Grass woes go on as cuts bite

The row over uncut grass in Blackpool is growing with parents warning their children have nowhere to play due to open spaces in the town being left untended.

Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 8:36 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 9:38 am
Overgrown grass at Carson Road

It was revealed last month the council can no longer afford to cut some grassed areas of open space because its budget for parks has been slashed by £631,000 over the last three years.

Marton residents are the latest to express anger at the move.

Aaron Johnson, of Newhouse Road, said he usually takes his children aged five and seven to play on an area of common grass on Carson Road.

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Aaron Johnson at Carson Road field which is overgrown

But now he says the grass is too long for the youngsters to be able to play safely.

He said: “The grass is now about the height of my knees and it is a breeding ground for insects and ticks.

“This is an area of terraced cottages and small gardens, so the Carson Road common is where everyone takes their children to play, or to walk their dogs.

“Residents have always looked after the open space and there has never been a problem with dog fouling.

Aaron Johnson at Carson Road field which is overgrown

“But we can’t cut the grass because we don’t have the right equipment - we can’t mow it.

“It needs to be cut on a regular basis. The children like to play football there, fly their remote controlled helicopter and just have a good runaround, but they can’t do that now.

“I support the tourism industry because I work in the pub trade. But while the Promenade is all well kept, when it comes to the local community who are the people who go to work to look after the tourists, we are not being looked after.”

Complaints have already been raised about the lack of grass cutting at Herons Reach and the sunken gardens in North Shore.

The council has issued a priority list for grass cutting with cemeteries, the Promenade and parks including Stanley Park at the top.

Sports pitches will also continue to be cut, but grass verges and other amenity space has least priority.

Coun Graham Cain, cabinet secretary for Blackpool Council, has previously said all “popular and economically important areas” like the Promenade and Stanley Park, as well as dozens of sports pitches and community parks will continue to be cut frequently.

But he admitted the council could not maintain all areas of green space “to the same standard that we have in previous years.”