THE era of DIY council services is near as communities across the county are urged to take on the likes of street cleaning and grass cutting for themselves.

Opposition group It’s Our County (IOC) says it’s time localism came to life as Herefordshire Council's 2014-15 service budget steers millions of pounds into roads at the expense of  - street cleaning and grass cutting.

"As it stands, spending within the Balfour Beatty Streetscene contract is skewed towards road management & maintenance, leaving such community-critical services as parks, open spaces, grass cutting, weed-killing, verges, litter and street cleaning described as discretionary," said IOC deputy leader Councillor Liz Harvey.

“The message is clear, the appearance of our neighbourhoods is no longer a priority for this council - it’s down to us," she said.

At grass roots, a number of local "In Bloom" groups are taking over flower beds and planting schemes  while sports clubs are in transfer talks over playing fields.

Communities are opting to have simple paths cut through green areas on estates and encouraging wild flowers and grasses for wildlife habitat to grow.

But Cllr Harvey says localism also means getting down and  dirty to take on littering and dog fouling.

"We have fines for both, let’s start using them,” said Cllr Harvey.

“Let’s start taking a pride in where we live, encouraging others to do the same and picking up litter when we see it dropped by others," she sad.

Parish councils in Ross & Ledbury have started community dog warden schemes.

As reported by the Hereford Times, highway maintenance is the priority for the draft service plan set for approval next month.

Councillor Price, cabinet member infrastructure, said that, as a consequence, sums to deliver routine services like grass cutting and street cleansing had reduced.

"We have had to make some difficult decisions about how and when these services are delivered," he said.