West Berkshire Council

Start date: 2016-10-31
End date: 2016-12-11
Results: 2017-03-09

Budget Proposal 2017/18: Urban Grass Cutting

Reducing how often we cut back grass on verges and open spaces in urban areas

Background

This is one of seven budget proposals for 2017/18. You can view the full list online.

The Countryside Service manages the Grounds Maintenance contract which delivers maintenance of parks, open spaces, amenity areas and highway verges in the district. As the Highway Authority, we are required to cut the rural and urban highway verges in order to maintain a safe environment for all users of the highway.  Highway verge and open space grass cutting is primarily carried out to maintain a pleasant and attractive environment.  


Legislation requirements

There is a duty on the Highway authority to maintain a safe highway network. The proposed reduction in grass cutting will not reduce highway safety.


What are we proposing?

To reduce the urban open space and road verge grass cuts from ten to eight per year, saving £40,000 per year from a £193,000 budget.


What do we think the impact will be?

The grass in urban areas will be cut less frequently; moving from a three week cutting cycle to a four to five week cycle and so will get longer and look less attractive. The grass will be more difficult to cut and there will be more grass trimmings left on the verges. There will be an increased amount of grass trimmings dropping into the gutters due to the increased quantity of cuttings at each cutting cycle.

Please refer to the pdf icon Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) for more detail [11kb].


What else have we considered in arriving at our proposal?

We also considered a further reduction in rural grass cutting from two to one per year. However, this was discounted as it was felt that it was not practical and would have an impact on highways safety.


Why we would like your views

We would like to hear from you as to how this proposal could potentially impact on you and on the wider community. In particular, we would be interested in any views you have on how we can minimise the impact of this proposed change.

All feedback will be considered, and a final decision made by Full Council at the meeting on 2 March 2017. Following this, the results and your anonymised response will be published on this page.

Please note: Twitter and Facebook posts will not be considered as a valid response.

This consultation is now closed.

What you told us

We received 27 responses to this consultation. Full details of the responses, considerations and recommendations can be seen below:

What we did

A recommendation on how to proceed with this proposal was made to the Full Council Meeting on 2 March 2017. This can also be found in the Overview of Responses and Recommendations below.


At the vote, Councillors agreed to proceed with this proposal.

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