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Marlow could take over grass cutting after anger at overgrown verges
MARLOW may soon be given the power to look after more of its green spaces, after the mayor blasted the county council for slashing grass-cutting budgets.
As complaints about overgrown verges continue to grow across the county, Buckinghamshire County Council has put forward a plan to devolve some of its maintenance services.
It means Marlow Town Council could be given funding for the next four years to look after its own roadside verges, labelled "horrible" by Mayor Suzanne Brown ahead of this year's Britain in Bloom judging.
But for the scheme to go ahead, Marlow town would need to team up with a cluster of nearby parishes to share services among themselves.
Discussing the idea at a council meeting this week, deputy mayor Bob Johnson said: "This would have a significant impact on residents and I would like to take a strong lead on how we go forward with this.
"There are some strong pros and cons and some serious implications might be involved.
"There are significant cuts from the council and I can understand how they are forced to consider this devolution."
However, Cllr Johnson said he was concerned what would happen after the four-year funding pledge period ended.
And Cllr Kathy Thomson said it would be good for the people of Marlow as the current state of some roadside verges is "demoralising".
BCC has come under fire for its decision to reduce grass cutting from ten times a year to six.
Transport for Buckinghamshire said its responsibility was to keep highways in a safe condition, which requires it to cut grass around junctions that could impair the vision of motorists.
The devolution deal, worth £23,245 for 2015/16, would only apply to roads with a 30mph speed limit and below.
Wycombe District Council is expected to propose a similar devolution package for their areas of responsibility in the coming weeks.
Town councillors agreed to set up a working party to investigate the package and talk to neighbouring parishes.
Any problems with grass cutting, or to report a verge in need of cutting, can be done online: www.buckscc.gov.uk/telltfb
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