Horncastle councillors set aside £7,500 for verge cutting

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Councillors in Horncastle have set aside £7,500 to cover the cost of cutting road-side grass verges in the town.

The verges were previously the responsibility of Lincolnshire County Council. However, the county council has handed on the work to town and parish councils as part of on going cutbacks.

Finance officer Amanda Bushell told a town council meeting last Tuesday evening that £7,500 would probably ‘be more than required.’

However, she stressed any money not spent on the contract could be put back into the council’s main bank account later in the year.

Town clerk Gillian Maugher said negotiations with an approved contractor were continuing.

She added: “We are still waiting for final quotes.”

Mrs Maugher confirmed the grass would be cut ‘13 times a year’ but that a list of areas that would be cut had still to be finalised.

Coun Matthew Wilkinson moved that the council should pay for the grass cutting, adding it was ‘what residents would want’ and that the town would soon look untidy if verges were not attended to.

Coun Angela Birchall said she understood the county council would make a contribution to the cost of grass cutting during the first year.

Mrs Bushell confirmed that was the case, with the county council offering around 4.2 pence per square metre - roughly 20 per cent of the actual cost.

Mrs Bushell said: “It’s more than we expected.

“When they said they were going to pass grass cutting down, there was no expectation of any contribution whatsoever.”

The town council has already voted to increase its annual precept by more than 20 per cent to cover the cost of more responsibilities - and two extra staff members to cope with the work