Merton Council is outsourcing the maintenance of parks in the borough but will not reveal details of the contract or levels of service expected, saying these are commercially sensitive and therefore confidential. We have a good working relationship with the staff of the council’s Greenspaces Department, and we are concerned that this will be lost if private contractors come in. We recently met with representatives from the GMB Union, which wants the existing maintenance team to be able to bid for the contract – something the council has so far resisted. We are looking into ways to put pressure on the council in this matter, and are joining the Independent Merton Green Spaces Forum (IMGSF) so we can add our voice to those of other Friends groups in the borough.