Council brings forward extra grass cut and launches grant scheme following residents' complaints over impact of cuts to mowing regime

Herefordshire Council has launched a green space improvement grant scheme for local groups and brought in an extra grass cut following complaints from residents.

The council cut grass-cutting frequencies earlier this year as part of an overall savings programme which required Herefordshire Council to deliver £33 million of savings.

But the council says "concerns have been raised regarding the effect this has had on the attractiveness of open spaces".

So it has launched a new community grant scheme with the aim of encouraging local groups to maintain and improve green spaces in their area. This will provide small grants to community groups to help with the costs of developing and implementing projects to improve the local environment. 

Cllr Paul Rone, cabinet member for transport & roads, said: "With reducing council budgets, I am keen to encourage communities to do as much as they can for themselves.  I am pleased to launch this Green Spaces Community Grant scheme to help support local people to improve their local environment.  If your community group is interested in playing a more active part in enhancing your local area I would encourage you to apply for a grant."

He added: "Since taking on my new job as cabinet member for transport and roads in June, I have looked carefully at the effect the reduction in grass cutting has had.  I have listened to the concerns of people across the county.

"Whilst we still need to stay within budget and provide essential services for the more vulnerable, I think that the effects of a reduction in grass cutting, particularly given the weather conditions, needs to be addressed." 

"I have therefore asked Balfour Beatty to bring forward their grass cutting programme.  I have also identified a number of high priority areas in consultation with local councillors for additional cuts. This will focus on play areas and parks in Hereford and the market towns over the next few weeks to get them ready for the school summer holidays."

There will now be an additional cut across the whole network starting at the end of July to tidy grass up before the autumn.

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