William Eichler 20 October 2017

Council-owned company set to take over maintenance of Liverpool’s green spaces

The contract to maintain Liverpool’s parks and green spaces is set to be handed to a council-owned company which operates the refuse, recycling and street cleansing service.

The £6.8m contract is currently run by a joint venture between the city council and Glendale -- Glendale-Liverpool Ltd -- which is due to end in October 2018.

However, a council report recommends that Liverpool Street Scene Services Limited – a wholly-owned Local Authority Trading Company (LATco) - takes over the maintenance arrangements.

It is estimated the proposed ten year deal could save up to £7m by doing away with management fees, integrating management and supervisory functions, and making efficiencies on the purchase and hire of equipment.

The city council has decided not to hold a competitive tender process because it believes this would not deliver a better or timelier outcome.

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

‘We’ve taken a long hard look at whether we should go out to tender on this, but believe that that the time and cost of doing so would wipe out any efficiency savings and not deliver anything better,’ said Cllr Steve Munby, cabinet member for City Services.

‘Liverpool Street Scene Services Limited has already delivered efficiency savings in 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,’ he added.

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