National innovation award for council’s grass-cutting team

Fri, 26 Oct 2018

The grass is definitely greener for staff in the grounds maintenance team at East Riding of Yorkshire Council after they won a national award.

The team responsible for grass-cutting in the East Riding was presented with a trophy for Best Parks and Greenspace Innovation at the APSE Environmental Services Innovation Awards 2018 held in Nottingham last week.

The awards, held each year by the Association of Public Service Excellence (APSE), recognise the best in local government frontline services across the UK.

The grounds maintenance team is responsible for cutting 1,400 hectares of grass – a total area roughly the same size as the North York Moors – as well as maintaining 22 hectares of shrub beds and two acres of flower beds.

The team won the national award for undergoing a major transformation project over the past three years which has resulted in a 25% increase in its productivity and an improved service for residents.

A new tracking system was installed on all grounds machinery to record all the areas of grassland being cut in the East Riding. This enabled staff to map out the workload and then create much more efficient work schedules.

The changes have resulted in the team being able to cut grass more frequently and improve the overall appearance of grassed areas across the East Riding.

They also led to a fall in the number of complaints from residents and a rise in compliments, and led to significant savings, some of which has been reinvested in new equipment including more efficient ride-on mowers.

The team beat finalists from four other councils in Birmingham, Dudley, Bath and Wakefield to win the award.

Paul Tripp, head of streetscene services at East Riding of Yorkshire Council, said: “I’m thrilled that the grounds maintenance team has won this award. They should be very proud of what they have achieved.

“They have taken on board a lot of changes in the past couple of years, but their efforts have really helped to improve the service.”

APSE chief executive Paul O’Brien said: “The winners of these awards are amongst the best at delivering outstanding local government environmental services.

“APSE works continually to encourage public service excellence and we are delighted that all our finalists and winning councils are so highly committed to delivering the best possible services for the benefit of their communities.”