SPRINGTIME flower bedding displays could be scrapped in Argyll and Bute under budget proposals to be debated this week.

Councillors are also set to mull over the prospect of a reduction in street cleaning and maintenance of sports pitches, play areas and grassland – with some lower priority areas left to grow wild.

The plans will be discussed at the authority’s policy and resources committee on Thursday, February 14, and are likely to be continued to a meeting of the full council seven days later.

The proposals for floral displays and area maintenance are laid out in an extensive document for the 2019/20 budget planning process by head of strategic finance Kirsty Flanagan.

The report states: “The proposal for this service through this template is a 10 per cent reduction to current resources.

“This further 10 per cent would result in a reduction in the level of grassland maintenance, street sweeping, and maintenance of pitches and play areas.

“This would be noticeable with either a reduction to maintenance of all grassland areas or alternatively high profile areas being maintained to a standard similar to current day and lower priority areas being left to grow wild.

“As part of the reduction in service delivery, it would be proposed that spring bedding displays would cease but summer bedding continue.

“We will endeavour to seek sponsorship for any of the bedding areas to reduce the reduction in grassland maintenance; however, from previous attempts there is limited confidence.”

The report goes on to acknowledge that there are risks to the potential service cuts, including litter and increased flytipping.

It also states that there is a risk of damage to equipment due to longer grassland being harder to maintain, along with a detrimental effect on economic development and tourism.

It is estimated that the proposed reductions to the service would save the council nearly £500,000 over the next three financial years, with £120,000 being saved in 2019/20.

The report adds: “Should this saving option be progressed, it is suggested that an area by area specification be brought to the environment, development and infrastructure committee for consideration.

“This would set out the frequency of grass cuts, sweeping and cleansing and the areas that would not be treated for each of the four administrative areas. The budget reduction would be taken pro rata from existing budgets, for each of the four areas.”