At their first budget, the SNP-led West Dunbartonshire Council cut greenspace workers and cut the budget for the maintenance of common areas throughout the area, including roundabouts, open spaces and other grassed areas in Dumbarton and the Vale of Leven.
The impact of these cuts are now being realised as the summer weather means that the grass is growing and people are rightly expressing their dismay at how untidy the place looks. People are even taking to cutting the grass themselves in a bid to keep our community looking tidy. Residents are rightly worried about other problems that may come as a result of the grass being overgrown, such as excess dog waste and ticks.
The main point of contention for people is that there seems to be no logic to the areas left to grow wild and the ones being maintained. Some grassed areas, such as those outside council buildings, are being fully cut and look immaculate, whereas other grassed areas are being cut around the edges in the name of biodiversity. And the flower beds which were once the pride of Levengrove park have been ripped out and turfed over.
This is an issue which has young and old across West Dunbartonshire united in anger.
“The SNP promised to put West Dunbartonshire first at the local election last year, but it seems that it didn’t take long for them to forget that promise. The Labour opposition presented a no-cuts budget which would have protected frontline staff including those greenspace workers who have now lost their jobs.
“And the extent of the impact of the SNP’s budget is now being realised by residents, with grass being left to overgrow in the name of biodiversity and people taking to cutting common areas in a bid to keep their communities tidy.
“The flower beds were once the pride of Levengrove park and they have now been turfed-over as there are not enough staff to maintain them. And the cuts to ground maintenance may well present bigger problems such as excess dog waste and fewer areas for children to play
“The Council has just got it plain wrong and should reverse their decision quickly, after all that’s what local people want.”