County fails to keep grass neat and tidy
Parishes asked to take over maintenance tasks
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.”