The Wokingham Borough’s parks, pitches and play areas will remain looking good whilst also being kind to birds, bugs and bees, and provide a splash of colour, thanks to Wokingham Borough Council’s new grounds maintenance contract.
The new contact has been awarded to provider ISS Facility Services – Landscaping following a joint procurement with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. Under the contract, ISS will target grass cutting at areas of most importance to residents and will maintain the grassland and wildflower meadows that have proved popular at Cantley Park in Wokingham, Ashenbury Park in Woodley and on the Woosehill Spine Road.
The key innovations of the contract include:
- A flexible grass cutting service; under which grass will be cut when necessary rather than relying on a fixed schedule
- A new performance management scheme that will have a greater focus on customer satisfaction and the quality of the service provided
- A strong focus on enhancing biodiversity by providing areas of longer grass and wildflowers in which pollinators and other wildlife can flourish
The contract has been designed with input from a public consultation held in 2014, during which residents told the borough council that they would welcome a more flexible grass cutting service that targeted priority areas at priority times.
Cllr Angus Ross, executive member for environment, said: “We listened to what people told us in 2014 and began to put changes – such as greater flexibility and wildflower meadows – in place last summer.
The new contract will enshrine those changes and I look forward to us working with ISS to ensure we have a high level of resident satisfaction within an affordable contract. The wildflower meadows have been very attractive and have proved popular and I am sure they will continue to be so."
The joint procurement process with the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is part of a drive for more efficient procurement and has led to ongoing savings of about £40,000 per year for the council. Further efficiency savings will result from a shared management structure for ISS across both councils – although each authority will receive a service tailored to its needs.
Cllr Ross added: "Our financial position is extremely difficult, so I am delighted we found a way to save money during the procurement process and have found a provider committed to high levels of customer satisfaction within our available budget."