Council establishes in-house grounds maintenance team

Need to economise sees Eastleigh's grounds and cleansing combined

By Rachel Sixsmith Eastleigh Borough Council has broken with tradition this year by bringing its grounds maintenance services in-house. The council has chosen not to expand its five-year contract with Glendale, or sign a deal with another service provider, in order to create its own service, named StreetScene. The new facility combines street care and grounds maintenance and is being carried out by a team of more than 50 staff members. Manager John Morris said: “It’s totally different to anything we’ve done in the past. If it continues to go well we will keep it — if not, we’ll put the work out to tender again.” The council created the facility shortly before February, when its agreement with Glendale was due to expire. Initially Eastleigh had discussed the possibility of expanding the contract, but Glendale’s bid for an amalgamated service was higher than the council’s own. Morris said: “It was mutually agreed that an early finish would be more beneficial for both of us so the contract was terminated early.” Glendale managing director Nick Temple-Heald said: “We explored all the options. But the main issue, as always, was available funding. “In the end the only way the council could make ends meet was to combine the grounds service with their existing cleansing operations, which just happened to be an in-house operation. “Glendale helped facilitate this transaction.” But Morris said the new arrangement is not just about cutting costs and hopes its parks will get Green Flag status: “It’s a more seamless approach. Before, we were doing the street care work separately, but a lot of the work goes together.”

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