Efficiency drive at council means grass gets cut more frequently in Barnsley

Grass cutting in public areas in Barnsley has been increased with mowers now expected to be sent in every 21 working days compared to a previous target of trimming the greenery every 25 days.

Grass in public areas is now being cut more frequently in Barnsley
Grass in public areas is now being cut more frequently in Barnsley

The move has been made possible by a review of the way council staff operate and the introduction of new machinery.

But councillors have warned residents are more concerned about the current council policy of not collecting the clippings, which people fear create a slipping hazard when they end up on pavements.

Details were provided to councillors on Barnsley Council’s Central Area Council, covering suburbs around the town centre.

Coun Margaret Bruff suggested care should be taken where the council chose to plant new trees because of problems posed by Autumn leaf-fall, creating a hazard for pedestrians.

Council officer Mel Fitzpatrick told the meeting staff were now looking to identify areas where vulnerable people lived, so they could conduct ‘pro-active’ leaf collections to try to improve the situation.

The council has also introduced a new week-killing policy aimed at providing a longer-term solution to the problem.

The weed-killer used previously only worked when it came into immediate contact with a plant but a switch to a different product provides a residual effect which lasts for up to five months and means weeds which sprout up in treated areas will not survive.

That has been used in the town centre, on ‘gateway’ routes into town and in the larger ‘principal town’ communities around the borough.

The council is also responding to specific requests to have areas treated.

A ‘blitz’ team of council staff have also been working to uproot weeds manually, covering 568 streets this year, an equivalent of 166 kilometres, recovering 22 tonnes of plants.