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GM0752 - Managing of fishing pools by community groups - 200820

A member council is undertaking a review of the agreements it has with community groups regards managing fishing pools.

They would be interested to know if any member authorities would be willing to share and leases / licences or stewardship agreements to assist them in their review.


GM0749 - Permitting travelling funfairs to green spaces - 040820

A member authority is enquiring if other councils are permitting travelling funfairs to green spaces in their area?

If so, would they be willing to share any guidance or risk assessments with the enquiring council?

The enquiring council would be grateful for any specific health and safety management such as Track and Trace, Fenced perimeter etc.

GM0748 - Opening playgrounds with no other measures other than signage - 040820

A member wishes to know if any other authorities have opened play areas without any measures but signage?

The enquiring authority haven’t opened their play areas yet as they are unsure whether signage asking the public to abide by social distancing rules would be sufficient if challenged.

Any information, risk assessments etc. would be greatly appreciated.

GM0747 - Illegal swimming in lakes and reservoirs - 310720

A member authority has an ongoing issue with illegal swimming in lakes and reservoirs during hot weather and are looking at new ways to manage these issues.

They would therefore be interested to hear for any other local authority who have introduced safe outdoor swimming areas in open water bodies or allow ‘wild swimming’ in any of their open waters.

In particular they would like to know:

1. Do you just facilitate or do you encourage ‘wild swimming’?
2. What measures do you take to mitigate safety concerns?
3. What are the resource implications of this activity (e.g. lifeguards, changing, literature, signage)?


GM0740 - Grounds maintenance - hedges - 010720

A member authority is looking for information on hedge maintenance in those areas where a tractor cannot gain access and are therefore currently maintained using a henchman (access platform) which proves to be labour intensive and slow.

Are any members using motorised access platforms or any other machinery that would be more efficient?


GM0745a - Management of bowling greens - 090720

A member authority is interested to know how other councils are managing their bowling greens, in particular:

• Have you transferred responsibly for the management and maintenance of your outdoor bowling greens to bowls clubs or community organisations?
• If yes , could you please outline which responsibilities have transferred to the club/s organisations and what responsibilities have been retained by the Council?

If possible would you please share the management agreement document between the Council and the bowls clubs/community organisations.


GM0745 - Ceasing grounds maintenance on land the council does not own but has historically maintained - 070720

A local authority member in Scotland is investigating the potential of ceasing grounds maintenance on land that they don’t own but have historically maintained. Have any members undertaken a similar exercise and if so what lessons learned can be shared?


GM0744 - Permitting waste and grounds maintenance staff to wear shorts - 070720

A member authority is are looking for information regarding whether or not other local authorities permit operational Refuse, Cleansing and Grounds Maintenance staff to wear shorts in hot weather (where long trousers are not required as part of PPE for certain tasks/machinery operation).

They would be interested to receive any policy documents on this issue.


GM0737 - Approaches to cutting grass around trees, posts, fence lines and other obstacles - 150620

A member authority is interested to hear from any local authority which has explored alternative ways to cut around obstacles, or adapted strimmers to reduce the risk of debris being propelled at high speed from the head and causing damage.

In particular they wish to know how operators cutting in tight areas, around trees and posts and under fence lines?


GM0736 - ANPR as a means to implement charges on parks car park users - 150620

A member authority is looking at the feasibility of APNR as a means to allow charges to those who use Parks Car Parks.
They would therefore be interested to know the following:

• Have you had any experience of installing an ANPR system for the purposes of charging the users of parks car parks?
• What timescale did it take to get the ANPR system up and running?
• Who administers the system, including issuing of fines, i.e. in-house or fully contracted?
• Would you consider the use of ANPR to be a 'success' either financially or in controlling the number of cars?


GM0735 - Policies for flying drones over council owned land - 100620

A member authority is looking for examples of Council policy on requests to fly drones over Council land.

They are aware of the National Trust policy but they are looking for a good local authority example to help them adapt it to suit their needs.


GM0734 - Grey squirrel management in parks - 100620

A member authority is enquiring regarding grey squirrel management in parks.

They would like to know what techniques others have deployed to manage and reduce grey squirrel numbers in parks.


GM0727 - Alternative methods of managing open space - 220520

This local authority is preparing a briefing report on alternative methods of managing open space primarily grassland (roadside verges, cemeteries, parks, general open space etc.) but also woodlands, bedding & shrubberies and would appreciate information from local authorities who have already prepared reports on the pros and cons (environmental and financial perspectives etc) of managing open space in a more wildlife friendly / biodiverse way.

In particular the following information would be most helpful:
1. Methods / approaches taken to the transformation
2. Costs to transform open space to wildflowers etc.
3. Revenue savings - or cost neutral (this may vary depending on scale / type of open space)
4. Who co-ordinated work - was it a council officer / consultant / other?
5. Any other general advice / learning experience that they are willing to share e.g. what would they do differently
6. Community engagement


GM0733 - Charging for dogs off lead in designated area of parks - 110520

A member authority has an enclosed field within a park that is unused at the moment.
They would like to hire it out to local residents who need to let their dogs off the lead in secure space. Currently there is a local business operating a scheme like this this for which they charge £10/hour, max 4 dogs.

The enquiring authority would like to know if any other local authorities offer this service?

If so:
• How does it work for you? What advice and top tips would you give? What learnings could you share?
• How do dog owners book and pay?
• What adaptations have you made to the service during COVID-19?
• What is public perception of this service during COVID-19 and current social distancing measures?


GM0732 - Working with volunteer groups - 290420

A member authority is interested to know if local authorities permit volunteers to use power tools (such as chainsaws, brush cutters, strimmer’s, hedge cutter, pressure, washers etc) whilst on site?

Any information/policies/risk assessments would be gratefully received.


GM0731 - Appointment of street cleansing/Parks Manager - 290420

A member authority is looking for examples of structures and some sample job description / specifications which would be suitable for use in helping to

appoint a manager that has both grounds and street cleansing operational experience along with parks development / strategy?

Any help/advice you can give would be greatly appreciated.


GM0730 - Allotment review - 220420

A member authority is currently reviewing its allotments policy and would be interested to know how other authorities deal with the following issues:

• Does your local authority charge your annual plot rental fees in any pro rata basis? i.e. when they take over a plot during a financial year do you charge them for the remaining number of months in the year, or do you charge them the full years cost regardless of when they take over the plot.

If you do run a pro rata basis can you please elaborate on your process.

• Do you ask new plot-holders for a deposit (along with their first annual rental fee payment), that could be refunded to them once the plot is eventually relinquished, or alternatively used to cover the costs of any potential remedial works to the plot if required when it is relinquished?

If so, can you please elaborate on your deposit process.


GM0729 - Garden Tidy Schemes - 240320

A member authority is looking for information around any garden tidy schemes that other authorities provide or have dropped, in particular:

• What are their vetting conditions for acceptance onto the scheme
• Cost to provide service, Cost recovery only, profitable, loss?
• What service they provide i.e. No. of Grass Cuts, Hedge cuts etc

If the authority has managed to stop the service. How did they go about this and get approval?


GM0728 - Managing parks in high winds - 200320

A member authority is keen to learn if any local authorities have a process for managing parks during high winds.

They are particularly interested in the following:

• Do you routinely lock parks or restrict access (where this is possible) during periods of high winds or storm conditions?
• If so, what criteria (e.g. wind speed) do you use to determine when you restrict access?
Where you cannot restrict access such as woodland areas or unfenced open spaces, what action do you take (temporary warning signs, social media alerts, additional patrols, etc.)


GM0726 - Water Butts utilization on allotment sites - 120320

A member authority is looking into utilization of Water Butts by other authorities on their allotment sites.

They would like to know the following.

Have you implemented water butt schemes in your allotments?

If yes, can you share details of these schemes?

Do allotment holders pay for their own water butts or are they provided by the council?

Is there need for regulations?

What have your general experiences been?


GM0725 - Alternative fuel ride on grass mowers - 020320

A member authority is looking to update its Ride On Grass cutting fleet in the short to medium term and they would be interested to hear if other authorities have moved away from petrol/diesel units to alternative ‘fuels’ – battery, hydrogen etc.

If so with what has been the level of success of these vehicles ?


GM0724 - Review of grounds maintenance teams working hours - 240220

A member authority is currently reviewing its Grounds Maintenance teams and their working hours.
The teams currently work annualised hours, 45 in a summer and 28 in a winter.

As part of the review process the enquiring authority would be interested in receiving information and possibly visiting any Authorities which operate different systems.


GM0722 - Preventing access to motorbikes through parks via the use of Public Space Protection Orders - 190220

A member authority would like to hear from any local authority parks service that has consulted on and implemented Public Space Protection Orders in relation to prohibiting the use of off road motorcycles throughout its parks / public open space provision.


GM0720 - Wildflower strategies - 140220

A member authority is keen to know whether any other authorities have a Wildflower Strategy or are in the process of developing one?

They would be happy to receive copies or information on any existing or proposed strategies.


GM0721 - Schools unauthorised use of parks for PE lessons - 140220

A member authority has 1 Free and 1 Trust Schools that have been using their parks, open spaces and commons without their consent for PE lessons.

They may want to prevent these schools using their parks and open spaces because of the impact on the parks and park users.

They have raised the matter with their Legal team and await a response but the enquiring authority would appreciate feedback from other authorities as to how they approach this issue.

a. Do Free and Trust Schools require permission from your Council to use your public parks, open spaces and commons for PE and other lessons?

b. Do you charge LA schools, Trust schools, Private schools and Private nurseries for use of your parks, open spaces and commons for use of these sites for Forest School lessons?


GM0723 - Water play areas - 190220

This authority has an enclosed water play area in one of their local parks. This consists of a plantroom; water storage tank; jets and activator pads built into a colourful wetpour base. The area (approx.. 250m2) is surrounded by metal fencing. It was installed in 2000 through grant funding but is now at the end of its life (everything needs replaced apart from underground pipes). They would like to explore other water play options for this space that may be more financially viable and easier to maintain.


GM0719 - Managing the maintenance of goal posts - 030220

A member authority is enquiring asking about football post inspection regimes and the erecting/dismantling of goal posts?

They are interested to know if other authorities have a specific inspection regime relating to football pitches, which are let out to members of the public/clubs, which check the safety/integrity of football posts and if so what this entails and how often is it carried out.

They also wish to know if other authorities leave their posts up all year or if they remove them at the end of the season.
If they do remove and store them how do they do this and if they would be willing to share any safe working practices for this operation?

The enquiring authority tends to leave their goal posts up all year but it is to the detriment of the playing surface so they are wondering what other LAs do.


GM0718 - Parks volunteers and DBS checks - 230120

A member authority is seeking information regarding the approach other local authorities take with regards to volunteers and DBS.

They are particularly interested in the following:

Do you DBS check volunteers?
Do you DBS check members of Park Friends of Groups?
Do you require contractors within parks to be DBS checked?


GM0717 - Contractor push mowers - 230120

A member authority would like to receive information regarding contractor push mowers, in particular:-

1. What type of rotary petrol push mowers are being used to maintain gardens and grass verges within your Service?
2. Can you advise if the rotary machine has been proven to withstand vigorous daily use?
3. What are the vibration ratings while being used during the daily cutting activities?
4. Is there a tried and tested electric rotary push mower on the market which has been proven to withstand vigorous daily use?
5. What are the vibration rating while being used during the daily cutting activities?
6. What is the usage time and life time of a battery?


GM0716 - Local authority rewilding projects- 030120

APSE is interested to know whether any local authorities are currently implementing or considering rewilding any of their greenspaces.
If so:

• What are the types of land categories they are considering rewilding e.g. parks, brown field site, cemeteries etc.?
• What is the size of the area they are proposing to re-wild?
• Are there any particular objectives to the rewilding project e.g. specific species preservation or re-introduction, flood prevention, climate change alleviation etc.?
• What level of community involvement is there?
• How are they funding the work being undertaken?
• Do they expect and savings or income by rewilding?

Please provide any other information you think may be useful.



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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