Frustration raised over delays to grass cutting in Flintshire due to Covid
Frustration has been raised over delays to grass being cut in public places in Flintshire because of Covid-19.
The maintenance of grassed areas in the county was scaled back at the start of the pandemic due to the number of staff either off through illness or redeployed to other key roles.
Following a high volume of complaints, cutting was later reintroduced with workers operating in “bubble” groups and using a convoy vehicle system to allow social distancing.
However, councillors told a meeting held yesterday (Thursday, 5 August) that problems with grass being allowed to grow too high have continued this summer.
It has led to concerns being voiced for the safety of pedestrians, disabled people and parents walking with prams, who are being forced off the pavement and onto the road in some locations.
Speaking at the virtual meeting, Cllr Richard Jones, chair of a dedicated committee set up to examine Flintshire Council’s recovery from the Covid crisis, said: “I’ve had many complaints, including at least one yesterday, about the (lack of) grass cutting along the verges along highways and footpaths.
“It affects mainly people with wheelchairs, people walking with children in pushchairs and people in mobility vehicles.
“A gentleman called me who was in a mobility vehicle and he just couldn’t carry on any further because it was so bad.
“Perhaps that’s something which is common throughout the county and that probably should be prioritised in my view.”
In a report to the committee, council officials acknowledged that the recent increase in Covid cases in north Wales had lead to more workers having to self-isolate.
They said a shortage of HGV drivers in the wake of Brexit and staff taking annual leave over the summer had also caused disruption to grass cutting.
The issue of overgrown hedges was also raised by Flint Trelawny councillor Paul Cunningham.
He said: “I’m concerned about the amount of hedges on public footpaths overhanging.
“You’re walking along and then you’ve got branches and twigs overhanging and catching people.
“In my ward, I’ve got one particular man who is partially sighted and he’s struggling because of the branches overhanging.”
Cllr Glyn Banks, cabinet member for streetscene, said the issue had been caused by government cuts.
He said increasing the frequency of services would require cost saving elsewhere within the local authority.
Committee members agreed that a report on grass cutting should be taken to the council’s environment scrutiny committee to address the concerns raised.
Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
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