Amenity Services including Grass cutting for The Highland Council will be provided by an in-house service from the beginning of the financial year 2017/18.
Members of the Council’s Community Services Committee have agreed to establish an in-house operation with a revised management structure and new performance management system.
The current cost of providing grass cutting services throughout the Highlands is £2.393 million, included in an overall Grounds Maintenance budget of £4.2 million.
An options analysis considered by Members identified that grass cutting can be delivered in-house at a similar cost and level of service as outsourcing - with improvements in productivity, and working practices using improved and efficient plant and technology.
Chair of the Community Services Committee, Cllr Allan Henderson said: “Members have unanimously welcomed the decision to re-establish our grass cutting service in-house. I would like to thank staff for the speed with which this report has been brought back to committee for Members’ consideration.
“The decision to provide an in-house service will allow the Council to respond with more flexibility to changing local, national, and council priorities. The new performance management system that will be put in place will also allow better scrutiny and decision making of Amenity Services throughout our region.
“Members also welcomed the potential benefits to local economies from in-house winter services as research has shown that for every £1 spent by the Council can generate £1.64 through employment and supply chains.”