Ian Shires

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Willenhall North Ward, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Walsall MBC Learn more

Demands for local people to decide how budget for grass cutting is spent

by Ian Shires on 3 August, 2018

I was out and about on the Coppice Farm Neighbourhood Park this week with Clean and Green to check the clean up operation following a fly – tipping incident in the lead up to last weekend.

Whilst over there I spoke with a number of dog walkers who were not shy in coming forward with criticism of the council for not cutting the grass along the walkway from the access off Ullswater Road up to the South Staffs/Wolverhampton border.

At one access point off Ullswater Road the path is so overgrown it has become virtually unusable as has been pointed out to me by a resident who had great difficulty in maneuvering through the the entrance and along the path with a buggy.

Have to say as you look back along the section where the grass is cut there is a stark difference in the way that it looks. It’s full of self setting trees which themselves will cause issues in the not to distant future if not removed. It’s the same when you move through onto the part maintained by Wolverhampton. It’s not manicured grass but it hasn’t been left to go to seed either as on the Walsall side.

I have asked the Walsall Council think again about leaving areas like this uncut and unloved. The access points also need to be cut back and a cut needs to be done sooner rather than later, even if it’s just to prevent the self setting trees to become too well established. The dry weather should mean that there is plenty of capacity and funding as areas which are cut on a regular have not needed to be cut so often.

Had we still been running the council in alliance with Labour we would have been pushing for residents to have a big say in how the grass cutting and grounds maintenance budget is spent.┬áThere is only a certain amount of money in the budget set aside for grass cutting. That does not mean that residents can’t be involved in deciding where grass should cut, when we should start and stop cutting it and how often

We played a big part in bringing together the Council with its partners to work together through four Localities covering the whole borough. These were given the imaginative names of North, South, East and West. Willenhall is part of the West Locality. They came stream in May.

Already it has come to light that the new Conservative administration is trying to water down the powers that were designed to ensure that scarce resources would be spent in areas of need such as Willenhall. We will fight this tooth and nail.

 

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