Issue - meetings
Award of Grounds Maintenance Contract
The Cabinet Member for Environment introduced the report which requested that Members awarded the five-year Grounds Maintenance contract to Blenwood Ltd following the recent tender process. The Cabinet Member reminded Members that Blenwood Ltd had operated the contract since 2007 and explained that officers had made significant updates to the contract which included removing the arboriculture element which would be considered as a separate contract. The emptying of litter bins would now come under the Street Cleansing contract.
The Cabinet Member stated that the new tender had been informed by a Member workshop and the administrations priorities in particular to achieve environment and climate ecological benefits and improved employment conditions. He drew attention to the tender returns and prices set-out in paragraph 3 of the report, and explained that of the two tenders received Blenwood had scored highest on price and quality. The Cabinet Member outlined the changes to the new contract which were set-out in paragraph 3.7 of the report, and the breakdown of costs as set-out in section 4 of the report.
The Cabinet Member for Environment proposed the recommendations which were seconded by the Cabinet Member for Economy and Property.
Members considered the report and points raised included:
· Congratulated the Cabinet Member and officers on improving the content of the contract in terms of the Councils priorities;
· concerned about the high number of complaints received about the work of Blenwood, and suggested a 2 year review of the contract if complaints continued to be received;
· considered that a lot of the complaints received were often about another provider not Blenwoods;
· welcomed the Member workshops reviewing the contract;
· commended the Cabinet Member for taking forward the Council’s priorities particularly in terms of reducing the use of pesticides; and
· the variance increase in the budgeted cost was about 3% which was an achievement given the current economic climate.
A Member drew attention to the second paragraph 6.2 in the report and asked that officers considered working on the ‘…. considerable capital programme would be required for the purchase of machinery and the Council staffing structure does not currently support direct delivery of services.’ by considering in-house or LATco options earlier than a year before the contract expired.
In response to comments about contract monitoring, the Cabinet Member for Environment said that the contract had been updated to include greater performance indicators and heavier penalties for non-compliance.
(1) That following a tender process the five-year Grounds Maintenance contract be awarded to Blenwood Ltd at a starting cost of £1,487,543.65 pa.
(2) That the Head of Environment and Leisure and the Head of Mid-Kent Legal Services in consultation with the Cabinet Member for Environment be given delegated authority to complete the necessary contract documents.