North Ayrshire Council is making steady progress in tackling the backlog of grass-cutting caused by the temporary halt of the service due to Covid-19.
During the initial phase of lockdown, many grounds maintenance staff had to be redeployed to other essential frontline services, including bin collections and food delivery to help in the Council’s response to crisis. During this time, only essential grounds maintenance works were carried out.
With government measures introduced in late May to begin relaxing lockdown, the Council, along with local authorities across the country, resumed its wider grass-cutting services last month.
Initially the works focused on parks, promenades and main routes. But with the backlog in these areas now cleared, grounds maintenance staff are working their way through the remaining locations.
However, the level of grass growth has meant that the initial cut takes longer and puts a strain on equipment – so they are asking for residents’ continued support as they tackle the work as quickly as they can.
Councillor Jim Montgomerie, Cabinet Member for Green New Deal and Sustainability, said: “The decision to delay our grass-cutting service was obviously a really difficult one for us, but in light of the Covid-19 situation we were faced with at the end of March and the challenges in terms of resources, we were left with no choice.
“We simply had to focus on essential services and protecting our most vulnerable. This meant that many of our Streetscene staff had to be redeployed to help in our response to the crisis including food delivery and household bin collections.
“Now that lockdown measures are beginning to ease, and our staff return to their normal duties, we are extremely grateful to the huge effort of our Streetscene team. They are working tirelessly, seven days a week at present, to try and clear the backlog of grass-cutting and have our communities looking their best again.
“They have made considerable progress in such a short space of time and we ask for your continued patience as they build-up to a normal service.
“If somewhere in your area is usually maintained by the Council but hasn’t been attended to as yet, we ask that you bear with us - we will get to any areas still requiring attention as soon as we can.”
The Garden Tidy Scheme is set to resume from mid-July. All customers of this service have been lettered to advise them of these plans.