JUDGING by recent correspondence, there is considerable dissatisfaction with the grass cutting service and general maintenance of paths and verges in Northumberland.
In the Parkside area of Cramlington, local residents have taken to edging the paths themselves to prevent the ever decreasing width of walkways in the area.
I have done the same to the path alongside my house, removing up to a foot of grass that has grown over from the adjoining grassed area.
However, every time that the marauding high speed grass cutters are let loose from the bizarrely named ‘Neat’ depot, the edges are flattened on to the path and the spread recommences.
The council response in some areas has been to ‘napalm’ kerb edges, leaving them brown with dead vegetation for up to a foot into the grass.
This has the inevitable result that weeds such as dandelions and thistles will flourish before the grass ever grows again.
Grass is strewn all over Cramlington as the buzzing hoards of mowers invade.
Little concern is shown as the machines take sharp turns and wheels spin, digging into the soil in the ever manic maelstrom of this high speed attack.
Grass and seeds are left to root in paths and verges, and any that don’t are trailed into houses or end up down the drains.
These struggle to cope with heavy rainfall as it is, but this ever increasing mulch is hardly going to improve matters.
Surely the experts at County Hall can see that this method of approach is building up a mountain of expensive remedial work, where paths become so overgrown, kerb edges burst with vegetation and flooding becomes worse.
It is poignant to observe that the council can cut the grass properly; mowers with proper collecting boxes maintain the large roundabouts for the benefit of those in the ivory towers at Morpeth.
They will never have to see the mess that residents have to put up with.
I have e-mailed Northumberland County Council but have only received the standard automated reply that my complaint has been forwarded to the relevant department.
If a school fails, an academy is set with control being taken away from the county council.
Perhaps the same strategy could be put in place for other failing services.
Is anybody up for a ‘free Neat service’ with direct funding from central government?