A NEW Somerset company could soon be cleaning your streets or maintaining your garden - but it's owned by the council.

South Somerset District Council (SSDC) has set up a new landscaping and horticultural trading company, called Elleston.

Elleston has been set up in response to requests from residents, as well as housing developers, as there is a demand for high quality maintenance work on private developments and estate land - property not currently covered by council services.

In addition to land management, Elleston offers a wide range of landscaping and horticulture services, including sports field management, arborist work, fencing and street cleansing.

Profits could then be returned to council coffers to address funding shortfalls and provide vital public services.

Councillor John Clark, portfolio holder for Elleston, said: “When new estates are built, developers have a choice of seeking adoption of the common public areas by the council or retaining ownership and utilising a private maintenance company.

"With many developers now choosing to take the private maintenance company route and charging residents for the costs, Elleston will utilise our skilled workforce and good practice to ensure that an excellent level of work is carried out.

"The council cannot use public money to maintain private land, therefore Elleston is simply meeting the market need.

"Due to laws around trading the council is required to set up a separate company to carry out this kind of work and by setting up Elleston it is hoped that developers and residents will receive a better quality service than otherwise might be available.”

SSDC already holds a high reputation for its landscaping and horticultural work and wins a number of awards for its standards across the district.

Elleston will not only aim to raise the standards of these privately owned areas but any funds generated above the costs of providing the service will be used to support and protect the provision of other services to residents of the district.

The company was created as part of our Commercial Strategy which seeks to generate additional and new income of at least £2.2m a year by 2021 to provide services to residents.