Backlash over reduced grass-cutting policy

editorial image

Residents in Milngavie say the council’s decision to stop cutting the grass in public areas has sparked a potential ‘health hazard’.

Earlier this year, East Dunbartonshire Council voted to reduce grass cutting operations by 10 per cent as part of a series of measures designed to save £1.686million.

These cutbacks are now being felt by communities, with previously lush grasslands becoming overgrown.

Lyndsey McCarten,who lives on Ashburn Road, feels the grass on the hill near her home is growing out of hand.

She said: “The stupidity of the whole thing is baffling and we’re at to the stage now that the council’s inaction could lead to a public health hazard.

“Although a lot of dog owners are good at clearing up, the long grass has meant that some mess is being missed.”

She added: “Kids play on that hill all the time; my grandchildren play there.

“They’re always running around and rolling down the hill and, so needless to say, they could end up covered in mess.”

Fellow residents David and Joan Pugh, from nearby Clober Road, wrote to the Herald to voice their concerns about wild grassland growing near the Allander River.

They said: “There are several objections to this policy, the most pressing being that it leads to a serious health hazard.

“There is very little chance of dog excrement being removed from the uncut area of the field.

“Within the last few days we have observed young bare-foot children running from the river into the long grass. The dangers of such a situation are apparent.”

“Rather than turn into a ‘Meadow’, it is the opinion of most of the longer-term residents that it will simply become an unsightly mess of partly trampled grass and straggly weeds.

“The West Highland Way runs opposite the field and walkers setting out from Milngavie have always had a favourable 
impression of the area.

“The policy change will convert this vista to that of a rather neglected urban area.”

Council officials, however, say they have strategically chosen these particular areas of grassland which could best endure ‘reduced maintenance’ provisions.

Grace Irvine, director of the council’s neighbourhood services, added: “Large swathes of grassed areas were not selected, however patches within these sites were identified that could be deliberately kept un-cut.”