Grass cutting frequencies were reduced earlier this year as part of an overall savings programme which required Herefordshire Council to deliver £33million pounds of savings to ensure it can maintain its priority services. However, concerns have been raised regarding the effect this has had on the attractiveness of open spaces.
A new community grant scheme is being launched with the aim of encouraging local groups to maintain and improve green spaces in their area. This will provide small grants to community groups to help with the costs of developing and implementing projects to improve the local environment. Details of how to apply are available on the council website.
Cllr Rone, cabinet member transport & roads said, “With reducing council budgets, I am keen to encourage communities to do as much as they can for themselves. I am pleased to launch this Green Spaces Community Grant scheme to help support local people to improve their local environment. If your community group is interested in playing a more active part in enhancing your local area I would encourage you to apply for a grant”
In addition, Cllr Rone, cabinet member transport & roads said “Since taking on my new job as cabinet member for transport and roads in June, I have looked carefully at the effect the reduction in grass cutting has had. I have (also) listened to the concerns of people across the county. Whilst we still need to stay within budget and provide essential services for the more vulnerable, I think that the effects of a reduction in grass cutting, particularly given the weather conditions, needs to be addressed.”
I have therefore asked Balfour Beatty to bring forward their grass cutting programme. I have also identified a number of high priority areas in consultation with local councillors for additional cuts. This will focus on play areas and parks in Hereford and the market towns over the next few weeks to get them ready for the school summer holidays. ”
Across the rural road network Balfour Beatty has continued to keep the highway safe by cutting the visibility splays, carrying out weed spraying and maintaining the trees. However, there will now be an additional cut across the whole network starting at the end of July to tidy things up before the autumn. Details of the revised grass cutting schedules are available on the council website.