Contractor in legal appeal over tree maintenance job

A legal wrangle is underway over the awarding of a contract to care for Birmingham's trees.

Central Tree Services has put in a legal appeal over its bid for a tree-pruning contract, and talks are taking place this week to try to resolve the issue.

The deal to care for Birmingham's trees is one of 12 grounds maintenance contracts, worth £19.7m, covering parks, open spaces, grass verges, hedgerows and golf courses. The appeal from Central Tree Services, based in nearby Castle Bromwich, has delayed the official announcement of the other 11 contracts, according to a representative for Birmingham City Council.

"It has held up a big bells and whistles announcement but everything is still moving on and the contracts will be in place for the scheduled start in April," said the council representative.

"Part of the contract procedure allows for appeals, and you're looking at someone losing a contract that is worth quite a bit of money."

The council's in-house company, Birmingham Parks & Nurseries, has been awarded grounds maintenance contracts for strategic parks and golf courses plus for Northfield and Edgbaston constituencies.

Sutton Coldfield and Perry Barr parks will be maintained by Glendale Managed Services, while Vale Contract Services will look after Erdington and Hodge Hill.

Quadron Services has won four contracts covering Hall Green, Ladywood, Selly Oak and Yardley.

Further details of the legal challenge are expected to be released this week, following a meeting that was planned for Monday (2 March).The extensive new contracts see Birmingham adding an extra 10 park keepers, an apprenticeship scheme and more frequent grass cutting.

Quadron Services group managing director Mike Martin said he was waiting for final confirmation of the contract, but that it was a significant win outside the South East, where the firm carries out most of its work. He added: "It is cutting it tight; it's barely enough time but we have got experience of mobilising large contracts and are familiar with the logistics."

www.HorticultureWeek.co.uk/tenders for more contract news


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