On Thursday 10th November Argyll and Bute Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee will consider a proposal to change the grass cutting schedule which will mean areas which were removed from the programme this year will be added back in.
Councillor Ellen Morton, Policy Lead for Roads and Amenity Services, explained: “Drastically reduced funding means that we have to change the way we do things. At our budget meeting in February we agreed a saving option to reduce grass cutting, saving £18,000. In practice this meant stopping maintenance of some areas and keeping it in others.
“Over the past few months we’ve had feedback from our communities on the impact of this saving, with the comments mostly focussing on the fact that the areas left to grow wild are looking very untidy and having a negative impact on the appearance of the area. Being alive to the fact that this is something which matters to our residents we’ve looked at it again.
“We still have to deliver savings, that is the reality, but we’ve found what we think is a better way to make this particular saving.
“The proposal before the committee on Thursday will seek to change the specification of the programme, while still saving the required £18,000.
“What this means in practice is, for example, if there are 50 areas of public land in Argyll and Bute that we used to cut 10 times a year – this would have been reduced to 25 areas, leaving the remaining 25 to grow wild. What we’re now proposing to do is cut all 50, but rather than cutting them 10 times a year, we will cut them five times.
“There were also areas which were reduced to just one cut per year – the number of grass cuts in these areas will be increased.
“It’s really important to us that people let us know what they think. This is a good example of communication and engagement with our communities to find a solution which is amicable to everyone, bearing in mind the difficult financial context we are working in.”
Exact details of the grass cutting schedules for next year will be reported to the local area committees in due course, with further updates to follow on the council website and in the local press.