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Government announces prison maintenance sell-off

The government’s prison maintenance contracts have been granted to two private contractors.

Amey has won the contract for the North-east, North-west, Yorkshire and Humberside, the East and West Midlands and Wales. Carillion has won the contracts for East of England, London, the South-west, South Central, Kent and Sussex.

Each company was selected as a preferred bidder following a competition process that is expected to save taxpayers around £115m over a five-year period.

The competition was announced in June 2013 and formally launched in January 2014, as part of the government’s programme to drive down costs and improve outcomes across the prison estate without compromising public safety.

The new providers are expected to start delivering services on 1 June 2015, following a period of mobilisation.

Construction union UCATT has described the announcement that prison maintenance functions will be privatised as an expensive error. General secretary Steve Murphy said: “The decision to sell off prison maintenance is all about the government’s obsession with privatisation and nothing to do with ensuring an efficient and safe service. This will increase costs and decrease prison security.

“UCATT will fight to ensure that our members’ existing terms and conditions are fully protected when they transfer to the new contracts. Our members have dedicated their working lives to serving the public and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect”.

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