Agenda item



Attending to provide the update on the Arboriculture-Glendale-Annual Contract Performance Monitoring Report were Hugh Chapman, (LBB Arboricultural Services Manager) and Nick Brooks from Glendale. It was noted that this annual report outlined the performance of the contract which delivered the day to day arboricultural operations across the Council's administrative area relating to the financial year 2021 to 2022.


The Chairman expressed his thanks to Mr. Brooks for the sterling work undertaken by Glendale during storm ‘Eunice’. He asked Mr. Brooks how he felt Glendale had been performing this year.  Mr. Brooks referred to the KPI’s and the response against the KPI’s as listed in the report and expressed the view that overall Glendale had performed well. The Chairman asked Mr. Brooks what he felt Glendale could improve upon in terms of their services to the Council. Mr. Brooks responded and said that the contract had grown since its inception and that what he would like to improve upon was the level of  resource in terms of people. Despite the offering of good salaries, it was difficult to recruit people into the arboricultural industry and this seemed to be a national problem.


A Member asked Mr. Brooks how the Council could be confident that they would not fall behind again and would cope well in the future. Mr. Brooks responded and said that storm Eunice was a significant event which had involved responding to approximately 400 call outs. Their strategy team had to bring in additional contractors to provide support. In terms of resources, the company was looking to set up an internal academy to bring through and educate their own trainees and some of these new trainees had been taken on already. It was explained that the trainees could start basic work in 3-6 months, but it would take 1-2 years to become fully qualified.


The LBB Arboricultural Services Manager stated that Glendale had been asked to provide a corrective action plan together with a timeframe for the resolution of outstanding issues. Weekly performance against targets was now being monitored. LBB were waiting for Glendale to submit a revised timeframe. 


A Member asked if the businesses that had been used to help to provide support and backlog recovery were local businesses. Mr Brooks responded that 2/3 of the businesses were locally based. It was difficult to allocate work out to smaller businesses as they would get overloaded and struggle to cope quite quickly. 


A Member asked what was being done to reduce the transmission of Ash Dieback disease. The LBB Arboricultural Services Manager responded and said that there was no cure for this disease; in terms of prevention the main preventative measure was the clearing away of leaf debris. If more than 50% of the tree was dead or dying then it would be removed. The Chairman asked if the service was keeping an eye on other tree diseases. The Arboricultural Services Manager said that he and his officers undertook continued professional development and kept up to date with the latest briefings from the Forestry Commission.


A discussion took place concerning how the service would manage the target for tree planting whilst at the same time maintaining and keeping the same trees alive. The Arboricultural Services Manager responded and said that a decision had been made to separate maintenance from the main body of the contract. This being the case he, was confident that the targets for tree planting could be achieved.


RESOLVED that the Glendale Annual Contract Monitoring Report be noted.  






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