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Are they employing locals?


Brief answer: No.


With reference to the piece in the paper which mentioned that Golder Landscapes were taking on one "local", starting on monday, the person in question was approached to see whether they would take up the responsible post of gang foreman. As I understand, he greeted the proposal with enthusiasm, until he was offered minimum wage, and no overtime rate. He has declined their kind offer.

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Golder Landscapes were taking on one "local", starting on monday, the person in question was approached to see whether they would take up the responsible post of gang foreman. As I understand, he greeted the proposal with enthusiasm, until he was offered minimum wage, and no overtime rate. He has declined their kind offer.

Minimum wage for a ganger?! Monkeys & peanuts :roll:

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Good old minimum wage.


At least now we don't get away with paying £1 an hour as some were, obviously not in the grass cutting industry, but too many employers seem to think that they can get away with paying their staff minimum wage whilst they live high off the hog.


I am all for a cheaper grass cutting contract, (and cheaper - i.e. more efficient council services) if it benefits us all with lower council tax bills. I would be more than happy to make the difficult decisions on behalf of the council that they seem too cowardly to make, but if you pay half the island minimum wage you just end up with less money sloshing around in the economy. You end up with more social and health problems, you end up employing the numpties who aren't interested in providing a service. Most of all you end up with an environment where people consider that there are few opportunities and they move south.


If the contractors can't make the system work for which they have bid and won, they should be financially penalised. Whoever agreed to take them on in the SIC needs their knuckles rapping as well, unless they can can prove that they were presented with a sound business case. Better still, get them out with overalls and goggels to make up the shortfall.

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Is litter picking etc part of the grass cutting contracts or is is simply cut and remove?


Yes, it is, in all the areas within the remit of the contracts (playparks, road verges, planted areas, sheltered housing schemes, open spaces, office areas, social work property etc).


The first line of the Specification states the following, under "Scope of Works":

"The works include the routine landscape maintenance and litter collection of the areas..."


Clause 2.5 of the Specification, Litter and Leaf Clearance, states the following:

"The Contractor shall maintain a general litter free appearance of grass areas. In addition to the litter collection noted in clause 2.1 blown litter shall be regularly collected and removed from perimiters, under hedges and around trees within any grass area and disposed to an authorised disposal facility."


Clause 2.1 states the following:

"Litter, stones and other debris shall be collected immediately prior to cutting or treatment being undertaken."



"The contractor shall.... clear any cuttings, earth or debris that lands on surrounding hard surfaces as a result of cutting or treatments to grass areas".


With regard to the planted areas (Pitt Lane, Jim's garage, the areas near Kirkland etc), clause 3.6 reads:

"Litter and other debris shall be cleared from the beds and collected at each maintenance visit...."


Regards the hard surfaces, clause 4.1 reads:

"... the removal of of dirt, litter, fallen leaves..." etc


There is a specific section for playparks:

"At the time of maintenance of play areas the contractor shall sweep the whole surface of the play area to remove any litter, glass or other debris and remove it from the site to an authorised waste disposal facility. All litter bins in the play area shall be emptied...." etc


However despite all this, they're not doing any of it, so far as I can tell.

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A question for anyone who's seen the relevant contract specs. A local firm (they know who they are) has the contract to cut the grass in the gardens of council houses, where the responsiblity for such remains with the council, rather than with individual tenants. (Properties occupied by "temporary emergency" tenants, council staff?? etc).


Is the number of cuts for the season/frequency of cut for the gardens as specified in that contract, the same as the number cuts for the season/frequency of cut specified in the contract(s) held by the Ayr firm for play areas, open ground and verges?

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Pretty much. The service we provide is to pensioners, disabled people, temporary accomodation etc. The frequency of cuts is category "C", which is the same specification as that in the playparks and sheltered housing schemes under the care of Golder Landscapes. Category C areas should get ten cuts.


Unfortunately, it's difficult to draw direct comparisons with all their work and ours, as there are a few different categories designed for different areas in Golders' contract. Some urban verge areas are category "D" (eight cuts) and some are "F" (six cuts). Waste ground is cat "F" (six cuts ) or "G" (three cuts).


Despite only being awarded our contract about a fortnight ago, we have still managed to get onto our second "round" already (six hundred gardens in two weeks). Golder Landscapes have held their contract for a month and a half now. It remains to be seen how much longer it will take them to finish their first round.

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Thanks Peter,


The first go round you did gardens hereabouts, Golders were no more than 2 days after you, and did a play area and a section of rough ground.


You were back doing the second cut on the gardens in the latter half of this morning, so we shall see how far behind you Golders are in doing the second one for the play area.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I was amused to see that despite the fact that they still have to make their first visit to some of the outlying areas, that they felt the need to whizz around the most obvious areas in the town for a second cut, mere days after they had done the first one. I'm sure you can all work out what they're trying there.


The bins in the playparks around Shetland still aren't being emptied (Hayfield included, Lolzord), the hard surfaces still aren't being swept, the planted areas still aren't being maintained, the litter still isn't being picked up, and there are loads of places (playparks included) which haven't even had their first cut yet. I find it incredibly galling that they are apparently "getting away" with this.


I wonder how closely the record they'll submit this month to the council, of work completed, correlates to the actual work they've done?

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What the eye doesn't see....


I'm led to believe they are still looking for staff up here. I hope they dunna succeed at minimum wage and with the crap performance they seem to be making already.


I'm also led to believe the contract seems to have a connection with Orkney, ie the company offering the posts has an Orkney name....curiouser and curiouser. :?

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