Council to thrash out Portsmouth park maintenance plan

The countryside surrounding Harting Down in the South Downs National Park, in West Sussex.

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A MEETING is to be held to decide which body should be responsible for maintaining parks and open spaces across Portsmouth.

Tory culture boss Linda Symes will decide which strategy should be taken at the council’s civic offices tomorrow.

Cllr Symes will reveal whether an in-house team from the council’s property and housing management team will be responsible for north, east and south areas – or if the role should go out to tender with a list of firms.

It follows a ‘soft market testing exercise’ that has been carried out to identify what the best option could be.

The council currently has four contracts with two firms which are due to expire at the end of December this year.

A report by the council’s director of city development and cultural services, Stephen Baily, says the companies have an aggregated expenditure value of £1.5m each year.

Their contracts cannot be extended ‘without the risk of challenge by other service providers’ says Mr Baily.