stoke team have done the equivalent of £1.3m worth of voluntary work in the community since 2008 and, in line with the Council’s commitment to support local businesses and the local economy, Kier Stoke goes that extra mile in sourcing local suppliers.

The Council’s commitment to future generations is also key to the Kier Stoke success story. The joint Kier and Stoke-on-Trent City Council operation has created more than 200 apprenticeships resulting in qualifications and permanent employment, and also runs on-site training facilities to allow technicians to develop new maintenance skills. In addition, the partnership works with local schools to encourage healthy living and to provide work experience opportunities.

City Council cabinet member for neighbourhoods, communities and housing, Janine Bridges, said that the Kier Stoke home repairs service really was a high performer.

“This collaboration has been a real success in delivering higher standards for the thousands of local people who rent affordable quality homes from the City Council. The Council’s homes operation is all about the community and supporting people’s aspirations for a better quality of life.

“Coming just two years after the team won the Tenant Participation Advisory Service Award in recognition of its work with the community, this is yet another example of how the Kier Stoke partnership is really paying off. We will continue to keep pushing for improvements in every area of the operation, to maximise value for money and quality for the people of Stoke-on-Trent,” she said. 

Kier regional managing director, David Mawson, said: “Being short-listed for this award is testament to the commitment of our team to deliver a first-class service to residents. To be recognised as a benchmark against which other councils should work, really emphasises the importance of our services. Our core philosophy is to complete repairs at a time convenient to the customer and we will continue to work hard alongside our tenants to keep achieving ground-breaking results.”

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