HOW many readers have received their invitation from Wiltshire Council leader, Jane Scott, to attend the VIP opening of the council’s new refurbished offices in Trowbridge on Monday, June 23?
Preparations for the event are well under way judging by the number of times the grass area in front of county hall has been lovingly cut and manicured.
During that same time councillors have been deluged with complaints regarding the lack of grass cutting throughout our wards.
Some areas have not received one cut this year or, where they have been cut, the quality of the work is abysmal.
I regularly receive four or five complaints a day. One lady said when the Balfour Beatty team did turn up to do the work, they packed up half way through. She asked why they were leaving: “We have to get back to Exeter,” was their reply.
Local councillors are fed up with taking the flak for the failings of county hall. You would have thought that Jane Scott and the responsible cabinet member, John Thomson, would have publicly apologised for all the failings with the grass cutting contract. After all they awarded the contract to Balfour Beatty. But it has been left to the ordinary backbench councillors to try to sort it out. This is not good enough and demonstrates a lack of leadership.
Just for the record a fair number of ordinary councillors will not be attending Jane Scott’s VIP event. We simply want the grass in our wards to be cut to the same standard as it is outside county hall.
Jeff Osborn, Independent Wiltshire councillor
HURRAH for Wiltshire Council that it is sufficiently enlightened about its environmental responsibilities not to waste money on making its verges look like an urban park rather than the beautiful wild countryside it is!
Are your readers not aware of the campaign by Plantlife to discourage councils from mowing all our verges into a uniform broad leaved grass, with no wild flowers and consequent loss of wildlife – including impacts on birds and bugs?
When budgets are so tight it seems absurd to be spending millions on paying a large contract to decimate our hedges and verges while funding for those in need is cut and cut.
We cannot afford everything we each want, and I for one would prefer to support those in need than to destroy more of our countryside habitat.
Julie Davis, Amport
I AM not surprised by Wiltshire Council’s course of action regarding the mess left by the contract grass cutters Balfour Beatty.
Spending thousands of pounds, but letting all the tax payers down. They cut grass in Bishopdown last Monday bank holiday, and what a mess - it looked like a farmer’s field when they left.
They should be made to go back and clean up the mess they have left. The top end of Bishopdown Road and all along Dennison Rise is cut and left to rot and then smell.
The grass should never be left until it is a foot long before cutting, so make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Don Mankin, Bishopdown