Harlow Council issue statement on grass cutting

News / Wed 28th Jul 2021 at 02:50pm

HARLOW Council has issued a statement on grass cutting in Harlow.

A spokesperson said: “There have been many concerned comments about the appearance of the grass in some areas of the town this year.

The impact of COVID-19 has set an unprecedented challenge to our work programmes. Some of this can be seen on the growth of hedges and shrubs that HTS were unable to cut during previous lockdowns because of government restrictions and the need to ensure infection levels did not get out of control.

The impact of these being the challenge to employ early seasonal workers and to resource seasonal work is being felt to this date. The impact of the government’s furlough scheme, whilst ensuring jobs are retained, does make the employment of new staff a real challenge. HTS are actively working hard to catch up and continue to make every endeavour to fill the gap in resources.

This challenge has been in tandem with a spring and summer that, to date, has seen a regular mix of both warm and wet weather – great for grass growth but hard to keep up with. This situation is not just the case in Harlow and is echoed throughout councils across the nation.

The situation is actively being addressed however. Every effort is being made to fill the gap in resource with different options being progressed. HTS have diverted resources to key focus areas, advertised for new permanent staff and are also looking at different models of delivery. As they bring on additional resources, they are increasing rounds for strimming and spraying to improve the appearance of the grass around obstacles, knee rails and benches etc. HTS and Harlow Council continue to have a focus on reviewing key priorities for the way in which this area of work activity is undertaken to ensure efficient delivery.

We and HTS are also taking the opportunity to look at ways in which we can diversify the mosaic of grass cutting to benefit pollinators and other wildlife. It is a fantastic opportunity to challenge work methods to allow for creative and biodiverse solutions to a very complex set of variables.

We and HTS are also looking at increasing the management of long areas of grass but with an appreciation for the need to maintain managed strips to create visually appealing zones with a wide set of benefits. Recovery of services post-COVID remains a challenge and it is accepted that the visual impact of our green environment is not at our usual standards. We along with HTS will continue to work hard to recover this position in the coming weeks.

Cllr Alastair Gunn, Portfolio Holder for Environment said: “I recently held a very positive meeting with HTS to review the current work activity and we identified many common goals and aspirations. There have been challenging conditions to work through but there is a shared desire to deliver a high quality service to Harlow residents.”

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21 Comments for Harlow Council issue statement on grass cutting:

matt moore
2021-07-28 15:00:20

haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa WHAT A JOKE

Tony Durcan
2021-07-28 16:23:29

Sounds like a bucket full of excuses. Really disappointing that the so called new council made the claim they would be different, well they got that right. Failing bin collection Failing grass cutting Failing us

2021-07-28 16:59:33

Cllr Durcan you seem hell bent on trying to make a name for yourself. While in power I actually thought you had passed away! It seems not. Perhaps sit back enjoy the ride because this is the crap your party left the town in. You don’t need to be party to everything, perhaps if you did your job in the ward it wouldn’t be the hell hole it is. Honestly take a day off…….

Tony Durcan
2021-07-28 18:18:59

With respect Lee am happy to have an discussion at anytime about my ward and would completely disagree that it’s a hell hole. My community have great passion and are good neighbours and I very proud to represent them. Let keep this respectful and call out a service that has got worse. Just look around and see how the grass and weeds are overgrown. Take a walk and catch yourself on the brambles. Let alone do we actual know if or when the bins are going to be collected. It’s a mess that should have never been allowed to get into this state. Someone has to stand up and call out a bad service. Finally you can call me and disrespect me but you can never say will shy a way from a respectful debate. Hope your family are well Take care Tony.

Adams J
2021-07-28 18:53:14

Typical of Harlow Council - can’t admit it failed on HTC delivering the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) set out in the Service Level Agreement (SLA). Failure by both parties. The residents of Harlow need to take action and declare a vote of no confidence along with with holding the Council Ta (CT) payments. Where is all the money going from CT. HRC allegedly owned and run by people within Harlow Council ??? How’s does that work ?? Conflict of interest - Failures won’t be investigated and action won’t be taken if this is the case when failures are highlighted/reported. It doesn’t seem that there is full transparency of how this relationship is working. = Vote of no confidence and with hold CT payments until our services are Re-established and payments are made to the residents of Harlow for the services that have been missed but paid for.

2021-07-28 19:47:12

What a crock of s**t. Do you really think the residents are this stupid. Refund the council tax as your unable to do the work your getting paid to do. New Harlow conservative council in fact worse than the old labour council. Now that’s an achievement Take a bow 🙄🙄🙄

M Harten
2021-07-28 20:02:40

This statement from HC will quite simply infuriate the residents of Harlow, evidenced by it being the second most commented story I have read recently (waste collection is first). It contains no substance as to what is actually being done to remedy the situation, just a load of waffle to fill the page. If this much effort has gone into issuing this statement there must be a plan that sits behind it? So why not publish the plan? Give the residents of Harlow some confidence that you are taking control of the situation and have some clear and achievable targets that will be met to resolve it.

Mr Jones
2021-07-28 20:21:35

The council are truly a joke. Will hassle you no end for council tax even when paid but what do you get in return. The amount of bushes and hedges overgrown preventing people from walking along paths is a joke. It is a real shambles at how the council treat its residents. The covid excuses are boring now. Many other organisations and companies have dealt with it efficiently so stop hiding behind it and pull your finger out.

Steven Snell
2021-07-28 20:29:04

M Harten - I agree with your point, have you ever thought of becoming a councillor? I think Harlow could benefit from your acumen

2021-07-28 21:01:38

M Harten.....Steve said you should have voted Labour

Matt Stone
2021-07-28 22:28:50

Its just grass at the end of the day. Everyone needs to calm down some of the comments are embarrassing. The good news is you can always cut the grass yourself and put it in with the food waste into the non recycling bins. welcome back conservatives good to see you haven't changed

Neil WarnerBaker
2021-07-29 04:55:53

Good Statement... I'm a commercial Gardener and can't keep up....Sunshine and Rain... If I read the article correctly, some of the solution would be ..'bordered hay/wild flower meadows..Great for our wildlife and increasingly rare plants like....Common clover..... Cllr Durcan did so much to pilot the Wild flower beds so I'm sure he would approve. I am encouraged that Cllr Gunn is taking action. What is very important to acknowledge is.....The Huge Effort that the Gardeners and clean up teams are making.

2021-07-29 07:01:03

Sounds like some of you have been smoking the stuff.

Richard Adams
2021-07-29 07:23:42

My view is that highly controlled landscape is thing of the past. I can see what the council is trying to do by letting some areas grow a bit wild but closely mowing the perimeter strips. Surely this is better for the environment and should cost us all less. HTS/HC statement clearly sets out what they are aiming for. (albeit a bit long winded) and I wouldn’t disagree.

2021-07-29 08:35:03

Tony Durcan if the staff actually did some work the grass might get cut. I have a near neighbour who cuts the grass. Hes back home on his ride on mower by 08.05 and then sits indoors. He goes off for a while then hes back before midday for a 90 minute lunch break. Some days he dont go to work at all. That cant be using up holidays as he off too often. I wouldnt mind the hours he does if theres jobs going for the wages hes probably on!

Tony Durcan
2021-07-29 10:06:47

Roy happy to have an off line conversation about your comment. You can find my details on the council web site

2021-07-29 11:11:49

Whats your email address Tony...cant see you on council website?

2021-07-29 11:29:05

Cllr Durcan has this debacle been caused in any way by the contracts that were signed under a Labour leadership? If you think that “Your ward” is wonderful have a walk around it. Check the parking look at the over grown trees check the guttering on council properties, have a look at the litter bins, dog poo bins enquire about the drug issues and driving complaints within Essex police and if you can’t find anything let me know and I’ll walk round with you.

Tony Durcan
2021-07-29 16:31:34

Lee your comment that my ward is hell Is offensive to that community,it’s not. I accept like every other area that it appears services have got a lot worse over the last 3 months. Even today the bins haven’t been collected again with no indication when they will. Most of my neighbours haven’t a clue about food waste not being collected. If you can’t get the basic right then it’s reasonable to ask questions. We have brambles and stinging nettles growing like mad which always happens but this year nothing is being done. If you now telling me the poo bins and waste bins are over flowing it’s yet another example of a service not being managed.I just want the Tory council to get it sorted for the benefit of all. I completely agree about the parking as the number of spaces at PAH have been reduced again which puts pressure on the local streets.

Tony Durcan
2021-07-29 16:34:21

Roy send me the details via [email protected]

2021-07-31 23:09:15

Our bins weren't emptied again this week. I emailed the council and was given a response much like the one above, blaming it on covid. While I have every sympathy for the logistics of staff & drivers at the moment as it can't be easy, communication was abruptly ended by Harlow Council when I pointed out this has been a problem for us for over 2 years. Certainly before any pandemic! I have offered to help in the past and present, collecting my immediate neighbours rubbish and putting it in one pile, I've suggested a communal bin or suchlike but nothing seems to get things improved. I've lived in several places in the UK and Harlow Council has been the worst I've ever dealt with - in every dept!

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