Scrutiny Panel - Grounds maintenance

We wanted to know how to improve our ground maintenance services. Here's what you told us - and how we used your comments to make the way we work in our green spaces even better.

All the recommendations from this Scrutiny Panel have been put in place. This Scrutiny is 100% complete.
All the recommendations from this Scrutiny Panel have been put in place. This Scrutiny is 100% complete.

Grounds maintenance - your recommendations

In September 2021, 7 customers, 1 leaseholder and 1 local resident met over 2 and a half days to discuss our grounds maintenance service and how it can be improved. Here's what the panel discussed.

Sometimes we're not sure who owns a piece of land - it could be us, Cheshire East Council, or a private landlord/developer. 

You asked us to improve our mapping of local areas so we're certain which areas we are responsible for. This will make it clearer who is responsible for what area.

We agreed that this would be a positive way forward. 

You asked us to benchmark customer expectations against an agreed set of figures, so that we both know exactly what to expect from each other.

We agreed and will work with Challenge Group to continue creating a new set of service standards for all estate management.

You asked to be involved when we choose a new contractor, eg when we decide which company to hire for grass cutting. This way, we will all understand what's most important to you in your estates and green spaces.

We agreed that customers should be involved throughout the whole process.

You asked us to consider working alongside local community groups to create a low cost gardening service that would help our more vulnerable customers maintain their green spaces.

This is something that the Trust used to organise for customers several years ago. The service was stopped since it was inconsistent and unequal between customers. 

We discussed with the Scrutiny Panel how we will look into whether we can revive this service - but we also made the panel aware of the difficulties that might stop us from being able to provide the service.

You told us that you would like us to audit our contractor's work to make sure that the service that they're providing is at the right standard.

You also suggested that we create agreed targets with the contractor and include site visits (with both ourselves and the contractor) as part of this.

We are already inspecting our contractors work but we will need to discuss the process and standards with Challenge Group.

You asked us to add a section to the Trust Tenant Charter so that you know exactly what to expect from the people working on our estates and grounds.

As we mention above, we agree with this and are working with Challenge Group to create a new set of standards for how we manage our estates.

You told us that you wanted a ground of customers to regularly meet and inspect our estates, spotting which areas need improving and which areas are maintained to the right standards. 

We are already setting this group up - you can sign up here

You asked for a form on our website where you can report grounds maintenance issues and attach pictures. We agreed that we will look into this.

You wanted us to consider an environmental strategy for our grounds maintenance, which might include things like cut and drop visits (a form of composting).

This will feed into our current environmental strategy. You can read about our strategy in our Environmental, Social and Governance Report and you can read about one of our most recent environmental successes here.

Grounds maintenance

Find out more about our grounds maintenance responsibilities and when we plan to carry out work.

Join our Scrutiny Panel

We're always looking for people to be apart of our next Scrutiny Review. Let us know if you'd be interested in finding out more.

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