Residents slam cash-strapped council for 'neglecting' seaside town

Residents slam cash-strapped council for 'neglecting' seaside town Residents slam cash-strapped council for 'neglecting' seaside town

Residents have slammed a cash-strapped council for neglecting their seaside town by letting overgrown hedges block road signs.

Multiple road signs across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole in idyllic Dorset are no longer visible due to 'disgraceful' long grass which is part of the local authority's eco policy.

One local claimed he had to drive at 10mph to read the road signs through the weeds, while others said the overgrown verges were 'dangerous' to motorists and pedestrians.

The backlash comes as cash-strapped Liberal Democrat-run BCP Council have apparently chosen to let the grass grow to boost local wildlife and save £450,000 a year on ground maintenance costs.

But it has now emerged that their 12 most senior employees earned £1.4million between them last year, including the chief executive Graham Farrant who was paid £200,000.

There have also been complaints about local cemeteries becoming overgrown, preventing grieving families from being able to reach loved ones' graves.

Poole resident Bob Lister said: 'It is not No Mow May, it's not rewilding - it's a sign of respect.

'The council is doing less and less - the grass is not being mown on verges everywhere, the road signs are being blocked off and they are not replacing the hanging baskets. It's disgraceful.'

His views were echoed on social media, with one resident claiming his dog twice needed veterinary treatment because of the state of the verges.

John Harding said: 'All very well rewilding but cut around the signs and cut approaches to traffic roundabouts and junctions for road safety at least!

'It's dangerous.

'BCP can also pay pet owners for their vet fees for grass seeds in dogs paws.

'Two operations in two years due to this. Never happened before.'

Shaun Stockley said: 'Another thing councils have decided they can't be bothered to do anymore. What do we actually pay council tax for?'

Scott Jarman added: 'Used to be a time when councils took pride in their town. Neat grass/verges/bushes.'

Opposition leader Phil Broadhead, of the Conservatives, who ran the council until May 2023, said it was 'simply not good enough to let our area slip in the way it has recently'.

He added: 'The council are wasting money by spending untold amounts on extra planning committees and their war on motorists.

'Although to be fair if we're all driving at 10mph it will make it easier to read the street signs through the weeds.'

BCP Council said the overgrown verges were due to a 'flush in growth' causing the grass to grow taller in between cuts.

They said they will complete their 'cutting rounds' as soon as they can while working within their 'financial constraints'.

A BCP spokesperson said: 'Every effort is made to complete the cutting rounds in the shortest possible time with the resources available to us.

'Although the grounds maintenance budget at BCP Council has been reduced, the declared 2019 climate and ecological emergency remains a very important consideration.

'Part of our response to this has been to change the way some green spaces are managed across the BCP area. Some areas are mown regularly, and some are allowed to grow.*

'This helps us develop sustainable policies and procedures as we work to tackle climate change and improve conditions for wildlife.

'It also allows our teams to focus their efforts on cutting sites that need regular mowing, such as sports pitches and parks.

'Even in times of financial challenge we continually review and adjust our operations to try and lessen the impact of these constraints on the service..'

Neighbouring Dorset Council has also announced it will reduce the amount of verges being trimmed in Dorset to benefit local wildlife as part of their Love Your Verge campaign.

Russell Goff, greenspace manager at Dorset Council, said: 'Pollinators are essential for helping plants and crops to grow, and the loss of natural habitats is a major threat to them.

'Safety remains our top priority.

'Our approach must strike a balance between cutting verges regularly for visibility and working to enhance Dorset's natural environment.'

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  • https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/other/residents-slam-cash-strapped-council-for-neglecting-seaside-town/ar-BB1nXWO5?ocid=00000000

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