North West Wales

Anglesey schools grass-cutting contract goes to Lancashire firm Glendale

lawn mower
Image caption The contract to cut the grass at Anglesey schools is understood to be for six years

The Anglesey schools grass-cutting contract has been given to a Lancashire company, despite some protests that money should be spent more locally.

The island is run by Welsh government-appointed commissioners, and councillors said they had not known that the contract had been awarded.

Anglesey council confirmed the decision was taken by senior managers.

Last month head teachers had said they would refuse Glendale Managed Services access to their playing fields.

The council said its commissioners played no part in awarding the £200,000-a-year contract, which was previously held by Gwynedd council's highways department.

In March Anglesey council said the rules stated that it had to advertise the contract Europe-wide.

It is understood to be for six years, and island head teachers and local councillors say this is taxpayers' money which should stay in the local economy.

Five councillors have called a special meeting to discuss the matter next week.

Research by BBC Radio Cymru's Post Cyntaf programme found that there was also confusion among councillors around who was responsible for the decision, and whether the contract has been signed or not.

Special meeting

Councillor Bryan Owen, the highways portfolio holder, said: "We are a shadow working group, the commissioners make the final decisions.

"I as portfolio member was not aware that the contract was going out. I didn't know the contract had been signed."

The council is currently run by commissioners put in place by the Welsh government, which has criticised the authority's "misbehaviour and incompetence".

The commissioners will remain in place until May 2013, although the Welsh government has said it hopes their roles can be reduced.

Anglesey council has confirmed the contract had been awarded to Glendale from 1 May.

A statement said the decision to award the contract was "taken by senior management in accordance with the authority's own contract procedure rules" and EU regulations.

It added: "The board of commissioners did not play a part in the decision to award the contract.

"However, the commissioners are aware that the matter will come before an extraordinary meeting of the full council on 3 May.

"They intend to watch the debate with interest before deciding if or how they should intervene."

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