'Use sheep to cut grass to save money', councils told

Will Green is news editor of Supply Management
9 November 2013

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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.”

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