Poor service ‘undermines’ bid to boost environment

EFFORTS to improve the environment in Pegswood have been undermined by a poor grass-cutting service outside former council housing.

That’s the view of the village’s county councillor David Woodard, who is also a member of the parish council, which has asked for an urgent meeting with Isos to discuss the situation.

The housing association used to contract its grounds maintenance work, which includes grass cutting, to Northumberland County Council, but a few months ago it changed to another supplier, Vale Contract Services.

Since then it has been trying to catch up with a backlog that was created in the gap between the transfer, but this has caused discrepancies across the towns and villages covered by the organisation.

County council grassed plots have been cut four or five times since the start of spring, but Coun Woodard said Vale has only managed to do one or two in his ward.

“Isos has let its residents down very badly and complaints are coming in all the time to myself and other county councillors,” he added.

“In Pegswood, the community efforts to maintain floral areas, tidy up places in need of attention and generally improve the environment have been severely hampered by this poor service.

“The situation continues to be unsatisfactory because Isos and its contractor have yet to demonstrate that they care and have the will and capacity to improve the situation they themselves have created.

“Our parish council at the June meeting agreed to ask for an urgent meeting with Isos to seek assurances that the grass will soon be cut and maintained to a decent standard.”

Coun Woodard was speaking at a meeting of Morpeth Town Council and the authority’s Planning and Transport Committee Chairman Graeme Trotter said it had been in touch with the housing association about the problem areas in the town.

He asked if a Morpeth representative could attend the meeting between Pegswood Parish Council and Isos, which has said it is confident that Vale will deliver an excellent service once it has fully caught up with the backlog.