Residents help select firm for £5m maintenance work

A watchdog group made up of residents of Aspire Housing in Staffordshire has been involved in the decision to award a £5m grounds maintenance contract to Glendale.

A forum of residents from Aspire's sites across north Staffordshire was involved in talks to influence the decision on the appointment of Glendale in the five-year contract.

The process was part of a drive to involve residents who live in Aspire houses in the decision-making process as they are the people affected by the grounds maintenance work.

Aspire Housing director of operations Will Nixon said: "We want to promote a culture of innovation and encourage our customers to put their ideas forward through the grounds maintenance forum and other community panels that we are developing, to improve the places in which they live."

Glendale will be assessed on how well it meets the contract over the next five years and will have a possible extension of a further five years, depending on performance.

A total of 35 grounds maintenance "auditors" made up of Aspire residents have been involved in the selection process and will continue to monitor Glendale's work for the duration of the contract.

Nixon added: "The residents play a very full and active role in terms of grounds maintenance, and they'll often undertake site visits and share their views on improving service delivery. It's not a wholly unusual practice but it is quite novel in terms of the breadth and depth of the involvement."

Work will include arboriculture, planting and landscaping. Aspire Housing grounds maintenance forum chairman Peter Plant said: "I am really pleased to have been given the opportunity, along with other customers, to influence the decision about the agreement."

Glendale regional director for the Midlands Michelle Maybury said: "We'll provide Aspire Housing customers with a seamless service."


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