Operational Services - Grounds Maintenance
There is an opportunity, via Community Choices, to enable members of the community to influence the future work of the grounds maintenance service.
The grounds maintenance service for open spaces, parks, sports facilities, cemeteries, roadside verges and country parks includes cyclical activities such as grass cutting, weed spraying, shrub-bed maintenance and hedge cutting.The council introduced new service standards for grounds maintenance on 1 April 2019 and the council has set out its priorities within these services standards. There is an opportunity to engage with stakeholders, to enable members of the community to influence the service. The Community Choices process will follow the following structure:
- NOW COMPLETE - Stage 1- 7 June 2021 to 4 July 2021 - Survey of Grounds Maintenance Priorities. A high level survey was undertaken on a West Lothian wide basis on the existing grounds maintenance service standards. This is to help to confirm whether the communities of West Lothian feel that the focus and priorities of the existing service standards are appropriate. The survey was available via: Grounds Maintenance Survey (surveyhero.com) Alternative options to take part were publicised at the time to ensure those who don't have access to a digital device could have their voice heard. One such option was via telephone by calling 01506 284580 Monday to Thursday from 1-4pm over the weeks the survey was open as well as face to face support across various locations in West Lothian.
- NOW COMPLETE - Stage 2- July 2021 to September 2021 - review feedback. The results of the survey were analysed and the majority of the responses were supportive of the priorities set out in the service standards for Grounds Maintenance team. Following analysis of the consultation responses, council officers were able to identify three key themes suggested by the public as areas for improvement in the service. These were:
- Grass cutting - with over 1000 of the participants said they used parks and open spaces on a daily basis with 470 of those participants stating that grass cutting should be the council's top priority. Whilst the feedback suggests that grass cutting is a top priority the comments don't suggest additional grass cutting. Instead the majority of the comments suggest that the council adopts a more flexible approach to grass cutting; introducing the collection and removal of grass in some high amenity areas whilst leaving grass uncut to grow naturally in some areas of parks and open spaces to improve biodiversity.
- Maintenance of roadside verges and roundabouts - Nearly 700 respondents said they drive daily within West Lothian with approximately 23% of all participants saying that they viewed the maintenance of roadside verges and roundabouts as a key priority. Feedback from participants suggests increasing the frequency of cutting at junctions to maintain sightlines. The survey results also ask the council to consider introducing some planting or wildflowers on the approaches to towns and villages, and on roundabouts to improve the appearance of roadside verges and roundabouts at key locations throughout
- Wildflower meadows and summer beddings - Nearly 500 participants said they wanted to see more wildflower meadows and summer bedding areas across West Lothian to improve the natural habitat and biodiversity within West Lothian.
- Stage 3- Winter 2021 to Summer 2022 - Vote on proposals for improvements. The next stage of the process will see council officers look to progress options based on the suggestions from the public, if you would like to participate in the development of proposals please email WestLothianCommunityChoices@westlothian.gov.uk. Once the options have been developed members of the public will then be invited to vote on the proposals with this process anticipated to take place in the summer of 2022. The vote will be available via the digital engagement platform CONSUL with alternative options, including telephone, being made available to ensure everyone who wants to take part is able to do so. The results of the vote will then be shared publicly prior to the implementation of any changes. This stage will allow for more detailed conversations to be held with communities to better meet the priorities of each ward and to direct resources to ensure that community needs are being achieved.
- Stage 4- April 2022 - Implementation. The options selected by the community will begin to be put into action in the delivery
of Grounds Maintenance from April 2023 onwards.
This webpage will be updated as the processes progresses through each stage and will include links to relevant information.