Fenland grass cutting contractors promise to do better this summer as the season springs into action
Fenland District Council's grass cutting contractors have promised to do better this summer after being put on notice last year for its poor performance.
Fenland District Council’s annual grass cutting programme is underway, with teams set for a busy spring/summer – mowing the equivalent of more than 3,000 football pitches.
Last year, Tivoli, the council's grounds maintenance contractor came under-fire over the state of grass across the district which was either not cut, or cut badly leaving areas straggly and looking unkempt.
Tivoli got behind with cutting last spring after it had mowers stolen and replacements took weeks to come through.
As result the company was lambasted on social media over the poor state of the grassy areas in Fenland's parks and open spaces and in May, FDC issued formal rectifications notices to Tivoli to address areas of concern. Further rectification notices were issued in June, when a cemetery inspection was undertaken between the firm's contract manager and the FDC open spaces manager.
This identified ongoing concerns regarding the grass cutting rounds and the Tivoli contract manager was responding to those concerns.
However, Councillor Peter Murphy, the council’s portfolio holder for the environment, said this week: “Our parks and open spaces are a key asset to Fenland, providing benefits for our residents and enhancing the look of our towns and villages.
“Tivoli is committed to doing a good job and carrying out the cutting programme as planned. Last year was challenging, with exceptionally wet and warm weather causing grass to grow at an unprecedented rate.
"This year Tivoli has put measures in place to ensure this year’s work is carried out to the required standard and on time. I’m looking forward to Fenland looking at its best again for our residents and visitors too.”
Nigel Payne, regional director for Tivoli, said: “We are very proud of our partnership with Fenland District Council, and are committed to delivering a quality service which everyone can be proud of. Our main focus for 2019 will be to deliver a grounds maintenance service of the highest standard to the Fenland communities, and provide the right culture of continuous improvement, efficiencies and value for money to the district and its residents.”
During the cutting season, which usually lasts until October, teams will cut and maintain more than one million square metres of grass.
They will also maintain almost 50,000 square metres of shrub and rose beds and other flower bedding, and prune around 30 miles of hedgerows.
Tivoli also maintains most of the district’s play parks, including BMX and skate parks, sports pitches, and 23 cemeteries and church yards.