Introducing Aspire Landscape Management

Posted by on Sep 30, 2016 in Latest News | Comments Off on Introducing Aspire Landscape Management

From October Ashford Borough Council will be bringing the responsibility for grounds maintenance across the borough back in-house.

The new service, called Aspire Landscape Management, will cover the day-to-day work of mowing, pruning, planting, clearing and litter picking on various spaces owned by the Council including open green space, parks, floral beds, cemeteries, areas around housing sites, hedges, sports pitches and associated footpaths.

The service is also working with Kent County Council (KCC) Highway Services on areas of work that we can perform in order to maintain quality standards. Until now, this work was undertaken by Landscape Services, but from this autumn it will come under the responsibility of ABC.

This initiative is a key part of delivering the adopted Land Management Improvement Plan, which aims to make the borough a pleasant and enjoyable place to live, work, visit and enjoy.

Enhance Ashford’s overall appearance and attractiveness and raise civic pride and make the borough more attractive for residents, visitors and businesses.

Improving borough presentation

The new in-house service will give us greater flexibility as we will be able to move resources where they are needed most, with an ability to be more fluid with changing priorities. It will also be more cost effective.

This links to Priority 4 of the Corporate Plan – Attractive Ashford where the council’s aspiration is to achieve an environment that creates higher standards of public space design, alongside improved standards of presentation of key green spaces.

The Land Management Improvement Plan therefore aims to tackle these issues, with one of the key components being the in-house grounds maintenance service.

Our vision

“To provide a high quality, responsive and flexible grounds maintenance service to the residents of Ashford, offering a proactive and best value solution for the maintenance of the borough’s green spaces.”

The new depot

Since receiving planning approval from the council in July, Gallagher Properties have been redeveloping the former Rimmel factory site at Cobbs Wood Industrial Estate, which has been derelict for nearly a decade after it was destroyed by fire.

The plans for the site include the Aspire grounds maintenance depot, a ready-mix concrete plant and 70,000ft2 of industrial warehouse units. Overall the development is expected to create at least two hundred jobs.

Contact details

To find out more or to report an issue please contact Aspire Landscape Management on:

Email: info@aspirelandscapemanagement.co.uk
Telephone: 01233 331111
Address: Aspire Landscape Management, Carlton Business Park, Carlton Road, Ashford, TN23 1EF.

Frequently Asked Questions

What will the service cover? The new service will cover the day-to-day work of mowing, pruning, planting, clearing and litter picking on various spaces owned by the Council including open green space, parks, floral beds, cemeteries, areas around housing sites, hedges, sports pitches and associated footpaths.

How can I establish who owns the land? As a general rule of thumb, grass verges along the road side are owned by Kent Highway Services, in most cases they commission Ashford Borough Council to maintain them. High speed roads over 60 miles per hour tend to be the responsibility of Highways England, who also maintain them.

Will you be able to maintain privately owned land too? Only if we receive permission from the land owner to do so and to access their land. It is important to note there are large areas of land which the council does not own and therefore we are not able to maintain these areas.

Where land is not being maintained and falls out of the responsibility of Ashford Borough Council, will you use enforcement plans to force the owners to comply? The enforcing authority is Kent Highway Services who receive reports via their website.

Why have you brought this in-house? The council has looked at various options, including outsourcing, an in-house service, creating a trading company or via a joint venture. An in-house service is considered the best approach as it supports the need to deliver the best combination of control, quality, flexibly and affordability.

So we can expect to see standards improve straight away? Actually no, the changes won’t be seen overnight. In fact the impact is not likely to be really seen until spring/summer next year. The focus for the team over the next few months will be trimming down the landscaping to manageable levels. Some areas may therefore appear a little bear and/or brown during the winter months.

How can I report land or areas which need attention? Please contact via the means above.

Where did you come up with the name? We wanted a name which was engaging and meaningful. This links to Priority 4 in the Council’s Corporate Plan matches the aspirations of members to improve the presentation of the borough. The name and branding was created in-house.