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Council plans to cut back on floral displays
CHEAPER plants are on the way to Worcester as part of a series of cuts in spending by the city council.
The council’s cleaner and greener department, which looks after parks and open spaces, is to cut spending by £111,000 from April.
About £6,000 will be shaved off sustainable plants spending, with bosses saying seasonal displays are likely to be replaced by flowers which last for several months rather than just weeks.
A huge review is also going to take place of bin collections across Worcester – to see if money can be saved from fuel costs by getting rounds done quicker.
Bosses also say they plan to reduce spending on outside agency workers and stop paying an external security company to safely lock up some sports pitches and parks late at night.
The job will instead fall to in-house staff, who will use their flexible hours to go out at night and make each one secure.
The cuts were outlined during a debate about spending for 2013/14 at the performance management and budget scrutiny committee.
David Sutton, head of the cleaner and greener department, said: “This is largely down to being more efficient to save money.
“For example, we’ve not got a phone number people can call if their bin hasn’t been collected.
“They can use a voice recognition system to report it straight to the depot.
“It is much more efficient and saves a missed collection having to be passed through several pairs of hands first.”
During the debate he said seasonal bedding would be reduced in the city to cut the £6,000 from floral displays, and that street cleaning would also be examined to see if savings can be made.
“There are challenges in making savings of this size to the budget, but we have confidence in our ability to deliver them,” he said.
The city council, which spends about £23 million a year on day-to-day services, is cutting about 26 jobs by 2015 and £1.2 million from the budget.