Community pulls together so long grass can be cut


Staff reporter (Leader Live)

RESIDENTS are taking grass cutting into their own hands after a council budget reduction has seen  green spaces become overgrown and knee high.

Rossett resident Kirit Champaneria, 52, has joined forces with neighbours and made a decision to mow council green areas themselves.

Mr Champaneria said a group have been discussing arranging to maintain grass in Broadoaks, near Darland High School, themselves after the council told them it could be weeks before it was cut.

Grass there is already knee high.

“We are going to get together and start cutting it ourselves but we don’t want to do it in case the council are due to come,” he said.

“We just want to know when they are going to come.”

Mr Champaneria said he had sympathy for Wrexham Council’s financial predicament.

The authority is looking to make £45 million of cuts over five years.

“We have a great community here and we always stick together,” he added. “If there is no money, there is no money and something has to give.

“If I had to choose between the grass not getting cut or a little old lady being looked after, I would choose the little old lady every time.”

A £300,000 reduction to the grounds maintenance budget for 2014-15 saw a 50 per cent reduction in the amount of grass cutting in the borough. That meant some areas’ annual cut were reduced from eight cuts to just two.

Last week a further proposed £200,000 reduction in grass cutting spending for next financial year was tabled by the authority as part of £4 million of cuts for 2015-16. A discussion on those cuts was deferred at a Wrexham Council executive board meeting on Tuesday.

Cllr Arfon Jones, who represents Gwersyllt West, said residents cutting grass themselves is “letting the council off the hook”.

He said: “By cutting the grass themselves they are letting the council off the hook.

People in Wrexham pay their council tax and then they are having to deliver the services themselves. Why have they got to pay council tax if that is the case?”

He said some Gwersyllt residents were considering not paying their council tax in protest against the service cuts.

Last month the leader of the Wrexham Independent Group, Cllr David A. Bithell, launched a petition calling for the council to revoke a decision cutting the grounds maintenance budget for this year. More than 100 people have so far signed the petition since it began.

Cllr Bithell said: “The decision to reduce the spending on grass cutting has backfired.”

Wrexham Council was not available for comment.

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