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Will Ledbury Town Council foot the grass cutting bill?
12:26pm Friday 18th October 2013 in News
GRASS cutting could be reduced in Ledbury and the county in the next financial year as Herefordshire Council looks to balance its books.
And fears are growing that Ledbury Town Council will be asked to pick up the town’s grass-cutting bill – leading to a rise in its council tax demands.
Though no firm decision has been made as yet, the possibility that the county might stop cutting grass was flagged up by Coun Liz Harvey, a Herefordshire councillor for Ledbury, at a recent town council meeting.
Now some town councillors are concerned the council might be required to take on the grass-cutting services for Ledbury’s verges and green spaces, a task that is currently carried out by Herefordshire Council contractor Balfour Beatty.
Coun Tony Bradford said he heard a year ago from an Amey officer – the company that was the authority’s previous contractor – that grass cutting could be axed as a cost-cutting measure and he was not surprised by Coun Harvey’s information.
He said: “The philosophy of Herefordshire Council seems to be that Ledbury Town Council will take on this extra responsibilty and charge extra for it on our precept. That would not be a fair burden.”
Coun Harry Bramer, Herefordshire Council’s cabinet member for contracts, said of Balfour Beatty’s duties in the next financial year: “I think it very unlikely that they will cut grass to the same levels as they do now.”
He said that under budgetry constraints, it could be argued that looking after the county’s vulnerable young people and the elderly was more important than cutting grass but he said that no firm decision concerning the levels of grass cutting in 2014/2015 had been made.
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