Anger is growing in South Gloucestershire over the state of the long grass and the problems and dangers it is sparking – even when it has been cut.
The council, which has had to make savings across a wide range of departments because of central government cuts to local authorities, has since April been operating what it calls a ‘core standard’ of essential highway and street scene services, which includes just two annual grass cuts to all areas. Some parish and town councils are paying for more.
There was a report last week of a child nearly being knocked down in Oldland Common as she had been hidden from the driver’s view by the long grass. Overgrown verges along the ring road have also been highlighted, as has the long grass near the picnic site at the top of Tog Hill, which is making it dangerous for drivers pulling out of Gorse Lane.
The grass on the green in Valley Road in Mangotsfield, a popular play area for children, was up to three feet in height before it was cut a week ago, and the cuttings, which quickly turned to hay in the heat, were so deep that youngsters have not been able to use it.
Martyn Jackway and his wife Susan, whose home overlooks the green, told The Week In that the hay is slippery under foot where it blows across the path, and feared that a discarded cigarette could spark a fire.
Local MP Chris Skidmore says the overgrown state of parts of the area is a hot topic of concern for constituents. On Saturday, he was joined by volunteers who turned up to clear the cuttings. It took them several hours and they filled 130 bags, which they took to the nearby Sort It centre with the help of the council’s Streetcare team.
Mr Jackway said the overgrown grass was a problem across the district and that hedges were also being allowed to overgrow and posed a hazard.
The council’s Waste Management Forum meets tomorrow night at Kingswood Civic Centre at 7pm