Politician hits out over grass cutting (it’s so long the kids can’t even play football)

Freddie Ripley, 10, with Councillor Mark Winn
Freddie Ripley, 10, with Councillor Mark Winn

A councillor who has has been inundated with complaints about grass cutting has written to the leader of Bucks County Council demanding answers.

Mark Winn, who sits on Aylesbury Vale District Council, wrote to fellow Tory Martin Tett after residents of his ward in Bedgrove complained of rising grass levels which have even meant children can’t play football because the public green is so unkempt.

He said: “All councillors of every political persuasion and none, have I am sure been inundated with complaints from their residents rightly concerned at the poor state of grass cutting for yet another year.

“This year I think we could happily conclude is the worst year so far in Aylesbury.”

Freddie Ripley, 10, and his friends used to enjoy a kickabout on the Long Meadow green in Bedgrove, under the watchful eye of their parents.

But the youngsters have now been relegated to a nearby park, after grass became so overgrown that it is too long for Freddie’s dad’s electric lawnmower.

His mother Lisa said: “It’s not just here, it’s all over Bedgrove and it’s only been cut once this year.

“Freddie is having to go to the local park to play football, but that’s inconvenient because I can’t watch him, I have two other children too.

“There are lots of children that have been affected by this, and it worries us that after they do cut it people will have not picked up after their dogs and that will be another problem entirely.”

Mr Tett acknowledged grass cutting was less frequent due to the council trying to cut costs.

He said grass cutting may soon be devolved to a more local, parish council level.

He added: “We have had to save £15million this financial year and we need to find an additional £50million plus worth of savings over the next four years.

“Quite frankly our financial situation means that we have had to take some very tough and difficult decisions.

“The easy efficiencies have long since been made.

“Savings now are in areas which we would rather not reduce but where we have little choice. Reducing the frequency of grass cutting was one of these.”