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Local Maintenance Partnership

The Local Maintenance Partnership (LMP) (developed by Cornwall Council) is a partnering of the Local Authority with over 170 Parish and Town Councils. It provides cash grants to local (parish and town) councils to organise trimming and minor works on public rights of way.

View further information on path classification for the Gold, Silver and Bronze Criteria.

About the partnership

Cornwall Council agrees to:

  • Provide reimbursement for the work with a grant of £125.89 per kilometre per cut on gold paths and £50.36 per kilometre for silver paths. Also, a payment of £6.29 is made available for the cutting of isolated gates and stiles on gold paths
  • Provide technical advice and support to the local council
  • Carry out major structural works, such as replacing defective bridges, in line with published path priorities

The local Council agrees to:

  • 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

How the Partnership works

Cornwall Council sends a pack with a map, path schedules and a calculation of eligible grant available (updated every year). The local council pays the contractor and arranges the work and submits claims for eligible grant. Cornwall Council will then reimburse claims.

Getting Started

Decide what work you want to do

  • Local councils can prioritise works but they must produce (with Cornwall Council) a ‘cutting map’ to show trimming needs on Gold paths
  • Local councils must prepare to respond to public reports on path vegetation problems
  • Path surfaces given a good cut at the beginning of the season (May/June) need less attention later on. One comprehensive cut may be enough in many cases. To avoid disturbing nesting birds, major clearance work should be carried out between October and March
  • Trimming standards: Path maintenance should be consistent with their usage 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

Appointing a Contractor

Finding a good contractor is the key to success in the Local Maintenance Partnership. Local councils should follow National Association of Local Councils guidance for tendering. If necessary, advertisements can be in a local newspaper, parish magazine/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.

Local contractors need to:

  • 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 equipped and hold appropriate training certificates. NB. Domestic hand and power tools are inadequate for path clearance works. Copies must be held by the local council

Cornwall Council will provide:

  • Advice about contractor tendering processes, documentation is available on request
  • Advice about 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

Work Specification

The contractor must understand the job to do. 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 job specification.

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.


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