Bourne Town council takes on grass cutting duties

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Bourne Town Council has vowed to maintain grass cutting in the town as other authorities withdraw their support for the service due to budget cuts.

Lincolnshire County Council is reducing its grass cutting provision from nine cuts a year to just two, while South Kesteven District Council, who undertook the work on behalf of the county, is now only prepared to meet their responsibilities for maintaining recreation facilities.

During the current financial year, the town council has employed a local contractor to meet the shortfall in grass cutting provision, with the costs being met from reserves.

The town council is now proposing to continue to maintain grass cutting in the parish for the coming year, increasing its share of council tax to pay for the service.

A spokesperson for the town council said: “During the current year and in order to maintain the Parish of Bourne as an attractive and pleasant place in which to live, work and play, Bourne Town Council has employed a local contractor to meet the service shortfall. The council has been encouraged by the positive comments made by residents on the work undertaken by our contractor and believe this service should continue.

“Whilst the council cannot replicate the loss of certain services provided by other authorities, where it can, it will endeavour to do so for the benefit of the community.”

To cover the loss of some services, the town council has entered into discussion with SKDC about the employment of a community cleaner on a 50/50 basis, employed an apprentice to assist the Clerk to the Council with his increased responsibilities and work load and employed a further apprentice to assist at the cemetery.

In order to finance these additional operational costs in its budget for 2018-19, the town council is proposing to increase its element of Council Tax by £1 per annum for each household.

The spokesperson said: “The council has over recent years been successful in achieving in, real terms, a reduction in contributions made by residents, the current average being £26pa, but in considering the precept for 2018/19 an increase of between four to five per cent is being considered for next year.”

The final budget proposals are to be discussed by the council’s finance committee on Tuesday.

The town council would welcome comments on its proposals and the proposed precept increase. You can give your views in writing to the Clerk to the Council, Bourne Town Council, SK Community Point, 3 Abbey Road, Bourne PE10 9EF or by email to clerk.bournetc@btconnect.com