Grass cutting update – June 2024

As many residents will have experienced in their own gardens, the current periods of warm, wet and sunny spring weather have prompted very strong grass and vegetation growth.

Pink and white wildflowers in a long grass field

However, our grass cutting programme has been underway since early April and will continue until October.

The awful accident involving our parks teams has also had an impact on the speed that we have been able to complete a full round, with two of our staff seriously injured and two of our vehicles affected. The two staff members are both recovering at home. We recently recruited to cover these positions in the short-term, along with temporary roles to assist with strimming.

It was also agreed as part of the challenging budget setting process for 2024/25 that there would be a review of the parks service, which has seen a reduction in seasonal contract staff and some members of staff deciding to take voluntary redundancy as part of this.

However, despite this, our staff are working hard to get round the city. Grass verges are being cut on average every 35 days. Areas around trees, lampposts, fence lines, and railings are strimmed every third time we cut the grass.

Please also note that when it is very wet, as has been the case for much of April and May, it is not always practical to cut and the finish is not so good with grass clippings and clumps of grass being dropped by the mowers as they move along and between verges for example. Should any verges and grassed areas become too wet and or waterlogged these areas may have to be left uncut until they are dry to prevent verge damage.

The parks team continue to work closely with the highways team to ensure that sight lines are clear for drivers and pedestrians, and are working as hard as they can to cut grass across the city.

Published: 4th June 2024

Southend-on-Sea City Council