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Town Council bins street scene duties

Created on 01/07/2020 @ 20:03
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In its bid to save the Welshpool tax payer thousands of pounds, the town council has handed its loss-making Street Scene Contract to Powys County Council, but two jobs will be lost as a result.

The contract was offered to town and community councils by Powys County Council over three years ago and it includes emptying the bins, fly tipping, cutting grass verges as well as some open spaces and weeding in verges and highways within the Welshpool 30mph limit.

Councils were offered a grant towards the cost of taking on these duties, but Welshpool Town Council was the only council who took up the offer and it soon became a financial burden on the town’s tax payers.

But yesterday marked the first day that the responsibility was handed back to Powys County Council.

Below we carry the full statement issued to us by the Town Council explaining the decision:

“Welshpool Town Council terminated the Street Scene Contract on June 30, 2020. This means from July 1 that Powys CC revert to emptying the bins in the car parks, main street and central areas of the town, fly tipping, are responsible for grass cutting verges and some open spaces and weeding in verges and highways within the Welshpool 30mph limit.

“The decision was made due to the high costs to the Town Council and the minimal grant given to them by Powys CC which after negotiation with them the grant could not be lifted to a financially viable level due to their financial constraints. Welshpool Town Council were the only Council who accepted the offer to take over a street scene contract when offered out by Powys CC about three years ago.

“To the Town Council, the service has been running at a loss since it was taken over by them. The Town Council was given a grant of £17,800 annually from Powys CC and without the majority of the salary costs included, the cost of running the service for the 2019/2020 financial year was £41,641, although this excludes some generic costs e.g. maintenance of equipment accounted for through other outdoor and recreation budgets.

“The Council did receive a small grant from the Burgess Land Trust which is in the accounts reducing the costs by £6,000, however, it is not sure at the current time whether this grant should have been made and may have to be repaid.

“As part of the relinquishing of the contract, two Town Council staff were made redundant. Powys CC were not able to have the staff TUPED to them as they could absorb the contract into other staff roles within the council.

“The Town Council outdoor staff will continue to concentrate on all their open spaces, play areas and sports pitches as well as the day to day work on and in the Town Council buildings.”

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