Parks contractor idverde has confirmed its contract to maintain the borough’s 127 parks will not be renewed and The Chronicle understands instead the work will be taken in house.
Disappointingly the council has failed to communicate any of this officially with Friends of Park groups or park users.
Instead the news was revealed by Cllr Stuart Collins, Cabinet member for Clean Green Croydon on Facebook who said: ”idverde, are also losing the contract by January, we are woking on a potential in house service.”
Last year we reported that idverde was being fined £15,000 per month because they failed to cut the grass on time and they also faced criticism about not paying staff the London Living wage.
The contract, worth £3.2m per year started in February 2014 and saw 90 staff transfer to Quadron, the company subsequently acquired by idverde in 2016, some directly from the council and some from the previous grounds maintenance contractor.
idverde claimed to be a community focussed company but consistently faced criticism from park groups about its maintenance regime and horticultural standards as well as always seemingly being behind on basic seasonal work.
The council now have just over four months to set up a park’s department which will presumably see idverde staff transferred back to the council which will also need a sizeable war chest to buy in the equipment needed to maintain the parks, bowling greens, verges, weed control, litter, and other green spaces included in the contract.
Doug Graham, Chief Executive for idverde UK said: “We have worked in Partnership with the London Borough of Croydon Council since 2014.The contract will end on its expiry date of 31st January 2019. We are collaborating with the council to ensure a smooth handover.”