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Aylesbury’s bid in town beauty contest could be kicked into the long grass

Britain in Bloom judges visit Aylesbury - pictured in Church Street is Alan Norchi - Events, Marketing and Communities Officer for ATC, regional judges Mark Richardson and Mike Gass along with ATC Cllr Mike Smith

Britain in Bloom judges visit Aylesbury - pictured in Church Street is Alan Norchi - Events, Marketing and Communities Officer for ATC, regional judges Mark Richardson and Mike Gass along with ATC Cllr Mike Smith

Fears have been raised that uncut grass could scupper Aylesbury’s hopes in a competition which rates towns’ attractiveness.

Aylesbury Vale District Councillor Steven Lambert spoke up for organisers of Aylesbury’s Britain in Bloom bid, who are concerned that Bucks County Council will not trim long grass along the route which will be judged.

Speaking to the county council’s cabinet on Monday Mr Lambert said: “I have had several complaints about grass cutting and one of the concerns is that one of the 
areas taken into account is on the upkeep of open spaces, Could we look at ways of 
cutting the grass in these areas?”

Ruth Vigor Hedderley, the county council portfolio holder with responsibility for grass cutting said that money would be made available to provide extra grass cutting teams.

But leader of the council Martin Tett warned that his council is facing tough decisions – and that more are on the way.

He said: “The reality is that we as a county council are desperately short of money.

“We have had to make some really difficult decisions in terms of our budget and I am afraid most of the easier ones have already been made.

“Nobody wanted to reduce the grass cutting, but with a 44% reduction in our government grant we are faced with these decisions that we have to take.”

And Mr Tett claimed that environmentalists are also writing to the council - to ask that they do not cut the grass in a bid to encourage a more natural environment.

He said: “I’m also getting complaints from people who want us to only cut the grass twice a year.

“It’s part of a campaign by environmentalists which they say will encourage more wild flowers.”

And concerns were also raised by cabinet members about prioritising the cutting of long grass where road visibility might be affected.

Mr Tett added: “The important thing for us is that we have reduced the quantity of the cuts but we can’t reduce the quality.

“The vision displays also need to be done as that is very important.”

Last week we reported how children were unable to play sports on their 
local green in Bedgrove, after grass got so high that it became unsafe.

Local mum of three Lisa Ripley expressed concern that her son Freddie, 10, must now play football in the local park where she is less able to keep an eye on him.

 

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