Fenland Council – in awarding a five year, £2.5million contract for looking after parks and gardens- has decided to keep its cleansing service in house.

The decisions follow lengthy studies of both services and they decided to keep them separate.

A council spokesman said of the new parks contractor, ISS World, that they “offer best value and the most economically advantageous tender to the council”. The company will retain staff employed by the current contractor.

But a “comprehensive evaluation” has determined that the cleansing service will continue to be carried out by its own work force.

“Savings generated against the current horticultural services budget will be in the region of £92,000 per annum,” says the council.

“As part of this process, savings in the region of £50,000 per annum have been identified within the cleansing services budget following a parallel assessment of the service carried out by the cleansing team.”

The new horticultural contract will kick in on November 1 and will look after open space, cemeteries, play areas, sports pitches and parks.

ISS Facility Services Landscaping said today the core works will cover a broad range of grounds services including the maintenance of grassed areas, herbaceous borders, hedges, bowling greens and equipped play areas.

Additional services to be delivered will include tree works, woodland and copse management and the undertaking of specific operations for special events such as the Chatteris Festival and the Wisbech Yule Fayre.

Councillor Peter Murphy, Fenland District Council’s Cabinet member responsible for the environment, said: “We take a lot of pride in the high quality of all our grounds maintenance, which has been a key factor in our terrific record in Anglia In Bloom, and we’re confident that will continue.

“Retaining the staff from our previous contractors will ensure a seamless changeover and enable us to get the maximum benefit from the further operational improvements that ISS will be making.”

Phil Jones, Managing Director, ISS Facility Services Landscaping said “In the current challenging climate, we have worked hard to come up with an operational solution that will deliver a quality service.”