Local Maintenance Partnership (LMP)

The Local Maintenance Partnership (LMP), developed by Cornwall Council, is a unique partnering of the Local Authority and the active involvement of over 170 Parish and Town Councils. Cash grants are made to local (parish and town) councils which organise trimming and minor works on local public rights of way.

For further information on the path classification criteria referred to below, please see Cornwall Council Gold, Silver and Bronze Criteria.

  • Provide reimbursement for the work with a grant of £110 per kilometre per cut on Gold paths and £44 per kilometre for Silver paths;
  • Provide technical advice and support to the local council;
  • Carry out roadside signing and major structural works, such as replacing defective bridges, in line with published path priorities.
  • Maintain Gold paths and cut Silver paths if necessary;
  • Appoint a co-ordinator to liaise with the Operational Delivery Area Rangers. This can be the Clerk, a Councillor or any member of the local community;
  • Submit claims for grant with supporting invoices;
  • Check and hold copies of contractors' public liability insurance and training certificates.
  • Cornwall Council sends an information pack with a map, path schedules and a calculation of eligible grant available. This is updated every year;
  • The local council pays the contractor and arranges for work to be done and submits claims for eligible grant;
  • Cornwall Council reimburses claims.

Decide what work you want to do

  • Local councils have some discretion to prioritise works but they have to produce (with Cornwall Council) a ‘cutting map’ showing where trimming needs to take place on Gold paths;
  • Local councils should be prepared to respond to reports from the public with regard to vegetation problems on the paths;
  • Path surfaces given a good cut at the beginning of the season (May/June) will require less attention later on. One comprehensive cut may be sufficient in many cases. To avoid disturbing nesting birds, any major clearance work should be done between October and March;
  • Trimming standards - paths should be maintained consistent with their level of use and legal status (e.g. footpath or bridleway). As a guide, footpaths should be cleared to a width of 1.5 metres (where possible). Bridleways should be cleared to a width of 2.5 metres. For environmental reasons vegetation trimmings should be disposed of neatly on site.

Finding a good contractor is the key to success in the Local Maintenance Partnership. Local councils should follow any guidance or recommendations set by the National Association of Local Councils with regard to tendering. If necessary, advertisements can be placed in a local newspaper, parish magazine or on the parish notice board. A recommendation is often a good way of finding a contractor.

The local council should seek to procure the highest standard of work for the sum available. A local council can reserve the right not to accept the lowest tender.

It is essential that local contractors:

  • Have a feel for the work, can be flexible and have a proven track record;
  • Have public liability insurance (minimum £5 million cover) copies of which must be held by the local council;
  • Be suitably equipped and hold appropriate training certificates. NB This is an important aspect since domestic hand and power tools are inadequate for path clearance works. Copies must be held by the local council.

Cornwall Council will provide:

  • Advice regarding contractor tendering processes, documentation is available on request;
  • Advice regarding insurance and contractor certification;
  • Advice in enabling contractors to seek certification as necessary;
  • 'Gold', 'silver' and 'bronze' path priorities are set by Cornwall Council but status can be reviewed by request at any time of the year.

The contractor must understand the job to be carried out. The cutting map and schedule agreed between the parish/town council and Cornwall Council at the start of the year can be used as the specifications for the job.

If a path falls within a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), then Cornwall Council may provide advice on how to avoid damage to the site. Cornwall Council will provide a suitable parish map to each member for this purpose.