Opposition proposal to clear East Kilbride grass cutting backlog blocked by SNP
A proposal by the Labour Group to help clear the grass cutting backlog highlighted by the News was blocked by the SNP administration and other parties.
Put forward by Councillor Gerry Convery, the plans would have seen South Lanarkshire Council shift resources to the frontline, offering overtime to help get grass-cutting services back on track.
But Labour claim moves to offer overtime were blocked by the other parties, despite an agreement being reached on extending the contracts of seasonal grounds workers until October.(Image: EKN)
“But we are now several weeks into the lockdown exit strategy and scaling the grass cutting service back up is taking too long. The problems caused by a lack of grounds maintenance are obvious to everyone.
“This is not just about the appearance of the our communities, it is a quality of life issue for many people, especially those families who live in blocks of flats and who do not have private gardens.”(Image: EKN)
Some limited services have resumed as lockdown eases including cemeteries, golf courses, bowling greens, schools, sheltered housing and play areas.
Lifeline East Kilbride bus faces the chop
We told you last week how a briefing report to councillors, MSPs and MPs revealed that not all grass and hedge cutting would be carried out this year.
- Whistleblower claims EK care home where 23 died from COVID-19 was 'filthy'
Labour say what was agreed will not tackle the urgency of the situation but extending the employment of the council’s seasonal workforce into the autumn is welcome, although they “wish the other parties on the council were as willing as we are to divert resources to the frontline now”.
East Kilbride East Councillor Jim Wardhaugh has been long calling for action to tackle overgrown grass and called extending the employment of seasonal workers “the best option”.
Liberal Democrat group leader, Councillor Robert Brown, said it would be “totally irresponsible” to waste public money on such overtime that “won’t make much difference,” but acknowledged the issue had been a major concern for residents.
A spokesman for the SNP administration accused Labour of “political grandstanding at a time of crisis,” saying it was “simply not possible” to reinstate a full grass cutting programme.