Council finalise cutting arrangements
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MORAY Council is appealing for volunteers following an announcement on how grass will be cut in public areas in the future.
The arrangements have been finalised for the 2019/20 grass cutting season, following decisions made February's 2019/20 budget-setting meeting and consultation with local councillors.
A local authority spokeswoman explained: "We’re reducing grass cutting in housing areas and open amenity spaces. This means that housing areas, as well as playing fields, and some parks, will have a single strip cut adjacent to paths. This is to stop vegetation creeping onto paths and damaging them, and to allow for pedestrian access."
Each year, between April and October, Moray Council routinely cuts more than 7 million square metres of grass across the area's land, parks and countryside. Grass edging is carried out on alternate visits to sites, whereas grass clippings are not routinely collected.
Within the allocated budget, the local authority prioritise the cutting of grass within cemeteries and main public parks. The frequency of grass cutting is site specific and also budget dependant.
Some special arrangements have been agreed as exceptions. War memorials, full sized-sports pitches, grass around children’s play equipment on land owned by the council, informal sports pitches, flood schemes and roadside verges as per roads maintenance requirements will continue to be cut.
Council housing areas will continue to be cut as per previous years, funded from the Housing Revenue Account to not have an impact on the savings approved by councillors
A small number of high amenity plots in prominent positions will be cut including at St Laurence Church and War Veterans Cottages.
The cemeteries which have had no burials in the past 10 years will be reduced to four cuts per season, including at Rafford old cemetery.
Rural footpaths will be reduced to one cut per season.
The council spokeswoman added: "We won’t maintain grass on sites which we don’t own or control including at Dallas' Houldsworth Institute play area and estd verge; Darnaway: Redstone play area; Findhorn: playing field, Findhorn Village Centre, Hendry’s Green; Forres: Meikle Crook; Mundole: Recraig; Rafford playing field.
"Across Moray, local communities have expressed willingness to help with grass cutting, but the kind of help offered differs in each area and this means that we need to work out the legal and other implications for each option. Any community groups looking to get involved can email us for an indication of the cost of cutting playing fields/open amenity grounds which we own.
"We’re also in the process of drafting a volunteers’ procedure for communities who would like to help with the maintenance of grass in Moray.
"This will set out options and steps that communities would need to take to ensure that volunteers and the council can deliver grass cutting services safely."