Northampton woman, 79, feels like she is 'hitting her head against a brick wall' over grass verge saga

"It's been cut but it's still a mess"

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 7:45 am
Updated Monday, 26th July 2021, 10:36 am

A 79-year-old Northampton woman said she feels like she is 'hitting her head against a brick wall' trying to get the council to look after a grass verge outside her home.

Anne Harris, of Clipston Way, Duston, got in touch with Chronicle & Echo this week to call on the council to cut the grass outside her home, which had not been trimmed for over a month.

After that story went live on Tuesday (July 20), local councillors were in touch with Anne immediately and her grass was subsequently cut by the council on Wednesday (July 21).

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Anne Harris complained about the grass being too long (top) and now wants the council to pick the discarded grass cuttings up (below).

However, the council has once again left the grass cuttings in big piles on the verge which, according to Anne, start to 'rot and stink'.

The pensioner is now questioning whether it is worth her time expecting the council to both cut the grass and clean up after themselves.

She said: "It's been cut but it's still a mess and if we have all the rain forecast this weekend, it will just lay there and rot and stink.

"I should think everyone who lives round here objects to it. We just seem to be hitting our heads against a brick wall all the while - I'm getting a bit of a headache. My husband said it makes you think if it's worth the time.

"This new contractor said it was going to be 'wonderful, pristine', they're going to do this and that, but it just does not seem to have worked.

"Nobody seems to care anymore. Everybody has got this attitude, they just don't care. It's just ridiculous. People have got this attitude that someone else will clean it up. It's like that in the town in general. I was taught that if you have got rubbish, you put it in the bin. But no one seems to have that attitude anymore."

Anne initially got in touch with this newspaper in May, demanding that the council cleaned up the grass cuttings left on the verge back then.

The council did clean up the cuttings but, according to Anne, said it was a 'one-off' that time.

Anne added: "I really don't know where to go from here. Possibly back to the councillors. They are supposed to be our representatives. It's about time these councillors pulled their fingers out and cleaned up Duston.

"Perhaps all the people out of work or drawing money from the government should be made to contribute and to go and pick up rubbish."

Anne has previously said that the council leaves the grass waste due to the 'environmental impacts' it brings.

Cllr Phil Larratt, from WNC, said: “The amount of resource required to clear up grass cuttings after each mow would create a huge additional financial burden on the taxpayer and a much larger carbon footprint.

“Leaving the grass cuttings in place avoids all of the additional cost and environmental impacts, to box cut everywhere would mean more frequent cuts, more frequent trips to dispose of arisings, greater wear and tear on the machinery, more fuel being used, though we understand it can look a little untidy for the first few cuts.

"We would urge anyone who is concerned about the standard of our services to contact us at [email protected] and we will investigate.”

The councillor was asked how big the carbon footprint would be when mowing and bagging the grass.

He said: "“Carbon footprint for grounds maintenance activities such as grass cutting is not measured at the moment, but leaving grass cuttings in situ has financial benefits for the taxpayer while the grass clippings, when left in place after cutting the grass, will provide a ready source of fertilizer while helping the soil retain water.”