Who is responsible for tackling weeds in St Albans streets?
The patchy and crumbling streets of St Albans are becoming overgrown with weeds following council confusion over exactly which local authority should be dealing with the problem.
St Albans district council handed over non-noxious weeding responsibility to the county council in October last year.
Since then, the county council’s lack of action – and assertions that the problem was still the district council’s - has meant that weeds on many of the residential streets around the city centre have been left unotuched and have thrived during the summer.
County councillor Chris White, who raised the issue during a meeting at County Hall this week, asked: “How much longer will they need to get the contractor that we are paying to do this job actually to get out of their vans and clean up the mess? I first started raising this problem months ago.”
According to St Albans district council, all roads, pavements and verges in the area fall under the jurisdiction of the county council.
However, last week Cllr White received automated correspondence from county hall’s “Byzantine communication routes” that he should direct his questions to the district council.
A spokesperson from Herts county council confirmed that it was policy to treat both noxious and non-noxious weeds two or three times per year, with a particular focus on urban areas.
They added: “Ringway, Hertfordshire County Council’s contractor has begun weed spraying in St Albans district. The areas which will be treated include carriageway channels and paved footways. The primary focus is on urban areas, including towns and conservation areas.”
However, Cllr White, who attended a “high level” meeting at County Hall this week (29), was told that no such work had begun and that no schedule had yet been outlined.
He said: “It’s all a bit of shambles really. There is no evidence that any work has been done my patch at all.”