Record wet weather blamed on lack of grass cutting

Very long grass
Work will continue to cut the grass at open spaces across Stafford, the council said [BBC]

Long grass at open spaces across Stafford has sparked complaints from residents but council staff said work was taking place to tidy it up.

The wet spring had led to challenging conditions for the borough council’s streetscene team, which maintained public open spaces such as parks, the authority said.

Councillors have been inundated with complaints, the Community Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee meeting heard.

Councillor Ann Edgeller said: “I think there has been a lot of talk over the last few months about grass cutting.

“What people have got to understand is we have had the wettest winter since 1835. The people in streetscene have not been able to do the job they want to do.

“Now we have got the better weather coming along. I’m told we are going to move forward, get the places tidied up, everywhere is going to look beautiful and we are having some new equipment."

But Councillor Marnie Phillips said some areas of Stafford looked better than others.

“Nobody has come out and strimmed the areas so we’ve got street signs that are completely obscured by long grass," she said.

"That is not to do with the equipment and more to do, I think, with the fact that some of the cuts are not being scrutinised.

“Some areas are looking quite neglected – The Meadows is one area I can think of and Coton is looking like nobody cares."

Joss Presland, the council’s head of operations, said staff had "really struggled to cut the grass" amid all the rain.

“It didn’t grow for a long time and then as soon as we had a warm spell it’s grown, then we had more wet weather.

"We could have 30 machines on the go and there’s no way we would keep up with it.”

This news was gathered by the Local Democracy Reporting Service which covers councils and other public service organisations.

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