Fenland District Council - £600,000 pa - 2010 - 2015
Commencing in November 2010, The Landscape Group were awarded this grounds maintenance contract by Fenland District Council, providing a broad range of services in and around the Cambridgeshire market towns of Chatteris, March, Whittlesey, Wisbech and surrounding villages. With the aim of always ‘putting the community first’, this scheme forms part of the Council’s ambition to improve the whole region’s quality of life, and develop a wealthy and diverse local economy.
In addition to the extensive maintenance of the region’s parks and open spaces, the contract covers a range of areas including leisure centres; Roddons housing amenity areas and sheltered housing schemes; cemeteries and closed church yards; play areas and playgrounds; industrial areas; economic development sites; highway verges and car parks. The maintenance work itself includes a broad range of horticultural services, from grass cutting and shrub maintenance to street cleansing, litter clearance and cemetery work. Additional works include the maintenance of seasonal bedding, herbaceous and rose borders, hanging baskets and tiered precinct planters; play area, hedge and sports pitch maintenance;
weed control and arboricultural works.
Made up of staff from the local Fenland area, the team is very much part of the local and wider community. As part of the Council’s ‘putting the community first’ ambition, The Landscape Group are proud to be the first grounds maintenance contractor in the area to establish a partnership with the local job centres. Aiming to encourage jobseekers to gain experience in the field of their interest, the team offer multiple 3 to 4-week work placements, and the Contract Manager leads accompanying workshops. In addition, we are setting up a work experience scheme for year 11 pupils from the local community college, and are joint sponsors of the Roddons Housing Garden Competition, an annually held ceremony where local people are rewarded for their contribution to the wider community.
Partnership forms an essential part of this contract’s management, and a strong relationship between the client and contractor has grown. Built on trust and honesty between the two managers, this relationship enables issues to be dealt with as one, and successes celebrated together. The
results speak for themselves, and formal complaints are very rare.
Providing added value to the contract is important for our team, and in addition to the partnership and training schemes already being developed by the team, a number of extra ideas have been incorporated into the programme. Early on in the contract for example, we identified the need for a Parks Keeper for the Wisbech area, going over and above the specification. It was a priority to provide a fully trained in-house arboriculture team and setup, which not only reduces additional staff training costs, but also removes the need for any expensive subcontractors.
We believe that keeping a customer focus at all times is important, and we have dedicated communication lines both local to the Fenland contract and nationally to ensure this. With a locally controlled line active from 9-4 Monday to Friday, and a Customer Care number based at Head Office, all complaints can be dealt with quickly and effectively, helping us to deliver a better and more streamlined service.
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