SNP and Tories block Labour proposal to get grass-cutting back on track

Labour proposals to help clear South Lanarkshire Council’s grass-cutting backlog were blocked by the SNP leadership of the Council and other political parties.

Uncut grass

Grass cutting was suspended to allow the council to divert resources to coping with the Covid-19 crisis.

A proposal by Gerry Convery, Deputy Leader of the Labour Opposition on South Lanarkshire Council, would have seen the Council, with the consent of the workforce and offering overtime payments, shift resources to the frontline to help get grass-cutting services back on track.

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.

Cllr Gerry Convery

Moves to offer overtime were blocked by the other parties but agreement was reached on extending the contracts of seasonal grounds workers into October and giving greater priority to flatted properties.

Councillor Gerry Convery

Councillor Gerry Convery is deputy leader of the Labour opposition on South Lanarkshire Council.

Speaking on behalf of South Lanarkshire Labour, Councillor Gerry Convery said:

Faced with a public health crisis, the Council quite rightly prioritised its emergency response. People understood that grass cutting would be put back while other services took priority and they know that social distancing is slowing down work.

The problem is that we are now several weeks into the lockdown exit strategy and scaling the grass cutting service back up is still taking too long. The problems caused by a lack of grounds maintenance are obvious to everyone.

We know from our time in lockdown that having access to green space can make a positive difference to people’s wellbeing but for too many people across South Lanarkshire their green spaces are overgrown and inaccessible.

To help restore the grounds service, Labour councillors proposed that the Council get an agreement on using overtime to get grass cut and to do so as safely as possible. All councillors are receiving calls and e-mails from people frustrated with the time it is taking to cut grass. 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.

Unfortunately the other parties did not support extra spending on overtime and that will make it harder to deal with the length of the grass urgently. What we have secured is a commitment from the Council to develop options to accelerate work at flats and tenements and to extend the employment of the Council’s seasonal workforce into the autumn, hopefully allowing for an additional cut and other maintenance works. We just wish the other parties on the Council were as willing as we are to divert resources to the frontline now.


31 July 2020

Posted by HLSLabour

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