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New Grounds Maintenance Contract will reduce areas of grass cut

March 29, 2009 9:16 PM
Cllr Caroline Nichols with uncut grass

Is this the future of parks in Spelthorne?

A new Grounds Maintenance Contract has been agreed by Spelthorne Council which will save the Council money, but this means that 27 open spaces will not be maintained to the same standard as previously. LibDem Councillors have been deliberately prevented from having any input at every stage of the process and are very concerned about the impact of the change on public open spaces.

The new contract identifies 27 open spaces where grass cutting will be reduced. In some cases the reduction means that less than 50% of the area will now be maintained.

The previous contract had been benchmarked against neighbouring Councils and was found to be relatively expensive and so the new contract was always going to yield a considerable saving. LibDem Councillors believe that this is the reason why they were excluded from any involvement in the contract letting process.

The Council established two Member committees to oversee and scrutinise the new contract and LibDems where excluded from both. In private some Conservative members have admitted that this was unfair and unreasonable.

There has been inadequate scrutiny of the contract and there is a risk that the quality of our open spaces will deteriorate over time.