Council slammed for stopping grass cutting - but authority insists it can no longer afford it

Questions are continuing to be asked about the state of neighbourhoods after North Lanarkshire Council said it could not longer afford to cut grass on land it did not own.

Whitelees

The increasingly unkempt look of areas like Whitelees is being cited as a key example of why the cost-cutting policy needs a re-think - according to a group of neighbours who are now jointly paying for professional landscaping services, at least in the short term.

This has followed a failed attempt at cutting the grass themselves which resulted in numerous bites from midges and other insects living in the grass. The group hopes more people will sign up through a newly formed website set up by one member, Robert Pender, to contribute to this funding and help lower the individual costs.

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Meanwhile, their Independent councillor Paddy Hogg (Cumbernauld East) commented: “These cutbacks in council grass cutting budgets are leaving some areas to become wildly overgrown.

"Robert has taken the time to set up a website about this issue and is supported by a large amount of his neighbours angered at the council leaving such a large elongated area of grass uncut near to the down hill slope from Whitelees Primary towards Robert’s house on the right coming down the hill.

“Then there is the issue as well of the overgrown grass in the middle land of Forest Rd as you leave Whitelees Rd and head up towards the recycling centre near the A80.”

Councillor Hogg intends to submit a motion at the next full council meeting to reinstate grass cutting services.

However, Councillor Jim Logue, the leader of North Lanarkshire Council commented: “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 blame 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.

“I have said for years that cuts to councils are cuts to communities and regrettably residents are now starting to see exactly what that means for them in their own communities.”