Communities get greater say on ‘street scene’
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The council is consulting local people on proposals which will see communities given more opportunities to shape, and deliver, street scene services to meet local needs.
Under the proposals, the council will continue to maintain highways, streets and public spaces in a safe and usable condition, as part of a consistent ‘core’ service across the whole district.
But communities will also be able to enhance this core service with extra street scene services such as additional grass cutting on highway verges, floral displays and hanging baskets and dog waste bins.
The additional services could be delivered directly by local community or parish organisations, using suitably trained and qualified staff or volunteers or bought from the council or other providers.
In some circumstances parishes, neighbourhood groups and other organisations will also be able to apply for a licence to take on responsibility for the maintenance of some public areas or street furniture such as bus shelters, dog waste bins, benches and seats.
The street scene changes form part of the council’s localism plans, which aim to help local people take greater responsibility for their communities and to give them the power to shape services to meet local needs, in partnership with the council.
They will also contribute to the council’s transformation programme, which aims to ensure that council services deliver the maximum value for money for local tax payers within a challenging financial environment. The overall transformation programme is expected to deliver £43m of efficiency savings over the four-year period to 2014/15, of which changes to the way street scene services are provided will contribute £328,000.
Consultation on the proposals will continue until 13 September 2013 and will include a number of events to help parish and town councils, and other organisations, explore the proposals and develop plans for their street scene.
It is anticipated that plans for each community will be agreed by the end of 2013, with the new core standard and provisions for additional services introduced from April 2014.
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