Local residents stopped from volunteering to cut grass

Health and safety checks put a stop to willing volunteers cutting neglected areas of long grass

A group of volunteers in Blackpool who have been cutting neglected grassy areas in the community, have been angered by council chiefs who have put a stop to their help because of health and safety concerns.

Volunteers will now only be able to cut the grass after expensive, drawn out checks have been made.

Residents in Blackpool took it upon themselves to cut the grass after noticing roadside verges, children’s play areas and community areas in the town were over-run with 4ft tall grass, nettles and weeds.

These areas had been left to grow because the council decided to concentrate only on keeping pitches and parks tidy to help cut costs.

Blackpool council has stopped volunteers cutting grassy areas over health and safety fears

Blackpool council has stopped volunteers cutting grassy areas over health and safety fears

Local residents got out their strimmer’s and lawnmowers in a joint effort to tidy up the areas but have been told to keep off council land, which is run by Labour, until a ‘risk assessment’ has been completed.

Blackpool residents could not believe the ridiculousness of the decision and feel that the true risk could be if a child falls on some broken glass, or other rubbish, that might be hidden in the long grass. They were also worried about those who suffer from asthma and hay fever.

“This ludicrous decision will allow the verges to grow sky high.” Said Linda Spencer.

The leader of the council’s Conservative group, Tony Williams, said: “The residents have rolled up their sleeves to do the job and all the council can do is moan about health and safety.”

He also went on to say that the whole health and safety concerns mean that residents will end up having to fill in forms and have their garden equipment looked at by members of the council. He added that it is bureaucracy gone mad and that the council would have been better to employ people to do the job.

Graham Cain, the council cabinet secretary, said: “Using sharp mechanical equipment like lawnmowers and strimmer’s in your private property is very different to using them on public land.”

“If, heaven forbid, there was an accident there would be some very serious health and safety issues for all those concerned.”

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