Grass-cutting volunteers to be rewarded

The grass off Carson Road
The grass off Carson Road

A Blackpool councillor has announced his plans to tackle grass verges in the resort that have become overgrown as a result of budget cuts.

Blackpool Council’s parks and open spaces service has seen its budget slashed by £631,000 over the last three years, leading to a much smaller workforce.

Coun Luke Taylor

Coun Luke Taylor

While cemeteries, Stanley Park and the Promenade are prioritised, many grass verges and open spaces have been left to go back to nature, leaving local people and community groups frustrated.

Clifton ward councillor Luke Taylor today announced his plans to combat the problem, with the help of other community-minded residents.

He said: “We’re hoping to start up a grass-cutting and gardening volunteering club in the ward.

“We are launching on September 2. We’re not 100 per cent sure what it’s going to be called yet, but it’s going to be a volunteering scheme with a difference.

This has come about because everyone is getting quite frustrated

“Every time someone volunteers they are awarded with a stamp, and when they get five stamps or 10 stamps the plan is they will get a pass or a voucher for a local business.

“I have been in touch with Sandcastle Water Park and the Sea Life Centre about getting some passes for volunteers.

“This has come about because everyone is getting quite frustrated with the grass.

“We have got the Community Action Team involved and we are really looking forward to getting started. We are now looking at areas in Clifton ward we can start with, and we’re going to get a few people involved to come along on a monthly basis.

“It will need to be somewhere quite big – we want to make a big impact.

“It is still open for discussion and we will hold a social consultation for people to share their ideas in due course.

“Hopefully it will combat social isolation as well.”

People who wish to suggest an open space for volunteers to tackle are asked to email Coun Taylor on cllr.luke.taylor@blackpool.gov.uk.

Residents have already mobilised in some areas of the town, taking their own mowers and strimmers to the long grass.

Blackpool Council asked anyone doing so to get in touch with the authority first.