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Councils looking to save money have been advised to use sheep to cut the grass and encourage staff to buy and water pot plants.
The measures are part of a report from the Taxpayers' Alliance comprising 201 ways for local authorities to save cash, including scrapping chauffeur-driven cars, encouraging more houseboats to increase revenue from mooring fees, and halting the practice of “producing leaflets for silly reasons”.
Along with ceasing spending on speed cameras, road humps and “providing free meals for councillors”, the report urges councils to outsource, reduce procurement bureaucracy and share services and purchasing with neighbouring authorities.
The report said: “Where appropriate use cattle and sheep to graze on council land rather than spending money on grass cutting.”
The list was compiled by Harry Phibbs, a Conservative councillor at Hammersmith and Fulham Council, who said: “The scale of the ideas on this list is deliberately varied. Some items – such as outsourcing, sharing services and debt interest reduction – can each amount to tens or even hundreds of millions in annual savings for larger local authorities.
“Other items are more modest, amounting to a few thousand. Some could be shrugged off as mere common sense – missing the point that common sense is a rare and precious commodity in local government.
“Often reducing spending can be achieved not merely while maintaining a service, but while enhancing it.”