Controversial decision to stop grass cutting has sparked an authority-wide petition

A trailblazing group of North Lanarkshire residents have started an online petition in an attempt to convince the council to reintroduce maintenance of grassed verges and other areas.

An illustration of grass the council will cut - and a contrasting patch which the council says it does not own

The petition, hosted on the website, is entitled “Petition to Request North Lanarkshire Council to Review The Decision to Remove Grounds Maintenance Service in the G71 area.”

The G71 area postcode includes Uddingston, Bellshill and Bothwell but concerns the entire area served by NLC – and is widely expected to attract more support from other towns.

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The petition was launched by concerned resident Emma Conlon and states: “Covid has created several mental health issues, and many continue to struggle, this removal of grounds maintenance is only making it worse and affects many areas within the G71 vicinity.

"There are several areas adjacent to main roads and surrounding areas that have also been removed from this service and from a Health and Wellbeing perspective, which we understand is a public health priority it is only making matters worse. ”

The council reduced its maintenance of grassed areas as a budget measure but has faced widespread complaints from residents.

Some have teamed up to hire professional landscaping services at their own expense in Cumbernauld after trying and failing to to do the job themselves – while independent Cumbernauld East councillor Paddy Hogg has said he intends to seek to have the decision reversed by lodging a motion at the next full council meeting.

Last week Council leader Jim Logue said: “With £300m of cuts to North Lanarkshire’s budget since 2007, there are many things that the council has traditionally done which are no longer possible.

"Cutting grassed areas which are exclusively in private ownership is now one of them. I fully understand residents’ frustrations at this, however b lame must solely lie at the feet of the SNP Government in Edinburgh who have continuously passed on catastrophic cuts to our Council for the last 14 years.

The G71 petition, which at time of writing had attracted almost 200 si gnatures, can be found at: h ttps:// e.