Follow Councillor Q&A on Twitter

Follow us on Twitter

0 votes
The cost of cutting the grass in the Parish has been reduced by £2,000. I would ensure that the Full Council was aware of the reduction but would deem that this is not something that FC would need to vote on - Or am I being pedantic? I cannot find anything in SO or Financial Regs. relating to this situation. I would appreciate some advice please.
by (2.3k points)

1 Answer

0 votes
Do you mean the contractor has invoiced £2K less than was expected.  Or do you mean the budget has been reduced by £2K.  What is the %age reduction.  So many things we don't know making it impossible to answer the question.
by (9.6k points)
the budgeted amount is £13,000, which was voted through by FC in Dec 2022, with 2k reduction to £11,000 so a 15% reduction.
This appears to be a budget question rather than voting by council. It appears that your finance group over estimated the amount required in the budget setting and for whatever reason were slightly off. It is for them to declare such a saving and go to council or decide ( if in their terms of reference )to transfer that saving to another budget item, or aim it for a reduction in the next years precept requirement.
Thank you for the clear advice.
Did the council impose a budget reduction or did the contract come in under budget?

If the council has imposed a budget reduction, subject to delegations to finance committee if such exists, then if should have been agreed and resolved by a resolution.

If the contractor has delivered the specified service at a cost which is below budget that is either (a) good VfM from the contractor or (b) poor budget planning from the council.

Was there a budget uplift from previous years or have you changed contractor?
For environmental reasons we have decreased the cutting of grass from weekly to every fortnight. Hence less work so decreased costs. No change in contractor a change in the contract.
I’m intrigued on 2 fronts.
Firstly, whilst laudable to see a progressive environmental approach, are you saying that a 50% reduction (weekly to fortnightly through the growing season) equates to a £2k reduction to a £11k overhead?
A £2k reduction to an £11k spend after a 50% process reduction does not represent VfM - how could it?

Second, whilst environmental focus is an admirable concept, this is not very well considered.
Moving from weekly to fortnightly cuts does nothing to change the growing rate of the grass so each fortnight your contractor is doing 2 weeks work for £2k less per year.
A genuine environmental improvement would be the change from grass to wild flower and change from fortnightly to one per year cuts.
There is an upfront cost on moving from mono-culture grass to wildflower, but an enduring environmental improvement and a sustained cost saving (potential minor income generation opportunity) year on year once established.
After staff, grounds are probably amongst the bigger annual expenses for councils, you’d think councils would invest in some decent project management advice.

Welcome to Town & Parish Councillor Q&A, where you can ask questions and receive answers from other members of the community. All genuine questions and answers are welcome. Follow us on Twitter to see the latest questions as they are asked - click on the image button above or follow @TownCouncilQA. Posts from new members may be delayed as we are unfortunately obliged to check each one for spam. Spammers will be blacklisted.

You may find the following links useful:

We have a privacy policy and a cookie policy.

Clares Cushions logo Peacock cushion

Clare's Cushions creates beautiful hand made cushions and home accessories from gorgeous comtemporary fabrics. We have a fantastic selection of prints including Sophie Allport and Orla Kiely designs and most covers can be ordered either alone or with a cushion inner. Buying new cushions is an affordable and effective way to update your home interior, they're also a great gift idea. Visit our site now

Google Analytics Alternative