A confidential internal memo has been circulated to Councillors reacting to criticism of verge maintenance standards.
It also claims that the weed treatment programme is being brought forward.
A senior official says that verges are cut on 10 occasions each year between March and September. He goes on to say “as the rate of grass growth has slowed down, we are now starting to see improvements in the standard of cut, which will continue to improve as we undertake further cuts”.
Verges in the Foxwood Lane area have been subject to criticism, with one experienced local professional gardener saying that the edges are now so overgrown that they will need to be cut with a rotary cutter or strimmed if they are to recover their appearance.
On weeds, the Council says that they are treated in May/June, July/August & Sept/Oct. with a non-residual weed killer.
“This results in the ‘killing’ of all weeds that are growing at the time of treatment but any that germinate after the spray has passed will continue to grow until the next treatment later in the summer”.
“We are all aware of the issues regarding the amount of weeds visible in certain parts of the city, as previously stated this is due to the weather earlier in the year, we have worked with our contractor on a number of ways to improve the situation, as detailed below:
Our contractor has deployed additional resources at their cost.
We brought the commencement of the second treatment forward.
Our staff were deployed last week to start to strim and remove the very large weeds from the back lanes, as these would look unsightly even when dead”
The Council also says that the first cut of the Bar Walls – during in June – has not taken place because specialist equipment (supplied from Germany) has not yet arrived in the City
There has been no official comment from Executive Councillors about the poor standards evident in some parts of the City.
However one Independent Councillor – Mark Warters from Osbaldwick – Is understood to have told officials that a more professional approach to weed control is needed in the city. He says that the service should be brought back “in house”. Like many other residents, he believes that the weed killer used earlier in the year may have been washed off by rain before it had taken effect.
There is one piece of good news to report though, with several householders having cut back hedges from public footpaths over the weekend. This has reduced the number of obstructions on several streets.