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Grantham residents demand action over lack of grass cutting

Residents living on a Grantham estate are so appalled by the state of grass verges that they have started to cut it themselves.

Neighbours on the Sunningdale estate, are fed up of feeling “neglected” by Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) after some of the grass verges have not been cut since last year.

So much so that a few of the neighbours have taken it upon themselves to cut the verges outside their homes using their own equipment.

Stephen West moved to Grantham from Kent two months ago.

He said: “I’ve never known anything like it. One of the reasons that attracted us to this area was how clean and tidy it looked but it is because of the residents efforts. ”

“My neighbour cuts the verges outside his home and along the street - all 120 ft of it. I also know of a lady in her nineties that cuts the grass verge outside her home.”

Stephen West is just one of the residents on Sunningdale who has taken it upon himself to cut the grass outside his home. (11708163)
Stephen West is just one of the residents on Sunningdale who has taken it upon himself to cut the grass outside his home. (11708163)

Stephen, who is retired, claims the verges are becoming eye sore which he fears could attract anti social behaviour.

He added: “We don’t want the estate to look as if it is run down as it gives the impression that no cares and you become a sitting target for crime, graffiti etc.”

Stephen and a few of his neighbours say that they have contacted LCC on several occasions but feel like they have just been given ‘falsd promises’ and been “fobbed off.”

Councillor Linda Wootten has also been in touch with LCC. She said: “I have been updating the residents with the grass cutting programme from the County Highways whenever someone has approached me. The whole of Grantham seems to be affected by the delays in the cutting programme which is extremely frustrating for everyone. Many residents have taken matters into their own hands and cut the verges themselves. They shouldn’t have to and it really isn’t good enough. In many areas the grass is too long to cut with a domestic mower.

“Grantham’s first cut should have been completed by this week and that leaves two more cuts until the end of the season as more money has been put into the budget for a third cut this year.”

Residents in Sunningdale estate, Grantham, have started cutting the grass verges themselves. (11857182)
Residents in Sunningdale estate, Grantham, have started cutting the grass verges themselves. (11857182)

After being contacted by the Journal this week, councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said: “The council has 12,000 miles of grass verge to look after, with three cuts taking place over the year. The first of these has recently been completed in the vast majority of areas.

“Unfortunately, the contractor covering Grantham has had equipment issues, which means we are slightly behind schedule, but the first cut should be completed by the end of this week. Two more cuts are planned for the town this year. We realise many residents take pride in their local area and want to help keep it looking smart, and we’re very grateful for their support. You can find useful advice on trimming the verge outside your property at www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/grasscutting .”

But Stephen argues that it is not the residents responsibility to cut the verges, adding: “ Some residents around here are elderly or disabled. I’m 60-years-old myself so I don’t particularly want to be doing it for the next 10 years.”

Steve Nesbitt also contacted the Journal after the grass verges outside his home have grown to three feet tall.

Steve Nesbitt on Ash Grove, Grantham. (11817343)
Steve Nesbitt on Ash Grove, Grantham. (11817343)

Steve has lived with his family on Ash Grove, Grantham, for 21 years and claims that the streets are in the worse state he has ever seen them in.

He tweeted: “Here in darkest deepest Grantham the locals are doing their best to go about their daily lives despite the verge vegetation progress in taking over the streets!”

He is also concerned that the overgrown verges pose a safety risk to children playing outside by ‘forcing young children to play in the roads as they are not able to play on the verges.

“It also makes it difficult for dog owners to clean up after their dogs if they cant actually see what they have done. I’ve seen small dogs disappear in the long grass.”

“It also doesn’t exactly give people who are visiting a good impression about where you live. It’s embarrassing.”

Some of Steve’s neighbours have become so fed up that they have taken to cutting the grass verges outside their homes themselves but Steve refuses to ‘out of principal.’

He added: “The council have a duty to maintain it but it is peer pressure.

“If they want us to start doing it ourselves, then we should have a reduction in our council tax to cover for it as we are paying for this service after all.

“Until that happens, I won’t cut it even it grows to be six feet tall.

“It is simply not acceptable.”

But not everyone agrees that the grass verges should be cut.

Dave Roberts, of Sandon Road, Grantham, thinks that the grass verges should be left to grow for the sake of insects, birds and wild flowers.

He said: “There are pros and cons to everything but in my opinion the verges look better than ever.

“At a time when species are declining, we should be doing everything we can to help.

“People need to get into a different mindset. Everyone is obsessed with things looking neat and tidy but I think the grass verges are beautiful.

“They have never looked so good.

“The small insects love the grass which is good for the birds who feed on them which is good for the food chain. It’s a completely different way of thinking.

“Its not untidy. It’s natural and beautiful.”

What do you think? Email: comment@granthamjournal.co.uk


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