Proposals to improve Cambridge City Council’s largest frontline service to enable it to provide a better experience for residents and visitors, to make the city’s streets and open spaces more environmentally friendly and deliver better value for money, have been discussed by councillors.
In June, councillors approved a four year development strategy to guide changes to the Streets and Open Spaces service.
This sought to help the service respond positively to the opportunities and challenges arising from Cambridge’s rapid growth; and to be able to continue to provide a high quality outdoor public realm environment, which befits this historic city’s world-class status.
With 150 staff and an annual budget of £6.8 million, the Streets and Open Spaces service provides some of the council’s main customer-facing services.
These include grounds maintenance of council parks and open spaces, including play areas and allotments; street cleansing, including public bins, street sweeping and litter picking; environmental enforcement and education; public tree management; an annual outdoor events programme; and public toilet facilities.
The proposed service improvements are designed to help the Streets and Open Spaces service to:
- Deliver a high quality service for residents and visitors;
- Make the council-managed parks and open spaces more biodiverse and environmentally friendly;
- Become more efficient and resilient while maintaining high service standards;
Cllr Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Streets and Open Spaces, said: “Our fantastic Streets and Open Spaces team do tough frontline jobs to keep our beautiful city clean and green.
“Continuing central government cuts means that we have less and less money to meet the growth in demand and this review should help us make our service more resilient in the face of central government austerity. But the review is about much more than that.
“These proposals will ensure that the service is even more responsive to customers’ needs, greener and more efficient. This is especially important at a time when the city is expanding and demand for services is growing.
“We also need to adapt our approach to meet our environmental and climate change commitments.”
Councillors discussed the report and proposed service improvements at Community Services Scrutiny Committee on 5 October.