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Grass verges face 'cuts' in funding in Rossendale
GRASS verges in Rossendale could be left to grow if council bosses approve £100,000 worth of cuts to its ground budget.
Three staff in charge of grounds upkeep will be made redundant, and the position of a fourth, who is retiring, will not be replaced, making up the bulk of the cuts.
The workers’ patches, an area of approximately 180,000 square-metres, will no longer be maintained, under the proposals.
A report said grassed areas located along roadsides and within the housing estates could be left unmanaged.
However verges near ‘key gateways’ to the Valley, or those alongside ‘high profile’ routes will receive greater attention than others.
The main areas of the four council-owned cemeteries will be maintained to existing standards, though fringes and woodland edges will be managed in a more ‘natural’ style.
Popular churchyards’ maintenance will remain largely unchanged, whereas less well-visited ones will be left unmown.
Play area maintenance will remain unchanged, as will allotments, however ‘kickabout’ grass areas could be left unkempt.
Camden Blomerley the, secretary of Rossendale Civic Pride, said: “Our volunteers’ litter-picking and groundswork will not make up what proposals say might be cut by the council.
“But given the huge amount of cuts the council are having to make, I can’t see what other option they have. Grounds maintenance is an obvious option, rather than hitting more vital services.”
Council Leader Alyson Barnes said the plans are flexible, according to need and the council is working with community groups to explore other options in grounds maintenance.
She said: “Everybody we have been speaking to appreciates how much of a challenge the cuts are posing for councils.
”We’re working with the community and making the best of a bad situation.”
The council will consider making between £500,000 and £600,000 cuts to its budget at a Cabinet meeting tomorrow.