Agenda item


To receive information from Robert Noble and Jason Kinsella from Serco on the performance levels, customer satisfaction, new initiatives and challenges during the first six months of the contract delivery (paper attached).


Robert Noble and Jason Kinsella from Serco attended the meeting and advised the Panel on the Serco performance during the first six months of the contract delivery.  The contract commenced on 31st July, 2017 and all 82 members of staff from the previous contractor had been TUPE’d over to Serco.  The transition had been made easier due to the partnership working between Serco and the Council.


There had been no major changes to the grounds service due to the excellent standards that were already being achieved.  The service had been supplemented with an edging programme.  The edging programme would be a continual rolling programme carried out across the Borough.  Environmental improvements had been introduced to the provision of toilets in the Borough and Serco promoted the most eco-friendly cleaning chemicals available on the market.  The driving from site to site was now completed in a state-of-the-art fully electric van.  The Whitespace hand-held devices also cut down travelling time by sending new jobs directly to the crew. 


The Serco street cleansing strategy committed to provide residents with a simple, efficient and visible streets service throughout the Borough based on a two phased approach of manual sweeping/litter clearance operation and mechanical cleansing.  Serco had taken a more neighbourhood area approach which included a barrow sweeping beat in Aldershot, Farnborough and North Camp Town Centres and ten further barrow sweeping beats across the rest of the Borough operating on a 20-day cleansing cycle.  There was also a large mechanical broom and two smaller mechanical brooms to support the barrow sweeping.  Feedback received on street cleansing had been positive with compliments on the standard of detritus removed and visibility of staff.  The litter picking, sweeping and weed removal had been time consuming and intensive.  The team had identified that litter had built up due to the time spent in detail cleansing.  As a result the cleansing schedules had been revised to enable the ten barrow beats to spend two-days per week litter picking.  There were also plans to integrate some of the litter picking with the hedge trimming and edging work.


The team had increased staffing levels in certain areas to help get the levels of detritus down to meet the contract specification.  The Whitespace handhelds would help highlight the trends and patterns in cleansing complaints and staffing levels/times would be adjusted to suit the needs of the contract.  An Integration Supervisor had also been introduced to act as a link between the streets, collections and grounds services.


The Panel was then advised that Hampshire County Council had reduced the number of weed sprays in the Borough from two per year to one from 2017/18.  To maintain the service, Serco had added weed control to the contract and committed to carrying out a further spray across the Borough with two sprays in some areas.  A number of Serco staff had been trained to a national qualification standard in chemical weed spraying to enable the team to complete spraying during the Spring, depending on the weather, and maintain the standard during the Summer months.


Serco had committed to providing marketing investment to raise recycling awareness and participation levels.  Serco would carry out glass recycling campaigns through communication activity and the delivery of additional recycling boxes.  The team was also keen to improve the garden waste subscription within Rushmoor.  Serco was committed to increasing the bulky waste reuse while reducing landfill.  Site visits to local charities had taken place to discuss potential projects around the amount of bulky items collected and making residents aware of what could be reused would feature in the reuse strategy.  The recycling of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) was underway and showed excellent signs of sustainability with almost three tons of WEEE items already collected.  Work was also being carried out with the Contracts Team to identify a solution to begin textile recycling.  


Serco aimed to use the partnership contract as a vehicle to grow and develop both commercial and commercial waste recycling services.  The team planned to maximise the scale and penetration as quickly as possible. 


It was explained that there were a number of added value projects and incentives introduced as part of the new contract that it was felt would benefit the local community.  The Community Champions programme would seek individuals to assist in improving their environment for the benefit of the community.  Champions would be supplied with smart phone technology to report incidents and attach photographs of places where there were social issues.  Other areas of added value included visits to parks from the Fido machine to highlight dog-fouling issues, link to local charities, share information and knowledge with local groups and associations and visit schools to educate children about recycling and set up planting activities in local parks.  Serco was due to move its base of operations from Camberley to Lysons Avenue, Ash Vale in July 2018.  The site was purpose built and would be a flagship site for Serco in the South East.


The Panel noted the presentation and raised a number of questions.  Cllr Keith Dibble had carried out a local residents survey regarding the service and had received a number of comments on sweeping, street cleansing, weed removal and grass cutting.  The responses would be passed to Serco.  Serco was happy to receive any feedback from residents as it was constantly aiming to improve services.  A customer tracker survey had recently been carried out with 250 random selected residents from across the Borough, the initial results would set a benchmark for future surveys.


The Panel suggested educational trips to the depot would be beneficial.  Serco advised that some visits were planned but there had not been a great take up so further work was being carried out to get schools engaged.  It was proposed that Serco liaised with local ward councillors to identify suitable residents to approach to become Community Champions.  It was requested that a member of the Panel attended the Serco quarterly meetings as an observer and proposed Cllr Marina Munro.  The suggestion would be put to the Portfolio Holder for agreement.


Action to be taken

By whom


Cllr Keith Dibble to share results from local residents survey with Serco

Cllr Keith Dibble

January 2018

Serco to liaise with Ward Councilllors to select residents to approach to become Community Champions

Rob Noble/ Jason Kinsella

February 2018

The appointment of Cllr Marina Munro as an observer at the Serco quarterly meetings be put to the Environment and Service Delivery Portfolio Holder

Panel Chairman

February 2018

A six monthly performance delivery update from Serco be added to the work programme

Panel Administrator

January 2018


Supporting documents: