Falkirk Council: Row over lack of grass cutting in Camelon and Hallglen

Residents have criticised the length of time Falkirk Council is taking to review response to recent consultation on grass cutting.

Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 12:30 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th July 2022, 1:01 pm

Many are unhappy that a report will not go to councillors until October.

They will then make a decision on whether to continue with the sustainable grass management project and if other areas should be included.

But after an elderly man fell while trying to walk on an uncut grassy area on Saturday, angry residents are demanding that the local authority use “common sense” about areas which need cut.

Residents are unhappy at the lack of grass cutting in their neighbourhoods

It is understood the man lay for some time before being discovered by neighbours.

He had been leaving through a gate on his property onto a patch of land between Clarinda Avenue and Glencairn Street in Camelon.

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Locals have now cut the grass around the area to allow the man and others to walk safely.

But they say that the grass is still being cut in nearby Elizabeth Crescent.

One concerned neighbour said: “Enough is enough and someone with some common sense should make the call regarding the grass cutting to the rear of the houses.

"Our animals are coming in almost every day with ticks and the dog mess that cannot be collected is insurmountable. The review in October is too late.“There are now massive areas of rewilding – some of these areas are valid and are not an eyesore, but in my opinion, the ones near our homes make these areas look unkempt.”

A pilot project by the council in 2021 saw 35 areas around the district, including parks and roadside verges, and examined the best ways of creating more space for wildlife, while saving the local authority money.

Currently, more than 600 hectares of grass are cut 12 times a year, however, the initiative will look at options such as delaying the first cut, creating meadows, cutting less often or even leaving grass uncut.

The council ran public consultation on the project which ended on June 1.

A spokesperson for Falkirk Council said: “We are concerned to hear of the gentleman’s fall and hope he makes a full recovery from any injuries sustained.

“The grassland trials were taking place across a number of locations and are part of a wider environmental scheme to help contribute towards climate change and improve natural habitats from a biodiversity perspective.

“We are currently working through the extensive feedback from the public consultation that will help inform our approach going forward. This will then be taken as a detailed report to elected members expected in October this year for a decision on how we progress our sustainable grass management programme.”

They declined to say how much money reducing the grass cutting programme would save the council.

Meanwhile, a resident of more than 40 years in Hallglen claims the council is reneging on a deal to cut the grass next to Culmore Place six times a year.

The owner occupier says he has a letter dating back to 1986 saying this would be carried out.

He said: “It was cut twice last year. It’s an eyesore and full of vermin.”

A Falkirk Council spokesperson said: “We carried out a health and safety review in 2015 to look at the dangers associated with grounds maintenance staff operating machinery on gradients above 30 degrees.

“As a result new specialist slope mower machinery was bought and the cutting frequency was reduced to three cuts a year to reduce any health and safety risks for employees.”