EARLS Colne is to get more than £2,500 to cut grass and repair footpaths as part of a new pilot scheme.

The village is among 14 town and parish councils across Essex to get a share of £51,000 to take on more highways services from County Hall.

Under the plans Essex County Council will hand responsibility for some highway services to the councils for 12 months.

Each council signed up will be given 68p per resident or £1,000, whichever is the greater amount.

The pilot began last Friday and will run until the end of February 2020.

The parish councils signed up will be given responsibility for snow clearance and salting footpaths, minor repairs to paths, verge cutting, weed control and tree trimming.

They will also take control of public right of way maintenance, bus shelters and repairing road signs.

In total £51,300 will be shared between the 14 councils. Earls Colne Parish Council will get just over £2,500.

A report said: “Each council will be provided with a grant and will be responsible for determining how the grant is spent within their area to deliver the services.

“The councils will be expected to either use volunteers or contractors in order to deliver the services and will be permitted to purchase equipment using the grant in order that volunteers can carry out the work.

“Essex Highways will assist the councils by providing health and safety training/guidance ahead of them commencing out any work and will be available to provide specific health and safety advice during the 12-month pilot period.”

A review will be carried out by County Hall six months into the pilot scheme to consider rolling the initiative out to more councils.