Rats and overgrown play areas lead to record number of complaints

PUBLISHED: 16:00 12 June 2018

Millennium Park.

Millennium Park.

Archant

Councillors in Nailsea have been inundated with complaints about the state of the town’s parks and open spaces which have been attracting rats.

A number of people have reported seeing rats in the Millennium Park play area which is used by small children.

People are also concerned about overgrown parks and grass verges which they believe will attract more litter and dog mess.

Nailsea Town Council has received more complaints about the lack of grass cutting and maintenance than any other issue over the past 12 years.

It is now investigating whether it can take over the maintenance of the town’s open spaces.

Clerk Ian Morrell said: “The town council is aware further cutbacks have been made to the North Somerset Council maintenance contract for open spaces, including grass verges and parks.

“It is concerned that despite the best efforts of the officers and contractor (Glendale), an acceptable standard cannot be maintained.

“Based on previous surveys of residents and the volume of recent complaints about the lack of grass cutting, the town council is investigating whether it can get directly involved in open spaces maintenance, but this is likely to involve an increase on the precept, so needs to be carefully analysed before any long term decision is made.”

North Somerset Council’s cutbacks have affected all the open spaces and grass verges which the authority is responsible and Nailsea Town Council says maintenance is no longer at an acceptable standard.

Mr Morrell added: “We’ve had more complaints about the grass cutting in the past two to three weeks than we’ve had on any other issue since I’ve been in the job.

“The town council is keen to find out what the potential costs of maintaining the area to an acceptable standard are and where to go from there.

“It is definitely a high priority.”

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “We have a rolling programme of grass cutting which is very dependent on the weather conditions. We actually started cutting in Nailsea on Thursday and this will continue next week.”

The council also confirmed it is working to deal with the rat problems in the park and is monitoring the situation.

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