Anger blossoms over flower cuts

Flower beds in Woodhead Park
Flower beds in Woodhead Park

Cash-saving cut backs on grass cutting and flower beds will impact areas which already feel ‘neglected’ by East Dunbartonshire Council.

At a recent budget meeting administration councillors voted to a 10 per cent reduction in grass cutting and a 66 per cent reduction in funding for bedding plant areas - saving £71,000 and £43,000 a year respectively.

In her budget speech, council leader Rhondda Geekie explained that “rather than removing all flower beds, they will be retained in prominent areas and opportunities will be given to local people and organisations to adopt them if they do not want them removed.”

But residents say this tactic will inevitably hit the poorest areas hardest.

One householder said: “We’re already neglected in Hillhead and this will only make it worse.

“Areas like ours will bear the brunt of cuts and there wont necessarily be people with the money to ‘do it themselves’.

“Meanwhile the better off parts will keep their council-funded flower beds and neat grass just because they are in more ‘prominent’ areas.”

Grace Irvine, the council’s director of neighbourhood services, said: “In terms of grass cutting, the council is currently looking at which areas would be best suited to reduced or no grass cutting at all.

“Streetscene staff are applying a number of criteria to assess this in order to select areas that allow the savings to be made, but with the least impact across the area.

“The reduction in the areas planted with bedding plants is also being assessed, drawing on the experience of the Streetscene staff to implement the saving, whilst minimising the effect on the visual impact, Areas such as main routes around the towns and villages will be maintained.”