A Louth town councillor has said that Lincolnshire County Council should ‘hang their heads in shame’ over the ‘shockingly bad’ state of the grass cuttings in the town.
As reported in the Leader earlier this month, the county council’s contractors have been carrying out the first of two ‘safety cuts’ in Louth and the surrounding area over the last three weeks.
Many roadside verges were previously cut three times a year by the county council, but the council has ‘trimmed’ that figure down to two - in a bid to keep roads safe while ‘ensuring the service remains affordable’.
However, town councillors expressed their disgust at what they described as the ‘shockingly bad’ quality of the verge cuttings, at their meeting last Tuesday evening (June 13).
Coun Sue Crew said: “It’s all very well having these two cuts this year, but they’ve done a really, really bad job.
“It’s still about six or eight inches long, and the cuttings have been blowing all over the place. If that’s the best they can do, then it’s a pretty appalling job anyway.”
Mayor of Louth, Coun Pauline Watson, agreed and said: “It looks worse!”
Coun Jill Makinson-Sanders described the state of the cutting as ‘incredibly bad value for money’, adding that the county council should ‘hang their heads in shame’.
She continued: “They should go back to the contractors and say it is shockingly bad, it’s poor performance - go back and cut it properly!
“Do we have to put up with that until October, when they deign to cut them again?
“There is £100m inland tourism in East Lindsey alone. Do they completely want to destroy our businesses?
“The town looks shocking, I’ve never seen it look so sad.”
The Mayor invited county councillor Tony Bridges (Louth North) to speak on the issue, as he was in attendance.
Coun Bridges reiterated that the county council has been instructed, by central government, to save £120 million over the next four years, and that grass cutting was one of the areas in which savings were being made.
He added that, if he was provided with photographic evidence of poor quality safety cutting in Louth, then he could raise the issue with the relevant Portfolio Holder at County Hall.
Town councillors voted to wait for ‘validated’ grass cutting maps to be provided, following an ongoing investigation by the county council, before taking any further decisions or actions.
• In January, the town council voted against raising its precept by £20,000 to allow for ‘amenity grass cuttings’, which the county council no longer provides due to cuts.
At last week’s meeting, Coun Andrew Leonard reiterated his objection to the idea of asking Louth taxpayers to pay more.
He said: “It’s double taxation. People in louth feel aggrieved that they are paying (tax to the county council) for a service they are no longer going to get, and the town council will potentially have to adopt that service and charge a second rate.”