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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Tynedale: Rotten cuttings leave residents grassed off

ONE of Tynedale’s biggest social landlords has come under fire as abandoned grass cuttings have left green spaces smelly and unsightly.

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Thick grass cuttings left on a public area in Wark last year.

Isos has been accused of neglecting the needs of tenants after its contractors Ground Control left rotting cuttings on grassed areas.

Residents living in Isos housing across Tynedale have raised concerns about the mess, which is now starting to rot in the warm wet weather.

Former gardener Gary Miller, who lives on Isos-managed Chains Drive, in Corbridge, fears the smell of rotting grass cuttings could attract vermin.

“It is starting to rot, and when it rots, it smells,” he explained. “The smell could attract rats and make it a hundred times worse.

“It’s been left like this for over a week and is getting worse. It’s an absolute mess.

“When we open our curtains, it is the first thing we see and people don’t want to live like this.

“Isos doesn’t give a monkey’s. This my eighth year here and every year, bar one, it has not been done right.”

Twenty miles down the road in Allendale, people living in Allenfields have experienced the same problem.

Green space and the children’s play park have become a no-go area.

Local resident Wilfy Frazer contacted Isos about the issue but was fobbed off with an excuse that put the blame on the contractors. He is now looking to his local parish council for help.

“It was left until it was over a foot long before they cut it and now there are furrows of it everywhere,” he said.

“It’s an absolute disgrace. The kids can’t play in the park and before too long it will turn into silage.

“There’s a hell of a smell from it already and it backs on to the older residents’ bungalows.

“They didn’t cut it, they hacked it. A local farmer would have done a better job.”

Isos has also been criticised by tenants of Westacres, in Wark, who were forced to rally together and rake up the grass cuttings left by the contractors.

Isos has apologised for the inconvenience and untidiness experienced by residents in Allenfields after waterlogging meant the cutting was delayed for a week.

However, Isos but said it was not aware of significant problems arising from grass cuttings at Chains Drive, Corbridge.

A spokesman for Isos said:“We do not ask our contractor to collect grass cuttings from large, public areas in Northumberland, as there is a significant cost involved, and that cost would have to be passed on to our residents in some form.

“As a not-for-profit company, we try to strike a balance between providing a good service to our residents, and keeping costs under control – hence keeping our residents’ bills down.”

Isos has come under fire for its poor grass cutting over the last few years.

In 2012, Ground Control – then known as Vale – was slammed for its poor standard of work, leaving some residents so exasperated they cut the grass themselves.

Last year, the contractor was accused of letting standards slip once again after leaving areas untouched by a lawnmower.

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