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Medway Norse performance reviewed by Medway council

By Dean Kilpatrick, local democracy reporter

The effectiveness of a joint venture between Medway Council and a private company has been rated as "eight out of 10" by a cabinet member.

Cllr Adrian Gulvin (Con), portfolio holder for resources, was asked about the performance of Medway Norse by the business support overview and scrutiny committee last night.

And while he said the joint venture had been “exemplary” in certain aspects of its work, he admitted it had fallen short with other responsibilities – such as grass-cutting earlier this year.

Cllr Adrian Gulvin
Cllr Adrian Gulvin

Cllr Gulvin told committee members: “Yes, there are always things that can be done better.

"I’d give them eight out of 10, but there is still room for improvement.

“I think that it is a partnership which is working and is maturing.

"We have our disagreements, but some areas have worked better than others.

“It’s learning all the way. On balance, it has worked well.”

The cabinet member shared his disappointment Medway Norse has not won more external contracts, with a proportion of any profits being returned to the council.

He added: “This is one of the things we were promised by the Norse Commercial Services at the beginning, and I believe they are now actively trying to do that.”

On its website, Medway Norse lists catering, building cleaning, buildings facilities management, printing services, and pest control as the services it provides.

As well as being criticised for its poor grass-cutting performance, Medway Norse also angered cabinet members this year when it decided it "no longer wanted to" operate cafes at two of the council's sports centres.

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