Fairfield Park’s grounds and the areas that the parish council is responsible for are looked after at the moment by Martyn Bass Grounds Maintenance Ltd (MBS). The contract has come up for renewal, and from September we will be seeing changes on the Park.

Four companies, including MBS, were invited to tender for the maintenance contract. The services are paid for both by FPRA and FPC and representatives from both groups were involved in the selection process.

The assessment team agreed that MBS has done a good workmanlike ground maintenance job, but with little flair. Moreover, few of MBS’s operatives are formally horticulturally trained.

Martyn Bass gave us a large degree of personal attention in his early years at Fairfield. Unfortunately, it was felt that his company’s standards have wavered, and while the guys we see around the park do a sound job within their level of competence, they lack the proficiencies and motivation to move on. When MBS took on the Fairfield Park grounds maintenance, it was a building site and they have transformed it, but now as the Park moves into a new more mature phase, different skills are required.

MBS’s contract has not been renewed; the new contract has been awarded to Hislop & Co, a relatively new company about the same operating size as MBS. Unlike MBS, they are a local firm and as such have got more to lose by way of reputation.

Hislop’s preferred market and most of their work is high-end large horticultural maintenance work; they are passionate gardeners and value work where they can demonstrate their craftsmanship.

All field-based staff are formally trained in horticulture and have the necessary training and certification for specialized equipment, tools and chemicals. They are DBS checked and wear a uniform for identification. A team will be allocated specifically to Fairfield Park to ensure that they are recognised, and a strong relationship can be built with us as residents. They state that they want to work closely with us to become valued members of our Parish.