We're currently in the process of renewing our communal grounds maintenance and cleaning service contracts. We have previously carried out a review of these services and asked customers for their views - thanks to those of you who fed back.
We've recently formed a procurement working group which includes Cottsway customers and they've reviewed all of the feedback from previous consultations and have come up with some recommendations on the standards for the new service.
Summary of the group’s recommendations
- The current specification for both grounds maintenance and communal cleaning is generally acceptable, provided it is actually delivered. However, an enhanced hygiene routine may be needed in future as part of the cleaning schedule for communal areas to take into account the impact of Covid19.
- There needs to be a robust system for monitoring the contractor’s performance including:
- Performance indicators which are monitored regularly.
- A clear schedule of tasks to be carried out at each site, also monitored regularly.
- Cottsway should handle complaints about service failures.
- A named person at Cottsway should monitor complaints and performance.
- Residents must be involved in regular monitoring and reviews of the service alongside Cottsway and the contractor.
- Financial penalties should be enforced where service standards are not met.
- A visual guide of the standards to be expected that is clear for customers, operatives and Cottsway staff.
- Work schedules and service standards should be provided to all existing customers and included in new tenancy starter packs.
- Tasks should be itemised in the service charge.
- Contractors must demonstrate an understanding of issues affecting disabled and elderly customers and, with this in mind, how they will deliver the assisted gardening service.
- Contractors should:
- demonstrate a positive approach to customer service and communication, including details of how they will handle contact from Cottsway customers.
- propose how to make the services more sustainable and environmentally-friendly along with indications of the costs or savings associated with this.
- demonstrate how they would protect their employees, Cottsway customers and staff in an emergency, such as Covid19, and how they would try to deliver the service safely.
- be asked what employment, training and work experience opportunities they can offer Cottsway customers.
- The results of our survey suggested a balance of 60/40 in favour of cost versus quality. This means that slightly more people feel keeping costs down is more important than receiving an enhanced quality of service. The group agreed, provided that robust monitoring takes place.
What happens next
We’d like to know whether you feel these recommendations will give you the service you want. Simply add your comments in the online form below before midday on Monday 17 August. If you'd like more information, please pass on your contact details.
Please let us know your thoughts on the working groups recommendations.