RESPONSIBILITY for cutting grass verges, picking up litter and emptying bins has been passed on from Wyre Forest Council to Wolverley and Cookley Parish Council.

Under a new three-year agreement, the parish council will take on extra duties from April 1 to keep the villages clean, tidy and looking good.

The deal involves the district council giving the parish council grants totalling around £29,000 over the three-year period to cover costs.

Wyre Forest Council will thereby save £10,000 through reduced vehicle and fuel costs and freeing up staff for other services.

It is part of the council’s localism initiative to reduce spending and give local bodies a greater say in how services are run.

The initiative recently saw Kidderminster Town Council take over management of the town hall.

Wyre Forest Council leader Marcus Hart said: “Our localism initiative is going from strength to strength. I’m delighted we have been able to support Wolverley and Cookley Parish Council to take on greater responsibility with financial support from us.

“Not only does localism help local organisations get more directly involved in running services for the benefit of our communities, it can also help us make savings and efficiencies in the long term.”

Parish council chairman Robin Drew added: “This now allows the parish council to have greater control over the services provided and by working directly with our two local contractors we feel the standards and quality of services will greatly enhance the appearance of our villages.”