Business caught in long grass as the cutting row rumbles on

Stuart Morrow of the private company 'Big and Small' cuts the 'jungle' of long grass out Ian Milne business at Seagoe.
Stuart Morrow of the private company 'Big and Small' cuts the 'jungle' of long grass out Ian Milne business at Seagoe.
  • Private move to have grass cut
  • Milne hits out at DRD policy
  • Restricted budget behind decision
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Businessman Ian Milne has had to make private arrangements to have the grass cut around his undertaker’s premises at Seagoe.

“It’s an example of the poor service local business is having to face despite the spiralling rates and taxes,” he said. “The grass all over the place, where the DRD is responsible, is growing like a jungle. Most businesses have to take a pride is the appearance of their area, and with a policy from the DRD to cut it once a year, we don’t know what it would be like if we didn’t take our own action.

It’s an example of the poor service local business is having to face despite the spiralling rates and taxes

Ian Milne

“Business pays the highest rates, yet we don’t have our rubbish removed by the council. We aren’t provided with bins, and now we have to cut the grass in the public areas around our businesses. Where will it all end?”

Councillor Jonny Buckley insisted that the ABC Council was on the ball in area for which they were responsible. “But roads and the NI Housing Executive state they can only afford to do it once a year and that’s takes away civic pride. The council used to do on their behalf for payment, but that has stopped, and we can’t spend the rates on what are Stormont responsibilities.”

He added that the council had written to Stormont for a round-table conference to have the issue resolved, “although it’s a problem all over Northern Ireland. But in certain areas, it’s a road danger with long grass blocking the view at junctions””

He added, “We sympathise with business people who seem to be rates and taxed to the hilt, but until the Minister gets his priorities right, the problem will remain.

The DRD insists that a restricted budget has to be spent wisely and that the once-a-year is “a sad reality”