Success; it's all down to teamwork in sport and recreation. But when the sports pitches and recreational areas themselves are in a bad way the joint effort has to be exceptional. Quadron was awarded Kingston's parks and grounds management contract three years ago.
A big concern of the partnership was to develop failing recreational facilities and encourage more use. The partnership handles all grounds upkeep activities and Quadron must work alongside community organisations such as Friends groups as closely as it does with the local authority.
So, like the best team captains, managers tackled problems at grass-roots level. Close liaison with sports clubs, schools, residents and even allotment associations helped them glean what was wanted or needed. A recreation development manager was employed to target improvements.
Another new post, the horticultural development manager, was charged with honing performance and focusing on meeting the sometimes conflicting interests of the various user groups. And because the role is free of daily operational responsibilities the manager has the time and space to eke out positive results, offer better customer care and provide more individual liaison.
The new postholder has also chased sponsorship or funding for various projects and struck lucky with organisations like the Heritage Lottery Fund and the London Marathon Trust. This, says the team, has played a big role in the success of the partnership in meeting the priorities of local people.
Recent projects benefiting from a funding fillip have included the planting of a new wildflower meadow, a scheme to improve play kit and the provision of better landscape around houses.
"The contract is managed as a partnership between contractor and client," says the team. "A seamless service delivery has resulted in an excellent, cost-efficient and continually improving service focused on meeting the needs of local residents."
East Staffordshire Borough Council and English Landscapes
Serco and Woking Borough Council
Trent & Dove Housing and English Landscapes.