by Ruth, Marlene, and Steve on 18 May, 2020
Residents will have noticed problems with grass cutting. The Council suspended all verge mowing, for four weeks between mid March and mid April, as due to Covid 19, our contractor Idverde simply didn’t have sufficient staff at work to make running the teams possible. They now have approximately 75% of staff back at work. There are also working on issues around social distancing on this work. They have continued to mow parks as far as possible and prioritised provision of cemetery services including burials.
From mid April Idverde started a limited amount of verge mowing, with initially three of the larger machines mowing the greens and larger verges. There are now five members of staff working on verge mowing. This is about half the number required for business as usual and it may take many weeks if not months before we are able to complete mowing on all verges again, especially as the grass will be very long and this will be slow work. Idverde is also planning to bring additional equipment into use to assist with cutting the longer grass and is considering new working arrangements, such as additional vehicles, so that staff can socially distance while travelling.
We welcome residents mowing verges themselves as this will really assist in keeping the grass to a reasonable length. Unfortunately the Council will not be able to cover insurance claims resulting from the work being carried out by residents. Our advice is to check the verge carefully for debris and stones before starting work and to use mowers or strimmers carefully, pausing to let traffic or pedestrians pass. Always use the equipment as intended with guards in place. This will minimise the risk of any damage being caused.
This is just one example of how Council services have been affected by CVID-19
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