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Aberdeen City Councilís ground maintenance team named most improved in UK


Aberdeen City Council's ground maintenance team has been named the most improved performer in the UK for parks, open spaces and horticultural services at the Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) awards.

The ground maintenance team was shortlisted for the award alongside similar services from local authorities across the country.

The APSE awards are the benchmark for excellence in public services in the UK, recognising the commitment of councils to deliver first-class services.

Aberdeen City Council Housing and Environment vice-convener Councillor Jean Morrison and the Council's Head of Environment Service Mark Reilly collected the prize at a ceremony in Blackpool on Thursday [05 December].

Councillor Morrison said: "Aberdeen's parks and open spaces are maintained to a high level by an extremely able and dedicated team who often have to work in challenging conditions and sometimes with limited resources at their disposal.

"Their duties go far beyond just cutting grass and removing weeds and they are responsible for the upkeep, maintenance and improvement of eight million square metres of green space in the city.

"They carry out their work diligently with the interests of the whole city at the front of their minds at all times.

"They are also a very specialist and experienced team who can provide external advice to the public and businesses on all aspects of horticulture."

"APSE award nominees are recognised through a benchmarking exercise that all UK local authorities take part in so for our ground maintenance team to win is rightly-deserved recognition for their consistent and continued hard work."

Aberdeen City Council environmental manager Steven Shaw, who oversees the ground maintenance team, added: "Ground services has experienced substantial changes since 2008/09, which have mainly been prompted by financial pressures.

"During this period of change we have worked hard to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the service and transform it into what is now a high performing and competitive part of the Council.

"We have improved standards and delivered quality services, while reducing costs and increasing productivity.

"Some of this has been achieved through improved engagement with the public and other organisations and a willingness to work in partnership with individuals, community groups and public, private and third sector colleagues.

"The outlook for the service is one of continuous improvement and I am delighted that the efforts of the whole team are being recognised on the national stage."