Grass cutting schedule ‘completely messed up’ admits cabinet member

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Grass has never been greener - or longer - on roadsides in some urban areas of West Sussex as a result of recent freak weather conditions, with record rainfall.

The county council’s environmental and community services select committee was told that cutting schedules had been ‘completely messed up’.

Pieter Montyn (Con, Witterings), cabinet member for highways and transport, said it had rained a lot and also been very warm - and the grass grew.

“When it is soaking wet, you can’t mow it,” he told the select committee. “As you might expect, the schedule has been completely messed up,” he added. “There is some catching up to do, and we are well aware of this. But it is still raining - you get a few nice days, and then it rains again. It is very difficult to schedule, but this has not been forgotten about by any manner of means.”

Robin Rogers (Lib Dem, Northbrook) said he had seen grass cutting going on near schools where machines had scythed through aluminium cans.

“I know it would be difficult, but would it be possible to clear an area first before cutting the grass?” he asked.

Tony Toynton, director of communities and infrastructure, said this happened in Crawley, where litter-picking, street cleaning and grass-cutting were synchronised.

Despite ambitions, such synchronicity has not been achieved elsewhere, he said.