Latest Public Sector News

20.10.17

Liverpool takes back £7m parks deal from private firm

Liverpool City Council is set to award its wholly-owned company a major £7m contract for maintenance of parks and green spaces.

A report to the cabinet this week has recommended that the £6.8m annual arrangement is handed to Liverpool Street Scene Services Ltd – currently the operator of refuse, recycling and street cleansing amenities in the city.

The work will include the development, management and maintenance of facilities, including sports and leisure services, cemeteries, crematoria gardens and playgrounds. The company would also be responsible for parks and trees.

The contract is currently run by a joint venture between the city council and Glendale, which is due to end in October next year.

New proposals would do away with management fees and integrate management and supervising to save an estimated £7m over the 10-year period.

Cllr Steve Munby, cabinet member for City Services, explained: “Liverpool Street Scene Services Ltd has already delivered efficiency savings in refuse, recycling and street cleansing – and because it is owned by the council and not shareholders we are able to reinvest the cash and make our money go further, such as by clearing fly tipping or increasing street cleansing.

“We believe we can do the same with the grounds maintenance contract, and deliver efficiencies ourselves better than the private sector could do. We already face finding huge savings across the council in the next few years due to reductions in government funding, so it is vital we make the most of every single penny that we have.”

The local authority has decided against holding a competitive tender process. The organisation says it does not believe it would deliver a better or timelier outcome.

This decision is allowed under a rule known as the ‘Teckal exemption’, which enables public authorities to enter into service contracts with wholly-owned public companies without going out to the market.

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