Sheffield council has taken two contractors off the list of firms working on its £700m housing improvement programme.

Sheffield Homes, the council’s arm’s length management organisation, is to cut its framework from seven to five firms by dropping Connaught and Mears.

A spokesperson said the number had been reduced because the amount of work left on the programme, which is half complete, was starting to wind down. She added that the decision of which firms to retain had been made after a review of the contractors’ performance.

Connaught and Mears will leave the list on April next year.

The firms remaining on the framework are Kier, Keepmoat, Lovell, Wates Living Space, and Henry Boot.

They will all continue to work on bringing 42,000 council homes up to the decent homes standard by fitting them with new kitchens, bathrooms and heating systems.

Bob Holt, chairman of Mears, said the company was finishing the work that it had been contracted to carry out.