Parks and Nurseries in the spotlight as European delegation reviews Birmingham's environmental performance
By Peter Driver
The project known as PRESUD (Peer Reviews for European Sustainable Urban Development) is funded by the European Commission's Life fund and is a partnership project exploring the contribution that nine European cities can make to sustainable development.
The Parks, Sports and Events Service has demonstrated the City's commitment to environmental issues with the recent purchase of eight LPG powered Highway triple mowers, supplied by Ransomes Jacobsen, for grass maintenance duties within the City.
Darren Share, Best Value Contracts Manager commented, "We have a commitment to provide Best Value to the people of Birmingham and it is part of our remit to provide a pleasant and clean environment for everybody. We are moving forward as a service provider and use environmental options wherever possible.
"One element is the use of LPG as an alternative fuel to petrol and diesel. We use it in our light commercial vans and now, through our five year partnership agreement with Ransomes Jacobsen and their local dealer T H White, we have introduced these Calor LPG powered mowers which are at the forefront of the technology available in the grass care industry. They are obviously cleaner and greener, but also quieter than the diesel Highways, which benefits both the operators and local residents.
"We were also pioneer users of their E-Plex electric golf greens mowers, which we use on the council's golf courses because they are quiet and pollution-free and we also use one of their Diabline electric vehicles for litter collection and gardening duties throughout the parks and at City events."
"We are very excited about this project and welcome the PRESUD inspection team to Birmingham. We know that closer collaboration with other European cities results in the exchange of good practice and we are sure that the review team will pick up a wide range of examples of what Birmingham is doing well, such as the Parks and Nurseries initiative, in terms of improving the quality of life for local people.
"The Review will help us focus more keenly on what needs to be improved and will add impetus to the effort already underway to make Birmingham a sustainable 21st century city."
The PRESUD project consists of nine councils from major European cities, the European Commission, the OECD, the UK's Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) and the University of the West of England (UWE). The nine cities are: Birmingham, The Hague, Leipzig, Malmo, Newcastle, Nottingham, Tampere, Venice and Vienna. Further information on PRESUD can be found at www.presud.org