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Cleaning and groundwork discussions

Background summary

In 2017 we completely revamped our cleaning and gardening services - reducing the number of suppliers from 92 to 7. This makes managing the contracts easier and more effective, and improves partner relationships. The quality of Hyde’s records has also improved so they match service charge records, making things clearer for residents.

Getting these types of new services to ‘bed-in’ is never easy, and inevitably there were some teething problems. It was really important that Hyde were aware what these problems were so we could put them right.

How did the OAK help residents?

Residents on The OAK started up some discussions between themselves around how the new services were going. Some expressed concerns that things weren’t as good as expected, and were worried that the quality of their services had not improved as they had been promised. Some used the ability to upload photos onto The OAK (for example of dumped rubbish that had not been cleared) so that other residents and staff could see evidence of the issues they were seeing.

Whilst the OAK is not somewhere to get individual issues resolved; sharing their experiences in this way as a group made their feedback more powerful.

How did the OAK help Hyde?

For Hyde this was really useful because we had a number of different examples and clear evidence of how the new services were having some issues setting in. Residents could have been complaining to each other and not sharing these issues with Hyde. But having the discussions altogether on a site that Hyde staff can see - with examples from different areas helped the project team see the wider picture.

What happened next?

The Resident Engagement Team encouraged other users to share their experiences, and then collated the feedback and shared it with the project team leading on the new services.

Changes were put in place with the new service providers, and since then residents come back onto the site to say that things have improved.


Having had a somewhat difficult start with regards to the new grounds maintenance it now seems to have turned a corner and the works are being done properly. Turning a negative start into a positive can only benefit our estates. Long may it continue.

A resident


The OAK is a great tool for us to connect with Hyde residents. We have seen we can get early visibility of problems and the conversations help us to understand the scale and locations of these, meaning we can more easily and accurately target improvements.

Paul Singleton, Director of Business Improvement