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

2019

 

GM0687 - Income generation in parks - 290719

A member Council is currently exploring opportunities to generate additional revenue income through activities in its major parks and open spaces. Warwick District Council would be keen to hear from any local authorities that would be prepared to share case studies and further details of any initiatives (successful or otherwise) that they have undertaken to raise additional income in their open spaces. Any case studies of successful income generation activities would be welcomed but ideas currently being explored of specific interest include;

  • Splash Pads
  • High/Low Ropes
  • Big Wheels
  • Ticketed Events
  • Markets and other licensed activities

GM0686 - Landscape design services - 260719

A member authority is looking for information on landscape architects offering their landscape design services to other local authorities, particularly:

  • Have you employed the services of a landscape architect in the past?
  • Which services has the landscape architect carried out for you?
  • Which method of procurement have you used to employ them?
  • Have you requested hourly rates and can you give an indication of hourly rates?

GM0685 - Review of public convenience provision - 260719

A member authority is currently reviewing its public convenience service and the decision as to whether to continue to provide these facilities as a council function. They are aware that a number of authorities have ceased providing such a service but have entered agreements with café’s restaurants etc. to allow public use. They would therefore be interested to hear from those authorities which have ceased the service about the impacts:

  • Why they decided to close the service
  • How did they get agreement to close the service?
  • What alternative provision did they make?
  • How has it worked?
  • How did they notify the public about closing the service?
  • Any public reaction?

They would also be interested to know if any local authorities have re-established the service after closing it, and the reasons for this decision.


GM0684 - Use of tractors - 190719

A member authority is reviewing it use of tractors. As such they would be particularly interested in receiving information as to how other local authorities deal with the following issues

  • How long do you keep your tractor fleet for?
  • If you have changed your fleet recently what were the benefits?
  • What brand of tractor do you use?
  • What services do you provide using tractors?
  • What horse power rating is your tractor used in sports field mowing?
  • What attachment do you use for sports field mowing?
  • What type of tractor do you use for managing waste?

GM0683 - Play area review - 150719

A member authority is currently reviewing their approach to play areas. As such, they would like to know.

(i) What inspections other local authorities undertake on their play areas.

(ii) And on what frequencies these inspections are undertaken.

(iii) Do other local authorities have different inspection schedules for certain play areas across their areas?

(iv) How do other local authorities identify their inspection schedule?

(v) Do other local authorities undertake the play area inspection in-house or are they contracted out?


GM0682 - Commercial dog walking on council property - 150719

A member authority is looking for information regarding commercial dog walking within other local authorities. They are particularly interested in the following information:

  • Do any other Local Authorities have a cap on numbers for dogs walked by any one individual dog handler?
  • Do any other Local Authorities charge for commercial dog walking operations to use Local Authority property?
  • Do any other Local Authorities restrict times at any site for commercial dog walking operations?
  • Do any other Local Authorities issue any kind of licence for commercial dog walking operations?
  • Do any other Local Authorities have any PSPOs specific to numbers of dogs walked by an individual at any given site?

GM0681 - Policies/procedures for volunteer grass cutting – 200619

This Council are looking to set up a Council Volunteer Grass Cutting Scheme and would welcome copies of policies and procedures from other councils who have such arrangements in place. The procedure would ideally provide a standardised framework to administer the Volunteer Grass Cutting Scheme. The aim of this Scheme is to support and empower the local community as much as possible in their desire to assist with grass cutting operations whilst minimising the burden associated with co-ordination of these activities on local Grounds Maintenance Teams.


GM0680 - Grass cutting information / courtesy signage – 200619

A member authority is seeking information as to whether your authority currently or has previously, placed signs where grass cutting finishes on one panel to advise that work is ongoing and will continue in the area the following day on neighbouring panels - to avoid customer comment on unfinished work?


GM0679 - Procurement of ride on mowers and street sweepers - 190719

A local authority is about to go to tender to procure ride on mowers and street sweepers for their in house Streetcare service. Do any local authorities have experience of carrying out this exercise, in terms of any particularly good equipment/machinery in terms of long term usage/ positive results from usage, or any innovative practice in terms of electric vehicles etc.


GM0678 - Memorial bench policies – 120619

A member authority is attempting to formulate a policy for installing memorial benches on our parks. Interest in this scheme has mushroomed over the last year and whilst they have always been happy to accommodate such requests, they are finding there are numerous associated issues occurring. The main issue is the placing of floral and other tributes on such benches. They are therefore interested in information from member authorities that may have an existing policy that they would wish to share with them in the hope that they can come up with a solution. Any information sent will be used only in the formation of their own draft policy and not retained in any original form.


GM0677 - Call off framework for procurement of plants – 120619

A member authority is currently contemplating the procurement of trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants and bulbs and bedding plants via a call off framework tender to comply with the Council’s Contract Standing Orders. They are therefore interested to know if there are other authorities that have undertaken a similar exercise that might be willing to share documentation in order to assist them with this matter?


GM0676 - Safe guarding procedures for allotment tenants – 060619

A member council is looking to see if other authorities have safe guarding procedures in place on allotment plots for standard tenants. Do they have a written policy that they are willing to share?


GM0675 - Use of herbicides containing glyphosate – 060619

A member authority would like to know if other authorities are using herbicides containing glyphosate for weed control and whether any have ceased glyphosate use following a recent US court case outcome in relation to a herbicide containing glyphosate and potential carcinogenic properties of glyphosate. They would like to know:

1. Does your local authority currently use herbicides containing glyphosate?

2. Has your local authority opted to reduce or cease using herbicides containing glyphosate in future due to any potential carcinogenic properties?

3. If your local authority has opted to reduce or cease using herbicides containing glyphosate, what herbicides are you using instead?

4. Other than mulches, herbicides and mechanical weed control are there any other methods currently used by your local authority and if so what are these?


GM0674 - Ash Die Back Policies - 030619

A member authority is currently developing an overarching plan to address the challenges posed by ash dieback. In view of this, the local authority would like to learn from others and understand/have sight of any policy documents or action plans developed to address ash dieback.


GM0673 - Play inspection software programme - 030619

A member authority is looking for information on any play inspection software programmes which other local authorities use. Currently they use PSS Live for which they pay an annual sum of £11,256 for the licence. They are currently reviewing the system and would therefore be interested to hear about other programmes and how effective member authorities feel they are.


GM0672 - Monitoring Exposure To Vibration When Using Machinery - 230519

A member authority is looking for information regards what measures other authorities have in place to monitor the daily exposure their staff have in relation to vibration whilst using machinery, in particular:

  • What devices they use if any to monitor?
  • Why they chose to use the method they are using?
  • Is there any software and cost to maintain?
  • How easy is it to monitor the results?

GM0671 - Self management agreements for allotments - 200519

A member authority would be interested in receiving information from other Local Authorities regarding any self-management agreements for allotment sites that have been introduced. In addition to this, it would be helpful if the enquiring Local Authority could be sign posted to any Local Authorities within the network, who have introduced such agreements in order to allow them to make contact.


GM0670 - Review Of Existing TPO's - 200519

A member authority is looking to understand the following regarding TPOs :

  • Have your authority ever undertaken a review of existing TPOs before?
  • When was the review work last completed, how many TPOs did it cover and how long did it take you to complete?
  • If you have undertaken (or currently undertaking) TPO review work, was this a standalone project, a periodic review, or an ongoing routine task?
  • What triggers your reviews?
  • How do you resource your reviews? (for example, do you have a dedicated officer?)
  • What was the scale of your review? (for example, expressed in terms of numbers of TPOs)
  • After the review has been completed how do you ensure your TPO record are kept up to date and accurate? (do you have trigger points within existing processes or do you just await the next formalised review to update them?)

GM0669 -  Converting multiple parks depots into one - 230419

A member authority has a parks department which operates across several depots scattered across the district – all of which require investment to make them fit for purpose, suitable for modern work practices, secure etc. They are therefore looking at comparing this current set up against the setting up of a single central depot which provides a work base for the whole district. They are seeking information from other member authorities who may have faced the same problem, in particular:

  • What pros and cons have other authorities experienced from this change?
  • What learning points could other authorities share to help them with their decision making process?

GM0666 - Country Parks designation dates - 010419

A member authority is trying to find out when the first Country Park was designated under the powers of the 1968 Countryside Act. Two of their Country Parks were designated with effect from the 1st July 1970 and therefore they will be celebrating 50 Years next July. They would like to find out if their Country Parks were some of the first. They are therefore interested to discover names of parks and locations which were designated between 1968 and pre July 1970.


GM0665 - Contracting out highway and surface chemical weed control contracts - 010419

A member authority is enquiring whether any parks & grounds performance network member organisations contract out their highway and hard surface chemical weed control contracts? If so, what chemicals are specified, how many times a year is the treatment specified to take place and in which months and do they have copies of specifications they would be happy to share?


GM0664 - Selling tree logs from tree pruning - 250319

A member authority has currently set up a new tree gang and is enquiring about the following: • How do other authorities get rid of the logs they collect on site? They are also interested in hearing about whether other authorities sell to the public/businesses from manned sites and if any authority removes logs from one place to another to be sold?


GM0663 - Visual quality standards for open spaces and parks - 250319

A member authority is enquiring whether any local authority has any visual quality standards for open spaces and parks. For example, what is considered good or poor for - grass cutting - flower bed maintenance - hedge maintenance - football pitches - bowling greens - any other horticulture maintenance - Any other grounds maintenance standards If so, if you have photos these would be helpful in understanding grading e.g. grades A to D or similar.


GM0662 - Inspection costs for playgrounds - 150319

A member authority is interested to receive information on the Inspection costs other authorities incur. They are currently reviewing Playground inspection costs which other authorities are charged and therefore they are particularly looking for information on the following: .

1. The annual independent inspections carried out per site.

2. The Routine Internal Inspections carried out .

3. The frequencies the Internal inspections are being carried out.


GM0661 - Tree maintenance software - 150319

A member Council is exploring its options for upgrading the software which the tree unit uses to maintain an itinerary and maintenance actions against all its tree stock. They would be interested to receive any information about tree maintenance software utilised by other Council’s?


GM0660 - Successful replacement of glyphosate with alternatives - 130319

A member authority is looking for examples of any local authorities who have replaced glyphosate with an alternative herbicide and how successful this has been.

They would be particularly interested in the following information:

  • What alternative weed prevention methods have you used? (product name if applicable)
  • How long have you been using this approach/product?
  • Have the different products/approaches had the same impact in reducing weeds as glyphosate? ·
  • What are the cost differences as a result of using the alternative methods/products?
  • Has there been an increase in weeds in your local authority area as a result of reducing the use of glyphosate?
  • What has been the public reaction to banning/reducing the use of glyphosate?
  • Will you continue to use the alternative?
  • Does your service adopted an integrated weed control policy/approach where the use of chemical weed suppressants are significantly reduced?

GM0659 - Tree survey and inspection process - 130319

A member authority is reviewing their tree survey and inspection process and would be interested to know member authorities costs and approach.

1. Internal Calculated cost of carrying out individual tree surveys (inspection & producing report),

2. Charges from external contractors of carrying out individual tree surveys,

3. Frequency of surveys - On highways In Parks In School Grounds

4. National standard used for inspecting.


GM0658 - Managing water hygiene on allotment sites - 270219

A member authority is gathering evidence of how other authorities with allotment sites, managed either directly or through allotments associations, approach water hygiene in relation to provided site facilities i.e. water troughs, taps and tenants water butts.

This is in relation to Water Supply (Water Fittings) Regulations 1999, but more so for the growth of Legionella bacterium to be controlled under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. In addition guidance on hose pipes specifically under Health and Safe Executive (HSE) ACoP L8, BS8580:2010, ISO 17020, HSG274 Part 2.

Therefore due to the number of questions required to be answered we have created a short survey which we are asking relevant officers to complete, the findings of which we will share with respondents.


GM0657 - Charges for professional dog walkers using local authority parks - 270219

APSE is interested to know if any local authorities charge professional dog walkers for the use of their parks on the premise that they are operating as a business as opposed to a member of the public walking their dogs. Some councils have reported that there can be numerous incidents of professional dog walking during a normal day and because of this influx, bins need emptying more often as well as some of the greenspace areas are being affected due to dog urine and fouling.. Therefore APSE would be interested to hear from those authorities who have introduced charges for professional dog walkers using parks, as others have regards fitness professionals etc. who currently use local authority parks and greenspaces for their activities. If charges are levied, then how are these managed, for example via a permit/licence – or just making a request for a donation. Also how do you identify who is a professional dog walker, some have used the measure of anyone walking more than three dogs is classed as a professional dog walker. Finally if you do charge, what are the scale of charges implemented and how is it collected?


GM0656 - Asset Management Systems – 220219

A local authority is keen to understand experiences within the APSE membership of Asset Management Systems in place to assist in the care, management and oversight of the Natural Environment and would be very grateful for your help and feedback with the following questions. ·

  • What software systems do you have in place for assisting in the management of assets in the Natural Environment? (i.e. to record inspections, specify/commission/schedule works, customer contact etc.)
  • What assets in the Natural Environment does the system cover? (i.e. parks, countryside, beaches, trees, buildings etc.)
  • What of the following is included in the scope of the product? - Reactive works? - Pre-planned works? - Does it have an interface for the public? (i.e. public portal for queries) - Does it have an interface for contractors? ( i.e. confirm works completion etc.)
  • Further detail and feedback: - Is it GIS based? If known, which GIS map is used? - Is it ‘off the shelf’ or bespoke? - Is the system hosted by the provider or held on local systems? - Do you know if access is available through a contract framework which other local authorities could use? - Would you recommend the system as good value for money? Do you have any comments on the various components – which work particularly well for your purposes, which less so? - Any information you are happy to share on costs associated with use and development.

GM0655 - Grounds maintenance task and scheduling web-based software - 220219

A member authority is looking for information on grounds maintenance task and scheduling web-based software, that sends daily tasks direct to a tablet in the vehicle of grounds maintenance team.


GM0654 - Grass verge budgets and cutting frequencies - 180219

A member authority would like to know what budget allocations other authorities have as well as how often they cut the verges. They would like to know:

1. What is their budget for urban verge cutting and how many times do they cut per year?

2. What is their budget for rural verge cutting and how many times do they cut per year?

3. Please let us know your lengths of A, B, C & D class roads as well, if possible, to put above into context.

4. Any other supporting information that you think may be useful.


GM0653 - Funding sources for parks and greenspaces - 180219

APSE are interested to hear from member authorities as to:

  • the external funding sources they are currently aware of in relation to parks and greenspaces.
  • which of these funding opportunities they have applied for.
  • which ones they have successfully gained funding from.

GM0652 - Managing allotment sites - 040219

A member authority would be interested to know the following:

1. Are there any principal authorities who still manage allotment sites in parts of their geographical area of responsibility despite there being a Town or Parish Council in existence for the area where the allotment site is?

2. Where a principal authority answers yes to question 1, can they also provide a comment on why they do so given the direction in the Local Government Act 1972 and the Local Government (Parishes & Parish Councils) Regulations 1999, which place the focus for managing allotments onto Town / Parish Councils where they exist?

3. If any principal authority has been through the process of transferring allotment sites to a Town / Parish Council in the last 10 years, could they provide a comment on whether this was resisted by the Town / Parish Council and, if so, how they dealt with that


GM0651 - Pitch letting costs - 290119

A member authority is looking for comparisons regards their pitch letting costs? They would be interested to note how much the local councils charge for the years lease of:

  • A full sized football pitch with changing facilities
  • A full sized football pitch without changing facilities
  • A junior pitch with changing facilities
  • A junior pitch without changing facilities

In addition they would like to know other authorities demand for adult pitches because the national trend is for this to be in decline but this year they have increased their lettings. Have other authorities seen a similar increase?


GM0650 - Allotment Management Policy and Processes - 290119

A member Authority is reviewing its’ Allotments Management Policy and Processes, and would be very grateful for any information that colleagues could provide on the points below:

  • Local Authority population size?
  • How many allotment sites the LA has?
  • How many allotment plots the LA has?
  • Plot vacancy No’s / % of total plots available
  • How many individuals are on allotment waiting list?
  • Cost per rod/m2?
  • Annual rent increase for 2019/20 & 2020/21?
  • How are your allotment sites managed, by LA or independent bodies, if so who?
  • Are allotment sites maintained by LA or independent bodies, if so who?

GM0648 - Output base for grass cutting - 210119

A request for information has been received from a member authority regarding as to whether any other authority has taken an output based approach to grass cutting. 

If so,

  • Is this an absolute or ranged in terms of grass length (2, 3 or 4 inch absolute or a ranged 2 to 4 inch – 3 to 5 inch etc.),
  • How has it been scheduled and has performance against expectations been achieved?
  • What are the key performance indicators
  • Has a review has been undertaken to assess whether working to outputs rather than inputs has improved performance and resource deployment.

GM0647 - Integration of Grounds Maintenance and Street Cleansing services - 210119

A member authority is keen to find out if any local authorities, have, are in the process of fully integrating Grounds Maintenance and Street Cleansing, into a Street scene Service. They are keen to understand the advantages and pitfalls from others experience. They are particularly interested in the following information:

  • Does your integrated service operate seasonal hours?
  • Would you be agreeable to a site visit to witness the integrated service in operation? The enquiring authority is also keen to hear if any authorities have tried to deliver commercial income from Grounds Maintenance and with what levels of success have they achieved?

GM0646 - Arboriculture Service Review – 040119

A member authority is currently undertaking a process to review their Arboriculture Services and are looking to obtain some key data to allow them to compare their service to other councils. To help them, they would be very grateful if other councils could answer the following questions:

  • Annual cost of tree maintenance including overheads?
  • Number of trees managed (if known)?
  • How many staff involved in the management of your tree stock?
  • Do you have any in house direct Arb. contract staff?
  • Area responsible for in km2?
  • Population within area responsible for?

GM0645 - Commercial dog walking - 040119

A member authority has had a steady increase in commercial dog walkers using our parks which has resulted in a couple of sites having multiple walkers exercising, together along with the regular non-commercial walkers meaning there are often more than a dozen dogs off lead yet are not breaching any PSPO. We recently had an incident where an employee was attacked and received several puncture wounds. The dog was subsequently destroyed. This has prompted our Park Ranger Manager to ask me to pose the following questions;

  • Does your authority require a license for commercial dog walkers to use their park land?
  • If Yes, how much does your authority charge for the license?
  • Is there a code of conduct or similar that comes with the license?

GM0648 - Output base for grass cutting - 210119

A request for information has been received from a member authority regarding as to whether any other authority has taken an output based approach to grass cutting. 

If so,

  • Is this an absolute or ranged in terms of grass length (2, 3 or 4 inch absolute or a ranged 2 to 4 inch – 3 to 5 inch etc.),
  • How has it been scheduled and has performance against expectations been achieved?
  • What are the key performance indicators
  • Has a review has been undertaken to assess whether working to outputs rather than inputs has improved performance and resource deployment.

GM0647 - Integration of Grounds Maintenance and Street Cleansing services - 210119

A member authority is keen to find out if any local authorities, have, are in the process of fully integrating Grounds Maintenance and Street Cleansing, into a Street scene Service. They are keen to understand the advantages and pitfalls from others experience. They are particularly interested in the following information:

  • Does your integrated service operate seasonal hours?
  • Would you be agreeable to a site visit to witness the integrated service in operation? The enquiring authority is also keen to hear if any authorities have tried to deliver commercial income from Grounds Maintenance and with what levels of success have they achieved?

GM0646 - Arboriculture Service Review – 040119

A member authority is currently undertaking a process to review their Arboriculture Services and are looking to obtain some key data to allow them to compare their service to other councils. To help them, they would be very grateful if other councils could answer the following questions:

  • Annual cost of tree maintenance including overheads?
  • Number of trees managed (if known)?
  • How many staff involved in the management of your tree stock?
  • Do you have any in house direct Arb. contract staff?
  • Area responsible for in km2?
  • Population within area responsible for?

GM0645 - Commercial dog walking - 040119

A member authority has had a steady increase in commercial dog walkers using our parks which has resulted in a couple of sites having multiple walkers exercising, together along with the regular non-commercial walkers meaning there are often more than a dozen dogs off lead yet are not breaching any PSPO. We recently had an incident where an employee was attacked and received several puncture wounds. The dog was subsequently destroyed. This has prompted our Park Ranger Manager to ask me to pose the following questions;

  • Does your authority require a license for commercial dog walkers to use their park land?
  • If Yes, how much does your authority charge for the license?
  • Is there a code of conduct or similar that comes with the license?

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