COUNCIL teams are cutting one-metre strips of grass rather than whole verges because of funding cuts.

Residents have complained to Blackburn with Darwen Council saying the approach is leaving unsafe and unsightly areas of land outside their homes.

But council chiefs said they were unable to cut all 850,000 square metres of grass in the borough after reducing their cutting team from 12 to four workers due to budget cuts.

They said they had no choice but to prioritise areas and that cutting metre strips was aimed at keeping pavements clear.

Atiya Chap, 28, of Regents View, Roe Lee, has a strip of short grass cut around an expanse of long grass outside her home.

The mum-of-three said: “It’s stupid. My kids used to play out in summer but now they can’t do that.

“Kids run in the grass and you don’t know what they could be standing on dog muck or glass.

“People just dump stuff in there now.”

Alison and Tony Park, who live further up the street with their two children, said they had complained to the council.

Mrs Park said: “My son has hayfever and it’s better for him to have the grass cut than all the pollen in the long grass.”

Mr Park added: “It’s not great for the kids and it could have an affect on the house price having a jungle outside.”

Wilfred Taylor, of Parkinson Street, Mill Hill, where two strips have been cut either side of a 10-metre wide patch of grass, branded the decision ‘ridiculous’.

He said: “If they are cutting two strips either side of a field why don’t they just cut it all?”

Another Parkinson Street resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “It’s just ludicrous.

“I know there are cutbacks but when they have dragged a van or trailer here and taken out the lawnmower how much longer would it take to cut it all?”

Coun Faryad Hussain, executive member for environment and sustainability, said the council ‘could not physically’ cut all the grass in the borough after budget cuts left the local authority with the decision to cut services.

She said: “The harsh reality is that we have had to look closely at all our services after £33million was taken away from our budget.

“We cut council owned land only at the moment and it is not possible to cut all of our sites.

“We have also had to reduce the frequency of cuts per year and no longer cut privately-owned land.”

The councillor said the situation was ‘not perfect’ and admitted they were looking at new ways of working.