Recently reported in Pro Landscaper magazine online was the issue of council funding for green spaces. According to the article, council officers have been impressed by maintenance work carried out over the winter and want more in 2015/16.
Having an enhanced winter grounds maintenance and tree programme over the winter has made a positive visual impact. The programme, costing £350,000, was implemented to help get on top of the backlog of grounds maintenance works, explained by Paul Jones, head of neighbourhood services at Northumberland County Council.
Why were there a backlog of ground maintenance works?
Jones explains that the backlog of hedge cutting, path edging and other grounds maintenance works were due to the limited opportunities to carry out the work because of nesting birds and avoidance of plant disease. Another reason the works could not go ahead was the reduced number of permanent staff employed to undertake them.
The enhanced winter programme appears to have been invaluable to the visual appearance of the county, creating a much better environment for residents and visitors to the area.
The funding for the winter programme allowed 18 seasonal staff to be retained over the winter to support the permanent NEAT staff. Additional equipment was also paid for with the funding, to help increase the productivity of hedge cutting and path edging works.
So what’s next?
Successfully completed are the works to prepare for the spring/summer grounds maintenance programme. Summer bedding plants are being grown and a combination of external contractors and in-house teams are undertaking the first application of weed killer.
You can find out more about the works being carried out by visiting the official website.
What’s your take?
Do you think that councils are doing a good enough job looking after our green spaces? Let us know in the comment box below.