New hope for Norwich families waiting for new windows

Thousands of frustrated council house tenants forced to wait for new windows because the contractor fitting them went into administration have been given hope that the work should soon get back on track.

Norwich City Council contractor Connaught went into administration last September, in the midst of a programme fitting new PVC windows to 16,000 council homes.

The city council handed an emergency temporary contract to Anglian Windows, so some work could still be carried out, but council bosses concede the Connaught collapse set the scheme back.

However, the city council has revealed that it is ready to award a new contract, for up to two years, which could see the final 4,000 properties fitted with new windows by the end of next year.

Chris Rayner, head of housing property at Norwich City Council, said the window replacement scheme had been accelerated in 2006, but that work had stalled following the collapse of Connaught

He said: 'We did let an interim contract for window replacement to Anglian Windows and they have been carrying out the work.

'The aim was that some window installation would be carried out, so the scheme would not come to a halt, but because of European regulations we have to go out to tender.

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'We are in the process of doing that and we are looking at a contract of 18 months to two years, and we hope that means we will get the rest of the windows done by 2012.'

The Evening News reported last month how Justin Hunt, 33, had been waiting for months for the work on his windows to be completed.

The work to replace the windows on his flat in Jewson Road, New Catton, was started before Connaught went into administration last September, but remained unfinished for months. In the meantime, part of his home had to be re-propped by an emergency contractor after brickwork started to crack and drop during the initial installation work.

Mr Hunt, who is disabled, stayed with his father during the winter because the property was so cold.

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