Grass cutting leaves residents mown-ing

A COUNCIL has come under fire for allowing its grass to grow alongside trimmed turf owned by a housing association.

When St Edmundsbury Borough Council transferred its housing stock to Havebury Housing Partnership, the council also reduced its responsibly for cutting grass.

But, now councillors and residents are complaining of areas looking untidy because neighbouring patches of grass, owned by the different organisations, are being cut at different times of the year.

Paul Hopfensberger, borough councillor for the St Olaves ward, said it was ‘another layer of bureaucracy’ that people did not understand.

He said: “We have this really ridiculous situation where, when Havebury was transferred the properties, it also ended up with these trees and plots of land, and at the moment, its contractors are going around with a map and saying right, this little patch here we need to mow that but we don’t mow that bit because it belongs to St Edmundsbury or Suffolk County Council.

“It means we’re ending up with grass noticeably trim in patches and right next to it there might be a piece of grass that hasn’t been cut – it’s completely ridiculous.”

“It’s absolutely stupid because we have got three sets of people cutting the grass,” said Howard Estate resident Ernie Broom, who suggested that in the future one contractor should be employed to cut all of the grass and the various organisations be billed for the land they own.

A council spokeswoman said: “In the past, all the grass cutting was managed by the borough council. The current situation arose when ownership and therefore responsibility for some land passed to Havebury Housing Partnership.

“We agree this could be more efficient and it would be better if all the grass cutting in an area could be done at the same time.

“The borough council is seeing if we can work together with Havebury in the coming months.”

Karen Mayhew, chief executive at Havebury, said: “Our first duty to our tenants who pay for this service is to ensure we achieve good value when we let our grass cutting contract.

“We will be re-letting this contract later in the year and that will give us a fresh opportunity to look at how we can work with other partners, including the borough council.”