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Grounds Maintenance Service Standards

Grounds Maintenance Service Standards

In order to provide a degree of operational planning, service standards for grounds maintenance activities have been designed around resource availability, zoning methodology and the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse that defines standards for cleanliness and weed growth. 

Grounds Maintenance Standards that are maintained and are as follows:-

Zone / CategoryZone Summary / RemarksGrass CuttingWeed SprayingHedge Cutting
1  - Town CentreThis would include areas of high footfall associated with educational establishment, particularly secondary and primary schools12 x annually2 x annually1 x annually
2 - Residential (high density)Terraced, tenement, flatted housing and educational establishments12 x annually2 x annually1 x annually
3 - Residential (low density)

Detached and semi-detached

Housing and educational establishments

12 x annually2 x annually1 x annually
4 - Sports fields and facilitiesFootball pitches, athletic fields etc. and all sports facilities managed by West Lothian Council12 x annually2 x annuallyAd Hoc
5- Open spaces and parksOpen spaces and parks not classified as common ground12 x annually2 x annuallyAd Hoc
6 - Industrial areasAreas of common ground within industrial estates12 x annually2 x annuallyAd Hoc
7 - Classified roads and verges not included in zones 1 - 3Classified Roads (A, B and C) linking towns and residential areas1 x annuallyAd HocAd Hoc
8 - Rural roads and verges including Livingston GreenwaysThese areas have specific health and safety requirements to ensure safe operation1 x annuallyAd HocAd Hoc

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Have there been changes to grounds maintenance and grass cutting services?

Yes we made a number of changes to routine services such as grass cutting and grounds maintenance from April 2019.  We're not stopping any parts of the service and the council still maintains a large number of areas, but we have reduced the level of service in some.  

No reductions have been made in town centres or residential areas.


The level of budget reductions that the council has to manage is going to have an impact on local services and it is impossible to continue to keep all services operating as they currently do. There is just not enough funding available to maintain the current level of service. Some services, which are non-statutory (This means the council does not have a legal responsibility to provide the service), must be delivered in another way, which impacts upon this service standard.

The council is making changes to a number of services as they seek to balance increasing demand for services with insufficient grant funding from the Scottish Government. Over the next four years, the council faces a budget gap of over £51million as a result of Scottish Government grant funding not being sufficient to meet increased costs faced by the council.

Savings of £15million will be made in 2019/20. The council is expected to have delivered nearly £157 million of savings between 2007/2008 and March 2023.

Who should I contact if I have an enquiry relating to Ground Maintenance?

Please use our Report It pages to contact us regarding Grounds Maintenance issues

What routine ground maintenance tasks will be delivered from 1st April 2019?

During the summer months, grass areas in parks and open spaces will be cut a maximum of  12 times between April and October. Weed control visits will take place a maximum of twice per year, again between April and October.

Shrub beds will receive one maintenance visit over the winter period, including pruning overhanging shrubs, removal of weeds and other debris. Depending on the timing, a residual weedkiller will also be included in this visit, otherwise will be included in the one summer weedkiller application.

Hedges will be cut once a year, starting in October.

Verges adjacent to classified roads will be cut once a year, during the summer months. We will only maintain sightlines at junctions on all other road verges. Maintenance frequencies are based on a zoning system, linked to the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Will WLC provide any flower beds, hanging baskets or planters?

No, we are unable to provide this service with current resources.

Can local community groups or volunteers take on this role?

Yes, providing they have a sustainable plan and resources to do this. If your community group is considering taking responsibility for the maintenance of a shrub or flower bed, please use our Report it pages to contact us regarding Grounds Maintenance issues.

What areas are included in the weed control programme?

Weeds are controlled in shrub beds, grass edges, hard landscaped areas and road/footpath channels.

What chemicals do you use for weed control?

The main chemical used is Glyphosate, which is used to kill weeds that are present at the time of a visit. We also use flazasulfuron to prevent weeds growing in shrub beds. Both chemicals are approved for the use on the areas mentioned above.

Have you looked at alternative methods of weed control?

Yes, in 2017 we trialled a few alternatives that were deemed to be more suitable, hot water treatment, vinegar and burning. None of these proved as effective and were all considerably more costly that Glyphosate.

Will you carry out any works other grass cutting and weed control?

Yes, some other minor ground maintenance or environmental tasks will be carried out on an ad-hoc basis by two Neighbourhood Environmental Teams. These will be identified as a result of public enquiries and will include. cutting back shrubs, graffiti removal, fly tipping removal, tidying overgrown areas. Each enquiry would be assessed individually, to check whether works are already scheduled or require more immediate action. Enquiries relating to health and safety will be prioritised. In any event we are committed to providing a response to our customers within three days of receiving an enquiry. 

Will you still mark sports pitch lines?

Yes, the lines on football pitches within parks and schools will be burned in using weedkiller at the start of each season, to provide an indicator for teams to overmark prior to games taking place. Athletics lines are also marked in schools from Easter to the summer holidays.

Where can I find more details of your Service Standards?

Full details are available: