OF course the grass cutting contract let out by Wiltshire Council should be carefully monitored to ensure that it is being implemented properly and reviewed to make sure that taxpayers are getting value for money, but the more fundamental question is why is the council paying such a huge amount of taxpayers’ money to Balfour Beatty in the first place?

Why is the council paying to destroy precious wildlife habitats – which is what our verges and hedges represent – at such great cost rather than, for example, funding care for those who are disabled or mentally ill?

How many of the care homes being closed across the county could stay open if we weren’t paying a large civil engineering company to mow the road verges?

In these times of tight financial constraints we could surely do without mowed verges for the sake of those who need to be looked after.

And to those who cry “health and safety” I would point out that often the safety signs are left obscured because the large mowers aren’t readily manoeuvrable – so by all means clear the signs (by hand or smaller machines) but please leave the rest to nature, for there are few sights more beautiful than a hedgerow in bloom.

Some counties are even marketing themselves to tourists on that basis, making it a winwin strategy.

Julie Davis, Amport

WE would like to clarify following the article concerning grass verge cutting around the city (Journal, June 19) referring to ‘the unkempt state of the city’s roads’ that these urban cutting.

The grass verge cutting is divided into urban and rural cutting.

Simon Jackson Contractors Ltd has been contracted to do the rural verge cutting around the county of Wiltshire.

We have been involved with this cutting for more than 26 years and are still maintaining our high standards of verge cutting.

This year, with all the rainfall, has been a prolific growing season, however we are still working within the time limits we have been given by Balfour Beatty Living Places’ remit.

We hope this article will not cast a shadow over our business as we are still providing an excellent service to Wiltshire Council.

Ali Lake, Salisbury