'Pull your socks up or we'll withhold payment', firm at centre of grass cutting row warned

Stroud News and Journal: 'Pull your socks up or we'll withhold payment', firm at centre of grass cutting row warneded 'Pull your socks up or we'll withhold payment', firm at centre of grass cutting row warneded

WILTSHIRE Council is going to withhold payment from contractor Balfour Beatty Living Places for sub-standard grass cutting..

The authority has fielded complaints from all over the county about uncut verges, roundabout approaches and parks in recent weeks.

In Malmesbury dad Wayne Kibble spent five hours mowing an overgrown play area at Filands after spotting his children struggling to get through the long grass and in West Wiltshire parish councillors resorted to using their own mowers to tackle problem areas.

The £150 million contract is already set to be reviewed, but on Monday it was revealed that despite a warning back in May to pull its socks up and improve services, Balfour Beatty was still falling below standards in some areas, including grass cutting.

So Wiltshire Council has decided to set out measures including withholding payment for area where grass cutting has not met the agreed standard. It is also demanding detailed plans from the company showing the resources it devotes to different tasks.

Cabinet member for highways John Thomson said: "The service being provided isn't good enough and we are determined to work with Balfour Beatty Living Places so standards are raised quickly.

“This is a resource level issue and it is limited to certain areas of maintenance. BBLP performed well during the winter flooding and we want this level of service across all the areas of work which the company is responsible for.”

He added: “I am confident that we can move forward and although we are working in partnership with the company this does not mean we won't be holding them to account when there are clear problems."

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