Council’s grass cutting policy
A revision to the County Council’s grass cutting policy will be discussed by
Councillors this week (beginning Monday 9 March).
The revision is one of a number of financial saving measures being introduced
as part of the County Council’s challenge to find efficiencies in the order of
£18+m in the coming financial year.
The County has a legal responsibility to manage the Highway Network in terms of
keeping routes available and safe for highway users.
Under the revised draft policy, all current standards for urban grass verges
will remain unchanged. In rural locations, the number of cuts at visibility
splays will remain at four per year. The changes to the policy relate to rural
verges, and are:
- The number of cuts on rural verges at non visibility locations will be
reduced from two cuts per year to one. (The timing of the cut will be dependent
on the weather, but the target date will be June). Principal roads will be cut
once a year, instead of twice, to a width of two swathes (approximately two
metres). All rural Non Principal and Unclassified roads will be cut to one
swathe width (approximately one metre), once a year, instead of twice a year.
- In rural areas, a back to boundary cut on verges will be carried out for
weed and self sown sapling control every six years instead of every three.
- Over the next three years, there are also plans to tender and market test the
grass cutting service, to reduce the expensive hiring of specialist plant and
equipment and to ensure the most cost effective service.
The changes are expected to make savings of £75,000 a year.
Councillor Bernie Attridge, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Environment,
“The Grass Cutting Policy is being revised as part of our challenge to find
efficiencies across the Council in the coming financial year, and the revisions
were agreed as part of the budget setting proposals.
Letting the grass grow longer is also excellent for bio-diversity, and means
that the grasses and wildflowers are able to flower and set seed, building up a
more varied seed bank in the soil.
“As part of the Scrutiny process, we are working with County, town and
community councillors to discuss changes to this policy at workshops being held
early this week. Following that process, the final revised Policy will then be
subject to approval at Cabinet in April 2015.”