Corby grass row sees residents’ cutting schedule given the chop
People living in Corby who have had their grass cut by the council for decades have suddenly had the service withdrawn with no consultation.
Many residents with open-fronted lawns who originally bought their houses from Corby Council did so on the agreement that council grass cutters would include their lawns in their schedule to keep the town’s estates looking tidy.
But since Corby and Kettering councils merged their environmental services, the lawns have not been cut, leaving residents furious and local councillors scratching their heads.
Council tenants living in the same streets will continue to have their lawns cut.
To make matters worse, representatives from Kettering Council did not turn up to the first meeting of the joint working committee to discuss the issues, among other topics on the agenda.
Corby Councillors Mark Pengelly and Jean Addison attended the meeting at Corby Cube last Tuesday but leader of Kettering Council Russell Roberts and Cllr Ian Jelley did not.
The decision to stop cutting the grass was taken at officer level, citing legal issues, and residents and councillors were not told about it in advance.
Letters are only now being sent out to the affected households to make them aware of the changes.
One disgruntled homeowner in Corby contacted the Northants Telegraph after her lawn grew up to knee height.
She said: “When I bought the house it was part of the contract that the council would cut it provided we didn’t enclose it with a fence. There are lots of houses in Corby that have this service and it’s always been done.
“I don’t have a mower and there are elderly people here who aren’t capable of mowing their lawns.
“I know it might seem like a luxury but because of the way Corby was built, there are loads of open green spaces at the front of houses so it looks tidier if the council does it all while they’re here.
“We pay our council tax and this was all agreed when we bought our houses. We’ve not put up a fence for that reason. It’s not right that they’ve just stopped doing it without telling us.”
Councillor Mark Pengelly, has been contacted by several angry residents about the issue. He said: “There have been some minor issues which is to be expected with the movement over to a joint service.
“It seems like this was overlooked when the joint service was set up and it’s now become an issue.
“They are concerned that we are going on to people’s private land to cut grass which could throw up all kinds of problems.
“There are some areas around blocks of flats that clearly will still need to be done but we need to agree that with Kettering.
“I am going out around the town with the officers to show them what effect it’s having on Corby.
“There were obviously always going to be some things that needed ironing out but overall this joint service will be good for Corby. We’re getting a very good deal out of it.”
A Kettering Council spokesman said: “Councillor Roberts had sent his apologies a few weeks before as he was on holiday at the time of the meeting and Cllr Ian Jelley had a medical emergency on the day of the meeting and no substitutes were allowed. However, the meeting is going to be re-arranged as soon as possible.”