Two councils shell out extra cash for grass cutting in Banbury

Grass cutting in action PNL-150414-110401001
Grass cutting in action PNL-150414-110401001

Two councils have been forced to shell out about £12,000 each for new grass cuttings in Banbury following anger from some residents about the state of the town.

Earlier this year Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) cut the number of grass cuttings on verges throughout the county from five to two a year after funding reductions.

Thames Water technician Jonny Sparkes, 42, of Longleat Close, Banbury, said uncut verges made the town look “scruffy” and “untidy” while also constituting a hazard for his two year-old daughter.

He said: “She could run through grass out to the road and would be very hard to see.”

He added: “And some of the country roads are dangerous because the grass is so long and you can’t see round bends.”

Now Cherwell District Council (CDC) and Banbury Town Council (BTC) have agreed to jointly fund an additional two cuts a year, each costing about £12,000. A CDC spokesperson said the first of these took place last month.

The spokesperson added: “Cherwell District Council recognises the problems caused by Oxfordshire County Council’s decision to cut highway verges only twice a year.

“The county council is currently undertaking its first cut in the town and CDC is now considering with Banbury Town Council what further grass cuts it should complete this year to maintain a better standard of grass verges in Banbury than would otherwise be the case.”

Town councillor Sean Woodcock said: “My concern is services being palmed off to town and parish councils because of cuts at county hall.

“It is a case of residents paying twice.

“Surely the money to pay for this service could be found by not increasing councillors allowances!”