County fails to keep grass neat and tidy

Parishes asked to take over main­te­nance tasks

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By Jo-Anne Rowney jo-anne.rowney@trin­i­tymir­

GRASS cut­ting teams in Bucks have not car­ried out their job prop­erly this year, ac­cord­ing to the coun­cil­lor re­spon­si­ble for the work.

Ruth Vigor-Hed­derly, Bucks County Coun­cil’s cabi­net mem­ber for trans­porta­tion, told the au­thor­ity at its lat­est meet­ing that it had failed with its grass main­te­nance ser­vice this year.

“We will not pro­vide this ser­vice next year,” she said. “There will be a dif­fer­ent ser­vice on grass cut­ting.

“I have not got the en­ergy or the will power to go back through what we have been through this year, and nei­ther have my of­fi­cers.”

The coun­cil is hold­ing dis­cus­sions with parish and town coun­cils on how they can take on road­side main­te­nance tasks as a de­volved ser­vice from the county. Some towns and parishes have al­ready taken on ser­vices, with 23 agree­ments signed in June.

Ser­vices to be de­volved in­clude grass and hedge cut­ting, graf­fiti re­moval and tree trim­ming and felling. The county will pro­vide the fund­ing for agreed ser­vices, fol­low­ing a scheme orig­i­nally put for­ward in 2008.

Amer­sham Town Coun­cil has set up an agree­ment, join­ing Ger­rards Cross, Che­nies, Lit­tle Mis­senden, Stoke Man­dev­ille and Coleshill parish coun­cils.

Stewk­ley Parish Coun­cil has joined up with four other parishes to take on the work.

Mrs Vigor-Hed­derly said: “The way that Stewk­ley has set up their ar­range­ment, and the Amer­sham agree­ment as well, are such good ex­am­ples to other parishes who are con­sid­er­ing join­ing in with the scheme.”

The county hopes more parishes will join to­gether to cut costs and pro­vide more ser­vices than just grass cut­ting.

Its lo­cal­i­ties man­ager, Paul Hod­son, said: “It has to be vi­able – the aim is to cut down on costs, and give the coun­cils more say in the ser­vices peo­ple gen­er­ally ask them about, like grass cut­ting and graf­fiti.”

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