Windsor & Maidenhead contractors apologize for ‘shameful’ service
‘DISGRACE’ groundskeeping service and graves left ‘in deplorable condition’ prompted apologies from Royal Borough’s entrepreneurs.
For months, “distressed” residents have expressed their anger and accused Tivoli contractors of being “disrespectful” for leaving the city. Royal district Windsor and Maidenhead cemeteries with overgrown grass, hedges, trash and graffiti.
Complaints and contacts about contractors increased during the summer growing season, but the backlog has been caught up and the standard has been as expected for the past eight weeks.
During a snapshot and review of communities on Thursday, November 18, Tivoli, who has been on the council since 2018, told councilors and residents that they had faced “the most difficult year in this area. day “for a multitude of reasons.
Staff shortages were a main factor as the ‘pingemia’ forced workers to self-isolate for 10 days when they came into contact with someone who was HIV-positive for Covid.
Brexit has also “hurt” the company as they have found it “very difficult” to recruit quickly this year and this has made it difficult to find suppliers to supply vehicles, machinery and parts.
Climate change has also played a role where Tivoli reports a significant growth rate once every three years. The significant growth of grass and hedges occurs once every 12 years, it was learned at the meeting.
The council is spending around £ 1.2million a year on the contract – but it did with Tivoli as representatives said the value of the contract did not cover the costs for contractors to fully deliver its end of the bargain.
They said the contract cost Tivoli £ 400,000 in 2019/20 due to overstaffing and unionization. A restructuring was carried out but still cost the company £ 125,000 last year.
Former Tory adviser Ed Wilson called the cleanliness and upkeep of Tivoli cemeteries “shameful”, while Boyn Hill Cllr Gurpreet Bhangra (Con) said parts of the Royal Borough were in a “sorry state” and “Embarrassing” to visit.
Spencer Rock, COO of Tivoli, said, “We’re not perfect, and we never pretend to be perfect, but we’re working hard to get this back on track.
“You have my personal apologies and our company’s apologies specifically for cemeteries. We take care of the dead soldiers; we take care of the graves, and that’s something we consider the highest priority.
Advisors also expressed their anger that reporting issues via the ‘report it’ feature falls into a ‘black hole’ where no response is received whether the issue has been resolved or not.
To address the issues, Tivoli representatives said they would roll out a ‘skills-based pay’ scheme in August at a cost of £ 500,000 that improves the pay of people based on their skills, which is supposed to retain and attract staff.
Temporary staff and short-term machine and vehicle rental will be used when sourcing permanent staff and suppliers.
Council officers will also review the “report” feature to review the system and make improvements if issues are identified. They have also entered into weekly talks with Tivoli to resolve the contractual dispute.
Cabinet member for environmental services, Cllr David Coppinger (Con: Bray) dismissed calls for the council to end its contract with Tivoli, saying: “It’s always best to work with a current supplier because you don’t know never what you are going to get if you change.
Reports will return to the panel to give updates if the Tivoli issues and contract issues have been resolved or have progressed.