Grass cutting is a thorny issue

A lack of grounds maintenance in Daventry has been highlighted by a district councillor who says it should feature as part of the town’s new Clean Up campaign.

Cllr Colin Poole said he was ‘embarrassed’ by the state of the Eastern Way roundabout which has been left to overgrow.

In the town Daventry District Council is responsible for maintaining the parks and public green areas, as well 
as most estate road verges, which it contracts out to Enterprise.

A few weeks ago the council launched its own Clean Up My Community campaign, focusing on litter, dog mess and fly tipping, but not grounds maintenance.

Cllr Poole said: “I was embarrassed to be a councillor when I saw the state of Eastern Way and the roundabouts.

“We at the district council have launched a campaign to clean up Daventry, but if we’re going to do that, we need to get our own house in order. The main problem with the grass cutting is who is to blame. The county is responsible for vast areas including the roundabouts. DDC covers what’s left, however unlike most parishes who are responsible for their own grass cutting within Daventry district our town council has no such responsibility.

“There has got to be a realistic look at all grassed areas within the town wards, find out who is responsible, assess the need for cutting, change of use and the possibility of turning some into wild flower meadows.

“The iCon is one of the most prestigious buildings in Daventry and where a lot of conferences are held. That will be people’s first impression of the town.”

Grass cutting and plant pruning on verges, roundabouts and roadsides is a complicated area.

It was explained to the councillors at a meeting of the authority’s strategy group last month that, although DDC is responsible for most public spaces and verges, roundabouts on the main roads fall under Northamptonshire County Council’s highways department, as do some of the verges.

Northamptonshire County Council (NCC) was full of praise for the Gusher for bringing the matter to their attention. An NCC spokesman said: “Thanks to the Daventry Express for drawing this to our attention. We’ve been in touch with our contractor who will now take it in hand.”

The Clean Up Daventry campaign was launched by the paper on May 8.

If anyone has any examples of littering, pot holes and grass maintenance, they can email pictures to: