Windsor extends grounds terms for prison initiative team

Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead praises ex-prisoners working with ISS Facility Services.

A royal borough has said good value for money and great grounds upkeep from a team including ex-prisoners prompted it to extend a large maintenance contract.

Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead added a further four years to its existing 10-year contract with ISS Facility Services. The contract is worth more than £1m a year and savings would be "substantial", said the firm.

"We are delighted with the extension, which has been granted due to the borough's satisfaction with the service performance and value for money," ISS added.

The prison initiative came about when Blue Sky, a social enterprise set up to move ex-prisoners into paid work, placed five people in its parks and gardens on temporary contracts. The authority became one of the first in the country to make such an arrangement permanent.

ISS managing director Phil Jones said the extension would see his firm deliver a "significant saving" to the council each year without a reduction in the service. This would be achieved through the "flexible use of resources and adaptability".

ISS has looked after parks, gardens, open spaces, sports pitches, churchyards, play areas and other amenity areas since 2000. It also helps clear snow and move fallen trees.

Jones added: "To demonstrate our commitment, we are providing capital investment towards a new fountain at the Goswells, Windsor."

Borough's view

"We focus heavily on maintaining the quality of our parks and open spaces and engaging with residents. We are confident the extension terms will provide excellent value for money for residents and will ensure the continued quality of grounds maintenance service we have come to expect."

Kevin Mist, head of leisure services, Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead.

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