Cut grass yourselves, council tells Whitehall residents

Coun Foster

Coun Foster

First published in News Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Local government reporter

RESIDENTS of the Jacks Key estate in Whitehall have been told to cut the grass between their homes and the A666 themselves by borough bosses.

A total of 101 signed a petition to Blackburn with Darwen Council asking for its staff to keep the land next to the main road tidy and stop it becoming overgrown. They felt it was important so a good impression was made on visitors.

They added the long grass could also stop children playing there, affect house prices and make the area ‘look neglected’.

But the council’s executive board rejected the call to restore grass cutting at the site, discontinued in March and ordered officials to tell petitioners they should maintain the area themselves using equipment provided through the borough’s ‘Your Call’ campaign.

However, Whitehall ward Lib Dem councillor Karimeh Foster said: “They are just passing the buck to local residents. This is the sort of thing the council should do and used to. It’s about keeping the town neat and tidy.

“This is a main way into Blackburn and Darwen and people want visitors to get a good impression. This is some way from the estate so it’s not local residents’ responsibility.”

Officers told the senior councillors the borough had been forced to make major savings in its grass cutting programmes as a result of cuts in Whitehall grants to the authority.

Their report revealed: “The land at the junction of Jacks Key estate and the A666 was taken off the grass cutting route in 2011/2012, but was added following the introduction of additional funding. Grass cutting continued at the site for 2012/13.

“No grass cutting has occurred at the site during 2013/14 (financial year which began in April). There is an opportunity for local residents to address the maintenance of the land themselves.

“The council has seen a number of community groups form, or existing groups take on maintenance of unadopted areas, via the ‘Your Call’ campaign with the council providing residents with the tools and training to undertake the work necessary.”

Comments (13)

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12:19pm Tue 21 Jan 14

BlackburnEyes says...

if the residents cut the grass between the A666 and their homes then i assume the council will transfer ownership of the land to the residents....i doubt it....perhaps if C Karima Foster had a pair on her she would stand up to Kate Hollern and demand the services....this is typical
if the residents cut the grass between the A666 and their homes then i assume the council will transfer ownership of the land to the residents....i doubt it....perhaps if C Karima Foster had a pair on her she would stand up to Kate Hollern and demand the services....this is typical BlackburnEyes
  • Score: 9

12:20pm Tue 21 Jan 14

useyourhead says...

On the face of it the loss of this service will be viewed as a bad thing but with over one hundred people who would like it done they could maybe make a day of it and have a little picnic or mini street party to celebrate it afterwards. some may not be up to the physical effort but can still contribute with a few butties and tea, and get to know each other a little better in the process.
On the face of it the loss of this service will be viewed as a bad thing but with over one hundred people who would like it done they could maybe make a day of it and have a little picnic or mini street party to celebrate it afterwards. some may not be up to the physical effort but can still contribute with a few butties and tea, and get to know each other a little better in the process. useyourhead
  • Score: 13

12:20pm Tue 21 Jan 14

pm1960 says...

Unfortunately the article misses out the main point - the land isn't owned by the Council !
*
In these times of severe Govt cuts to local authorities the Council cannot be expected to cut grass that isn't in their ownership.
*
Maybe Councillor Foster wants the council to cut her lawn too ?! The 'Your Call' scheme is a sensible way forward, - it has worked in other areas, so surely residents and Cllr Foster can make it work in Whitehall ?
Unfortunately the article misses out the main point - the land isn't owned by the Council ! * In these times of severe Govt cuts to local authorities the Council cannot be expected to cut grass that isn't in their ownership. * Maybe Councillor Foster wants the council to cut her lawn too ?! The 'Your Call' scheme is a sensible way forward, - it has worked in other areas, so surely residents and Cllr Foster can make it work in Whitehall ? pm1960
  • Score: 10

12:22pm Tue 21 Jan 14

pm1960 says...

BlackburnEyes wrote:
if the residents cut the grass between the A666 and their homes then i assume the council will transfer ownership of the land to the residents....i doubt it....perhaps if C Karima Foster had a pair on her she would stand up to Kate Hollern and demand the services....this is typical
It isn't typical - the Council do not own the land.
[quote][p][bold]BlackburnEyes[/bold] wrote: if the residents cut the grass between the A666 and their homes then i assume the council will transfer ownership of the land to the residents....i doubt it....perhaps if C Karima Foster had a pair on her she would stand up to Kate Hollern and demand the services....this is typical[/p][/quote]It isn't typical - the Council do not own the land. pm1960
  • Score: 6

12:36pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Bat E Karen says...

pm1960 wrote:
Unfortunately the article misses out the main point - the land isn't owned by the Council !
*
In these times of severe Govt cuts to local authorities the Council cannot be expected to cut grass that isn't in their ownership.
*
Maybe Councillor Foster wants the council to cut her lawn too ?! The 'Your Call' scheme is a sensible way forward, - it has worked in other areas, so surely residents and Cllr Foster can make it work in Whitehall ?
Who owns the land then?
[quote][p][bold]pm1960[/bold] wrote: Unfortunately the article misses out the main point - the land isn't owned by the Council ! * In these times of severe Govt cuts to local authorities the Council cannot be expected to cut grass that isn't in their ownership. * Maybe Councillor Foster wants the council to cut her lawn too ?! The 'Your Call' scheme is a sensible way forward, - it has worked in other areas, so surely residents and Cllr Foster can make it work in Whitehall ?[/p][/quote]Who owns the land then? Bat E Karen
  • Score: 5

1:16pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Barb-Dwyer says...

if this is all the 101 people to have to worry about on a daily basis then how i wish i lived at Jack Keys.

If its not council land why should i pay for your maintenance?

put £1 per month in a fund, surely then you would have enough put by to fund the butting yourselves. either that or get off your back sides and DO IT YOURSELF
if this is all the 101 people to have to worry about on a daily basis then how i wish i lived at Jack Keys. If its not council land why should i pay for your maintenance? put £1 per month in a fund, surely then you would have enough put by to fund the butting yourselves. either that or get off your back sides and DO IT YOURSELF Barb-Dwyer
  • Score: 13

3:42pm Tue 21 Jan 14

pm1960 says...

Bat E Karen wrote:
pm1960 wrote: Unfortunately the article misses out the main point - the land isn't owned by the Council ! * In these times of severe Govt cuts to local authorities the Council cannot be expected to cut grass that isn't in their ownership. * Maybe Councillor Foster wants the council to cut her lawn too ?! The 'Your Call' scheme is a sensible way forward, - it has worked in other areas, so surely residents and Cllr Foster can make it work in Whitehall ?
Who owns the land then?
Dunno, but it ain't the Council. Councillor Foster should have the info.
[quote][p][bold]Bat E Karen[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]pm1960[/bold] wrote: Unfortunately the article misses out the main point - the land isn't owned by the Council ! * In these times of severe Govt cuts to local authorities the Council cannot be expected to cut grass that isn't in their ownership. * Maybe Councillor Foster wants the council to cut her lawn too ?! The 'Your Call' scheme is a sensible way forward, - it has worked in other areas, so surely residents and Cllr Foster can make it work in Whitehall ?[/p][/quote]Who owns the land then?[/p][/quote]Dunno, but it ain't the Council. Councillor Foster should have the info. pm1960
  • Score: 7

5:21pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Excluded again says...

If the Council do not own the land, then why should Council Tax payers be paying for the owners' failing to take responsibility.

Cllr Foster and the residents need to find out who the real owners are and get them to fulfill their responsibilities on their land.
If the Council do not own the land, then why should Council Tax payers be paying for the owners' failing to take responsibility. Cllr Foster and the residents need to find out who the real owners are and get them to fulfill their responsibilities on their land. Excluded again
  • Score: 10

6:56pm Tue 21 Jan 14

phil kernot says...

Private land private matter
Private land private matter phil kernot
  • Score: 5

6:56pm Tue 21 Jan 14

raggedtrouseredphilanthropist says...

The something for nothing brigade at it again.
For Jacks Key read Benefits Street, maybe?
The something for nothing brigade at it again. For Jacks Key read Benefits Street, maybe? raggedtrouseredphilanthropist
  • Score: 0

9:01pm Tue 21 Jan 14

GrindletonBob says...

It will cost the Council more with administering the provision of industrial lawn mowers, essential health and safety training for any residents using the equipment (where there's a blame, there's a claim!), repairing it if misused and presumably having to deliver and collect it each time. Unless they are going to spend even more money providing a storage facility as I can't see anyone wanting to donate their garage!

These small savings are just a token effort and the residents of Jacks Key are Council tax payers just like anyone else. Given the typical size of the houses, probably nothing below Band E so already forking out a fair amount. Not saying this should guarantee a premium service, but basic Council maintenance services at the very least. What next? A streetlamp fails, so the Council offer a cherry picker and a new lamp to one of the residents who fancies helping out, or some tarmac and a roller to fill some pot holes.

And the grass will continue to be cut where the Blackburn politicians are courting the voters....
It will cost the Council more with administering the provision of industrial lawn mowers, essential health and safety training for any residents using the equipment (where there's a blame, there's a claim!), repairing it if misused and presumably having to deliver and collect it each time. Unless they are going to spend even more money providing a storage facility as I can't see anyone wanting to donate their garage! These small savings are just a token effort and the residents of Jacks Key are Council tax payers just like anyone else. Given the typical size of the houses, probably nothing below Band E so already forking out a fair amount. Not saying this should guarantee a premium service, but basic Council maintenance services at the very least. What next? A streetlamp fails, so the Council offer a cherry picker and a new lamp to one of the residents who fancies helping out, or some tarmac and a roller to fill some pot holes. And the grass will continue to be cut where the Blackburn politicians are courting the voters.... GrindletonBob
  • Score: -5

9:37pm Tue 21 Jan 14

Excluded again says...

GrindletonBob wrote:
It will cost the Council more with administering the provision of industrial lawn mowers, essential health and safety training for any residents using the equipment (where there's a blame, there's a claim!), repairing it if misused and presumably having to deliver and collect it each time. Unless they are going to spend even more money providing a storage facility as I can't see anyone wanting to donate their garage!

These small savings are just a token effort and the residents of Jacks Key are Council tax payers just like anyone else. Given the typical size of the houses, probably nothing below Band E so already forking out a fair amount. Not saying this should guarantee a premium service, but basic Council maintenance services at the very least. What next? A streetlamp fails, so the Council offer a cherry picker and a new lamp to one of the residents who fancies helping out, or some tarmac and a roller to fill some pot holes.

And the grass will continue to be cut where the Blackburn politicians are courting the voters....
So the Council should maintain any and all bits of private land in the Borough where the owners can't be bothered.

Let's see our Council Tax go through the roof as any owner of land who wants to save a bob or two can leave their land to go to rack and ruin, happy in the knowledge that the Council will pick up the tab?

Of course the Council should maintain public streetlamps and potholes on public roads. But on this argument, they should be replacing lightbulbs in people's houses and mending people's drives, if the owners can't be bothered.
[quote][p][bold]GrindletonBob[/bold] wrote: It will cost the Council more with administering the provision of industrial lawn mowers, essential health and safety training for any residents using the equipment (where there's a blame, there's a claim!), repairing it if misused and presumably having to deliver and collect it each time. Unless they are going to spend even more money providing a storage facility as I can't see anyone wanting to donate their garage! These small savings are just a token effort and the residents of Jacks Key are Council tax payers just like anyone else. Given the typical size of the houses, probably nothing below Band E so already forking out a fair amount. Not saying this should guarantee a premium service, but basic Council maintenance services at the very least. What next? A streetlamp fails, so the Council offer a cherry picker and a new lamp to one of the residents who fancies helping out, or some tarmac and a roller to fill some pot holes. And the grass will continue to be cut where the Blackburn politicians are courting the voters....[/p][/quote]So the Council should maintain any and all bits of private land in the Borough where the owners can't be bothered. Let's see our Council Tax go through the roof as any owner of land who wants to save a bob or two can leave their land to go to rack and ruin, happy in the knowledge that the Council will pick up the tab? Of course the Council should maintain public streetlamps and potholes on public roads. But on this argument, they should be replacing lightbulbs in people's houses and mending people's drives, if the owners can't be bothered. Excluded again
  • Score: 7

2:21am Sun 26 Jan 14

Echo67 says...

Pop down to the Travellers site at Ewood and borrow one of their horse, tie it up and leave for a couple of weeks problem solved.
Pop down to the Travellers site at Ewood and borrow one of their horse, tie it up and leave for a couple of weeks problem solved. Echo67
  • Score: 3

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