Parks Service contract

Parks Service contract

The borough’s parks and open spaces are currently maintained under contract with Idverde UK. This contract comes to an end on Wednesday 31 March 2021 and we are currently reviewing what has and hasn’t worked and looking at what needs to happen next.

The current contract includes, among other things:

  • supply of park keepers, gardeners and cemeteries staff
  • opening and closing parks
  • providing and maintaining annual bedding
  • maintaining shrub beds and hedges
  • grass cutting and lawn maintenance
  • waste management in parks (litter collection, green waste)
  • inspection of playgrounds and park equipment
  • opening and cleaning public toilets in parks

The service has changed significantly since the current contract started in 2008 and this is a good opportunity for us to consider how the next contract needs to evolve to meet these changes.

On Wednesday 15 January 2020 the Leadership Team approved a report from officers requesting the official start of the tender process.

A further report to the Leadership Team will be required at the end of the tender process to confirm who is being awarded the contract.


May 2020 update

At the end of April we began advertising for companies to let us know if they are interested in applying for the new contract. Companies now have the opportunity to declare interest in bidding for the contract between now and the end of May.


What we already know

There are some things we already know about the new contract:

  • all staff to be paid London Living Wage
  • everything the contractor does has to be carbon neutral by 2030, in line with the Council’s commitment to help tackling climate change
  • it will be a minimum of 10 years to ensure the best value and investment 


Parks and Landscape Maintenance Consultation

The full results of the consultation are now available.  The headlines include:

  • Satisfaction with current provision: The highest levels of satisfaction with the current service were with the grass cutting in parks and the maintenance of the planted areas. There was slightly less satisfaction with litter picking and bin emptying and hedge cutting. The highest level of dissatisfaction were with litter picking and bin emptying and the cleaning of toilets and changing rooms.
  • Long grass area: Three quarters of respondents were in favour of the grass strips at the lawn and hedge borders being allowed to grow longer in their local parks.
  • Temporary artwork: Seventy four per cent of respondents would support their local park hosting temporary artwork by local artists, including sculpture and performance art.
  • Your priorities: The most important aspect of the new contract for respondents were wildlife/biodiversity closely followed by cleansing and waste management and then recycling and green credentials. The least important were sports facilities and volunteer programmes and events.


Grounds Maintenance Report

Grounds Maintenance - report appendices


How will the results influence the new contract?

The results of the consultation have been shared with bidders for the new contract so that they can understand how you feel about the service and propose ways they believe they can make it better. In addition to this:

  • Results for the new park keeper model and have been directly incorporated into the new contract specification. Seven parks currently have full time staffing all year round. This fully staffed service is difficult to recruit to and is unsustainable for the future. Out of the options proposed, the most popular option for future staffing arrangements was for one gardener per park, Monday to Friday 7.30am to 4.30pm shift pattern. All other sites will continue to be maintained by mobile teams.
  • Some of you asked for the ability to make online bookings for sports facilities. This will be a requirement in the new contract.
  • 30 per cent of respondents would like to be involved in volunteering/ helping to maintain the park. The new contract includes increased community engagement and volunteer programmes and we will contact interested respondents to help develop these programmes further.
  • Concerns have been raised about cleanliness of public toilets and litter collection. These areas have been highlighted as high priority in the new specification, with stricter monitoring and enforcement included in the new contract.

Residents’ priorities will help us determine topics for negotiation and for the management of the new contract to ensure it is focussed on park user needs.

Over the coming weeks we will be reading through the results and all of the comments received and will produce a report outlining quick wins and long term aspirations based on your feedback.


Next steps

The next stage of the procurement will involve sharing data with the interested companies so they can start putting together their bids. This will include information such as the amount of grass that needs cutting and flower beds that need planting.



The timeline below is outline only and subject to change

Work streamDates
Developing the contract specificationSeptember 2019 to June 2020 
Tender process (contractor bid writing, negotiation and evaluation) July 2020 to October 2020 
Contract awardNovember 2020 to March 2021 
Contract start date  April 2021