Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser
MSP’S safety concerns as areas ‘grow wild’
Airdrie’s MSP has joined calls for action to be taken over the growing issues of grass cutting and weeds across North Lanarkshire.
Neil Gray says the rising level of uncut grass across the authority area is becoming a safety issue as overgrown verges create a visibility problem for drivers, while playparks need to be cut back to allow youngsters to enjoy them safely.
He has written to the council’s chief executive about the issue and has also asked if restorative justice teams could be deployed to help maintain the area’s cemeteries.
Mr Gray said he has been approached by constituents voicing their concerns about the condition of the area’s outdoor spaces, which he says are “being left to grow wild”.
He said: “Grass is either being cut and leaving the edges, or not being done at all.
“This can be especially distressing for those visiting loved ones’ graves, and is also preventing children from playing in grass playparks.
“Motorists have also raised concerns that the height of verges are blocking views of traffic at roundabouts and on country roads.”
In one email to chief executive Des Murray outlining concerns from “a large number of constituents” about Glenmavis cemetery in particular, he notes that the required maintenance equipment is available at the site.
North Lanarkshire Council decided in its 2019 budget to stop cutting grass in public areas not in council ownership, to save £90,000 per year.
The policy was initially implemented as planned last April, but then reversed for last summer only, following public complaints.
Council officials then confirmed the decision that they would no longer be maintaining such privately-owned spaces after the end of the 2020 grasscutting season last October.
A council spokesperson said: “We are still experiencing significant operational restrictions as a result of the pandemic.
“While grass in cemeteries is cut approximately fortnightly from April to October, we recognise there is an issue with weed growth around headstones and on some pathways – this has arisen following the council’s decision last year to cease using weedkillers containing glyphosate.
“A trial of alternative products is underway but there is no single, costeffective treatment available at this time.”