Leeds City Council pays out millions for mowing, but cuttings collection not included

Mown grass left at the side of the road on Pudsey Road, Bramley.
Mown grass left at the side of the road on Pudsey Road, Bramley.
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LEEDS City Council is paying £2m for a grass cutting contract that does not include the collection of the cut grass, it has emerged.

The contract to cut grassed areas across the city including roadside verges and on housing estates – but not parks – was let to Continental in January this year.

Following complaints that grass has been left in unsightly clumps following some cuts, council bosses have acknowledged the contract does not require the mown grass to be collected.

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Now a councillor is calling for that fact to be made clear to people.

Coun Barry Anderson (Con, Adel and Wharfedale) said he had received a number of complaints that some areas were not being cut frequently enough.

And he added: “Also, the complaints I am receiving are not just about the frequency of cuts, but about the unsightly mess that is left behind due to the non-collection of the cuttings.

“Whilst I acknowledge that in dry weather, the non-removal of grass does not cause major problems, in wet weather, grass is left in clumps rather than being evenly distributed across grassed areas, and this creates a very poor impression.

“Grass collection is not included in the contract, as the council chose not to include it, but they have failed to communicate this to the residents of Leeds.

“This was a decision taken by the Council, not Continental, and something that needs communicating as a matter of urgency.”

Including collection along with cutting would increase the cost of the contract.

Coun Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said: “Historically no council contract has ever included collection.

“This year, with the exceptionally bad weather, this has been highlighted more than in previous years because it looks messier.

“There was a time in June when everyone looked like the first one of the year.”

He said that in some areas the frequency of cuts was being increased and the early feedback from residents was positive.

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