Lack of maintenance is bringing St Albans district down

PUBLISHED: 06:30 24 May 2014

Grass verges in St Albans

Grass verges in St Albans

Archant

Scruffy St Albans has come under fire from residents fed up with uncut grass verges and rubbish everywhere.

Two local residents have made their views known about the state of the city and one is calling on the district council to cut the grass verges weekly.

Richard Burton, 63, of Sandridge Road, has been trying to find out why verges are not cut more often amid concerns that visitors to the city are being put off by the state of it.

He said: “I take great pride in this town but the verges are not being cut and my neighbour had to go out with his lawnmower because his verge was so overgrown.

“St Albans council told me they are only cut six times a year but that is bad. Lawns need to be cut every week at this time of year and it looks so awful down here. It is spotless over at Welwyn Garden City where my daughter lives.”

Richard said he was concerned about the impression the state of the verges made on visitors. “It sends out all the wrong messages. I have just passed someone with a load of foreign visitors and what must they think?”

Another resident, Trevor Church, of Victoria Street, is concerned about litter on the verges and the rubbish which is strewn everywhere. He has gone out and collected a bin liner full of rubbish from the length of road between Butterfield Lane to the entrance to Sopwell House Hotel..

Trevor said said the worst victim of rubbish dumping was the River Ver which was littered with debris in the bed and on the banks.

He had donned waders to clear plastic and glass bottles, plastic bags, food wrappers, three bike frames, a bivouac tents and an ironing board frame. While he was carrying out the work, large amounts of laurel bush and ivy cuttings, dumped upstream of Cottonmill swimming pool, floated downriver.

Urging people to pick up their litter and bin it rather than discarding it on verges and in the river, he added: “As a true born and bred Albanian, I am truly sad to see this once beautiful city become a total eyesore.”

St Albans council’s head of community services, Richard Shwe, said they were complying with the performance measures under their agency agreement with Herts County Council to cut the grass verges in the district: We are cutting them to the equivalent of seven times a year in line with standards set by Hertfordshire County Council across the county to ensure sight lines for drivers are safe.

“The heavy rainfall experienced earlier in the year and current weather conditions mean that the grass is growing more rapidly than usual. Our contractors are in the process of deploying extra resources to ensure that the grass verges are cut and adequately maintained.”

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