Moray Council should be loaning their grass-cutting equipment to local community groups who are taking it upon themselves to maintain public areas, according to a local MP.
The grass at popular play parks and social areas around the region has recently been getting cut by volunteers who have grown fed up at seeing the waist-length weeds spoil popular areas for dog-walkers and children.
However, this effort has been blighted by a lack of proper equipment including ride-on mowers which are needed to tackle the tougher unkempt areas.
Moray’s MP Douglas Ross has now called on the local authority to loan out some of their grass-cutting items which he claims are currently “redundant”.
He said: “Moray Council has a significant amount of mowers, strimmers and other grass cutting equipment, which would have been utilised by the full contingent of Lands and Parks staff before the decision was made to drastically reduce the grass cutting operation across Moray.
“If this is the case and only a fraction of the grass on council property is now being cut, I would imagine there is equipment lying about in council sheds more or less redundant.
“I’ve asked the council if there is capacity for any of this equipment to be loaned out to organised community groups to allow them to cut the grass, given the interest that has been shown by many to get involved.
“At times like this, we have to rely on the goodwill of the community to help keep our villages and towns neat and tidy.
“If grass cutting equipment is available and can be loaned out to community groups by the council under memorandums of understanding, that would be a big step forward.”
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The council axed the maintenance of green spaces this year as part of £10million worth of budget cuts – a move that was unanimously agreed by councillors.
Some Moray towns have chosen to raise money or use Common Good funds to pay for the local authority to cut some areas.
A Moray Council spokeswoman insisted that they were still using the equipment that Mr Ross has called “redundant.”
She said:“We do not have grass-cutting equipment lying ‘redundant’, and the loan of any equipment would have to be carefully considered for health and safety, and insurance purposes.
“Despite reductions in grass cutting in some housing and open amenity areas, we are continuing to operate a full grass-cutting service in many council-owned areas, as well as carrying out community-funded grass cutting in others.
“Our housing section is also funding grass cutting in council housing areas.”