More grass cuttings agreed after readers' complaints

The leader of Peterborough City Council has admitted that reducing the number of grass cuttings in public places was a mistake.

Monday, 20th June 2016, 6:00 am
The long grass at the Fletton Ave recreation ground EMN-160806-141035009

Councillor John Holdich said he will put £13,000 back into the service after several people complained to the Peterborough Telegraph about grass being up to a metre high in some places.

The decision comes a few weeks after the council leader admitted pictures of fly-tipping sent into the PT had persuaded him to set up a Grot Spot Hotline.

Writing for the PT today, Cllr Holdich said the policy on grass cuttings was being “reversed.”

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He added: “An important part of my job as leader is to give credit where it’s due and, when we’ve made a wrong move, to call it out and take steps to put things right.

“As you know, ongoing reductions to local government budgets mean we’ve had to make difficult choices to save money.

“Occasionally, a decision on paper may seem like a good one, but later turns out not to work in practice.”

Cuttings took place over the past few days in public spaces in Werrington, Paston, Orton Goldhay and Orton Malborne, with more still to come.

However, the PT has received further complaints from readers about lengthy grass.

Ann Kirton visited Peterborough Crematorium on Monday morning to lay flowers where her son’s ashes were scattered in the wood where the bluebells grow in the spring.

She said: “Todays’ visit just added to our grief. You could not even see where we laid the flowers. We had to go back and stand them against the tree.

“We have in the past laid flowers and spent a few moments in thought but today it just seemed really sad as we could not actually see the place where we said our last goodbye.”

Theresa Ambler said her daughter spent two hours in A&E after she had a severe allergic reaction to the long grass in Gostwick, Orton Brimbles.

As part of the 2015/16 council budget, a £24,000 cut was agreed to reduce the number of grass cuttings in some areas from eight to three, but that number will now increase.