Residents wishing to submit their opinions have until 21 April 2017 to complete either the online survey which can be found here or the hard copy form sent to them through the post.
Should the proposed new services be implemented it would mean an increase in the current service charge for grounds maintenance but will result in an improved provision.
If the new service is implemented, this will mean that we will be responsible for ensuring service delivery, quality and continuity of service throughout the year.
- 1. What does the current East Dorset grounds maintenance service charge include?
If you live in East Dorset, the ground maintenance service you currently receive is provided by East Dorset District Council and we maintain the hard surface areas.
Your current grounds maintenance services consist of:
- Grass is cut (but not collected) seven times a year between April and September
- Cuttings swept and cleared from hard surfaces
- Shrubs and hedges pruned once between July and November. Further hedge reduction and remedial works are carried out between November and February
- We (Aster) visit 25 times a year to maintain footpaths, alleyways, garage forecourts, parking spaces, gravelled and drying areas
- Litter and debris cleared, weed and moss treated at least eight times a year
- 2. What are you proposing to include in any new grounds maintenance service?
Our proposed enhanced grounds maintenance service will cover:
- 25 visits throughout the year
- Hard surfaces footpaths, garage forecourts etc, litter picked, swept of debris, leaves cleared, weeds and moss treated regularly
- Shrubs and herbaceous borders will be kept free from litter, debris and weeds
- Pruning will follow good horticultural practice
- Pathways kept clear from overgrowing plants
- Hedges will be pruned and maintained between May and early July to avoid birds nesting
- Pruning base growth and tree branches below two metres over hanging pathways
- Ditches and drainage channels will be inspected at least monthly to ensure the free flow of water, any major obstacles removed. All channels will be trimmed and cleared at least once a year
- Grass will be cut and collected 17 times a year, if bulbs have been planted within the grassed area, it will not be cut until they have flowered and died down naturally
The service may vary in very wet or hot weather.
- 3. Why are you looking to change the service?
We are looking to improve the services you receive in your area to include those services currently provided by East Dorset District Council. This will result in an improved provision and if implemented, will mean that we will be responsible for ensuring service delivery, quality and continuity of service throughout the year.
- 4. Will I be charged for these additional services?
Yes. Your current service charge for grounds maintenance will increase as a result of any new services provided.
- 5. Will housing benefit cover the increase in service charge?
Yes. Currently the grounds maintenance service is eligible for housing benefit however if you are unsure about what your housing benefit award covers please contact your local authority.
- 6. How will you ensure that the quality of the service is maintained?
We carry out monthly routine inspections to ensure the quality of our service. Any issues will be raised directly with our service providers and addressed on the next available scheduled visit.
- 7. How do I give you my feedback?
You will have received a letter advising you of our proposal which included a link to an online survey - a printed survey was also provided. You need to complete either the online survey or the printed version before 21 April 2017.
The links to the online surveys are:
- 8. I don’t want to pay any additional charges for grounds maintenance – what happens if I disagree with your proposal?
We are asking everyone to tell us what they think. We won’t make any decisions until all feedback has been collected and analysed. Your collective feedback will directly influence our decision. If more than 51% of residents in your area vote to receive the proposed new service it is likely that it will be implemented.
- 9. If the decision is made to provide East Dorset with an improved grounds maintenance service when will this start?
It would be our intention to start with immediate effect. The decision to implement the new service will only be decided after the consultation has ended and a majority decision has been reached.
- 10. How will you let me know if the outcome of the consultation?
We will write to all customers after the consultation has ended to advise them of the outcome and next steps if any.