Association for Public Service Excellence
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • apse Blog
Who we are
What we do


HAVS management practices – GM0264/131211
This authority would like to hear from other authorities who have developed good HAVS management practices within their ground maintenance service.

Income generation for parks – GM0259/021111
This authority would appreciate feedback from other councils in relation to income generation on parks and open spaces.

  • Do you allow fun fairs to operate on your parks and green spaces?
  • How do you procure their services, tendered contract (if so length of contract period), licence,
  • annual quotes, etc?
  • What is the daily funfair charge rate? (does this include set up and dismantle times?)
  • Do you operate any form of sponsorship packages, can you please provide details?
  • Do you charge for community events, if so how much?
  • Do you charge for school use other than sports bookings? (if so please detail the private/state split)
  • Do you have any other income generating projects/schemes?

Additional information: Verge/ horticultural maintenance on central reservations, roundabouts and high speed roads
Thank you for responding to the recent APSE network query on what methods of operation you use to ensure employees and road users are not put at risk when carrying out Verge/ horticultural maintenance on central reservations, roundabouts and high speed roads. The authority has asked us to email everyone who responded to this query to ask how you manage roads of 40MPH or less.

Tractor driver discomfort – GM0262/221111
This authority is currently running two tractors (no front suspension) on multi-use block patterned tyres. Drivers have complained about the comfort of the ride whilst traveling between sites. The Council has adjusted tyre pressures and ballasted the tractor accordingly, this has had little effect on the drive comfort. This Council would like to ask if any other authority has experienced similar driver comfort problems and how they resolved these issues.

Charging for trade waste collections – RSC0455/211111

This authority would like to know what other authorities charge for trade waste collections and how do they treat charities and schools etc with regards to charging.

High Hedges Legislation– GM0261/151111
Northern Ireland is introducing High Hedges legislation in March 2012 and this council in Northern Ireland would like to learn from our colleagues in England and Wales, from their experiences and best practice. They would be very keen to hear back from Local Authorities on:

  • Lessons learnt
  • How you went about implementing the High Hedges legislation
  • How it was managed and resourced

Finally, would you be willing to talk to this council about your experiences and give some positive direction.

GMO258 111011 Filming in parks
This authority would be interested to find out if other authorities hire their parks out to commercial companies (such as production companies) to film in their parks. They would like to know what other councils charge for this and/or how they deal with these requests from companies.

Service to bereaved families – GM0260/081111
This local authority would like to know if any other local authorities have investigated or considered the potential income stream that may be realised through offering a complete service to bereaved families from Registration of death to burial/cremation including all elements of the service normally provided by a local Funeral Director.

GM0256 041011 Verge/ horticultural maintenance on central reservations, roundabouts and high speed roads
This council are reviewing the system of work it has in place for verge/ horticultural maintenance on central reservations, roundabouts and high speed roads.  They would like to know what other local authorities are doing in relation to this type of works. For example what methods of operation are you using to ensure employees and road users are not put at risk?

GMO257 071011 Framework contracts for landscape schemes
This authority is looking at setting up framework contacts for small landscape schemes (such as play, MUGA’s and small environmental schemes) and would like to know which authorities currently have framework contracts in place, how they assembled this and how they operate it.

Eye protection for grass cutting on mowing operations – GM0257/070911
This authority would like to know whether other local authority grounds maintenance services staff wear eye protection whilst carrying out grass cutting on mowing operations, on both pedestrian and ride on mowers.

Additional garden waste bins – RSC0443/270711
This local authority would like to find out whether any other councils offer an additional garden waste bin to residents with large gardens, and if so, do you charge for them?

Carrying Coffins – GM0253/270711
It is common practice for this member authority to allow grave diggers to assist funeral directors when carrying coffins from the hearse to the grave side. In an attempt to reduce risks, staff have been ordered to “only to assist by lifting the foot end of the coffin” as there is less weight there. However staff are still receiving injuries. 

As such, this authority would be very interested in any suggestions/ideas and practices employed by other authorities that may reduce the risk of injury further. Any assistance would be most gratefully received.

Allotment policies – GM0251/220711
This authority are doing some research on establishing an Allotments Policy and would like to find out if any other authority’s have a written policy on standards for allotments:

  • percentages and a definition of cultivation
  • standards of expected behaviour
  • a tenancy type agreement

Novel public toileting solutions – GM0254/020811
This authority is currently looking at the different ways in which public toilet provision may be facilitated within its area. As such they would be obliged to hear of examples of public toilet provision that other member local authorities operate. They are currently aware of Community Toilet Schemes and are already operators of Automatic Public Toilets. Consequently, they are especially keen to hear about alternative types of provision, which for example, may include:

  • Temporary toilet provision (typically associated with events in public spaces etc.)
  • Novel (alternative / innovative) and effective solutions to meeting public toileting demands

Management and maintenance of banks/slopes GMO250/110711
This local authority would like to know what other local authorities are doing in relation to the management and maintenance of banks/slopes, for instance, they would like to know what type of machinery other councils use; ride ons, pedestrian mowers, etc. Are you categorising the slopes/banks dependant on the gradient? If so, what are the maximum gradients you currently use for each type of machinery?

War memorials GMO249/110711
This authority leaves commemorative poppy wreaths on war memorials for months after 11 November remembrance day. Do other authorities have a written policy on how long wreaths at war memorials are in place?

Exhumation Charges – GM0244/080611
An APSE member would like to know:

what other local authorities charge for carrying out cemetery exhumations, and whether they make the following payments to staff for undertaking such duties

a .normal rates

b. enhanced rates

c. dirt allowance

d. other allowance/payment

Please specify which rates are paid and detail any other allowances or payments made.

Reducing costs in environmental services – G0055/170611
This council is interested in finding out what types of changes councils have made to look to reduce costs in Street Scene (Grounds Maintenance, Street Cleansing, Winter Gritting, Pest Control) and Waste and Recycling services. For example:

  • Reductions in Grass Cutting / Street Cleansing Frequency?
  • Reductions in Bin Collection Frequency?
  • Target / Quality Standard Reductions? 
  • Weekend and Overtime Reductions?

Any other operation changes with a cost saving objective.

Burial lairs – GM0242/180511
This authority has a cemetery management rule which allow take back of burial lairs unused after 70 years. The authority has no recent experience of the procedure for this, can any authority help out with guidance.

Weed control of Dandelions – GM0240/100511
This local authority has a major problem with Dandelions in a lot of their areas. They do not spray affected areas, and there is an environmental concern. They would like to find out what other authorities are doing, as part of their weed control.

Park risk assessment and safety inspections – GM0241/100511
This council do not have site risk assessments and regular inspections for their parks. They would like to know what other authorities do in relation to this.

Framework agreement for grounds maintenance supplies – GM0243/260511
This local authority is setting up a procurement framework for:

  • Seeds, plants & trees
  • Horticulture tools & equipment (i.e. hand tools, not petrol or motorised)
  • Other supplies (e.g. soil / composting / top dressings / pesticides / aggregates)

They would like to hear from other authorities who would be willing to share any similar contractual arrangements/evaluation documents, so that they can use these to refer to during the process.

Charges for the use of parks and green spaces for events – GM0221/011210
This authority would like to find out the prices that different Parks/Green Space departments charge for the use of parks and green spaces for events. They are currently reviewing their charging policy and would appreciate any information on what other Authorities charge in similar circumstances.

HAVS management system – GM0238/240211
In order to minimise/stop the potential of the workforce been affected by Hand Arm Vibration (HAV's) this Council have purchased an electronic vibration management system from Reactec.

They are enquiring if any other APSE members are using or have experience of such a system. They would like to speak with other users about the effectiveness of the system and how they can most benefit from it.

Grounds maintenance scheduling – GM0238/030311
This councils Parks Service is in the process of replacing its existing Grounds Maintenance Scheduling System and would like to know of any Local Authorities who actually use a computer based system to schedule their work. They would be interested in the following:

  • What work scheduling system do you use for grounds maintenance?
  • Do you use this for the inputting of timesheets i.e. Inputting of actual hours worked against
  • individual tasks to enable the extraction of reports to compare actual hours against programmed

Charging for Tree Preservation Orders or Definitive Maps - GM0234/220211
This authority would like to find out how much other Local Authorities charge for requests made by external Solicitors for copies of Tree Preservation Orders or Definitive Maps showing public rights of ways. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Pricing service level agreements for Grounds Maintenance at schools – GM0236/110211
This council’s grounds service are looking for a more cost effective method for pricing service level agreements for Grounds Maintenance at schools. They would appreciate if you could either share the standard minute values that you use or please provide details if you have some other way of charging for a service delivery that covers all costs for schools maintenance work.

Pitch audits – GM0231/200111
This council would like to know if any other Local Authorities have carried out a pitch audit for parks' pitches. Any information on this would be appreciated.

Traffic safety on grass maintenance – GM0230/120111
This authority would like to know of if any parks departments, who have responsibility for grass maintenance or floral displays which are adjacent to the public road (medians, roundabouts and verges etc), have been asked to implement Chapter-8, Part-1 & 2 of the Traffic Safety Measures & Signs for Road Works and Temporary Situations, including Code of Practice "Safety at Street Works and Road Works"?

OR, have they considered these Regulations/COP and taken advise as to how parks maintenance

Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.






  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • apse Blog