Politicians express frustration at lack of action

Overgrown verges at Monbrief Road/Drumgask Road, Craigavon.
Overgrown verges at Monbrief Road/Drumgask Road, Craigavon.

Grass cutting or the lack of it has been a constant problem for local councillors with constituents regularly sharing their upset and anger on the issue.

SDLP Cllr Joe Nelson said: “The non-cutting of hedges and verges is a big deal as the growing season is well and truly upon us.

“This is particularly bad in rural areas. The safety at road junctions is the responsibility of DfI roads and we continue to lobby, harass,cajole etc. To no avail.

“It’s all down to budget which they say they don’t have full allocation of due to the lack of an executive on the Hill.

“Same issues with trying to get potholes fixed after the winter many of which still exist.

“As elected reps we have great difficulty and frustration in getting anything done.

“Hedges are the responsibility of landowners and road service have a mandate to ensure hedge owners comply with their responsibilities. No hedge cutting is allowed in the bird nesting season from April to October.

“Council are responsible for maintaining their own lands as are NIHE and this continues to be done regularly.

“Council used to do some grass cutting for DfI and were paid for it (at cost) but when the belts were tightened that went as well,” he said.

DUP Cllr Darryn Causby said: “The DUP position on grass cutting in our Borough is very clear.

“We will fight to ensure that the Council grass cutting schedule is not reduced in any way as we previously have done in the former Craigavon Council.

“We understand that Council have historically cut some portions of land not in their control on behalf of Transport NI and were previously paid for this work, whilst there is now no payment Council are still carrying this service.

“Transport NI have significantly reduced their grass cutting service to a level that we think is unacceptable and in some cases unsafe. If Council were to cut the areas TNI are not cutting the rate payer will essentially end up paying twice for the same service and we deem that unacceptable,” he said.

“ We appeal to TNI to reconsider their policy in relation to grass cutting and work to ensure that their land and road verges are kept to an acceptable standard.

“We will continue to lobby on behalf of the people in our Borough for better services and ensure that public sector agencies are fulfilling their obligations to our residents”