Readers call for action on grass cutting hit by austerity

Plumtree Avenue residents and children are angry over grass not being cut by council. Bernadine Anderson
Plumtree Avenue residents and children are angry over grass not being cut by council. Bernadine Anderson
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Cutting comments have been left by residents angry over the length of the grass near their homes.

People living in the Wear View Estate in Sunderland have launched a petition and put up banners calling for action over the lack of grass cutting, which has left sections growing to around 18in-tall.

Plumtree Avenue residents and children are angry over grass not being cut by council.

Plumtree Avenue residents and children are angry over grass not being cut by council.

They say the areas are becoming a magnet for rubbish, dog dirt left by owners out walking their pets and even used by flashers to hide.

Sunderland City Council has said it understands the concerns of residents, but puts the decision to reduce its service down to the reduction in cash it gets from central Government.

It has to make cuts of £110million by 2020, which will follow on from the £207million cut from its budget during the six years leading up to last autumn.

Among those who have voiced their views is Helen Colquhoun, who commented on our story via Facebook, saying: “We’ve complained to the council to be told they’re not ever cutting the grass.

It’s a terrible residents have to resort to this, it’s happening all over though, I’ve seen loads of places that are in need of improvement.

Mark Lowery

“They say if it’s a Gentoo Estate, it’s not theirs.

“I live in Moorside and it looks disgusting.

“Kids can’t play in these areas.

“I don’t know why the council don’t put a schedule together to cut one area then miss it next time and cut another area.

“It’s an absolute disgrace that we pay council tax but don’t get this.
“We should get a rebate.”

Sue Findlay Hay said: “I have never known Sunderland to be so much of a mess.

“The litter and overflowing bins everywhere are a disgrace.

“We will be plagued with rats etc soon.”

Val Jenkins added: “Red House is the same but the other problem is private landlords allowing gardens to be overgrown and full of weeds and rubbish.
“I am already complaining about someone and I know who it is dumping their rubbish behind Redmond Road shops.”

Mark Lowery said: “Big well done.

“It’s a terrible residents have to resort to this, it’s happening all over though, I’ve seen loads of places that are in need of improvement.

“Really good to see residents wanting to take pride in their community.”

Alan Bell said: “Come on Sunderland council, respect the working class families who voted you in, a lot of these grassed areas will be children’s play areas.

“Aren’t we supposed to be promoting healthy lifesyles not taking them away, we don’t want the kids playing on the roads because the grass is too long.

“Of course we all appreciate times are hard but there are savings to be made elsewhere before we get to children’s ‘play areas.’”

Commenting via www.sunderlandecho.com, Mr Mop said: “As a resident of SR5 I fully support these residents and their Facebook petition.

“This is a disgusting decision that has been made without an consultation whatsoever.

“I know people who travel from outside of Sunderland to work here and they regularly comment on the awful state of the area and they are glad they don’t live in the city.

“Yet the council want more people to live in the city. What an advert.

“The new estate proposed at Chapelgarth; why bother when it won’t get maintained?

“They are in danger of a ‘broken windows theory’ scenario which will lead to bigger problems in the future.

“Massive rethink of their priorities is needed.”

You can read our story about the issue here.