Wiltshire Council’s contractor Balfour Beatty Living Places (BBLP) has pledged to keep on top of grass cutting in Westbury – and the rest of Wiltshire – after numerous complaints from local residents.
A spokesperson for Wiltshire Council said, “BBLP has responded to residents’ concerns and agreed a plan of action with Wiltshire Council to ensure the standard of service the authority demands is delivered.
“People will be receiving a leaflet from Balfour Beatty apologising for the shortfall in service expected and calling on residents to contact them if they are still not satisfied.
“The contractors said that despite targeting additional resources, grass cutting fell behind schedule but they were working hard to put things right.
“Balfour Beatty has apologised to Wiltshire Council, brought in 11 extra teams, and had others working seven days a week and during bank holidays to prioritise the worst affected areas.
“Any lingering problems would be addressed in the next round of grass cutting, the contractor said.”
Westbury Town and Wiltshire Councillor for Westbury West, Russell Hawker said, “I received more complaints from local people about the two main recent problems with overgrown grass and nettles/brambles/hedges/tree branches growing over or blocking footpaths and pavements than any other problem since I became a district (now Wiltshire) councillor in 2003.
“It was clear to me that the problem was going to be huge as virtually no work at all was happening on the ground in my Westbury West Division during May or June. It was as if BBLP had stopped work altogether in my part of Westbury. However, I could see by the beginning of July that BBLP were actually starting to deploy more people on the ground. To BBLP’s credit, their apology does appear to be fulsome and genuine.
“This is the first time I’ve seen any council contractor not only get poor work corrected, but also apologise to everyone with a letter sent to council tax payers.”
Philip Whitehead, Wiltshire Council portfolio holder for highways said, “We have been working hard with Balfour Beatty to address the concerns of residents in West Wiltshire.
“Any fall in the standard of service provided is not acceptable, so we are pleased the contractor has agreed to a plan of action and acted swiftly to put the situation right.”
Balfour Beatty spokesman, Tom Harvey said, “Despite allocating substantial additional resources to grass cutting, we fell behind schedule in a small number of areas, most notably in West Wiltshire.
“We take any failure of delivery very seriously and will continue to review the service very closely with Wiltshire Council, deploying additional resources where needed.”