HEREFORD councillors have given the go-ahead to their ambitious vision which could see street cleaning and car parking charges taken over by the city council.

Hereford City Council last week approved its business plan which sets out their intention to take over more services including some managed by Herefordshire Council.

Councillors hope to fund some of these services by using unspent earmarked reserves from past projects.

They also say that taking over car parking charges would off set some of the increased financial burden.

Mayor Kath Hey said the plans had been long in the making.

“A lot of blood, sweat and tears has gone into this,” she said.

“We should be taking ownership of activities in the city but that will come back to committee.”

Town clerk Steve Kerry said the business plan was work in progress.

“The community development committee came up with a list of proposals mainly around taking things over that Herefordshire Council is struggling to fund,” he said.

“Now the plan is approved, the finance committee will work out how to budget all of this.

“Off street parking has the possibility of generating substantial revenue for council while all the others have the probability of substantial expenditure.

“It may well be prudent to have off street parking fairly high up on the agenda possibly alongside the first service to be taken over, be that streets or parks or whatever it might be so that there is something to limit the impact on the council tax payer.”

He also told the council that earmarked reserves for things which were planned for in the past would be unattached.

The business plan says the city council will consider asking for part of King George’s and Bishop’s Meadow parks.

And they will also look to deliver with partners a programme of events including Historic Hereford Day, fireworks on Castle Green and supporting the river carnival and Christmas markets.

A Herefordshire Council spokesperson said: “We have had discussions with Hereford City Council to explore the ways in which we can continue to work together to deliver certain public realm services in the city.

"We have explored how the city council might work alongside Herefordshire Council to deliver the best possible level of service in the city centre area.

"No decisions have yet been made but we are interested in continuing these discussions with our valued partners at the city council.”