I am regularly questioning whether the Council’s new grass cutting contract is able to deliver a quality service.

The contract was awarded to Continental from January 1st this year, but to date they have regularly failed to deliver a satisfactory service on the first cut.  Council officers have cited the unusually wet weather conditions as one of the reasons for this.

I have met with Continental several times, and I understand they are doing all they can to rectify the problems that have come to light since the start of the contract.  They have recently increased staff numbers and equipment, at cost to themselves, to ensure they meet their contractual obligations.

However, given the increasingly wet weather we now seem to experience year on year, Continental must be praying for a few dry summers to come if they are to successfully deliver on the service agreement.

Of course, fault cannot be laid solely at the doors of Continental.  I am informed that the Council under-estimated the frequency of cuts in some areas, in particular around sheltered housing complexes, and along some of the highways verges.

Also, the complaints I am receiving are not just about the frequency of cuts, but about the unsightly mess that is left behind due to the non collection of the cuttings.  Grass collection is not included in the contract, as the Council chose not to include it, but they have failed to communicate this to the residents in Leeds. This is a failing by the Council, not Continental, and something that needs reviewing.

Whilst I acknowledge that in dry weather, the non-removal of grass does not cause major problems, in wet weather, grass is left in clumps rather than being evenly distributed across grassed areas, and this creates a very poor impression.