Council to review grass cutting after string of complaints

Peterborough Telegraph reader Dermot O'Shea sent us images of long grass in the Wheatdole, Paynells and Howland areas of Orton Goldhay, Peterborough.
Peterborough Telegraph reader Dermot O'Shea sent us images of long grass in the Wheatdole, Paynells and Howland areas of Orton Goldhay, Peterborough.
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Peterborough City Council has said it will review its grass cutting policy following a string of complaints to the Peterborough Telegraph.

Many residents have contacted the PT with reports and pictures of grass growing up to a metre high in some parks and open spaces across the city.

Councillor Gavin Elsey, cabinet member for waste and street scene, said: “We are aware that residents have raised concerns about the length of grass in certain locations and as a result we will be reviewing whether the number of cuts we currently provide is sufficient.

“Many areas of the city are now cut less frequently as agreed by councillors as part of the 2015/16 budget. Where there are open spaces we try to ensure there is sufficient space for recreation and these areas receive eight cuts a year. Many other areas now receive three cuts a year. This saved the council £24,000 per year.

“The only exception are the seven biodiversity areas that were established in the city in 2014 and are only cut once at the end of the season.

“Regarding Fletton recreation ground, the grass within the fenced area used by the public is cut eight times a year. A strip of grass on the edge of the recreation ground near to the road, which is on the three cut system, is due to be cut next week.

“The main play area at New England recreation ground is on the eight cut system, however the remaining area receives three cuts a year. The grass at the recreation ground will be cut this week.”

The issue was raised when a number of readers contacted the Peterborough Telegraph via social media complaining about the lack of grass cutting in several parks and open spaces.

Reader Peter Slinger contacted us yesterday (Tusday, June 7) with pictures showing grass at Fletton Recreation Ground had grown to a metre high in some places.

Folowing that many readers have contacted us to say they have also complained about the overgrown nature of parks in their area.

Mr Slinger said: “It is currently unusable for ball games or any kind or recreation other than hide and seek. Some have suggested the council may claim it is to promote wildlife but this is an intensively used urban recreation area for sport, exercise and fresh air - it is not the Serengeti!”

Tariq Mahmood contacted us to complain about Rock Park in New England near the Triangle, he said: “I’ve lived there 40-odd years and the park is used to play football, there are fairs there and activities all year round. And now it’s unusable. It’s unacceptable. Where can children go to play at weekends? How can the city look nice when they are neglecting the parks? It’s the worst I’ve seen it in 40 years.”

Nav Hussain also contacted us about the same park: “I have also raised concerns with my local councillors regarding the lack of maintenance of Rock Park. The only response I have received is that due to spending cuts, only three cuts will be done throughout the year. No one has been able to confirm when the last cut was or when the next scheduled cut is.”

Dermot O’Shea from Orton Goldhay said: “The grass, in areas between Wheatdole, Paynells and Howland, is nearly a metre high in places here too. The kids want to be out playing ball in this lovely weather but they can’t.”

Resident Steve Crouch also contacted us about problems in Dogsthorpe. He said: “Our local park, Rocket Rec on Welland Road is the same. Local children use it to play football and it is becoming impossible due to the height of the grass. Additionally the grass along Belvoir way on the Welland has not been touched this year.”

Stella Wilson said: “The play park at Oakleigh Drive, Orton Longueville is also horrendous with long grass, how are local children supposed to play on it? It’s a joke. I wouldn’t worry about cutting the edges of grassland on parkways and instead have our parks cut so children can play. Come on Peterborough City Council lets get priorities in order.”

Do you have a concern about the length of grass in parks and open spaces near you... email us a picture at: news@peterboroughtoday.co.uk

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