Deal is struck over grass cutting in Huntingdonshire towns following barrage of complaints

Overgrown grass in Squires Court, Eaton Socon - one of many sites which prompted complaints.

Overgrown grass in Squires Court, Eaton Socon - one of many sites which prompted complaints. - Credit: Archant

Huntingdon Town Council has agreed to take on grass cutting from the county council after complaints from residents that overgrown verges were making neighbourhoods a mess.

At a meeting of the town council held on April 27, councillors heard an agreement had been reached for the town council to cut patches of grass belonging to Cambridgeshire County Council.

The move comes after a string of complaints last summer, in which grass in Huntingdonshire was left uncut for weeks and became overgrown and unsightly.

According to the county council, it will pay the town council approximately £14,000 per year to provide the service.

The town council initially approached Huntingdonshire District Council about taking on some of its grass cutting responsibilities, but was unable to reach an agreement.

Following the meeting, Philip Peacock, clerk to Huntingdon Town Council, said: “Last year the town was in a right mess with the grass cutting as the district council weren’t able to keep on top of it, and were only insisting on doing three cuts throughout the year.

“The town council said to the district council that we can take it on but the district council didn’t want to relinquish it.”

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To stop a repeat of last year’s complaints, however, the town council decided to approach the county council and reached an agreement to take on areas in the town normally cut by the county authority.

“These include verges in the town, the biggest part is Sapley Road and Coneygear Road,” Mr Peacock added.

The council has also taken on responsibility for verges in St Peter’s Road, Huntingdon ring road, and patches of land up to Hinchingbrooke.

So far the council has carried out two cuts of its newly-acquired land, with a further

three cuts likely to be carried out throughout the year.

“The town council is on top of it and is making a good job of grass cutting,” said Mr Peacock.

Huntingdon Town Council has taken on the work for a minimum of five years, and the contract will then be reviewed.

A spokesman for the county council said: “A new contract has been negotiated with Huntingdon Town Council and St Neots Town Council to provide grass cutting services in their respective areas which was previously done by the district council.”

The new contract with the two town councils equates to the same amount previously paid to the district council.

“Huntingdonshire District Council still provide grass cutting services on behalf of the

county council in other areas of the district alongside the town and parish councils.

“The county council is commit-ted to ensuring the best level of service across the county and where possible, encourage services to be provided at a local level,” the spokesman added.