Recently the Parish council and some individual councillors have received a number of complaints about the amount of grass growing in the village, sometimes where it should be growing and sometimes where it shouldn't. It can make our public spaces look untidy and unkempt. While the Parish Council is responsible for cutting grass on the King George V Playing Field, Millennium Garden and Oscroft Green, all other public green space is the responsibility of CW&C. So, when things start to look decidedly shaggy, what can be done?
It has been a particularly good growing season for grass this year. There have been mild conditions and plenty of rain. Anyone who has a lawn will have been very busy keeping on top of the greenery. The same level of work applies to the grass-cutting operations of CW&C. If you go to the website www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk and click on Latest News you will find some excellent statistics about the current grounds maintenance operation. Apparently an area of approximately 93 football pitches is cut every day and heavy rain showers can disrupt the schedule. However if you feel that there is still a problem in Tarvin then there is a web link for you to report it directly to the Council. It is a simple system and allows you to pinpoint on a map precisely where the problem is. There is also the email address for the Borough Councillor responsible for that service, I am sure he would welcome feedback.
While many residents might accept that public grass spaces might not be as well-kept as their own lawns one thing that causes a lot of complaints is grass growing in the gutters. This grass is sprayed by weed killer, but the resulting dead remains provide an excellent growing medium for the next generation of weeds. Ideally the detritus should be removed so that they is less to no chance of regrowth. Again, complaints through the website are quick and straightforward and a large number of individual complaints may well have the desired effect. As with responses to planning applications or policy consultations, it is the volume of complaints that can have an impact.
So if this is the case, is there any point in reporting anything to the Parish Council at all? Yes there is, as the Parish Council frequently and regularly takes up these complaints with the relevant CW&C departments. One of the most common jobs of the Clerk is dealing with such issues and seeking answers from officers. But the legal framework in which a Parish Council works means that such complaints can only be dealt with after a Parish Council meeting has sanctioned such a course of action. Parish Councils meet only once a month, so this may be a long term solution but it is not a fast response system. An on-line complaint however can highlight problems at once and can generate a response within 24hours – though the solution to the problem may take quite a bit longer.
As a Parish Councillor I hope that residents will continue to bring their concerns to me, but I would urge anyone who has access to a computer to also shout directly to the CW&C so that, together, we can keep Tarvin looking as good as it can be.