New Highways Self Help scheme empowers Suffolk people to do more in their community

'Highways Community Self Help’ is designed to support and empower town and parish councils in Suffolk to carry out minor maintenance tasks in their area.

The much-anticipated scheme has been developed in partnership with towns and parishes across Suffolk after it was recognised that many of these councils were willing to carry out additional works to maintain and improve the look of their communities, such as sign cleaning, hedge cutting, and fingerpost painting.

Highways has committed £100k to the scheme in its first year, taken from the £9.67million additional funding allocated to Suffolk Highways by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, in the Budget last October. The investment will help fund training; personal protective gear such as gloves, hi-viz and safety glasses; and any necessary tools.

The types of works that town and parish councils are keen to undertake include:

  • Sign cleaning
  • Fingerpost cleaning/painting/repair
  • Tree pruning/branch removal
  • Hedge cutting/pruning
  • Siding out of footways, or paths (widen to original/full width)
  • Grass verge cutting
  • Weed killing/weed removal.

Towns and parishes across Suffolk will be able to carry out these tasks and more through one or more of the following four options:

  • Buying in services from contractors
  • Using their own trained employee(s)
  • Using volunteers to undertake work
  • Buying additional services from Suffolk Highways.

Councillor Mary Evans, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Highways, Transport and Rural Affairs, said:

“Community Self Help is a further stepping-stone in our bid to work closely with towns and villages throughout Suffolk to achieve even more for our highways across the county

“I am very pleased to be launching such a long-awaited scheme and am delighted to see the interest we have had in it so far.

“This new scheme allows us to work with town and parish councils across the county who have a great sense of community spirit and pride. The scheme will empower them to undertake minor maintenance tasks on their public spaces about which they care so deeply."

Towns and parishes that are interested in joining Community Self Help are encouraged to visit: www.suffolk.gov.uk/communityselfhelp for more details.