Mayor of Bourne Colin Pattison cuts grass ready for East Midlands in Bloom judging as Lincolnshire County Council slashes budget

Colin Pattison, mayor of Bourne, cutting the Elsea Park roundabout EMN-160630-113233001

Colin Pattison, mayor of Bourne, cutting the Elsea Park roundabout EMN-160630-113233001

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The new mayor of Bourne is determined not to let the grass grow during his year in office and this week he proved that when he mowed the Elsea Park roundabout himself.

Lincolnshire County Council has announced that grass cutting will be heavily reduced across the county as it looks to save money.

But with the judging approaching for the East Midlands in Bloom competition – and Bourne determined to improve on its score from previous years – mayor Colin Pattison spent Wednesday strimming the roundabout at Elsea Park, despite torrential rain.

Coun Pattison said: “We want the town to look ship shape before the Bourne in Bloom judging and we felt we had to take matters into our own hands. I did get wet but I didn’t mind doing it for Bourne.”

The roundabout at Stamford Hill will also be mowed before judging takes place on July 14 and Bourne Town Council will be investigating using its cemetery employees, who already cut the grass at the cemetery in South Road, to tidy up areas when needed.

Coun Pattison said there had been some complaints from residents in the town about overgrown grass and said he was equally concerned about safety issues and “line of sight” for motorists at the town’s two busy roundabouts.

In the past, Lincolnshire County Council has performed two types of grass cutting – amenity and flail.

Amenity grass cutting is generally carried out in built-up areas, approaches to major junctions and on the central islands of roundabouts, with seven cuts between March and October. Funding for this service will stop from March 31, 2017, saving £600,000 a year. Additional cuts are sometimes carried out by district councils and parish councils who fund these at their own expense.

Flail grass cutting is generally carried out in rural areas, to a width of one metre either side of the carriageway and footway. At each junction along the carriageway, the council may cut an increased area to improve visibility. This policy is also adopted on various bends to improve the forward visibility for vehicles. The flail cutting programme was carried out three times a year during the summer months, but has been reduced to twice a year, saving a further £250,000.

Executive county council member for highways Richard Davies (Con) said: “We simply can’t afford to do everything we’ve done in the past.”

Coun Pattison said Bourne Town Council was not aware that any cuts had been carried out on the roundabouts in Bourne so far this year. He said the town council had not been given any guarantees any county council funded cuts would take place before the Bourne in Bloom judging, which is why the town council stepped in.