Resident Scrutiny Team report - Grounds maintenance review (September 2018)

  1. Introduction

The Resident Scrutiny Team decided to review the Grounds Maintenance service being delivered by Pfp Landscapes, with a view to making recommendations for improvements where needed. Due to falling satisfaction levels the main focus of the review has been the standard of the work being completed and customer expectations of the service.

 

Main report

 As part of this review the Scrutiny team gathered their information and evidence from a number of different sources and activities. These included;

  • Consulting with Green Inspectors customer group via an email survey
  • Consulting with Resident Mangers via an email survey
  • The Scrutiny team visited a number of sites to assess the standard of work, these included Grampian Way, Cavendish Court, Hall Park Close, Stretton Mews. This was recorded using the Green Inspector review sheets Site visits
  • Spoken to Grounds Maintenance teams on sites
  • Reviewed customer satisfaction data since the change in contractor
  • Reviewed Green Inspector forms completed during 2017 and 2018
  • Interviewed Head of Asset Management and Technical Services Manager regarding the service
  • Reviewed the contract specification, both long version and condensed customer version.
  • Reviewed complaint and compliment information for the year so far relating to Grounds maintenance.
  • Reviewed the draft Estate Services procedure

Conclusions 

  • We believe there is work to be done with customers around their expectations of the service, what they actually pay for and how much they pay. We feel this is reflected in the falling satisfaction levels.
  • Scrutiny team members were impressed by standard of work seen on the schemes we visited during the review and attitude of the teams we spoke to on the sites.
  • The team recognises that the contract is still in its early stages and there will have been teething troubles, which hopefully will be resolved in the near future.

Recommendations

  • Work to address customer expectations of the service, starting with a Derwent Life article – day in the life of a landscaping team to highlight what is and isn’t included in their work.
  • Visit timetables more widely available for customers. Add to scheme Notice boards and website
  • The condensed Landscaping specification should be made more widely available to customers by placing on notice boards, featuring on the website and having a Derwent Life feature.
  • Full service charge statement breakdown included with rent statements for all General Needs & retirement customers, which will highlight the Grounds maintenance charge
  • Explore possibility of a local site for disposal of items and cleaning of vehicles at the end of the working day to reduce travel time by teams to Nottingham.
  • Review the process for communicating with site staff about changes to planned visits
  • It would appear that the annual weed and feed of grassed areas is being neglected as evidenced on scheme visits. Review processes to ensure it takes place.
  • Closely review and monitor customer satisfaction levels due to very low Q2 results (40%) and address the issues being flagged through the surveying.
  • Give recognition and acknowledgement to the operatives and give them sufficient opportunity to input to improving the service.
  • Review customer satisfaction information by individual Grounds Maintenance team, to highlight the best performing and target training where needed.
  • Add a section to the website on the Grounds Maintenance service with a form for raising issues and making comments.