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Decision details

Tree maintenance contract extension 2024

Decision Maker: Director: Management of Place

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Council manages and maintains its tree and woodland assets and carries out tree works to maintain the safety of persons or property, prevent nuisance and maintain tree health as required following inspection. Works include tree or tree limb removal, pollarding, canopy reduction, epicormic growth removal etc. Such works are committed through our tree maintenance contract.
The Council is required to give 12-months’ notice of an extension decision to the tree maintenance contractor Gristwood and Toms.
The decision will enable the Council to continue to carry out necessary works to trees to maintain public safety and manage the heath of trees and woodlands beyond 31st March 2025 and up to 31st March 2027.


Approval of a 2-year contract extension with Gristwood and Toms for tree management works permitted under the contract terms agreed in April 2020.

Alternative options considered:

Option 1 - Procure new contract - Contractor rates from the original tender process were competitive within seven responses. Market rates likely to have increased due to impact of Ash Dieback mitigation work affecting multiple landowners.
Option 2 - Shorter contract extension - Does not incentivise a cost-effective approach to Ash Dieback through an investment in staff resources by the contractor.
Option 3 - Longer contract extension - Some uncertainty remains over contractor performance in relation to Council contract management which it is advised to resolve before making a longer-term commitment.
Option 4 - Bring service in house - Recruitment to qualified staff is proving increasingly difficult. Time better spent managing risk at present than restructuring. No current evidence of enhanced value for money.

Publication date: 08/04/2024

Date of decision: 28/03/2024