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Take some action over grass-cutting
9:39am Thursday 22nd May 2014 in Letters
MANY readers may have become bored with stories about the lamentable failure of Balfour Beatty Living Places (BBLP) to efficiently deliver the Wiltshire Council grass-cutting contract.
However, instances of this failure still abound.
This Saturday, a woman rang me demanding to know why the grass in front of County Hall was being cut yet again – yes, on a Saturday – when other areas still had not been cut at all this year.
Forceful questioning has made Cabinet member, John Thomson, publicly apologise for the overall failure of grass cutting this year.
He said BBLP are “drinking in the last chance saloon”.
The new BBLP manager has also apologised to me personally.
However, apologies are not enough - residents want action.
When I pressed this point, Wiltshire Council officers asked me to stop putting on the pressure for at least three weeks to give BBLP time to get back on track.
My response was to query why they were derailed in the first place.
After I made these points, a number of Conservative councillors came up to me saying how bad the grass was in their patch.
When I asked why they didn’t complain, they admitted they were under party orders “not to rock the boat”.
This, I am afraid, is often the reality at County Hall.
Backbench Conservative councillors regularly line up like docile sheep to support Jane Scott’s administration.
If residents remain dissatisfied with BBLP’s attempts at grass cutting, please still contact me and I will maintain the pressure.
Personally I have serious doubts that BBLP are fit for purpose on this aspect of their £24m mega contract.
Jeff Osborn, independent Wiltshire councillor
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