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Keep off the grass, Dudley Council tells families

Dudley | News | Published:

Furious residents are lining up their lawnmowers to defy a Black Country council's warning not to cut overgrown grass which has turned their street into an eyesore.

Furious residents are lining up their lawnmowers to defy a Black Country council's warning not to cut overgrown grass which has turned their street into an eyesore.

They have been told it is too dangerous for them to take matters into their own hands and tidy up the "appalling" overgrown grass verge outside their homes.

Dudley Council has stopped mowing the steep verge in Coldstream Drive, Wordsley, and told residents they will be breaking health and safety rules if they go ahead and cut it themselves.

But Carol Bradley, aged 60, and her neighbours are determined to get the mess outside their houses cleared and have vowed to "fight tooth and nail".

They have even offered to pay up to £200 for a contractor to clear the grass but the council refused.

Residents say the verge - which is now nearly a foot high - is a health hazard, as it is full of litter and poisonous weeds.

A petition has been signed by 350 people - 90 per cent of the Rectory Fields estate's residents. It was handed over to councillors at the Brierley Hill Area Committee meeting last week.

The council decided in March that it would not cut steep grass verges in the borough to cut costs.

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Though the residents have been told they cannot tackle the problem themselves, they are ready to start up their lawnmowers if the problem gets much worse.

Mrs Bradley, a self-employed accountant, said: "We are absolutely not going to give up because this is an appalling mess.

"There are lots of trees along the verge and, in the hot dry weather, it could be like a tinderbox and our houses would be in jeopardy."

She added the poisonous ragwort weed, which has yellow flowers, had spread through the verge. It contains toxins that can be deadly for grazing animals.

Mrs Bradley expected the verge to be cut by council workers at the end of April but became concerned when, a month later, the work had still not been done.

Dudley council spokesman Chris Howes said: "While the council cannot stop people from cutting the grass banks on our land, we would strongly advise people against it because they are not insured to carry out what can be hazardous work."

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