Posted: 13 December 2022

Key Facts

Project Synopsis

When the grounds maintenance contract was due to expire the Council needed to determine whether to stay with the existing supplier arrangement or to re-procure the contract.

We developed a four-step Options Appraisal Methodology based on the HM Treasury guidance. We used this to evaluate the suitability and cost of potential options to inform the Council’s procurement and contracting strategy. The existing contract included an extensive portfolio of maintained land with a wide geographical spread including, 65 Children’s play areas, parks and gardens in Ambleside, Bowness, Kendal, Windermere and Ulverston. Sports fields and pitches, putting and bowling greens and tennis courts.

As well as open spaces in residential areas and within the wider public realm, the portfolio also included both operational and closed cemeteries and churchyards.

Scope of Works 

A detailed review of grounds maintenance service, considering stakeholder and potential improvements. Evaluation of possible options for suitability and cost, including synergies with other street-based Council services. Provide framework for Annual Business Planning process  with enhanced governance and draft first year business plan.

Overcoming Challenges

Previously the contract had been managed traditionally, focusing solely on output measures of quality and timelines. Our review and recommended Performance Management Framework was much wider ranging and included funding availability, future service
challenges, third party and external income opportunities, cross border working, synergies and integrations.


  • Robust, comprehensive and reliable set of information and analysis enabled SLDC to make informed and transparent decisions.
  • Improved contract governance arrangements.
  • Joint annual business, financial planning and approval process.
  • Enhanced reporting and self-monitoring.
  • Annual Performance Management Framework of KPIs and milestones to secure future service economies and efficiencies.


Councillors and officers commented on the quality of the work undertaken by TSS and showed their appreciation by stating:

“Thank you again for the work TSS did for us. TSS has provided a significant amount of expertise to provide SLDC with a solid direction for grounds maintenance over the next seven years.”


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