Overgrown grass is ‘like a hayfield’

Unkempt headlands around South Shore
Unkempt headlands around South Shore
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A row over grass cutting in Blackpool has escalated after councillors in the north of the town said they were also getting ‘dozens’ of complaints about overgrown foliage.

Coun Don Clapham, who represents Bispham, said dog walkers were among those who had raised concerns about the lack of maintenance.

Blackpool Councillor Coun Don Clapham

Blackpool Councillor Coun Don Clapham

But his opposite number on Blackpool Council Coun Fred Jackson claimed some residents preferred open spaces being allowed to grow wild.

It comes after the council came under fire for not cutting turf on the headlands in South Shore.

Coun Clapham told a meeting of the council: “What has exacerbated it further is where the Illuminations poles are going, some areas of grass have been cut and the rest of it is like a hayfield.

“You go to other seaside towns and they are like a billiard table, beautifully manicured.

You go to other seaside towns and they are like a billiard table, beautifully manicured.

Coun Don Clapham

“It is part of our shop window. Why spend money on attracting people here to entertain them, only for there to be the equivalent of a hayfield along your shop window which is off-putting.

“Any cost of cutting the grass would be offset by attracting more people to Blackpool.”

But Coun Jackson, cabinet member for municipal assets, said: “There are different views about the grass on the headlands.

“I was talking to someone the other day who was encouraging us to let the grass grow and have wild flowers which would attract bees and encourage the natural environment.

“People who are involved in the environment would like to let the grass grow.”

And he said it was unfair to compare Blackpool with seaside resorts in the south which had suffered less from government cuts.

Coun Jackson added: “A lot of the seaside resorts you compare Blackpool to don’t have the same responsibilities we do.

“Blackpool is completely different to a lot of those resorts. They don’t have the same problems we have, and that’s why they have these pristine conditions.”

But he added the council was looking at its grass cutting.

The grass on the headlands was cut after complaints were raised by residents.