Mansfield and Ashfield grass-cutting duties to change hands

Grass cutting protest sign outside Boothy's Club in Mansfield.

Grass cutting protest sign outside Boothy's Club in Mansfield.

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Grass-cutting duties in Mansfield have changed hands after last year’s service was plagued with problems.

A deal has been struck for the district councils, including Mansfield and Ashfield, to take over grass cutting from Nottinghamshire County Council.

Scores of residents complained last year when cutting frequency was reduced by two-thirds, while some areas were missed altogether leaving grass several feet high in some areas.

The county council had only taken the responsibility from the district councils last year in an effort to save money, but accept it was far from successful.

It will now be delivered by the district councils again, under contract from the county council, for the next three years, with a two-year extension option.

Mansfield councillor Phil Shields was overjoyed with the move, saying: “I always thought it was a bad idea for them to take it on in the first place, we said straight away that they shouldn’t have reduced it. It’s brilliant that we are back in control.

“It was mainly due to the sheer volume of complaints about the state of the grass.

“I think it was mainly because the county council did not know the area, so we had to do something about it. There were people telling us that here and there were not being done, but there was nothing we could do. Now if they ring up, the buck will stop with us.”

The service will begin next month with weed spraying and the grass is expected to be cut between eight and 12 times before next winter.

Andy Warrington, service director for highways at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “The county council launched a review of its highway environmental maintenance programme, acknowledging that last summer in some urban areas the grass cutting slipped behind schedule by several weeks. “This was due in part to the weather, but in the main as a result of the new arrangements that were put in place for Ashfield, Broxtowe and Mansfield. The districts will also be the primary contact for any service requests or complaints.

“Over the three years this arrangement will be cost neutral to the county council and will also support a focus on the continued improvement of the delivery of the service across the rest of the county.”