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2018 (Part 2)


GM0644 - Pay scale for employees working on boats - 201218

This local authority would be interested to hear from other local authorities who have responsibility for clearing waterways. Can you advise what your current pay scale is for employees with responsibility for working on boats?

GM0643 - Commissioning and specifying the construction of cafes within parks - 201218

A member authority is currently considering building two cafes to either run themselves or lease out. One cafe will be in a riverside setting, whist the other is in a rural setting within a disused golf course that is being transformed in to a mountain bike park/trail. Specifically, does any member have experience in commissioning a cafe build and specification (size, number of covers, equipment, catering offering), in house run or leased/franchised and how successful has it been.

GM0642 - Sharing of parks events strategies - 131218

A member authority is updating its parks events strategy and would be grateful if colleagues could share with them their Parks events strategy, policies and procedures.

GM0641 - Synthetic Brush Maintenance on Synthetic Pitches - 131218

This authority would like to ask if others carry out synthetic brush maintenance on their synthetic pitches that they have on their leisure and educational facilities, and if they do this in-house or is it contracted out?

GM0640 - Job Structures, Job Descriptions and Skills for parks professionals - 061218

APSE is currently working with Government as part of the Parks Action Group (PAG) to identify the skills and knowledge required by parks professionals to meet the demands of the changing parks service.

APSE is therefore asking its members to provide if possible, a parks employee structure together with job descriptions and the expected skills, knowledge and if relevant, qualification requirements at each stage of the structure/job description.

As part of your response APSE would also be interested in any comments you may have about any difficulties you have in sourcing training for particular areas of skills required.

GM0639 - Public Parks Management Plans - 031218

A member authority is enquiring whether any APSE Members would be willing to provide information or copies of their Public Parks Management Plan. The enquiring authority is moving toward gaining the Green Flag award, so any help or advice would be gratefully received.

GM0638 - Sponsorship and support of parks - 031218

This local authority are exploring options for sponsorship and support of parks and would welcome examples of successful approaches taken by local authorities. Copies of any leaflets / policies etc would be appreciated.

GM0637 - Use of different surfaces for accessibility within play areas and open spaces - 051218

A member authority is considering different surfaces for accessibility within play areas and open spaces. They are particularly interested to learn about the following:

  • safety surfacing in play areas – particularly in areas prone to vandalism. What products are other authorities using that are the most vandal resistant but allow good accessibility.
  • grass reinforcement products that increase accessibility opportunities in less formal sites such as country parks.

GM0636 - Risk assessments for pedestrian operated mowing machinery - 051218

A member authority is seeking information from other councils as to: 

1) As part of your Risk assessments does your authority insist that eye protection is worn by the operator when using pedestrian operated mowing machinery? If yes … Does this also apply to Ride on Mowing Machinery and hand held blowers / hedge trimmers ?

2) Does your authority provide prescription safety glasses for operatives?

GM0635 - Supplementary Planning Document values for leisure and recreation - 261118

A member authority is presently looking at updating and revising its Supplementary Planning Document on leisure and recreation. The basis for the contribution will be along the lines of the six acre standard however, we need a bench mark price per square metre for each of the typologies:

  • Local Play
  • Neighbourhood play
  • Local Parks
  • District Parks

I appreciate there are lots of variables but a fixed figure is required for clarity. – for both provision and maintenance. The enquiring authority is enquiring if other authorities have carried out some form of benchmarking or perhaps even come at it in a different way?

GM0634 - Tree inspection regimes - 231118

Recently there was an accident involving a roadside tree falling onto a bus and nearby house.

The resultant court ruling Wiley Parish Council v Cavanagh (2018) EWCA Civ 2232 , stated that Councils and property owners with responsibility for a substantial number of trees should be fully re-examining their tree inspection regimes (in particular for roadside trees) taking into account the size, type and location of each and every tree and the risk to both people and property in the event of a failure, and therefore any regime that simply involves treating tree stock as a whole, essentially a “one size fits all” inspection policy with no regard to specific risk is likely to be considered insufficient

The court ruling has generated some concerns and questions into the systems frequencies and record keeping of an enquiring authority.

The enquiring authority is therefore interested to discover, in relation to Inspection frequencies for trees, have any other local authorities revised or considering your frequencies of inspection and record keeping. The enquiring authority is particularly interested to receive information regarding:

  • Frequencies for Tree inspection Highways, Parks, Open Spaces, Other
  • Types of software systems / GIS system to keep records plans in place
  • Number of Trees Highways ,Parks, Open Spaces etc.
  • Staffing resources for inspection or contracted out
  • Prioritising Inspections / maintenance dependant on Location Type Age Size etc.
  • Have you spoken to your Insurers on this and what is their opinion

GM0633 - Allotment charges per square meter - 231118

A member authority wants to benchmark allotment rents, their allotment holders currently pay 20p per square metre, They would be interested to learn what other local authorities their current price per metre.

GM0632 - Operating seasonal bedding schemes - 091118

A member authority is interested to find out how other local authorities operate their seasonal bedding? This includes:

  • doing the bed designs
  • calculating the plant number
  • the explaining the elements of the operational side of the work.

They wish to know if other authorities have a system i.e. a database that calculates how many plants needed per bed and if so what system is used and how effective is it? The enquiring authority is trying to make their service more efficient and receiving this information would be very help to know how other authorities operate their seasonal bedding.

GM0631 - Mobile working and workforce scheduling within Parks, Streets and Open Spaces Service - 091118

This local authority is currently implementing mobile working and workforce scheduling within their Parks, Streets and Open Spaces Service. PSOS includes all grounds maintenance, play areas, arboreal and street cleansing activities. To assist them with their implementation they would be grateful for information regarding:-

1. Do you use a mobile working solution for grounds maintenance, play areas, arboreal and street cleansing activities?

2. Do you use electronic workforce scheduling for these operatives?

3. What back office asset management system do you use?

4. How are your operational teams organised i.e. activity focused or carrying out range of activities within a geographical area?

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.






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