Council defends workers spotted cutting grass inside closed play area in Honiton

PUBLISHED: 12:49 09 April 2020

District council workers were seen cutting grass inside a Honiton play area which is closed to the public. Stock image

District council workers were seen cutting grass inside a Honiton play area which is closed to the public. Stock image


The district council has defended its workers who were seen strimming grass at a Honiton play area.

A Honiton resident contacted the Herald expressing concerns that four workers from the council’s Streetscene team were seen strimming inside the play area, which was closed as part of Government-enforced restrictions.

The resident said: “Surely this task is non-essential and should not be considered a high priority?

“Such personnel could otherwise be ensuring that refuse and green waste collections are maintained or could be deployed for other exceptional activities such as the delivery of food or other services for the community.”

However, the district council has mitigated for its employees – and said if the strimming was not carried out, the area could become overgrown and hard to maintain in future.

A spokesman for the council said: “Streetscene are still doing some limited grass cutting to keep areas in check.

“Similarly, some grounds maintenance work is continuing at the moment as we need to keep sites maintained for when we re-open.

“An example is the bare earth beds that are prepared for summer bedding.

“If these were left to fill with weeds, we will then be fighting weed growth for many seasons so we must do mulching and weed spraying of these beds to keep them clear.”

The council said its current priority list is

• Street cleansing and street litter bins;

• Fly tips;

• Communal cleaning of housing sites;

• Grounds maintenance;

• Communal grass areas;

• Open public spaces – grass cutting frequency reduced from fortnightly to three to four weekly;

• No verge cutting;

• Producing a list of sites and areas to actively re-wild, meadow grass cuts;

• Planning some minimum displays for bedding areas in spaces still visible to the public – for example Beach gardens in Exmouth.

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