idverde UK (via its subsidiary company, Quadron Services) commenced a 10-year contract to deliver Charnwood Borough Council’s Management of Open Spaces services in April 2014.
Working in partnership with Charnwood, we carry out grounds maintenance to the council’s green spaces, including the Green Flag-accredited and BALI Principal Award-winning Queen’s Park, and the Outwoods, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). We also provide management and maintenance of water courses in respect of flood mitigation and maintenance of street furniture and name plates, plus graffiti removal.
Twenty-nine former Charnwood Council employees were welcomed into the company at the start of the contract. Our HR, Health and Safety and Training teams spent several days on-site to familiarise the new staff with our culture including systems, procedures and quality requirements. Small plant induction training was also delivered by our in-house Lantra-accredited contract trainers. Training will continue to be a priority throughout the contract, with each employee receiving a personal development plan with regular skills reviews and opportunities for further professional development.
A key element of our service is supporting Charnwood in the delivery of its Open Spaces Strategy. This sets out the council’s desire to promote, protect and improve the areas open spaces through good management practice, while protecting and enhancing biodiversity and heritage, maximising use of facilities and engendering pride in the local community. We are helping Charnwood to achieve these goals by introducing more sustainable planting, pledging to increase the number of sites with Green Flags, enhancing the council’s contribution to Loughborough in Bloom and proactively managing natural and conservation areas through a bespoke biodiversity action plan.
Innovations introduced to the contract include the PRIMROSE electronic contract management and monitoring system, which utilises hand-held PDAs to issue work instructions, log completed work and record supervisory inspection checks. We will also be introducing measures to reduce carbon emissions generated from our maintenance activities, such as purchasing new low-emissions vehicles and equipment from year two of the contract and introducing carbon off-setting initiatives.
Commenting on the award of the contract, Councillor Hilary Fryer, Charnwood Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Cleansing and Open Spaces, said: “This represents brilliant value for money for our residents as well as meeting our very high standards of quality which have helped make our open spaces among the best in Leicestershire.”