List of 'Downgraded' Parks Revealed

Conservatives say many of Ealing's open spaces will be neglected

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Councillor David Millican, Conservative Leader, Fabio Conti, Elthorne Conservative candidate and Councillor Mark Reen, Conservative Finance Spokesman at Lower Boston Road Open Space in Hanwell, one of the downgraded sites.

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Ealing Conservatives have released a list of 79 parks and open spaces (pdf) which they say the council have 'downgraded'.

The Grounds Maintenance contract, agreed with the waste contractor, Amey, had included a requirement that all green spaces in the Borough (parks and cemeteries) were deep cleaned on a monthly basis.  However the Conservatives say this has not been done to date, during the two years of the contract.

Now the newly negotiated Grounds Maintenance ‘Improvement Plan’ removes this requirement and has introduced a revised agreement under which only 33 priority sites (including all cemeteries) will be deep cleaned on a quarterly basis with the other 79 sites deep cleaned only annually.

The sites no longer maintained include a variety of green areas throughout Ealing, Hanwell, Acton, Perivale and Northolt

The Conservatives say it will be mean they will be cleaned less frequently, the grass will be cut less, ponds not looked after and litter left.

Councillor David Millican, Opposition Conservative Leader, said: "It is incredible, but true, that the Labour Council has agreed for 79 parks and open spaces to be maintained less, yet paying the contractor the same. Only an incompetent Labour Council would allow the contractor to do less for the same pay and yet call it value for money.

"Labour only finally released the list of downgraded parks and open spaces, at Full Council, after relentless questioning by the Conservatives. They are clearly ashamed of their incompetent management of this contract.

"This is a cut to services and so the cleanliness of our local parks will deteriorate. The contractor, taken on by Ealing’s Labour Council, has provided unsatisfactory service from the start and now they are being paid the same for a downgraded service."

Cabinet member for Environment and Transport Councillor Bassam Mahfouz responded: ''The Tories are clearly very confused about this issue. We are not proposing to reduce the regular cleaning programme at these parks which will carry on as normal. We have taken a common sense decision to reschedule some of the deep cleans based around local knowledge and the experience of running the contract. When the Tories ran the council they cared so much about our parks that there were no scheduled deep cleans at any parks.
Labour has prioritised investment in our parks, so we can take pride in our green borough.''

30th April 2014