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Parties to the new grounds maintenance contract: HBC councillors Jeremy Birch and Emily Westley are third and fourth from left respectively; Michelle Maybury of the Landscape Group second from right. (Photo: HBC)

Savings on new council contracts

Newly negotiated contracts for grounds maintenance and waste collection will generate combined savings of some £900,000 a year and, in the case of the waste collection contract, expand the range of materials going to recycling. Nick Terdre reports.

This week the council announced a 10-year grounds maintenance contract with the Landscape Group, which takes over from Quadron, the incumbent contractor, on 6 November. The contract, which covers parks and seafront flower beds, is expected to realise savings of some £300,000 a year, partly due to economies of scale – as Councillor Emily Westley, lead member for parks, explained to HOT, for the first time Hastings has gone into partnership with a neighbour, Rother District Council,

Also party to the contract is AmicusHorizon, which runs social housing projects in Hastings.

“By forming a joint partnership with Rother and AmicusHorizon we have been able to realise savings through economies of scale and smarter ways of working,” said council leader Jeremy Birch.

“There was an enormous amount of work involved in reviewing the requirements of all three clients and devising an operational solution that allows us to deliver a quality service to all, but at lower cost to the local taxpayer and residents,” said Michelle Maybury, Landscape’s operational director. “We have come up with a neighbourhood-team approach that reduces travel time and will allow our staff to focus on their local patch and be more responsive to local needs.”

Time for the tetrapak!

A similar partnership approach is reflected in the new waste collection contract, which has been jointly awarded by four local authorities – Wealden, Eastbourne and Rother, in addition to Hastings. Over its 10-year term starting in July next year, the contract will cost Hastings about £26 million. Savings compared to the present contract will be some £600,000 a year, Cllr Scott, lead member for environmental services, told HOT.

An additional benefit is that the range of materials collected from the home for recycling will be expanded to include glass, which at present has to be taken to a collection bin, a wider range of plastics and tetrapaks, the ubiquitous liquids cartons.

Thus Hastings is set to catch up with other boroughs which already collect these items from the doorstep. Residents may be issued with a box in which to put out the new items for collection, according to Cllr Scott.

The name of the contractor will be released once the statutory ‘stand-still’ period during which unsuccessful bidders can challenge the award is up.

Another benefit of the new contract, which also includes street cleaning, is that greater attention will be given to cleaning up dog mess, Cllr Scott said. This won’t however interrupt efforts to take action against dog-owners who leave their pets’ mess on the pavement.


Posted 19:07 Tuesday, Oct 23, 2012 In: Home Ground

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