Great Britain

Pensioner mows Greasby grass after council cuts budget

A Merseyside pensioner has taken matters into his own hands after the council stopped cutting the grass near his home.

Together with some of his neighbours, John Colligan, 66, who lives in Stapleton Avenue in Greasby, Wirral, bought some petrol lawn mowers and started cutting the grass around the nearby Hambledon Drive.

Mr Colligan, who is retired, said: “We went and bought three petrol lawn mowers and cut the grass around the trees and dealt with all kinds of grass cuttings to make it neater.

“The pond by us is quite a nice feature which neighbours have been looking after, but this long grass made it look quite bad.

“It’s almost become a kind of tourist place for people during the lockdown, so that’s the shame of it, they’ve allowed the grass to grow.”

Wirral Council said the area is one of the green spaces where “routine maintenance” has ceased this year, following plans made in the authority’s budget which was voted through by councillors of all political parties.

But a meeting is due to be held to discuss options for managing this area going forward.

Mr Colligan feels that the local authority has looked at some areas and simply thought it can stop bothering cutting the grass and save money.

He added: “The most annoying thing is the Council Tax. We’ve paid for a service [grass cutting] and it has not arrived.

“To me that is a basic, simple service. We also have to pay £40 for a brown bin and you don’t have to pay for it in other [boroughs].”

But while the service is not provided, Mr Colligan is determined to keep his area looking good.

He said: “We’ve cut the grass three times in the last month.

“I’ve got no doubt that after the rain today we will have a spurt of grass and we’ll be cutting it again.”

A spokesperson for Wirral Council said: “This area is part of a group of green spaces which were put forward as areas for all routine maintenance to be ceased as part of the council budget for 2021-2022.

“The reduced and ceased maintenance was spread across the borough and all wards have been impacted as equally as the make-up of the parks and open spaces allowed.

“However, following concerns raised, a meeting with local councillors and the authority’s parks managers is due to take place to discuss options for future maintenance of this location.”

Details of the authority’s grass cutting and maintenance programme can be found here (www.wirral.gov.uk/grasscutting).

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