Borough’s parks team lands national honours

WLCT's Greenspaces Team receives the APSE award
WLCT's Greenspaces Team receives the APSE award

THEY’RE out all year and in all weathers, making sure that Wigan and Leigh’s parks and open spaces look their best.

And now the dedicated diggers of Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust’s (WLCT) Greenspaces Team have proved they’re in a field of their own by picking up a major national award.

The team has been hailed as the Best Performing Parks, Grounds Maintenance and Horticultural Service in the land at the annual Association for Public Service Excellence (APSE) awards.

The competition saw more than 80 public services go head to head in a bid to prove they’re the best! Judges looked at value for money, productivity, quality and staff development to help them determine which was the best.

First the Wigan team made it through to the finals where they faced some stiff competition from the likes of Cardiff, Fife and North Lincolnshire.

But when the final scores were tallied it was the Wigan team that was the cream of the crop.

The team was on hand at a glittering awards ceremony in Blackpool last week to pick up their prize from Emmerdale star Kelsey Beth Crossley.

WLCT’s Head of the Greenspaces Team, Paul Barton said: “We are absolutely delighted to receive this award as it demonstrates that we are literally the best.

“It is particularly satisfying as this award reflects the continued hard work and dedication of all of our staff when delivering the boroughs grounds maintenance service.”

Chief executive of WLCT, Stuart Murray added: “We are passionate about the borough’s open spaces and this award reflects that hard-work, positive outlook and dedication.”

Cabinet Member of Leisure, Coun Chris Ready said: “In these difficult economic times, council budgets are becoming increasingly squeezed, so it is fantastic that the Greenspaces Team gives us both the value for money we need and the high quality we expect.

“Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust is to be congratulated on this impressive achievement.”

As well as the award, the WLCT Greenspaces Team’s story will now be featured in APSE’s Parks Summary Report, due out in March and will be highlighted as an example of best practice by the organisation.

Congratulating the WLCT Greenspaces Team, APSE assistant chief executive Mark Bramah, said: “Dedication to high level performance management will help pull local councils through these tough financial times and it is a credit to them that they have been recognised, through these national awards, for their outstanding efforts.”