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Shock over Hounslow Council's move to terminate parks contract and return management services in-house

Carillion will continue to manage the borough's parks until spring next year

Hanworth Park (Image: Google Street View)

The contract to manage the borough's parks is being brought back in-house has caused shock and concerns among residents in Hounslow.

The move, which will see the responsibility of green spaces transferred back to Hounslow Council next year, came as a shock to Friends Groups, made up of local people with a vested interest in their local open space or park.

Members who raise millions of pounds, dedicate thousands of hours of work and organise events and festivals each year are disappointed they were not consulted before a decision was made.

The council made the announcement that it had reached an agreement with Carillion, who currently manage the borough's parks, on Wednesday (November 1).

It will mean the contract with Carillion will be terminated.

The new service will be delivered by council-owned company Lampton 360 from April 2018, subject to a cabinet decision later in November.

Speaking on behalf of the Friends Groups, Linda Massey, said: "They are upset that despite this service and commitment to parks, they have been ignored.

"The Friends have requested an urgent meeting with the council to discuss the implications of the announcement.

"They have asked that no irrevocable decisions, such as granting a lease on parks to Lampton 360, are taken, prior to a proper consultation.

"Friends groups are concerned that, in the drive to generate revenue from parks and create pay to play sports facilities, the value of parks as informal spaces may be lost."

Councillor Samia Chaudhary, cabinet member for green policy and leisure at Hounslow Council, said: “We believe that by bringing this service back in-house, we can integrate it with wider leisure and cultural services, improve what is a service valued by residents and save money.”

Other services which have been transferred back in-house following the set up of Lampton 360 include the management of library services in August 2017.

In addition, Recycle 360 (a subsidiary of Lampton 360) took over the borough's recycling and waste services from contractor Sita-Suez.

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