Agenda and minutes

Extraordinary Meeting, Joint Meeting of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee and Rural and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee - Monday, 27th June, 2022 2.00 pm

Venue: Council Chamber - South Kesteven House, St. Peter's Hill, Grantham. NG31 6PZ. View directions

No. Item


Apologies for Absence

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    Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Richard Dixon-Warren, Ben Green, Robert Reid and Ray Wootten.


Disclosure of Interests

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    No disclosure of interests were made.


Grounds Maintenance Options Appraisal pdf icon PDF 260 KB

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    Prior to the commencement of consideration of this item, a point of order was raised which questioned why the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee or the Companies Committee had not been given the opportunity to consider this report given it related to the procurement of a service currently provided by EnvironmentSK Ltd.


    The Chairman stated this may be explained as part of the presentation of the report.


    The Cabinet Member for Waste Services and Climate Change presented the report which provided detail on the work undertaken to develop a new specification for the Council’s grounds maintenance service and invited consideration of providing a recommendation to Cabinet on the way forward in respect of the future delivery of the service.


    The Council’s grounds maintenance service had been provided by EnvironmentSK Ltd, a wholly owned Council company, since 1 March 2019, with responsibility for the grounds maintenance of Council-owned land, including General Fund and Housing Revenue Account land.


    Being a predominately rural district, 3% of the land being maintained was in urban areas, with 97% being in rural locations. Other areas were also maintained, including 21 closed churchyards and three parks in Grantham, the total cost of the service being £1.016 million for the current financial year. This was split between £428,000 in respect of the Housing Revenue Account and £588,000 in respect of the General Fund. Further details regarding the services provided to the Housing Revenue Account and General Fund were set out in the report at paragraphs 1.5 to 1.10.


    In line with the Council’s management of its finances and a commitment to run services more efficiently and effectively, whilst taking best value into consideration, it was considered necessary to review the contract in place with EnvironmentSK Ltd and the management of the grounds maintenance service moving forward.


    Mr Ian Yates, external consultant, was appointed in order to develop a new grounds maintenance specification. He delivered a presentation setting out a framework which could be used to test the market in respect of future service delivery. A demonstration of the Statmap system was presented to the Committee, which was a detailed digital mapping tool able to provide an accurate measurement of all grassed areas, verges, hedges and other areas currently maintained. This was considered as an essential element of managing the contract, given the district consisted of 365,000 square miles with at least 1.5 million square metres of grass requiring cutting. These were fragmented across the whole district, made up of individual pockets of areas requiring maintenance as part of the contract. Thousands of elements of data were able to be managed through the Statmap system, which had been updated and refreshed so that each site in the district was accurately represented. The system was a visual tool which was easy to use, especially when measuring sites and calculating maintenance programmes, including detailed breakdowns of the work required at each location.


    The Chief Finance Officer provided an overview of the specification requirements which defined the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.