Balfour Beatty not keeping grass-cutting promises, Wiltshire Council to be told

Wiltshire Times: Cllr Jeff Osborn with concerned residents of Lilac Grove, Trowbridge. Photo: Trevor Porter Cllr Jeff Osborn with concerned residents of Lilac Grove, Trowbridge. Photo: Trevor Porter

Grass going uncut by Wiltshire Council’s highways contractor Balfour Beatty Living Places will be raised at full council tomorrow, after councillors received dozens of calls from residents.

Trowbridge town and Wiltshire councillors Jeff Osborn and Graham Payne have had calls and emails from residents in the town over the past few weeks complaining about long grass.

Cllr Osborn said he has had more than 20 residents in his Grove Ward contact him about the issue, while Cllr Graham Payne has had a similar number get in touch with him in the Drynham Ward.

Melksham Without and Wiltshire councillor Terry Chivers has also received complaints from residents in his ward and is even considering putting forward a motion of no confidence in Balfour Beatty.

Cllr Chivers said: “Enough is enough, we have had so many promises from this company, and they have broken them all, they just aren’t up to the job.”

A council scrutiny committee investigated the controversial £150 million contract, which attracted criticism when it was taken on by Balfour Beatty in June 2013, after residents complained about uncut verges and hedgerows.

The report from the scrutiny committee in January said the contractor’s performance was satisfactory, but highlighted areas for improvement.

Comments (9)

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3:44pm Mon 12 May 14

Mikey07 says...

Wouldn't have this issue if the council hadn't gotten rid of English Lanscapes
Wouldn't have this issue if the council hadn't gotten rid of English Lanscapes Mikey07
  • Score: 11

4:58pm Mon 12 May 14

westwood lister says...

Mikey07 wrote:
Wouldn't have this issue if the council hadn't gotten rid of English Lanscapes
They'll just sub - contract the work out to other companies from other areas of the country and still not employ local people who have knowledge of the area . It's beyond belief what they are doing .
[quote][p][bold]Mikey07[/bold] wrote: Wouldn't have this issue if the council hadn't gotten rid of English Lanscapes[/p][/quote]They'll just sub - contract the work out to other companies from other areas of the country and still not employ local people who have knowledge of the area . It's beyond belief what they are doing . westwood lister
  • Score: 12

6:31pm Mon 12 May 14

Grumpy of Calne. says...

westwood lister wrote:
Mikey07 wrote:
Wouldn't have this issue if the council hadn't gotten rid of English Lanscapes
They'll just sub - contract the work out to other companies from other areas of the country and still not employ local people who have knowledge of the area . It's beyond belief what they are doing .
There are plenty of local companies they could use!
[quote][p][bold]westwood lister[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mikey07[/bold] wrote: Wouldn't have this issue if the council hadn't gotten rid of English Lanscapes[/p][/quote]They'll just sub - contract the work out to other companies from other areas of the country and still not employ local people who have knowledge of the area . It's beyond belief what they are doing .[/p][/quote]There are plenty of local companies they could use! Grumpy of Calne.
  • Score: 10

9:08pm Mon 12 May 14

Room101 says...

Maybe they are starting a sideline with silage.
Maybe they are starting a sideline with silage. Room101
  • Score: 6

8:17pm Tue 13 May 14

philsy1975 says...

I was offered this job with balfour through an employment agency, thank god i found something permanent and not have to cut grass for minimum agency wage. Balfour is a huge company and should employ permanent staff to do this on a decent wage instead of paying an agency an obscene amount for the temporary worker to receive pittance.
I was offered this job with balfour through an employment agency, thank god i found something permanent and not have to cut grass for minimum agency wage. Balfour is a huge company and should employ permanent staff to do this on a decent wage instead of paying an agency an obscene amount for the temporary worker to receive pittance. philsy1975
  • Score: 9

4:19pm Wed 14 May 14

The.Central.Scrutinizer says...

the grass around here which was cut the other day now looks far worse. it is still very long with longer tufts here and there. there are long thin grass walls due to non-overlapping of previous row when returning on new row. all this is topped with huge clumps of silage.
if this is the new standard for public grass areas then i think it would be preferable to tarmac them.
the grass around here which was cut the other day now looks far worse. it is still very long with longer tufts here and there. there are long thin grass walls due to non-overlapping of previous row when returning on new row. all this is topped with huge clumps of silage. if this is the new standard for public grass areas then i think it would be preferable to tarmac them. The.Central.Scrutinizer
  • Score: 2

9:43pm Wed 14 May 14

underdogs says...

" Balfour Beatty not keeping grass cutting promises Wiltshire Council to be told "
Does Wiltshire Council keep its promises to the electorate or provide an acceptable standard of service ?
" Balfour Beatty not keeping grass cutting promises Wiltshire Council to be told " Does Wiltshire Council keep its promises to the electorate or provide an acceptable standard of service ? underdogs
  • Score: 5

9:09pm Thu 15 May 14

moonraker77 says...

I wonder who holds the risk for overgrown grass verges alongside our roads. Do we have to wait for a serious accident before anything gets done? Because I'm a reasonably experienced driver as well as one coming the other way, one dog walker + one dog + 2 motorists near Warminster are still alive tonight!

Do WCC have a duty of care or is it just about money?
I wonder who holds the risk for overgrown grass verges alongside our roads. Do we have to wait for a serious accident before anything gets done? Because I'm a reasonably experienced driver as well as one coming the other way, one dog walker + one dog + 2 motorists near Warminster are still alive tonight! Do WCC have a duty of care or is it just about money? moonraker77
  • Score: 4

8:50am Fri 16 May 14

Highways68 says...

At the end of the day the reality of BBLP undercutting all the other tenderers for the contract is homing home to roost. BBLP will not quit the contract, if anyone belives they will, think again. Wiltshire Council will not throw them out either, the financial penalties for both outcomes would be huge. There would also be the loss of face to contend with, BB are an international contractor who cannot afford such, and well Cllr Scott and her cronies taking the decision to dump BBLP................
..that would be admiting that they got it wrong. Remember............
....front line services "will not be effected".

He comes another management reshuffle at BBLP, a bit more cost cutting (to make the contract more efficient) and some (more) renegotiation of contract rates. Pay up fair council tax payers of Wiltshire.

One other thought, maybe the next scrutiny committee should be a public meeting, so the real truth is heard, not the edited version of the "truth" that appears in the SC report!!
At the end of the day the reality of BBLP undercutting all the other tenderers for the contract is homing home to roost. BBLP will not quit the contract, if anyone belives they will, think again. Wiltshire Council will not throw them out either, the financial penalties for both outcomes would be huge. There would also be the loss of face to contend with, BB are an international contractor who cannot afford such, and well Cllr Scott and her cronies taking the decision to dump BBLP................ ..that would be admiting that they got it wrong. Remember............ ....front line services "will not be effected". He comes another management reshuffle at BBLP, a bit more cost cutting (to make the contract more efficient) and some (more) renegotiation of contract rates. Pay up fair council tax payers of Wiltshire. One other thought, maybe the next scrutiny committee should be a public meeting, so the real truth is heard, not the edited version of the "truth" that appears in the SC report!! Highways68
  • Score: 7

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