Deadline approaches for Clean and Green consultation

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Time is running out for local people to comment on the recommendations of an independent review of Derbyshire Dales District Council’s street cleansing and grounds maintenance services.

Since May, Dales residents have been urged to have their say on the findings of the review, which could see the two areas merged to create a more efficient and effective single ‘clean and green’ service that saves Council Tax payers £142,000 a year.

Street cleansing and grounds maintenance includes grass cutting, parks and sports pitch maintenance, street cleaning and litter picking.

A questionnaire is available to complete online at www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk/cleanandclean and paper versions are available from the District Council’s receptions desks at the Town Hall, Matlock, Bakewell Agricultural Business Centre and the four leisure centres in Ashbourne, Bakewell, Matlock and Wirksworth. Comments can also be sent by email to cleanandgreen@derbyshiredales.gov.uk. The deadline for returning the survey is Wednesday, July 24.

New proposals, which could be implemented at the start of next year, include:

Merging the two services together into a single ‘Clean and Green’ service to create a more efficient and effective service

Establishing two area-based teams to help reduce travel times, better utilise staff, use fewer vehicles and help deal with seasonal increases in workload

Improving the standards of services for the general public through more flexible working methods and scaling back the high level of service provided to some local sports clubs

Agreeing a new set of core standards defining what the street scene service will do and establishing consistent service standards across the district

Introducing a programme of education, community engagement and enforcement to help reduce littering, dog fouling and fly tipping

Together, these efficiency measures would help save an estimated £142,000 a year, on top of £123,000 a year savings following a recent round of voluntary redundancies in the two services.

The Government’s June spending review announcement means the District Council could be looking at a total 65% cut in Government grant over five years and a challenge of finding additional £1.7-million savings in the next two.

Director of Community Services for the district council, Peter Foley, said: “We continue to urge local people to have their say on these proposals. Local government is currently making difficult decisions to meet ever-increasing financial pressures. Clearly we have to become leaner, but find smarter ways of still delivering the services the people of the Derbyshire Dales have come to expect.

“Among the many questions we are asking the public is whether they agree or disagree that we should concentrate on work that benefits the most people.”

Major parks and gardens owned and maintained by the District Council include the recreation grounds in Ashbourne and Bakewell, Derwent Gardens and Lovers’ Walks in Matlock Bath, Bakewell’s Bath Gardens and the Green Flag Hall Leys Park in Matlock.