Tenants hit by maintenance firm’s collapse

Ipswich: Dozens of council house tenants have been left with half-fitted kitchens and bathrooms following the collapse of social housing maintenance company Connaught.

The cash-strapped company, which is based in Devon but operates nationwide, has called in administrators after its lenders refused to advance further funding.

Connaught has been working in partnership with Ipswich Borough Council for several years on a project, known as Decent Homes, to upgrade the kitchens and bathrooms in hudreds of council houses.

A council spokesman said yesterday that, although most of the homes had now been completed, it was understood that work in progress on “a few dozen” had come to a halt due to the company’s collapse.

“We are talking to the administrators to get permission for sub-contractors to be appointed to complete the work which is in progress. That is our priority,” he said.

Alternative arrangments would also be made for the remaining homes where work had yet to start, but the urgent task was to ensure that part-completed work was finished as soon as possible, he added.

Connaught warned in June that government spending cuts could blow a �200million hole in its revenues this year and next. Thousands of jobs are at risk as a result of its collapse, although if no buyer for the business is found, many are likely to be recruited by a replacement contractor.

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The businesses in administration include the main Connaught company and its subsidiary Connaught Partnerships Ltd. However, a number of other subsidiaries are not in administration and are trading as normal.

These include Connaught Compliance, which includes national pest control business Connaught Compliance Pest Prevention Ltd, based at Great Blakenham. The business, formerly known as Igrox Ltd, was acquired by Connaught last year under a �15.9million deal which also included Norwich-based UK Fire.

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