Herefordshire Council contractor Balfour Beatty Living Places (BBLP) is getting ready for Spring by taking delivery of a fleet of new mowers and promises to deliver twice the number of grass cuts than last year but at the same cost.
Andy Williams, BBLP Contract Director, said: “We know how important grass cutting is to the residents of Herefordshire and we’ve worked hard over the winter to plan more for less.”
He added: “We’ve had the time to purchase more effective and efficient kit, plan better routes and ensure we are working with our sub-contractors to achieve best value.”
Last year BBLP found itself in a grass cutting storm just months after securing a 10-year public realm contract for the county.
The Council had substantially reduced the 2014 grass cutting budget to contribute towards unprecedented savings needed to balance the books. Later in the season the Council topped up the budget and the higher figure has been allocated for this coming year.
Cllr Paul Rone, Herefordshire Council’s cabinet member for transport and roads, said: “I am delighted that BBLP has taken on board public concern and has reconfigured its service in order to increase the amount of grass cutting in the coming season.
“But, although the amount of grass cutting will be increased compared to last year, we won’t be returning to the 2013 levels because of Council spending constraints.”
This year there were be six or seven amenity cuts, two verge cuts and additional safety-splay cuts, if required.
In the autumn, BBLP carried out extensive public consultation on its 2015 Annual Plan and has taken on board residents’ concerns about grass cutting.
Cllr Rone added: “We are still encouraging people to get involved in keeping their own verges and public areas tidy. The Council website provides advice on safety and grant funding for community groups.”
In addition, the new lengthsman scheme will cover some grass cutting such as parish roadside verges.
A grass cutting schedule will be published on the Council’s website when the grass cutting season starts next month. www.herefordshire.gov.uk