Grass cutting anger leads to pitch battle

Stock photo of a football pitch in Edinburgh.
Stock photo of a football pitch in Edinburgh.

West Lothian looks like a wilderness, and the grass on some football pitches is so long that  games have had to be cancelled.

This is one part of council cuts that’s not working, according to the SNP group which slated the reduction in grounds maintenance at a meeting of the full council last week.

Councillor Frank Anderson, depute group leader, raised a motion calling for reports on how  “poor service can be improved” . He said: “There are issues with both how the area looks and how it is perceived. People will come into West Lothian and say to themselves ‘look at the state of the place’.”

However Labour’s  Tom Conn  hit back, branding the  motion as “shameless” given the council had been forced to make cut backs by budget cuts imposed by the  Scottish Government. A Labour  amendment detailed cuts of £152 million the council is required to make in five years. The amendment rejected a call for reports to improve poor service

The council introduced new rules for grass cutting and grounds maintenance this year on the back of staff cut backs. It did so in a summer which has seen heavy rain followed by hot spells which has led to a surge in grass growth – and subsequently in  complaints from across the county.

The SNP motion  was defeated by 16 votes to 12.