Fury over grass cutting cutback

Grass near Alloway Grove is now several feet high
Grass near Alloway Grove is now several feet high

Concerns have been raised that a money-saving reduction in grass cutting could have serious ‘public safety’ implications.

Earlier this year administration councillors at East Dunbartonshire Council decided to cut grass cutting by 10 per cent as part of a series of cuts designed to save a total of £1.686million.

But the cutbacks - which were estimated to save £71,000 are starting to be felt by residents who are seeing previously neat areas of grassland become overgrown.

And some are worried that the new areas of wilderness may cause more problems than simply being unsightly.

Olwen Wilson, who lives in Kirkintilloch’s Alloway Grove, says that the grass near her home is now over two feet high and still growing.

She said: “I’m really concerned about people being able to hide in the grass. It was only a couple of weeks ago we had a flasher in the area.

“It’s a public safety issue. It’s also becoming a real hazard for people who like to walk their dogs in the area - and children who play there.

“The ground is uneven in places and with the grass so long you can’t see where the holes are.

“Just last year a dog broke its leg there - and that was when the council were still cutting the grass.

“The council come and drive a tractor through the field to create a path - I don’t understand why they can’t spend an extra five or ten minutes doing the whole thing.”

And Waterside resident Brian Sewell agrees that the longer grass is causing a range of problems.

He said: “This is a beautiful area with the river Luggie running the length of the walkway from Waterside road to Bankhead road, not only has this had an impact on the aesthetics of the area but also on the many dog walkers who regularly use this area.

“The considerate dog owners who pick up after their pet struggle to find their dogs mess and it just gives the less considerate dog owners an excuse if challenged.”

Grace Irvine, the council’s director of neighbourhood services, said that a number of criteria had been used to inform the cuts.

She added: “The aim of the exercise has been to find sites that have the lowest impact in terms of visibility, while making the necessary savings to the council budget.”