PAIN IN THE GRASS: Growing anger over lack of grass cuttings

Long grass, Windsor Bank. EMN-171206-123404001
Long grass, Windsor Bank. EMN-171206-123404001

You are well and truly grassed off! Cuts to the grass-cutting budget have left residents in Boston and the surrounding villages fuming and after highlighting concerns in Wyberton and Fishtoft, we have been inundated with messages calling for immediate action to be taken.

Some say the overgrown grass makes it dangerous when pulling out of junctions, while others fear the state of the verges will put visitors off as it looks like ‘nobody cares’.

Long grass, Verge around the allotments on Wyberton Low Road. EMN-171206-123438001

Long grass, Verge around the allotments on Wyberton Low Road. EMN-171206-123438001

Lincolnshire County Council says its twice-yearly ‘safety’ trims (down from three) ‘strikes the right balance – it keeps our roads safe, while ensuring the service remains affordable’.

The amenity area cuts have been chopped altogether with many parishes taking this on.

There has been a growing demand on social media for something to be done about ‘overgrown’ grass in the area since the county council made cuts to its cutting budget.

Following recent stories more and more residents have contacted us to give their views.

Long grass, The corner between Golf Yard and River bank on Fishtoft Road. EMN-171206-123353001

Long grass, The corner between Golf Yard and River bank on Fishtoft Road. EMN-171206-123353001

Comments, including ‘disgusting’, ‘terrible’, ‘disgrace’ and ‘it’s a joke’ have all been made.

Michael Burgess commented on Facebook: “London Road looks a complete overgrown mess... never seen it like this before. People approaching the town must get the impression that nobody cares.”

Dawn Tomlin wrote: “It’s disgusting... Parthian Avenue is around a foot tall and down Horncastle Road ya can’t even see the benches that you should be able to sit on and admire the scenery.”

Meanwhile Jackie Sykes said: “Top of Drainside South going onto the old Spalding/London Road to can not see the traffic from Kirton when turning left.”

Long grass, Ralphs Lane, Boston. EMN-171206-123415001

Long grass, Ralphs Lane, Boston. EMN-171206-123415001

Some however, have suggested residents take it on themselves - one saying ‘we’ve been cutting our own grass frontages for years’ while another added they would rather this than cuts to the NHS/schools and police.

Lincolnshire County Council is only funding two cuts a year at locations where overgrown grass ‘could cause a safety issue’ as part of a bid to save cash. It says the move protects other areas such as pothole repairs.

Any amenity cutting - to keep areas looking nice - will have to be taken on by parish and districts councils.

It is expected this will save the county council £850,000 per year.

Long grass, Verge around the allotments on Wyberton Low Road. EMN-171206-123427001

Long grass, Verge around the allotments on Wyberton Low Road. EMN-171206-123427001

So far Fosdyke, Kirton, Sutterton, Wyberton and Swineshead parish councils have agreed to cut some verges on behalf of LCC, and Boston Borough Council is doing the amenity cutting in the town.

Last week, however, Wyberton Parish Council apologised for the state of the verges in the village but said it had not had enough time to get any contractors in place.

It asked residents to ‘bear with us’ but warned the ‘extra cost would have to be ‘borne by the rate payers’.

Kirton Parish Council chairman Ian Turner has also called for residents in his parish to be patient as the authority organised its grass cutting.

He confirmed the council had been forced to go back to its plans after being handed areas it had not originally intended to cover but said the parish felt it could save residents money.

He said: “The number of cuts we are going to do is greater than the number of cuts previously delivered.

Long grass , London Road, Boston. EMN-171206-123318001

Long grass , London Road, Boston. EMN-171206-123318001

“People will have to be patient, it is something the parish council never envisaged having to do before.”

Conservative MP Matt Warman said the decision by LCC would create better value for money for tax payers - he said councillors often allow volunteers to get involved.

He said precepts mayhave to rise but that there would be abetter ‘standard of delivery’.

He admitted however, that: “Some areas have been quicker to move on this than others, so there are parts of the constituency where I absolutely agree with residents when they say it’s not good enough, or not looking as nice as it should.”

He said the differences ‘were frustrating’ but said it wasn’t worth blaming parish councils.

He added that MPs across the county were campaigning for more money for LCC from Central Government.

Boston Borough Council said it cut grass to an ‘amenity standard’ within parks, public open spaces and highway verges within the boundary of the town only. It said parish council queries should be made to Lincolnshire County Council.

Long grass, St Guthlac's Way, Fishtoft. EMN-171206-123341001

Long grass, St Guthlac's Way, Fishtoft. EMN-171206-123341001

Long grass, Rider Gardens. EMN-171206-123330001

Long grass, Rider Gardens. EMN-171206-123330001

Long grass, Rider Gardens. EMN-171206-123306001

Long grass, Rider Gardens. EMN-171206-123306001