Brent Council reveals plans to outsource park service to private company

Proposal leaves 80 members of staff facing an uncertain future

Eighty members of staff face an uncertain future after Brent Council admitted it is considering outsourcing its parks service to a private company in a bid to save money.

The contract is unlikely to start until September 2014, but letters have already been sent to workers who maintain Brent’s parks, warning them of the change.

Martin Francis, spokesman for Brent Green Party, said the move would be a bad decision. He said: “Brent’s parks are award- winning because they have a committed workforce who keep the parks in good order.

“We would not want to see a contractor come in and hack things down to keep the parks easy to manage and under control. The current workforce should be encouraged to make a bid for the contract themselves.”

There are 80 members of staff who maintain the borough’s parks and cemeteries. A full consultation will be carried out and in the event of outsourcing, staff would be protected by TUPE regulations, guaranteeing the same terms and conditions.

A council spokesman said: “Parks and open spaces are important to residents. The council spends �3 million a year maintaining them and is proud of the many awards they have won. However, we face unprecedented financial pressures, so we are looking at all our services, including saving money on grounds maintenance while also protecting the quality wherever possible.

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“Grounds maintenance staff would be transferred to a private company, as other councils have done.”