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Breeze speaks out on grass cutting

Created on 01/07/2016 @ 07:24
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Powys County Council cuts to their grass cutting budgets have been heavily criticised by a Welshpool Town Councillor.

Councillor Graham Breeze says he has been inundated by complaints from the town’s residents about overgrown verges, uncut areas and the general conditions in Welshpool and claims the county authority has been guilty of badly managing the handover to new grounds maintenance contractors.

“The situation is now totally unacceptable,” said the councillor for the Llanerchyddol ward. “Powys County Council has a duty of care but is not performing.  Lives are being put at risk because motorists are unable to see out of junctions and parts of Welshpool are completely overgrown.”

John Brunt, Powys Council’s Cabinet Member For Highways this week conceded that budget cuts to the levels of service together with problems with new contractors had exacerbated the issue

“To achieve the budget reductions we have had to standardise cutting regimes to a minimum specification and unfortunately the new contractors phased work did not start well with performance behind schedule and below standard,” he said.

But Councillor Breeze said: “These are simply unacceptable excuses from Powys County Council. It is the county authority’s duty to ensure that hedgerows and verges are properly maintained and you begin to wonder if the council is fit for purpose any longer.

“I fear this is just the beginning,” he added. “Everywhere you look in Welshpool and the surrounding area verges and hedges have not been cut. Weed treatment has not taken place alongside main roads such as Union Street and pathways have become unpassable for residents.

“We don’t want to hear Mr Brunt’s excuses We want to see action and we want to see it now. It hurts me to hear people talking about Welshpool and saying what a disgraceful condition the town’s streets and estates are in.

“And it is clear that this is not just a Welshpool issue with the rest of the county suffering from similar situations.

“Powys is looking to offload street maintenance to town and community councils. At Welshpool Town Council we are negotiating to take on the service and as far as I am concerned the sooner the better we can strike a deal.

“The people of Welshpool and the rest of the county deserve better and I would encourage all other communities to seriously consider ways of taking on the service. We can no longer rely on Powys County Council and that’s a fact we have to face.”

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