Updated: Tuesday, October 29
Uckfield Town Council agreed last night (October 28) to continue paying for extra grass cutting of roadside verges in the town.
The additional cuts “top up” the two cuts provided each year by the highways authority, East Sussex County Council, and led to fewer complaints this summer of unkempt verges.
Councillors were also told the cost would be lower next summer because the county had improved its inventory of grass verges and had reviewed the urban and rural classifications.
In Uckfield there were a number of locations were recorded as urban on a map but were managed as rural.
Councillors agreed to accept option two as detailed below in our earlier story,.
Our original story
East Sussex County Council used to carry out six cuts a year but reduced the number to two because of “challenging financial constraints”.
The town council agreed to make up the difference and paid £6009 for four cuts by county contractors to ensure there were six cuts in 2018/19.
In a report to town councillors clerk Holly Goring said the town council had received only a handful of complaints this year compared to the previous year when only two cuts were carried out.
The latest complaints related mainly to the lower end of Eastbourne Road, where two sections kept getting missed. “Otherwise the timing of the cuts and standard appeared to be satisfactory,” she said.
Ms Goring’s report to a meeting of the town council due to take place on Monday says the county council has set out grass cutting options for the next financial year 2020/21.
Option 1 standard – two cuts to be carried out at no cost to the parish/town council. Urban grass would be managed for safety purposes only.
Option 2 extra cuts – parish/town councils may fund an additional four cuts to be carried out by the county council, totalling six cuts (two standard and four extra) over the course of the year. This would cost the town council £4,271 for the year.
Option 3 self delivery – parish/town councils take on responsibility to deliver all urban grass cutting in their area. This must include a minimum of two cuts over the course of the year. The county council would not carry out any urban grass cutting in the area. It would pay Uckfield Town Council £2,135 to do this.
The report says Ms Goring is checking the cost of the extra cuts because it is lower than that paid last time.
When town councillors agreed to cover the costs for 2018/19 eight voted in favour and six against.
Now they are being asked to decide what to do in 2020/21.