Nottingham parks team takes three APSE awards

The awards were made by In Bloom, Association for Public Service Excellence and Lawn Tennis Association.

Taking a full-blooded commercial approach to its open spaces while retaining high-quality public services for locals has earned Nottingham City Council a national award for best parks, grounds and horticulture service team from the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE).

Head of parks and open spaces Eddie Curry said the authority soldiered through cuts of £1m to jack up income from leases, concessions and events by 20 per cent to £4m annually over the past couple of years.

"This is the second time in three years we've won the best service team for parks, while the council also won best overall authority of the year. We went back through our portfolio of leases and management agreements to ensure good market value.

"We also secured extra sponsorship from businesses and commercialised some of our services. We supply plants from our nursery to neighbouring boroughs and offer parks development, biodiversity and arb services."

Runners-up for the best service team award, were Birmingham City Council, Durham County Council, Knowsley Council, Stockton on Tees Borough Council and Wakefield Council.

Curry said: "Our real focus is to keep a positive, entrepreneurial outlook to drive forward commercial approaches to retain income levels and offset the burden on the council's budgets. We don't dwell on the annual cuts but on new opportunities."

Nottingham City Council also won an East Midlands in Bloom gold for the 19th time thanks to a drive into less affluent areas in need of regeneration. Judges praised allotments and spaces in front of libraries and community centres.

"We've had a long-standing ambition to move from traditional more affluent areas with heritage parks to less well-off urban areas," said Curry. "The strength of community involvement really impressed everyone."

The third gong last week, a beacon status award from the Lawn Tennis Association for courts in Vernon Park and Valley Road, recognised highly popular programmes and free-access courts.

Inside view

"The winners of our service awards are truly the gold medallists of local government. They have strived for excellence in service delivery and put in extra effort to ensure that they deliver the very best in front-line services. The awards are unique because they reflect front-line service achievements in areas as wide as refuse collection to school meals."

Paul O'Brien, chief executive, Association for Public Service Excellence

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

Sargent's solutions - how to attract the best staff for your business

There are ways to find quality candidates for horticultural jobs if you widen your search parameters, Alan Sargent suggests.

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

Business Planning - Staff are your greatest asset

An effective strategy to retain staff is the best way for any business to avoid a potential recruitment crisis, Neville Stein advises.

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

Mowers, turf care, battery equipment, seeds, arboriculture kit and weed control will all see a wide range of new releases at Saltex, Sally Drury reports.

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

IOG Saltex

Get set for IoG Saltex 2017 with our comprehensive show guide and exhibitor info.

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Products & Kit Resources

BALI National Landscape Awards 2016

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space

Read Noel Farrer