South Staffordshire Council and South Staffordshire Housing Association (SSHA) have joined forces to change the way the district’s open spaces, shrub beds and trees are looked after. And with a growing focus on lean efficiencies due to the Government’s comprehensive spending review, the partnership is expected to save the local tax payer and housing tenants over £100,000 a year.
Councillor Mrs Joan Williams (Deputy Leader) Environmental Services at South Staffordshire Council said: “Teaming up with the housing association is going to offer great value for money for the local tax payer and could save over £100,000 a year. By working together in this new and innovative way we’re maintaining a top quality local service but driving the costs down.
“The Landscape Group will now be working on behalf of us both to look after our open spaces, the highway verges and the housing association’s grassed areas and shrub beds at its own housing developments. We’re leading the way in this type of shared service and we’re just one of a handful of local councils in rural areas working this way with regional housing associations.”
Ralph Middlemore, Director of Property Services for SSHA, adds: “Together, the Council and SSHA manage many grassed open spaces throughout the district. Prior to the award of this contract, one street might have had their grounds maintenance done on a Tuesday and the neighbouring street had theirs on a Friday.”
Ralph continues: “This was because these adjacent areas were the responsibility of different contractors appointed by both parties. This new shared approach ensures co-ordination and synergy of our grounds maintenance operation, and will reduce any disruption to our residents and tenants whilst maintaining our commitment to provide clean, green and safe open spaces.”