AS CUTS and austerity measures bite Ledbury Town Council could find itself running a whole raft of services that were once the preserve of cash-strapped Herefordshire Council.

Talks have already taken place between representatives of the town council and the authority, and high on the agenda was the question of what to do with Ledbury’s public toilets in Church Lane and off Bye Street.

Other areas include library opening times and street cleaning.

In her report to Ledbury Town Council Coun Liz Harvey, a Herefordshire Councillor for Ledbury, said the town council could take them on “since the county intends to close them otherwise”.

She said the representatives involved in the debate included officers from Herefordshire Council, Coun Phill Bettington, another Herefordshire Councillor for Ledbury; Ledbury’s mayor Terry Widdows, and deputy Bob Barnes.

She added: “We touched upon street cleaning, bin emptying, grass and hedge cutting, weed killing, drain and ditch maintenance.

“The meeting was held ahead of the recent announcement that Balfour Beaty is the preferred bidder for the £200m street scene contract with the county council, but we were told the new contractor will be required to hold dialogue with each locality, to agree the approach to service delivery.”

This means the level of service could actually differ from town to town.

Coun Harvey also revealed that, because of a £9.5m hole in Herefordshire Council’s budget “cuts to library opening times are likely to be faced in Ledbury well ahead of the library moving to the Master’s House”

Town councillors also discussed taking on the licence for registration services for weddings for the remainder of the licence period, to September 2014, otherwise Ledbury people seeking to be married by a council registrar would have to go to Hereford, due to the cuts.

They agreed to let the matter be looked into by the town’s accommodation working party.

Town councillors also discussed whether or not they should take on repairs to the town ancient cobbled areas, such as Church Lane.

A number of cobbles have been dislodged or have disappeared, but repairs are a special task in a conservation area.

Coun Martin Eager said: “It is just a case of someone being capable of doing the job.”

Herefordshire’s Contractor, Amey, has advised the town council that due to lack of funds it was “unlikely that repairs to the cobbles would be carried out”, despite the requests.