Great Marlow Parish council has announced it will take on the responsibility of certain rural maintenance tasks as the county council is forced to slash its budgets.

Last November the parish council said it was in a ‘dilemma’ as Bucks County Council encouraged local parishes to take charge of rural work with view to phase out the services by 2019.

And now parish councillors said they will oversee the upkeep of rights of way, hedge trimming and sliding out when the services are handed over by the county council in April.

A statement released by the council said: “This leaves very little time to arrange for the employment of service providers and managing the project with schedules and agreed performance standards.”

This decision comes as a ‘major change’ to GMPC as it currently only employs one clerk, with the rest of the team headed up by volunteers.

The statement continued: “In common with other small Parish Councils faced with the same dilemma, Great Marlow currently only employs a part time clerk.

“All other positions are filled by volunteers. It, therefore, represents a major change in the role of Parish Councils.”