The Housing & Regeneration Department at Wandsworth Council are looking to recruit a Horticultural Services Officer to assist with the oversight and management of the Garden Maintenance Contract, and the position would suit an enthusiastic and energetic person looking to develop a career in horticulture.
Covering over 300 individual sites, the communal gardens on Wandsworth housing estates are made up of lawns, shrub beds, hedges, wildlife areas, wildflower meadows and ponds, and there is a wide variety of work that accompanies the maintenance of all these various settings. Getting out and visiting sites in all seasons, you will follow the progress of the estate gardens from the first showing of the Daffodils in spring, the Roses, Lavender and Water Lilies through the summer, the vibrant colours that proceed the autumn leaf fall, and finally the frost edged foliage and berries of the evergreen shrubs in the winter.
Splitting your time between site visits and administrative duties, you will spend a large part of the day viewing the communal gardens of housing estates across the borough and produce reports and recommendations based on your findings, as well as commissioning environmental improvement works where appropriate. You will assess whether the detailed specifications of the Garden Maintenance Contract are being met, and will use evidence of any failures to challenge the term gardening contractor to make the necessary improvements.
Working closely with the Horticultural Services Manager, you will regularly liaise with a wide variety of stakeholders and will look to use your knowledge of plants and gardens to bring about positive changes to the communal grounds that form the wider estate environment. Your creative talents will be used to plan updates to the planting schemes, selecting plants that will flourish in their setting, and helping develop resident-led Community Gardens and changes to the soft landscaped areas.
Naturally confident and friendly, you will build working relationships with residents on our estates, ensuring that they have a point of contact for their concerns and someone who can ‘get things done’, whilst managing expectations where necessary. As a representative of the Horticultural Services team you will attend site meetings with residents, Council Officers, Councillors and other stakeholders, and will provide informed advice on horticultural matters.
Equipped with the necessary tools, you will on occasion be required to carry out minor gardening tasks on site, ensuring that you work safely and efficiently, following good horticultural practices at all times. Attending with the gardening contractor you will also oversee and contribute on a practical level during major replanting works, ensuring your planting plans are carried out in accordance with your original concept.
With a keen interest in the maintenance of plants and gardens, you will continue to learn and develop, keeping abreast of best practice in respect of horticulture and the wider environmental implications of the gardening operation in the borough.
Whilst a background in horticulture is an advantage, on the job training will be provided in all aspects of amenity gardening, and there may be opportunities for further formal training where requested.
You will work a 36 hour week, Monday to Friday, and there are opportunities for flexible working arrangements, dependant on the needs of the service. You will enjoy 31 days annual leave, along with all bank holidays, and in addition we offer a range of staff benefits, including membership of the Local Government contributory pension scheme, childcare vouchers, new technology scheme, interest-free loans on annual travel cards, and discounts at many leisure activities, restaurants, shops and other establishments.
If you would like to discuss the role in more detail, please call Ian Harrison on 020 8871 7900 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Indicative Recruitment Timeline
Closing Date: 17th February 2019
Shortlisting Date: 24th February 2019
Interview Date: 4th March 2019
Please note that these dates are only indicative at this stage and could be subject to change.
Richmond and Wandsworth Councils are committed to making our recruitment practices as inclusive as possible for everyone. We are committed to promoting equality and diversity and developing a culture that values differences, recognising that employees from a variety of backgrounds bring important and positive contributions to the Councils and can improve the way we deliver services.
We are pleased to be Disability Confident employer.
This post is exempted under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 and as such appointment to this post will be conditional upon the receipt of a satisfactory response to a check of police records via Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children. It replaces the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA).
Richmond and Wandsworth Councils are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people/vulnerable adults and expects all staff and volunteers to share this commitment.